good analysis. well done.
A Look at Michigan Basketball Based on Time Between Games
So as you may know, Michigan has seemed to play considerably better when they have a good amount of time to rest. But how much better? I decided to take a look at the games Michigan played this year and their record based on time between games. Here is what I came up with:
A few notes on terms that should be pretty obvious for the most part, but just making sure everyone understands:
1 Day Since Last Game would mean that they played a game the day before.
(N) means Neutral Site
I think you can figure out the rest.
From this, there seems to be a pretty strong correlation between the amount of rest/time to prepare the team gets and how well they do. 9-0 when we have 5+ days since the previous game, 16-2 when it is 4+ days? That's a stat that I'm pretty happy with. However, it's worth noting that, with a few exceptions (e.g. UCLA, Illinois, Purdue), the majority of our more difficult games took place 3 days or fewer since the previous game.
As a side note:
Despite 18 (55%) of our games being played with 4+ days since the previous game, only 10 (45%) of our games vs top 100 RPI were played with 4+ days since the previous game. Granted, that's only two games that would have a longer time since the previous game if it followed the same percentage, but that seems like it could have had an impact.
Overall, this seems to bode well for us when we face Clemson. Not so much if we go on to face Oklahoma.
For what it's worth, Clemson's losses were:
Wake Forest - 7 days since last game
UNC - 4 days since last game
FSU - 3 days since last game
Viriginia - 5 days since last game
Virginia Tech - 3 days since last game
FSU - 3 days since last game
Wake Forest - 5 days since last game
Georgia Tech - 4 days since last game
I noticed this throughout the season. It seems to me that when you give John B. plenty of time to prepare, he will find flaws and pick apart most any team. I think we win this one.
I don't think it has to do with rest for the players.
I think it has a lot to do with rest. Our 3-point percentage was horrible in a lot of those losses. Shooting threes on tired legs is tough.
however, i think the same could be said for any team? more rest = better win pct.
Yeah, but it seems pretty extreme in our case. 16-2 with 4+ days vs. 3-11 with fewer? That can't be typical.
Additionally, I just added some really simple numbers for Clemson. They have 5 losses at 4+ days, and 3 losses at 3- days
WHY YOU ALWAYS GOT TO TRASH MICHIGAN BY THROWING OUT NUMBERS AND STATI...
Oh. These are good numbers. *whew*
That is an interesting correlation, especially considering one of those <= 3days was an OT win in Indiana we have no business bragging about. However, just by eyeballing the chart, I think you need to account for normalizing for home/away. It seems there is a strong correlation between away games and less rest. Only 4 of the games in the "rest" period are away, and we lost two of them. Putting it another way, when well rested, all but two of our wins were at home. And only two of our losses in "non-rested" games were at home (MSU and Wisconsin).
I was originally going to mention the home/away thing in my initial diary post, but I ended up not (obviously).
As far as correlation != causation... well, that's obvious. However, as the creator of xkcd put it: "Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing 'look over there'."
I'm not trying to say that it is the only factor in the games. I'm not at all sure how big of a factor it is. But I am trying suggest that it seems likely that it is a factor.
I think we have all seen emperically that the team played much better with rest (home and away), and played more poorly without rest. I think it is a valid observation.
But why to this extreme? Obviously prep time comes into play, but I think you can say we were pretty well prepared for the second Iowa game or the third Illinois game. We looked flat and tired for those games.
Our team is still young . . . does a higher level of physical development and conditioning come into play? Is the nature of the 1-3-1 a physically draining defense to play game after game, especially with limited viable substitutions? What about the offense?
Round 2/Oklahoma = Cases of Red Bull.
I think it's a combination of us being 1) thin and having to play our starters heavy minutes and 2) very dependent on the 3-point shot, which is tough to shoot on tired legs.
Very interesting. Very well done. Puts meat on the bone for that argument.
Nice stuff...interesting graphs and what not.
The only problem is that a lot of the teams they played after many days off suck donkey balls. See: EMU, Northwestern (not terrible, but ended up at the bottom of the BT), Mich Tech, Oakland, NCC.
Nice charts. I noticed that the disparity in home/away results mentioned below, but still it certainly provides some evidence to the notion that UM plays better on more days rest. Throwing out the conference games and donkey-ball teams, I see that UM was 2-1 against "good" teams with 3+ days rest from the game before, and even counting UConn (which was 2 days) into the mix, UM acquitted itself quite well. This game will be tough for UM to win, but I really don't think Clemson is the "juggernaut" some people are making them out to be. Give Beillin some time, and I think this team will be well prepared to take on the Tigers.
Nice job. Good insight.