Hokepoints States the Principle of B

Hokepoints States the Principle of B

Submitted by Seth on March 25th, 2014 at 10:09 AM


Tourney face. [Fuller]

Beilein teams go further in the tournament than their seeds. This is known. We've repeated it so often that smart bracketeers even calculate it into their expectations. I've saved the "why" and "wherefore" of this effect for a roundtable question since that gets into the basketball strategy stuff that I'm weak in.

What I can do is build a pivot table out of multiple bits of data; in this case it was lots of schmearing and pasting, column breaks, and vlookups from sports-reference.com's bracket history and annual coaches records. The important lesson here is you're supposed to know it was hard.

UPDATE: Here's the raw data.

The first thing I tried was straight-up expectations by seed: top seeds are expected to get to the Final Four, 2-seeds to the Elite Eight; 3- and 4-seeds to the Sweet Sixteen; 5-, 6-, 7- and 8-seeds to the round of 32. The results had Beilein #5 after Brad Stevens of Butler, Sean Miller, and some Mizzou coaches who often had 9 seeds. That suggested there's a problem with my figuring:

wins over exp

I'm expecting 9 and 10 seeds to never advance so they're always in the positive; every time an 8 loses to a 9 it's a hit. The actual distribution is, unsurprisingly, progressive:

seed distribution

With over 1300 teams in my study there's very little deviation from the logarithm. It suggests, for all our complaining, that the committee does a pretty good job.

Seed Exp Wins Seed Exp Wins
1 3.21 9 0.66
2 2.41 10 0.53
3 1.94 11 0.42
4 1.60 12 0.32
5 1.34 13 0.23
6 1.13 14 0.14
7 0.95 15 0.06
8 0.79 16 0.00

Since I'm a history major who had to re-teach himself exponential functions this morning (if predicting basketball games required encyclopedic knowledge of Plantagenets I'd have Ken Pomeroy's job) please go easy on me if I dispense with the other stuff and just use the values Excel returned as a base expectation of tournament victories for each seed (at right). The formula according to Excel:

y= 1.1634Ln(x) + 3.2127

With an expectation for victories now I can get a reasonable comparison versus that, for example a 2-seed that advances to the Sweet 16 has 2 victories minus 2.41 expected = 0.41 fewer wins than they should have. The last thing was to remove coaches who've been to fewer than five tournaments. We're ready to rename March after a coach. But which one?

[Don't act all surprised; you knew I'd make you jump for it.]

Hokepoints: Bracketology Because It's Bracketology Week 2014

Hokepoints: Bracketology Because It's Bracketology Week 2014

Submitted by Seth on March 18th, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Site note: As with last year, we'll be having a basketballgasm liveblog for Day 1 of the tournament, shifting to the hockey game at 3, and then going through the Round 1 matchup with Wofford. DraftStreet, whose 40k tourney is still filling up (as of this morning ~1600 of the 2000 spots are filled), is sponsoring, and a few former players will be joining us to promote the Go Blue Bowl.

Speaking of filling things, you're probably filling your brackets right now, so here's my now-annual post and tool for helping with that. Last year was the first since 2000 that I didn't win at least my buy-in back. Things I use:

The Power Rank (friend of the blog Ed Feng)'s interactive bracket. Ed is one of the cutting-edge guys in sports analytics. On his tool if you hover over any team you can see their probabilities to reach each round, or hover over a spot in the circular bracket to see every team's likelihood of getting there. Michigan is 58% to reach the Sweet 16; from there every game is virtually a toss-up.

The Wall Street Journal's blind comparison. They show you two profiles and say a little about the team, and you make your pick presumably without bias, though you can often figure out exactly who they're talking about:

wsj"Occasionally Naps on Defense" would be a good name for our band.

Bracket Science's Bracketmaster tool. Peter Tiernan's blog is a standard for following bubble teams and gets things right that others don't (like Louisville as a 4 seed). The Bracketmaster+ tool lets you get into data going back to 1985. If you're a member it gets deeper but non-members can use it to do things like show Beilein's Michigan teams in the tournament:


Poologic Tool. This helps you decide how many upsets to pick based on the size of your office pool (in a large pool it's best to be the only one with a certain champ). Also you can calculate ROI on various picks.

My tool (download the excel sheet) Which uses straight-up Kenpom scores and provides a weak confidence score based on the premise that 16 seeds never beat 1 seeds. I also added injuries for each team. Looks like this:


What I do is normalize the closest 16-1 matchup (Wichita St vs. Cal Poly) as 100% for the 1 seed to win, set that as the "chaos factor," and use the KenPom ratings to percentile everyone else's games into a confidence number. Then I roll through anything under 70% and decide if my knowledge of those teams might justify taking the under.

General tips:

If you're in a big pool, run multiple brackets, each with carefully selected upsets.There's no such thing as an NCAA tournament without lots of big upsets and at least one surprising run. The 1 seeds all made it to the Final Four just once. If you submit one milksop bracket you're up against every other milksop bracket and will get beat by the one crazy guy who had LSU going to the Elite 8 or something. Hitting on a carefully selected upset that rearranges a bracket and lets you ride a different high seed to the Final Four is the most typical route to a win.

If you're in a small pool, play conservative. One or two points won't usually make a difference in a small pool, but the likelihood of something crazy like that one guy's wife who picks based on the cuteness factor of mascots winning is cut down so you don't need to take risks to get ahead.

Pick the upsets the most carefully. I love picking 6-11 upsets because if you get it wrong they're bound to get wiped out by the 3 anyway. If you roll the dice on a 3-seed or lower losing early though, you'll feel like an idiot as the rest of your pool collects the easy points. A tournament without upsets never happens, but neither does a tournament with all the upsets. You can totally undo a great pick with a terrible one elsewhere.

Get value for your upsets. Know who's in your pool and the inefficiencies. This year, those of you in Michigan are facing the mother of all inefficiencies in that Spartan fans are bound to submit extra brackets just to have one that has State going all the way. Fans will generally take their favorite team to go two rounds later than they really belong and conference teams to go a round further. This is an inefficiency (even if MSU looked like they could dominate the tourney on Sunday).

Be really really lucky. This is really the only rule.

Hokepoints is a Basketball State

Hokepoints is a Basketball State

Submitted by Seth on March 11th, 2014 at 1:01 PM


My regional breakdown, still.

After I did that regional study of football talent production by state, Michael Elkon (Braves & Birds, SB Nation, regular HTTV contributor) asked if I'd do the same with hoops recruiting. I responded that I'd love to, but we just had our first child and I need some time to stare at her. This is also my response for why I didn't have any content last week. In fact it is my excuse for everything; to those who don't have kids I can say "you don't understand" and they have to shut up because this is the ultimate trump card. Those who are already parents keep quiet because they're in on it. Having kids is AWESOME!

Anyway it's back to work, and because it's me that means charts. So back to charts.

This is NOT exactly accurate

Data are from the Rivals (most easily accessible) databases since 2003. Putting lists of football and basketball recruits against each other is not a one-for-one comparison. Basketball has more teams, fewer recruits per team, way more international players, and players who went directly to the NBA or committed to Kentucky or some other stupid one before they're done with the pretense.

Top basketball players are also far more likely to go to prep schools, and these are often nowhere near their hometowns. The Rivals database lists actual hometowns for many prep players, but not international ones, so, e.g., Canadian from Canada Nik Stauskas registers as a Massachusetts recruit despite being from Canada. Where a hometown was noted I used that. Some states will appear disproportionately large because their prep programs draw kids from around the region, but that is also an advantage to the schools near the prep programs.

Talent Supply By Region

As with football, the Southeast appears to produce a disproportionate amount of talent compared to its population, but to nowhere near the extreme as it is with football. Observe:

Region % U.S. pop
% of Top ~400
Hoops Recruits
% of Top ~400
FB Recruits
Atlantic 22% 20% (-2) 15% (-7)
Midwest 18% 18% ( - ) 14% (-4)
Northeast 5% 6% (+1) 1% (-4)
Pacific 19% 14% (-5) 14% (-5)
Plains 17% 17% ( - ) 18% (+1)
Southeast 19% 25% (+6) 38% (+19)

The Atlantic, Midwest, and Northeast are considerably better represented, suggesting a marginally higher basketball orientation than the national average. My guess is this has a lot to do with the fact that it doesn't snow in gyms.

The list of top states in proportionally producing more basketball talent was heavily influenced by the prep school effect: New Hampshire (more than 3x their share of hoops talent) was done by three schools: Tilton, New Hampton, and the Brewster Academy. Most of Nevada was Findlay Prep, and Bishop Gorman sent most of the rest. Leaving those aside, the big basketball states (proportional to their population) were Kansas (209%), D.C. (202%), Mississippi (185%), Georgia (183%), Iowa (172%), Virginia (166%), North Carolina (154%), and Indiana (150%).

State Hoops Football % Pop
Illinois 28% 21% 23%
Indiana 18% 10% 12%
Iowa 10% 2% 6%
Michigan 14% 14% 18%
Minnesota 6% 5% 10%
Ohio 17% 45% 21%
Wisconsin 8% 4% 10%

There's a reverse prep effect at the bottom: Vermont and Rhode Island were drained by New Hampshire it appears, and Delaware seems to have sent their kids to Virginia or D.C. The remainder to produce less than half as much talent as you would expect from their populations: Alaska (17%), Montana (25%), Colorado (34%), Nebraska (40%), New York (41%), South Dakota (45%), and New Mexico (47%).

Michigan (3% of the U.S. population, 2.4% of the top basketball talent) was about in the middle, about even with Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Missouri, Ohio, and Arizona. Straight-up Michigan is the 14th biggest producer of basketball talent, and the 12th biggest producer of football talent. I thought the more interesting stat was within the Midwest (that above table), where Ohio produces nearly half of the top football prospects the basketball talent is shared.

[jump for where they go]

Hokepoints: Who Needs SAM?

Hokepoints: Who Needs SAM?

Submitted by Seth on February 25th, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Upchurch - 8173043148_1c2001efcd_o

Say uaaaahhh [Upchurch] 

Last week when I was talking about the position moves—Jake Ryan to middle linebacker, Roy Manning to cornerbacks coach, etc.—I was mostly positive in the analysis portion, explaining the move as a reaction to having their best defensive player at a defensive role that's quickly becoming as defunct as the spinning fullback.*

In the podcast Brian and Ace expressed some heebies and jeebies over the moves. I can't speak to all of those worries; who knows whether Jake Ryan can read run/pass, or if maybe Desmond Morgan's pass defense was a gaping hole the coaches were covering up in other ways. I can't even give a full answer since Brian didn't do defensive UFRs for Michigan's last three games. But I thought we might use the data we have to see whether the strongside linebacker position in Michigan's defense has been phasing out.


Spread level: rising. The vagaries of year-to-year scheduling and missing UFRs may throw off the data but Michigan's opponents indeed have been throwing out more wide receivers in their base sets as of late.

Average WRs in Formation by Situation**
Year Normal Long/2 min Short/2pt Total
2008 2.93 3.34 1.72 2.92
2009 2.55 3.14 1.83 2.59
2010 2.68 3.41 1.69 2.72
2011 2.68 3.31 1.41 2.69
2012 2.68 3.39 2.06 2.75
2013 2.81 3.31 2.17 2.87
Total 2.72 3.32 1.81 2.76

2008 was thrown off by teams going uber-spread: Minnesota, Northwestern, Utah, Illinois, and Miami (NTM) all averaged more than three wide receivers on normal downs, the former three going 4-wide more often than not. That's not too surprising given that defense had a plausible 4-3 run-stopping depth chart, but a huge dropoff if you could mitigate the DL and get past Warren and Trent on the CB depth chart. After that things normalized to a spread-leaning mix of 2- and 3-wide sets until last year.

I wish I had complete numbers. I can tell you that next year Michigan replaces CMU, UConn, Akron, Nebraska, and Iowa with Appalachian State, Utah, Miami (NTM), Maryland, and Rutgers. I can use 2013 stats (from cfbstats) to show you the playcalling breakdown of these offenses:

[If you jump first]

Hokepoints Counts de Mone

Hokepoints Counts de Mone

Submitted by Seth on February 18th, 2014 at 10:53 AM


'de-moh-NAY!' s'il vous plait.

The NCAA has published its 2013 data submitted by member institutions for the purposes of Title IX compliance. You can download the spreadsheets from ope.ed.gov.

Politics refresher: Title IX is a gray area topic since it is political but affects college sports which this blog is about. This is a feel thing: it is logical to point out that a male wrestler's experience will be more similar to that of any female basketball player than Derrick Walton's, it is politics to label that "reverse discrimination."

Quinze, seize you: Generally BCS teams spent between 37% (Stanford) and 77% (Oklahoma State) less on the women's sports than the men's. Michigan spent about $7.00 on the fellas for every $3.00 on the gals, a ratio near the top. BCS schools, private schools (who didn't used to have to comply) and Southern schools tended to higher disparities; among the 15 lowest women-to-men expenditure ratios all but three (Minnesota, ND and Pitt) were in the Confederacy. The Dept. of Education doesn't regulate an annual expenditure ratio between men's and women's sports, but they look at them as part of the nebulous compliance system.

Avg Expenditures by Conference
          (in millions) 2012-13
Conf Men Women Ratio
WAC $4.8 $3.7 78%
Big East $11.3 $7.0 62%
MAC $11.3 $6.0 53%
MtnWest $13.7 $6.7 49%
Sun Belt $8.5 $4.0 48%
Conf USA $12.6 $5.8 46%
Big Ten $38.8 $16.7 43%
Pac 12 $32.0 $13.7 43%
American $25.0 $10.0 40%
Big XII $33.0 $13.1 39%
SEC $39.5 $14.7 37%
ACC $34.6 $12.5 36%

Building Lies. Weirdly, expenses appear more normal than the revenues, which get downright weird. A few examples (for reference, Michigan's men's hockey team reported revenues of $3.2 million, the 4th-most in that sport):

  • Stanford's women's basketball team, which was a 1 seed that lost in the Elite 8, reported $16.5 million. The next-highest is Baylor's ($5.9 million), Vandy ($5.6 M), Tennessee ($4.9 M) and UConn ($4.7M)
  • Clemson's women's diving reported revenues of $406k. Only two other schools reported any revenue for that.
  • TCU said they made $3.4 million from horseback riding and $416k from women's rifling.
  • Southern's women's soccer team, which didn't make the tournament field, reported $3.1 million in revenue, which is more than their football team and almost as much as all of their men's sports combined.
  • Robert Morris's women's hockey team reported more revenue ($1.1 M) than its men's team ($997k).
  • Michigan's men's lacrosse team led the country in revenue: $2.4 million
  • Wisconsin's women's ice hockey reported $7.6 million; their men's team reported just under $12 million (double what next-highest, Minnesota, made).
    Michigan's the rare school that doesn't pretend its opulent escalator entrance was built for the women's gymnastics team. [MGoBlue.com]

Wisconsin's hockey numbers might be a clue as to how these schools are getting their numbers. The Badgers recently built a practice facility adjacent to the the Kohl Center with donated funds; the women's team plays their game there. Stanford got a massive donation' last year from its version of Ross and built a multi-sport athletic facility with his name on it. Michigan appears to have funneled some of their Big House improvement through lacrosse.

It appears what's happening is when a donation is put toward a building project the schools tend to split that between whichever teams use it. End result: teams that funded major construction projects ended up with the highest ratios of $$ spent on women versus men.

Biggest liars? There's no way to figure out the accounting for these things but it's obvious some programs play with the books more than others. TCU is pretending they built a $3.4 million storage shed for saddles and bridles that the football team just happens to use as an indoor practice facility. They also upgraded the ROTC rifling range, which they attributed to the women's team. They're a private school that to be a women's college and is still 57% female [ED-S: apologies—you have no idea how many people I've repeated that factoid to over the years]  that spent the last decade trying to become a BCS program, which explains the fiscal acrobatics.

[After the jump, comparing expenses to recruiting and performance]

Hokepoints Goes National

Hokepoints Goes National

Submitted by Seth on February 11th, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Last week I started playing with Lemming's recruiting information to see how national recruiting had changed over the last few decades. Too late for that article I realized I could actually take this study back more than a century using lists of historical lettermen published by various teams in their annual media guides. Using the same regional breakdown I tried to get data for the same six I used in the old decimated defense series—Michigan, MSU, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, and Alabama—but only three had accessible info.

These are based on letterwinners, not entire rosters, so scholarship freshmen on the scout team aren't counted. It still gives us a picture:


Vestibulum ut maior

First the goofy things. The breaks in Alabama's lines are 1919 and 1943, when the Tide didn't field teams because too many players were fighting World Wars I and II, respectively. That big spike for Bama right before WWII is because they were used as an officers training base just prior to the war. Michigan got this same temporary—by 1943 those officers had shipped overseas—bump, but not as many registered since most came from the Midwest (e.g. Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch from Wisconsin).

Second the obvious things. Notre Dame's claim to be a "national" program is defended by the data. From the 1920s through the '70s their teams were fielded from between 30% and 60% by players from outside of the Great Lakes States (plus Iowa). Since the '80s about 65% is the new normal. Michigan and Alabama tracked pretty similarly as major state schools who kept to their home regions up until Bo arrived. Beginning in 1969 Michigan began a trend upward that finally settled over 30% of players from outside their region. Alabama remained a predominantly regional program until Nick Saban arrived.

I zoomed in on the years since 1964 so we can better appreciate how coaching changes affected the programs:


Tangere facere magnum

Ewww don't touch me. I trust you know who Michigan's and Alabama's coaches were in 1964. The late '60s were the last time Michigan was as regional as Alabama. That now seems in danger of happening again. Last year Michigan dipped to 25.67% and Bama peaked at 25.33%.

Michigan graduated five players from outside the Midwest (Dileo, Gallon, Gibbons, Lewan, and Qwash), and two more (Ash and Furman) aren't returning for fifth years, but they brought in nine this year (Peppers, JBB, Winovich, Pallante, Watson, Speight, Mone, Cole and Canteen) so I expect their total to climb a little for 2014. It's too hard to say what Bama's number will be since they still need to cut 10 or 11 players before fall.

Championships win defense. Carr's 1997 championship, Parseghian's 1966 one, and Saban's 2009 title were all followed by steep increases in national recruiting; of the 14 titles in that chart two (Holtz's in 1988 and Stallings's in 1992) were accompanied by drops in the % of roster made up of extra-regional players. Michigan's historical peak is 2000, three years after their only TV-era national championship and one year after their Orange Bowl victory. The great Hoke classes of the last two years were very local.

[After the jump, I test another culprit]

Hokepoints Doesn't See a Regional Trend

Hokepoints Doesn't See a Regional Trend

Submitted by Seth on February 4th, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Yesterday Ace posted a link to the full Lemming recruiting rankings from 1990 to 2004. Just perusing the list is pretty interesting, since accessible recruiting data on a national scale otherwise only goes back as far as the Rivals and Scout databases. Since nobody likes to make their information easy to get at, it'll take some time for this all to be processed.

But for a first stab I did find something I can pull relatively easily from both Lemming's sheets and modern data: where players come from, and where they went. Lemming only had data on where recruits were from going back to 1999. Since it was easiest to grab a Top 400 from 247, I took theirs too, but they run out of rankings before 2008 so there's a gap. It won't matter for this. I broke the nation into regions that quasi-match the traditional conference footprints:


And here's the % of high school recruits that each contributed to Lemming's (on the left) and 247's (on the right) lists:


Who's been telling you that demographics are responsible for the SEC's rise? It's not there. The Big Ten's traditional footprint was providing 15% of the nation's talent in 1999 and the SEC was around 35%; today it's almost the exact same.

[After the jump: regional retention]

Hokepoints: Rule Change Mythbusters

Hokepoints: Rule Change Mythbusters

Submitted by Seth on January 28th, 2014 at 11:01 AM


The ref is seeing what you are: there should be a few more banners up there.

Somebody on the board over the weekend put up a thread mentioning some of the oft-repeated myths and memes in college basketball concerning this team or that player. I thought I would take a crack at a few of those surrounding the crackdown on handchecks and charges this year.

With the New Charge Rules Scoring is Up

Though there's still time to sort things out, but here's Adjusted Offensive ratings for all teams on Kenpom:


Missed SEO opportunity in not labeling this graph "Climate Change"

You can see something needed to be done, since offense had been declining steadily at all levels of D-I*, and bottomed last season. And you can see something was definitely done. I am comparing only the first half of this season to the entireties of the others so perhaps offense naturally declines as the year progresses and you play more conference foes who know your schemes. If so it hasn't affected Michigan that much. Here's the average points scored by Michigan and their opponents (some M's score plus Opp's score divided by 2) in regular season games over that period:

Another explanation for the increase in scoring this year is the exponential growth in Canada's swag markets over the last two quarters. [Fuller]
Season First 19 After 19 Diff
2003 68.8 67.7 -1.2
2004 65.6 66.5 +0.9
2005 63.7 61.7 -2.0
2006 67.9 72.9 +5.0
2007 62.2 62.4 -0.2
2008 68.1 63.5 -4.6
2009 66.8 63.8 -3.0
2010 65.1 59.5 -5.6
2011 64.4 65.0 +0.6
2012 64.7 62.0 -2.7
2013 68.9 69.2 +0.2
2014 70.8 - -
Avg 2003-'13 66.0 64.9 -1.1

A point less. Confirmed.


* [Except the '05 to '06 dip for the mid-majors, which was conference expansion. That's when Cincy and Louisville et al. joined the Big East, and the mid-majors replaced them by plucking football-first degree factories in Florida (UCF, FIU, USF) plus smallish rocky mountain schools and the Trojan Troy Trojans of Troy (We're from Troy!)].


[Jump for a few more]

Hokepoints: Leaders of the Class

Hokepoints: Leaders of the Class

Submitted by Seth on January 21st, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Clay Jackson/cjackson@amnews.com
11957481086_144b9310a8_hRysheed Jordan Syracuse v St John xttu-euH6ITl

Left: Harrison [Clay Jackson]. Center: [Fuller]. Right: Ennis and Jordan [Nate Shron/Getty]

Just about the most closely watched thing of this basketball season, right after McGary's clinical charts and forwards moving backwards on contact, has been the play of Derrick Walton. Reasons: here played Trey Burke, a couple of disappointing performances in the late non-conf schedule, Trey Burke used to play that spot, and because we read his recruiting profile and thought hey, freshman Trey Burke!

This weekend we got a chance to see Walton play against another of the highly rated point guards from his class. Granted, Bronson Koenig was on the floor for all of four minutes on Saturday, but that's 240 unheard-of seconds on a Bo Ryan team. It was also excuse enough to compare Walton's learning curve so far to the other 2013-14 freshman PGs.

Here's the class:

NAME Sch Ht Wt Stars* Rk** ORtg Note
Andrew Harrison Kentucky 6'5" 205 5-5-5 1 109.1 Been improving lately.
Kasey Hill Florida 6'1" 160 5-5-5 2 99.7 Splits PG time with sr PG/SG
Terry Rozier L'ville 6'0" 170 5-4-5 3 116.3 Playing SG
Tyler Ennis Syracuse 6'2" 180 5-5-5 5 122.4 Is good at basketball
Rysheed Jordan St.Johns 6'4" 185 5-5-4 5 93.5 In and out of the lineup
Anthony Barber NC St 6'2" 165 4-4-5 5 99.0 Starter since 5th game
Demetrius Jackson ND 6'1" 185 4-4-4 7 115.1 Playing SG
N. Williams-Goss Wash 6'4" 180 5-4-4 7 100.9 12/3 A/TO last 2 games.
Derrick Walton Mich 6'0" 170 4-4-4 8 101.6 Not Trey Burke.
Conner Frankamp Kansas 6'0" 160 4-4-4 9 97.1 Backup to Naari Tharpe
Roddy Peters Md. 6'4" 180 4-4-4 10 90.5 Splits time with Seth Allen
Zach LaVine UCLA 6'4" 170 4-4-5 11 120.0 Now 6'5, Playing SF
Duane Wilson Marqu. 6'3" 175 4-4-4 12 n/a Redshirting
Stevie Clark OklaSt 5'10" 163 4-4-4 13 109.0 Backup to Marcus Smart
Nick Emery BYU 6'1" 180 4-4-4 14 n/a Redshirting
Tim Quarterman LSU 6'5" 180 4-4-4 15 82.0 Backup SG
Wesley Clark Mizzou 6'0" 175 4-4-4 15 93.4 Sixth man
Bryson Scott Purdue 6'1" 170 3-4-4 16 102.1 Backup to Ronnie Johnson
Monte Morris IowaSt 6'1" 175 4-4-4 18 125.6 Playing SG
Rashawn Powell Memphis 6'1" 160 4-4-4 19 n/a Redshirting
Billy Garrett Depaul 6'3" 160 4-4-4 21 103.0 Starter since 6th game.
Nate Britt N.C. 6'2" 180 4-4-3 22 84.6 Recently benched.
E.C. Matthews R.I. 6'4" 180 4-4-4 23 97.5 Playing SF
Kendal Yancy Texas 6'4" 195 4-4-3 23 98.9 Buried on the bench
Bronson Koenig Wisc. 6'3" 180 3-4-4 25 116.0 Backup to Traevon Jackson.

*star ratings from ESPN, Rivals, and Scout, respectively
**average national positional ranking from sites that ranked as a PG

The sites were in agreement that Walton belonged at the top of the consensus 4-stars; nobody threatened to add a fifth. I see one real standout above who isn't Just a Shooter™ at this stage. The closest comparisons around him are either riding bench or nearly a half-foot taller. Here's a closer look at those from above who've started at least a third of their team's games at PG:

Player School TmGm Start Mins ORtg Ast/TO %pos Stl
Tyler Ennis Syracuse 18 18 605 122.4 4.13 20.8 48
Andrew Harrison Kentucky 17 17 512 109.1 1.44 21.4 6
Billy Garrett DePaul 19 14 560 103.0 1.57 22.9 17
N. Williams-Goss Washington 19 19 627 100.9 1.65 22.6 25
Derrick Walton Michigan 17 17 447 101.6 1.42 19.4 7
Kasey Hill Florida 17 7 319 99.7 2.05 19.8 18
Anthony Barber NCState 18 14 522 99.0 1.88 25.1 12
Rysheed Jordan St.John's 18 11 334 93.5 1.45 25.6 14
Roddy Peters Maryland 18 10 354 90.5 1.24 22.9 15
Nate Britt UNC 17 16 394 84.6 1.32 17.6 23

I don't know how to read that except Tyler Ennis (NTTE) is pretty good, and 1.42 assists for every turnover isn't good but at least it's in line with two (Harrison and Jordan) of the four consensus 5-stars in his class. Mock drafts have Ennis from the end of the lottery to near the end of the first round. It is not freshman Trey Burke, nor does that show a guy whose role is dishing it to an array of sophomore scorers. Part of that is not having McGary to flip to inside for an easy two-from-the-elbow, part of that is the Stauskas-LeVert pick-and-roll game only asks Derrick to be a viable three-pointer threat on the opposite perimeter. But I can't hide my own disappointment that Walton has yet to find the keys to engage Lottery Pick Glenn Robinson.

Let's dig deeper into those things after…

[The Jump]

Upon Further Review: Bama Offense vs Oklahoma, a Hokepoints

Upon Further Review: Bama Offense vs Oklahoma, a Hokepoints

Submitted by Seth on January 15th, 2014 at 12:14 PM


Years ago, Brian posted a UFR of a West Virginia game in order to provide his readers with a feel for how the Rodriguez spread offense worked. Nussmeier's offense at Alabama isn't so different from Michigan's under Borges in 2013, and indications are he plans to be a little more dynamic than he was under Saban. But I wanted to get a feel for the subtle differences, for the kinds of plays he ran with the kind of talent Michigan has been recruiting. And I've been meaning to actually try my had at UFR-ing because I know a guy who learned an awful lot about football that way. So I put Nussmeier's last game under further review, in hopes of maybe separating what's Nuss from what was just the Tide.

I went with this year's Sugar Bowl since they faced a defense whose talent level was relatively close to their own. Unfortunately Oklahoma's 30-front defense is closer to Michigan's than any M opponents save Notre Dame, and things you do with a fake plastic tree at quarterback are not the same you do with Devin Gardner, Most Alive Man on the Planet. I've since been downloading some games from his time at Washington and might do one of those next week if this attempt doesn't put me off forever.

Meta note: UFR is really Brian's thing. I am an interloper here.

FORMATION NOTES: Nothing very fancy. Not a lot of fullbacks; when they went to a Pistol H-back formation usually it was just a U-back they motioned into that spot. They do have a hybrid Shotgun-Pistol formation that's Pistol (QB is 5 yards behind L.O.S.) with the RB offset like in the gun. This isn't uncommon:


Oklahoma spent a lot of time in the 3-3-5 nickel above that was sometimes more like a 4-2-4-1, by which I mean the Quick (Deathbacker, stand-up WDE, Thing-Roh-Was-And-Shouldn't-Have-Been) came up to the line, and they nearly always kept one safety deep. When Bama subbed in an extra TE they went to a 3-4 with a safety playing the backside OLB; I called this "3-3-5 Eagle."


…and later started cheating this (not like how Bama does) like hell to the field:


Later on they did this then audibled out of it, moving Striker to the other side of the line; Bama hit them with a 43-yard run down the middle.

Oklahoma also used lots of Okie and things like Okie, which led to this:


From top to bottom on the line of scrimmage that is a WDE/OLB rusher type, a 3-tech, the MLB, a 5-tech, and the box (not Spur) safety, and two more safeties in the LB area. I asked for help and decided to call it 3-3-5 Dime to differentiate it from the nickel look; usually the MLB backed off into coverage anyway.



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