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03/04/2017 - 1:20pm From the article ..."On

From the article ...

"On 3PA/FGA: There may be something to monitor moving forward with regard to the increase in 3PA/FGA across the entire sport of basketball and its correlation to NCAA tournament success. Historically, having 3 teams make the Final Four who finished the season in the top 60 of 3PA/FGA as we did in 2016 is an incredible outlier. If it happens again in 2017, we may have the start of a trend. TBD."

Also from the article ... on 2016 Villanova:

"However, in an unforeseeable turn of events, Villanova completely altered their offensive profile throughout their 6 game run through the tournament, shooting 3s at a rate that would have ranked them at 159 in 3PA/FGA and making them at a 50% clip (a nearly 16 percentage point jump from their regular season average). This study opines that this transformation was neither predictable (in 2015, with 6 of the same players that would win the title a year later, the Wildcats had a 3PA/FGA figure of 42.9 for the season (rank: 22) and 42.3 for the tournament alone) nor repeatable (2017 Villanova is currently ranked 25th in 3PA/FGA at 43.9 and features only one rotation player who has not shot at least 50 three-pointers this season). Thus, it is treated as a statistical curiosity and nothing more (for now)."

The study lists 5 criteria aside from AdjOE and AdjDE, some of which have very little to do with being good at offense and at defense. It doesn't pretend to make it as simple as "be good at offense and defense and you'll make the Final Four".


03/04/2017 - 1:07pm Beilein's teams play at one

Beilein's teams play at one of the slowest tempos in the country - they're ranked 343rd. Golden State is ranked second in the NBA in tempo. Golden State takes 35.9% of their shots from 3 - Michigan takes 45.1% of their shots from 3. Golden State is middle of the pack in offensive turnover percentage - they're 17th. Michigan is 5th in the country in offensive turnover percentage. They're really not similar at all.

03/03/2017 - 10:53pm Your statistical acumen is

Your statistical acumen is far greater than the scope of this study or my own abilities (indeed, several standard deviations greater). I do feel as though the conclusions have some meat to them but respect and acknowledge the shortcomings proffered by you. However, as I said in the final paragraph of the piece, this is only the beginning of the search for what really matters. I expect this study to be quite fluid and vary as we accumulate more and more data over time.

03/03/2017 - 7:39pm This is well-put. I would

This is well-put. I would inform you, though, that this is not so much a statistical analysis as it is an examination of trends over an admittedly brief time period (KenPom's database only dates back to 2002). If you find it irrelevant that there has never been a champion who had a tempo in the 300s in the past 15 years and never* been a champion who ranked in the top 100 of 3PA/FGA in the past 15 years, that is fine; it is still undeniably a trend and does wonders for ruling out possible selections when filling out a bracket. This is not meant to be an end-all-be-all guide for who can make the Final Four or win the championship and who can not but, instead, a guide for establishing who is more likely to make it between teams that might otherwise be indistinguishably close. The piece itself acknowledges the subjectivity and conjectural nature that is inherent within this type of study. 

Your defense of the useless nature of examining winning streaks does not really make sense - teams entering the tournament on a 10-game winning streak or higher have won it all exactly once (2013 Louisville). Considering there were 17 1- or 2-seeds who qualified for this criteria, that seems interesting.

It's certainly possible that all of these criteria point to nothing more than outliers that will be blasted to statistical smitheereens by the data provided by next 15 years; it does seem odd to bank on the fact that they prove nothing because they don't include single-variable regression analyses or correlation coefficients.

*2016 Villanova was the first, but really they weren't; they inexplicably shot significantly less 3s in the tournament than they did in the regular season, to the point that they would have met the criteria comfortably if their tournament 3PA/FGA was their regular season 3PA/FGA.

03/03/2017 - 5:32pm His coaching philosophies and

His coaching philosophies and style of play, according to this research, place a ceiling on the program's possibilities of making a Final Four and winning a championship.


Teams pretty much never make the Final Four when they have a high 3PA/FGA rank, low tempo rank, and low AdjDE rank (only 2 teams out of 60 have failed to meet any 3 criteria and made the Final Four in the KenPom era). In every single year under Beilein, except for 2013, Michigan has failed to meet at least 3 of the 7 criteria, including the 2012 team (4 seed) and the 2014 team (2 seed).


Whether this should be fixed with a change of philosophy or the recruiting of better players, I do not know. Whether this is "acceptable" for the masses moving forward, I do not know. The numbers are what they are. Beilein creates an uphill battle for himself with regard to making Final Fours and winning titles because of the way he builds his programs.

03/03/2017 - 5:17pm Not true. They very well may

Not true. They very well may make the Final Four, but they're more unlikely to do so than other elite teams (top 15 in Efficiency Margin) who hit all of these criteria. Important distinction.

These classifications are also subject to change. If KU loses to Oklahoma State tomorrow in a close game and/or loses in the Big 12 Tournament, their luck will move down, possibly to a level in which they would hit all the criteria. UCLA is an interesting case as their defense has vaulted 30-40 spots up the rankings in recent weeks. If this continues, and they meet all other criteria, they will certainly be worth a careful look.

11/25/2016 - 1:49pm I did not write the piece,

I did not write the piece, but I can speak for the Known Friend and Trusted Agent who did in saying that your feedback is appreciated. Thank you for voicing it in a constructive manner.

09/06/2016 - 11:37am If a team blocks an extra

If a team blocks an extra point and the defender who picks up the ball gets tackled in their own end zone, the kicking team is awarded a 1 point safety.

Here's a link to a somewhat recent example:

11/08/2015 - 9:59am I'm an assistant football

I'm an assistant football coach at a small school in Arizona (8 man football) and, bizarrely enough, we have this exact formation in our playbook. We call it "Domino".

12/28/2014 - 10:04pm YouTube link

YouTube link ...

04/10/2014 - 6:50pm FWIW - Jon's Sister on Twitter

Anna Horford (@AnnaHorford) Few know all that my brother has been through & how much he's truly contributed at UM. All I can say is there's good reason for him leaving.

Anna Horford (@AnnaHorford) Jon WILL be going to a great school next year. Many colleges know how good he is even though he didn't get much opportunity to prove it @ UM
03/07/2014 - 3:30pm Well, the undefeated movement

Well, the undefeated movement is certainly aided by the fact that we only wear white at home against teams we should beat anyway.

I have no inside info, but I wouldn't be surprised to see us wear white in the first BTT game and in the first two rounds of the NCAAs. I don't think these new 'Wolverine' threads are mandatory; the blue one probably won't even see the light of day. 

Along those lines, it's worth noting that last year's 'Made in March' uniform only appeared in one game (Wisconsin BTT). If I had to guess, we'll wear the maize 'Wolverine' jerseys when we (presumably) play Iowa or Nebraska in the BTT semifinals and that will be that.


01/10/2014 - 3:15am BTW, out of 351 teams, we are

BTW, out of 351 teams, we are 32nd in Team FT% (.745). This news surprised me, but there you go.

01/10/2014 - 3:04am The team needs to improve in

The team needs to improve in all areas, no doubt. As of now, they're probably an 8 seed in March. But it makes me laugh when there's this common assertion that poor FT shooting equals death in the tournament, or that shoddy D in January spells doom for the future.

They couldn't shoot FTs when it counted last year, either (remember Indiana? Hell, remember Syracuse?) and they almost won the title. Their defense was mediocre all year, too, not far from where it is now (and that's with 2 NBA players on the roster). The defensive collapses of 2012-2013 at the hands of CMU, PSUx3, and Wisconsin faded from memory pretty quickly once the tournament rolled around.

Like I said, the team definitely needs work. However, these minor issues don't necessarily portend to any future failings. A win is a win, and everyone will forget how sloppy it was within a week or two. Getting lit up by Nebraska in January isn't great, but it isn't a death sentence, either.

11/26/2013 - 5:27pm Let me preface this by

Let me preface this by explaining my background: huge Michigan fan my entire life (like all of you), got into Michigan a few years ago, decided to go to Michigan-Dearborn to save myself from a mountain of debt. I've had season tickets for football and basketball every year until now. I'm not sure if my opinions on this matter are lesser because of it. You can decide, I guess.

I understand why so many of you have such strong loyalties to the football program. It's a tangible thing to root for if you love the university (you can't really root for Michigan medicine, Michigan law, etc.), and much more prominent than most other university sports (it's in our face all the time, so it becomes important). As such, wins or losses are irrelevant to the big picture: you pay your money and support the team because you love it. Similarly, entertaining football is irrelevant, because everyone is trying hard and, really, what more can you ask?

But why do we love something that openly doesn't care about us and also isn't entertaining? The athletic department doesn't care who you are as long as you have gobs of money. The coaches don't know most of us and wouldn't blink an eye if we didn't show up. The players serve as fellow students and future alumni, yes, but a large majority of them wouldn't be in the school if they weren't good at playing a sport. Oh, and they don't know most of us and wouldn't blink an eye if we didn't show up, either. As an added bonus, the football itself sucks and isn't much fun to watch. 

Sports are a convenient avenue to pour money, time, and emotions into. I know that as well as anyone. I guess the "this is your team, your school, etc." rhetoric has lost its luster for me when the quality of the product has decreased and the money needed has increased. 

I guess my biggest takeaway is that the product that costs a decent amount of money isn't entertaining anymore and, even worse, I'm a faceless and essentially meaningless entity in this consumer-product relationship. I'll watch from home as a result. 



11/10/2013 - 1:20am I find the notion that wins =

I find the notion that wins = happy with product and losses = upset with product to be interesting. It makes sense; wins are usually well-played games and fun to attend, and vice versa.

But say Nebraska fumbles that 3rd and goal touchdown, Michigan recovers, and M holds on to win 13-10. Was the day suddenly an enjoyable experience and worth the exorbiant price? Are the boos persona non grata since, well, they delivered a victory (however meaningless and shallow it might be)?

I'm not sure. I can only speak for myself, and I can confidently say that the booing would have still been justified because it's not even about the scoreboard. It's about the inane coaching and generally terrible football that's been going on all year, regardless of whether or not Michigan happened to squeak past Nebraska in a game neither really played well enough to win.

11/10/2013 - 12:44am Anybody who wishes physical

Anybody who wishes physical harm on a player, especially one in college, is a low life. With that being said, I have no problem with the boos. I know the kids are trying - I know - but sports are supposed to be a form of entertainment and whatever that was this afternoon certainly wasn't the least bit entertaining (at least to me).

Throw in the fact that Michigan's ticket prices are among the highest in the country and that a sizable portion of the home games this year have been poorly played and I don't blame those booing one bit.

Missed tackles, abysmal blocking, dropped passes, and, most importantly, horrible playcalling do not make for a fun Saturday. Two of the game's most exciting moments were the opposition flubbing a punt and a banked in field goal. It's inevitable that some boos were meant for the players, which sucks, but for those booing the coaching, the playcalling, or the wasted Saturday watching mediocre, boring football - I'm with you.

03/30/2013 - 2:23pm Here you go

12/14/2012 - 11:14am JV makes $20 million a year

JV makes $20 million a year and Anibal will now be making $16 million so ... advantage JV.

05/16/2012 - 7:40pm Don't know if this has been

Don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but aren't we the "home" team against Alabama? If so I really doubt we'd even wear white jerseys (regardless of whether they were bumblebees or the normal ones).

06/26/2011 - 10:21pm .


11/22/2010 - 5:04pm Apologize for nothing. Those

Apologize for nothing. Those who stay will be champions. Ohio State blows. Go Blue.

11/22/2010 - 4:55pm This is a thread of

This is a thread of champions.

11/13/2010 - 3:21pm You're right, the offense

You're right, the offense folds against any good Big Ten defense. That's why they slapped up 67 on Illinois and 522 yards on Iowa.

11/08/2010 - 8:47pm You're right, Pat. A real

You're right, Pat. A real Michigan team would've won 2-0. There's no room for "Fun Ball" in Ann Arbor.

Also, in the middle of the Lloyd Carr era:

11/08/2010 - 7:29pm North end zone: The defensive

North end zone: The defensive 2-point stop that changed the Rich Rod era.

10/18/2010 - 8:00pm I believe we're going to beat

I believe we're going to beat OSU every year.

10/18/2010 - 7:42pm We kicked off with 6:55 left

We kicked off with 6:55 left and all 3 timeouts.

So no.

Doing it at any other time is more of a surprise gamble than anything else and not something you can really analyze.

09/18/2010 - 11:46pm I guess I consider awful as

I guess I consider awful as bad enough to lose the game. 535 yards is pretty absurd, but the defense kept us in the game when the offense couldn't move the ball in the 2nd half. Points allowed are more simply important than yards, even if they don't indicate a team's true performance.

We all know Michigan's defense is not good. I feel that this is a talent/inexperience issue more than anything else and there's really nothing that will fix it but more time. I also don't think they're totally horrendous. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. Go Blue.

09/18/2010 - 11:30pm Well, Herron's healthy return

Well, Herron's healthy return for Big Ten play certainly factors into my conclusion. Also, UMass does have a good offense. FCS or not, they looked a hell of a lot more impressive than Connecticut/Crist-less Notre Dame.

I'm basically trying to express the notion that we're not heading for a total implosion because of one bad game. Michigan's defense wasn't awful through 2 games with Jones/Herron and was in one game without them. Maybe it isn't a coincidence.

09/18/2010 - 9:34pm If we go 5-7 Rich Rod is

If we go 5-7 Rich Rod is probably gone regardless.

But do you really think we'll somehow manage to lose 45-42 seven times?

09/18/2010 - 8:56pm I'm not necessarily implying

I'm not necessarily implying that Herron >>> Banks. What I'm implying is that the drop-off from Herron to Kevin Leach is significant enough that Roh cannot play defensive end. Our pass rush suffers drastically as a result.

This also isn't the only reason the defense struggled; just one that I don't think many people recognized.

09/02/2010 - 9:57pm Not

Not quite.…

07/15/2010 - 5:44pm PSN = mscharbs

Team =

PSN = mscharbs

Team = Michigan

07/02/2010 - 3:32pm Even though Novak was a

Even though Novak was a starter and major contributor on one of the 32 best teams in 2008 as a freshman?

01/31/2010 - 11:26pm I'd flip Knight and Parker in

I'd flip Knight and Parker in your original post and give Dorsey a 30% chance.

01/29/2010 - 6:23pm I miss the late 90s.

I miss the late 90s.

01/13/2010 - 5:29pm A lot of kids previously

A lot of kids previously apply to and have the early enrollment option for their top 2-3 choices, so something drastic doesn't prevent them from getting a head start on their career.

This isn't slimy at all.

01/09/2010 - 1:30pm Edwin Baxter? He's

Edwin Baxter? He's playing?

01/01/2010 - 8:40pm I don't understand how anyone

I don't understand how anyone can claim there is a massive gap between OSU and UM when Ohio State only beat Michigan by 11 despite 5 Forcier turnovers and all-around sloppy play by the Wolverines.

Believe it or not, if Olesnavage makes a 24-yard field goal and Tate doesn't throw the interception in the end zone, you're looking at a hypothetical tie game late in the 4th quarter.

A sizable gap, yes. A massive gap? I don't see it.

12/10/2009 - 10:15pm Wait, who's this Brian Kelly

Wait, who's this Brian Kelly fellow?

11/21/2009 - 12:22am If Michigan beats Ohio State

If Michigan beats Ohio State today, I think I will cry.

I wish I were kidding.

11/18/2009 - 10:35pm I like to talk about players

I like to talk about players that play for Michigan.

11/11/2009 - 3:33pm My thoughts?
Fuck you, State.

My thoughts?

Fuck you, State.

11/07/2009 - 4:44pm I lost to Illinois and Purdue

I lost to Illinois and Purdue in my NCAA 10 dynasty, but beat Wisconsin and Ohio State.

So we're in good shape.

11/01/2009 - 12:14am This is something I can

This is something I can actually get behind.

One more win and I get to watch meaningful football into the winter months.

Whether it's against those adorable Hawaiians or not remains to be seen.

10/31/2009 - 9:12pm UM explodes in the 3rd and

UM explodes in the 3rd and wins 6-3, sweeping the weekend series.

10/31/2009 - 8:29pm UM dominated the 2nd period,

UM dominated the 2nd period (outshooting LSSU 15-3), and still leads 3-2.

10/31/2009 - 5:54pm Minor should have been in

Minor should have been in since the first goal line snap.

Or a QB sneak would have been nice. Not, you know, 4 straight HB dives.

Rich Rod seems too stubborn sometimes to do what might be the most logical.

10/26/2009 - 11:10pm UM had a game on Saturday? I

UM had a game on Saturday? I didn't catch it ... what happened?