Do Matchups Matter? (Part 3 – Press Teams)

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The last two seasons I’ve tried to take a look at “opponent compatibility” and how matchups affect game outcomes. My first attempt broadly concluded: “the best way to predict the winner of a game appears to be just picking the better of the two teams“. Last year I put a whole bunch of different ideas… Read more »

The Oklahoma Defense: Breaking Down the Sooners’ Improvement

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Oklahoma is currently one of the best examples in the country of something I’ve wrote about here quite a bit: Experienced teams (surprisingly) struggle to get better on both sides of the ball. The Sooners ended 2013-14 with the 16th ranked offense and 91st ranked defense in the country by adjusted efficiency. The off-season focus obviously… Read more »

The Difference Between NCAA and NBA Offenses

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Nitpicking the number two ranked offense in the entire country feels wrong. Duke has scored over one point per possession in all but one game this season (UConn on a neutral floor). In yesterday’s loss at North Carolina State, Duke’s defense was the clear problem. NC State scored 1.24 points per possession. Duke didn’t light… Read more »

System Coaching (Part 2 – Calipari’s Defense)

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Before reading this post you can check out Part 1 if you haven’t already. There I attempted to quantify “system coaching” (offensive and defensive style consistency from season-to-season). I found that a lot of the best defensive coaches were in fact system coaches, but offensive efficiency showed no correlation.   In today’s post, I wanted… Read more »

System Coaching (Part 1 – Intro)

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Many college coaches are known for their unique offensive and defensive systems. Year after year these coaches plug new players into their pre-existing style of play. Obviously, these coaches have the luxury of years of experience in teaching and perfecting the way their teams play. This experience in teaching a certain way might even be more… Read more »

Ranking the Three Best Bigs at Running the Court

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As we continue towards the slowest college basketball season ever, it’s not easy finding big men very good at running the floor in transition. An athletic big adept at filling the proper lane is an extremely useful advantage to have. When the big man in transition beats his defender down the court, the smaller guards… Read more »

The Miami Offense: Breaking Down the Canes’ Improvement

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If you take a look at the top five offenses in the country by adjusted efficiency, you won’t be surprised to find four teams considered by many to be top national title contenders. Duke, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Gonzaga all came into the season with high expectations and have lived up to them thus far. The… Read more »

Villanova’s Aggressive Defense

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Villanova enters tonight’s big test against VCU having under-performed to start the season. The Wildcats are 3-0 on the season, but have struggled in both of their games against Patriot League opponents (Bucknell and Lehigh). A look at Villanova’s points per possession to start the season would probably lead one to believe the offense has… Read more »

Efficiency, Usage, and Boise State

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The value of high volume and low efficiency players is a constant source of debate among basketball people. On the surface, many of these players appear to bring down an offense with either low shooting percentages or high turnover rates (or both). As a result, the inefficient shot taker is often viewed as selfish. However,… Read more »

Projecting Defense: Wisconsin

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Last week I wrote about the surprising lack of improvement made by experienced teams from year to year on the defensive side of the ball. When thinking about potential teams affected by this for the 2014-15 season, Wisconsin is the first that comes to mind. Of course the Badgers are going to be very good… Read more »