Daily Archives: November 11, 2009

An Introduction To Tempo Free Stats And What They Mean

It occurred to me yesterday that none of us here at Beadlemaniacs had done a very good job yet of saying just why tempo free stats were better than non tempo free stats. Granted, this isn’t a new thing. If you go to KenPom, read Basketball Prospectus, or read this man’s book on defense in basketball (published in 1959!) you have a good sense of tempo free stats. But for those of you to whom this is your first introduction, read on.

The basic crux of tempo free stats is thus: teams play at different paces. Especially in college basketball, where there are 300+ teams of varying skill level and depth. To call one 80 ppg team equivalent to another 80 ppg team is a misnomer. 80 possessions for each team (roughly) is what you would call a fast game and 60 (again, roughly) is what you would call a slow one. Last year, the average was 67 possessions. Texas State was the fastest team (79.8) while Samford was the slowest (56.8). The tempo average has been within .7 possessions of 67 every year of KenPom’s existence.

How is it calculated? Glad you asked. Fortunately there are a lot of places out there to do it for you, but if you want to get an estimate, just use this equation:

FGAs – off. rebs + TOs + (0.475 x FTAs)

That’s it. Our crux for every calculation we come up with as far as offensive and defensive efficiency is concerned.

For example: Effective FG%. I’ve already outlined in a previous post that the formula for EFG is (FGM + (0.5 x 3PM))/FGA. Let’s use this in an illustration: Last year Kansas was 2nd in the Big 12 with a 47.9 straight FG%, while Oklahoma State was down in 5th with a 45.7% mark. But, Oklahoma State had the edge in EFG 54% to 53.4%. Why? Well, for starters, the Cowboys took a lot more threes. They also made a lot more threes. The old saying goes, making a third of your threes is as good as making half of your twos. And it is basically correct. So, what you do with EFG is recognize that a three pointer is worth .5 more than a made two.

We’ll have much more on this and what it all means. But we just wanted to make sure you have a solid base when you come here and read. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

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Site of The Day: Veteran’s Day Edition

Today is Veteran’s Day, and in honor of all of those who dedicate and risk their lives to protect the greatest place in the world, our Site of The Day will have an armed forces theme. Today’s Site of The Day belongs to the basketball blog at NavySports.com — The Official Site of Naval Academy Athletics. So go check them out, or follow them on Twitter: @Navy_Basketball.

Keep up the good work, fellas, and thank you again for serving this fine nation.

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The Most Overrated Team Of The Decade

The best part about starting the blog when we did is that now we can do tons of “of the decade” posts if we so choose. Today, I’m choosing to make a lot of enemies by exposing Gonzaga as the fraud they are.

In 1999, Gonzaga rode a 10 seed past Minnesota, Stanford and Florida, and eventually succumbed to national champion UConn. The next year, Minnesota made the hilarious mistake of offering then Gonzaga coach Dan Monson the coaching job, which set up the Mark Few era.

In his first year, Few took the Zags to the Sweet 16 as a 10 seed yet again. But perhaps Gonzaga was overseeded as they went just 11-5 nonconference and didn’t even win the WCC. But, they won the WCC tournament and then beat Louisville and St. Johns in the first two rounds of the tournament.

The next year, Gonzaga went 24-6, but they lost two games against top 10 opponents and beefed up on an unimpressive non-conference schedule and the WCC. They won the WCC tournament and earned a 12 seed. They beat the 5 seed, which happens all the time, and then got to face 13th seeded Indiana State in the 2nd round, whom they defeated before losing to Michigan State.

In 2002, Gonzaga went 29-3, losing games only to Illinois, Marquette and Pepperdine. But they were only given a 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament. This prompted many people (morons), including myself, to pick them to go far in their brackets. But Gonzaga got exposed for the frauds they were, losing to #11 seed Wyoming 73-66. Continue reading

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