Daily Archives: November 19, 2009

Fast Or Slow?

As we know by now, there are many different tempos at which division one basketball teams play. This can be for a variety of reasons. Some coaches don’t like to do a huge amount of coaching and just let their kids be athletes. Some like to take advantage of a talent discrepancy and maximize their possessions. Others do the opposite: they realize they aren’t as talented as their opponents so they minimize possessions. It’s tough to answer the question of whether it is better to play fast or slow, as generally teams will play at a pace which maximizes their talents. Also, teams that are really good will get “slowed down” by teams that aren’t as good in an attempt to throw them off, which affects their pace numbers (although KenPom does correct for opponent pace a little). So let’s just take a look at the last 16 final four teams, and the pace at which they played.


North Carolina: 73.8 possessions (8th)

Michigan State: 67.3 (126th)

Connecticut: 68.4 (87th)

Villanova: 69.2 (63rd)

North Carolina was one of the fastest teams in the country last year, but what made them champions is that they could win when they were slowed down. Oklahoma got them to play a 65 possesion game, and they lost by 12. North Carolina did lose their slowest game of the year, but generally they were nearly as effective when they were slowed down. It surprised me that Villanova was as “slow” as they were, given that they trotted out really small lineups a lot of the time.


KANSAS: 67.8 (136)

Memphis: 69.1 (87)

UCLA: 65.5 (217)

UNC: 74 (8)

Speaking of surprisingly slow teams, I’m surprised Kansas was so slow. Although Bill Self does like to dump it inside, so it probably shouldn’t shock me too much. Memphis being slower than I expected was a bit of a shock as well.


Florida: 66.8 (167)

Ohio State: 65.4 (218)

UCLA: 64.3 (266)

Georgetown: 59.9 (328)

Obviously Georgetown was slow because their offense was built on the big man Roy Hibbert. What was UCLA’s excuse?


Florida: 67.9 (114)

UCLA: 62.8 (300)

George Mason: 63.7 (286)

LSU: 68.7 (95)

Now, let’s calculate the average for these 16 teams, as well as their average place.

Average Pace: 67.1625

Average Rank: 156.625

The average pace for all teams over the past 4 years was 66.85, so these Final Four teams were a bit slower than the average. What does all this mean? Well it’s too small of a sample to make a definitive judgment, but it seems that playing at either extreme is a bad idea on aggregate. North Carolina, playing in the ACC, are going to have their numbers inflated a bit for playing in by far the fastest league in the country, but for the most part playing at around an average pace seems the way to go. And you should remember that pace isn’t entirely the product of the team: some opponents will deliberately speed up or slow down, and tempo in the 2nd half of games is almost entirely situation dependent.


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Site Of The Day

I decided to take control of SOTD today and bring it back in homerrific fashion. Today’s site of the day is Rock Chalk Talk, a site devoted to all things Kansas athletics. With the controversy surrounding Mark Mangino and the football program, now is a perfect time to head over and see what is going on with the Jayhawks.

And, as an added bonus, if you wander into the comments you might see me make an appearance.

Keep up the good work fellas. Rock Chalk.

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2009 Big 12 All-Name Team

The All-Name Team will be a reoccurring feature here at Beadlemaniacs. How often it will run remains to be seen, but rest assured, by the time the season is over an All-Name team for each conference will be unveiled. Each edition of the All-Name Team will consists solely of a starting five. Today, we bring you the Big 12’s All-Name Team.

G – Bubu Palo – Iowa State. A lot of freshman seem to dominate these all-name teams so far, and Palo is no exception. He’s from Ames, Iowa, and whoever named him appears to be smarter than your average bear. Right, Bubu? Yeah, I know, I’m ashamed of myself for that awful pun, too.

G – Obi Muonelo – Oklahoma State. This senior out of Edmond, Oklahoma, is averaging 12 points per game so far this season after averaging a career-high 12.7 last season. I don’t care too much about his stats though, because his name is fun to say.

Tiny Gallon

Yeah, Tiny is not so tiny.

F – Tiny Gallon – Oklahoma. This guy might have the best, and most ironic name in all of college basketball this year. Tiny is not tiny at all — in fact — he is just the opposite, coming in at 6’9″ and 300 pounds.

F – Keegan Hornbuckle – Colorado. Now Hornbuckle just made the list because his name is loaded with awesomeness. Honestly, I read it and got a nice chuckle out of saying it. Good job, Keenan.

C – Dragan Sekelja – Baylor. Thank you, Croatia, for providing what has to be my favorite name on this team. I mean, honestly, the guy’s name is Dragan. Doesn’t get much cooler than that… unless of course he could actually breathe fire, too.

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