Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tip off

Now 3 hrs of waiting. Maybe UCLA will foul to win it again.



Thursday, March 19, 2009

Memphis is loosing, crap.
I finished my bracket yesterday, and, as always, I hate it. There are
a million strategies for building a bracket; I usually go matchup to
matchup and make corrections when something higly unlikely pops up. I
never start by picking my final four and work backwards, that is for
the weak. However I have once again painted myself into a corner. On
my first pass I had Kansas and UNC in the final, which I didn't like
at all, but the only way to fix it was having Memphis in the final.
WTF? Held my nose and sent it in. You can't win your pools every year.
In the interest of full disclosure, the last time I saw BYU play was in the first round game of last year’s tournament when we, and Josh Carter in particular, beat them 67-60. I have however watched a lot of A&M basketball since then, so I am a bit less clueless than the talking heads. In fact, I have watched enough of A&M basketball to call their first offensive play: turnover by Brian Davis. While BYU plays great defense, allowing 10 fewer points per 100 possessions than the D1 average, they only cause an average turnovers. So this one is all Brian Davis, he just loves giving up the rock to start the game. In fact, a bunch of our guys just hate not turning it over, which is very dangerous considering how fast BYU likes to play⎯ they are the 10th fastest team in the tourney. If we commit a lot of turnovers, or get into one of our notorious 15 minute scoring droughts, then the we will find them ourselves on the bad end of a 12 point run.

Basketball isn’t transitive, but in the absences of any other real insight it will have to do. Both BYU and A&M played Tulsa early in the season, BYU won by six and A&M lost by 11. This tells us exactly nothing. You will never get those 7 seconds back.

My call, A&M by 10.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Lunardi has jumped us from in the "next four out" group to IN, and not even one of the "last four in." He has us against Syracuse, which should make you chuckle because Cuse was the first team we played, and beat, in modern Aggie basketball tournmanet play.

He has us sitting at 11 right now, I could stand a few more wins and a better seed, but my moma told me never to look a gift tourney berth in the mouth.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Why the hell is the game delayed? Anyone?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Again with the obsessive bubble watching...

After dropping out of Joe Lunardi's radar for what feels like months we are back, sort of. We are near the top of the "next four out" list. 6th on the waiting list. The good news is that he now predicts 5 Big 12 teams will make the dance; he had only 4 making it for quite some time. The newest add was OSU as a 12 seed. OSU finishes out with Texas, KState, and OU. They could easily not win another game. But OSU is KState's toughest remaining opponesnt. This is when the comonotorics start to give me a headache.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

If you are like me then you are refreshing the every bubble-watch you can find, and you are infuriated that it takes these people DAYS to update their analysis.

To save you some time, here is the latest...

Texas A&M probably needs to finish at least .500 in Big 12 play, so it will have to win two of its last three games.
If they can win out, which would include a victory over top 25 Missouri, they can start packing for the Big Dance. Short of that, however, and they may need a couple wins in the Big 12 tournament to feel a bit more secure.
I am not sure why I care about this expert analysis, it's always so obvious; gotta do something between games.
Some how our baseball team lost to Centenary. I guess that is a school. One of the 234870 tiny teams from Louisiana we play each year. Childress put it pretty clearly, "our bullpen let us down." We kinda played like crap beyond just relief pitching. 8 stranded runners and 2 errors.

The Houston College Classic is this weekend where we face UC Irvin, Rice, and Houston. That is a bunch of really good teams beating each other up. As Childress put it, "it's going to be better than any regional any of the teams there will play in."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"You’ve got to be good and you’ve got to be lucky. We were a little of both tonight."

Coming into this game Nebraska was the best team in the country at forcing turnovers. This certainly true last night. We had almost twice as many as they had, 15-8. While we cleaned it up slightly in the second half, we completely shut them down in the second half.

They scored 18 points in about 30 possessions (using Ken Pomeroy's FGA-OR+TO+0.475*FTA formula for estimating possessions). That is terrible. Their offensive efficiency (points scored per 100 possessions, again from Ken P.) was 60; they average 100.1; the D1 average is 101.1.

I also have to add this facial by Dash.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pat Knight has been suspended for whining about the officiating after we beat them in Lubbock. He knew he "was probably going to get fined or suspended," but thought he need to "lay on a grenade to get your point across." During the game he considered getting thrown out but after consulting with his coaching staff, they "decided it was best not to do that twice."

I understand that coaches get a technical or kicked out for his team, but doesn't it ruin it if you talk about the decision process? Who the hell asks their assistants the pro's and con's of getting kicked out at a particular point during the game? A 2-10 coach I guess.

Monday, February 23, 2009

An anonymous poster asked the seasonal late February/early March question:
Would it be better for A&M to go maybe 1 and done in the big dance or a better run in the NIT.

I can answer this definitively. It is always better to make the tourney.

It would be better to make the tournament and not score a single basket than to win the NIT without letting any opponent score a single basket.

Evidence: programs are measured by how many years in a row they make the tourney, get to the sweet sixteen, elite eight, final four, etc. There is no, "they made the tourney 3 out of the last 5 years, but won the NIT those other 2 years."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

We finally get a road win in the Big 12, even if it was against the poor Red Raiders who are now 2-10 in conference. As expected, we dominated the on the glass (+14), but a piss-poor job from the free throw line cost us a blow out.

Despite what I said previously about the impact this win would have on our forecast, our probability of a winning in Lincoln only saw a slight bump, from 0.35 to 0.38.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Texas win was good for our tourney hopes AND our recruiting. Jeremy Adams (6'5" 215 lb, 27 ppg) picked us over Arkansas after watching the nationally televised beat down.
Is it just me, or does he look a lot shorter than 6'5" in that picture.
I think of Ken Pomeroy as a college basketball weatherman. For each game he gives the probability of victory. Like a weatherman, he takes historical data and rams it through a series of formulas that include some assumed constants, and out pops a probability. While you (and I, and I am sure Ken himself) don't put full faith in those probabilites, they are pretty decent indicators of how things are going.

Baylor... ouch.

Down by 10 with six minutes left; fight back to within two. The run started just a little late. The loss made even stone faced Josh Carter cry.
However, accoriding to the weather report, it was to be expected, and it didn't really have any impact on our long term forcast, which was lousy 5-11. Essentially we broke even.

One game later and we are (almost) back in business. The Texas win rocketed our long term forcast up to 7-9, with the probability of our predicted two losses at 0.35 (@ Nebraska) and 0.28 (Mizzou). Those are pretty low, but not terrible considering how they are derived. The probablies are based on historical data, which means the Mizzou 0.28 includes four games that have not been played and therefore only the probably of vicorty can be used. If we can convert those highly probably wins to actual wins, there should be some significat upward movement on that 0.28 (it also depends on what Mizzou does between now and then).

If that made no sense, don't worry. The bottom line is that with each win those numbers will move up.

Ken gives us a 0.58 tongiht.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hibbert 2 of 2

Hibbert 1 of 2
39-65 Dematha. Hibbert was nasty, guy can ruuuun.
1st quarter: 2-2, 5 points, 2 boards. Very nice move to the basket.
Very questionable defense.
I just said what's up to Naj Hibbert. Jealous?

DeMatha should DESTROY Archbishop High School. Unsure if photos are
allowed. I will test this.

Maybe I have been too hard on this team. I tell people that I don't
like them because, even in a blow out, previous teams would always
play really hard, if not smart or well. But this team seems soft and
only plays hard when things are going well.

I may have to change my mind

I just read a story about Billy Gillispie showing his team A&M games
(no link, I am in the DMV and this thing can't cut and paste). From
the headline I thought he was showing some old games, Acid Law/Chris
Walker games. Wrong! They watched games from the current teams, live.

BCG wanted to "show his team his to play." Say what you want about
that SOB, but he is a coach who puts effort and toughness above almost
anything else. I am not. He sees things in this team that I do not.
I will start looking harder.

I hope to see it in Waco.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

NIT, maybe
K State: no Beasely, but they have won 4 straight, incluing @ Texas,
which is good enough to convince Ken Pomeroy's stats to favor them by
one. One point is clearly within his margin of error, but these guys
are no joke.

Their top two scores are short gaurds. Clemente (6-1) is good for
almost 15 points and three assists, and Pullen (6-0) is just under
that at 14 and 3. Having never seen these guys play, and knowing
atleast DRo and Dash can play some perimeter D, I will speculate sub
par numbers and a W for the good guys.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Well crap. OU palyed some inspired defense at the end.
Okay, a buch of our guys have the mohawks.
Wright is 3-3 with 9 points since they flashed the stay that he had 1
point. Great.
Also, big ups to the bartender for finding the game after the athletic
department erronously claimed it would be on MASN. Nice $Bill.
1) that was the best start of any half I have seen this year. 2)
Junior picked the worst game to debue the mohawk; pip squeek Austin
Johnson has had one for years.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I am going to do some reasearch into how many games we start with a
turnover. I am guessing somewhere around a lot.

I really like the Junior/Laubaue pairing.

The Tech win was nice. We have lost to these yahoos in a lot of sports for a long time and I welcome any reprieve. Starting out on the bad end of an 11-2 run was bad bad, but we won. Sloan and Carter are still completely absent from the offense, going 1-9 and 1-7 from the field, respectively. D-Slo did have 5 assists to 1 turnover and Carter had 10 points (free throws), but we need these guys. BJ is not always going to torch teams from tre.

Considering the announcers slobbered Roberson for the entire game, it's understandable if you left with the impression that we witnessed the second coming. But lets look at his numbers...
The kid had an amazing 8 minutes. After that, our big men stepped out on the screen, DRo stepped it up, and he missed just about everything--- 4 points off 10 shots in the remaining 25 minutes of the game. Oh, and his team lost. I am not sure if the announcers knew that.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

11-2 bad guy run and pick and roll defense my middle school coach
would be upset about.
ESPNU is now in HD, thank you RCN. Oh my god, we just traveled again.
I have never never never seen a team travel this much, and not even
driving. As I type this: us two trips down two turnovers, them two
trips down and two buckets.
In a 4-way tie for last place in the Big 12, a win tonight would rocket us up to a 3-way tie for 6th place. My guess is maybe five teams from our conference make the dance and we have serious work to do to get back into those few slots.

The game in Austin was better, "Turgeon wasn't as downcast after this loss as he has been after some of the other", but still a loss. Josh Carter still only had one point in the first half and Bryan Davis still only had five points in the game. Yes Turge, "the elephant in the room is we have trouble scoring." Specifically scoring more than our opponent.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lost by 9 but we were actually in the whole game. Much improved over
our previous losses where we simply threw away large portions of the
game. Some more boards a a few GD free throws and we would have had a
chance to steal one on the road.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I hate writing about losses, especially like the one on Monday, national audience, Big Monday, bad news, so I usually don't, but I wanted to take a quick look at the numbers before moving on.

Watching the game, it was clear that their double team was too quick and our guys too soft for us to establish any inside game. The stats say we had 18 points in the paint, which is higher than I would have guessed, and they had 30, which is what I expected. We were whipped on the blocks for sure, but we haven't lived or died by our bigs this year. Take a look at the following graph. The x-axis is our margin of victory, and the y-axis is the points in the paint margin.
It's a mess; no correlation.
If we can win without our bigs, what can't we win without? My Internet connection is terrible right now, so the answer will have to wait. My hunch, NO TURNOVERS!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Forgive me if everyone has seen this already:

Monday, January 19, 2009

We just picked up this guy from the University of North Texas:

No, not the guy who broke a tackle and ran 96 yards, we got the guy who threw the 4 yard out. Giovanni Vizza become "disillusioned with the program after the Mean Green suffered 21 losses in 24 games." I am not sure College Station is the kind of place that re-illusions a player right now.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

We simply threw away a quarter of the game. In the first 10:32 of the game we only scored six points; had 3 makes, 11 misses, and 5 turnovers. Considering our three offensive boards, we managed 6 points in 16 possessions, that's an efficiency of 37.5. The DI average is 100.2.

By the time got with in two there was only two minus left, we screwed up our next possession by taking the full shot clock and only getting one point, and had to start fouling.

They hit their free throws, we are 1-2 in Big 12.
I am still digesting the loss, no clear thoughts on it yet besides I thought we were going to win and there is better than the last time we played them and I thought we were never going to score again.

I do have thoughts on Turge. After listening to his postgame press conference, it is absolutely clear to me that if KU ever offers him a job he will take it. Please please please Mr. Bill Self, start winning more games.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Denzel Bowles is transferring. Turge said, "Denzel wants to continue his career a little closer to home (Va Beach. He’s a quality young man and we wish him all the best.” If you don't know the name Denzel (because he get almost zero PT), he is the guy that was headed to Wichita State, but lost interest and followed Turge to TAMU

I cannot find the quote, but I seem to remember that Denzel showed up to TAMU way over weight; Turge said something about how he was a completely different player than the one they recruited and needed to rebuild his body. Or maybe that was someone else. Whatever he's gone. One less big is never good (if you click on that link, ignorge the typical Brent Z crap about recruiting ouside of Texas. Way to take issue with a non-issue Brent).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Here is another chart that is similar to my previous recruiting charts. It tracks the NET WEIGHTED SCORE (sum of the guys we won weighted by star minus the sum of the guys we lost weighted by star) by school from 2002--2009. This is a lot of data, and I am not crazy about this layout but here you go.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

9-2 run to close out the half. Up by 12 and my vote for most improved
player of the year is Junior. That guy is pure beast.

Stupid working late...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I don't follow recruiting; it annoys me. Paying for premium content, cocky 17 year old guys leading people on just to extend our attention; not my thing. Just like athletes I need an off season. A few months where I don't worry about how bad we stink.

This is not to say I don't think recruits are important, I just choose to ignore it until around signing day, which is very soon. That and I never miss an opportunity to do a little analysis.

So how did we do? Eh. Our class is current 15th at, but I find that pretty meaningless. The important question is, are we getting the guys we want? The answer: Yes, unless Texas or LSU want them too.

First we look at how we did in head-to-head match ups, by school, broken down by the recruits' star rating (1-5). For the following graphs, I have looked at the head-to-head match ups where A&M and another school have offered a kid a scholarship. The first graph looks at all of those that match ups we have won, and the second those that we have lost.

To combine these two graphs, I use a simple weighted sum for our recruiting "score": you get one point for a one star guy, two points for a two star guy, and so forth; add those up and you get a score. For each school, there is a lost score and a won score; the weighted sum of the guys who picked us over them, and a weighted sum for the guys that picked them over us.
And for a raw comparison, here is the same chart but without weights.
My hope for the future is that Texas and LSU no longer need good players, an lets h0pe that Nebraska doesnt get better because we target many of the same players.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

We lost. Having watched the game ok TV I know what our problem is: we
need to play better offense and defense, and we need to be lore
consistent, and we need to play better defense.

It's one game; this isn't football; it was an away game; all is not

First bar game watching of the year... Finally.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Conference play is very very close. The Big 12 has some decent representation in the polls: OU is 6, Texas is 7, and Baylor is 23. Rankings are pretty meaningless--- especially in January ---but it shows there is a perception that good teams play in our conference. Our first game is on Saturday v OSU, who is the strangest team. Some how as they seem to be really good and have great players, but just didn't win a ton of games. They shit canned their coach and now we see them in a few days.

Recently, their senior guard Terrel Harris said, “Coach said, a few weeks ago, if we don’t take care of these next three games, A&M is going to be a hell of a game.” Those next three games went like this:

Win: 76-53
Win: 122-73
Win: 83-56

That is a 33 point average margin of victory.

For you logic geeks, I am hoping this is not an iff, if and only if, <=>, situation. Since they took care of those games, A&M will not be a hell of a game. We shall see, on TV too.