Monday, February 16

PASE Projections and the Tar Heels

I was reviewing the Basketball prospectus today and they had a good article about a custom PASE formula. The author used it to determine the success of teams vs their O Eff, D Eff and Pythag rankings (pre-tourney) in the NCAA tournament. While it looks at all teams as a whole, it's interesting to see how their D Eff and Pythag seem to correlate well with success or failure in the tournament.

There is a list of common traits the author pulled to show successful teams since 2004 at the bottom article, shown here:

We hit all those markers except for two: pts allowed <> 88.8. While it is likely impossible that we'll get PPG allowed below 64.2, it is possible to get our D Eff down below 88.8. The author notes that 2 of the last 5 champs hit all the criteria (ignoring the last trend, at least 2 straight NCAA bids).

This raises many questions for our team. I am projecting that we will maintain the marks we are currently hitting (esp. with the second half of our schedule giving us easier games). My hope would be that our D Eff improves throughout the season and Roy uses the rest of the season to focus on our defense (I'm looking at you two, Bobby and Tyler). Our D Eff currently sits at 88.8. If we can reduce the number of points scored against us per 100 possessions by at least .1, we'll be in better shape once the tournament starts.
As you can tell, this is not difficult, it just requires a sustained effort.

Of course, there are critiques to be made with this formula. I'm sure there are other statistical measures that can indicate how successful a team is but the author didn't include. There may be some random stat out there that does a much better job of correlating regular season performance with tournament performance. Since that stat remains to be seen, we'll give the author the benefit of the doubt. Also, there's no real way to look at how teams match up against each other player to player. That certainly matters because every team has a style it's vulnerable to that other teams don't have to worry about.

On a final note, UConn is one of the few teams that's close to hitting all the marks here. Defensively, they are better than the Heels but are just shy of the O Eff numbers they are looking for here. Memphis is also hitting 8/9, lacking in the O Eff dept by a bigger margin than UConn. It would appear that if UConn can boost their O Eff while holding other stats to current levels, they are a near lock to make the final four and could very well be the favorite.

No comments: