Category:NCAAB
Posted on: January 11, 2010 12:58 am

## My college basketball rating system, if you care!

My scoring system is set-up as follows:

The first component is margin of victory/defeat and this is how I have it set-up:

For Wins there are 5 groupings of margin (1-5pts), (6-10), (11-20), (21-30), and (over 30):

for the 5 groupings, these points are awarded:
home:    10, 12, 14, 16, 17
neutral:  11, 14, 17, 19, 20
away:     13, 16, 19, 22, 24

So examples to be sure the above is understood...If a team wins at home by 1-5 points (grouping #1), they get a margin point total of 10. If a team wins on the road by more than 30 points, they would get a margin score of 24 points.

For Losses, there are only 4 groupings of margins (1-5 pts), (6-10), (11-20). and (over 20 pts)

home:    0, -2, -4, -6
neutral:  1, 0, -2, -4
away:    3, 1, 0, -2

So, if you lose a game by 11-20 pts, on a neutral court, you would get a margin score of -2. If you lose a true away game, by 5 or less, then you would get a margin score of 3 points.

Thats the summary of the margin component of my system:

The second part of my scoring system is the opponent's rating component:

Again, it is seperated into a Win and a Loss subcomponents, and each of those has different ratings levels:

For both wins and losses the buckets, or rating ranges are:

group 1:(347-201), group 2: (200-151), group 3 (150-101), group 4 (100-51), group 5: (50-26), group 6: (25-11), group 7 (10-6), and group 8 is (5-1)

For winning, the ratings points you receive are:

gr#1 (1 pt), gr#2 (2 pts), gr#3 (4), gr#4 (6), gr#5 (12), gr#6 (18), gr#7(24), gr#8 (30 pts).

For losing, the ratings points by group are:

gr#1 (-8), gr#2 (-4), gr#3 (0), gr#4 (2), gr#5 (6), gr#6 (11), gr#7 (12), gr#8 (14)

So, if you win against the  #29 rated team (group #5), you would get 12 points for the rating score component.

If you lost to a team in the top 5 (gr#8), you would get 14 points for the rating score component.

The two scores would be combined to give you a total score for each game played.

So, if you won on a neutral court by 16 points, over a team in the top 10 (gr#7: 6-10), then you would get 14 points for the margin score and 12 points for the rating component, for a total of 28 points for that game...

I worked with the components - group scores, until I got comparable values for a loss to a top team being equal to or a higher score than a minimum win at home. So that when conference play starts and good teams get beat by great teams, they do not become disadvantaged to strong teams in weak conferences beating up on cupcakes...

Best possible score: Winning on the other team's home court by over 30 (24 pts) plus a win over a top 5 team rating score of (30 pts): For a maximum total single game score of 54 (Highly unlikely)...

The lowest score for winning a game would be: Winning at home, by 5 or fewer points, against a team rated worse than 200...that would be worth 10+1=11 points.

The Lowest possible score would be: For losing to a team that is worse than 200, on your home court, by more than 20 points. The score for that would be: (-6) margin score plus (-8) rating score, total of -14 points

Then to take into account the fact that teams play a different number of games in any given week, or at any point in the season, I divide the total score by the # of games played to put the score on a per game basis.

IMPORTANT:
My understanding is that the computer models that Sagarin and KenPom use are very sophisticated math models, but they encompass one or both of two components, those components are often genericly referred to as, Elo Chess, and Pure Score...
Elo Chess is only interested in calculating the probability of winning/losing...
Pure Score is interested in the margin of winning...

So, I have very loosely incorporated both of these calculating methods into my scoring system, but at a very simplified level, and with constraints...I cap the margin of victory, and treat all wins over 30 points, and all losses over 20 points as equivalent. So that running a score up to infinity does a team no good, but if a team can not consistently win games by over 30, they are not maxxing their scoring potential in my system. Some teams just aren't talented enough to beat even average teams by 30 points. This to me is a sign of a team that might be good, but not great.

Can you follow the scoring? Any questions?

Category: NCAAB
Tags: rankings

Posted on: December 17, 2009 2:41 pm

## Compare 4 Top teams: Syracuse, Texas, UK, and KU

OK, don't know what happened to the last try, but here it is again (I hope)

OK! Internet sites don't seem to like anyone pasting from Excel, so I'll do this manually...Hope it works this way!

I've looked at KenPom.com....his site has lots of useful numbers...go check it out!

So all of the rating #'s are from his site.

I'm comparing Syracuse, Texas, UK, and KU...so if it gets somewhat garbled, remember, every first stat or team relates to Syracuse, while every 2nd byte relates to Texas, and so on:

Syracuse                 Texas              UK                  KU

KenPom Rating                    5                        1                44                   2

KenPom SOS                    256                     242              269                 301

Record                            10-0                    9-0               10-0                9-0

# of opponents
rated over 100                    6                         6                 8                    8

Best four opp's
to-date:
Cal #9                   Pitt #59       Conn #32       Memp #7
UofF 28                 LBSt 82        UNC 44           Hofst 108
UNC 44                  WCar 86      Stanf 119        LaSal 120
Corn 65                 USC 124      IU  168           UCLA 145

Next worst
Opp to-date:                Columb 194           Rice 165       Mia, OH 174    Oakl  148

to their 18th
gm - Opp's
rated > 100                      3                          4                    5                    1

Best 4 Opp's
to 18th game:
WVU #4                  KSt #17         UofF #28        Cal #9
Memp 7                 MichSt 21        Lville 66         Tenn 11
SHall 49                 TA&M 34         LBSt 82          Temp 31
Pitt 59                   UNC 44           Aub 114         TTech 50

Some stats:

Efficiency:                         #11                    #17               #44                #2

Def Effic:                           #8                       #1               #70                #7

Effective FG%:
Team                         62.2 [#1]               56.5 [#12]         54.8 [#25]     58.3 [#6]
Opp                           42.1 [#14]             34.8 [#1]           45.1 [#74]     38.2 [#2]

3 pt FG%                    41.1                       33.1                   38.0             44.2

Turnover %
Team:                        21.0 [#169]            17.5 [#37]          23.5 [#279]  16.6 [#18]
Opp:                          27.0 [#7]                20.8 [176]          20.7 [185]    23.6 [68]

Assists per
made FG:                  68.8 [#6]                53.9 [167]           54.0 [165]    61.2 [40]

Experience:              1.53 yrs [#222]         1.49 [241]           0.96 [332]    1.26 [299]

Avg Height:              78.4" [#10]               76.5" [185]         78.7" [7]        77.3" [58]

So, if this looks remotely legible....

How would you rate these four teams (#1-4)?

Do any stats seem to make you think any of these teams is over-rated or under-rated?

KU's schedule so far has been really, really weak (rated #301 out of 347)
But their upcoming 9 game schedule only has 1 team rated (By KenPom) lower than 100. They're going to
get challenged!

KU's weak schedule, no doubt helps their stats look better, but compare KU's and UK's stats...their SOS's aren't
that much different, but KU ranks consistently, MUCH higher than UK!

Syracuse has played some good teams, but their overall SOS of 256 indicates they've played some really bad ones too.
Their top 4 opponents are great, but the next toughest is rated only #194!

UK's toughest opponent in their first 18 gamses will be Florida, rated #28 by KenPom....

All four teams are still undefeated, and I think that says that they are all good teams, because each team has faced at least
one team rated in KenPom's top 60 (Texas has had the weakest top-end opponent so far, but that changes on Saturday)

Well, hopefully this looks fairly decent...
As always, let me know what you think!!!!

This is a Big 12 Blog...And It's our turn to rule!

OK, looks good in preview...Here's hopin it posts well!
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 7, 2009 6:06 pm

## 12 Days of Christmas .... I mean Basketball!!!

This really is one of the most wonderful times of the year....But no sugar plums here (Too much sugar)! This is really a main course kind of helping...no low-cal games and no jellos, or puddings, or pound-cakings, just really solid good ole American fare!

OK, it is a little early to be in the 12 Days of Christmas, but to get in the Holiday Spirit(s) early....you may have to pay close attention as my words may get slurred as I get jolly!

I thought I'd pick out some basketball games worth watching between now and the merry day when the Big Guy really delivers!

There will be some games featuring Big 12 teams, but this is the season of giving...so I'll be generous, and open presents from all D1 teams! HO, HO, HO!

I'm going to seperate this into two parts -

GROUP 1: Games you probably can see on a TV - somewhere, if you try hard enough - you know these will be gift-wrapped, with all the bells & whistles, or is that bows and shiney wrapping paper???........... by CBS, or ESPN, or FoxSportsNet

... and

GROUP 2: Games that should be good, but may not be viewed by many of us....what a shame ---That's naughty, and not nice!!! --- Bah Humbug ---Scrooged Again!!!

As always, If you know of a game not listed...get in the Holiday Spirit and GIVE.... by posting it here, and if you know of a way for us non-locals to watch a game that I've said will be seen most likely only in the barn its being played in, or by just the local yokels, then be sure to tell us!!!

I'll do these by date! and each group should have how many games???????????? Come on, you have to tell Santa, what you want!!!

Some of these games happen this week, so don't snooze, or you lose - Rumple---whats-your-name!

(NOTE: I got the listings from over on ESPN)
GROUP 1 (For everybody - potentially)

Tuesday 12/8 ...      Butler @ Georgetown  --- ESPN
Wednesday 12/9 ... Kentucky vs Connecticut (in da Gahden)  --- ESPN
Thursday 12/10 ...   Syracuse vs Florida --- ESPN
Saturday 12/12 ...    Georgetown @ Washington --- Fox Sports National
Saturday 12/12 ...    Ohio State @ Butler --- ESPN
Sunday 12/13 ...      Cincinnati @ Xavier --- ESPN U
Saturday 12/19 ...    North Carolina vs Texas (at Cowboy Stadium) --- This one didn't say it is on anywhere, but I gotta BELIEVE!
Sunday 12/20 ...      Florida State @ Georgia Tech --- Fox Sports National
Tuesday 12/22 ...    Michigan State @ Texas --- ESPN 2
Tuesday 12/22 ...    Texas A&M @ Washington --- Fox Sports National
Wednesday 12/23 .. Mississippi @ West Virginia --- ESPN 2
Wednesday 12/23 .. Illinois @ Missouri --- ESPN 2
Saturday 12/26 ...    West Virginia @ Seton Hall --- CBS

GROUP 2 (These might be only for the really, really good kiddies ---  or at least the lucky few - locals)

Tuesday 12/8  ...      Vanderbilt @ Illinois  --- (what a shame...should be very entertaining - youngsters running all over the place...an Australian having a block party...fun..fun..fun!)
Wednesday 12/9 ...  Villanova @ St. Joseph's --- A Philly Five shindig -- no wonder its always sunny in Philly!!!!
Saturday 12/12 ...    Kansas State @ UNLV --- Coach Kruger is the connection here!
Saturday 12/12 ...    Texas A&M @ New Mexico --- Coach! Do you really want to take a trip to THE PIT????
Wednesday 12/16 .. Cincinnati @ UAB  ... This is one of the games that will tell us if Conf. USA is going to be more than a one-man gang! And its an opportunity to be re-BORN READY...er... or something like that...At least I know this has something to do with Born Ready! - I do know that!
Wednesday 12/16 .. UTEP @ Mississippi (To borrow a question from the movie "Gettysburg" Is Mississippi ready???) These two conferences may be more equal than many think! Or maybe it will just be a dreamy vision of sugar plums for Conf. USA! And POOF!
Friday 12/18 ...        Utah State @ Long Beach State --- Two mighty mights!! Pooh will be there, and the Aggies will be checking to see if the 49ers are color blind by throwing Green at them, and maybe the 49ers'll Quayle before the Aggies! While Casper will be there for the 49ers, who will be trying to make the Aggies a-Ware that this is Mr. Robinson's neighborhood! While the Aggies will hope that Mr. Anderson goes AWOL, instead of teeing-off on them!
Saturday 12/19 ...    Richmond @ Florida --- Ever see a Spider try to eat a Gator??? Me neither...should be interesting!
Saturday 12/19 ...    Xavier @ Butler  --- This is another game that I just WILL NOT BELIEVE it won't be shown -- I want to watch it!!!
Tuesday  12/22 ...   Butler @ UAB  --- The Butler is certainly getting lots of chances to just do it! Will they be able to say they DID IT?
Tuesday 12/22 ...    Murray State @ Western Kentucky --- Can the Racers top the hills???
Wednesday 12/23 .. Long Beach State @ Kentucky  --- Can the 49ers tame the Wildcats. I really think it will be a possibility!

There are a lot of good games being played over the next couple of weeks! So be sure to stuff yourself, in the spirit and tradition of the holidays!

So, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and may Allah bless the faithful during this Dhu'l Hijja! May the Hindu find delight as they try to follow the way, and live their lives according to Dharma! And any others, of other faithes, may this be a blessed time for all of you as well!! For any who do not believe in a higher power, may you live your life well!

For me and my family, we choose to follow the Lord, and to hope in forgiveness of our frailties, and failings!

Well, I'm not much on preaching...but I do believe!

Ciao!!!! And Hasta LaVista BABY!!!! Until our pathes cross again!

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 1, 2009 1:06 pm

## These Elevators Aren't Headed UP!???

We'll have two categories in this version of Elevators: Elevators OUT OF SERVICE, and Elevators DOWN.

Let me explain the first category...Elevators OUT OF SERVICE. The simplest explanation for this category is that these teams aren't going UP or DOWN! It isn't meant as a negative category, per se, but might be interpreted that way for some. For instance, if you are the number one team in the country, and have been since the pre-season, where can an elevator UP take you???? And if your not expected to regress and go down, then you wouldn't be on a elevator DOWN either, would you??? For other teams, the simple explanation fits!

The ratings I'm using are from KenPom.com and are the ratings before Monday's games were played...Thanks again to KenPom for all his great stats!

Elevators OUT OF SERVICE

Kansas #9
(5-0)
...SOS #330 (Worst in the Big 12!!! - but it will improve, unlike some...but it won't improve much this week!)

Best Win: Memphis #25 - N (Neutral site)

Games Worth Watching (GWW): We'll have to wait a couple of weeks for good games, the cupcakes rule! and UCLA is definitely riding the freight elevator DOWN...so....
12/19 Michigan;  12/22 California;  1/2 Temple in Philly;  and  1/10 Tennessee in Knoxville

Those are four pretty good matchups...we just need to be patient and watch the KU team hopefully not cough up a furrball from all the cupcakes they'll continue to be eating for the next couple of weeks! That SOS won't improve too much over the next two weeks!

The skinny on KU....well so much is written about the number one team in the country, that I hope some of this is new!

KU is one of the Big 12 teams that haven't been very good from the FT line...KU is shooting only 67.7%. This is a good news/bad news thing for KU as they have MADE more FT's than their opponents have attempted -- barely (90-89). It is a good thing that the two guys who will probably shoot the most FT's in tight games, do shoot them well...X Henry is 94%, and Collins is 80%...OK KU fans, you can breathe a sigh of relief now!

KU had two pre-season All-Americans...Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich...neither of those is leading the team in scoring...Xavier Henry, a freshman, is the leading scorer for KU with 16.8 ppg and Collins is second with 13.6 ppg...look at these FG percentages...
X Henry    16.8 ppg and 53.7%
Collins      13.6 ppg and 55.8%
Marc. Mo.  11.4 ppg and 55.9%
Aldrich      10.8 ppg and 52.5%

An interesting note is that Marcus Morris's twin brother, Markieff, is scoring 7.4 ppg, and is shooting an INCREDIBLE 93% from the field, that is 14 of 15 makes in 5 games, half of them may have been dunks, but he is 3 for 3 from 3 point land, impressive!??

Another interesting note so far is that NOONE who has attempted a 3 point shot for KU this year is shooting under 33.3%!!!
The leaders are: Collins is 12 of 24; X Henry is 10/21; Reed is 7/15...

Last year the assist to turnover ratio wasn't a pretty sight! So far this year, the leading ball-handlers have the following A-TO ratios...
Reeds is 5.5 (11 assists to 2 TO's), Collins is 3.6 (20 and 6), X is 1.7 (12/7), Elijah Johnson (12/7), and Taylor (KU's secondary ball-handler) is 1.4 (17/12) -That's a stinker, clinker, clunker!

So lets do some GOOD NEWS / BAD NEWS for KU:

Bad news: Four of five opponents are currently rated lower than #200 by KenPom....ouch

Good news: Only 1 team on the remaining schedule is currently rated lower than 200! In fact, only 8 of the remaining 26 opponents are currently rated worse than 100!

Bad news: All five upcoming opponents are rated worse than 100! Great, just what we need, more cupcakes...NOT!!!!!!!!!

Good news: After those 5 cupcakes are digested, only 3 remaining opponents are currently rated lower than 100! That is a serious ratcheting up in the schedule...

Team stats (from ESPN)...These are national rankings!

KU is #1 in scoring offense with 90.6 ppg
KU is #3 in FG%
KU is #3 in 3P%
KU is tied for #55 in 3 P's made per game, with 9.4 pg
KU is T-93 in most total points scored (They have played only 5 games and some teams have played 8 or more games!)

So, sorry folks, even though KU has been feasting on cupcakes, their Elevator is not looking like it is going DOWN anytime soon!

Warning Signs!!!???? Well there are three things that should concern KU fans....First, all those cupcakes aren't great for preparing you for real competition! Second, the narrow win over Memphis. Third, the most important alarm is the FT shooting...didn't we learn the importance of that...a couple of seasons ago...against Memphis??? Isn't it interesting how things seem to get related to each other???

Joining KU in the Elevators OUT OF SERVICE category is:

Baylor #105 (6-1) ....SOS #290

Best win: Xavier #44 - N

GWW: (remember this is a relative thing! - Watching Baylor get smacked by a top 10 team isn't good viewing - IMO)
12/3 @Arizona State #12 (That rating is definitely suspect - CHI FI - you called it!) and 1/2 South Carolina #119

All the rest of Baylors OOC opponents are middling opponents, not really bad and not REALLY good!

I think their rating won't be much different at the end of the year than it currently is...It will likely vary somewhat but not much! Winning those two GWW's would make me wonder if I should reconsider!

Now for some stats to backup the placement...

The Good: They did beat Xavier! OK, that's done...Oh yeah they also shoot 36.1% on their 3's and 31.8% of their FGAs are 3's...They don't foul that much...stay with me on this one...Their opponents have a FTA/FGA% of only 31.3% versus a national average of 37.9%...the interpretation is that their opponents shoot far fewer FTs than most teams do! One possible interpretation of that would be that Baylor is very athletic, and might even be learning to play some Defense...If they have, then they may be able to change lanes...er Elevators....Also indicating that they are an athletic team (a comparison would be to any Huggy Bear team!)...is that they block 17.3% of their opponents FGAs! So, looks like Baylor has a very good frontcourt

The Bad: They only assist on 51.6% of their made FGs (#201). That means they've got a lot of one-on-one action going! More bad...They have a higher turnover ratio than their opponents 21.3% to 18.4%...Their backcourt is young (Jerrels & Duggat are gone!)

The Ugly: Baylor is another team that is FT challenged...They have connected on only 60.3% #319 in the country...ouch!

OK - You can call me biased! If you look at the Baylor info through unbiased eyes...I think you see a lot of good indicators...BUT!!!
Last year I thought Baylor would be very good...They had experience in both the Front and Backcourts! What did they do? They stunk up the Big 12 regular season...Then got rolling in the Big 12 tournament...Beating my Hawks, and then going to the Final game of the Big 12 tourney, where they lost to Missou, and then going to the Final of the NIT...

So, I'm just saying that I am once burned...twice shy...with this Baylor team....On this one, I'm a very little like Missou...SHOW ME, or maybe I can say that I'm more like Jerry McGuire...SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Well, there aren't anymore Elevators OUT OF SERVICE! (Is that a good thing or a bad thing?????????)

Elevators - DOWN!!!!

There are three teams in this category, and they are here for different reasons....

Nebraska #85 (4-1) .... SOS #255 (The SOS won't improve much during OOC games)

Best Win: @USC #113

GWW: 12/22 Tulsa #40 (N)

No other OOC opponent is currently rated higher than #141 - Oregon State - that is a weak schedule, and will not prepare them for the Big 12! Is it any wonder that I expect their Elevator to be going down??? Wait, there is more (OK, not much more!)

NU is another FT challenged team...shooting 63%.

They do run an offense! They assist on 60% of their made FGAs!

There really isn't much else to say... Sadler is a good coach, but he has been unable to get any traction in recruiting quality players to Nebraska. They play hard, but just like UNC-Asheville last night against UK, they just don't have the horses to compete on most nights! Too bad because Sadler is a quality coach!

Colorado #110 (4-2) .... SOS #239 (#6 in the Big 12...so far! - but it isn't going anywhere)

Best win: (IMO this category doesn't really apply so far...but oh well) Texas Southern #154 (see what I mean???)...BUT....
Their two losses are GOOD LOSSES! They lost by 4 to Gonzaga #35 (N), and by 4 to Arizona #96, in OT (N)

GWW: 12/4 Oregon State #141 (H); 1/2 @ Tulsa #40

This is another team that has struggled to get enough great players to really compete...They usually seem to have at least one really good player...This year that player is Cory Higgins. He's good enough that he will be on either the first or second All-Conference team. Maybe that will change this year? They've got a big Aussie, and last year's Missouri POY, and a JUCO player coming in...maybe the good losses are an indication that they are at the very least, somewhat upgraded!???

This team has not shown itself to be a good rebounding team...

They are an excellent FT shooting team at 81.2% (#6 in the country), and they get to the line a lot as indicated by a 52.9% FTA/FGA, good for #20 in the country. So, if other teams aren't very disciplined, they will make them pay by cashing in at the FT line!

They are shooting 3Ps well, at 43.2% (#22 in nation) as well as hitting all of their FGAs at a good rate 55.6% (#20)

They are a very efficient offense so far this season...#12 in the country!

So, again, a lot of positives, SO FAR, but I'm not sold on them being able to do anything but go down when the Big 12 Conference play rolls around!

Next Elevator - Please! (WARNING --- WARNING --- NOTICE BY MANAGEMENT -- THIS ELEVATOR HAS CRASHED AND IS GOING THROUGH A RECLAMATION PROJECT! - It may be some time before it is again Servicable!)

Oklahoma #151!!!!!!!!!!!!(3-3) .... SOS #230 (Zikes, that's not a killer SOS!)

No Good wins! And really no good losses!

GWW: 12/6 Arizona #96 (H); 12/21  UTEP#28 (In OKC?); 12/31 Gonzaga #55 (In Seattle???)

Who would have thought that OU would be the lowest rated Big 12 team, at this point in the season? NOT ME! Maybe Nostradamus predicted it, but I doubt if anyone else did!

This team is perhaps the negative story of the basketball season...so far... A national POY candidate in SG Willie Warren, and great recruiting class...and they are getting good production from the new players....but the results have been far from good...and that is against mediocre competition!

Some pundits were saying that with the departure of POY Blake Griffin, Warren would now be able to shine much brighter as the first option in the offense. I said that what would likely happen, is that defenses would be geared toward stopping him, and make the freshmen and other inexperienced players beat them...Even I didn't see the opponents being this successful...That should be a warning to UK...about depending on Freshmen! When other teams are good enough to D(efend) John Wall, their house of freshmen cards may cave-in as well! I am predicting it here, right now! UK finishes no better than #2 in SEC East, and most likely #3 in the East!

OU is really puzzling though! They are the 2nd best team in the country in FT% at 82.9%...

They are shooting a lot of 3s...39.6% of their FGAs are 3s (#48 in the country) but they are hitting a respectable 36.1% of them...
To me, the # of 3s indicates the lack of a interior offensive game...or a very underdeveloped one, at least.

When you have a freshman PG, even a very talented one like Mason-Griffin, the offense will often cough up a lot of TO's -- just like UK is doing right now...and OU is in the same boat...They are turning the ball over more than their opponents 21.4% of their offensive possessions end in a TO, while only 19% of their opponents possessions end in TO's!

So, what will the outcome of the season be for OU??? I see two different possibilities...They will have a sesaon that ends like the Florida Gators of the last two seasons, in that they will miss the NCAA tourney...or they will resemble the KU team of last year, which went through some growing pains (though nothing this serious) with all of their new players, but by the end of the year were a pretty good team...

Which way do I think it will turn??? I think it will be more like UofF than like KU...Why??? Because KU had an experienced PG and Post player last year...OU has neither this year...freshmen, yes very good freshmen, are in both of those positions...I think they will struggle to get their pile of sh!t (so far) wired together...possible, but probably too little ...too late to make the NCAA tourney...if they do make it, they aren't likely to get a very good seed! Tough slugging for the Sooners!

It's tough to count a team out when they have so much talent, and a guy who is an outstanding player, but when the best player isn't a PG...it makes it tougher...ask last year's Texas team about that! I'm hoping OU gets it turned around, but I'm unwilling to bet on it!

So, the Elevators have all been checked out...now its time for the games to go on!

Hope you enjoyed riding the elevators with me! Remember to post a comment saying what you liked or...ummm...what you didn't...LOL

Remember... This is A Big 12 Blog...and we (meaning I and the mouse in my pocket) believe "Its Our turn to RULE!

Good day Mate and Sheilas too!
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 30, 2009 6:35 pm

We're now over 3 weeks into the season...There is still a lot we don't know about teams, but some trends are noticable.

In this Blog I'm going to discuss whether teams look like they will trend up or down, or whether their elevator is stuck between floors! I'll point out the best wins for each team and upcoming non-conference games that should be competitive, and hopefully worth watching...

Before I start, I'd like to give credit where credit is due! The statistics that I use are coming from 2 sources: First and foremost is from the:

KenPom.com site -- he has an amazing amount of information at his site... The team rankings I use are from his site...so when I say Colorado (#110)...I'm saying that KenPom has them rated as his #110 rated team out of all D1 teams!

Some team stats that I use are from ESPN.com stat pages... I like to use both ESPN and CBS sites for general stats, but ESPN provides better team numbers...for individual stats, CBS has great info!

OK, the credits have rolled, no let's get to the show!!!

I'm going to address the Big 12 teams by putting them into 3 groups -- Elevators UP!, Elevators DOWN!, and Elevators OUT OF SERVICE!

I think that most people want to know whats HOT more than whats NOT!

ELEVATORS UP - TO THE TOP - PLEASE!

Texas (#1)  (5-0) KenPom rates their SOS #69, second in the Big 12, behind only Texas A&M! Only 1 of UT's 5 opponents have been rated worse than 200.

BEST WIN(s): #35 Pitt - on a N (neutral court)

Their 3P% is a very moderate 34.5%, and their FT% is a rotten 63.7% (#271) in the country.
They have resembled a train, a little slow to get up to speed, but dang near unstoppable when they do!
Teams like Pitt and Rice were able to hang with them for about 30 minutes but were then steam-rolled!

Their next four opponents shouldn't require too much effort, all 4 are home games, with the highest rated opponent being #77 Long Beach State!

Then they will play one of the top weekly schedules:

GAMES WORTH WATCHING (GWW):

12/19: UNC (#67) in Dallas
12/22: Mich St. (#42) in Austin

Then they'll snooze thru cupcakes until Big 12 Conference play begins!

DANGER, Danger...Will Robinson!??? -- The Horns have 2 danger signals...first they lost their starting PG Ward for the season in a freak warm-up accident...and second - They aren't shooting FT's very well (This is like a plague, or at the very least, a common refrain, for most Big 12 teams!)

GOOD NEWS!!!? -- The Horns can look forward to some good news; PG Jai Lucas, a transfer from Florida, is eligible after the end of the first semester! Unfortunately, that means they'll have to take on UNC & Michigan State without either of their two best PG's!

Texas A&M #7  (5-1) ...SOS is rated as #3 in the country, tops in the Big 12!!!!...what a difference a good week can make!

BEST WINS:
#10 Clemson, and #8 Minnesota in the 76 Classic  - both N

Their only loss was to #2 WVU, by 7 on a N (neutral court)

Three of their 6 opponents are currently rated in KenPom's top 10 -- and they won 2 of those three games!!!
Since they were working last week, they'll Feast this week instead....their next 3 opponents are all rated worse than 100...

GWW:
12/12 @ New Mexico #16  and 12/22 @ Washington #11

That will make 5 non-conference opponents ranked in the top 20! And if they win the rest of their OOC games, they will have earned a top 10 ranking in the national polls, though the remaining OOC schedule (Other than the 2 GWW's) is decidely light!

Danger!??? -- Like Texas, they don't shoot FT's very well, only 61% so far, ranking them an abysmal #313!

GOOD NEWS!!!? -- The Aggies have made themselves known by their great showing in the 76 Classic...now they need to sustain it! I had them ranked as the #5 team in the Big 12 in the pre-season, behind KU, UT, KSt., and OU...right now they look like no worse than the 3rd best team in the Big 12!

ELEVATORS UP - DESTINATION UNKNOWN!

These teams have shown some potential, and are ahead of where most thought they would be at the beginning of the season...The question is: "Is it all smoke and mirrors, and great tasting cupcakes, or would Clara Pellar be able to find some beef here?"

Missouri #14 (4-1) SOS #231...Were looking impressive until losing to Richmond (#34) by 7 on a N

BEST WIN: #27 ODU on a N

GWW's: 12/2 @ Vandy (#48), 12/5 Oregon (#46), and 12/23 Illinois (#91) - N

Their opponents turn the ball over on 30.3% of their possessions - Thats the 4th highest rate in the country! They are also #1 in the country in steal % - They steal the ball on 19.7% of the opponents' possessions! IMPRESSIVE! That pressure D seems to be working!

They get assists on over 60% of their made FG's! The national average is only 53.7%, and Kentucky's is only 53.3%!
36.5% of their FGA are 3P's, the national average is 32.6%. That's a lot of 3P's! The good news is they hit 38.4 % of their 3's (#76)

No FT woes here...They make over 73% of theirs!

They are in this category because?.....That loss to Richmond (a good, probably a tournament team - but probably not a great team) calls into question what their ceiling is! The answer should be clearer after they've played those 3 GWW's!

KState #39 (5-1) ...SOS #198... I picked these guys to finish 3rd in the Big 12 in the pre-season. The only team I currently see that might move them down is Texas A&M. They've played two good teams, beating one (Dayton #115) and losing to the other (Ole Miss #33).

They still look like a tourney team to me, but...

They only shoot 61.2% from the FT line (#309)
Good news...They shoot 52.2% from the field!

Best win: Dayton #115 - N
Good loss: Ole Miss #33

GWW: 12/8 Xavier (H), and 12/12 @UNLV

The rest of the OOC schedule is cupcakes and icing, and lots of it!

Their here because?....They have shown some promise but I'm not sure how good they can be...

ELEVATOR HAS BEEN UP - BUT IT MAY BE A MIRAGE - Or maybe its really just a work in progress??!

Oklahoma State #21  (6-0) ...SOS #269...Yes they are 6-0, but...

Best Win: Utah #126 - N
GWW: 12/2 @Tulsa #40; 12/5 Texas - San Antonio #38 (H)

They have only assisted on 43.1% of their FG's (#314) - That's a lot of one-on-one action...sounds like the dribble and shoot offense doesn't it??? The good part of their shooting efforts is that only 24.1% of their FGA's are 3P's...that's very few 3's!

We'll have a better idea if they are real and will be in or if they'll be out after those 2 GWW's!

TTech #59???????? (7-0) ... SOS #255 (Better than KU's!)

Best Win: Texas A&M CC (#101)

GWW: 12/3 Washington #11 - H; 12/19 @ Wichita State #76; and 12/29 @ New Mexico #16; and 1/23 UTEP #28 - H

If they win any of those 4 GWW, they are better than I think they are! If they can win just one, domesticate those dogs!!!

This team can shoot FT's...77.3% (#19)
Their offense seems to be more disciplined and more balanced than last year! Last year they shot 3's on 32.3% of their FGAs, which they hit at a rate of 36.9%...This year they are only shooting 3's on 22% of their FGAs...that's a good thing they are shooting less of them, because they are hitting a lower %...34.1%

Iowa State #45  (6-1) ... SOS #324 (only barely better than KU's #330!)

They were looking VERY good...until they lost to #97 NW by 2 - N

Guess what, just like so many other Big 12 teams, these guys can't shoot FT's!!! They make only 63.6% (#273)

BUT...Go figure, they CAN shoot 3P's...They are #2 in the country at 49.6%!

Best Win: #104 St Louis

GWW: 12/5 @ California #17; and 1/6 Duke #3 (N) ....Win either of those two and they will UP and OUT of this category!
I think they will have a chance against Cal!!! Duke will be a really tough match-up for them, but a very good test!

SUMMARY (Bet you thought we'd never get here!)

So, that is a total of 7 teams that have been riding the elevators up so far! I'm hoping that they keep riding them up, but the last group of three have their work cut out for them to prove they are for real!

Do you think I've missed anybody?

There are only 5 other Big 12 teams: KU, OU, Nebraska, Baylor, and Colorado...

All of those guys will be seen in my next blog!

The categories will be: Elevators DOWN and Elevators OUT OF SERVICE!

As always, I enjoy dialogue!

Let me know what you think!

If you have a Big 12 question, post it here and I'll try to answer it! Hey, I'm no professional, but I do know my Big 12 teams, or if I don't know, I look for the info!

This Blog's motto is:

It's the Big 12's turn to Rule!

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 23, 2009 6:15 pm

## No Cupcakes Here!

I thought I'd post a brief blog noting some of the best challenges for Big 12 teams this week...

Of course, many are still feasting on cupcakes, but these teams at least have some potential to bite the hand that feeds them...

Best of the Best game (featuring at least one Big 12 team) of the week is:

Wednesday 11/26, Texas A&M will meet Clemson in the 76 Classic, which has perhaps the best field of any pre-conference tournaments!

This just in:

Colorado fell just short of Gonzaga in the first round of the Maui Invitational. I was going to say (before watching the second half of that game) that this was the game where the Big 12 team was most likely to take it on the chin! And they did, BUT, they played better than I thought they would. I was cheering the Buffaloes, hoping they would get an impressive win...good try!

OU is challenging themselves, at least a little, this week. They play San Diego and Houston, in pool play, at the Great Alaska Shootout...

Iowa State plays a St. Louis team (on 11/27) that handled Nebraska with surprising ease...Let's see if Iowa State can fare a little better, and restore the proper balance!

Texas opens regional play in the CBE, with Iowa and Rice setting themselves up to be gored...

The rest of the Big 12 teams are eating cupcakes again this week

Hope all you fans don't get to fat off of your teams OD'ing on all that sugar in those cupcakes...

JUST A NOTE:

I didn't know if anyone was reading my blog or not, so I hadn't posted in a couple of weeks...
I'd enjoy it if people would at least send a reply if you think it is worthwhile...Thanks!

If there is something about the Big 12, you'd like to talk about...post a message and we can discuss!!

Until the next time...May the Big 12 RULE!
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 21, 2009 12:56 pm

## I agree with Katz, revise the Big 12 bball schedu

Andy Katz, a senior ESPN sports analyst in a blog comment this past weekend stated that the KU-UT men's basketball rivalry is the NEXT big sports rivalry. He said that it is approaching the UNC-Duke rivalry, in terms of the heat of the rivalry and the quality of the basketball being played.

I'm willing to make an effort to get this ball rolling. I agree with Katz, that the KU-UT rivalry deserves two regular season conference games, instead of the current schedule that only provides one game each year.

What do other basketball fans think???

I even created a Big 12 basketball schedule (in MS Excel) that would accomplish the goal of creating a better Big 12 men's schedule, IMO. I've made an initial attempt to contact the Big 12 offices with my idea, but their website doesn't support fans contacting their website, as they have no e-mail addresses that I could find on the site.

I think that the more high profile games that are played in the Big 12, the better it will be for the conference, and the more it will help the top team's be better prepared for long NCAA tournament runs!

I think that KU and OU also should play home and away during conference. That is a traditional Big 8 rivalry that was emasculated when the Big 8 and and four schools from the SWC combined to create the Big 12.

Further, I argue that the 'Division' format that divides the Big 12 into North and South 'divisions' doesn't serve Big 12 basketball in promoting what is best for the Big 12. It does continue 'some' of the old 'regional' rivalries that existed in the predecessor conferences, but doesn't fully promote big-time new, strong rivalries, such as KU-UT, and as I noted, the current basketball schedule has diminished some of the old Big 8 rivalries like KU-OU. The teams from the old SWC didn't have their rivalries diminished, they have been continued because all four of those schools are in the Big 12 South Division.

I know that changing the Big 12 basketball schedule may be difficult, but it is something that I believe is worth making an effort at, to help the Big 12 teams compete at the highest level.

As Katz remarked, he thinks that a single game between UNC-Duke would not be in the best interests of college basketball and he feels the same way about the KU-UT rivalry: One game is not enough!

I have only paraphrased Katz's comments. Surprisingly enough, his article was NOT an 'Insider' article. So feel free to go check out his actual statements over at ESPN. I think I have correctly relayed the essence of what he said, but hey, go check it out for yourself!

Let's make Big 12 Basketball the best that it can be!

Let's get some dialogue on the subject rolling through the internet!
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Big 12, Kansas, OU, Texas

Posted on: October 14, 2009 3:12 pm

## Entry #1: Set the Stage. Recap of '09 NCAA Tourn.

The perception going into last year's NCAA tourney was that the Big XII wasn't among the nations VERY BEST conferences....

First some information recap, and then some analysis...

Ken Pomeroy had the following conference pecking order at the end of 2009:

PAC 10   #1
ACC       #2
BEAST    #3
BIG XII  #4
BIG TEN #5
SEC       #6

Clearly the NCAA tournament selection committee disagreed. They gave 7 seeds to the ACC, Big Ten, and the BEAST, 6 seeds to both the PAC10 and the Big XII, and 3 to the SEC. (So they did agree that the SEC was the weakest of the 'Big 6, or if you like the BCS' Conferences. Even more telling is the seeding and 'avg.' seeding of the conference schools...

(in Alpha/numeric order)
ACC (7 teams) - #1 UNC, #2 Duke, #4 Wake, #5 Fla. St., and two #7's - BC and Clemson.  for an avg seeding of 26/7 = 3.71
Big XII (6 teams) - #2 OU, two #3's in KU and Missou; #7 Tex., #8 Ok. St., and #9 Tex A&M. 32/6 = 5.33
BEAST (7 teams) - 3 #1's in Lville, Pitt, & UConn; two #3 seeds in Nova and Syr.; and two #6 seeds in Marq. & WVU 21/7 = 3.0
Big Ten (7 teams) - #2 MSU, two #5's in Illini & Purd., #8 Oh. St.; two #10's in Mich. & Minn.; and #12 Wisc.  52/7 = 7.43
PAC 10 (6 teams) - #4 Wash., two #6's in Ariz. St. and UCLA; #7 Cal; #10 USC; and #12 Ariz.  45/6 = 7.5
SEC (3 teams)  -  #8 LSU, #9 Tenn. and #13 Miss. St. 30/3 = 10.0

So, based on the number of teams and average seed, the NCAA tourney (Though they say they don't consider conference affiliation ) ordered the conferences as such:

BEAST   #1 7 teams with an avg of seed of 3.0
ACC      #2 7 teams w/ avg of                   3.71
Big XII  #3 6 teams wi/avg of                   5.33
Big Ten #4 7 teams w/avg of                    7.43
PAC 10  #5 6 teams avg                          7.5
SEC       #6 3 teams w/                          10.0

The Big Ten and the PAC 10 looked to be rated evenly, but with an extra invite, the Big Ten would rate higher, IMO.

Clearly, the Selection Committee felt that the BEAST, and definitely NOT the PAC 10, was the best league, with 3 #1's and ZERO lower seeded teams (Teams seeded 9th or worse)

So, that was how they looked going in....HOW did they perform....The proof is in the pudding, says I!

The Big East clearly delivered on their seeds, well mostly! The league was 17-7 overall, with 2 Final Four participants and 4 Elite 8 participants, and only #6 WVU was a dud and lost in the first round. The only other team that didn't play to it's seed was # 1 Pitt, but that wasn't anything wrong with losing to conference foe - Nova, a #3 seed! I say that even though #1 UConn lost to Mich. St., a #2 seed, they still lived up to their seed, as they made the Final Four!

The Big XII really delivered too, based on their seeds. It had an overall 11-6 record. ZERO Big XII teams lost in the first round, and better yet, no Big XII team lost to a lower seeded team. Four of the 6 Big XII entries were eliminated by a Final Four Team (UConn beat both Tex A&M and Missou, KU lost to Mich St and OU lost to UNC).

To me, at least, it is clear that the Big Ten and PAC 10 both underperformed their seeds, as the 7 Big Ten teams were only 9-7 overall, even with Mich St winning 5 games, and the 6 PAC 10 teams were an uninspiring 6-6, with no team making it past the Sweet 16.

The ACC as a whole also underperformed their seeds, but that was kind of hidden, because UNC did such a fine job of maxxing out their seed by winning it all. UNC was 6-0, while the other 5 ACC teams were only 3-5!

Oh, and let's not forget the SEC! Their fans moaned about getting only 3 teams in, but based on their performance, it could be argued that they really only deserved to get ONE team in. LSU made the second round while both Tenn and Miss St were bounced out in the first round. That isn't shaming or damning, because both Tenn & Miss. St. were lower seeded teams, so they 'played to their seeds' in losing in the first round.

I think that the most important thing to get from this review is something that should be obvious....

SEEDING IS IMPORTANT. Teams do exceed their seed at times, like #12 Arizona, one of the last teams in the field, and the cause of much moaning by other bubble teams, made it to the Sweet 16, far exceeding it's seed, but most long runs in the tourney are made by high seeds. No 9th or worse seed has ever won the NCAA tourney! This year's Elite 8 teams all were #3 seeds or higher! Only Arizona and Maryland made it to the Sweet 16 as lower seeds. That's only  2 of 16 teams! That's not a great chance for lower seeds to make it even to the second week!

I think there is some cause and effect. When the seeds are accurate, the better teams are the higher seeds, and they should win. But sometimes, teams are over-seeded and thus they get weaker opponents because they are a high seed! Sometimes that causes the over-seeded team to have one or two easier games than they should have (If they aren't upset early on!)

The ACC, based on the results looks to have been a bit over-seeded as #4 Wake lost to #13 Cleveland St. and #5 Fla. St. lost to #12 Wisc. or, perhaps those 2 lower seeds were under-seeded, but I don't think either one should have been an 8 seed or higher!

Well hope you enjoyed the REVIEW. It is meant to whet your appetite for the upcoming season, by looking back before looking forward!