Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Random Thoughts after Mizzou

Some random thoughts:
  • Where's the national Austin Freeman is Awesome articles? We've had plenty of Kemba Walker articles, but Austin is doing this over 7 games: 21.7 ppg while shooting 57% from 3 and committing only eight turnovers. Brian is waiting on the PBP from the Mizzou game to update the stats, but his ORating is probably sitting at about 140-150 after playing some darn good competition, mostly away from home. If Jon Wallace was a 180 shooter, Austin is a 201 shooter right now (60%+57%+84%).
  • Henry Sims' emergence is something we fans can learn from. I'm not a believer in not criticizing players' play -- or this would be a poor analytical blog -- but there's a huge difference in "player X is not playing well right now" and "player X will never be any good." Many fans bailed on Henry over the course of two years despite some fairly obvious signs of potential (height, a nice stroke, good athleticism for his size). All college players are early in their careers and unlike a 26-year old NBA player, they generally improve. It's just not always a linear path. So when we look at someone like Aaron Bowen (who generally doesn't look ready yet), it's important to see that he seems to have good shooting fundamentals, a guard-level handle, and great size and athleticism. There's real potential there.
  • In the whole Vee Sanford debate, I've settled into a fairly lame but reasonable position -- the "Vee is awesome but we're crowded at guard so what do you do?" Well, here's a couple ideas. One is, I think all three of the guards could have benefited from more rest in the Mizzou game (though it's important to not have Jason Clark as the ball handler when Chris is out -- Markel and Vee should be in then). But in a more fun vein, how about Vee for Power Forward? If we are going to go four guard, a la Nova in 2006, Vee should be the guy playing PF. Nate, Hollis, Julian and Henry only played 83 of a possible 90 minutes for bigs -- Jerelle got the rest. But Vee is the best rebounding guard we have, and while he'd be a really short PF, he's quick and pesky and could force a lot of steals. On the other end, unlike Jerelle, he's an offensive mismatch against a four, as he can hit the three and drive. If nothing else, he should play the three when Hollis is PF -- but I'd love to see him at PF for five minutes a game when the bigs can't play all 80.


  1. Off topic, but I have to put it somewhere.

    I really enjoy the work you guys do here because I think these stats really do a good job of showing the value of players beyond how many points they scored.

    There is a debate on HoyaTalk about the best Hoyas of all time and I was wondering if you guys could show who were the best Hoyas of all time statistically. I know there would be a lot of variables to control but I would be interested in seeing what resulted and how you guys went about it.

  2. Hi SoCal,

    It's a very good thought, and something I've been meaning to get around to for quite a while.

    Alan did a nice article last season about player of the decade, using advanced stats (link).

    I don't think it would be very difficult to extend it further back, assuming you'd have access to the underlying stats (team and player stats). There's probably enough available at the Hoya History Project to work up everything from 1977-8 forward, except the 79-80 season, which is missing turnovers.

    The trick would be translating between eras (e.g. introduction of the 3FG in 1986-7), but I suppose that would be part of the fun.

    If I can carve out a day over the holidays to hide in the basement with a big bag of Double Stuff Oreos, I'll see what I can do.

    Thanks for reading!

  3. Would be awesome. I did a tiny bit by putting together Mike Sweetney for my best player of the decade, and you can cobble some numbers together.