Category Archives: tuesday truths

Tuesday Truths: Final Reality

Welcome to the season’s final installment of Tuesday Truths, where I look at how well 127 teams in the nation’s top 11 conferences did against their league opponents on a per-possession basis. For a tidy little homily on why this stuff is so very awesome, go here.

American: How the upper half played
Through games of March 9, conference games only
Pace: possessions per 40 minutes
PPP: points per possession   Opp. PPP: opponent PPP
EM: efficiency margin (PPP – Opp. PPP)

                      W-L   Pace    PPP   Opp. PPP    EM
1.  Louisville       15-3   68.7    1.16    0.91    +0.25
2.  Cincinnati       15-3   63.2    1.05    0.94    +0.11
3.  Connecticut      12-6   65.8    1.07    0.96    +0.11
4.  SMU              12-6   66.5    1.04    0.95    +0.09
5.  Memphis          12-6   69.3    1.08    1.02    +0.06
6.  Houston          8-10   67.1    1.04    1.13    -0.09
7.  Rutgers          5-13   68.7    1.00    1.11    -0.11
8.  Temple           4-14   67.5    1.02    1.14    -0.12
9.  UCF              3-13   66.6    1.00    1.14    -0.14
10. S. Florida       3-15   65.3    0.95    1.12    -0.17

AVG.                        66.9    1.04

Louisville will be in the ACC next season, and new American members East Carolina, Tulane, and Tulsa will arrive in time for 2014-15. But in its one-season incarnation with these 10 members it can fairly be said that the American had five good teams and five bad ones. So a question naturally arises:

How good is Louisville, really? And, with all due respect to UCF and Rutgers, how did the five good teams fare purely against each other?  Continue reading

Tuesday Truths: Perfection Edition

Welcome to Tuesday Truths, where I look at how well 127 teams in the nation’s top 11 conferences are doing against their league opponents on a per-possession basis. For a tidy little homily on why this stuff is so very awesome, go here.

In honor of Wichita State’s 31-0 regular season, today the key word is perfection.

American: A perfect dichotomy
Through games of March 3, conference games only
Pace: possessions per 40 minutes
PPP: points per possession   Opp. PPP: opponent PPP
EM: efficiency margin (PPP – Opp. PPP)

                      W-L   Pace    PPP   Opp. PPP    EM
1.  Louisville       13-3   68.5    1.16    0.91    +0.25
2.  Connecticut      11-5   65.7    1.09    0.94    +0.15
3.  SMU              12-4   65.9    1.06    0.94    +0.12
4.  Cincinnati       13-3   62.5    1.03    0.93    +0.10
5.  Memphis          11-5   69.0    1.08    1.01    +0.07
6.  Houston           7-9   66.8    1.03    1.11    -0.08
7.  Rutgers          5-11   69.2    1.00    1.12    -0.12
8.  Temple           2-14   67.7    1.01    1.16    -0.15
9.  UCF              3-13   66.3    0.97    1.14    -0.17
10. S. Florida       3-13   65.1    0.95    1.12    -0.17

AVG.                        66.7    1.04

Five teams from the American will make the NCAA tournament, and five teams won’t. There’s a larger performance difference between Nos. 5 (Memphis) and 6 (Houston, which by the way is playing better lately and really shooting the rock) than there is between 6 and 10.  Continue reading

Tuesday Truths: This Boeheim’s On Fire Edition

Welcome to Tuesday Truths, where I look at how well 127 teams in the nation’s top 11 conferences are doing against their league opponents on a per-possession basis. For a tidy little homily on why this stuff is so very awesome, go here.

Over the weekend a coach got somewhat upset, and it got me to thinking about past examples of wondrous instantaneous fury spewing forth like lava.

GB83

The difference being, of course, in college basketball we have peculiar mechanisms for enforcing standards of decorum. See below, “ACC.”

American: No, Connecticut is not the greatest 9-5 team in the history of sports
Through games of February 24, conference games only
Pace: possessions per 40 minutes
PPP: points per possession   Opp. PPP: opponent PPP
EM: efficiency margin (PPP – Opp. PPP)

                      W-L   Pace    PPP   Opp. PPP    EM
1.  Louisville       12-2   68.2    1.17    0.91    +0.26
2.  Connecticut       9-5   66.2    1.12    0.96    +0.16
3.  Cincinnati       13-2   62.4    1.06    0.93    +0.13
4.  SMU              11-4   65.9    1.06    0.95    +0.11
5.  Memphis          10-4   69.0    1.09    1.00    +0.09
6.  Houston           5-9   67.0    1.00    1.11    -0.11
7.  Rutgers          4-10   69.6    0.99    1.12    -0.13
8.  Temple           2-12   67.7    1.01    1.14    -0.13
9.  UCF              2-12   66.1    0.98    1.16    -0.18
10. S. Florida       3-11   65.7    0.93    1.12    -0.19

AVG.                        66.8    1.04

Usually when you outscore your league by 0.16 points per trip you get better results than UConn’s .643 winning percentage. Here’s what we’ve seen from such teams in the short happy life of Tuesday Truths.

Teams that outscored their leagues by 0.16 points per trip

                      W-L    Pct
Syracuse      2012   17-1   .944
Michigan St.  2012   13-5   .722
Gonzaga       2012   13-3   .813
Duke          2011   13-3   .813
Ohio St.      2011   16-2   .889
Wichita St.   2011   14-4   .778
Pitt          2009   15-3   .833

                    101-21  .828

That’s some pretty august company, and at first it might appear that the Huskies are being woefully underrated. Maybe so, but keep in mind another possibility as well.  Continue reading

Tuesday Truths: “A Winter Worse than Too Many Timeouts” Edition

Welcome to Tuesday Truths, where I look at how well 127 teams in the nation’s top 11 conferences are doing against their league opponents on a per-possession basis. For a tidy little homily on why this stuff is so very awesome, go here.

Greetings from the Ruby Tuesday in Morton, Illinois….

RTMI

Midwesterners will tell you it looks like this here all the time. Do not believe them! It’s February, run for your lives!

Here at RT the wifi is strong, the severe winter storm du jour has another couple hours to go, and I’m somewhere in between where I was (the folks’  house) and where I’m going (a visit with a certain devilish defensive dictator from the Dakotas).

My suggestion is that we start obsessively tracking the bands of non-catastrophic weather. Let’s have “urgent sunny weather” warnings. Or name the good-weather days. “Sunny Day Ivan is shaping up to be the best in memory,” etc. Because what we’re doing now weather-wise clearly ain’t working.

American: Beware RIF!
Through games of February 17, conference games only
Pace: possessions per 40 minutes
PPP: points per possession   Opp. PPP: opponent PPP
EM: efficiency margin (PPP – Opp. PPP)

                      W-L   Pace    PPP   Opp. PPP    EM
1.  Louisville       10-2   68.8    1.19    0.91    +0.28
2.  Connecticut       8-4   66.2    1.15    0.97    +0.18
3.  SMU               9-4   66.5    1.06    0.95    +0.11
4.  Cincinnati       12-1   62.5    1.05    0.94    +0.11
5.  Memphis           8-4   69.5    1.10    1.01    +0.09
6.  Rutgers           4-9   69.9    1.00    1.13    -0.13
7.  Houston           4-8   67.1    0.97    1.11    -0.14
8.  Temple           2-10   67.7    1.02    1.16    -0.14
9.  UCF              2-10   65.9    0.98    1.15    -0.17
10. S. Florida       3-10   65.6    0.94    1.12    -0.18

AVG.                        67.0    1.05

Last week I rolled out the concept of FIF, or the Fordham Inflation Factor, and the brand new metric is already a smash hit! And by that I more specifically mean I still use it seven days later. In that same spirit, today I bring you the Rutgers Inflation Factor. Teams that have the good fortune of playing the Scarlet Knights can on occasion see a big improvement in their Tuesday Truths numbers.

On Sunday evening while you were stuck in a snow bank somewhere and texting for help (no way, me too!), the plucky and resourceful Knights were falling to Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center by the score of 102-54. If we could have one of our handy Truths tables for just one game, the Cardinals would look like this:

                      W-L   Pace    PPP   Opp. PPP    EM
1.  Louisville        1-0   68.9    1.48    0.78    +0.70

See what I mean? There is some serious RIF at work in that “+0.28″ you see up there in the real (multi-game) Tuesday Truths next to the Cards’ name. So, no, I don’t necessarily believe that, as that gaudy number would seem to suggest, the Ville is truly the greatest college team of all time, better than Kentucky 2012 and Kansas 2008 combined. In fact I’m even on the record as suspecting that Pitino’s men are going to drop a couple more games.  Continue reading

Tuesday Truths: Promotional Synergies Edition

Welcome to Tuesday Truths, where I look at how well 127 teams in the nation’s top 11 conferences are doing against their league opponents on a per-possession basis. For a tidy little homily on why this stuff is so very awesome, go here.

The labored ex post facto linking device of today’s Truths is the word “frozen,” referring both to the weather (greetings, weekly Severe Weather Alert email!) and to the smash-hit animated feature produced by my employer’s parent company. Synergy, bay-bee! And I’m not talking about scouting hoops or charting man versus zone.

American: Why the first-place team has a “5.” next to its name
Through games of February 10, conference games only
Pace: possessions per 40 minutes
PPP: points per possession   Opp. PPP: opponent PPP
EM: efficiency margin (PPP – Opp. PPP)

                      W-L   Pace    PPP   Opp. PPP    EM
1.  Louisville        8-2   69.1    1.15    0.93    +0.22
2.  Connecticut       6-4   66.2    1.14    0.99    +0.15
3.  SMU               8-3   66.7    1.06    0.93    +0.13
4.  Memphis           7-3   70.1    1.10    0.99    +0.11
5.  Cincinnati       11-1   63.2    1.03    0.93    +0.10
6.  Rutgers           4-7   70.6    1.01    1.10    -0.09
7.  Houston           4-7   68.2    0.96    1.09    -0.13
8.  Temple            1-9   68.0    1.03    1.17    -0.14
9.  S. Florida        3-8   65.8    0.95    1.10    -0.15
10. UCF               1-9   66.1    0.95    1.15    -0.20

AVG.                        67.4    1.04

To this point in the season the Louisville and Connecticut offenses have clearly separated themselves from the rest of the league. Meanwhile on D, the Cards, Cincinnati and SMU collectively represent the state of the art.  Continue reading

Tuesday Truths: Swamps of Jersey Blowout Edition

Welcome to Tuesday Truths, where I look at how well 127 teams in the nation’s top 11 conferences are doing against their league opponents on a per-possession basis. For a tidy little homily on why this stuff is so very awesome, go here.

Greetings, casual fans. Don’t worry about the non-competitive Super Bowl, college basketball had one of those too in 2011. Let me bring you up to speed on what’s transpired thus far in the world of college hoops….

American: Game of the Year of the Week on Thursday
Through games of February 3, conference games only
Pace: possessions per 40 minutes
PPP: points per possession   Opp. PPP: opponent PPP
EM: efficiency margin (PPP – Opp. PPP)

                      W-L   Pace    PPP   Opp. PPP    EM
1.  Louisville        7-2   69.8    1.14    0.92    +0.22
2.  Connecticut       5-3   66.8    1.16    1.01    +0.15
3.  Cincinnati       10-0   63.2    1.05    0.90    +0.15
4.  SMU               6-3   67.2    1.03    0.95    +0.08
5.  Memphis           6-3   69.5    1.07    1.00    +0.07
6.  Rutgers           3-6   70.1    1.01    1.08    -0.07
7.  Temple            1-7   68.3    1.05    1.15    -0.10
8.  Houston           3-6   68.7    0.92    1.08    -0.16
9.  S. Florida        2-7   66.3    0.92    1.09    -0.17
10. UCF               1-7   67.3    0.94    1.15    -0.21

AVG.                        67.7    1.03

We haven’t heard much about Connecticut lately, but look at the Huskies now. Kevin Ollie’s team rates out (+0.1498) as a hair superior in American play to a Cincinnati team (+0.1472) that the pollsters and yours truly both have in the top 10 nationally at the moment. Does this mean UConn is woefully underrated?  Continue reading

Tuesday Truths: Cold-Weather Edition

Welcome to Tuesday Truths, where I look at how well 127 teams in the nation’s top 11 conferences are doing against their league opponents on a per-possession basis. For a tidy little homily on why this stuff is so very awesome, go here.

Say this for the NFL, the whole idea of playing the Super Bowl in a northern clime has created an entirely new and suspenseful topic of discussion. As it happens your intrepid possession-tracker is in the greater New York City area at the moment (yellow-jacketed Super Bowl greeters at the Newark Airport was a nice touch), and if the weather’s like this in five days the Broncos and Seahawks will be cold. I am.

American: How the other half lives
Through games of January 27, conference games only
Pace: possessions per 40 minutes
PPP: points per possession   Opp. PPP: opponent PPP
EM: efficiency margin (PPP – Opp. PPP)

                      W-L   Pace    PPP   Opp. PPP    EM
1.  Louisville        6-1   70.4    1.14    0.89    +0.25
2.  Cincinnati        8-0   64.1    1.06    0.90    +0.16
3.  Memphis           5-2   69.5    1.08    0.98    +0.10
4.  SMU               5-2   65.7    1.02    0.92    +0.10
5.  Connecticut       4-3   66.6    1.16    1.06    +0.10
6.  Houston           3-4   67.6    0.97    1.04    -0.07
7.  Rutgers           2-5   69.7    0.95    1.07    -0.12
8.  Temple            0-7   68.7    1.01    1.14    -0.13
9.  UCF               1-5   67.6    0.93    1.14    -0.21
10. S. Florida        1-6   67.6    0.90    1.12    -0.22

AVG.                        67.8    1.02

The difference in performance between Nos. 5 and 6 — Connecticut and Houston — in American play is a yawning gulf that separates the league’s top and bottom halves. As a result, the conference merits your particular interest whenever teams from within that top five actually, you know, play each other. In that spirit, here’s an American Top-Five Alert: Cincinnati plays at Louisville Thursday night.  Continue reading

Tuesday Truths: “We’re Back” Edition

Welcome to the season’s first installment of Tuesday Truths, where I look at how well 127 teams in the nation’s top 11 conferences are doing against their league opponents on a per-possession basis. For a tidy little homily on why this stuff is so very awesome, go here.

American: Cincinnati has a very good defense
Through games of January 20, conference games only
Pace: possessions per 40 minutes
PPP: points per possession   Opp. PPP: opponent PPP
EM: efficiency margin (PPP – Opp. PPP)

                      W-L   Pace    PPP   Opp. PPP    EM
1.  Louisville        5-1   71.1    1.12    0.92    +0.20
2.  Cincinnati        6-0   64.0    1.03    0.87    +0.16
3.  SMU               3-2   65.3    0.99    0.92    +0.07
4.  Connecticut       2-3   65.7    1.12    1.09    +0.03
5.  Memphis           3-2   69.3    1.06    1.04    +0.02
6.  Houston           3-2   67.0    0.99    1.00    -0.01
7.  Rutgers           2-3   70.7    0.96    1.05    -0.09
8.  Temple            0-5   68.9    1.00    1.10    -0.10
9.  S. Florida        1-4   67.8    0.95    1.07    -0.12
10. UCF               1-4   68.8    0.94    1.14    -0.20

AVG.                        67.9    1.01

Over the years Cincinnati has cultivated a reputation for excellent defense, but this season’s Bearcats are giving indications that they might be the best such team we’ve yet seen in Mick Cronin’s tenure. And even if UC doesn’t finish the season looking as good on D as they do here — and with a remaining schedule that includes two games each against Connecticut and Louisville, they likely will not — I still offer all coaches reading this the example of the Bearcats’ first six games for further study. Over that stretch Cincinnati protected the rim, pushed opponents inside the three-point line, forced turnovers, and stayed out of foul trouble. That’ll do. Continue reading

Coming soon: Tuesday Truths for a realigned world

Pearl, the world's only tempo-free dog, eagerly awaits the return of Tuesday Truths.

Pearl, the world’s only tempo-free dog, eagerly awaits the return of Tuesday Truths.

Next week on a day that I trust needs no further specification here, Tuesday Truths will spring to life for a seventh season. In the peripatetic feature’s latest incarnation, the Truths will track every possession in conference play for the American, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, A-10, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, and West Coast. If a Final Four team arises from outside of that group, you’ll have to say you saw it all coming thanks to some non-Truths source. My apologies in advance.  Continue reading