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Farewell
Jan 29th, 2010 by Jon Nichols

Due to some recent developments, I will not be posting updates to Basketball-Statistics.com for the indefinite future.  Everything that is on the site will remain.  It’s been a blast providing research for you, the readers, to enjoy.  However, I have some other commitments now that will prevent me from writing articles.  I apologize for leaving just as I was starting to get the NCAA stats rolling, but it is something I must do.

Thank you for reading!

Updated NCAA Plus-Minus 01-27-10
Jan 27th, 2010 by Jon Nichols

I have updated college basketball plus-minus for today:

NBA Player Pair Data
Jan 25th, 2010 by Jon Nichols

Last Thursday, I published player pair data for every NCAA Division I team.  This was inspired by the NBA player pair data that has been available at 82games.com for the last few years.  As I mentioned in my last article:

82games has compiled statistics showing how teams have performed with two specific players on the floor together. These “player pairs” are a complementary data view to our 5-man unit stats that measure unit performance. By focusing on two players at a time we can better understand which guys bring out the best in each other.

Unfortunately, that data is not currently available at 82games.  If it becomes available, I’ll be happy to point you in that direction.  Until then, I have calculated the player pair data for the current NBA season, and it can be viewed here:

http://basketball-statistics.com/nbaplayerpairs.php

Enjoy!

Further Explanation of NCAA Plus-Minus
Jan 24th, 2010 by Jon Nichols

I think there’s been some confusion about the college basketball plus-minus I’ve been presenting here lately, so I’d like to provide some more information explaining what the numbers mean exactly.

The most important thing to realize is that the offensive, defensive, and overall plus-minus numbers are “net.”  This means every player is essentially compared to only his teammates and not the rest of Division I.  Therefore, the worst team in the country can have just as many positive plus-minuses as the best team.

Why does it work this way?  The plus-minus I use is on/off.  That means that each rating is a comparison of how the team does when a given player is on the court versus how they do when he is off the court.  For example, if Kentucky scores 80 points per game while John Wall is on the court and 75 points per game while he is off the court, his net offensive plus-minus is 5 (80-75=5).  If they allow 60 points per game while he is on the court and 65 while he is off the court, his net defensive plus-minus is -5 (60-65=-5).  As you can see, it’s better to have a positive offensive plus-minus and a negative defensive plus-minus.  Overall net plus-minus is simply the combination of offensive and defensive plus-minus.

Hopefully it is clear now why really good teams have a lot of players with negative plus-minuses.  If not, here is a real example.  Eric Bledsoe of Kentucky has a -10 net overall plus-minus.  Is he a bad player?  Absolutely not.  Remember that his plus-minus is simply a comparison of Kentucky’s production while he is playing to Kentucky’s (and only Kentucky’s) production while he is not playing.  It is safe to say that Kentucky is quite good even without Eric Bledsoe.  So he’s being compared to a very high standard.

This leads me to my next point.  Plus-minus is very unreliable without a large data set (in this case, games played) to work with.  I have made this point many times, but it bears repeating: take these early plus-minus numbers with a grain of salt.  Things can and likely will change as the season progresses.

Two more clarifications: the first three columns (net overall, net offense, and net defense) are per an average-paced game, which is estimated to be 66.5 possessions.  Finally, the column “plus-minus total” is simply the sum of the points a player’s team scored while he was in the game minus the points they allowed while he was in the game.  For those unfamiliar with on/off ratings and unsure why good teams have players with negative net plus-minuses, this column may be what you thought you were looking at.  If you notice, just about every player on good teams has a positive plus-minus total.  Again, this is a measure of how that player’s team outscored their opponents over the whole season while that player was in the game.

If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask.  Just leave a comment below the post.  Thanks!

NCAA Player Pairs
Jan 21st, 2010 by Jon Nichols

One of my favorite features at the web site 82games.com is its player pairs data (which is oddly missing for this season).  According to the site:

82games has compiled statistics showing how teams have performed with two specific players on the floor together. These “player pairs” are a complementary data view to our 5-man unit stats that measure unit performance. By focusing on two players at a time we can better understand which guys bring out the best in each other.

For those that have been following Basketball-Statistics.com, you’ll know that I’ve done a lot of work recently with college basketball stats.  Compared to what’s been done for the NBA, there is much statistical work to be accomplished with respect to the college game.  Today I’d like to present player pair data for (almost) every college team.

In the tables, the cell where two players meet is the team’s performance in that category when both of those players are in the game.  For each team, I have both offensive and defensive data.  Offensive Rating is the points scored per average-paced game with that pair on the floor, while Defensive Rating is the points allowed per average-paced game with that pair on the floor.

To see all of the data, click the link below.  It is a very large page, so have patience while it loads completely.

http://basketball-statistics.com/ncaaplayerpairs.php

Looking for the Orlando Magic’s Best Frontcourt Combination
Jan 19th, 2010 by Jon Nichols

My latest post at the Orlando Pinstriped Post is up:

http://www.orlandopinstripedpost.com/2010/1/19/1258396/looking-for-the-orlando-magics

Updated NCAA Plus-Minus 01-15-10
Jan 15th, 2010 by Jon Nichols

I have updated college basketball plus-minus!  See below.  Remember you can click the arrow in the top left to view the document full screen or download it as an Excel spreadsheet.

A Look at Steals: Does Gambling Pay Off?
Jan 14th, 2010 by Jon Nichols

My latest Hardwood Paroxysm article, which discusses the importance of steals, can be found at:

http://www.hardwoodparoxysm.com/2010/01/14/a-look-at-steals-does-gambling-pay-off/

Ryan Anderson vs. Brandon Bass: A Statistical Approach
Jan 12th, 2010 by Jon Nichols

My newest article at the Orlando Pinstriped Post takes a look at Ryan Anderson and Brandon Bass. You can find it here:

http://www.orlandopinstripedpost.com/2010/1/12/1246550/ryan-anderson-vs-brandon-bass-a

Updated NCAA Plus-Minus (as of 1/8/10)
Jan 8th, 2010 by Jon Nichols

I have updated college basketball plus-minus numbers today, along with a few helpful improvements. If you’re wondering why the numbers are so much different than last time, be sure to check the first bullet:

  • The biggest and most significant change is the way in which plus-minus is now calculated.  Previously, I compared the team’s production with the given player on the court to the team’s production as a whole.  Now, I’m comparing the team’s production with the given player on the court, as before, to the team’s production with the player OFF the court.  For example, John Wall’s plus-minus is the difference between Kentucky’s differential when he’s playing and Kentucky’s differential when he’s not playing.  This puts my plus-minus in the more traditional on/off form that most people are used to seeing.
  • Every team and player in Division I is now available.
  • Along with each player’s net overall, offensive, and defensive plus-minuses, the spreadsheet now includes the player’s total plus-minus and the estimated amount of possessions they were on the court for.   The plus-minus total is simply the total amount that player’s team outscored or was outscored by their opponent while the player was in the game.

The numbers are embedded in the table below.  To download the spreadsheet as an Excel document or view the online spreadsheet in full-screen mode, click the arrow in the top left.  You can also use the filter to sort by team.  Enjoy!

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