UCLA achieved 7 points in less than 3 minutes (took them 20+ last year) and they trickled the floor at Pauley as they should have. Teams don’t often knock off the #1 team in the country and – for a school oft criticized for its fan base – it was good to see them celebrate a little and show up. Meanwhile, ASU knocked off a top-25 team (rare) and did it in their new gold attire which I actually thought was sharp (also, rare). Of course for a full run down and the teams ranked by order of power, as well as what I did on Friday night of this bounce back week for the Pac…
Basketball is moving away from the mid-range shot. It’s calculated in many ways, the emergence of Synergy Sports (sponsor me??) certainly giving different context to the shot, but it’s indubitably the highest-risk, lowest reward attempt in the sport (aside from hiring a retread). It’s the Allegiant Air of jumpers, the fire-Mark-Richt of shots, the-sleeping-with-a-Kardashian of attemtps.
Much has been made of the Houston Rockets’ effective elimination of the shot, an analytical abolition to optimize the value of an offensive possession. Three points, after all, is greater than two, a two-foot attempt simpler than an eighteen-footer of the same “value” (two points). The mid-range attempt is an offense’s enemy. Continue reading
A 2015-16 conversation of UCLA basketball has to start with Bryce Alford. I polled everyone I live with and the coach’s son was unanimously voted the most polarizing player in the conference. In the interest of data journalism, I should inform you that I live alone. But you know I’m not wrong. Put aside you daddy issues as I’m going to take the tried and true measure of high-browing your perceptions with arrogant data. Here’s some Bryce:
- Improved his FG%, eFG%, 2FG%, 3FG%, and FT% from FR to SO year
- He shot 39% from 3FG% and just 54% of his threes were assisted (Read: pure shooter)
- He had a better eFG% than: Stanley Johnson, Askia Booker, Tyronne Wallace, and Chasson Randle
- Had a lower TO% than: Brandon Taylor, TJ McConnell, and Marcus Allen
- Averaged 19ppg in 3 NCAA tournament games (13ppg in 6 career NCAA tournament games)
- KenPom comparables include Yogi Ferrell and Matthew Dellavedova
You might not like him but don’t let it could reality. And sure I’ve breezed over some of his flaws (most notably his goatee, shooting at the rim (14% total shots, 46FG% there), defensive efforts). Nevertheless, unless you’re reading in Tucson, Palo Alto or Salt Lake, he’s played in a weekend of the tournament you haven’t.
Why I love them
I could leverage my slightly delayed DVR recording into a diatribe on provider monopolies. How a la carte entertainment makes more than sense – while not making cents for the establishment – and would likely provide a better product and service. Service. But this is our The Drive recap not lounge chairs around a fire-pit on a San Diego cliff after pitchers upon pitchers followed by overflow Port (I see you, Trevor). Then a cigar. That’s where I dissect cable. Continue reading