Tag Archives: Wayne Tinkle

WANE: Ignoring the CFP and not the Beavers

Episode 2 is a live broadcast which we explain in greater detail deeper into the pod. This week we naturally explore Oregon State’s monster win over Arizona and – perhaps unnaturally – ignore the college football championship for our Duck faithful. #BackThePac. Also, how ’bout that new header, eh?

WANE (or on SoundCloud):


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PacHoops Power Rankings: Signature Wins

Only twice before has Wayne Tinkle even competed against a KenPom Top-10 team. He lost those two games by an average of 35.5 points. And then Sunday happened and it was basically a lot of this all happening at once. Namely, Tinkle Time arrived and as crunch time hit, only one team was tinkling down its leg. Big win.

The biggest game out of the state of Oregon of course comes tonight. Begging the question as to which should be more discussed? Beavers or Ducks? In my estimation its a no brainer. It’s not really even a question except for this guy who needed to learn how to take screen grabs (check the browser search windows). G’luck Ducks – may you fair better than the Pac’s Middle Amoeba.

12) ARIZONA STATE

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Twelve Things to Watch in Pac-12 Conference Play

We need something to look forward to. Conference play begins tonight and because while we stuffed ourselves with holiday cheer, the Pac was ballooning its RPI, distancing itself into relative obscurity. We know better. We know better and that’s why we’ve got twelve things to look forward to amongst so many other unlisted ones such as: When will Stanford have their big win? Their big loss? Can WSU climb out of the cellar? UCLA’s offense? USC’s offense? ASU? And yet still so much more.

Here’s just twelve things to look forward to as Pac-12 Conference play begins tonight:

1. The reintroduction of Jordan Loveridge

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Desperate Times: Tempo Variance and Job Security

In 2012, Ben Howland landed the best recruiting class in the nation. His program had been floundering but that year he amassed what appeared to be his most talented Westwood team in awhile. One of the concerns, however, was that this team wouldn’t have the  traditional Howland characteristics of toughness and defense. These traits have been both quantified and qualified but as a reminder, up until 2012, Howland teams were averaging a 65.8 adjusted tempo (this includes two Pitt seasons) and relentless defense. Until 2012 – and excluding the 2005 anomaly of a 70 AdjT – Howland rarely wavered off of that pace. The variance across tempos, again excluding the 2007 anomaly, was just 1.43. Variance, as a reminder, is a calculation of how far a set of numbers is spread out. It allows us to recognize how fickle a quantified act can be. A smaller number suggests a pretty consistent set of data. A bigger number, conversely, alerts us to a dataset with a great amount of fluctuation.

Howland’s 2012 Bruins would play to a 69.2 adjusted tempo, 5% greater than his average career tempo (including 2005). He significantly deviated from how he’d previously been successful. Three days after the season ended, Ben Howland was fired.

Why Look at This?

I understand that there are a lot of factors that come into a firing. The 2012 Bruins actually won the conference title. They earned a six-seed in the NCAA tournament. Howland was fired nevertheless. While that maybe isn’t directly correlated to adjusted tempo, it would seem that a consistent pace might be a good indicator of prolonged success. A coach presumably gets his job (particularly in the Pac-12) because he has amassed success. He’s probably good at coaching a style he’s become an expert in and gets his players to buy into that style, that system.

Howland’s career tempo variance (including 2005) is 3.9. Need context? Me too. So I found the career variance for every active coach in the Pac-12:

Coach Variance Average Tempo
Dawkins 1.14 67.37
Martin 1.3 64.11
Miller 2.4 66.13
Boyle 2.61 67.38
Enfield 2.67 69.55
Alford 3.51 67.57
Altman 4.24 66.97
Tinkle 5.24 64.24
Kent 6.45 68.5
Romar 7.58 70.9
Sendek 8.02 65.03
Krystkowiak 8.42 65.63

This suggests that Howland was about the median amongst current Pac-12 coaches. Of course none of these men have been fired, so it seems there isn’t a great deal to take away from this regarding the understanding of whether varying from one’s career tempo foretells anything about job security.

The above data will come into play as we monitor the 2014-15 season. Will Krystokowiak begin to normalize as his plan comes into effect? He’s had so little talent at times in Utah that he probably hasn’t been able to dictate tempo. The rest of the Pac dictated Utah’s pace. I predict this season will look a lot more like what a K team wants to be. Will Sendek continue to push the gas pedal? He’s notably played both sides of the continuum. Thus high variance. What’s Ernie’s plan? More to come.

Our Hypothesis

The hypothesis is that greatly deviating from one’s established norm is indicative of a hot seat (if not an already fired man). A desperate times call for desperate measures type theory. So I developed a list of fired Pac-12 coaches and some other notable leads who were relieved of their duties. Here’s what I found:

Coach Variance % dev. In fired year
Ken Bone 11.4 6.2
Ben Howland 3.9 5
Ernie Kent 6.5 1.9
Kevin O’Neill 5.2 5.3
Seth Greenberg 8.3 6.6
Sydney Lowe 1.9 2.5
Ben Braun 4.5 5.1* / 3.3**
Mike Davis 4.5 3.8^ / 4.9^^
Average 5.775 4.46
  • Average Variance: 5.8
  • Average % Change in final season vs. average season: 4.5%
  • *Fired at Cal, **Fired at Rice
  • ^Fired at IU, ^^Fired at UAB

The major variance culprits were Ken Bone and Seth Greenberg. Each of their last teams played greater than 6% differently (based on AdjT) than their respective career averages. In both cases it was the coach’s slowest team.

Ben Braun significantly deviated from his average tempo, 66, prior to being fired, too. But what I found interesting here was that in each of his final seasons, he tried both extremes: 69.5 in his last season at Cal was the fastest team he’s ever coached, 63.9 at Rice was the second slowest. Mike Davis tried the same extremes in his final campaigns in Bloomington and Birmingham, respectively. Desperate times, desperate measures.

ben braun

Ben Braun was fired by Cal in 2008

I’d like to reiterate that this is far from an exact science. I’ve already cited Ben Howland’s fastest season, 2005. It was his first dance with UCLA before reverting to his norm and rattling off three straight Final Fours. Clearly, he was not fired after losing to Texas Tech in the 2005 tournament.

The Big-ish Takeaway

But this is an interesting exercise in understanding what makes a given coach good at what he does. So often we’re thrown coach speak about ‘staying the course’ and ‘respecting the process,’ practices I don’t disagree with. It’s therefore interesting to me the times these guys do deviate from what seems to be their course; the paths that made them successful to this point. So while I’m not necessarily saying that a change of pace is indicative of a coach’s impending fall from grace, I do think it can be a telling sign.

Which might draw our attention to the warmer seats in this year’s conference, namely Lorenzo Romar. For the record, I think his job is relatively secure. He’s garnered enough good juju to weather the storm he’s in. But three straight seasons of decreasing win totals isn’t exactly deserving a vote of confidence. He’s had one of the higher degrees of tempo variance amongst current Pac-12 coaches (7.58) and had never coached a Washington team to a sub-70 tempo until…the last three seasons when we’ve seen the bottom begin to fall out. Two seasons ago was the slowest UW team he’s ever coached (65.7). He survived that turn and KenPom actually projects the Huskies at a 70.5 AdjT this season. Further, he’s got the forthcoming recruiting classes and so I reiterate, Romar has banked some good merit in the Athletic Department. He’s coached an NCAA one-seed. But if he’d never had that success, it’s easy to imagine his slowest team and their 17-15 record earning him a pink slip.

BoneReax

Ken Bone was let go my WSU after a slow season.

We could ask Ken Bone about it. He’s now an assistant at Montana after coaching Washington State to a 10-21 record at the second slowest pace he’s ever coached. They were 6.2% slower than the average Ken Bone team. It’s also worth noting here (with reverence to Romar’s 2014 Huskies) that last season was a historically fast paced season. Examine this KPI spreadsheet for more. Scoring was up at to a four-year high. Rules changes behooved the fast and I looked into it, too. Which is all to say that Bone likely was playing at an even slower pace than what was calculated. Rules changes helped his offense. Just as it did Romar and any other coach flirting with a style change last year. Of course, these trends suggest that speeding up your offense, forcing the defense to make a play and thus more likely to commit a foul (FTA/game was up 13% vs. 2013). Alas, that’s not the strategic changes these men chose to make. It may have cost Ken Bone his job.

Of course Bone also had the highest variance of any coach studied, perhaps giving merit to the idea that it’s really tough to get talent to Pullman. And which also begs the question of whether or not there is a correlation between winning and tempo variance (we’ll examine that next and take into consideration the rules changes with their affect on tempo).

It can’t go overstated that this is not an exact science. A slowing or accelerated tempo doesn’t necessarily mean the axe is coming. But it just might be the Blue Mountains on a Coors Light: an indicator that a shitty beer is trying just a little harder to be less bad.

(I still enjoy a tailgating with a CL).

Pac-12 Basketball Media: Vini, Vidi, Vici

First off a big thanks to Rush The Court for the opportunity, again, to attend Pac-12 Media Day. Appreciate getting to go and their trust in me to cover the event.

MY RTC THOUGHTS ON LAST YEAR’S BOTTOM HALF OF THE CONFERENCE.

MY RTC THOUGHTS ON LAST YEAR’S TOP HALF OF THE CONFERENCE.

For me, Media Day is about the experience. Larry Scott noted as much in his opening remarks, that it’s an opportunity for the student-athletes to do something they don’t necessarily always get to do. For Brandon Ashley, it was the chance to come home and answer to his mom. She asked the last question of the Power Forward, confirming that he was taking his vitamins and that he was ready for the season. You should’ve seen how Brandon beamed, smiled, and got embarrassed all at the same time. I call it 2015’s first shining moment. Continue reading

Platitudes Revisited for Pac-12 Basketball Media Day

Tomorrow, for the third straight year, I will be attending the Pac-12’s Basketball Media Day. Can’t wait. In all honesty, it’s a little boring. I love the opportunity to go but there are platitudes abound. More gets said by the Guilty Remnant.

The fun part is reading between the lines. Like knowing Andy Enfield ripped UCLA and hearing him have to then praise UCLA. Or listening to Bob Dibler discuss Ed Rush and trips to Cancun. Basically, nothing will be said tomorrow that shocks us.

But what if it didn’t play out that way?

I’ve scripted the questions I’d like to ask and provided what I think coaches will respond with and what I wish they’d respond with. Continue reading

Oregon State Basketball Preview: Tinkle Town

Allow me to be the first to welcome you to Tinkle Town. Welcome to the Conference of Champions, Wayne Tinkle. You are the third former Montana head coach to join the Pac (according to my research department). One is in the Hall of Fame, the other is only an inch shorter than you. And please note, I’m not going to harp long on OSU’s new coach’s last name. My surname is tease-able, too, and I may have some emotional scarring from grades K-2. You’d be surprised how damaging it is to be called “butt.” Speaking of butts, Oregon State is going to finish at the very ass bottom of the Pac-12.

Why I love them: 

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THREE FOR BART: Beavers, Stats, NFL

Three For BART is a daily (or really close to that) drop of three thought provoking articles for your commute or day. Submissions for inclusion taken at: pachoops25@gmail.com

  1. Oregon State won’t be a Pac-12 doormat much longer – In the interest of full disclosure, this is a softer piece. It’s not very hard hitting but it does provide some jaw dropping insights. For example: OSU has secured just two top-100 Rivals recruits in the last twelve years. That’s Kentucky’s team management staff (they’re effing great at laundry).  Nevertheless, the title evokes the thought as we head into the Tinkle Tenure which I will regularly and consistently grade against the Ernie Administration in Pullman. No one is soon to call the Beavers a sleeping giant, but Tinkle is on to something. How many kids does he have?
  2. Introducing the College Basketball Game Finder – Ever been curious about how many free throw attempts Arizona has taken against UCLA in neutral court games played in March? Now you can find that out. Ever had the itch to know what Oregon has shot from distance in NCAA tournament games? Scratch it! I’m going to use this resource to inundate you all season long with “the last time…” or “when [insert team] plays home games in February they average [insert stat here]…” qualifiers all the PacHoops season long.
  3. People vs. the NFL – We’re fans. Blindly and contently and anxiously and angrily and joyously we are fans. But above all else, we’re humans and need to be humans. Matt Ufford says it.

Wayne Tinkle to Corvallis

Should we make the tinkle jokes now or later? I’m opting for later because I have to pick and choose my moments to act like an adult and right now shall be one of them. Mom, I hope you’re reading. I also think such humor is better suited for well timed tweets during tense game situations.

Alas, let’s welcome Mr. Coach Wayne Tinkle to the Conference of Champions. While he inherits what could amount to the worst Pac-12 team since – well since really not that long ago when Utah and USC were 6-win teams in 2012 – he can, however, take solace in the fact that he will now be the conference’s tallest coach! Tinkle stands 6-feet-10-inches tall and looks to be the Shaquille to Krystkowiak’s Divac. That said, K crushes bike and phone thieves and Tinkle:

Tinkle

So aside from from gravity defiance, what does Tinkle bring westward? He’s the third man (by my calculations, I could be wrong) to leave the Grizzlies for the Pac. No doubt he aspires to match the success of Mike Montgomery (281 conference wins), but let’s focus on what Tinkly has already done. He’s coached just one team to a losing record and played on CBS in March three times. That’s three more times than Oregon State in the past 24 years. Tinkle can Dance.

Of course a new hire begs the question whether or not he can dance in his new colors. It would seem he won’t be doing such for awhile but he has an auspicious start considering his son is considered a high major talent, a three-star forward named Tres Trinkle who will follow pops to Corvallis. Now let’s run that back real quick: big dad, coaching big son who’s name is Tres. If that doesn’t sound like the trailer to the sequel to The McDermotts: A Jump Shot Story then you’re not paying attention.

Disney just contacted me for a script (I declined after declining to watch Million Dollar Arm).

All in all, this is a good hire. Considering the timing of it all (weird) and the support around this program (minimal as 2014 saw Gill’s worst attendance numbers in years) getting a proven coach is good work. And work is what Tinkle will have to do to have any semblance of success in what amounts to the most success deprived basketball program in the conference.

Is it a good day to be a Beaver? Maybe. But it’s always cool to fly private: