Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 35 of 35
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Dallas
    Well done. I like the fact that the author includes some of his high school work to the story also. I agree that Austin has a terrific first step and will become a great basketball player as soon as he learns how to pass to his open teammates. I think it is awesome that teams respect him so much this early as to double team him.
    He'll learn; he's got the greatest teacher in the game.

  2. #22
    To my eye, in his first several games (exhibition and real) Rivers demonstrated a fantastic first step, but his lack of elite athleticism frequently allowed the defense to recover by the time he shot, leading to a lot of drives that began with him making a great move to create separation and ended with a contested shot anyway. In the last two games, hes had a few great drives where hes successfully built on the initial separation, including a very nice drive tonight in which he incorporated a jump-stop and a couple of quick changes of direction. His first step is a huge asset. When he develops the ability to capitalize on it by maintaining separation to get clean shots -- and by finding teammates left open by a shifting defense -- hell be a truly elite offensive player.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by FellowTraveler View Post
    To my eye, in his first several games (exhibition and real) Rivers demonstrated a fantastic first step, but his lack of elite athleticism frequently allowed the defense to recover by the time he shot, leading to a lot of drives that began with him making a great move to create separation and ended with a contested shot anyway. In the last two games, hes had a few great drives where hes successfully built on the initial separation, including a very nice drive tonight in which he incorporated a jump-stop and a couple of quick changes of direction. His first step is a huge asset. When he develops the ability to capitalize on it by maintaining separation to get clean shots -- and by finding teammates left open by a shifting defense -- hell be a truly elite offensive player.
    Lack of elite athleticism?

    I think it more likely that the separation closes simply because he is not used to the closing speed of opposing defenses at this level. Either that, or the separation closes because a help defender comes into the picture- and no matter how athletic you are, it's hard to avoid help defenders at all times.

    That said, I agree with your point about his need to learn how to capitalize on the separation he is able to create. I think defenders can close on him or catch up to him because he tends to hold the ball too long before making a decision. Thus, he drives into the teeth of the defense or gets stripped or takes contested shots. He definitely needs (and will!) to learn to capitalize on his quickness by making decisions quickly as well. When his decision-making catches up to his first step, he will pull up for a jumper and still have that space, he will find the open man when the space is still available, or he will get to the basket when there is room for that as well. It's his mental quickness, not physical quickness, that is lacking at this point.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New York
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    In fairness, your comment did sort of sound like you hadn't read the article. Because the author in fact uses words like "yet" and "to make any sweeping generalizations about a player after four games would be silly."

    It's an analysis of what Rivers has done so far (and I think a fairly accurate one), not a final judgment on him as a player.
    I don't mean to put words in roy's mouth, but the argument could be made that statistical analysis after four games--even with the caveat that it is not a "final judgment"--is illegitimate based on sample size issues. I remember a spirited discussion from a few days back between you and Kedsy (and others) about whether plus-minus tells us anything meaningful. You came down on the side that it probably does not, at least in college, because there are simply is not enough information. That was over the course of an entire season. The present Rivers sample size is so miniscule as to be nonexistent right now. It's an honest question: how are the situations different? This, I think, is the issue. It isn't that the Pruiti is leaping to final conclusions. Of course he isn't. But isn't it a leap to make even provisional conclusions based on statistics when the sample size is so pathetic?

    Perhaps some people on the board recall what kenpom's rankings used to look like early in the season before he adopted preseason weighting last year. It took a very long time for the results to tell us anything, and for quite a while many of the results were actively misleading. It would have been insane to say, "Well, the data to this point says Old Dominion is the best team in the country. This is by no means final, but I think we can ..." No. The correct thing at the time would have been to say that the data was not yet telling us anything upon which we could rely, full stop. Eventually, more data accrued, the rankings stabilized, and the stats became an immensely powerful tool. That point was well past the fourth game of the season.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Where the weather suits my clothes (living full-time on the road in my Airstream trailer)
    I truly appreciate the time and effort that Sebastian Pruiti put into his analysis of Austin's "tendencies."

    My only reaction is that Coach K and staff (along with their own high tech video equipment) have probably already gone over this with Austin, maybe even multiple times, before this insightful article was even posted.

    It will just take some time before Austin incorporates the suggested skill set into his repertoire of moves. It is, after all, a big step up for him (to be playing at this level). But I have no doubt that he will catch on and eventually be using his newly learned skill to help the team win more games. The more interesting question to me is how soon will we be seeing him "get it" in games?

    For me the fun of being a Duke fan is not in all the victories, altough I certainly enjoy each and every one, but in watching Coach K and staff help each player maximize their abilities and blend them all into one "fist."

    Go Duke!

    Grey Devil

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Quote Originally Posted by Des Esseintes View Post
    The present Rivers sample size is so miniscule as to be nonexistent right now. It's an honest question: how are the situations different? This, I think, is the issue. It isn't that the Pruiti is leaping to final conclusions. Of course he isn't. But isn't it a leap to make even provisional conclusions based on statistics when the sample size is so pathetic?
    As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I don't think that it is a leap. I think the bigger question is whether the conclusion is worth discussing.

    Let's say you were to run a Chi-squared hypothesis test between Ryan's free throw results (0's and 1's) and Mason's. The sample size is still small, but I think the test would tell you there's a statistically significant difference between the data sets and the conclusion would be that Ryan has been shooting FT's better than Mason. Are we shocked? No.

    Similarly, Austin's PPP results after four games rank rather low nationally. This small data set may be lead us to the conclusion that Austin is not using possessions very efficiently. Does this match up with the observations we've made thus far? Yeah, I think so. So, I think the question is the advanced metric Pruiti quotes tells us anything new?

    Fortunately, basketball players are not normal distribution functions. This snapshot is not necessarily predictive of future results. I'm not sure that more data will validate or invalidate Pruiti's analysis because Austin will be a different player next week than he was last week as he climbs the learning curve of playing D1 ball. The analysis of four games "is what it is." It's a progress report of a freshman season in progress. I'm excited to see what the next grading period brings.

    Let's go, Duke!

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Des Esseintes View Post
    I don't mean to put words in roy's mouth, but the argument could be made that statistical analysis after four games--even with the caveat that it is not a "final judgment"--is illegitimate based on sample size issues. I remember a spirited discussion from a few days back between you and Kedsy (and others) about whether plus-minus tells us anything meaningful. You came down on the side that it probably does not, at least in college, because there are simply is not enough information. That was over the course of an entire season. The present Rivers sample size is so miniscule as to be nonexistent right now. It's an honest question: how are the situations different? This, I think, is the issue. It isn't that the Pruiti is leaping to final conclusions. Of course he isn't. But isn't it a leap to make even provisional conclusions based on statistics when the sample size is so pathetic?
    The short answer is that a single-game +/- (or a small-sample +/-) is based on an N of 1 (or 3-4, if it's a 3-4 game +/-). PPP after 4 games for a high-volume player like Rivers is about 60. That's still a small sample size, but it's a much less small sample size.

    I agree that it's silly to make relative comparisons (e.g., "he's ranked Xth in efficiency") after 4 games. But using those 60ish possessions worth of data to support a qualitative statement ("he hasn't played great yet, and he's struggled with Y types of plays") is completely reasonable. And that was the crux of Pruiti's article. He used the data to support the point that Rivers hasn't been terribly efficient, and his inefficiency so far has stemmed from a particular type of play (not great decisionmaking off the drive).

  8. #28
    I enjoyed the article. After watching Austin last night vs. Tennessee, I have to say that the author has a point. He was 1-7 at one point IIRC, and almost all of his misses were on drives where he beat his defender on the first step, but then failed to finish. He got going once he hit those two big three's, then altered his approach to start using a teardrop/giant killer shot and began to have some success. So kudos to Austin for realizing the drive wasn't working and going to some other weapons. That shows some maturity right there.

    Personally, I believe Austin has the unenviable position of following the most NBA ready Freshman to ever play at Duke. He is already starting, and once he establishes a rhythm, I have no doubt he will mean as much to Duke as HB does to UNC.
    "There can BE only one."

  9. #29
    My question about Austin is simple: how did a coach's kid end up with such an ugly, fundamentally unsound stroke?

    As long as his elbow is sticking out at that crazy angle, he's going to be a streaky jump-shooter at best.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Cary, NC
    Looks to me like he spent a lot of time hanging out around Reggie Miller. That's who his shot reminds me of.

    Quote Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
    My question about Austin is simple: how did a coach's kid end up with such an ugly, fundamentally unsound stroke?

    As long as his elbow is sticking out at that crazy angle, he's going to be a streaky jump-shooter at best.
    Duke '96
    Cary, NC

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
    My question about Austin is simple: how did a coach's kid end up with such an ugly, fundamentally unsound stroke?

    As long as his elbow is sticking out at that crazy angle, he's going to be a streaky jump-shooter at best.

    Ask Chris Collins. His was hardly textbook, either.

    My theory FWIW....a young Collins or Austin is probably the kid on the team of 8-year olds or 10-year olds who has the best chance of hitting long jump shots, so he gets the "green light" while the other kids don't.
    Still, at that young age, it's a bit of a heave, and the form takes second place to getting the ball somewhere near the basket.
    Then the bad habit sticks.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Dallas
    Quote Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
    My question about Austin is simple: how did a coach's kid end up with such an ugly, fundamentally unsound stroke?

    As long as his elbow is sticking out at that crazy angle, he's going to be a streaky jump-shooter at best.
    Dad was kinda busy?

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New York
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    The short answer is that a single-game +/- (or a small-sample +/-) is based on an N of 1 (or 3-4, if it's a 3-4 game +/-). PPP after 4 games for a high-volume player like Rivers is about 60. That's still a small sample size, but it's a much less small sample size.

    I agree that it's silly to make relative comparisons (e.g., "he's ranked Xth in efficiency") after 4 games. But using those 60ish possessions worth of data to support a qualitative statement ("he hasn't played great yet, and he's struggled with Y types of plays") is completely reasonable. And that was the crux of Pruiti's article. He used the data to support the point that Rivers hasn't been terribly efficient, and his inefficiency so far has stemmed from a particular type of play (not great decisionmaking off the drive).
    I hear you. But the 58 possessions Pruiti is writing about truly aren't much. 58 possessions comprise a bit more than three-quarters of your typical Duke game. Are you prepared to draw conclusions, even provisional conclusions, about this year's team based on something less than a single game? I am not. Take turnovers, for which Pruiti calls out Rivers. Over the first four games, Austin has turned it over too much. Fair enough. This is a fact. And maybe Austin does have a turnover problem. But you wouldn't call a team "turnover-prone" based on the evidence of most of one game. I wouldn't, at least.

    (For what it's worth, which is nothing, Austin's been better with turnovers the two games since the article. Has he developed into a better player? Possibly, probably, in some ways. But maybe it was just a small sample size, and we are getting a better idea of his ability to control the basketball. I won't venture a numbers-based guess, and I don't think Pruiti should either.)

    Nor do I think Pruiti is being as forthright as he's being given credit for here. He talks about the 44.8% of Austin's plays that are pick-and-roll and the 29.3% that are isos. "29.3%" sounds impressive--until you realize he's talking about 17 plays. 17 plays is NOTHING. Taking the percentage out to the tenth place is the definition of meretriciousness, and exists only to paper over the non-robustness of the data.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Where the weather suits my clothes (living full-time on the road in my Airstream trailer)
    It was nice to see Austin drive the lane against Michigan tonight and pass the ball out to Seth, who promptly swished a three. Maybe he's been reading this thread... .

    Hopefully we'll see more of that against Kansas.

    Grey Devil

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Des Esseintes View Post
    I hear you. But the 58 possessions Pruiti is writing about truly aren't much. 58 possessions comprise a bit more than three-quarters of your typical Duke game. Are you prepared to draw conclusions, even provisional conclusions, about this year's team based on something less than a single game? I am not. Take turnovers, for which Pruiti calls out Rivers. Over the first four games, Austin has turned it over too much. Fair enough. This is a fact. And maybe Austin does have a turnover problem. But you wouldn't call a team "turnover-prone" based on the evidence of most of one game. I wouldn't, at least.
    I wouldn't call a team turnover-prone based on one game. But I don't believe that Pruiti is doing that, either though. I'd say a team had too many turnovers in that game, and will need to do better in that regard moving forward. There's a difference between saying "has struggled with turnovers so far" and "is a turnover prone team/player." One is an analysis of what has happened to this point, the other is a conclusion about a quality of the player/team.

    And that's what Pruiti did. He analyzed what Rivers has done to this point, and suggested where Rivers will need to do better to be as good as advertised. He hypothesizes as to why that might be the case, and you can quibble with that. But when he does so, he states that it's just his opinion. And in a few cases, he suggests counterarguments that are made.

    You can quibble about the jump to the decimal place if you'd like, but that's nibbling at the margins. He could have been more general in his analysis (rounding to 30% instead of 29.3%, for example) and still made his point. And he could have done so without the national ranking in PPP. But I think that's focusing on the trees and missing the forest.

Similar Threads

  1. Austin Rivers on the Fab Five
    By dcdevil2009 in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 03-24-2011, 08:16 PM
  2. Great free blog from Austin Rivers.
    By Duke: A Dynasty in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-28-2010, 01:58 AM
  3. Statistical Analysis of Opponent Offensive Efficiency?
    By gam7 in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-27-2010, 05:34 PM
  4. Austin Rivers going with 0
    By NashvilleDevil in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 10-25-2010, 07:54 PM
  5. Austin Rivers
    By dukelion in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 105
    Last Post: 09-22-2009, 10:48 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •