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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    I just wanted to show how out of whack the quality of the top teams are this year compared with past seasons.

    Here are the top KenPom teams going back to 2002 and their efficiency margins. It is worth noting that these numbers are post-NCAA tourney, meaning in most cases the top team in the land just had a great run of whupping up on a bunch of high quality teams in a row, which tends to boost your KenPom rating.

    2018 - Vil +33.76
    2017 - Gonz +32.05 (UNC wins with +28.22)
    2016 - Vil +32.01
    2015 - Kent + 36.91 (Duke wins with +32.48)
    2014 - Lou +30.41
    2013 - Lou +32.92
    2012 - Kent +32.59
    2011 - tOSU +33.47
    2010 - Duke+33.29
    2009 - UNC +31.14
    2008 - Kansas +35.21
    2007 - UNC + 31.37
    2006 - Fla + 28.28
    2005 - UNC +32.77
    2004 - Duke +32.33
    2003 - Kent +29.18
    2002 - Duke +34.19

    Right now, the top 3 teams for 2019 are: Duke +36.37, Virg +34.99, Gonz +34.96

    To put that in perspective, the third best team in the land right now, would be the best team in college basketball in 15 of the past 17 years (only 2015 Kentucky and 2008 Kansas are better than this year's Gonzaga team). The the vast majority of those years, the gap between this year's third best and that season's best team would be more than 2 points of adjeff margin.

    We are watching an historic season. The closest approximation to it is 2015 when there were 4 teams with adjeff margins above +32 (Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke, and Arizona) though even that really does not compare to us having 3 teams essentially at +35 or better in one season. It is unprecedented in a pretty big way.

    -Jason "the reality is that some very, very deserving teams are going to come up short this season... it really sucks" Evans
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  2. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I just wanted to show how out of whack the quality of the top teams are this year compared with past seasons.

    Here are the top KenPom teams going back to 2002 and their efficiency margins. It is worth noting that these numbers are post-NCAA tourney, meaning in most cases the top team in the land just had a great run of whupping up on a bunch of high quality teams in a row, which tends to boost your KenPom rating.

    2018 - Vil +33.76
    2017 - Gonz +32.05 (UNC wins with +28.22)
    2016 - Vil +32.01
    2015 - Kent + 36.91 (Duke wins with +32.48)
    2014 - Lou +30.41
    2013 - Lou +32.92
    2012 - Kent +32.59
    2011 - tOSU +33.47
    2010 - Duke+33.29
    2009 - UNC +31.14
    2008 - Kansas +35.21
    2007 - UNC + 31.37
    2006 - Fla + 28.28
    2005 - UNC +32.77
    2004 - Duke +32.33
    2003 - Kent +29.18
    2002 - Duke +34.19

    Right now, the top 3 teams for 2019 are: Duke +36.37, Virg +34.99, Gonz +34.96

    To put that in perspective, the third best team in the land right now, would be the best team in college basketball in 15 of the past 17 years (only 2015 Kentucky and 2008 Kansas are better than this year's Gonzaga team). The the vast majority of those years, the gap between this year's third best and that season's best team would be more than 2 points of adjeff margin.

    We are watching an historic season. The closest approximation to it is 2015 when there were 4 teams with adjeff margins above +32 (Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke, and Arizona) though even that really does not compare to us having 3 teams essentially at +35 or better in one season. It is unprecedented in a pretty big way.

    -Jason "the reality is that some very, very deserving teams are going to come up short this season... it really sucks" Evans
    Here are the top three in each KenPom season, PRE-tournament:

    2018: Virginia (32.15), Villanova* (31.41), Duke (29.13)
    2017: Gonzaga* (33.05), Villanova (30.77), UNC* (28.01)
    2016: Kansas (29.80), Michigan State (29.68), Virginia (29.10)
    2015: Kentucky* (37.43), Wisconsin* (33.53), Arizona (32.31)
    2014: Louisville (30.57), Arizona (30.40), Florida* (27.81)
    2013: Florida (31.98), Louisville* (31.14), Indiana (29.92)
    2012: Kentucky* (31.73), Ohio State* (29.90), Michigan State (28.82)
    2011: Ohio State (32.23), Duke (29.55), Kansas (28.70)
    2010: Kansas (32.51), Duke* (31.55), Syracuse (27.59)
    2009: Pitt (29.48), Memphis (29.44), UNC* (28.56)
    2008: Kansas* (33.96), UCLA* (30.58), Memphis* (29.38)
    2007: UNC (31.74), Ohio State* (28.87), Florida* (28.86)
    2006: Duke (28.57), Texas (26.34), UConn (25.91)
    2005: Illinois* (33.31), UNC* (32.00), Duke (28.70)
    2004: Duke* (31.72), St Joseph's (27.81), Gonzaga (26.73)
    2003: Kentucky (29.77), Pitt (27.18), Kansas* (27.10)
    2002: Duke (34.02), Cincinnati (30.84), Kansas* (27.79)

    * - made Final Four

    Now, this season's third best team would be the top team in the land every year except 2015. Nine of 17 champions were in KenPom's top 3 (53%). But KenPom's #1 team only won the natty twice in 17 years.

    It may be worth noting that really big numbers in KenPom tend to make the Final Four at a pretty good clip, but are by no means a lock. Of the teams above, 18 teams had an Efficiency Margin bigger than 31 (an arbitrary cutoff, I know**). Of those, 11 made the Final Four (61.1%). The remaining teams above (33 teams) were top three but had an EM lower than 31, and only 10 of those (30.3%) made the Final Four. Oddly, four of the ten who made the Final Four with top three EM under 31 were coached by Roy Williams.


    ** I admit that choosing 31 was a bit of data fitting. Of the teams from 2002 to 2018 that were between 30 and 31, only 1 of 7 made the Final Four (including the 4th and 5th best teams in 2015; Duke in 2015 entered the tourney 6th in KenPom, and under 30). So with 30+, there were 25 teams and 12 made the Final Four (48%). Of top three teams below 30, 9 of 28 made the Final Four (32.1%). Four of the nine were courtesy of Roy.
    Last edited by Kedsy; 02-11-2019 at 11:07 AM.

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Durham
    We are watching an historic season. The closest approximation to it is 2015 when there were 4 teams with adjeff margins above +32 (Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke, and Arizona) though even that really does not compare to us having 3 teams essentially at +35 or better in one season. It is unprecedented in a pretty big way.

    -Jason "the reality is that some very, very deserving teams are going to come up short this season... it really sucks" Evans

    It doesn't suck yet--maybe it never will suck
    Last edited by JasonEvans; 02-11-2019 at 08:14 PM.

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.

    Well

    Presumably Duke 2002 and Kansas 2010 had even bigger numbers before their pre-Final Four losses. Sobering to see how good those teams were, yet didn't make the Final Four.

    If you go to Duke's page at www.barttorvik.com, you can click on Similar Resumes to see how teams with records similar to Duke's have done in the tourney. It's a little disconcerting to see that only 5 of the 10 teams made the Final Four and only two (Kentucky 2012 and Villanova 2018) won it all.

    http://www.barttorvik.com/resume-com...Duke&year=2019

    You also can compare past teams with similar efficiency profiles. By default, the program compares based on (I think) Offensive Efficiency, Defensive Efficiency, and Tempo). Only 3 of the 10 made the Final Four and only two won (UNCheat 2009 (big cheat) and Kentucky 2012).

    http://www.barttorvik.com/profile-co...Duke&year=2019

    You can play with the parameters.

    Interestingly, none of UVa's 10 similar efficiency profile teams made the Final Four. So maybe there is a penalty for playing a slow tempo? Of course, five of the similar teams are recent UVa teams and three are Wisconsin teams.

    http://www.barttorvik.com/profile-co...inia&year=2019

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durham

    Kenpom across years: a fools errand

    I pointed it out earlier but comparing kenpom teams against years on an objective scale is invalid.

    This is why in chess, for instance, you can't compare ELO across populations which don't regularly play eachother...which is why computer ELO != lichess ELO != chess.com ELO != FIDE ELO.

    Kenpom is a strong analytic tool, but it's not good enough to compare teams from populations which don't play each-other. A team's adjusted efficiency is based on their expected performance against an average team. There is no guarantee the average team across years is the same. We can say with pretty high confidence that they're close, but there's no way to definitively know. Further, how far the outliers move from the mean depends a lot on the overall distribution of strength of the teams. If a lot of teams are clustered tightly around the mean, then it might artificially inflate outliers, whereas in a flatter distribution, it might suppress them.

    So the best we can say is these teams would be among the best in the kenpom era. What we can't say is these would be the best KP teams were they to play in any season since 2002.

    It's fun to think about how these teams would rank among other great teams in this century, and maybe they are the top 3...but KP EM is not the right tool to make that case.


    "If you don't address the things you're not doing well when you're winning the winning will eventually stop."

    -David Cutcliffe

  6. #106
    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    Presumably Duke 2002 and Kansas 2010 had even bigger numbers before their pre-Final Four losses. Sobering to see how good those teams were, yet didn't make the Final Four.

    If you go to Duke's page at www.barttorvik.com, you can click on Similar Resumes to see how teams with records similar to Duke's have done in the tourney. It's a little disconcerting to see that only 5 of the 10 teams made the Final Four and only two (Kentucky 2012 and Villanova 2018) won it all.
    Is it disconcerting or pretty much just expected? I suppose it can be both :-)

    I mean, we talk all the time about how hard it is to have success in a 6-game single-elimination tournament, and it's not just cliche.

  7. #107
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.

    Yep

    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Is it disconcerting or pretty much just expected? I suppose it can be both :-)

    I mean, we talk all the time about how hard it is to have success in a 6-game single-elimination tournament, and it's not just cliche.
    It's definitely both. My heart says Duke, with good health, is a lock to make the Final Four, but my head knows better. Or maybe it is Daniel Kahneman's System 1 that says they are a lock and System 2 that is more circumspect.

  8. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    I pointed it out earlier but comparing kenpom teams against years on an objective scale is invalid.

    This is why in chess, for instance, you can't compare ELO across populations which don't regularly play eachother...which is why computer ELO != lichess ELO != chess.com ELO != FIDE ELO.

    Kenpom is a strong analytic tool, but it's not good enough to compare teams from populations which don't play each-other. A team's adjusted efficiency is based on their expected performance against an average team. There is no guarantee the average team across years is the same. We can say with pretty high confidence that they're close, but there's no way to definitively know. Further, how far the outliers move from the mean depends a lot on the overall distribution of strength of the teams. If a lot of teams are clustered tightly around the mean, then it might artificially inflate outliers, whereas in a flatter distribution, it might suppress them.

    So the best we can say is these teams would be among the best in the kenpom era. What we can't say is these would be the best KP teams were they to play in any season since 2002.

    It's fun to think about how these teams would rank among other great teams in this century, and maybe they are the top 3...but KP EM is not the right tool to make that case.
    While I agree you shouldn't say, e.g., a team with a 36 EM in 2019 is better than a team with a 32 EM in 2010, the fact that a team is that much better than the average team does say something, right? Because you can say that a team with 36 EM is much better compared to the average team in that season than a team with a 32 EM was in its season.

  9. #109
    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    It's definitely both. My heart says Duke, with good health, is a lock to make the Final Four, but my head knows better. Or maybe it is Daniel Kahneman's System 1 that says they are a lock and System 2 that is more circumspect.
    Or maybe the opposite. The data shows they are better than our gut will let us see.

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    While I agree you shouldn't say, e.g., a team with a 36 EM in 2019 is better than a team with a 32 EM in 2010, the fact that a team is that much better than the average team does say something, right? Because you can say that a team with 36 EM is much better compared to the average team in that season than a team with a 32 EM was in its season.

    Right. I think you can say that teams are dominant in a given year without saying they're better than teams from another year.


    "If you don't address the things you're not doing well when you're winning the winning will eventually stop."

    -David Cutcliffe

  11. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    While I agree you shouldn't say, e.g., a team with a 36 EM in 2019 is better than a team with a 32 EM in 2010, the fact that a team is that much better than the average team does say something, right? Because you can say that a team with 36 EM is much better compared to the average team in that season than a team with a 32 EM was in its season.
    Right. Uh no overshot (IMHO) when he said comparing them across seasons was "invalid." It's not a fully valid - one to one ratio, but it is still very useful for comparative purposes, because we are dealing with very large sample numbers here, one complete season to another. It would be counter intuitive to think there are vast differences in the totality of the competition from one season to the next.
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  12. #112
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    Right. I think you can say that teams are dominant in a given year without saying they're better than teams from another year.
    To lend an example to this point, I think 2015 was a particular high-water mark for top teams. Kentucky had one of the best teams of all time, while Wisconsin, Arizona, and UVA all played at a caliber equal to that of a national champion in any other year. Notre Dame also had a fantastic, Final Four type team. And of course, Duke came along and won the whole darned thing.

    Just based on eye test, that crop of six seems to me stronger than in any season since, but I can't back it up numerically because we don't have great tools for measuring such a comparison across different seasons.

  13. #113
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    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by Truth&Justise View Post
    To lend an example to this point, I think 2015 was a particular high-water mark for top teams. Kentucky had one of the best teams of all time, while Wisconsin, Arizona, and UVA all played at a caliber equal to that of a national champion in any other year. Notre Dame also had a fantastic, Final Four type team. And of course, Duke came along and won the whole darned thing.

    Just based on eye test, that crop of six seems to me stronger than in any season since, but I can't back it up numerically because we don't have great tools for measuring such a comparison across different seasons.
    That's probably true...I think villanova, especially last year was exceptional when they were on, but they were also inconsistent. For instance, I think even if we beat kansas, they would have shredded us in the final four.

    It's been a common cliche the past few years that "there are no dominant teams"...and I think that's largely true. I can't help but think what we could have been last year with a tre jones on the floor


    "If you don't address the things you're not doing well when you're winning the winning will eventually stop."

    -David Cutcliffe

  14. #114
    Good points uh_no, but I must spread comments around...

    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    I can't help but think what we could have been last year with a tre jones on the floor
    My personal "what-if": what if Frank Jackson stayed for a sophomore year (and was healthy). His shooting would have forced defenders out of the paint, opening things up for Bagley and Carter. He would have been a more seasoned player, less prone to freshman mistakes. IMO it's a tantalizing what-if because it so nearly came true. But I digress...

  15. #115
    Quote Originally Posted by Truth&Justise View Post
    My personal "what-if": what if Frank Jackson stayed for a sophomore year (and was healthy). His shooting would have forced defenders out of the paint, opening things up for Bagley and Carter. He would have been a more seasoned player, less prone to freshman mistakes. IMO it's a tantalizing what-if because it so nearly came true. But I digress...
    Agreed on Jackson...and while we're at it, Gary Trent staying for a second year as well...I think both of those guys should have.
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  16. #116
    Join Date
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    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    Agreed on Jackson...and while we're at it, Gary Trent staying for a second year as well...I think both of those guys should have.
    Hey, Gary Trent has played 34 minutes so far this year in the NBA**. That's got to be making him more game-ready and battle tested than averaging 35 minutes a game for Duke would have.

    -Jason "I know, I know, there's unlimited practice time and amazing facilities in the NBA, but I still think nothing simulates actually being in a game" Evans

    **- He's also played in 6 G-League games, getting 34 minutes per game there, but it is still nothing compared to the time and role he would be playing at Duke
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Hey, Gary Trent has played 34 minutes so far this year in the NBA**. That's got to be making him more game-ready and battle tested than averaging 35 minutes a game for Duke would have.

    -Jason "I know, I know, there's unlimited practice time and amazing facilities in the NBA, but I still think nothing simulates actually being in a game" Evans

    **- He's also played in 6 G-League games, getting 34 minutes per game there, but it is still nothing compared to the time and role he would be playing at Duke
    the question is would 1 or 2 more years under K have set them up better for long term success in the NBA? For these guys that aren't set up for a mega second contract...I think often times the answer is yes.

    The thing about NBA...they don't give a crap about you. They'd love to see gary succeed, but they have a whole team of G-leaguers they can sub in if he doesn't. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, but there's no doubt in my mind K is more invested in these guys succeeding long term than your average NBA franchise.

    I don't fault gary for taking a million a year, but I also think he could have set himself on a much higher trajectory with another year under K.


    "If you don't address the things you're not doing well when you're winning the winning will eventually stop."

    -David Cutcliffe

  18. #118
    Join Date
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    Seattle, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Hey, Gary Trent has played 34 minutes so far this year in the NBA**. That's got to be making him more game-ready and battle tested than averaging 35 minutes a game for Duke would have.

    -Jason "I know, I know, there's unlimited practice time and amazing facilities in the NBA, but I still think nothing simulates actually being in a game" Evans

    **- He's also played in 6 G-League games, getting 34 minutes per game there, but it is still nothing compared to the time and role he would be playing at Duke
    Who does Trent push to the bench on this team? Does he turn Reddish into an instant offense 6th man? Or Bolden into a pure matchup guy where we play 4 wings plus Tre as our main lineup (requiring Zion to do all the dirty work all the time)?

  19. #119
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    Feb 2007
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    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by pfrduke View Post
    Who does Trent push to the bench on this team? Does he turn Reddish into an instant offense 6th man? Or Bolden into a pure matchup guy where we play 4 wings plus Tre as our main lineup (requiring Zion to do all the dirty work all the time)?
    Well, he probably just pushes White and OíConnell out of the rotation, and limits some of DeLaurierís minutes too. One of him or Reddish wouldnít start, but they would both play starterís minutes.

  20. #120
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    the question is would 1 or 2 more years under K have set them up better for long term success in the NBA? For these guys that aren't set up for a mega second contract...I think often times the answer is yes.

    The thing about NBA...they don't give a crap about you. They'd love to see gary succeed, but they have a whole team of G-leaguers they can sub in if he doesn't. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, but there's no doubt in my mind K is more invested in these guys succeeding long term than your average NBA franchise.

    I don't fault gary for taking a million a year, but I also think he could have set himself on a much higher trajectory with another year under K.
    sporks for excellent breakdown on the Gary Trent decision. I concur with all ^^^
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

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