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Did Cal Actually Get Better In Pac-12 Play?

March 31, 2020
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When Cal left Maples Pavilion on January 2 after a 68-52 drubbing by the Stanford Cardinal, Cal fans everywhere likely had the sinking feeling of here we go again. After a promising 4-0 start to begin the season, Cal went 2-8 over the next 10 games sinking to 6-8 overall and 0-1 in the early Pac-12 season.

But then Cal came back to Haas Pavilion in Berkeley and swept the Washington schools, setting off a bipolar conference season with unexpected wins (at Washington State, home against Colorado) and frustrating losses (at UCLA and at Washington). But overall, the Bears looked to improve and finished the season 4-3 in its last seven games with a home sweep of Colorado and Utah, a road win at Wazzu and that sweet rubber match win over Stanford in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.

While the Bears passed the eye-ball test of looking better at times, what do the stats and data say? 

Stats Cal (non-con) Opponents (non-con) Cal (con) Opponents (con)
FG% 45.13% 41.01% 39.88% 44.58%
2P% 47.60% 44.80% 43.51% 50.09%
3P% 37.80% 36.50% 31.23% 36.02%
FT% 72.20% 75.30% 74.62% 72.78%
ORB per Game 8.00 10.38 8.56 8.00
DRB per Game 27.69 25.38 23.67 25.11
TRB per Game 35.69 35.76 32.22 33.11
Ast per Game 10.08 12.08 9.06 12.78
Stl per Game 4.31 4.38 4.06 5.56
TO per Game 14.31 12.54 12.39 11.39
PF per Game 20.38 20.23 18.67 17.11
Pts per Game 63.2 69.1 61.3 69.6

In a lot of statistical categories, Cal actually got worse in conference play. Considering the competition improved significantly from non-conference to conference play, it’s not a surprise. As you can see from the chart above, Cal’s field goal percentage dropped significantly from 45.13% in non-conference play compared to 39.88% in the Pac-12. Meanwhile, non-conference opponents shot just 41.01% from the field against the Bears while Pac-12 teams shot 44.58%. In particular, Cal’s three-point shooting fell from 37.8% against non-conference opponents to 31.23% in the Pac-12.

Other than that, Cal did a slightly better job of hitting the offensive glass and keeping opponents off the offensive glass. Overall, though, the rebounding gap between Cal and its opponents grew slightly from non-conference to Pac-12 play. Cal did improve by turning it over about two times less per game in conference play versus non-conference play. The Bears also fouled less but drew less fouls as well. Cal also scored about two points less per game in conference play while giving up about a half of a point more.

Advanced Stats Cal Off. (non-con) Cal Def. (non-con) Cal Off. (con) Cal Def. (con)
Adj.  Eff. 99.3 100.8 100.6 98.3
eFG% 50.00% 48.50% 44.50% 51.60%
TO% 19.70% 17.60% 18.80% 17.20%
OR% 24.90% 28.80% 25.80% 25.40%
FTR 37.9 34.6 34.4 39
Block % 8.90% 7.80% 10.0% 7.3%
3P Rate 26.8 37.6 29.6 39.1
Assist Rate 41.1 48.9 42.4 54.2

Looking at advanced stats, however, shows Cal did make some improvements in Pac-12 play. Cal’s offensive efficiency climbed from 99.3 to 100.6. And it’s defensive efficiency improved, even more, going from 100.8 to 98.3. Cal was shooting at a worse percentage (50.0% compared to 44.5% in eFG%), but it was also turning it over at a lower rate, grabbing offensive rebounds at a higher rate, and getting assists at a higher rate.

On defense, Cal did a much better job at keeping teams off the offensive glass (28.8% opponent offensive rebounding rate in non-conference and 25.4% in Pac-12 play). On the other hand, Pac-12 opponents shot slightly better than non-conference opponents and had a higher free-throw rate.

Player Game Score (All) Game Score (Con.) ORtg (All) ORtg (Con.) Usg% (All) Usg% (Con.) eFG% (All) eFG% (Con.) FTR (All) FTR (Con.)
Matt Bradley (2020) 10.56 10.46 106.8 105.9 27.50% 27.10% 51.70% 51.60% 36.5 29.6
Paris Austin (2020) 5.77 7.09 92.1 96.6 23.40% 24.00% 40.10% 39.50% 51.9 53.1
Andre Kelly (2020) 5.34 5.56 104.4 102.1 19.10% 18.50% 55.50% 55.70% 31.5 32
Kareem South (2020) 4.81 2.42 94.6 78.5 18.20% 17.40% 41.70% 37.10% 22.4 17.1
Grant Anticevich (2020) 4.46 4.26 90.2 86.2 18.10% 19.00% 46.00% 42.00% 13 11.7
Juhwan Harris-Dyson (2020)* 2.09 N/A 84 N/A 20.90% N/A 43.50% N/A 45.7 N/A
Kuany Kuany (2020) 1.63 2.11 110.5 118.2 18.70% 19.00% 45.80% 48.30% 116.7 110
Lars Thiemann (2020) 1.41 0.67 86.2 77.6 14.50% 14.90% 55.90% 58.80% 57.4 38.2
Joel Brown (2020) 1.26 1.28 78.2 83.6 12.90% 10.90% 39.50% 38.50% 34.9 51.3
Jacobi Gordon (2020)* 1.07 N/A 86.7 N/A 17.60% N/A 45.00% N/A 40 N/A
D.J. Thorpe (2020) 1.04 0.87 80.8 74.9 16.60% 16.70% 48.60% 38.50% 82.9 88.5
Dimitrios Klonaras (2020) 0.43 0.68 90 88.8 13.80% 16.30% 48.60% 60.00% 45.5 50

Individually, Paris Austin improved the most in Pac-12 play compared to non-conference play, according to the Game Score. Overall on the season, Paris Austin had a Game Score of 5.77. But in Pac-12 games only, he had a score of 7.09. His improvement in terms of efficiency and what he contributed to the team was noticeable and impressive and probably adds directly to a few conference wins (home against Utah stands out as an example, despite missing what would’ve been game-winning free-throws in regulation).

On the other side, Kareem South digressed the most in non-conference play to Pac-12 play. Overall this season, South had a Game Score of 4.81. But when parsing out Pac-12 games only, South’s Game Score drops to 2.42. South’s offensive rating plummeted from 94.6 for all games to just 78.5 in conference play. It’s possible that if South could’ve played in Pac-12 play like he did in conference play the Bears actually add a couple more wins.

So with Cal not really improving much in the regular statistical categories and just slightly in the advanced stats, what’s to make of Cal’s improved 7-11 Pac-12 record? It’s tough to say exactly. As a whole, the conference was the best it’s been since the 2015-2016 season when Cal finished in fourth place with a 12-6 record, according to KenPom. Last year was the weakest the conference has been by KenPom’s metrics since the 2003-2004 season and the Bears went 0-15 before an improbably three-game win streak to close the season.

First, there has to be something to say about coaching. I don’t like going out of the way to put down college coaches because they’re human beings and want their teams to win more than any fan, but so far, Mark Fox and his staff are clearly stronger than the previous staff. They did more with a roster that was, on paper, less talented than the previous season.

There is also something to say about winning and scheduling. Last season, Cal started with three out of its first four games away from Haas Pavilion and went 1-3 with its only win coming against Hampton in Berkeley. This season, the Bears didn’t leave Berkeley until its fifth game when they were 4-0. There was time to build some confidence and get a taste of winning. That goes a long ways, especially for 19- to 22-year-old young men.

Lastly, Cal had some luck in closing games. Overall, Cal had a losing record (14-18) but went 3-0 in overtime games and 7-4 in games decided by six points or less. Torvik’s rankings put Cal at No. 53 in the nation in “close games” with an 8-4 record.

So did Cal improve from non-conference to Pac-12 play? Yes. And no. But more importantly, it stayed competitive. And even at the end of the season when there wasn’t an NCAA Tournament or even likely NIT opportunity, the Bears kept grinding and stealing some wins. And for this season, that was enough.

Other End-of-Season Recaps:

My Apologies, Mark Fox

Report Card: Cal vs Everyone

Fox Reflects on Season, Expects No More Departures

Advanced Stats Definitions:

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: How much a team would score in 100 possessions against the average college team.

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: How much a team would allow an opponent to score in 100 possessions against the average college team.

eFG%: A shooting calculation giving extra weight to three-point shooting. Calculation is: (2pt FGM + 1.5*3pt FGM) / FGA

TO%: Estimate of turnovers per 100 plays.

OR%: Estimate of offensive rebounds per 100 plays.

Block %: Estimate of blocks per 100 plays.

FTR: Ratio of foul shots to field goal attempts.

3P Rate: Ratio of three-point attempts to field goal attempts.

Assist Rate: Percentage of possessions that end in an assist.

Game Score: The Game Score measures a player’s efficiency and productivity during a game. The formula is PTS + 0.4 * FG - 0.7 * FGA - 0.4*(FTA - FT) + 0.7 * ORB + 0.3 * DRB + STL + 0.7 * AST + 0.7 * BLK - 0.4 * PF - TOV.

Usg%: An estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he/she is on the floor.

Discussion from...

Did Cal Actually Get Better In Pac-12 Play?

2,189 Views | 14 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by IssyBear
socaltownie
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Nate - respectfully this is is one of those problems when we take a stats heavy approach - which works really well for baseball with 162 games and try to apply it to a sport like basketball with 30 - much less pac-12 play with 18 games.

The reason is that outliers start to really screw up your statistics. Not enough data points to allow for the "regression to the mean". And so you get those horrible games against Oregon, Washington and the first Furd that really start to screw things up. Meanwhile cal had few blow outs. Analysis becomes somewhat different if you say "well lets throw out our 3 worst games" and see how we did.
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BeachedBear
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socaltownie said:

Nate - respectfully this is is one of those problems when we take a stats heavy approach - which works really well for baseball with 162 games and try to apply it to a sport like basketball with 30 - much less pac-12 play with 18 games.

The reason is that outliers start to really screw up your statistics. Not enough data points to allow for the "regression to the mean". And so you get those horrible games against Oregon, Washington and the first Furd that really start to screw things up. Meanwhile cal had few blow outs. Analysis becomes somewhat different if you say "well lets throw out our 3 worst games" and see how we did.
Amen (I have an actuarial background and love the misuse of stats).

Also, Oregon and probably OSU played some of their BEST games of the season against us on that last weekend.
HoopDreams
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BeachedBear said:

socaltownie said:

Nate - respectfully this is is one of those problems when we take a stats heavy approach - which works really well for baseball with 162 games and try to apply it to a sport like basketball with 30 - much less pac-12 play with 18 games.

The reason is that outliers start to really screw up your statistics. Not enough data points to allow for the "regression to the mean". And so you get those horrible games against Oregon, Washington and the first Furd that really start to screw things up. Meanwhile cal had few blow outs. Analysis becomes somewhat different if you say "well lets throw out our 3 worst games" and see how we did.
Amen (I have an actuarial background and love the misuse of stats).
Beach, you might like this article that I posted on the insiders board.
a very good read on surveys and research:

https://newsroom.haas.berkeley.edu/magazine/winter2019-20/duped-by-data/
socaltownie
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HoopDreams said:

BeachedBear said:

socaltownie said:

Nate - respectfully this is is one of those problems when we take a stats heavy approach - which works really well for baseball with 162 games and try to apply it to a sport like basketball with 30 - much less pac-12 play with 18 games.

The reason is that outliers start to really screw up your statistics. Not enough data points to allow for the "regression to the mean". And so you get those horrible games against Oregon, Washington and the first Furd that really start to screw things up. Meanwhile cal had few blow outs. Analysis becomes somewhat different if you say "well lets throw out our 3 worst games" and see how we did.
Amen (I have an actuarial background and love the misuse of stats).
Beach, you might like this article that I posted on the insiders board.
a very good read on surveys and research:

https://newsroom.haas.berkeley.edu/magazine/winter2019-20/duped-by-data/
+1. And starts early. Cause no one is getting a committee excited about a dissertation showing null results - even though that is often really valuable (though less true in the hard sciences - where showing that you can't replicate results often gets you published.)
Take care of your Chicken
SFCityBear
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socaltownie said:

Nate - respectfully this is is one of those problems when we take a stats heavy approach - which works really well for baseball with 162 games and try to apply it to a sport like basketball with 30 - much less pac-12 play with 18 games.

The reason is that outliers start to really screw up your statistics. Not enough data points to allow for the "regression to the mean". And so you get those horrible games against Oregon, Washington and the first Furd that really start to screw things up. Meanwhile cal had few blow outs. Analysis becomes somewhat different if you say "well lets throw out our 3 worst games" and see how we did.
Socaltownie, I fully agree with you, but you were nicer than I would have been in your reply. Why does someone who is part of the the BI staff go to such lengths and depth of analysis to be critical of what was accomplished this season, in terms of the obvious improvement in the team, and many of its players, however large or small? The fact is that most of us fans feel there was some improvement and some exceeding of expectations, and it was evident watching this coach and his players. I came away from the season feeling pretty good about what they did, how they played, and how they looked, and I was satisfied. I recognize we have a long way to go, but the goal of playing above .500 overall and in the PAC12 next season is certainly within reach, IMO.

The author opined that Cal had "luck" in winning all our OT games and most of our games that were close at the end. Why say it that way? What was lucky about it? Couldn't it just be that our team turned out to be pretty good at closing out games? I thought that was true, and I thought that Cal's problem in most games was letting games get out of reach, often in the first half or early second half. I put that down as due to youth, inexperience, and lack of depth. We were better at the end of the season as the depth improved, with Kuany and Thorpe improving enough to be able to chew up some minutes, and let some starters rest.

The author also said that Cal was able to "keep grinding and steal" some games. What games did we steal? I think all the games we won were won fair and square. Stealing a win usually means we got away with something, maybe an extra step or two, or a foul that wasn't called. Maybe we did, but I missed it. We realize our team is not a good team yet, but there is no need to say they may not be as good as they appeared because they were lucky or stole wins is inappropriate, unless there is evidence of it, which I don't think there was. I hope it was just an unfortunate choice of words, which is easy to do in a long post. I know this from making similar mistakes in my own long posts.
socaltownie
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SFCityBear said:

socaltownie said:

Nate - respectfully this is is one of those problems when we take a stats heavy approach - which works really well for baseball with 162 games and try to apply it to a sport like basketball with 30 - much less pac-12 play with 18 games.

The reason is that outliers start to really screw up your statistics. Not enough data points to allow for the "regression to the mean". And so you get those horrible games against Oregon, Washington and the first Furd that really start to screw things up. Meanwhile cal had few blow outs. Analysis becomes somewhat different if you say "well lets throw out our 3 worst games" and see how we did.
Socaltownie, I fully agree with you, but you were nicer than I would have been in your reply. Why does someone who is part of the the BI staff go to such lengths and depth of analysis to be critical of what was accomplished this season, in terms of the obvious improvement in the team, and many of its players, however large or small? The fact is that most of us fans feel there was some improvement and some exceeding of expectations, and it was evident watching this coach and his players. I came away from the season feeling pretty good about what they did, how they played, and how they looked, and I was satisfied. I recognize we have a long way to go, but the goal of playing above .500 overall and in the PAC12 next season is certainly within reach, IMO.

The author opined that Cal had "luck" in winning all our OT games and most of our games that were close at the end. Why say it that way? What was lucky about it? Couldn't it just be that our team turned out to be pretty good at closing out games? I thought that was true, and I thought that Cal's problem in most games was letting games get out of reach, often in the first half or early second half. I put that down as due to youth, inexperience, and lack of depth. We were better at the end of the season as the depth improved, with Kuany and Thorpe improving enough to be able to chew up some minutes, and let some starters rest.

The author also said that Cal was able to "keep grinding and steal" some games. What games did we steal? I think all the games we won were won fair and square. Stealing a win usually means we got away with something, maybe an extra step or two, or a foul that wasn't called. Maybe we did, but I missed it. We realize our team is not a good team yet, but there is no need to say they may not be as good as they appeared because they were lucky or stole wins is inappropriate, unless there is evidence of it, which I don't think there was. I hope it was just an unfortunate choice of words, which is easy to do in a long post. I know this from making similar mistakes in my own long posts.

Of course I ding you for selective statistics as well...;-)

I really do not get the over use of Sabermetrics in these games with small n (aka observations). The sensitivity to random events is just too great to small differences that meaningful. Like you, I thought the eyeball test was pretty clear this year - they got better (a lot) over the course of the season. Where I think we differ in our opinions could be whether it is enough.
Take care of your Chicken
annarborbear
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If we need data to confirm or deny what we actually saw, I would rather go with how we did versus the oddsmakers in Vegas.
SFCityBear
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socaltownie said:

SFCityBear said:

socaltownie said:

Nate - respectfully this is is one of those problems when we take a stats heavy approach - which works really well for baseball with 162 games and try to apply it to a sport like basketball with 30 - much less pac-12 play with 18 games.

The reason is that outliers start to really screw up your statistics. Not enough data points to allow for the "regression to the mean". And so you get those horrible games against Oregon, Washington and the first Furd that really start to screw things up. Meanwhile cal had few blow outs. Analysis becomes somewhat different if you say "well lets throw out our 3 worst games" and see how we did.
Socaltownie, I fully agree with you, but you were nicer than I would have been in your reply. Why does someone who is part of the the BI staff go to such lengths and depth of analysis to be critical of what was accomplished this season, in terms of the obvious improvement in the team, and many of its players, however large or small? The fact is that most of us fans feel there was some improvement and some exceeding of expectations, and it was evident watching this coach and his players. I came away from the season feeling pretty good about what they did, how they played, and how they looked, and I was satisfied. I recognize we have a long way to go, but the goal of playing above .500 overall and in the PAC12 next season is certainly within reach, IMO.

The author opined that Cal had "luck" in winning all our OT games and most of our games that were close at the end. Why say it that way? What was lucky about it? Couldn't it just be that our team turned out to be pretty good at closing out games? I thought that was true, and I thought that Cal's problem in most games was letting games get out of reach, often in the first half or early second half. I put that down as due to youth, inexperience, and lack of depth. We were better at the end of the season as the depth improved, with Kuany and Thorpe improving enough to be able to chew up some minutes, and let some starters rest.

The author also said that Cal was able to "keep grinding and steal" some games. What games did we steal? I think all the games we won were won fair and square. Stealing a win usually means we got away with something, maybe an extra step or two, or a foul that wasn't called. Maybe we did, but I missed it. We realize our team is not a good team yet, but there is no need to say they may not be as good as they appeared because they were lucky or stole wins is inappropriate, unless there is evidence of it, which I don't think there was. I hope it was just an unfortunate choice of words, which is easy to do in a long post. I know this from making similar mistakes in my own long posts.

Of course I ding you for selective statistics as well...;-)

I really do not get the over use of Sabermetrics in these games with small n (aka observations). The sensitivity to random events is just too great to small differences that meaningful. Like you, I thought the eyeball test was pretty clear this year - they got better (a lot) over the course of the season. Where I think we differ in our opinions could be whether it is enough.
Geez, I try and be nice and agree with you on something, and you take the opportunity to take a shot at me. I guess I should have expected it. Next time I'll think twice before I tell you I agree with you on anything (except San Diego is a beautiful place to live - I used to live in La Jolla, and it was paradise for me)

I don't see where we differ on whether the improvement this year was enough. It most certainly was not enough. All these players have a long way to go, individually, and as a team, to be called a good team or good players. There is a glimmer of hope, the coach made a difference, and the players showed some flashes, but that is all I'll say at this point. I'm looking forward to seeing the next class and the next season.

I think we do differ on where we want Cal to go. I just read in another thread where you promoted Lorenzo Romar for the Cal job, should Mark Fox falter. You said you thought "Romar would kill it at Cal" Kill what exactly? You do realize that Romar's ceiling is a loss in the sweet 16 with loads of highly ranked recruits (compared to Cal's usual rosters), don't you?. He has done it three times in 20 or so seasons. He is better in conference than out of it in the NCAA. He's won some conferences, won some conference tournaments, which is excellent, but in the NCAA. he has underachieved. Why would he do any better at Cal, which is a harder school to recruit for? So if you are willing to settle for a sweet 16 loss or two over the next 10 years, then you don't have the same dreams I do. i want Cal back in that NCAA Title game, and the sooner the better. Sweet 16 losses are not good enough for me. I've seen Cal win it all, and seen them finish second, and I hunger to see it again. Lorenzo's ceiling isn't high enough for me or for Cal., and what he does at Pepperdine probably won't change my mind.
socaltownie
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SFCityBear said:

socaltownie said:

SFCityBear said:

socaltownie said:

Nate - respectfully this is is one of those problems when we take a stats heavy approach - which works really well for baseball with 162 games and try to apply it to a sport like basketball with 30 - much less pac-12 play with 18 games.

The reason is that outliers start to really screw up your statistics. Not enough data points to allow for the "regression to the mean". And so you get those horrible games against Oregon, Washington and the first Furd that really start to screw things up. Meanwhile cal had few blow outs. Analysis becomes somewhat different if you say "well lets throw out our 3 worst games" and see how we did.
Socaltownie, I fully agree with you, but you were nicer than I would have been in your reply. Why does someone who is part of the the BI staff go to such lengths and depth of analysis to be critical of what was accomplished this season, in terms of the obvious improvement in the team, and many of its players, however large or small? The fact is that most of us fans feel there was some improvement and some exceeding of expectations, and it was evident watching this coach and his players. I came away from the season feeling pretty good about what they did, how they played, and how they looked, and I was satisfied. I recognize we have a long way to go, but the goal of playing above .500 overall and in the PAC12 next season is certainly within reach, IMO.

The author opined that Cal had "luck" in winning all our OT games and most of our games that were close at the end. Why say it that way? What was lucky about it? Couldn't it just be that our team turned out to be pretty good at closing out games? I thought that was true, and I thought that Cal's problem in most games was letting games get out of reach, often in the first half or early second half. I put that down as due to youth, inexperience, and lack of depth. We were better at the end of the season as the depth improved, with Kuany and Thorpe improving enough to be able to chew up some minutes, and let some starters rest.

The author also said that Cal was able to "keep grinding and steal" some games. What games did we steal? I think all the games we won were won fair and square. Stealing a win usually means we got away with something, maybe an extra step or two, or a foul that wasn't called. Maybe we did, but I missed it. We realize our team is not a good team yet, but there is no need to say they may not be as good as they appeared because they were lucky or stole wins is inappropriate, unless there is evidence of it, which I don't think there was. I hope it was just an unfortunate choice of words, which is easy to do in a long post. I know this from making similar mistakes in my own long posts.

Of course I ding you for selective statistics as well...;-)

I really do not get the over use of Sabermetrics in these games with small n (aka observations). The sensitivity to random events is just too great to small differences that meaningful. Like you, I thought the eyeball test was pretty clear this year - they got better (a lot) over the course of the season. Where I think we differ in our opinions could be whether it is enough.
Geez, I try and be nice and agree with you on something, and you take the opportunity to take a shot at me. I guess I should have expected it. Next time I'll think twice before I tell you I agree with you on anything (except San Diego is a beautiful place to live - I used to live in La Jolla, and it was paradise for me)

I don't see where we differ on whether the improvement this year was enough. It most certainly was not enough. All these players have a long way to go, individually, and as a team, to be called a good team or good players. There is a glimmer of hope, the coach made a difference, and the players showed some flashes, but that is all I'll say at this point. I'm looking forward to seeing the next class and the next season.

I think we do differ on where we want Cal to go. I just read in another thread where you promoted Lorenzo Romar for the Cal job, should Mark Fox falter. You said you thought "Romar would kill it at Cal" Kill what exactly? You do realize that Romar's ceiling is a loss in the sweet 16 with loads of highly ranked recruits (compared to Cal's usual rosters), don't you?. He has done it three times in 20 or so seasons. He is better in conference than out of it in the NCAA. He's won some conferences, won some conference tournaments, which is excellent, but in the NCAA. he has underachieved. Why would he do any better at Cal, which is a harder school to recruit for? So if you are willing to settle for a sweet 16 loss or two over the next 10 years, then you don't have the same dreams I do. i want Cal back in that NCAA Title game, and the sooner the better. Sweet 16 losses are not good enough for me. I've seen Cal win it all, and seen them finish second, and I hunger to see it again. Lorenzo's ceiling isn't high enough for me or for Cal., and what he does at Pepperdine probably won't change my mind.
Internet lingo. A ";" means a wink and a bit of sarcasm. No dig.

1) I don't think Wash is easier to recruit for. It is Seattle. It is definitely a football school. I don't have time to look up the exact percentages but the Sea-Tac metro area is likely less than 60% of the great Bay Area....and even less if you throw in (which you should) Sacramento. Romar, I believe, could recruit just as well if not better than he did in Seattle.

2) You and I I think view the tournament very differently in respect to success. in a 1 and done tournament lots of screwy things happen. It is unpredictable. Stuff occurs.

But what doesn't change is that you only have a chance of wining if you are in. What the idiots in Seattle missed is that in 15 years he got to the dance 6 times. We would KILL for a 40% invite rate. He has some years where he was off the seed of death.

Now the interesting this is the last 5 years (which cooked his goose). But I am not one to believe, generally, that coaches "lose it". They don't suddenly forget their craft. Usually something strange occurs - and in the case of Washington it was some really freakish injury bugs. I see a LOT of Hopkins success in his first 2 years off players Lorenzo recruited.

3) The reason I say "not enough" and again, where I think we differ, is that to compete in the Pac-12 and to get off the seed of death in the tournament you have to be able to attract kids that have a decent chance of getting paid to play. That is why I think NBA draft stats are so telling - it means that you are attracting talent to your program that the best talent evaluators in the world (and multiple ones of them) decide can compete and contribute at the highest level. I fundamentally don't believe, in most cases, that a roster filled with kids that are at the fringes of the show or can only go play in the B leagues of Europe can, over the course of 18 pac-12 games - over MULTIPLE seasons, get you consistently into the top 3 of the conference. Will happen every now and then when the programs at the top have a momentary implosion but not often and not regularly. What Fox hasn't yet shown is that he can attract that talent.

This is really essentially a debate that is endless and probably boring to everyone else. We have LONG AGO made our points on this. Neither is changing the others mind, use a ";", take a fun dig at me, and entertain the readers. What else is there during the zombie pandemic.


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IssyBear
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socaltownie said:

SFCityBear said:

socaltownie said:

SFCityBear said:

socaltownie said:

Nate - respectfully this is is one of those problems when we take a stats heavy approach - which works really well for baseball with 162 games and try to apply it to a sport like basketball with 30 - much less pac-12 play with 18 games.

The reason is that outliers start to really screw up your statistics. Not enough data points to allow for the "regression to the mean". And so you get those horrible games against Oregon, Washington and the first Furd that really start to screw things up. Meanwhile cal had few blow outs. Analysis becomes somewhat different if you say "well lets throw out our 3 worst games" and see how we did.
Socaltownie, I fully agree with you, but you were nicer than I would have been in your reply. Why does someone who is part of the the BI staff go to such lengths and depth of analysis to be critical of what was accomplished this season, in terms of the obvious improvement in the team, and many of its players, however large or small? The fact is that most of us fans feel there was some improvement and some exceeding of expectations, and it was evident watching this coach and his players. I came away from the season feeling pretty good about what they did, how they played, and how they looked, and I was satisfied. I recognize we have a long way to go, but the goal of playing above .500 overall and in the PAC12 next season is certainly within reach, IMO.

The author opined that Cal had "luck" in winning all our OT games and most of our games that were close at the end. Why say it that way? What was lucky about it? Couldn't it just be that our team turned out to be pretty good at closing out games? I thought that was true, and I thought that Cal's problem in most games was letting games get out of reach, often in the first half or early second half. I put that down as due to youth, inexperience, and lack of depth. We were better at the end of the season as the depth improved, with Kuany and Thorpe improving enough to be able to chew up some minutes, and let some starters rest.

The author also said that Cal was able to "keep grinding and steal" some games. What games did we steal? I think all the games we won were won fair and square. Stealing a win usually means we got away with something, maybe an extra step or two, or a foul that wasn't called. Maybe we did, but I missed it. We realize our team is not a good team yet, but there is no need to say they may not be as good as they appeared because they were lucky or stole wins is inappropriate, unless there is evidence of it, which I don't think there was. I hope it was just an unfortunate choice of words, which is easy to do in a long post. I know this from making similar mistakes in my own long posts.

Of course I ding you for selective statistics as well...;-)

I really do not get the over use of Sabermetrics in these games with small n (aka observations). The sensitivity to random events is just too great to small differences that meaningful. Like you, I thought the eyeball test was pretty clear this year - they got better (a lot) over the course of the season. Where I think we differ in our opinions could be whether it is enough.
Geez, I try and be nice and agree with you on something, and you take the opportunity to take a shot at me. I guess I should have expected it. Next time I'll think twice before I tell you I agree with you on anything (except San Diego is a beautiful place to live - I used to live in La Jolla, and it was paradise for me)

I don't see where we differ on whether the improvement this year was enough. It most certainly was not enough. All these players have a long way to go, individually, and as a team, to be called a good team or good players. There is a glimmer of hope, the coach made a difference, and the players showed some flashes, but that is all I'll say at this point. I'm looking forward to seeing the next class and the next season.

I think we do differ on where we want Cal to go. I just read in another thread where you promoted Lorenzo Romar for the Cal job, should Mark Fox falter. You said you thought "Romar would kill it at Cal" Kill what exactly? You do realize that Romar's ceiling is a loss in the sweet 16 with loads of highly ranked recruits (compared to Cal's usual rosters), don't you?. He has done it three times in 20 or so seasons. He is better in conference than out of it in the NCAA. He's won some conferences, won some conference tournaments, which is excellent, but in the NCAA. he has underachieved. Why would he do any better at Cal, which is a harder school to recruit for? So if you are willing to settle for a sweet 16 loss or two over the next 10 years, then you don't have the same dreams I do. i want Cal back in that NCAA Title game, and the sooner the better. Sweet 16 losses are not good enough for me. I've seen Cal win it all, and seen them finish second, and I hunger to see it again. Lorenzo's ceiling isn't high enough for me or for Cal., and what he does at Pepperdine probably won't change my mind.
Internet lingo. A ";" means a wink and a bit of sarcasm. No dig.

1) I don't think Wash is easier to recruit for. It is Seattle. It is definitely a football school. I don't have time to look up the exact percentages but the Sea-Tac metro area is likely less than 60% of the great Bay Area....and even less if you throw in (which you should) Sacramento. Romar, I believe, could recruit just as well if not better than he did in Seattle.

2) You and I I think view the tournament very differently in respect to success. in a 1 and done tournament lots of screwy things happen. It is unpredictable. Stuff occurs.

But what doesn't change is that you only have a chance of wining if you are in. What the idiots in Seattle missed is that in 15 years he got to the dance 6 times. We would KILL for a 40% invite rate. He has some years where he was off the seed of death.

Now the interesting this is the last 5 years (which cooked his goose). But I am not one to believe, generally, that coaches "lose it". They don't suddenly forget their craft. Usually something strange occurs - and in the case of Washington it was some really freakish injury bugs. I see a LOT of Hopkins success in his first 2 years off players Lorenzo recruited.

3) The reason I say "not enough" and again, where I think we differ, is that to compete in the Pac-12 and to get off the seed of death in the tournament you have to be able to attract kids that have a decent chance of getting paid to play. That is why I think NBA draft stats are so telling - it means that you are attracting talent to your program that the best talent evaluators in the world (and multiple ones of them) decide can compete and contribute at the highest level. I fundamentally don't believe, in most cases, that a roster filled with kids that are at the fringes of the show or can only go play in the B leagues of Europe can, over the course of 18 pac-12 games - over MULTIPLE seasons, get you consistently into the top 3 of the conference. Will happen every now and then when the programs at the top have a momentary implosion but not often and not regularly. What Fox hasn't yet shown is that he can attract that talent.

This is really essentially a debate that is endless and probably boring to everyone else. We have LONG AGO made our points on this. Neither is changing the others mind, use a ";", take a fun dig at me, and entertain the readers. What else is there during the zombie pandemic.



I'm not sure of the numbers from the Bay Area, but the last time I looked there were 14 players in the NBA who came from high schools in the State of Washington. Romar usually got the best of these guys when he was at UW. Lots were one and dones - who wanted to stay near home for their limited college experience.
Garou
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Short answer, yes they did
socaltownie
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IssyBear said:

socaltownie said:

SFCityBear said:

socaltownie said:

SFCityBear said:

socaltownie said:

Nate - respectfully this is is one of those problems when we take a stats heavy approach - which works really well for baseball with 162 games and try to apply it to a sport like basketball with 30 - much less pac-12 play with 18 games.

The reason is that outliers start to really screw up your statistics. Not enough data points to allow for the "regression to the mean". And so you get those horrible games against Oregon, Washington and the first Furd that really start to screw things up. Meanwhile cal had few blow outs. Analysis becomes somewhat different if you say "well lets throw out our 3 worst games" and see how we did.
Socaltownie, I fully agree with you, but you were nicer than I would have been in your reply. Why does someone who is part of the the BI staff go to such lengths and depth of analysis to be critical of what was accomplished this season, in terms of the obvious improvement in the team, and many of its players, however large or small? The fact is that most of us fans feel there was some improvement and some exceeding of expectations, and it was evident watching this coach and his players. I came away from the season feeling pretty good about what they did, how they played, and how they looked, and I was satisfied. I recognize we have a long way to go, but the goal of playing above .500 overall and in the PAC12 next season is certainly within reach, IMO.

The author opined that Cal had "luck" in winning all our OT games and most of our games that were close at the end. Why say it that way? What was lucky about it? Couldn't it just be that our team turned out to be pretty good at closing out games? I thought that was true, and I thought that Cal's problem in most games was letting games get out of reach, often in the first half or early second half. I put that down as due to youth, inexperience, and lack of depth. We were better at the end of the season as the depth improved, with Kuany and Thorpe improving enough to be able to chew up some minutes, and let some starters rest.

The author also said that Cal was able to "keep grinding and steal" some games. What games did we steal? I think all the games we won were won fair and square. Stealing a win usually means we got away with something, maybe an extra step or two, or a foul that wasn't called. Maybe we did, but I missed it. We realize our team is not a good team yet, but there is no need to say they may not be as good as they appeared because they were lucky or stole wins is inappropriate, unless there is evidence of it, which I don't think there was. I hope it was just an unfortunate choice of words, which is easy to do in a long post. I know this from making similar mistakes in my own long posts.

Of course I ding you for selective statistics as well...;-)

I really do not get the over use of Sabermetrics in these games with small n (aka observations). The sensitivity to random events is just too great to small differences that meaningful. Like you, I thought the eyeball test was pretty clear this year - they got better (a lot) over the course of the season. Where I think we differ in our opinions could be whether it is enough.
Geez, I try and be nice and agree with you on something, and you take the opportunity to take a shot at me. I guess I should have expected it. Next time I'll think twice before I tell you I agree with you on anything (except San Diego is a beautiful place to live - I used to live in La Jolla, and it was paradise for me)

I don't see where we differ on whether the improvement this year was enough. It most certainly was not enough. All these players have a long way to go, individually, and as a team, to be called a good team or good players. There is a glimmer of hope, the coach made a difference, and the players showed some flashes, but that is all I'll say at this point. I'm looking forward to seeing the next class and the next season.

I think we do differ on where we want Cal to go. I just read in another thread where you promoted Lorenzo Romar for the Cal job, should Mark Fox falter. You said you thought "Romar would kill it at Cal" Kill what exactly? You do realize that Romar's ceiling is a loss in the sweet 16 with loads of highly ranked recruits (compared to Cal's usual rosters), don't you?. He has done it three times in 20 or so seasons. He is better in conference than out of it in the NCAA. He's won some conferences, won some conference tournaments, which is excellent, but in the NCAA. he has underachieved. Why would he do any better at Cal, which is a harder school to recruit for? So if you are willing to settle for a sweet 16 loss or two over the next 10 years, then you don't have the same dreams I do. i want Cal back in that NCAA Title game, and the sooner the better. Sweet 16 losses are not good enough for me. I've seen Cal win it all, and seen them finish second, and I hunger to see it again. Lorenzo's ceiling isn't high enough for me or for Cal., and what he does at Pepperdine probably won't change my mind.
Internet lingo. A ";" means a wink and a bit of sarcasm. No dig.

1) I don't think Wash is easier to recruit for. It is Seattle. It is definitely a football school. I don't have time to look up the exact percentages but the Sea-Tac metro area is likely less than 60% of the great Bay Area....and even less if you throw in (which you should) Sacramento. Romar, I believe, could recruit just as well if not better than he did in Seattle.

2) You and I I think view the tournament very differently in respect to success. in a 1 and done tournament lots of screwy things happen. It is unpredictable. Stuff occurs.

But what doesn't change is that you only have a chance of wining if you are in. What the idiots in Seattle missed is that in 15 years he got to the dance 6 times. We would KILL for a 40% invite rate. He has some years where he was off the seed of death.

Now the interesting this is the last 5 years (which cooked his goose). But I am not one to believe, generally, that coaches "lose it". They don't suddenly forget their craft. Usually something strange occurs - and in the case of Washington it was some really freakish injury bugs. I see a LOT of Hopkins success in his first 2 years off players Lorenzo recruited.

3) The reason I say "not enough" and again, where I think we differ, is that to compete in the Pac-12 and to get off the seed of death in the tournament you have to be able to attract kids that have a decent chance of getting paid to play. That is why I think NBA draft stats are so telling - it means that you are attracting talent to your program that the best talent evaluators in the world (and multiple ones of them) decide can compete and contribute at the highest level. I fundamentally don't believe, in most cases, that a roster filled with kids that are at the fringes of the show or can only go play in the B leagues of Europe can, over the course of 18 pac-12 games - over MULTIPLE seasons, get you consistently into the top 3 of the conference. Will happen every now and then when the programs at the top have a momentary implosion but not often and not regularly. What Fox hasn't yet shown is that he can attract that talent.

This is really essentially a debate that is endless and probably boring to everyone else. We have LONG AGO made our points on this. Neither is changing the others mind, use a ";", take a fun dig at me, and entertain the readers. What else is there during the zombie pandemic.



I'm not sure of the numbers from the Bay Area, but the last time I looked there were 14 players in the NBA who came from high schools in the State of Washington. Romar usually got the best of these guys when he was at UW. Lots were one and dones - who wanted to stay near home for their limited college experience.
Do you know the site? The only thing I know of lists colleges (and conferences) for NBA players. That is really a remarkable level of production for the SeaTac area if that is the case. And I agree - he always got the Aaron Gordons of the puget sound region ;-)
Take care of your Chicken
BeachedBear
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socaltownie said:


.... What else is there during the zombie pandemic.


KILL ZOMBIES!!!!
IssyBear
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socaltownie said:

IssyBear said:

socaltownie said:

SFCityBear said:

socaltownie said:

SFCityBear said:

socaltownie said:

Nate - respectfully this is is one of those problems when we take a stats heavy approach - which works really well for baseball with 162 games and try to apply it to a sport like basketball with 30 - much less pac-12 play with 18 games.

The reason is that outliers start to really screw up your statistics. Not enough data points to allow for the "regression to the mean". And so you get those horrible games against Oregon, Washington and the first Furd that really start to screw things up. Meanwhile cal had few blow outs. Analysis becomes somewhat different if you say "well lets throw out our 3 worst games" and see how we did.
Socaltownie, I fully agree with you, but you were nicer than I would have been in your reply. Why does someone who is part of the the BI staff go to such lengths and depth of analysis to be critical of what was accomplished this season, in terms of the obvious improvement in the team, and many of its players, however large or small? The fact is that most of us fans feel there was some improvement and some exceeding of expectations, and it was evident watching this coach and his players. I came away from the season feeling pretty good about what they did, how they played, and how they looked, and I was satisfied. I recognize we have a long way to go, but the goal of playing above .500 overall and in the PAC12 next season is certainly within reach, IMO.

The author opined that Cal had "luck" in winning all our OT games and most of our games that were close at the end. Why say it that way? What was lucky about it? Couldn't it just be that our team turned out to be pretty good at closing out games? I thought that was true, and I thought that Cal's problem in most games was letting games get out of reach, often in the first half or early second half. I put that down as due to youth, inexperience, and lack of depth. We were better at the end of the season as the depth improved, with Kuany and Thorpe improving enough to be able to chew up some minutes, and let some starters rest.

The author also said that Cal was able to "keep grinding and steal" some games. What games did we steal? I think all the games we won were won fair and square. Stealing a win usually means we got away with something, maybe an extra step or two, or a foul that wasn't called. Maybe we did, but I missed it. We realize our team is not a good team yet, but there is no need to say they may not be as good as they appeared because they were lucky or stole wins is inappropriate, unless there is evidence of it, which I don't think there was. I hope it was just an unfortunate choice of words, which is easy to do in a long post. I know this from making similar mistakes in my own long posts.

Of course I ding you for selective statistics as well...;-)

I really do not get the over use of Sabermetrics in these games with small n (aka observations). The sensitivity to random events is just too great to small differences that meaningful. Like you, I thought the eyeball test was pretty clear this year - they got better (a lot) over the course of the season. Where I think we differ in our opinions could be whether it is enough.
Geez, I try and be nice and agree with you on something, and you take the opportunity to take a shot at me. I guess I should have expected it. Next time I'll think twice before I tell you I agree with you on anything (except San Diego is a beautiful place to live - I used to live in La Jolla, and it was paradise for me)

I don't see where we differ on whether the improvement this year was enough. It most certainly was not enough. All these players have a long way to go, individually, and as a team, to be called a good team or good players. There is a glimmer of hope, the coach made a difference, and the players showed some flashes, but that is all I'll say at this point. I'm looking forward to seeing the next class and the next season.

I think we do differ on where we want Cal to go. I just read in another thread where you promoted Lorenzo Romar for the Cal job, should Mark Fox falter. You said you thought "Romar would kill it at Cal" Kill what exactly? You do realize that Romar's ceiling is a loss in the sweet 16 with loads of highly ranked recruits (compared to Cal's usual rosters), don't you?. He has done it three times in 20 or so seasons. He is better in conference than out of it in the NCAA. He's won some conferences, won some conference tournaments, which is excellent, but in the NCAA. he has underachieved. Why would he do any better at Cal, which is a harder school to recruit for? So if you are willing to settle for a sweet 16 loss or two over the next 10 years, then you don't have the same dreams I do. i want Cal back in that NCAA Title game, and the sooner the better. Sweet 16 losses are not good enough for me. I've seen Cal win it all, and seen them finish second, and I hunger to see it again. Lorenzo's ceiling isn't high enough for me or for Cal., and what he does at Pepperdine probably won't change my mind.
Internet lingo. A ";" means a wink and a bit of sarcasm. No dig.

1) I don't think Wash is easier to recruit for. It is Seattle. It is definitely a football school. I don't have time to look up the exact percentages but the Sea-Tac metro area is likely less than 60% of the great Bay Area....and even less if you throw in (which you should) Sacramento. Romar, I believe, could recruit just as well if not better than he did in Seattle.

2) You and I I think view the tournament very differently in respect to success. in a 1 and done tournament lots of screwy things happen. It is unpredictable. Stuff occurs.

But what doesn't change is that you only have a chance of wining if you are in. What the idiots in Seattle missed is that in 15 years he got to the dance 6 times. We would KILL for a 40% invite rate. He has some years where he was off the seed of death.

Now the interesting this is the last 5 years (which cooked his goose). But I am not one to believe, generally, that coaches "lose it". They don't suddenly forget their craft. Usually something strange occurs - and in the case of Washington it was some really freakish injury bugs. I see a LOT of Hopkins success in his first 2 years off players Lorenzo recruited.

3) The reason I say "not enough" and again, where I think we differ, is that to compete in the Pac-12 and to get off the seed of death in the tournament you have to be able to attract kids that have a decent chance of getting paid to play. That is why I think NBA draft stats are so telling - it means that you are attracting talent to your program that the best talent evaluators in the world (and multiple ones of them) decide can compete and contribute at the highest level. I fundamentally don't believe, in most cases, that a roster filled with kids that are at the fringes of the show or can only go play in the B leagues of Europe can, over the course of 18 pac-12 games - over MULTIPLE seasons, get you consistently into the top 3 of the conference. Will happen every now and then when the programs at the top have a momentary implosion but not often and not regularly. What Fox hasn't yet shown is that he can attract that talent.

This is really essentially a debate that is endless and probably boring to everyone else. We have LONG AGO made our points on this. Neither is changing the others mind, use a ";", take a fun dig at me, and entertain the readers. What else is there during the zombie pandemic.



I'm not sure of the numbers from the Bay Area, but the last time I looked there were 14 players in the NBA who came from high schools in the State of Washington. Romar usually got the best of these guys when he was at UW. Lots were one and dones - who wanted to stay near home for their limited college experience.
Do you know the site? The only thing I know of lists colleges (and conferences) for NBA players. That is really a remarkable level of production for the SeaTac area if that is the case. And I agree - he always got the Aaron Gordons of the puget sound region ;-)
This is the site I've used: https://www.basketball-reference.com/friv/birthplaces.cgi?country=US&state=WA
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