Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ken Pomeroy's New Home

For anyone who enjoyed Ken Pomeroy's work at kenpom.com, Ken has moved to a new site: http://www.%20basketballprospectus.com/. His first post (about two weeks old), brings up a very interesting topic: Individual Effieciency.

The first nontraditional stat to be introduced is usage or "percentage of his team's possessions that he personally used... Most of the time a used possession involves taking a shot that isn't rebounded by the offense, or committing turnovers." Easy enough.

With five players on the floor, a perfectly even distribution would be 20% for each player. By comparing a players change in usage from year to year, it was determined that players increase their usage only slightly over their careers. Example: the average player who contributes for 20% of his team's possessions as a freshman will contribute for only about 21% as a junior. There is no correlation between maturity and a player taking over a game.

Any player who will become a superstar must first contribute a lot as a freshmen, even with limited minutes. It is fair to predict that if Ty Nash "uses" a strong percentage of possessions (25-30%) in his playing time this year, he will be the heart of the offense by his third year in the program. Playing more possessions, he will eventually take the most shots on the team and score the most points. Therefore, by analyzing the amount of possessions a player uses as a freshman, it is possible to discover the budding superstars in the program.

Just something to chew on. Any fans of Baseball Prospectus and Moneyball will certainly enjoy the new site. Tomorrow I will go with something a little more subjective and start breaking down the players on the team. Just my point of view, no math skills required.

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