Friday, September 5, 2008

Big Ten Geeks Come out Firing on College Hoops

I recently came across a very good new blog covering Big Ten Hoops which could become a must read for Hoops Geeks like me. The site is http://bigtengeeks.blogspot.com/ and like the name suggests these guys have a bit of "quant" in them. Statistically, they pull lots of detail from the Pomeroy Rankings produced by Ken Pomeroy but then the analysis is all theirs.

Right now they are providing preseason looks into each of the Big Ten teams and they are very good reads. Great job guys, keep up the good work.

Here are some excerpts from a couple of the teams they have covered so far:

Iowa (Last season: 13-19, 6-12, #116 Pomeroy ranking): Do system coaches really exist? That’s the question that Iowa’s season begs. In his first year at the helm, Todd Lickliter’s Hawkeyes struggled. This was no surprise – they lost a whole buch ‘o minutes from the likes of Adam Haluska and Tyler Smith…and they were only 17-14 the prior year anyways. So Iowa fans were probably not envisioning a deep tourney run. That said, the way in which the Hawkeyes lost was somewhat surprising. Full Story

Illinois (Last season: 16-19, 5-13, #40 Pomeroy ranking): Bruce Weber's 5th season in Champaign was easily his roughest, that much is clear. Figuring the rest of the Illini's season out isn't so easy. The Illini suffered home losses in December to Miami (OH) and Tennessee State...but also pounded Minnesota on the road, Arizona State on a neutral floor, and took down Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament. Which team was the real Illini? The truth is, all of that was Illinois. The Illini were dead last in Division 1 in Ken Pomeroy's Luck Factor. Given the points scored and allowed by Illinois, the Fighting Illini were 4.5 wins below their expected record. In evaluating this team for next season, it's probably better to view them as a 18-21 win team, even if that's not what the W-L column shows. So what's in store for the Illini? This paragraph required a re-write after troubled junior Jamar Smith was kicked off the team for good. Here's hoping that the young man can get his life back in order. Full Story