Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hoops - Using Stats for Real

There is a popular saying that "stats are for losers". While this is sometimes true - like trying to make sense of what happened in a game by reading the box score - there are some real applications of stats that can make a differece. Like this:

"[Assistant] Coach [Peter] Zaharis broke down my shot chart from [3-point range], and I see what they're talking about," Fredrick said. "Once you see it as a player on film, then you believe it.

"Seeing that you shoot 45 percent [on your 3s] on the inside-out, 29 percent on the ball reversal and 11 on stop-and-pop ... you stop shooting the stop-and-pop. You try to get more of the ball reversals and the kickouts."

Makes perfect sense to me. Detailed breakdowns on player tendencies and success rates under certain scenarios. I wonder what other type statistical tools the staff is using to find the hot spots.

Speaking of tactics, what about the mental side? Check out Paul Hewitt's recent comment about "pressure" to win that some of our players were feeling:

ewitt chuckles and proceeds to manage his players' psyches by suggesting they don't have psyches to manage.

"These are college kids playing basketball. I read Jeremis' [Smith's] comment about pressure [in the newspaper after the FSU game]," Hewitt said. "I said [to the players], 'Look, you don't have pressure. My mom used to tell me all the time when I was growing up, 'Pressure's having a big family and a small paycheck.'

"That's pressure. You've got all your meals taken care of, you're a college kid living in Atlanta, Georgia, playing in the ACC. I don't want to hear that there's pressure. Give me a break. Any pressure you have is self-imposed. It's like not studying for a test. That's pressure you put on yourself. You come out . . . and don't put velocity on passes, you're putting pressure on yourself."

Just another outstanding example of Coach Hewitt trying to ground these young men and keep their perspective. Great stuff.