Sunday, November 30, 2008

UC 67, UNLV 65

Coming off the loss to Florida State, this is a very good win for Cincinnati. Basketball Prospectus 2009 predicts UNLV to go 13-3 in the Mountain West and Vegas had them favored by ~6 tonight (oh, yeah, they were also playing in Veges ... where they are usually pretty tough).

If you were to look at the box score without looking at the final score, it'd probably be tough to pick out the winner. Here's a comparison:

FG% on 2-point fgs
UC: 41%
UNLV: 43%

FG% on 3-point fgs
UC: 36%
UNLV: 30%

UC: 36
UNLV: 34

UC: 14
UNLC: 13

UC: 15
UNLV: 12

Okay, you get the point. There really isn't an area of the game that jumps out and says ... "that's why we won this game." Well, maybe there is, but it isn't really in the box score (and I didn't watch/listen to the game -- I've heard that's helpful in determining these things : ). Anyway, it really makes you (me, anyway) think about the almighty win. Does Cincinnati really deserve 100% of a win and UNLV 0% of one? Shouldn't it be more like 55/45 or something? Okay, those aren't really questions. Just remember that when we're talking about "win shares" in college hoops in like 2022, you heard it here first!

Anyway, there were about 70 possessions in this one. That's .96 points per possession and .93 allowed for Cincy. When the differential is on the plus side vs. a solid team, you'll take it. Some random notes:

  • Deonta Vaughn led the team in points and assists (16 and 6) ... but he had a pretty bad game. He shot 5-19 from the floor and had 7 turnovers. A simple way to illustrate his struggles: Vaughn scored .84 points per shot. The rest of the Bearcats scored 1.1 points per shot. Redistribute Vaughn's shots to his teammates and Cincinnati would have scored like 5 more points in the game. Okay, not really. It's a team game and you can't just do that, but (hopefully) you get my point.

  • Larry Davis also did not have a good one. 0-10 from the floor doesn't need much of an explanation.

  • On the plus side, Yancy Gates had 16 points (7-10 fg-fga) and 7 rebounds in 19 minutes. Dion Dixon also had a good one, scoring 13 points on just 7 shots.

I'm really super-impressed with this win, despite the random nitpicks in my "recap." Next up is another big test against UAB on December 6th.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I was going to make a short post about VMI's 133 point night vs Stevensen, but then I scrolled down a bit more and saw ... Texas Tech, 167, East Central 115. There were ~122 possessions in this one. I don't know what the record is, but that's crazy. The average per game is like 65-70. Anyway, that's 1.37 pts/poss. (137 per 100). Or it's like 96 points for a 70 possession game, a normal pace. So, yeah, they were very efficient offensively, but you can see the kind of effect pace has on a team's final score. Tech had 18 turnovers, which is pretty bad at first glance. Again, this is an area where tempo-free stats can help us out. They had only .15 TO per poss. -- that's 15 per 100 possessions, a well above average number.

Back to the VMI game real quick. There were about 101 possessions in the game. VMI scored 133, so that's 1.32 per poss. Check out Chavis Holmes' line: 21 pts, 9 rebs, 4 asts, 5 stls, 4 blks, 8-13 fg-fga ... all in 21 minutes!

Crazy stuff ....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rollin' past Texas Southern

Both teams had about 70 possessions in this one. Cincinnati scored 82 points, or about 117 points per 100 possessions (that's just about as efficient as they were in their game vs. South Dakota). They allowed 51 points, or about 73 per 100. Again, a pretty dominant performance.

Individually, the standout was probably Alvin Mitchell, who scored 15 points on just 8 shots and 22 minutes on the floor. He went 4-7 from three and 3-4 from the line. Deonta Vaughn had a solid all around game with 12 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds in a team-leading 31 minutes. Other good performers:

Dion Dixon: 4 pts, 5 ast, 10 reb, 19 mins
Steve Toyloy: 11 pts, 7 reb, 5-5 fg-fga, 19 mins

The only real negatives from the Bearcats' side were the 17 turnovers and poor shooting from the line (12-21, 57%).

FWIW, Big East teams are like 24-2 so far this year.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

UC 77, South Dakota 46

I thought South Dakota was a D2 school, but I guess they made the jump to D1 this year, as part of the Great West conference. You can call them D1, I guess, but they are probably about as close to D2 as you can get. Either way, Cincy has to play the games on the schedule, and it looks like they did about as much as you could ask tonight.

According to the formula for estimating possesions in a game, the Cats had about 65 possessions in the game. They scored 77 points, so that's like 1.18 points per possession. For some context, last year the NCAA average efficiency (points per 100 poss.) was 102. The number one team, IUPUI, was at 118. Cincinnati had a very efficient offensive game vs. South Dakota, but obviously we must consider the competition.

South Dakota had 69 possessions and they scored 46 points. That's .67 points per possession or 67 per 100 possessions, depending on how you want to look at it (it's the same thing, of course). That's also ... pretty bad. Again, for some context, the leader in defensive efficiency last year was Kansas at 83. So, we'll have the best offense and defense in the nation ... if we keep playing Great West teams : )

Some other random notes:

  • Yancy Gates had quite a debut: 16 pts, 11 reb, 3 blks, 7-11 from the field. What's more impressive is that he only played 20 minutes. So that's 32 points, 22 rebounds, and 6 blocks per 40. Yeah, not a bad start.

  • Also a nice start for Mike Williams, having not played in two years. He had 8 points and 9 boards in 26 minutes.

  • Junior transfer Steve Toyloy had a good, under-the-radar-type game: 8 points, 7 rebounds in just 16 minutes.

Okay, I'm runnin' out of bullet points here. It was a nice game all around. Quick turn around Tuesday against Texas Southern, who brings back all five of their starters ... though, they went 7-25 last year.

Hey, I should keep this thing goin'

Hey, folks ... sorry for not posting in such a long time. I thought about just shutting this thing down, but I saw that Mr. Koch linked to me (thanks, Bill!), and that encouraged me to give it another shot. Going forward, the content here will remain mostly UC hoops, but I'll 'cover' college ball in general (I especially enjoy tracking some smaller D1 schools) and even the NBA on occasion.

If you happen to be new around these parts, please feel free to comment on any posts. It'd be great if we could get some intelligent discussion going ... God knows I'm not going to provide it by myself : )

Anyway, I like to try to look at things from a statistical perspective. I'm surely not going to provide much insight from a scouting standpoint, and I think the stats can be pretty interesting. I've been following sabermetrics (that's what they call this stuff in baseball) for a good 4-5 years, but I'm pretty new to the basketball stuff -- so we'll be learning together, if we learn anything.

Thanks for stopping by. I'm a bit more busy than I have been in the past, but I hope I can do a better job of following the Bearcats this year. I'll try to have a little recap up of the game vs. South Dakota either tonight or tomorrow night.