Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jayhawks focusing on slowing Buckeyes’ Thomas

Jeff Withey (5) jumps out to defend a shot by Deshaun Thomas (1) and over Aaron Craft, during the second-half of KU's 64-62 win over Ohio State to put the Jayhawks the Championship game agains Kentucky, Monday night.

Jeff Withey (5) jumps out to defend a shot by Deshaun Thomas (1) and over Aaron Craft, during the second-half of KU's 64-62 win over Ohio State to put the Jayhawks the Championship game agains Kentucky, Monday night.


Travis Releford, who has earned a reputation as Kansas University’s defensive stopper, figures to be matched against preseason first-team AP All-American Deshaun Thomas of Ohio State on Saturday in Columbus.

Tipoff for the nonconference clash between the (9-1) Jayhawks and (9-1 Buckeyes) is 3 p.m., Central time, at 19,049-seat Value City Arena.

“I look forward to guarding the best guy every time I step out. For him to be that guy ... yes, I’m excited to be about to guard him. I’m looking forward to it,” 6-foot-6, 210-pound senior Releford said of guarding the 6-7, 215-pound Thomas.

The junior from Ft. Wayne, Ind., has averaged a team-leading 20.4 points a game off 45.9 percent shooting (27 of 66 from three for 40.9 percent). Thomas also has averaged 6.9 rebounds while dishing 16 assists against 13 turnovers.

“His size ... that’s the tough thing about the match-up with him,” Releford noted. “Playing the 4 (power forward), he can stretch the defense, shoot it well and put it on the ground. It’s a tough match-up. He’s very important to their team, especially on the offensive end. They look for him to score. Our key going into this game is making him uncomfortable and trying to limit his shots.”

Thomas scored nine points off 3-of-14 shooting (1-of-7 from three) while playing 23 minutes in KU’s 64-62 Final Four semifinal victory over the Buckeyes last March in New Orleans. He scored 19 points off 7-of-14 shooting (3-of-7 from three) in KU’s 78-67 victory over the Buckeyes on Dec. 10, 2011, in Allen Fieldhouse.

KU’s Thomas Robinson and Kevin Young spent some time guarding Thomas in those games.

“Kevin was our best slider defensively who could extend on Deshaun, to be honest,” KU coach Bill Self said. Young had a big game offensively versus OSU in Allen, hitting for 14 points off 6-of-8 shooting. He had five rebounds and no points in the Final Four contest.

“Deshaun will take some hard shots. He can get up 20 (shots) easily,” Self said of Thomas, who is averaging 15.9 shots a game this season. “If you are a natural scorer like he is and averaging over 20 a game, you’ve got the green light to shoot some good contested shots. He is a shot maker, a professional scorer at our level.

“Their team is totally different this year (without NBA rookie Jared Sullinger, who played in the Final Four game but was hurt for the contest in Lawrence). They play through him (Thomas) on almost every possession. We’ll try to guard him a little differently than last time. I don’t think we did a good job,” Self added.

Johnson on Cousy list: KU senior Elijah Johnson is one of 85 guards on the watch list of candidates for the 2013 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award.

The watch list of candidates will be narrowed to a final 20 in early January, a final 10 in early February and final five in early March. The winner will be revealed at the Final Four.

Services today for Evan Manning’s grandfather: Mass of Christian Burial services for Danny L. Lucas, 75, the grandfather of KU freshman guard Evan Manning, is set for 10 a.m., today, at Corpus Christi Church in Lawrence. Burial will follow at 3:30 p.m. at Greenwood Cemetery in southwest Wichita. Lucas died Tuesday at his home.

The family suggests memorials in his name to Corpus Christi Catholic Church and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary. Evan will be able to make the trip to Ohio State for Saturday’s game. Lucas is the father-in-law of former KU All-American Danny Manning, who is head coach at Tulsa. Tulsa will meet Oral Roberts on Saturday at ORU.


Scott MacWilliams 8 years, 11 months ago

D. Thomas will be a handful for sure, but I have !great! confidence in TRel and Kevin to take turns in shutting him down. He hasn't played against guys like ours yet this year, and we managed to deal with him and the rest of the OSU crew TWICE last year.

Frankly, Aaron Craft is the one I'm most concerned about. That kid is ALL over the place, disrupting flow like a killer bee on Red Bull. We need the Prophet and Naadir to really lace 'em on tight because otherwise we're going to drop one.

Everybody hit the floor running, pedal to the metal, and we'll be good.

Rock Chalk, Buckeyes walk!!

Wisconsin2Kansas 8 years, 11 months ago

The real question is, GBJayhawk, do we shovel before or after the KU game on Saturday? I'm also from the GB area and I am not looking forward to all of the snow that is SUPPOSE to hit.

FarSideHawk 8 years, 11 months ago

eh...just sprinkle a little salt on the driveway before the game...says the guy from Atlanta.

Redlandsjhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

Shovel?? What shovel? Says the guy from SOCAL.

Gary Wirsig 8 years, 11 months ago

Shovel as much as you can before the game - make it feel like you've earned the privilege of watching. Then finish it off afterward, hopefully with great energy left over from the win!

GBJHAWK 8 years, 11 months ago

GBJayhawk, I like the name. As a fellow KU alumn from Green Bay... I am back in the area for the holidays. Me and a couple of KU friends are heading to titletown brewery in Downtown to watch the game if you or Wisconsin2Kansas are interested. RCJH. I think KU squeaks out a close one and Ben-Jammin' comes up big stamping his name on the map in permanent ink for all to see.

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 11 months ago

Definitely want to see Kevin get the first go at guarding D.T. If he's posting up KYo and TRele or just overpowering them I wouldn't mind seeing JamTray get a shot. All the practice he got guarding TRob last year, his overall size and athleticism, gives him a shot at being a stopper against a guy like Thomas. Thomas likes to keep it outside a lot more than say Draymond Greene did last year at MSU, so hopefully Young and Releford are able to keep him in check. If everyone defends well at the other spots, Thomas can have a big game and KU can still win.

This Craft matchup definitely has me wanting EJ to just take care of the basketball and let Releford and McLemore have the pressure of making things happen in the half court offense. Not that EJ isn't capable, but Craft just has that tendency to force turnovers, or pop tarts as jaybate likes to call them. Huge for McLemore's first college road game, somewhat ridiculous even. Just needs to stay cool, stay confident, play his game. Hopefully he doesn't get shy or on the other hand overly jacked up. Seems like Young and Ellis will have an opportunity to go to work on the offensive end, D.T. wanting to stay out of foul trouble and KU wanting to force fouls on him.

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 11 months ago

I would have guessed Aaron Miles, he was strong with the ball.

Ian Emerson 8 years, 11 months ago

Are you SERIOUS. “I look forward to guarding the best guy every time I step out. For him to be that guy ... yes, I’m excited to be about to guard him. I’m looking forward to it,” 6-foot-6, 210-pound senior Releford said of guarding the 6-7, 215-pound Thomas."

What a bad mama jama.

Sam Burns 8 years, 11 months ago

The one thing that I'm the most concerned about is how well we can stay out of foul trouble on this true road game. Ben has had a hard time with that even at home.

KansasComet 8 years, 11 months ago

Watch for jersey grabbing and flopping with Craft. He is pretty good at it. The biggest thing with Thomas is to make him play defense, and his offense will suffer. I do not like regular season games for Kansas on CBS. I am not sure what our record is the last 3 years on that particular network, but I don't think it's too great.

Stan Unruh 8 years, 11 months ago

KansasComet, I used to feel the same way about games on CBS... My family used to get mad when I mentioned this. Last year's win over Mizzou on CBS changed my mind.

FearlessJayhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

I have all the confidence in the world that Bill Self & Company will be able to take care of business in Columbus. This team hasn't reached its peek yet. However, if you haven't noticed, they are getting better each game.

FarSideHawk 8 years, 11 months ago

Off-topic: Julius Randle's interview with Dave Telep. Couple of interesting tidbits:

  1. Fan support and environment is a big factor in decision - Duke, Kansas, Kentucky have that.

  2. He wants to win it all.

  3. If there was one player he could take with him to college, who would it be? He said, PG is very important, so Andrew Harrison.

Gary Wirsig 8 years, 11 months ago

Had to click on the picture to understand the "Aaron Craft" comment in the caption. It was worth it!

FarSideHawk 8 years, 11 months ago

LOL. Thanks for that. I would have never seen it otherwise.

bradynsdad 8 years, 11 months ago

I watched a little bit of Jabari Parker highlights and even though he looks like a good scorer he doesn't strike me as very athletic. I went through the highlights of our recruits next year and to me Wayne selden looks like he could be challenging for a starting position. I don't think we will get Randle unless peters heads back to Texas and talks him into it. I think I will feel better as long as Kentucky doesn't land Randle or Wiggins.

Alex Peekeaton 8 years, 11 months ago

Jabari definitely doesn't have Wiggins type of athleticism, but who does...I predict both Dakari and Wiggins sign with UK unless Poythress stays another year. Wiggins has recently stated he would like to team up with the Harrison twins. Gordon will go to Arizona and Randle is up in the air (probably Texas).

FarSideHawk 8 years, 11 months ago

My predictions:

Wiggins - Kentucky

Dakari - Syracuse

Randle - Kansas

bradynsdad 8 years, 11 months ago

Bball2012 and farside I have heard the FSU is the team to beat for wiggins. Both his parents are alum and are pushing him to go there. I don't see wiggins going to Kentucky if 1 or even 2 freshmen don't take the draft. Most of us know its about playing time and wiggins plays immediately at FSU. Randle could possibly start for us. Realistically he only has to play better than traylor, Wesley, Lucas and Embiid. Maybe if we dominate Texas when he is here that might pursuade him.

Alex Peekeaton 8 years, 11 months ago

the only current UK player affecting Wiggins decision is Alex Poythress because they play the same position...I'm not saying he couldn't go to FSU, but his recent comments of wanting to team up with the Harrison Twins puts UK in the lead at this point. If he wants to go to FSU, why wait to commit? Mitchell Wiggins has also stated that it is up to Andrew to pick a school - similar to what the father of the Twins said cuz he wanted them to attend Maryland. If Randle signs with KU, he will be starting from day one!

bradynsdad 8 years, 11 months ago

Good points. Just for fun if Randle commits I believe the starting five would be rio at the point then white, selden, Randle and Ellis. I know naadir has seniority but I believe rio could beat him out. Either way backups of rio, Embiid, traylor and Greene would be outstanding.

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago


Part 1

(Note: massively expanded repost only fit for consumption by those that have already begun XMAS vacation.)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Sound, seasoned team (juniors and sophomores) with a great 3-4 swing player in Deshaun Thomas and likely the best triad of trey shooters KU will see this year--Thomas (41%), Smith (49%), and Scott (46%). They protect and steal and block a little too. Their disruption stat is a little over 1, which means they get after to you and are hard to rattle. Solid FT shooters at 71%. They average +4.2 rebounding edge and like to get on the offensive glass. Their PG, Aaron Craft isn't shooting well at 38% from the field and 33% from trey, but he's aggressive, annoying and guards hard. OSU relies on 20ppg from Thomas and then balanced scoring from 6 others. They start 6-8 at 4 and 5. Thomas is the handful.

HOW TO BEAT THEM: Hold Thomas under his average, and deny the trey. Force them inside, and let Jeff reduce their FG percentage.

CAN KU STOP THOMAS?: Either Travis, Ben, or Kevin have their work cut out for them. Travis should start on him. But the 6-7 Thomas is exactly the kind of guy Travis will have trouble with. 6-7 DeshaunThomas has a short neck and 6-6 Travis Releford has a long neck, so Thomas has more than an inch height advantage in reach--more like 3 inches. Early, when Trav is bouncy, this won't matter. But down the stretch, Thomas' height advantage will increase with Trav's fatigue.

Ben could quickly get in foul trouble guarding Thomas, but has the bounce and quickness needed to match Thomas from time to time. But Travis is the proven lock down man on this team, so he has to start out on Deshaun. But I suspect if Deshaun goes off, Ben will get a try sooner rather than later. We might also see Kevin on Deshaun at times. Kevin has the tools to take away Deshaun's trey and force him into Withey. I like that option, better than letting Deshaun get in a comfort zone going inside and outside at his choosing. Regardless: I like guarding him by committee to keep Thomas out of his comfort zone. I would even like to see Self try Perry/Jamari on him some, but that seems unlikely.

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

Part 2

SHOULD KU GO ALL OUT TO STOP DESHAUN?: Deshaun (and Matta playing through him for 20 ppp) is the kind of player that forces an opposing coach to make a choice: use help to hold him sharply beneath his average, or give him his points and shut down the rest. You try to stop a star scorer, if you think can and if you think his supporting cast can't take up the slack, otherwise you play a star nearly straight up, but funnel him away from his preferrred spots. Other Buckeye players can score. Lenzelle Smith is especially dangerous, so I doubt we see a bold move to stop Deshaun with double teams the first 5-10 minutes. The main emphasis will be on holding him to 5 points below average with Travis primarily and holding his mates below average, too, by lowering the team's inside FG percentage.

KU'S LIKELY DEFENSIVE MIX: So far we've seen intermittent pressing plus man-to-man with switching, plus one threat by Self to zone. Intermittent pressing will be tried, but will depend largely on EJ's knee and his ability to guard Craft in open court. A healthy EJ would have no trouble guarding Craft in open court, but Craft is "crafty" and the kind of PG that instinctively knows how to attack an opponent's injury. Expect to see Craft changing direction a lot on the dribble early to assess EJ's agility, the moment KU presses. If Craft became unmanageable for EJ, my hope would be for Travis to take the point for awhile, and bring Kevin in at the 3 to guard Deshaun.

WRINKLES: Self knows this KU team has not been tested on an enemy court and, so, is going to need some new wrinkles to emerge with a W. Ohio State seems a good team to resort to last year's zone intermittently. Three playing match-up on the perimeter and two bigs zoning inside. This defense was particularly hard for me to recognize last year, as it was for opponents also. Whatever, Self will show Ohio State something they have not seen KU do on defense. It could be some zone press that starts out looking like a m2m press. Why use last year's half court zone against a hot trey shooting team? Just to force them into making some recognitions.

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

Part 3

ASIDE: KU should win this game, if its defense can keep OSU from staying comfortable. So what else is new? :-) This means players that can explode out of their positions defensively are going to see the most minutes. Are you listening, Perry?

FORECASTED AMPING: Matta sent OSU out not just flat, but concave last game. Versus Richmond, Self gave his team a minor convexity, i.e., an amping lite to minimize the chance of an upset by a Princeton team with good trey shooters, and so to send his team onto an enemy court with some confidence. The amping lite vs. Richmond betrayed Self thinks there is a significant chance KU will lose this game at Columbus at this time of the season. Self went for the sure win against Richmond meaning he is willing to take an early season loss to highly ranked OSU at home, viewing it as less damaging to the team RPI than an upset by Richmond. Self also probably thought that the week of turnaround would let his team recharge, and that he could still give them a good amping, plus a lot of wrinkles to try steal one in Columbus. Its no shame to lose in Columbus. Tough team. Tough arena. Tough conference.

RUN'S ANALYSIS: No, this is not about diarrhea; this is a new-for-my-hoops commentary, utterly nonparametric wrinkle I am inaugurating for this important game. Bear with me for it will undoubtedly take a few games to get my stroke down on it.

In serious number crunching realm, runs testing is about taking a distribution of sample observations and trying to observe tendencies within it indicating some non-randomness. Experienced statisticians understand that the word nonparametric means this is just fancy guessing, not seriously defensible stochastic inference with parametrically based levels of confidence; i.e., its something we do when parametric models can't be used without violating assumptions, and when the client is still willing to pay for some kind of edge in insight, no matter how dubious. :-)

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

Part 4

Unlike coin flips, where runs of heads, or runs of tails, are inferred consistent with randomness, because coin flips are reasoned and/or assumed to be independent events in our gravitational field of reference are assumed to have a 50/50 probability each flip. This means a coin could come up heads or tails 50/50 even though there are runs of heads and runs of tails. In contradistinction, in the real, statistically messy world of sports, where young men's moods, injuries, love lives, thoughts of jumping, and MUAs converge amidst complexity and subject to the biasing manipulations of a savvy coach's emotional jerking, schemes, strategies, tactics and wrinkles, etc., there are often baffling but nevertheless subjectively discernible "runs" of events that seem biased by certain things.

Big Mo, i.e., momentum, exemplifies one hard to quantify run. People who have played and watched the game a lot can "feel" momentum shift and sense that it is not always a random switch; that sometimes it is triggered non randomly by great defensive stops, by thundering dunks, by a team suddenly figuring an opponent out, etc. The point is: the run is thought not to be random.

For another example, most runs of hitting or missing by a healthy trey shooter are random. But runs of missing can be attributable to a biasing injury, or to a biasing exceptional defender.

Run's Analysis of Ohio State: OSU is undefeated against a typical mix of good and weak teams in early season. This is not unusual for a top tier program. It indicates a run based on the non randomness of high quality talent, junior and sophomore level of experience, and above average coaching. In short, one should expect OSU to have this sort of record, just as one would expect to KU to have a similar record, which it has. These fat records among blue blood programs are not random. They are the products of much bias.

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

Part 5

Deshaun Stevens seems on a run attributable to biasing of talent and team scheme, i.e., he should be able to average 20 ppg for the season were the level of teams played to stay the same all season (which they won't), rather than being attributable to some extraordinarily hot streak of randomness. Lenzelle Smith on the other hand is shooting 48% from trey; this seems a hot streak attributable to randomness, not to a bias of talent and scheme. He is a good shooter. Not a great shooter. Hence, he should probably be expected to shoot back to an average significantly beneath this against KU, especially with KU's strong perimeter defense biasing things that way too.

Craft is the other conspicuous case. He is 38% from the field and low 30% from trey. This would seem to indicate a biasing injury, i.e., a negative non random. But if not injured, it points to a cold streak Craft could snap out of. I haven't watched OSU closely enough to determine which. Without more data, I am inclined to think Craft is the guy to watch out for--to "get hot" by starting a streak against KU.

Their wide body Evannel averages only 18 mpg. That number is apt to go up against KU, where he is going to be needed more often, unless he were to get fouled up. Same with Amir Williams, their 6-11 guy who averages fewer mpg than Evannel. The low mpg for these two indicates some bias for limited ability, but also some bias for playing lots of shorter cupcakes where large winning margins and shorter opponents caused Matta to play his two bigs fewer minutes. Neither guy seems likely to break out of his run to a level of 35 mpg against KU, but 20-25 mpg for one of these two guys seems likely because of KU's size.

OSU averages high 48-49% FG shooting against a combination of cupcakes and top teams.That seems a run of shooting percentages feasible for them to maintain, except for one biasing factor named Jeff Withey. Withey not only lowers inside shooting percentages, but by doing so, lets perimeter guys over guard the trey and so lower perimeter shooting percentages. Thus the OSU run FG% should lessen unless they can get Jeff fouled up.

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

Part 6

KU Runs Analysis: Ben is due for a random off night, plus OSU can bias him in this direction with good perimeter defense of its own. EJ shot back to his average a few games then faltered last game. EJ's problems seem random given the overall framework of injury he seems doomed to operate within this season. Still, he is not more injured, so we can hope for a random hot hand from him. Jeff was quiet offensively versus Richmond's short front line continuing his tendency to play quietly against short bigs that make him chase. Matta is apt to try to take it inside after watching teams get mauled trying to take it outside. Matta is apt to try to get Jeff fouled up, which is apt to play into Jeff's tendency to play louder, when the action comes to him on either end of the floor.

Jeff's problem will be staying on a spot against OSU. But Self has not been asking him to hold spots on the blocks much the last three games. Self has rather adopted what might be called the basketball post man's equivalent of the portable pocket in football. Jeff intentionally slides off spots, actually using the defensive pressure to help him slide and the perimeter guys feeding the post seem clued in to feed him given anticipated sliding. If what I am saying holds up to scrutiny again this game, I am going to say this may be the next great innovation in post offense. The portable post. You read it here first. Note: the necessity of Jeff's and Kevin's slightnesses appears to be the mother of invention in this case. KU shot 22 percent vs. Richmond from trey. This was IMHO a matter of randomness. KU should randomly shoot better, but its by no means a certainty. Randomness can manifest clumping, too, i.e., random runs.

With that, enough already with the runs analysis. I already don't think I've got it under useful control.

CAN KU DENY THE TREY: 6-2 Craft is short and not hitting. EJ will be a tough guy for Craft to break out of his slump against, but unless Craft is injured, such a low percentage for him seems to have more to do with randomness than to a run based on bias (oops, there I go again). Hence, EJ could guard him well and Craft could finally "get hot." We have to hope it doesn't happen to us. 6-4 Lenzelle Smith will really test Ben on both ends, but Ben under control could deny the trey to Smith and could challenge Smith at the other end. This will be a great match up, whether or not it is the deciding one. Scott, their third top gun, is only 6-1 and any of our perimeter guys but Naadir can deny him the trey.

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

Part 7

COACHING: the last two years Vlad Matta has copied everything of Self's approach but Self's DNA helix. Expect more of the same, plus the usual Big Ten muscle thrown in. But Self already has several schemes to throw at OSU and one will give an edge to KU

OSU PLAN OF ATTACK: I suspect OSU will look and play a lot like KU's teams the previous two years. Penetrate and kick out for treys. Unlike recent teams, OSU will take the ball to Withey and make him guard, rather than just roam and block shots, then kick out. They will give KU a good roughing up five minutes in when the whistle swallowing starts, since its their home floor and calls likely will go their way.

KU PLAN OF ATTACK: lock Thomas down with Travis, if possible, deny them their trey game so long as Jeff is not fouled up, keep them off the offensive glass, and run and press and force the OSU bench onto the floor, where they become less efficient scoring. Maybe this is the game where Elijah takes Craft to the hole with two inches on him. Maybe. It would be a move counter to what EJ has been doing, which is to play the perimeter and make assists. This game will tell us how married to the new spread it out and portable pocket philosophy Self is. Self indicated that he expected a grind it out contest, where was Matta was saying he wanted to play faster. Think about it. Both coaches are probably disinforming a bit. Self probably does expect the game to devolve down into grind it out, but it is almost certain that he would like to continue the transition and lay-up game KU has been playing. And Matta may want to play faster, but he is crazy to do anything other than play through Deshaun as much as possible in half court, whether or not they hurry into half court, or walk it up.

FORECAST: Scary to say of KU's first road test, but KU by 10, because KU should be able to take away their trey game, KU should be due from trey, and Jeff should reduce their FG% inside. Also, OSU's only sizeable bigs are wide body Ravenel and 6-11 Amir Williams, neither of whom appear capable of playing more than 20-25 mpg. KU looks deeper in the paint.

AFTERTHOUGHT: Self is right; this is KU's first real test. Transition every chance, but know OSU wants to slow it down and muddy it up and play through Deshaun in half court. EJ, your knee better be strong now, or Craft will exploit it. On paper, KU is clearly the better team with clearly the better scheme. But, as coaches say, games aren't played on paper. This game truly comes down to a coaching cliche. Which team can execute its scheme better? Home teams tend to execute better than visiting teams. Ohio State will win handily if KU lacks the hardness needed to execute in a hostile crib. But if KU executes as well as Ohio State, or better, its KU by 10.

jaytube 8 years, 11 months ago

JB -- Your posts are an overstuffed Christmas stocking full of sugar plums and candy canes - to this eager kiddo, anyway. I've just digested them slowly and with relish. I hope all the girls and boys leave you plenty of cookies and milk. Thanks and happy holidays!

HawksWin 8 years, 11 months ago

Jaybate, this is exactly what I've been asking for this Christmas!! Thanks for answering all of my questions and curiosity. Great analysis!!! Yes I agree Craft is due, but EJ knees will hold. And let the copycat wuss Matta do his thing - copying is easy, but Matta doesn't have enough brain cells to beat Self. Have a great Christmas JB!

2010jayhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

Jaybate, love the posts! Keep them coming. Would like to hear more about your Runs Analysis, sounds interesting. Look for Ben McLemore to have a breakout game and EJ play is key. Can't wait for tomorrows game. Rock Chalk!!

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

Presently it is conceptual and useful to clarify which parts of a game one should seek to intervene on and control, versus others that should be considered inevitable and beyond control, though perhaps requiring compensation for in other controllable realms. The idea is not revolutionary. It is just another way to formalize bias and randomness than traditional statistical models.

The over view is:

A) drag basketball statistics out of the timeless and into time through the concept of runs (rather than time series analysis); and

B) differentiate runs into:

1) non random (i.e., biased); a) talent biased b) experience biased; c) injury biased; d) coaching biased; e) opposition based; and

2) random (non biased).

C) weight for contribution based on prior contributions to team scores.

D) do same for opponent;

E) predict scores for two teams;

F) select expected winner.

The problem with the approach would be a kind of global multicollinearity that would be very hard to isolate, gauge and remove.

The idea is to view a team's performance as a constellation of runs at team and individual levels; disaggregate runs into biased runs and random runs and then assign the runs weighted variables based on their most recent weighted contributions to prior score. Next, estimate new biased, weighted runs adjusted for the opponent. Go through the same drill with the opponent. Generate probable point scores for both teams based on the dynamics of biased and random runs weighted contribution to team score. Then you know how biased your chances of winning are and how random also.

Presently, all of the statistical services do not distinguish between biased elements of the outcome and random elements. They simply lump random and non random variables and try to estimate a point score with overall estimation variance, rather than treating bias and randomness themselves as coherent variables tied to specific phenomena...each one, if necessary, with an error residual of estimation.

The idea of disaggregating random runs is to perhaps assign differing magnitudes, means and probability curves to different random runs.

The idea is to move away from using randomness as a catch-all residual error factor with same mean and distribution curve into a variety of kinds of randomness.

All the serious statisticians out there are going to be howling at me proposing different kinds of randomness. They will insist on randomness being randomness and that if there are different shapes of randomness curves that would be because these curves held within them still more bias that needed to be modelled as non random variables.

This idea has much broader potential application than just basketball games, but at my age basketball is the only activity capable of still holding my quantitative imagination long enough to think about developing a new methodology.

HawksWin 8 years, 11 months ago

Jaybate, Can you develop a s-ware program(s) to do what you are talking about? If yes, then you'd be a multi-millionaire because marketers would want this. Statisticians will be howling at you because you are rocking the boat with an out-of-box approach to improving the status-quo practices and acceptance of it. You don't want to leave any stones unturned, but to turn each stone is work that those who worship comfort would prefer to close their eyes on and shut off their brain power. That said, I like your theory. It'd be amazing to see how new data will modify the nature of the game!

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

I have never liked that statistics treat random error as a composite residual.

Just as one might say there are sometimes strange tendencies in chaos, I am saying there is sometimes more than one distribution for randomness.

I have never liked that the error in the error factor it self is never systematically accounted for (IMHO), nor that parameters and variables disaggregated into biased phenomena and random phenomena.

This is as detailed as I can get right now.

It could wind up I am chasing my quantitative tail.

I'm not sure yet.

HawksWin 8 years, 11 months ago

JB, Interesting observation because I had a hard time swallowing such logic and acceptance of it - that statistics treat random error as a composite residual. Why feed error as a part of input knowing it will corrupt the output? Blame lazy statisticians!

monkeehawkSL8 8 years, 11 months ago

I'm not a 100% yet, just got up. Forgive me if I have missed something in the Telep video that proves me wrong, "throw a point guard in the trunk and drive to Kentucky"? I'm not familiar with Mr. Telep. Was his statement based on some decision already made by J.Randle? Or is Telep a coach Cal recruiter? Randle made the statement that he wants to go somewhere to "win it all". I believe he means right away. The K-cats are the closest thing to a minor league basketball team for the NBA in NCAA. I don't know Julius, I do know that if I had a choice between a player A that is willing to work, continue to develop, and wants to become a student athlete. Or B, wants to come in and win it all the first year because he won't be a 2nd year. I want player A. Have the Jayhawks ever won the Final with a OAD? Made it to the final four with a OAD? Excuse me I have to change my caffeine I.V. Thanks, monk

FarSideHawk 8 years, 11 months ago

Monk, I hear you. I would always prefer player A as well and in the Kansas system they just work better than the OAD.

He just said he'd like to go where he could win the championship. Who doesn't?

As for the Kentucky comment. The question was "if you could pick one player to play with, who would it be?" He picked Harrison, who is going to Kentucky, hence Telep's comment.

The atmosphere in the gym and fan support is very important to him. That should rule out Texas. Kentucky and Duke would qualify, but Duke got Parker already and if Kentucky gets Wiggins, I think we'll get Randle.

If he comes in humble and ready to learn and contribute, next year could be just as special as this year, or the last year, or..... (get it? every year is special at Kansas...with or without OADs)

John Epperson 8 years, 11 months ago

My 11 year old daughter (who's been to Allen twice) has been looking forward to the game for more than a year. We're making the 2 hour drive to Columbus tomorrow with decent tickets in hand.

Look for her poster on CBS:

Here's hoping the best Jayhawk freshman since (at least) Paul Pierce, Ben "The Gospel Truth" McLemore has a monster game and we rock the chalk at the 2:15 mark.


AsadZ 8 years, 11 months ago

JB, I am going to keep it short and sweet and predict KU win by double digits tomorrow.

Jayhawks are hot and they are getting better. They have destroyed very good Belmont and Colorado teams, and OSU has not faced a team like KU

This is going to be an upset on CBS.

Natty, I am sure you and your daughter will be happy campers after the game, and very nice work on the poster. I will be on look out for sure

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

Yeeee hawwww, AsadZ with the swagger.

I go with you on this.

Don't know what made me so conservative above. :-)

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

You could be right, slayr.

But I suggest we should do everything to keep playing exactly as we have. EJ stays low profile offensively except for assists. Keep spreading the floor. Keep not trying to stay on spots, but keep trying to slide off them and take the feed on the slide. Pass, pass, pass. But also make some treys this game. :-)

Sam Constance 8 years, 11 months ago

I agree with GBJayhawk. Deshaun Thomas worries me a great deal less than Aaron Craft.

Not only is he tricky, but since we do have to keep track of Thomas, it means that we can't slide Relly over to the PG position to stop the bleeding when EJ and Naadir are losing their man and letting him go off (as has happened at least 2-3 times this year).

If we lose this game, it will be due to Aaron Craft, not Deshaun Thomas. Hopefully, the earlier issues we were having with covering our opponent's PG had to do with EJ's health, since he is looking much more spry over the last three games (no coincidence that we've looked the best with EJ looking like a healthy floor general). Obviously, we'll have to manage Naadir's guarding of Craft, but with two guys theoretically capable of guarding Thomas (KY and Relly), that gives us some flexibility--in other words, when EJ takes a breather, slide Relly over to guard Craft and slide KY over to guard Thomas.

Overall, I'm having a hard time figuring out what to make of this game. On the positive side, we are looking about as efficient and effective as we have all season. Roles seem to be establishing themselves and we've now started to clamp down on defense more than in a few of those early-season games. Furthermore--and this is a point I made on another article--this OSU team has yet to pass a stiff test this season. They lost very respectably to Duke in Durham, but haven't played another team inside the Kenpom 100 all season long. Kansas will be the best defensive team they've faced (slightly ahead of Duke), and the second-best offensive team they've faced (behind Duke).

On the other hand, this is our first true road game for a team relies on at least one freshman very heavily. It's pretty much impossible to predict how he will respond. I could easily see a bit of a regression, as he adapts to the hostile environment, but I could also see a player like him (oh yeah, I'm talking about McLescore for those who hadn't picked that up yet...) thriving on the opposition enthusiasm and going off for one of his best games of the year. He isn't a typical freshman, after all. Plus, there's the whole "KU has looked great and is probably feeling pretty good about themselves" factor that could end up hurting us.

Either way, it'll be a fun game to watch. So long as we don't get run off the court, it will be an important game in the development of this team, even if we lose. I don't think for a second that we will win going away...

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

Putting Travis on their 4 means Kevin is on their 3.

What this tells me is that Travis is supposed to dog and deny Deshaun the ball as much as possible; then when OSU picks Travis off from DeShaun, Kevin switches to pick up Deshaun to get the hand up in his face. Nifty.

For OSU's part, they will be trying to pick Travis off when Ben, or EJ have to switch onto Deshaun.

This will be great stuff to watch.

So we are apt to see intermittent pressing to try to force the ball down the side of the court we prefer.

I'm getting juiced just thinking about this.

Go Hawks!

HawksWin 8 years, 11 months ago

Ralster, you just painted a beautiful picture of Matta, and I'm gonna enjoy watching! And thanks for that insight on pissed Self after 3L against Izzo.

monkeehawkSL8 8 years, 11 months ago

Natty, love the sign. We'll be looking for you. I hope you share your experience with us, how the Buckeye fans treat you etc. I have only had the opportunity to see the Jayhawks 3 times. Once @ the field house/colorado. Twice @ Allen FH West again the buffs. I was brought up to root for the Hawks, but respect the opponent. My mom, a graduate of KU, had a saying, the 3 G's. Always be gentle, gracious and gay. Obviously this was from a time long ago, do I write with a lisp? Waiving wheat,and RCJH thanks, monk.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 11 months ago

Great thread, great comments. I feel thoroughly up to speed heading into tomorrow's game.

REHawk 8 years, 11 months ago

Thnx for the TT info. He needs to keep his wheels in motion. Now that he has watched D. Wms. for a spell, perhaps he can apply some of that learning.

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

The L is just so incredibly tough to make it in. You have to be sooooooo exceptional. Hang in Tyshawn.

Tyshawn in D league.

Cole in D league.

Brady in D league.

X barely hanging on.

Sherron out.

DBlock out.

Julian out.

Shelby hanging on.

BRush the best Self has had barely hanging on, then getting injured.

Makes me wonder.

How does Self win so much with D leaguers?

What would he do with a team with two real future NBA starter types and some NBA journeymen types?

If the ShoeCos ever turn on the talent spigot, then watch out.

Look at this year's team. Trav and EJ

monkeehawkSL8 8 years, 11 months ago

Jaybate, please hold that thought. what your talking about easily worthy of 250 posts. A week doesn't go by that I don't spend time chewing on this. Because, (please forgive me for this next statement) a Jayhawk fan follows players that have left the home nest for points unknown regardless of their basketball ability. Once you have entered you never leave.

I would like to come back to this. Thank you for the post. How does Self win so much with D leaguers? Because in addition to being a coach he is also Heart surgeon. A father, he demands that anyone in the home nest give everything they have to the simple principle "I am part of a Team" the family. There is a lot more.

FearlessJayhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

I want to see Releford and Young all over Thomas like stink on a monkey.

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