Hard to ignore cutting down nets

Discussion in 'Nuttin' but Net' started by exiledgator, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. Colin
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    Colin Active Member

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    The media certainly focuses on a handful of teams and players, and not only in NCAA basketball. Same thing with the NBA, MLB, etc. I think they are following whatever they think makes them the most money.
  2. UFreak
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    UFreak Well-Known Member

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    I see where GatorRade is coming from. I think we are (not only in record) but deservedly a two-loss team right now. Being a two-loss team is very good.
    To be noted, we are an elite team and a team that, unlike last year, has yet to peak at this point in the season. We are still getting our sea legs and if we get a pair of Chris Walker legs to add to this ship, we do have a chance to be VERY good by season's end.
  3. 08gatorbait
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    08gatorbait Well-Known Member

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    Missouri has only played 5 road games and are 3-2. But I did think of Arkansas when I said it o_O. Their OOC was all home games besides NC State. May be a neutral in there but not sure.
  4. GatorRade
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    GatorRade Well-Known Member

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    I admire your passion, js, but please don't misunderstand me. I never once tried to argue that this is a bad team or that they are underachieving. I think that people tend to overvalue close wins (and undervalue close losses), potentially overvaluing our overall resume, as we've won a great deal of our close games this year.

    And I don't think that I understand the point regarding whether a game is close the whole way or one team makes a comeback. Both routes lead to the same outcome: a close game. If we somehow found a way to come back in the last couple minutes against Wisconsin, would you be sitting here telling me not to pretend that we were really in that game? Of course not. It would be added evidence for the narrative that this team has character.

    I am proud of the way that our team has battled this year, but I am just cautioning not to bet the farm on a #1 seed and national title just yet. So far, we've faced the nation's 44th strongest schedule according to KenPom (47th according to Sagarin), which is plenty tough, but nothing like Kansas (consensus #1) and the top Big 10 boys (mostly top 10). Florida's chance to cement it's top five status is coming up. For now, we are sitting at #3. Right where Mich St, Wisconsin, and Ohio St. have sat before us. But that wasn't the end of their story. And this isn't the end of ours.
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  5. 08gatorbait
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    08gatorbait Well-Known Member

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    Duke has improved defensively the last few games...if they continue to grow on that side of the ball the ACC has three very good teams, Virginia and FSU and maybe UNC are good second tier teams(UNC..wtf), rest are pretty blah though.
    Isn't one of the main reasons people doubted us last year was because we couldn't win close games? I think winning close games consistently(and our go to guy in the clutch being injured or suspended for both losses in Wilbekin) says it's not "luck" now. The Finney shot is about the only one I'd attribute to luck vs FSU with a rebound but even that is a guy who is an outstanding rebounder doing what he does best.
  6. GatorRade
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    GatorRade Well-Known Member

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    That certainly was a reason that some doubted us last year, but I think that that was faulty reasoning. I also think it may be faulty to assume that we are likely to win future close games with this current team. I think it is likely that this team will win games, but I just don't think that we would win 75 out of 100 games where it is tied with one minute go. (And thankfully for my blood pressure we will never get to find out)

    Hey I'd much rather win close games than lose them, but from an epistemic standpoint, I am not ready to feel extremely confident that our past performance is going to predict future outcomes. I certainly hope it does though.
  7. UFreak
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    UFreak Well-Known Member

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    Like everything, practicing and being involved in certain situations of a game does typically tend to improve performance.
    I think there is something to it. I don't think it is left to chance. End-game situations are subject to improvement just like any other facet of the game or any event in life for that matter. If you practice them and begin to experience success at them, then you are likely to become more confident and more skilled at them. I find it encouraging that this team has won more close ones than they have lost this year. Having an unquestioned go-to guy helps.
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  8. tommyuf21
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    tommyuf21 Well-Known Member

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    Won the Arky game on the road without our leading scorer and with two of our starters less than 100%. Our sixth man steps up with a 22 point, 15 rebound game. That's the sign of a great team. As good as we were last season, we don't win that game under those circumstances in 2013.

    This team does have a way to go. It is a long season and their ceiling is much higher than last year's team, so there is even more improvement that should take place.

    I guarantee that we'll face a higher seed in the Sweet 16 game this year than "Dunk City" and we're going to be better prepared to handle whoever that team happens to be this year.
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  9. OaktownGator
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    OaktownGator Well-Known Member

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    The thing about winning close games, and doing it with multiple players who have made clutch shots and free throws when we needed them, is that the team (coaches and players) really knows how to win and has the confidence to do it.

    Like Rade says - it doesn't mean we'll win all those games. Sometimes, like the UConn game, the ball bounces to a good player on the other team who also has that confidence and makes the shot.

    But it's much better than being a team that doesn't really know how to win a tight game and doesn't really have more than one guy who can make a play when you have to have it.

    With the defense we're playing right now, and the combination of ways we can finish, this team is in very good shape to make another deep run in the tournament. Walker should add another piece to that.
  10. tommyuf21
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    tommyuf21 Well-Known Member

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    We're not reliant on jump shooters to win this year. If Boynton, Rosario and Murphy were cold, we were in trouble.

    Prather and DFS can score in the paint. Scottie and Kasey can drive and create their own shot. We have so many more weapons when opponents take our outside shot away from us.
  11. UFreak
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    UFreak Well-Known Member

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    We do, but make no mistake. Scottie is the director of the final play, if it gets to that. I'm not saying he shoots it all the time. But there is no doubt who will have the ball in those situations and knowing you have a guy is half the battle.
  12. DoctorGator
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    DoctorGator Well-Known Member

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    This is true; but honestly, I think we can, and maybe will, win it all with just what we've got - IF - we start nailing our free-throws consistently.
  13. GatorRade
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    GatorRade Well-Known Member

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    Could be true, but it might not be. Like I said before, it is not easy to measure. Also, as I cataloged on this board at one point in the past (before the Arky game), we have been outscored in the last two minutes of basically every one of those close games. I don't think that that stat means that we are a bad team in crunch time, but it certainly doesn't support the converse hypothesis.

    And I know that most believe in the concept of a clutch player/team, so I recognize that I am unique here in being a skeptic to that idea, and I don't really expect to change anyone's mind. I just come from a slightly different school of assessing claims, where I would need a lot more evidence to accept the claim. If you are interested, KenPom nicely lays out the argument with empirical data here:

    http://kenpom.com/blog/index.php/weblog/entry/memphis_choked...or_did_they
  14. 08gatorbait
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    08gatorbait Well-Known Member

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    I'd argue with so many seniors, the past does indicate something. Just like last year our inability to win on the road early showed a 4-5 road SEC record...it was a consistent problem. This year we've finally found guys playing well in clutch moments. Young vs UConn was incredible the final minute it just didn't happen but you can't claim it was poor plays(or great refs lol). Finney was mister clutch vs FSU. Kansas Prather went to the line and sealed the game for us along with Scottie playing with ice in his veins. Arkansas Finney kept us in but Wilbekin was the reason we didn't lose because he stepped up in the clutch. Auburn we hit 8-10 to seal the deal in free throws as a team. At this point the only inconsistent thing is who steps up at the end. The only game we made bad decisions in the end of the game was Wisconsin. It's kind of hard to fault the team to that because of the insane injury and suspensions we dealth with. Memphis..forgot memphis of course. Drawing a blank now on memphis..but we did defend well like UConn the final play to make a tough contested shot which is not luck, it's ability. Luck would be hitting a contested shot, not contesting it. Oh..let's not forget Frazier holding off Bama.
  15. 08gatorbait
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    08gatorbait Well-Known Member

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    Kenpom also claimed we weren't bad in late game situations last year...yet the eye test emphatically showed we struggled. How many turnovers, bad rushed shots did we take. How many inbounds went wrong. Sometimes the eye tells the truth too unfortunately, or fortunately.
  16. UFreak
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    UFreak Well-Known Member

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    I'm familiar with how KenPom laid it out. It's nice statistical work but that really does not address a major issue. The issue is do you get a good shot in these closing minutes. I would like to see statistics run on final possessions in which a team who has the ball is tied, losing by one or losing by two. There is no doubt in my mind that the likelyhood of you being successful in the above stated situation (successful in this case would be winning or tying a game to send it to overtime) if you have a good shot (as opposed to turning the ball over or taking a 40 footer). Granted what is a good shot can be subjective. But somewhere there is that territory of, did we get off a good shot on that final play? If you did, then you were successful in that and the percentages of you winning in that situation go up as do going into overtime. I'm sorry there is not argument there, at all.

    Too many times last year, we did not even get up a shot or the shot that we got up was too heavily contested or shot from too far a distance.

    Hence, repetition in this skill of getting good shots in tense situations (when refs often put away their whistles and defenses tighten up) does in fact matter.

    In essence, his stats stop short of what the issue truly is. Can you get off a good shot in the closing seconds and in tense situations? If you have a "guy" who can do that for you, then you are ahead of the game. We got a guy.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  17. 08gatorbait
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    08gatorbait Well-Known Member

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    Don't count on winning it all. We have as good a chance as almost any team(actually, any team). But that chance is still incredibly low. I would say Arizona has more, but I'll take Izzo, Mike Z, Cali, Billy, etc over Miller in a game at a coaching standpoint right now until he gets past the elite eight...so yea..I'd say our chance are right there with anyones. Still, incredibly low.
  18. DoctorGator
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    DoctorGator Well-Known Member

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    We are right where we need to be - IF we can consistently hit our free throws.
  19. GatorRade
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    GatorRade Well-Known Member

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    I hope that you are right, but with such small sample sizes, I can't put too much confidence in it.

    PS KenPom didn't say that we played well in our close losses. He said said that we often played so well in our wins that none of them ended up being close. To show you an example of how previous results aren't necessarily indicative of future result, the Gators did ended their season in a type of game that hadn't occurred all year: a blowout loss.
  20. GatorRade
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    GatorRade Well-Known Member

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    In fairness to Ken, I think that he did directly address your issue:

    This is not to say there aren’t teams with the ability to consistently win close games. It’s just that their record in close games tells you almost nothing about that skill. Simply identifying a team that has made a bunch of last-second shots (or seen opponents miss) and declaring them a bunch of winners is accurate from a reporting standpoint, but assigning the members of said team some special amount of intestinal fortitude is, in the vast majority of cases, going overboard. Despite what their coaches may say, their intestines are not all that much different from the team that loses a bunch of close games. If you want to judge a team’s ability in close contests, it’s best to look at their execution. The problem is, this might not be consistent with the outcome of the game.

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