Season 3 Episode 11: Butler Advanced Stats

Discussion in 'Butler Basketball' started by Jared Grubbs, Feb 21, 2018.

By Jared Grubbs on Feb 21, 2018 at 5:03 PM
  1. Jared Grubbs

    Jared Grubbs Administrator Staff Member

    There has been a lot of talk about Butler players, strategy and coaching this year. We have Brian Weitz, developer of an advanced basketball algorithm, to take us inside the stats. Who is Butler's best isolation player? Where do Lavall's out-of-bounds plays rank? Who is Butler's best defender in the final 5 minutes of the game? We have all of that and more. Very cool interview.
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Discussion in 'Butler Basketball' started by Jared Grubbs, Feb 21, 2018.

    1. seadawg
      AKasle_BU likes this.
    2. Hinkle
      This was awesome.

      The discrepancy between reality and fan perception may be greater for Fowler than any Butler player —ever.

      Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops mobile app
    3. BulldogsAllTheWay
      Best Hoopcast yet. Good work Ari.
    4. bumba
      Glad to see the analysis paralysis over a player who has career averages of 4 points & 2 rebounds per game continues. Yawn.

      Just play the game like you did against Creighton, Nate.
    5. Hinkle
      Bringing up his per game averages (including his 6mpg as a freshman) to make your point is exactly why the analysis is necessary.

      His per-40 average this BE season is 15/8 on 61% shooting. I get those aren't all-american numbers, but they're very good, and in stark contrast to the impression you'd get around here. I mean, if you knew nothing about him other than what the average fan says, you'd think he should play for Grambling State.
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    6. Irishdawg
      Wow - what a pod. Definitely learned a lot, and Ari wasn't the only one who had preconceived notions about players doing certain things that it definitely appears I wasn't correct on.
    7. Insane Dawg
      Insane Dawg
      In our seven BE losses 6 ppg, 3.3 rebounds, 1 foul shot. Don't know how many minutes. 61% shooting is good. 1/3 rd misses blocked not good. Would like to see defensive ppp per groupings - Marquette, Depaul, Creighton, SJU, Providence vs. X, Nova, GT, SHU.

      One telling stat is 17 free throws in 29 games/496 minutes or one free throw every 29 minutes vs. Wideman's 72 in 572 minutes or one every 8 minutes.

      I'm warming to Nate but boy it's been a long time coming. My primary criticism has been toughness, hands and strength. That is subjective of course.

      The podcast was quite interesting. Not sure how one measures who takes the best shots or what that means. Interesting discussion of AT and KB as point guards. I remember when Jalen Brunson was a freshman. He wasn't impressive.
      Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    8. bumba
      He doesn't play 40 minutes a game. No one does. It's like saying if you and I simply worked 120 hours a week we could triple our salary.

      There's nothing predictive about that metric. It's not even directional honestly because it assumes identical conditions. It's overused & imaginary productivity. Again, just my opinion.
      BulldogCTM likes this.
    9. Irishdawg
      I'll let Hinkle speak for himself, but I didn't get the impression that he was using it as a predictive model. He was simply showing it as evidence that Nate Fowler isn't the player that you and Insane believe him to be.

      Regardless of player groupings, if when he's on the floor defensively they're only allowing 0.67 PPP, I want him on the floor. You pair that with how efficient he is offensively (he is the 2nd most individually efficient offensive player in conference play for Butler, behind only Tyler Wideman), and this just shows that Fowler is valuable. Does he get blocked too much? Yeah. Does that make him inefficient? No.
    10. AKasle_BU
      Appreciate it! I’m so glad people liked it. I was a little worried that it was too stats-heavy. Glad to know people like that stuff
    11. FlyForaWeitzGuy
      I’d like to hop in here. Per 40 stats aren’t designed to suggest what would happen if a player played 40 minutes. They’re designed to normalize stats across a cohort of players. This allows for a more fair comparison of players than comparing per game averages of a player who plays 10 minutes a game and a player who plays 30 minutes per game. You could adjust per 40 minutes, or per 4 minutes, it doesn't matter. 40 is actually arbitrary. As long as you adjust stats to the same number of minutes across all players, you are able to create the same level of fairness for your comparison. So your criticism of Hinkle’s post doesn't really address the point that Hinkle is making.

      Thanks for all the positive feedback, everyone. Much appreciated.
      Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    12. Hinkle
      Thank you for making my point more articulately than I would have.

      I've always wondered why they don't do per-30 stats for college, sort of like the NBA does per-36 (typical starter minutes)
    13. fdr
      This honestly reads like a quote from an Onion article. "Area man doesn't know how to interpret advanced metrics."
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    14. Insane Dawg
      Insane Dawg
      Is the .67 ppp for Fowler alone or for the team when he is on the floor? Wonder what Tyler's is? I would expect shooting percentages for the five position to be higher than any other position. That alone doesn't mean the individual is a difference maker. A five should not only have a good shooting percentage but must also draw fouls, rebound consistently every game and block shots. Fowler doesn't rebound consistently nor draws fouls. Those two functions are crucial for a five. Fowler may very well take the second best shots, shoot 62% and the .67 ppp but that does not prove he is not soft. Once he gets foul shots at the rate Wideman does and rebounds consistently every game then I'll be a buyer. Is he valuable now? Of course. Is he a difference maker ( outside of last night)? No. Is he getting better? I think he is.
    15. FlyForaWeitzGuy
      It is for him. What I created that Ari and Jared referenced would have been able to give you what you’re looking for and show who was most impacted. The reality is that people are going to think Nate is soft, and nothing I can say is going to change that, no matter how convincing the data is. Watch him and just him for 5 mins, and then watch other post defenders. It’s plainly obvious why he grades out as well as he does.

      The reality is also that saying he’s soft is just flat out wrong, and also completely irrelevant.
      MSUDawg likes this.
    16. Insane Dawg
      Insane Dawg
      Thanks. I'm not talking about his defense. I think the opinions are more degrees. Hinkle, Spartan , Irish, Ari , you and others believe he is an accomplished five and isn't soft. Like I said above once he rebounds consistently and gets to the free throw line like Wideman and everyone else on the team for that matter then I'll switch to your side and be a buyer.
    17. Dawgedd
      In light of some data presented I am recalibrating my assessment of Fowler.

      However, how are you defining soft using data? I would think being soft could include not drawing fouls as a 5 and getting a ridiculous rate of shots blocked.

      So how is Fowler being soft flat out wrong? Maybe it’s nuanced but to say it’s flat out wrong doesn’t fit all the available data.

      Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops mobile app
      Insane Dawg likes this.
    18. Hinkle
      I don’t think the important point is defining “soft”. The point is, whatever he’s doing, and however you define “soft” or “not soft”, the fact is the team plays really well on both ends when he’s on the court. Softness only matters to the extent it prevents you from getting more points or stopping more points.

      It’s sort of like bringing up the percentage of his shots that get blocked. It’s just not very important for Nate. *Who cares* what happens on his misses if 65% of his shots are going in?

      If McDermott airballed a third of his 3 point shot misses but still made 45% from 3, would you really care or want him to play or shoot less? I sure as hell wouldn’t.

      Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops mobile app
      Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    19. FlyForaWeitzGuy
      I think the larger point is that its completely irrelevant if he's "soft" or not. Hinkle hit on that and articulated it well.

      In terms of proving it with data, if you check my twitter you'll see that I just tweeted out the following comparison of dunks/2 Pt FGA:
      2018 NF= 3.6%
      2013 Andrew Smith 3.4%

      Secondly, he is definitely our best post defender this year, even if that is an overall weakness for the team. (it is) The reason he is so good is because he does a really good job before the ball is entered into the post. That's the easiest time to take part of a possession off. He never does. He's not the strongest from a physical standpoint, but its not because he approaches the game wrong.

      Now using dunks as a proxy for not being soft is admittedly a terrible methodology. But I think the biggest issue at play here is that Nate Fowler's bad plays stick out in our mind and as a result we form conclusions that simply are not supported by any numbers.

      As far as going to the line etc. Nate is good because he knows exactly who he is. He's not a guy that finishes through contact, he's a guy that finishes around contact. He's EXTRAORDINARLIY effective at that. If he tried to finish through contact I can't help but think we would lose a large portion of what makes him so good, which is his ability to play within himself. Yes, we would get more fouls, but potentially at a loss of overall effectiveness. I'm not ok with that trade. I'll have another fun Nate Fowler stat later in the day, Thursday, on my twitter.

      You can take issue with his defensive rebounds, but he's actually a pretty solid shot blocker and offensive rebounder. There's only a little bit more athletic/aggressive you can ask him to be. If he were Jalen Reynolds physically, he would be playing for a team that had a lottery pick last year.
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