What can you find here?

The primarily focus of this blog will be the Nittany Lion hoop squad. A secondary subject will be B10 basketball overall. With the departure of the Big Ten Wonk to bigger and better things (see the Basketball Prospectus), I think there will be a hole left in a tempo free view of the Big Ten conference in general and Penn State basketball specifically. I hope to fill some of that void (with a realization that might writing skills fall far far short of the Wonk’s).

Ken Pomeroy (kenpom.com), the Wonk’s partner in their Basketball Prospectus venture, also has inspired this blog. I’ve taken particular interest in Pomeroy’s Pythagarian winning percentage formula for rating and ranking basketball teams because it bears a great resemblance to a methodology that I used 35 years ago, just for college football though.

Lastly, Wages of Wins, a book by David Berri, Martin Schmidt, and Stacey Brook, got me thinking about creating a stats oriented PSU hoops blog a year ago. WoW uses statistical methods to try challenge some of the conventional wisdom in sports today. I was curious if I could apply some of the work, particularly the NBA player rating methodology used in the book to college basketball. By no means, do I claim to have the statistical pedigree of the WoW authors, so my methods may prove to be woefully inaccurate, but I hope to have fun doing it.

With that as a background, you can expect to find four things in this blog.

1. A rating/ranking of the B10 basketball teams – my methodology is so close to Pomerory’s (and will borrow heavily from his statistical dirty work) that it will essentially be a rewrite of his Pythagarian system (the numbers will be different but the rankings will be the same).

2. Predicted scores of Big Ten basketball games based on my rating numbers. By the nature of the beast, these numbers are out of whack early in the season and I am not exactly sure when I will actually start predicting game scores and spreads. I am also undecided at this point as to whether I will compare the spreads with Vegas numbers or not – readers are certainly free to do so if they wish (Standard Disclaimer – I make no claims about whether I can beat the bookies or not, however, so I would refrain from mortgaging the house to gamble away based on my numbs).

3. A statistical evaluation of Penn State’s players using the methodologies discussed in Wages of Wins. I would really like to extend the statistical evaluation across all Big Ten teams but the time required might prove prohibitive.

4. My two cent conclusions on anything the above statistical analysis might point me toward.

Hope you enjoy the site.

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