Numbers Don't Lie – or Do They

Forum Forum Lehigh Sports Lehigh Men’s Basketball Numbers Don't Lie – or Do They

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  • #4439

    LU65
    Participant

    Going into league play, where’s how Kenneth Pomeroy and Jeff Sagarin rank the play of Patriot League member schools. 345 D-I basketball programs were surveyed.

    Format: KP Ranking / KP OOC Strength of Schedule / Sagarin Predictor Ranking

    Lehigh (12-4) 70th / 270th / 74th
    Bucknell (10-6) 130th / 139th / 135th
    Holy Cross (6-8) 229th / 206th / 240th
    American (9-6) 233th / 287th / 232nd
    Lafayette (5-10) 270th / 255th / 275th
    Army (7-8) 277th / 344th / 292nd
    Navy (3-11) 303rd / 284th / 307th
    Colgate (5-9) 310th / 276th / 320th

    Lehigh has shown it can score the basketball against anyone, averaging 78.8ppg – 1st among Patriot League team (nearly 9 points ahead of Lafayette) and 23rd in the nation. As a sidelight and of continued interest to some, no one has scored more points against Michigan State this year than the Mountain Hawks did back on Dec. 22nd…..81. While it may not be the most accurate shooting team in the PL @ .452FG% (2nd behind Bucknell), Lehigh makes up for that in terms of it Tempo of play and both its Offensive and Defensive Efficiency (see below). Pomeroy defines Tempo as the average number of possessions in a game, Offensive Efficiency as # of points scored per 100 possessions, and Defensive Efficiency as the # of points allowed per 100 possessions. In nearly every case, Lehigh tops the chart and it is for this reason – along with our proven ability this year to play well on the road where many a PL team’s chances have gone awry in years past – that I believe Lehigh will win it all this year.

    Rankings (345 schools)

    Tempo / Offensive Efficiency / Defensive Efficiency

    Army 36th / 294th / 229th
    Lehigh 38th / 49th / 112th
    Colgate 66th / 288th / 317th
    Holy Cross 124th / 239th / 217th
    Lafayette 181st / 139th / 333rd
    Bucknell 280th / 93rd / 175th
    Navy 298th / 299th / 277th
    American 307th / 219th / 249th

    If this were the NBA, you’d say, "What’s the use, numbers don’t lie; Lehigh wins it all." But it’s not. It’s the NCAA and, better yet, it’s the Patriot League where the game is still played by student athletes. In my book, that’s what makes this game and this time of year so special.

    Good luck and good health to everyone who plays the game.

    Enjoy opening day!

    As for who win on Saturday……………..

    Ken Pomeroy says:

    Lehigh over HC 77-69 (76% chance)
    Bucknell over Army 71-64 (73% chance)
    Navy over Lafayette 68-67 (51% chance)
    American over Colgate 72-62 (84% chance)

    Sagarin would suggest:

    Lehigh over HC by 8
    Bucknell over Army by 7
    Navy over Lafayette by 5
    American over Colgate by 12

    #4444
    Bison137
    Bison137
    Participant

    "LU65" wrote: In nearly every case, Lehigh tops the chart and it is for this reason – along with our proven ability this year to play well on the road where many a PL team’s chances have gone awry in years past – that I believe Lehigh will win it all this year.

    Rankings (345 schools)

    Tempo / Offensive Efficiency / Defensive Efficiency

    Army 36th / 294th / 229th
    Lehigh 38th / 49th / 112th
    Colgate 66th / 288th / 317th
    Holy Cross 124th / 239th / 217th
    Lafayette 181st / 139th / 333rd
    Bucknell 280th / 93rd / 175th
    Navy 298th / 299th / 277th
    American 307th / 219th / 249th

    If this were the NBA, you’d say, "What’s the use, numbers don’t lie; Lehigh wins it all." But it’s not. It’s the NCAA and, better yet, it’s the Patriot League where the game is still played by student athletes. In my book, that’s what makes this game and this time of year so special.

    I agree that LU is clearly the favorite at this point. However remember that Pomeroy does not attempt to adjust his offense/defense rankings for strength of schedule. (He only adjusts for the offensive/defensive production of a team’s opponents – regardless of who they happen to have played.) Thus the numbers won’t fully reflect Bucknell having played a significantly tougher ooc schedule (BU’s #119 vs LU’s #281).

    If the numbers could be adjusted for this, I’m sure LU would still be ahead in offensive and defensive efficiency, but the gap would likely close significantly.

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