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The place for off topic discussion on Hookem

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Weekly Texas Basketball Ratings/Bracketology

  • KenPom #20 http://kenpom.com/

    Sagarin #29 SOS is now #9 http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/bkt1112.htm

    Lunardi's lastes Bracketology http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/bracketology

    The Horns are in the next four out............which means they are the fifth team out.

    Things could be a lot worse............take care of business for the next 8 games and the Horns will be in the NCAA's. The Horns play TT in Austin Saturday and aggie in collieville on ESPN's Big Monday. (The Horns are catching a break because the aggies have multiple injuries)

    A win vs Baylor at home would be very big.

    This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by austinr 2 years ago

    "Leadership is wisdom, courage and great carelessness of self"

  • Pomeroy's blog has an article describing the end of the game and questioning whether Haith should be heaped with large amounts of praise for the zone defense after the timeout. The title of the piece was "Frank Haith and coaching luck," and Pomeroy concludes that Haith has done a great job this year with the team but shouldn't be lionized for calling that defense or pilloried if Texas had scored on the last possession and won, as he refers to the last play as "an outcome that was out of [Haith]'s control."

    http://kenpom.com/blog/

    One wonders, however, if there is a point at which unfavorable outcomes in those situations, if repeated over a long period of time are something other than "Luck." Before the Missouri game, Pomeroy ranked Texas 325th out of 345 schools in "Luck." After the game, I opined that one point loss would drop it to the mid 330s. Texas is now 336th.

    But at what point, because I don't really know, but I ask more as a topic for debate rather than to expect any certainty in anyone's response--at what point in a series of close losses does someone have to consider the end result as being indicative of who and what the team is rather than due to "luck?"

    I'm in nothing like a panic mode, as I see the team as having performed about as could have been reasonably expected so far and better in many instances. If we had been told at the beginning of the year that ISU would be 5-2 with a split with KU (after blowing a 10 point lead in the second half in Lawrence) and a victory over KSU, I think most of us would think a home-home split to be the most likely result of playing them twice. So I see the team as being about where it would be expected to be.

    BUT

    The trend of near misses is pretty disturbing.

    Texas's "luck" rating in previous seasons

    2011 -- 307
    2010 -- 207
    2009 -- 291

    So it has now been over 3 1/2 years that Texas has been rated as having bad luck, and in three of those years, it has been in the top 15% of bad luck. Is that luck? Or something else?

    Now, we might consider that the last time Texas had a really superior point guard combining penetrating and shooting ability, it wound up on the other side of things (2008 -- 62 with a +.037 raw score), so maybe there is something to the opinion by many that Barnes can't win without a truly elite point guard; however, I would point to the 2006 team as evidence to the contrary.

    I don't have any answers here. I'm really just throwing out this number for discussion. I do see a team that makes significant mistakes in crunch time this year--poor shots, defensive lapses, turnovers. Sometimes that can be attributed to freshmanitis. Sometimes that can be attributed to over reliance on a single offensive weapon. Sometimes that can be attributed to coaching decisions. (Anybody want to tell me why guy who is by far the best shot blocker, the second best defensive rebounder, and an 84% free throw shooter in conference was taken out for the final defensive possession against Missouri? Not saying Chapman would have blocked that extremely high arcing shot that won the game over a leaping Bond, just asking the question.) Sometimes it's giving up the offensive rebound after the missed free throw. Sometimes its just, well, wtf? Like Chapman backing down the defender, getting in the lane for the jump hook from 5 feet and not even drawing iron followed by Brown dribbling on the perimeter for the length of the shot clock without any attempt to run offense then jacking it up while covered 23 feet from the basket instead of trying to penetrate and draw contact and get to the foul line for easy points.

    I think there is blame to go all around to explain all the instances of close losses, but the important fact remains -- they happen. Consistently.

    At some point, one has to stop thinking of it as luck and start considering that it might be part of who the team is.

    I really hope this becomes a situation for me to eat these words. I'm definitely hoping for a 7-1 stretch over the next 8 games, raising Texas to a +.500 conference record. I'm extremely doubtful that will happen. I said at the beginning of the season that Texas has one dog road game a year, and we haven't seen that yet. On top of that, I don't know if we can think of ourselves as being favored to win in College Station against an A&M team that lost to Baylor in the last few seconds last night, in Norman against an OU team swept KSU, in Stilwater against an OSU team that beat Missouri there, or in Austin against Baylor. The games are winnable, but not probable wins, especially for a team that manages to come up just short in close games and hasn't won a conference road game yet. It won't be impossible, but it won't be easy.

    I think Pomeroy has to consider adjusting his luck factor in coming up with final rankings. Texas at 21 is way too high in my opininion until it shows that we should expect something other than competitive losses against high caliber competition. At some point, those games need to be Ws instead of Ls.

  • As I know you understand, Pomeroy's "luck" is a comparison of record to stats. So, it's not really a balancing of bad bounces, bad calls, bad coaching, etc.

    Agree that 7 of the next 8 is going to be difficult, if not impossible. As I said back at the beginning of the season, success or failure with this group is not going to be cumulative... past performance would not be an indication of future results.

    That said, Baylor is showing itself to be nothing special, having nearly coughed up games to Texas and A&M, which it should have destroyed. Kansas State, the same, after blowing the two games to OU and the Tuesday game at Iowa State. Texas plays both at home. But the road games will be severe tests. I have seen nothing to indicate that this team is gaining maturity. They play hard, and don't quit, but I don't think I've seen a play that they've run this year that they could go to multiple times over the course of games if they needed a bucket. They're much more like to blow an assignment or commit a frustration foul. A&M, OU, Ok State -- they aren't good enough to walk into those places and know if they do things right they will win. And even the '06 team laid a 20-point egg at Stillwater.

    I, too, would love to say 10-8. Going 9-9 is possible. But 8-10 is likely unless they start playing with some consistency.

    “Kansas may wind up number one in these polls, but that would be so unfair to Texas...” -- Len Elmore, 2/13/11

  • I thought the Horns would beat Missouri

    I don't think it's luck. I think that there is a difference in teams that consistently lose by 1-5 points and teams that consistently win by 1-5 points.

    Texas is a team that hasn't taken that step. They don't know how to win right now.

    Lead Writer Hookem.com___EMAIL:atrubow@statesman.com___TWITTER: http://twitter.com/#!/aTrubow

  • Until this season Barnes team usually won the close games so this year has been very frustrating to say the least. Two things I continue to consider:

    -With the exception of the KU at the end of the regular season the Horns have an excellent chance to win the next 8.

    -There is not a coach in the country that would like to face the Horns in round 1 or 2 in the NCAA Tournament this year. The horns would be a very tough out............there is no way any person on the selection committee that could say the Horns are not one of the top 68 teams in the country.

    "Leadership is wisdom, courage and great carelessness of self"

  • But Pomeroy suggests the opposite by giving Texas an average luck rating of 268.3 over the last three seasons.

    Record in games decided by 5 points or less (including any OT game regardless of final score)

    2010-11 4-6
    2009-10 2-3
    2008-09 5-6

    That's a final tally of 11-15, which isn't that far from .500, but certainly undercuts a notion that Texas usually wins the close games. Then add the fact that a couple of the wins came at the expense of clearly inferior teams (Rice 2010-11, Tech 2009-10).

    Texas has a very good chance of winning each of the next 8 games, but that translates to an even better chance they lose a couple of them. When you have a series of 8 games with a 75% chance of winning each one, you win them all only 10% of the time. If we estimate Texas's chance of winning each of the following at 60% (@A&M, @OU, @OSU, vs. KSU, vs. BU, which is a very, very generous estimate overall), that comes to a 1/14 chance of winning all those games.

    The tournament selection committee isn't charged with finding the top 68 teams in the country. It's charged with fliling a tournament with 68 teams after 31 spots are set aside for conference champions. In the last two tournaments, 18 teams received auto bids each year with an rpi of 51 or higher.

    Texas is currently 2-8 against rpi top 100 teams. Fortunately, 5 of those losses are to teams in the top 15. A 10-8 finish in the conference gets Texas there. A 9-9 finish with a final record of 4-11 against rpi top 100 with the wins all being at home against Temple, ISU, K-State, and OU? That's not a lot to crow about come selection time. The win over Temple is currently enormous, and Temple is sitting pretty in that it already beat St. Louis in their only matchup (on the road, no less) and gets to host Xavier, but Temple still has to visit other .500+ A10 teams St. Bonaventure and LaSalle as well as rpi top 50 St. Joseph's. I think Temple should finish pretty well, giving Texas the one victory over a top 25 rpi team, and maybe ISU will also creep up that high.

  • Clack checked the other day after the KU loss. While this season has been poor in close games...........Barnes prior 13 years was 2-1 in close games (games decided by 5 or less)

    "Leadership is wisdom, courage and great carelessness of self"

  • I know, but we aren't talking about the last 13 years, or at least I wasn't, and I wasn't even necessarily suggesting that Barnes can't coach victories in close games. I was talking about the unfavorable tendency this season and looking at the extent to which one might find a trend over recent years. In recent years, the tendency in close games hasn't been very good. I don't know if one can discern much meaning from the recent trend, but ti does exist.

  • Actually I re-checked the record and we had an issue the last part of the season (last year). The losses at Nebraska and Colorado plus the final game of the season to Zona. Horns did win a close game in the first round of the NCAA's.

    This will come across as laying all of the blame on one player but I believe J'Covan is a reason the Horns have lost so many close games the last year and a half. If you think about it the one really outstanding close win on the road the last year and a half was at UNC and Brown didn't touch the ball the last possession. Of course as we discussed the other night one of the main reasons we are in a possession to win is J'Covan.............

    "Leadership is wisdom, courage and great carelessness of self"

  • One thing the committee considers heavily is having a quality road win. Texas doesn't have one of those yet, and barring a highly unlikely upset of Kansas, beating OU in Norman will be the best Texas will be able to show unless A&M or Okie State put on big runs to end the year but with a home loss to Texas in the mix. UCLA has been playing better of late, but it blew a chance to really increase its standing by blowing a 10 point lead with 6 minutes to go against Washington last night and losing 71-69.

  • 6 cst

    "Leadership is wisdom, courage and great carelessness of self"