Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Seton Hall 82, Monmouth 66: Tempo-Free Primer

Patrik Auda helped Seton Hall to an efficient win over Monmouth Monday night. (Photo courtesy of Ray Floriani)

The second piece of our postgame coverage from Seton Hall's win over Monmouth last night, with a continued introduction to tempo-free statistics by college basketball "Renaissance Man" Ray Floriani:

What constitutes a possession? Dean Smith, the legendary North Carolina mentor actually began using possession-based stats as an Air Force assistant. In Smith's system, a possession ends on a turnover, final free throw; make or miss, or a field goal attempt. On today's metric, the possession ends the same way, except with field goal attempts. An offensive rebound would extend the same possession, under Smith's system, a new one would be started. A look at the formulas:


POSS = FGA + (FTA * .50) + TO

In the Smith formula, the free throw multiplier was .50.

Today's formula used by Pomeroy, Oliver et. al.:

POSS = FGA + (FTA * .475) ­ OREB + TO

              Smith's formula is not obsolete these days. It can still be used to calculate the points per possession and efficiency of plays. The occurrences noted that end a 'possession' in Smith's system end the play. In other words, an offensive rebound would begin another new play. Naturally, both formulas will have points divided by possessions to arrive at points per possession.

              In Seton Hall's 82-­66 victory over Monmouth at the Prudential Center on Monday, the Pirates used 66 possessions. They put up a superlative 1.25 points per possession (a 125 offensiveefficiency). Using Smith's formul,a the Hall executed 77 plays for a 1.07 points per possession, (107 efficiency) an excellent number as well using the Smith formula.

The Oliver/Pomeroy formula of today is the one used with overwhelming popularity. Still, the former UNC coach's contribution is invaluable in assessing a team's plays or sets.

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