Hey there! I’m creating this blog as a place to consolidate my thoughts and do a deep dive on all things UVa basketball or, more specifically, the topics that I find interesting and want to explore in detail. The primary purpose will be just for my own enjoyment, as I am an avid fan of the men’s hoops team and am so grateful for the era that Tony Bennett’s arrival has begun, but I will share this content in case there are others who are interested.
I find myself scouring the internet, especially during the season but also throughout the year, looking for detailed analysis on the team – but most of the conversation is limited to chat rooms, twitter discourse, and traditional game preview/recap style content. My favorite part of being a fan is the detailed analysis: who is playing, what strategies are being implemented both from an in-game perspective, from a roster construction/utilization/recruiting strategy perspective, and from a historical perspective. I like to think critically about what is going well, what isn’t, and why that’s the case; because part of the fun for me is to consider what I would do in the same position. What would I change? What would I keep the same? What do I think the take aways and lessons learned are? If you’re reading along, surely you will agree with me at times, and disagree others – and hopefully that will be part of the fun for you as well. As such, much of the time I may be critical about what’s going on, decisions, players, etc., because it’s more of a challenge and more fun (for me) to think about what to improve. But I am thrilled with the total body of work and the culture that has been created during the GOAT’s short tenure, and firmly believe he is the best thing to happen to UVa athletics:
I also have so much appreciation for every player who puts on that uniform and their commitment to the program!
Most of my content, will attempt to harmonize information that we’re getting from statistical information with video clips pulled from re-watching the games (where available). In addition to more well known stats, I am fond of looking at Box Plus/Minus which attempts to calculate a player’s value to his team while he is on the court over 100 possessions compared to an average player in MCBB. It’s not a definitive stat in the sense that one player having a higher BP/M means they’re automatically more valuable to their team, since it is only looking at box score statistics and cannot account for play by play, deflections, etc. It does adjust for the totality of the team’s performance, the player’s role and utilization within the team, the strength of their competition, etc. It’s a fairly comprehensive formula and more details can be found here and I use the data provided by this site, when I do so. I will also look at PER, or, Player Efficiency Rating, which is another quality comparison of a player’s overall contribution to a team, and one that I think transfers across multiple teams and years better than BP/M. Certainly, I will also look at some other metrics as well but, as we know most stats are imperfect and only a part of the full picture. The film will be important to see if the numbers match the eyeball test.
So who am I to be giving all of these opinions? No one, really. A fan! I grew up on the outskirts of Charlottesville near Ivy, Va, and graduated from UVa in 2006, after which I moved to the D.C. suburbs. I played AAU ball growing up, played for my high school varsity team, have coached some at the youth level… but mostly, am just someone who enjoys watching, dissecting, and absorbing the game. This is where I will try to organize my thoughts in so doing. Come along with me if you’d like!