Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Inside/Outside According to Pomeroy

Ken Pomeroy introduced a stat which he called "Inside" as part of his Big 12 2006-07 Preview. The formula, =100*(FTA-3FGA)/FGA, quantifies the common elements of perimeter-oriented play on the collegiate level...

  • A ratio of 3 point to 2 point FGAs.
  • Lack of contact & resulting fouls. Offensive schemes which feature close in scoring via penetration or passing into the low post often result in a foul and FTA as the possession-ending action.
The larger the positive value the greater that player's tendency to play "inside", while the larger the negative number, the greater the tendency to play on the perimeter (the "outside"). Using playing time (about 32% minimum) as a filter, the ten "most inside" players were:

Hasheem ThabeetUconn762121011595
Hamady N'DiayeRU3875604275
Adrian HillRU726169112070
Paul Harris'Cuse7582172016667
Darryl Watkins'Cuse961180011664
Zach HilleslandNDU62812107663
Kentrell GransberryUSF656239014962
David PadgettLville807186111360
Dante CunninghamNova879189111359
Rob KurzNDU8682264917958

Pomeroy had suggested that for regular players the range should be about +70...0...-70. Thabeet and N'Diaye fall outside of that range. Neither however, played a significant role their team's offense. N'Diaye's Poss% & Shot% were 15.2 and 11.1 respectively, suggesting his biggest contributions were on the defensive side of the ball. Thabeet's numbers, 15.0 & 11.0, respectively are strangely similar to N'Diaye's, and show that he is not a focal point for the Husky offense. Aside from the range the names and reputations are consistent with frontcourt players -- David Padgett, Darryl Watkins, Dante Cunningham and Kentrell Gransberry. Two elements did surprise me though. Rob Kurz, Zach Hillesland appeared among these 10, both are from Notre Dame, not a program with a big frontcourt reputation. Paul Harris and Rob Kurz are decidedly not center, bf-type players. But the formula suggests they are more "inside oriented" than I might have thought. I also noticed that Roy Hibbert, Luke Harangody, Aaron Gray & Terrence Roberts, players who were large contributors to their team's offenses are not in this list.

Andy Rautins'Cuse74122618824-73
Brian McKenziePC4211047812-63
Avery PattersonSt.John's90430822042-58
David CubillanMU70214211137-52
Colin FallsNDU1027314250102-47
Dan FitzgeraldMU71917212242-47
Ronald RamonPitt88420916468-46
Frank YoungWVU113041526377-45
Alex RuoffWVU117130319870-42
Jamar Nutterthe Hall91135221871-42

"Mr. Outside", Andy Rautins, also falls slightly outside of the range identified by Ken Pomeroy. Unlike N'Diaye & Thabeet however Rautins's numbers, 17.1 and 21.1, do represent more than an occasional contributor to the Orange offense. Finding two players from John Beilein's system (Alex Ruoff & Frank Young) is not surprising. Finding Providence's Brian McKenzie on the list is. McKenzie, a rising freshman is another unheralded backcourt find for HC Tim Welsh. David Cubillan and Dan Fitzgerald of Marquette provided the wing dimension in HC Tom Crean's offense. Fitzgerald played the #4 (Steve Novak's role for the Warriors over the past 4 seasons), appeared in all 33 games and started 11. Cubillan was an all-purpose backcourt backup who took additional minutes when Jerel McNeal broke his hand. If the list is to be trusted, both Andy Rautins (torn ACL) and Avery Patterson (transfer) will be missed this season. The Villanovans:

Bilal Benn2462822996
Dante Cunningham879189111359
Casiem Drummond1302501248
Will Sheridan82912956244
Curtis Sumpter9554001411666
Scottie Reynolds9623531691752
Reggie Redding429823825-16
Shane Clark77618710052-26
Mike Nardi96130518776-36
Dwayne Anderson189584518-47

The order of the players may be a little surprising, but as a classification, each player appears to be "typed" (Inside/Outside) properly. Bilal Benn's ranking is no doubt due to the distortion of marginal play.

Pomeroy credited "Inside" to Kevin Pelton a Sonics sportswriter and moderator for APBRmetrics. Pomeroy explained that he modified the stat by using field goal attempts in place of minutes played. After reviewing the Top 10 lists, I was curious to see the differences if I used Pelton's original formula.

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