The Sports Report

A Statistical Take on Sports and Politics

Dayton and the NCAA Tournament

Disclaimer: In my information about past mid-major at-large teams, I include their record and RPI ranking in the week before Selection Sunday. As a guide for my readers, here is a list of the college basketball rating Web sites that I use in this article:

Warren Nolan’s RPI Rankings

Jeff Sagarin’s College Basketball Rankings

Ken Pomeroy’s College Basketball Statistics

The Entropy System Sports Ratings

With only four games remaining in the Atlantic-10 schedule for the Dayton Flyers, I thought it was about time that I wrote a detailed description of how they can possibly advance to the NCAA Tournament in just a few weeks here. Dayton currently sits at #30 in the AP rankings, with a 23-4 overall record, 9-3 in conference play. They had been #25 in this ranking last week, before a surprising loss at Saint Louis brought them back to the “receiving extra votes” category. They have been a good team throughout the season thus far, but these losses to Creighton, Massachusetts, Charlotte and now Saint Louis in the first 27 games could be the main reasons why the NCAA Selection Committee chooses not to include Dayton.

Dayton faces the toughest remaining schedule of any team in the Atlantic-10. They schedule includes a road date with Rhode Island on Wednesday night, a visit from Temple on Saturday, before finishing up with a road trip to Xavier next Thursday and the season finale at UD Arena against Duquesne. In order to understand how difficult these last four games will be, here is a look at the current A-10 standings:

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February 24, 2009 Posted by | College Basketball, Dayton Flyers | , , | 1 Comment

MJ and Kobe

This all started when I returned to campus on Sunday evening, and over-heard an argument with my friends Dave and Vishnu from across the hall about who is the best scorer in NBA history. Vishnu, our resident Lakers/Blazers/Western Conference fan, argued that Kobe Bryant is the best scorer in NBA history because of his current ability to score whenever he wants to from any position on the basketball court. One example of Bryant’s work is that sick (no pun intended) fade-away jump shot he hit over LeBron James in the Lakers versus Cavaliers game two weeks ago. However, as many of you loyal readers know, I have never been a huge fan of Kobe Bryant’s, and I argued that any answer other than Michael Jordan is simply ludicrous. Now here are the numbers to back that statement up:

Let me begin with Kobe Bryant’s career numbers. He is currently in his thirteenth season in the NBA, and over these thirteen seasons Mr. 24 (formerly Mr. 8) has averaged 25.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 36.5 minutes a night. He has now appeared in eleven All-Star Games (including one his sophomore season when he averaged only 15.4 points in 26.0 minutes off the bench) and has been on the first or second team All-NBA eight times in his career. Assuming he continues his recent play over the next few years, he is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, who finally won the Most Valuable Player award for the very first time last season:

Kobe Bryant = 918 Games Played and he turned 18 in August just before rookie season (1996-1997)

Over 60+ = 5 (0.54%)
Over 50+ = 24 (2.61%)
Over 40+ = 95 (10.35%)
Over 30+ = 298 (32.46%)
Over 25+ = 474 (51.63%)
Over 20+ = 633 (68.95%)

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February 18, 2009 Posted by | The Boots | , , | 4 Comments

The Boots (February 10, 2009)

Boot Up: The Phenomenon of Lamar Odom – I am sorry to bring up this sore subject fellow Cleveland fans, but I was actually planning on writing an article about the 30-year-old Odom days and even weeks before he blew up for 28-points and 17-rebounds in the Lakers victory in Cleveland on Sunday. The main reason for this potential article was that I saw a mention on ESPN recently, that Odom is a free agent and it seems like the Los Angeles Lakers are already thinking about moving on without him. Here are the exact words from Chad Ford:

“Odom will be one of the most coveted free agents on the open market. Phil Jackson likes him, but with Kobe, Bynum and Pau Gasol on the roster, the Lakers don’t need him and might explore trades for him in the coming months. Odom’s penchant for disappearing in big moments (see: 2008 NBA Finals) hasn’t helped his rep in L.A. But he is a great team guy, he can rebound the ball, he can initiate the offense and he doesn’t need the ball to be effective. If he doesn’t stick in L.A., there will be a line of teams waiting to snatch him up.”

Sure, this article is from September and there have been several more ESPN articles about the free agent class of 2009 since that date, it is interesting to ponder the possibilities. Now with Andrew Bynum theoretically out for the rest of the regular season, it seems like the Lakers will probably hold on to Odom for at least the rest of this year, yet Bynum is a big reason why he might not be back next year. In this past off-season, Andrew Bynum signed a massive contract extension with the team that just comes into effect next season. This means that while the Lakers do indeed have over $17 million in expiring contracts, they will still be well over the expected salary cap of about $61 million. Thus the only logical way for the Lakers to re-sign Odom, even though he is their own free agent, is to give him their mid-level-exception, something I would expect Odom to pass down.

Now on to the exact reasons why this article caught my eye, and why, especially after Sunday’s performance, I believe Lamar Odom could still be an All-Star in the NBA. As evidenced on Sunday, Lamar Odom is one of the best scoring threats next to the basket in the NBA. Below this article, I point out how LeBron James shot about 65% from the basket from 2004-2008, and Lamar Odom was pretty close to him last season shooting about 62.2% at that spot on the court. This year his paint numbers down a little bit because of the health of Andrew Bynum (up until recently that is). In addition, in Odom’s career he has never averaged less than 8.46 rebounds and 17.57 points per 48 minutes. In the past five years in Los Angeles, he has averaged about 18.54 points, 5.39 assists, 12.31 rebounds and an efficiency shooting percentage of 1.039 despite never being the premier scoring option on the court behind Bryant, Gasol and recently Bynum.

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February 10, 2009 Posted by | Dayton Flyers, The Boots | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments