News Article: Ball & Oats: How Alabama became an SEC powerhouse overnight on its way to possibly changing college basketball

Bama Shoals

3rd Team
Jan 17, 2007
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I really enjoyed this article. I'm surprised they allowed this detailed of a look behind the curtain.
I thought the same thing. They talk in the article about how using the HDI service would be a definite advantage but it then seems like they are giving it to everyone.
 

Bidgoodman

New Member
May 4, 2013
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I'm not a basketball fan but this article was very informative. Oats is part of the leading edge on analytics. Plus, his math background helps him in understanding the data. Most coaches' eyes would glaze over looking at numbers.
We are fortunate to have him and I give our athletic director props for finding and hiring Oats. Hopefully, we can keep both for a long time.
 
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dayhiker

FB|BB Moderator
Dec 8, 2000
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I'm not a basketball fan but this article was very informative. Oats is part of the leading edge on analytics. Plus, his math background helps him in understanding the data. Most coaches' eyes would glaze over looking at numbers.
We are fortunate to have him and I give our athletic director props for finding and hiring Oats. Hopefully, we can keep both for a long time.
To be fair, I explained the math of this to my 8th grade daughter after CNO's interview on WJOX yesterday, while I was driving her to school. She followed along easily.
 

TideEngineer08

Hall of Fame
Jun 9, 2009
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The value of the mid-range jump shot was greater before the 3-point line was introduced. It was a way to get away from the basket where all the taller (and slower) players could congregate and defend shots easier. With the introduction of the 3-point shot, the reward became greater to stay outside. The extra point makes a more difficult shot worth it. Just inside the 3-point line, you've lost a point on a shot that's just as difficult as it would be a foot or few farther back.

It makes a ton of sense. There is a really a dead zone from the paint out to the 3-point line where the value of a made shot does not exceed the difficulty enough to offset it on a consistent enough basis to justify taking the shots. It's just taken several decades for that reality to sink in to coaches who had learned the old style offenses since cutting their teeth.
 

J0eW

Bamanation Citizen
Jul 18, 2020
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I really enjoyed this article. I'm surprised they allowed this detailed of a look behind the curtain.
I read the link. I followed some of it, but got lost in the weeds a little bit.

My take is that we struck gold with Nate. Maybe diamonds, too.
 
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CajunCrimson

Moderator (FB,BB)
Staff member
Mar 13, 2001
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Other teams can access data. Can they use it? Or are they stubborn and stick with worn out schemes ?

Kansas is going to play with 2 bigs, no matter what. They will recruit elite talent and win 75% of their games.

I doubt Self or K or Williams would ever change. So let them know about what we do. I think the talent is coming in a big way. And most wont ever catch up.
 

TexasBama

Hall of Fame
Jan 15, 2000
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Interesting that the development of his offensive philosophy parallels what Dantoni was doing with the Phoenix Suns, and pre-dates “Moreyball”. He really is a pioneer
 

TIDE-HSV

Senior Administrator
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Oct 13, 1999
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The value of the mid-range jump shot was greater before the 3-point line was introduced. It was a way to get away from the basket where all the taller (and slower) players could congregate and defend shots easier. With the introduction of the 3-point shot, the reward became greater to stay outside. The extra point makes a more difficult shot worth it. Just inside the 3-point line, you've lost a point on a shot that's just as difficult as it would be a foot or few farther back.

It makes a ton of sense. There is a really a dead zone from the paint out to the 3-point line where the value of a made shot does not exceed the difficulty enough to offset it on a consistent enough basis to justify taking the shots. It's just taken several decades for that reality to sink in to coaches who had learned the old style offenses since cutting their teeth.
The principle reason for the effectiveness of Oats' philosophy is the escalation of players' skills beyond the 3-point line. These days, kids spend hours shooting thousands upon thousands of 3-pt jumpers. They are as accurate now as we were with 18 footers. The mid-range jump shot then becomes a liability...
 

TideEngineer08

Hall of Fame
Jun 9, 2009
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The principle reason for the effectiveness of Oats' philosophy is the escalation of players' skills beyond the 3-point line. These days, kids spend hours shooting thousands upon thousands of 3-pt jumpers. They are as accurate now as we were with 18 footers. The mid-range jump shot then becomes a liability...
I had been hearing about the "points per possession" stat, but had never bothered to look up the formula. Seeing it spelled out in that article finally connected the dots for me. Yes it requires the skill of shooting the deep shot and I agree players nowadays focus on practicing that shot. But even shooting the three at 35% is more valuable than shooting the mid-range 2 at over 40%. It all makes sense now. You've got to be a really, really good mid-range team, like Gonzaga, to make that work to a level that wins a lot of games.
 

BamaNation

Publisher and Benevolent Dictator
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Apr 9, 1999
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I think the next evolution in the game will be to implement in the actual game something like what's in the tweet above. It's fun to watch a barrage of 3's and layups when you're hitting 40% from 3 pt land. However, if EVERY team goes to this, it will no longer be interesting to me. I think you need something to incentivize longer and mid-range shots. Otherwise, when everybody evolves to what we are doing because of analytics, it becomes quite predictable and unwatchable. Call me crazy.