Finding Value in the NBA Draft

Written by John McCool (@Desertrose28) The NBA draft offers a fresh start for struggling NBA teams short on prospects or skilled veterans. In particular, players drafted in lottery slots can make an instant impact in the league at a cheap price. History, however, suggests that even players picked in the lottery

Bootstrapping Expected Goal Coefficients (Part Two)

Written by John McCool (@Desertrose28) Quick Takeaways: There appears to be significant coefficient variability in the angle and rebound coefficients from 2007-08 through 2015-16 using bootstrap analysis The distance and rush coefficient remain relatively stable across seasons This suggests that current expected goal (xG) models could be biased if trained on coefficients from past seasons In the

Clustering NBA Teams by Shot Selection

Written by John McCool (@Desertrose28) Shot selection, which includes any field goal attempt from a layup to a three pointer, is a vital component to the game of basketball. NBA teams that consistently take open or high percentage shots around the basket will likely have an advantage over their competition. Teams should also

In Defense of Mike Tomlin

Written by Adam Tucker (@adamtb182) Main Takeaways Expected point gain of going for it on fourth down gives key insights as to why Mike Tomlin chose not to kick a field goal at the end of the half of yesterday’s game. Under the lens of expected point gain, are NFL coaches really acting

Are NHL Expected Goal Models Biased? (Part One)

Written by John McCool (@Desertrose28) Quick Takeaways: There is potential evidence that the rebound and rush coefficients in logistic regression models for expected goals (xG) shifted across seasons The distance and angle coefficients for xG models did not differ significantly from 2008-09 through 2015-16, though there appears to be a slow, upward shift Significant

Looking Back At Neutral Turnovers in the NHL

By: John McCool At the moment, NHL teams are using more analytics for everything - from player evaluation to game analysis. One interesting research area is how neutral zone turnovers influence scoring chances. Challenges in this study arise from separating neutral zone takeaways from other noise such as player skill, goaltending,

Long Home Runs from Unusual Suspects

By: John McCool (@desertrose28) Long Home Runs From Unusual Suspects On a hot mid-July afternoon, Starling Marte launched a 430-foot long home run against reliever Oliver Perez into the left field bleachers giving his team a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighteenth inning against the Nationals. Of his nine home

Colangelo is King: An NBA GM Draft Analysis

  By: Tyler Wellener On April 6, 2016 Sam Hinkie stepped down from his position as General Manager for the Philadelphia 76ers, provoking a variety of emotions among fans the following summer.  Hinkie had taken the 76ers on a three-year journey dubbed “The Process” - losing season after season (after season) to

Passing Patterns in Seattle

By: John McCool Despite consecutive Super Bowl appearances, and 3 straight double-digit win seasons, there was concern that the Seahawks wouldn’t even make the 2015 playoffs. By mid-November, Seattle stood at a pedestrian 4-5 after losing to the Arizona Cardinals. Local sports radio hosts and ESPN pundits labeled their receiving core