1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Who Should Start In The Swingman Rotation?

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by Goose, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    10,562
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    Over the past few weeks, there’s been a decent amount of debate (mostly on twitter) about who should be starting between Josh Fortune, Tre’Shaun Fletcher and George King and criticism of Tad’s “rotation” in which he has been changing who starts almost every game. Some people claim that King needs to start because his numbers are dramatically better when he starts. Some think that we should be matchup dependent. Others just like making loud noises. So I sat down and looked at the simple numbers for all three and figured out their averages for when they started and when they came off of the bench. Here’s what I saw.



    Now, at first glance, it would appear the obvious solution would be to start King & Fletcher and have Fortune coming off of the bench. But when you look deeper, King’s numbers are skewed by two outliers. If you take King’s Auburn game out (which he started), his starting ppg average almost exactly lines up with his seasonal average (13.889 vs 13.867). If you take out his Ft. Lewis clunker (in which he came off of the bench), his bench ppg goes up to 12.75 as well. But, that’s not how stats work, so I dug a little deeper on this. I compared their seasonal average for all five categories to how they lined up for each individual game. Basically, if three or more of the five categories were higher than their seasonal average, I considered it a “good” game. If three or more of the five categories were lower than the seasonal average, I considered it a “bad” game. This is what I saw:



    As you can see, King’s numbers are seriously skewed by the outliers. His extreme highs help his seasonal average, but hurt him in this comparison. And looking at the numbers, you can technically argue that King & Fletcher are better coming off of the bench than they are starting. But with the fact that there are so many “bad” games versus “good” ones, I was curious how the group worked as a whole – and if the truth of the matter was that all three played well against good opponents and poorly against bad ones. To figure this out, I again compared “good” and “bad” games, but this time figured out the KenPom ranking average of the teams that we played for each category. The lower the number, the better the quality of opponent (note: I removed Ft Lewis from each of these because they aren’t ranked on KP – this cost Fortune & Fletch one “good” game and helped King by removing one of his “bad” ones, but not to much overall change).



    The team tends to pad its stats against bad teams, and struggle against better ones. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Looking over the numbers, it appears that Fortune has benefited the most from the cupcakes and King has been relatively consistent between opponents. With a situation like this, there is so much "noise" and such a small sample size that it's hard to definitively come to a conclusion, but if I had to the only conclusions I can come up with are that it doesn’t matter who starts, Tad is smarter than the rest of us, and those three guys need to up their game a bit in conference play or we could be in a bit of trouble.
     
  2. chitownbuff

    chitownbuff Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,363
    Likes Received:
    541
  3. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    56,968
    Likes Received:
    4,979
    Good stuff goose. Although it has to be frustrating to do all that work for the end result to be: "keep on doing Tad, Tad." I guess that is why he makes the big bucks.

    The biggest thing I took from what you did is that King is the one least affected by opponent quality. That's encouraging.
     
  4. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Messages:
    25,890
    Likes Received:
    1,508
    Makes you laugh when you really look at the data and see how close the are in terms of production, and how small the sample size is - then when you navigate over to twitter or FB and people start calling Boyle a stark raving idiot or a bad coach for picking one over the other.
     
  5. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    10,562
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    King's numbers looked great until his recent "slump" (as much as 10 ppg and 4 rpg can be a slump).
     
  6. BuffNative

    BuffNative Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    108
    Thanks for putting this together Goose.

    My intuition is that in order to balance the offense between the first and second line Fletcher is a more complimentary starter alongside Fortune or King, who are both better at creating their own offense than Fletch. The problem with starting both King and Fortune is that the second line may not have the spark it needs to generate offense.

    I don't mind the rotation either, maybe it keeps each player hungry to prove they deserve more PT. Tad will still give more minutes to the more effective players. Right now Fletch is averaging 21.7 minutes per game, Fortune 23.9, and King 23.7 (I don't have the start/bench splits for minutes).

    I'd be curious to see the +/- for the different combinations of players as well as efficiency numbers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  7. scoob

    scoob Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,057
    Likes Received:
    847
    I'm disappointed that this rotation hasn't resulted in King or Fortune stepping up consistently defensively. It seemed that was really the challenge from the beginning and that doesn't really seemed to have happened yet.
     
  8. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Messages:
    25,890
    Likes Received:
    1,508
    Looked at defensive win-shares for reach player:

    King: .5
    Fletcher: .5
    fortune: .6

    basically a wash again for all the reasons Goose states.
     
  9. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    80,761
    Likes Received:
    16,476
    My leaning is toward Fortune and King starting with Fletch as the 6th man. I don't see any rationale for this and I get why Tad is doing it the way he is since there isn't really a statistical difference. I like the idea of defined rotations and roles. I suppose Tad does to, but since he hasn't seen consistent performances he doesn't want to simply give guys minutes or take them away to fit a formula... he wants them to seize those minutes.

    Hem. Haw. Rinse. Repeat. I'm more confused than ever. But thanks @Goose ... I think.
     
  10. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    10,562
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    See, I liked Fortune & Fletch starting because King isn't a real willing passer anyway, so having his explosive scoring with the second unit lined up best to me. But, yeah, I have no freakin' clue. Basically my post is a whole lot of words and numbers meaning "¯\_(ツ)_/¯"
     
    Buffnik likes this.
  11. Zachsquatch

    Zachsquatch Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    39
    Anyone see a problem with the game-to-game switching?

    In order to determine a trend you need to establish a constant variable. Would be interesting to see what the stats look like if Tad sticks with a starting lineup for multiple games in a row. After the Bay Area trip and Goose's awesome analysis, I like Fortune as the 6th man. Brings a spark off the bench and helps avoid having Yaz and XT on the court at the same time when Dom and Fortune both get into early foul trouble.

    Fortune is a better ball handler and defender of the 2 than Fletch or King though :confused:
     
  12. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Messages:
    19,527
    Likes Received:
    1,610
    Tough call, but I think I lean ever so slightly towards Fortune as the 6th man as I want a spark in that role and i do think he is best suited to provide that.
     
  13. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    10,562
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    So interesting you mention sticking with a starting lineup. Against BYU, Nicholls and Hampton, Tad stuck with King & Fortune as starters. Gave us:

     
    Darth Snow likes this.
  14. Scotch

    Scotch Registered User Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    9,817
    Likes Received:
    435
    Thanks Goose, Good Stuff!

    I'm ok with any combo here, preferably one that, if possible, helps them stay fresh and limit foul trouble so the best combo can be on the floor in the last 5 minutes of the game.
     
  15. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    10,562
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    Bingo. Big key is who finishes the game. And that's whomever has the hot hand that day.
     
    Scotch likes this.
  16. HUFset

    HUFset Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    52
    Just quit starting Fletch and play him less. He hasn't shown me much, ever. Fortune and King are scoring machines that work well with our inside out.
     
  17. BuffaloSoldier76

    BuffaloSoldier76 Unsound Meat Club Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,949
    Likes Received:
    231
    Will be interesting to see how this is all affected when there is another mouth to feed when XJ reappears in the lineup.
     
  18. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    80,761
    Likes Received:
    16,476
    Did you even look at the numbers Goose researched and posted?
     
    Yung Buffalo, Darth Snow and Goose like this.
  19. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    471
    I'm so confused, people on twitter told me Tad should be fired
     
    scoob, Goose and Buffnik like this.
  20. HUFset

    HUFset Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    52
    I did. When I watch the games, I feel like he makes mistakes, slows the offense and hinders King and Fortune from stepping on the floor and just lighting up the scoreboard. He is slowing the flow and consistency of our offensive game IMO. No disrespect, the research is flawed. You can't just take out good/bad games to make things statistically significant. Sample size is calculated, not given. Good/Bad games is subjective, so that is how I based my observations. It's clear to me that Fletch should play less.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  21. buffalo1

    buffalo1 Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    60
    Goose....good stuff, thanks for the research. The numbers indeed show a wash. I don't care so much who starts, especially after seeing your stats. And I guess I missed most of the twitter blowup.
    I think it should come down to matchup and effort.
    Who will be most effective against our opponent based on that team's makeup (who will score, who will create points for other Buffs, who will defend, who will rebound). And will CU tweak the offense against that team in a way that might lead to one of the three getting more minutes.

    Curious which one can help Dom relax and play some great ball. I'm sure he is capable of more.
     
  22. scoob

    scoob Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,057
    Likes Received:
    847
    These people are in tune with known common principles of basketball that you have yet to grasp.
     
    jgisland and absinthe like this.
  23. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    10,562
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    Which is why I pointed out, and I quote, "But, that’s not how stats work" after the taking games out for King part.
     
  24. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    80,761
    Likes Received:
    16,476
    And I think the consensus is that all 3 are inconsistent, so Tad going with the hot hand makes sense. My preference was for Fletch as the 6th man. But as others pointed out and your comments would seem to support, it may be better to have a more aggressive offensive player as that 6th man while having Fletch's slightly better defense & willingness to defer scoring to J40 & the other wing as the #1 & #2 options in the starting 5.

    I don't envy Tad on this one. Not that too many options is a bad problem to have. More that when there's so much variability in each guy's game-to-game performance it's got to be damn difficult for him to game plan.
     
    HUFset likes this.
  25. BuffaloSoldier76

    BuffaloSoldier76 Unsound Meat Club Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,949
    Likes Received:
    231
    I don't envy Tad on this either, but I REALLY don't envy him for next year when he has to get minutes for all 3 of these guys as well as working White and Peters into the mix...and XJ if he opts to take the redshirt this year. That embarrassment of riches is not necessarily a bad thing, but getting each of these guys enough minutes to get in a groove is also going to be a potential concern. However, that's for next year's Tad to worry about.
     
  26. LaserDeathHawk

    LaserDeathHawk Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,305
    Likes Received:
    1,249
  27. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Messages:
    25,890
    Likes Received:
    1,508
    So the more I think about what @Goose wrote, and the more i look at numbers and effect on game i come back to two things:
    - Fletch is probably the weakest of the three players.
    - Fletch is the only one i know i would start.

    You can make a great argument for King off the bench as the sixthman playing starter minutes and giving us a huge offensive lift when he comes in.
    You can make and argument for Fortune off the bench because of his ball handling and giving us some relief on the ball when Dom sits.
     
  28. BuffNative

    BuffNative Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    108
    Fletch is the weakest player when it comes to scoring the ball but I would argue he brings some things to the table the other two don't. He has a better assist/turnover ratio than King. Sometimes he has a propensity to foul too much but he may very well be the best defender of the three. He's a little taller than the other two with a longer wingspan but the same quick feet, so he has the defensive potential to guard almost any wing in the Pac-12 if he can figure it out mentally.

    I can see why CU's fanbase has pegged him as the odd man out between the three. Sometimes I feel like he suffers from the same offensive confidence issues we see with Wes, especially after picking up a couple of cheap fouls. When he plays with hesitancy he gets caught telegraphing plays, this happened a couple of times in the second half of the Stanford game. Even a casual basketball fan can spot a player that plays hesitantly and without confidence. On the other hand, King and Fortune never seem to lack for confidence and we love them for it.

    If Fletch can play within himself and regain some confidence there will be nights where outplays King and/or Fortune because the tools are there.
     
  29. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Messages:
    25,890
    Likes Received:
    1,508
    Dont disagree with any of this, well put.
     
  30. jgisland

    jgisland Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    471
    If you want to start and play a lot on a Tad Boyle team there are 3 principles:

    1) play defense
    2) Rebound
    3) take care of the ball

    Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 12.45.36 PM.png

    So diving into these numbers

    Who plays defense?
    If you look at the Defensive Box Adjusted Plus/Minus (DBPM) (an estimate of the defense points per 100 possessions a player contributed above a league-average player, translated to an average team) King is severely lacking. He's the only CU contributor that is negative.

    Who rebounds?
    King is a very good offensive rebounder, Fortune a very good defensive rebounder and Fletcher is the weakest overall rebounder.

    Who takes care of the ball?
    Not really any of them.....but Fortune has an elite assist rate and Fletcher is competent while King gets very few assists.


    If you're looking at purely #Tadball numbers you probably start Fletcher and Fortune because of defense and ARAte/TORate. King does have very good rebounding numbers to hang his hat on but he's kind of a defensive liability to date.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
    BuffNative likes this.

Share This Page