Friday, January 24, 2014

Digging a Hole

There are a few things that have been bothering me about this season so I decided to dig a little deeper than I had previously and do a little analysis.  In the boys AA bracket, now that Shen has beaten Guilderland, things are getting a little more interesting.  I had done a brief comparison of common opponents earlier in the year but wanted to expand on it to get a better feel for how things really are.
To do that, I did a Common Opponent Analysis (COA), similar to that I did last year for Sectionals, only this time I have given more weight to games depending on their closeness to the two teams involved.  For example, a head to head game should carry more weight than a comparison of common opponents, or that of a common opponent of a common opponent.

I worked on the boys AA, since that's where my original thought was hatched and did an analysis of each pairing of the top four teams (Shen, CCHS, Guilderland, and Green Tech).  I was going to do the top 5, but would have had to expand it to 8 or 9 to figure out who #5 was, and since whoever it is only has a minimal chance at a title anyway, I didn't think it was worth it.  Then, I did an average of their MOV derived from the COA against each of the other three teams.  

As an example, Green Tech and Shen have each played Colonie and Shaker.  Shen had a +7 against Colonie, winning by 19 as opposed to GT's 12, and a -7 against Shaker, winning by 14 as opposed to GT's 21.  That 0 variance between the two (+7 and -7) was 1/3 of GT and Shen's score in addition to a similar number for each against both Guilderland and CCHS.  

In short, Green Tech had the highest score with a 6.8, followed by Shen at 3.4, Guilderland at 1.4 and CCHS at -11.6.  To put it another way, GT is 3.4 points better than Shen, 5.4 better than Guilerland and 18.4 better than CCHS using a comparison against each other.  

To do it right, you would need to do it for every combination of teams in the AA bracket, but I doubt the ending numbers would vary much and would be outrageously time consuming.  Regardless, I've been persuaded to believe this should be the top four, in that order.  I've always believed GT was the best of them all, even if by only a slim margin.  I will admit I hadn't given Shen a hard look until they beat Guilderland, though I did think they were undervalued in the last Forecast (and as you'll see in the next one).  They do get punished a bit for having such a large enrollment and being good each year, without a championship to show for it.  

As far as putting the undefeated CCHS #4, the numbers back it up.  They have not fared as well against common opponents as the other 3 have.  They are still a young team as well and have shown to be a little inconsistent.  That doesn't mean they aren't deserving of the praise, nor does it mean they don't have a good chance to win.  Nonetheless, I think it's a fair representation of where things stand.

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