Friday, April 16, 2010
Adjusted efficiency always laughs last
By Eamonn Brennan
You know that old saying, right? "He who doubts adjusted efficiency doubts the wind?" OK, I just made that up.
But how about this: "The stat that laughs loudest always laughs last." Is that a thing?
Or what about "You know, O'Doyle, I got a feeling your whole family's going down. But now I've got to study."
All right, now I'm just quoting "Billy Madison." I admit it. There are no real good old cliches for me to bust out here, so instead let's just give the floor to Ken Pomeroy, the man behind the indispensable Pomeroy rankings that yours truly uses at least 10 times in any given college basketball day. See, Pomeroy has to deal with a lot of people doubting his rankings. Not just people who doubt tempo-free stats in general, of course, but even by those who believe in the general premise of what he's doing but think his findings need to be tweaked one way or the other to accommodate what they see with their eyes. Pomeroy, being both a gentleman and a scholar, puts up with these complaints and rarely, if ever, budges on his rankings.
For much of the year these complaints centered on -- you guessed it -- Duke. Surely Duke wasn't worthy of that No. 1 overall ranking. Surely Kansas was more efficient. Surely the ACC was giving Duke some sort of weird numerical boost. Surely Pomeroy was wrong.
Not so much, folks. Duke, as we all know, rode its incredibly efficient offense and monstrous offensive rebounding ability and efficient defense to a national championship on April 5, the fourth of coach Mike Krzyzewski illustrious career. Which also means Pomeroy is having an all-timer of a last laugh. That link is an example of the many Duke-related emails Pomeroy got throughout the year, and though it's a few days old, it's certainly worth the read. I would not want to be "somebody." (Pomeroy was nice enough to remove names and email addresses.)