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Blog Entry

A new way to track and evaluate coaches

Posted on: April 18, 2011 12:00 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:06 pm
 

Posted by Matt Norlander

If KenPom.com was considered an invaluable resource for college basketball data before this, then how do we classify it now?

The best site for hoopheads got even better Monday morning, as Pomeroy, with the help of Josh Riddell, who runs The Mikan Drill, introduced a new facet to KenPom.com: Coaching Resumes. There is now data and statistics and rankings for every Division I coach from the past eight years. (Pomeroy launched his site in '03.)

Why is this helpful? You can see the things a coach values, and what he doesn't. You can see how a coach stays strict to his beliefs, even when he changes jobs, or how moving to a higher pay grade can alter his philosophy in certain ways.

The former applies to John Calipari; the latter: Seton Hall's Kevin Willard. Former Providence coach Keno Davis also got away from what led him to a 2008 28-5 season at Drake before taking the Friars job.

The statistics involved are tempo-free, of course. So, while overall records are listed, things like adjusted defensive and offensive efficiency; effective field goal percentage; turnover percentage; 3-point shooting; free-throw shooting; assist rates and more are included.

When I say the name Bob Huggins, what do you think? Do you think practitioner of high-volume offensive rebounding and assist rates? Because you should. Frank Martin, a man in Huggins' coaching tree, also has a terrific, albeit short, track record of coaching his teams into rebound-snaring machines.

This sort of blossoming statistical analysis won't register much on most people's radars, I know, but it does make those of us who enjoy the numbers-driven side of the sport that much more digestable, interpretive and helpful. And knowledgeable. It never hurts to have more data; how you use and weight the data is another issue.

As Pomeroy notes in his initiative blog entry about the new feature, this new corridor to his site can also help those within university borders. The athletic directors and school presidents can get a better view of what they might be looking for in a coach, statistically. That's not all of the hiring process, but track record is normally vital. Now the white-collared shot-callers can see who's truly been consistent and elite in certain areas. After all, why pay for expensive search firms, effectively wasting money, when you could get an intern or already-paid employee to do the data-driven leg work first?

Pomeroy writes: "I hope you enjoy coaching resumes as much as I do."

So earnest, I love it. And, oh, I do, Ken. I do.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got an entire day to spend rummaging through the statistics. The best college basketball site on the Internet has given us another data set to build columns, comparisons and conclusions around.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Coaches
 
Comments

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 5:25 pm
 

A new way to track and evaluate coaches

Great new feature to a favorite site. However, Ken if you are reading this - how about a link to the coaching tables on the main page? Your examples in the blog show a few individual coaches but no index!

The idea that a coach is more understandable by his statistics is a valid one. For instance, Bill Self at Kansas has emphasized defense to be among the top teams. But not since his championship in 2008. Is this all about the players recruited or could it be the blend of assistant coaches he has hired? In any case the past two years he lost to a lower seeded team that appeared to take advantage of his current team's weakness. This makes sense and should encourage the players to see and work on their weaknesses.

Kenpom has been an interesting resource in filling out brackets each year. The caveat is that the regular season statistics do not necessarily predict the post-season results. In any case this is a worthy shout-out and a hearty well done.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com