Of the five or so of you who either remember or have read my posts on this site, you will recall that I tend to favor posting shots of Jim Boeheim or Homer Simpson in various states of duress. I’ve also been known to dabble in conference fear-mongering ("What’s Happening Here, Bob?"). And, on that note, I’d be remiss if I did not remind you that the Louisville to the Pac-12 rumors are heating up.
Best be gettin' scared, Beavers and Ducks. Best be gettin' scared.
This weekend is not the time for laughter, however. For years now at various holiday and family functions of the centre_card clan, we’ve debated the ‘Pitino Effect.’ This is a phenomenon, some in the family hold, that takes place in a shooter’s final one or two seasons with the team. The hypothesis is as follows:
- A player, perhaps one of the best shooters ever seen in the Holocene, arrives to campus with a new backpack and Trapper Keeper.
- Said player wows the fans for one or two seasons. "Next year," we say, "this kid will be awesome."
- College Happens.
- Said player due to problem "x" (where ‘x’ is girlfriend, injury, grades, NBA, ABA, NBDL, NHL, MLB, or practice—yes, we’re talking about practice) is increasingly unable to shoot.
- Said player graduates with ‘unrealized potential.’
- Coach Pitino and staff are blamed.
- Somewhere, a little baby cries.
Given our squad’s recent attempts to help out with the national housing crisis by offering up free and numerous building materials (read: bricks), I’ve decided to work out my frustration about the end of the season by attempting to trace this ‘Pitino Effect.’ The results are after the jump and they should make you think a bit.
If you knew me personally, you’d know that I feel the same way about math and statistics that I feel about the color PMS286 for Print and hex #005DAA for web and the Diener brothers.
No sir, I don't care for it at all.
The data I have are below. I took the stats from the Louisville website. All data-entry errors are my own. I selected, in as subjective a fashion as possible, the players we all would probably recognize as ‘important’ scorers and three-point shooters on the team.
I did not factor in changes to the team from year-to-year due to players departing. I did not factor for a minimum number of shots. I also did not take into account injuries. In other words, this whole thing
might be is probably bogus. The 'numbers' beside the averages denote the class year (1=Freshman, 2=Sophomore, etc)
The following players demonstrated noticeable declines in their field goal shooting averages from their junior to senior seasons:
Taquan Dean: (.445 to .381), down 6.4%
Brandon Jenkins (.439 to .339), down 10%
Juan Palacios (.475 to .443), down 3.2%
Jerry Smith (.492 to .393), down 9.9%
Preston Knowles (.438 to .379) down 5.9%
Kyle Kuric (.514 to .434) down 8.0%
On this year’s squad, in addition to Kuric, we’ve seen both Peyon Siva (down 5.7%) and Chris Smith (down 5.6%) see a decline in their averages over the past two seasons.
There are bright spots, however. In the Pitino era, Reece Gaines, in his final two years, saw a net increase in FGA of .5% (from .456 to .461) and Larry (LAAAAARRRRRRRRRRYYYY) O’Bannon increased 10% (.383 to .49) from his junior to his senior season. Alhaji Mohammed also improved.
The following players demonstrated noticeable declines in their three-point shooting averages from their junior to senior (or last two) seasons:
Taquan Dean: (.447 to .382), down 6.5%
Brandon Jenkins: (.388 to .265) down 12.3%
Juan Palacios (.314 to .333), down 1.6%
Jerry Smith (.412 to .282), down 13%
Preston Knowles (.432 to .383), down 4.9%
Kyle Kuric (.449 to .344) down 10.5%
Obviously, Kyle’s stats for this season are still in flux. As are those of Siva (down 7.2%) and Chris Smith (down 1%).
The news for three point shooting isn’t all bad. Gains were posted by Reece Gaines, Larry O’Bannon (LAAAAAAAARRYYYY), Francisco Garcia, Brad Gianiny, Andre McGee, Edgar Sosa (pick up your jaw, there you go), Terrence Williams, and Earl Clark in the last two years of their careers here. Alhaji Mohammed also improved.
What does this tell us? If you look at the list of names in decline in their final two seasons, you cannot deny that players figured to be leading scorers and leaders of the team fell into a most inopportune decline toward the end of their careers. Why did this occur? I'm still not sure. I wish I had more answers to give you, but that will call for more numerical and historical analysis than I have for you right now.
Regardless, it's March folks. I'm leaving you with this and this.
Go Lady Colonels. Go Cards.