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View Full Version : Gonzaga Is A Major Team In A Minor Conference- FiveThirtyEight



LegacyZag
03-09-2016, 01:38 PM
Found this article browsing ESPN. Some interesting analytics

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/gonzaga-is-a-major-team-in-a-minor-conference/

sittingon50
03-09-2016, 02:05 PM
Nice article, legacy. Thanks.

FuManShoes
03-09-2016, 02:27 PM
Found this article browsing ESPN. Some interesting analytics

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/gonzaga-is-a-major-team-in-a-minor-conference/

Thanks for posting. This is great!
Over more than three decades now, no mid-major has beaten the tar out of its conference the way Gonzaga has beaten down the WCC.

But, doesn't it also dispel a few of our favorite Zag-colored talking points?

1. "The WCC isn't that bad." - According to this, it actually is:
...the average non-Gonzaga WCC team has been worse than the average Division I school over the same span
2. "The Zags have helped make the WCC a better league." - The article doesn't say if the WCC has improved over the course of the streak but it sure seemed pretty weak this year with soem borderline NCAA schools and few NBA prospects.

Mantua
03-09-2016, 02:50 PM
FiveThirtyEight is the best source for all kinds of things. I love the way they look at NBA team projections.

webspinnre
03-09-2016, 03:11 PM
1. "The WCC isn't that bad." - According to this, it actually is:


Below average doesn't necessarily mean terrible. It just means that the average non-Gonzaga WCC team is a below-average NCAA team, which is pretty much what we already knew.

Zag 77
03-09-2016, 05:14 PM
Is this another in the ever-ending saga of beating a dead horse and urging GU to join the Big East/Pac 12/MWC/Big Sky/Big 10/MVC/Big 12/AAC/ACC/SEC? Did I leave any league out?

:horse:

WallaWallaZag
03-09-2016, 05:55 PM
i'd like to see what the numbers say since byu joined the wcc...though their addition may be negated by the entry of pacific.

gonzagafan62
03-09-2016, 06:06 PM
Is this another in the ever-ending saga of beating a dead horse and urging GU to join the Big East/Pac 12/MWC/Big Sky/Big 10/MVC/Big 12/AAC/ACC/SEC? Did I leave any league out?

:horse:

A10

kitzbuel
03-09-2016, 06:45 PM
Is this another in the ever-ending saga of beating a dead horse and urging GU to join the Big East/Pac 12/MWC/Big Sky/Big 10/MVC/Big 12/AAC/ACC/SEC? Did I leave any league out?

:horse:

How much would it destroy BYU if we joined the Big12 before they did?

webspinnre
03-09-2016, 07:24 PM
Is this another in the ever-ending saga of beating a dead horse and urging GU to join the Big East/Pac 12/MWC/Big Sky/Big 10/MVC/Big 12/AAC/ACC/SEC? Did I leave any league out?

:horse:

That's not the point of the article. The point is that what Gonzaga has done is unprecedented.

ProVeeZag
03-09-2016, 07:40 PM
Is this another in the ever-ending saga of beating a dead horse and urging GU to join the Big East/Pac 12/MWC/Big Sky/Big 10/MVC/Big 12/AAC/ACC/SEC? Did I leave any league out?

:horse:

Summit Conference?

sittingon50
03-09-2016, 08:57 PM
Independent.

Ezag
03-09-2016, 10:35 PM
I guess in reality the WCC for the most part has been our "Beatch"

rawkmandale
03-10-2016, 01:37 AM
I guess in reality the WCC for the most part has been our "Beatch"

And...a very good one at that!

RenoZag
03-10-2016, 04:47 AM
Is this another in the ever-ending saga of beating a dead horse and urging GU to join the Big East/Pac 12/MWC/Big Sky/Big 10/MVC/Big 12/AAC/ACC/SEC? Did I leave any league out?

:horse:

No. If you had bothered to read the article you would have understood the context of the OP. Objection duly noted, however.

Birddog
03-10-2016, 04:51 AM
Is this another in the ever-ending saga of beating a dead horse and urging GU to join the Big East/Pac 12/MWC/Big Sky/Big 10/MVC/Big 12/AAC/ACC/SEC? Did I leave any league out?

:horse:

Those seemingly always start on this forum.

B Wayne
03-10-2016, 06:07 AM
The article quantifies or puts into metrics that Gonzaga's conference games are uncompetitive to a degree that is unprecedented in the history of college basketball.

For me, this has translated to a traditionally uninteresting conference schedule and conference tournament because of this uncompetitiveness to a historical degree. Numbers don't lie. Lopsided wins to a historical degree are not interesting to watch for me.

This is not to say there have been zero competitive games or tournaments. It does mean the numbers show we watch a number and degree of uncompetitive conference games at a historic level. That is not fun viewing for me.

And for those who criticize any discussion of leaving the conference, why? Why can't it be discussed, if for no other reason that this article shows mathematically
a lack of competitive conference games at a level that is unprecedented in the history of college basketball.

DukeSilver
03-10-2016, 07:09 AM
And for those who criticize any discussion of leaving the conference, why? Why can't it be discussed, if for no other reason that this article shows mathematically
a lack of competitive conference games at a level that is unprecedented in the history of college basketball.

It has been discussed, ad nauseum. The conclusion has uniformly been that there is not a conference that the Zags could reasonably join that would be an improvement over the WCC. Either geographical considerations or GU's lack of a football team eliminate from consideration the PAC-12, Big East, ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, A10, and AAC ... We could MAYBE talk the Mountain West into accepting us without a football team, but the jump in competition simply isn't THAT big from the WCC.

CDC84
03-10-2016, 07:26 AM
And even if they were to join the MWC, many of their key games would be relegated to CBS College Sports Network, which a lot of folks don't get. The WCC's contract with ESPN, in addition to GU's own contract with Root Sports (for games ESPN doesn't want), gets them a TON of national exposure.

There are other things to consider than just the competitiveness of the league they're playing in.

The MWC is not a great conference every year. They've been lousy this season. Are they better than the WCC as a whole? Yes.

TexasZagFan
03-10-2016, 07:30 AM
The article quantifies or puts into metrics that Gonzaga's conference games are uncompetitive to a degree that is unprecedented in the history of college basketball.

For me, this has translated to a traditionally uninteresting conference schedule and conference tournament because of this uncompetitiveness to a historical degree. Numbers don't lie. Lopsided wins to a historical degree are not interesting to watch for me.

This is not to say there have been zero competitive games or tournaments. It does mean the numbers show we watch a number and degree of uncompetitive conference games at a historic level. That is not fun viewing for me.

And for those who criticize any discussion of leaving the conference, why? Why can't it be discussed, if for no other reason that this article shows mathematically
a lack of competitive conference games at a level that is unprecedented in the history of college basketball.

There is no need for discussion, because it's not going to happen. What about the other sports that compete in the WCC? We're not operating in a vacuum. Going independent in basketball is not an option. Who's going to play us during conference play? Good luck trying to put together a 30+ game schedule in that environment.

ETA: we don't have a football team, we wouldn't bring enough to the table. Let's not forget the additional travel costs, which would put a significant crimp in the non-revenue generating sports.

gonzagafan62
03-10-2016, 07:35 AM
The article quantifies or puts into metrics that Gonzaga's conference games are uncompetitive to a degree that is unprecedented in the history of college basketball.

For me, this has translated to a traditionally uninteresting conference schedule and conference tournament because of this uncompetitiveness to a historical degree. Numbers don't lie. Lopsided wins to a historical degree are not interesting to watch for me.

This is not to say there have been zero competitive games or tournaments. It does mean the numbers show we watch a number and degree of uncompetitive conference games at a historic level. That is not fun viewing for me.

And for those who criticize any discussion of leaving the conference, why? Why can't it be discussed, if for no other reason that this article shows mathematically
a lack of competitive conference games at a level that is unprecedented in the history of college basketball.

Four letters:

ESPN.

That's why we shouldn't nor will we ever leave WCC.

Plus our other sports aren't at any high major level either. If you don't like the "uncompetitiveness" that's on you. Sometimes I love it. I love relaxing and watching our zags. I really don't want a heart attack at age 25 and dying young.

Thanks Bulldogs

TexasZagFan
03-10-2016, 07:40 AM
And even if they were to join the MWC, many of their key games would be relegated to CBS College Sports Network, which a lot of folks don't get. The WCC's contract with ESPN, in addition to GU's own contract with Root Sports (for games ESPN doesn't want), gets them a TON of national exposure.

There are other things to consider than just the competitiveness of the league they're playing in.

The MWC is not a great conference every year. They've been lousy this season. Are they better than the WCC as a whole? Yes.

WCC basketball will improve only when the worst offenders do a better job of OOC scheduling.

Just look at the RPIs: 5-10, it's 228 to 302. Top 4 are 36-130, Top 3 are 36-78.

This battle has been fought ad nauseum for a decade.

KOzag08
03-10-2016, 07:46 AM
And even if they were to join the MWC, many of their key games would be relegated to CBS College Sports Network, which a lot of folks don't get. The WCC's contract with ESPN, in addition to GU's own contract with Root Sports (for games ESPN doesn't want), gets them a TON of national exposure.

There are other things to consider than just the competitiveness of the league they're playing in.

The MWC is not a great conference every year. They've been lousy this season. Are they better than the WCC as a whole? Yes.

This is correct. Instead of banging the "leave the WCC" drum, we should be focusing on what needs to be done to make the WCC better. Since none of us have the influence on other conference to accept our bid for membership, why not have the conversation about how to make the WCC better (an area we also have no influence)?

I think we're seeing some improvement from the middle of the conference (Pepperdine/USF), but some schools simply don't care about basketball. LMU is a school with a ton of money and in a great location, but still play in a large high school gym. Until we see some fire behind schools like LMU, Pacific, USD, and even Santa Clara to improve facilities and schedule real basketball teams outside of the conference; the WCC will continue to be a below average conference.

GrizZAG
03-10-2016, 08:15 AM
" Instead of banging the "leave the WCC" drum, we should be focusing on what needs to be done to make the WCC better."

One sure fire way is for both St. Mary's and Zags make some serious noise in the tournaments this year. Better for recruiting, better against the argument that WCC is weak and more attractive for OC teams to play us. Winning does wonders

gonstu
03-10-2016, 08:25 AM
If BYU stays for a few more years, the WCC is not that far off IMO. Just need a little more consistency from BYU. They lost this year to Long Beach St, Harvard, Portland, and Pacific. If those are wins, they only have 6 losses and are an attractive at-large candidate. SMC appears to have some staying power too now - hopefully they schedule a little stronger next year. As much as I dislike BYU, their presence is nothing but great for WCC credibility.

KOzag08
03-10-2016, 08:45 AM
If BYU stays for a few more years, the WCC is not that far off IMO. Just need a little more consistency from BYU. They lost this year to Long Beach St, Harvard, Portland, and Pacific. If those are wins, they only have 6 losses and are an attractive at-large candidate. SMC appears to have some staying power too now - hopefully they schedule a little stronger next year. As much as I dislike BYU, their presence is nothing but great for WCC credibility.

Agreed. What's the deal with SMC's scheduling? Are they having trouble scheduling tougher OOC opponents or are they just satisfied with their current approach of trying to win the WCC? If it's the ladder, then they are delusional. They should be applying the "Gonzaga model" of playing anyone, anywhere, anytime. As much as I dislike them, we need them to become more relevant on a national level and we need to encourage their success.

GrizZAG
03-10-2016, 09:18 AM
No way BYU should have lost any of those games, they are way better than that. How can they play us so tough with those losses? Go figure. Banjo player alone should have won those.

sittingon50
03-10-2016, 10:25 AM
There is no need for discussion, because it's not going to happen. What about the other sports that compete in the WCC? We're not operating in a vacuum. Going independent in basketball is not an option. Who's going to play us during conference play? Good luck trying to put together a 30+ game schedule in that environment.

ETA: we don't have a football team, we wouldn't bring enough to the table. Let's not forget the additional travel costs, which would put a significant crimp in the non-revenue generating sports.

TZF,hope you understand that as the thread was devolving my "Independent" post was meant to be sarcastic.

zagbeliever
03-10-2016, 10:40 AM
Great article

CDC84
03-10-2016, 10:46 AM
WCC basketball will improve only when the worst offenders do a better job of OOC scheduling.

The real problem isn't scheduling strength. The real problem is the conference's annual inability to beat teams they should beat or can beat. This is just a small sample size from this season:

Cal State Fullerton 77 (record 10-19)
Pacific 76

Drake 69 (record 7-24)
Pepperdine 53

UC-Davis 79 (record 11-18)
Portland 66

San Jose State 76 (record 9-22)
San Diego 67

Lipscomb 65 (record 12-21)
Santa Clara 63

It's losses like these that absolutely kill the conference's RPI and national reputation. WCC teams need to start beating the teams they are capable of beating before they venture off to Duke or UConn.

DixieZag
03-10-2016, 10:54 AM
The real problem isn't scheduling strength. The real problem is the conference's annual inability to beat teams they should beat or can beat. This is just a small sample size from this season:

Cal State Fullerton 77 (record 10-19)
Pacific 76

Drake 69 (record 7-24)
Pepperdine 53

UC-Davis 79 (record 11-18)
Portland 66

San Jose State 76 (record 9-22)
San Diego 67

Lipscomb 65 (record 12-21)
Santa Clara 63

It's losses like these that absolutely kill the conference's RPI and national reputation. WCC teams need to start beating the teams they are capable of beating before they venture off to Duke or UConn.

Wow.

Until one sees the bare bones laid out, it's hard to appreciate.

soccerdud
03-10-2016, 12:14 PM
just an interesting note-- the WCC hasn't always been as bad as it is this year (though on average it has clearly been the worst conference to produce a power team). see: http://kenpom.com/conf.php?c=WCC&y=2005

not sure if those without a kenpom subscription can see that, but in 2005 we were ranked #26 overall, st mary's was #81, and the rest of the conference was between 116 and 162 (with all but one above 150). again, as recently as 2014 we had no teams below 200 in kenpom. yes, there were (and are every year) mystifying losses... but this season more than half of our WCC brethren are below 200 on kenpom (5/10-- not counting the dons at 198). this group of teams outside of the big 3 + pepp are historically bad, with 2008 being the only year even close to this one since '02.

hopefully some of these (necessary) coaching changes will help get things back on the right track for some of these schools.

TexasZagFan
03-10-2016, 01:14 PM
TZF,hope you understand that as the thread was devolving my "Independent" post was meant to be sarcastic.

I was responding to Robin's sidekick (B Wayne)...lol.

Rio Runner
03-10-2016, 06:13 PM
The article is a little bit of a back-handed compliment -- we dominate our below-average conference.

But we are still a remarkable story. I love the fact that we, unlike SMC, will go out and play anybody, anywhere. That is one reason why, IMO, we dominate the weak WCC.