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# Who Stings Tech: The crafty veteran vs. the athletic rookie

I was watching the hockey game and reading up on the rules of hockey including the statistics. I came across the idea of points versus goals. In hockey, points are the sum of your goals and assists. So I devised a quick formula for points in basketball. I basically just award a player 2 points for every assist since their team will receive at least 2 points for the assist (and I don't want to look through every box score to determine if the assist was a three or two). So my hockey formula looks like this:

(Points Scored + Assists*2)/Time Played = Hoc/Min

Now, the original intent of the post was to determine if crusty veterans are more of a hindrance to Tech or if athletic freshmen and sophomores were bigger pains in the ass for Tech. I broke down the stats of every ACC player that played at least 19+ minutes against Georgia Tech this season. There are 69 such players including 34 guards and 35 forwards/centers. I lumped the centers into the forwards category because there aren't many centers and the ACC center is more or less a forward.

There are two important things I wanted to point out from these tables. First, notice how ineffective freshmen are compared to the other guys. Imagine if we could keep guys at Tech for another year or two. Development is not an imaginary concept. There are data to show guys get better year to year. The other point I'm trying to make with the charts is that guards are the key to winning against us. Guards make the offense go. Relying on big men is okay but smart, quick guards that can make assists and not turn the ball over are the guys who really beat Tech. It's incredibly evident in the guards split up by age table.

Senior guards are scoring more per minute against us and tallying more assists per minute against us. Note that as the opposing guards get older, their Hoc/Min goes up. Pretty neato.

I'll go ahead and point out my fatal assumptions in this analysis. I'm assuming that every player receives the same level of coaching year to year. I'm also assuming that player performance is independent of the game atmosphere (e.g. home=away=neutral court). Another bad assumption is that Georgia Tech plays at the same level game to game. We may simply not want to play some games. I'm not in the mind of every player or coach. I don't know if there is something external (family life, work, etc.) affecting their abilities on the court. However, I still think it's an interesting collection of data.

I'm looking forward to the end of the season. I think this Tech team knows the ball is no longer in our court. We've gotta steal the ball, race down the court, and do a 360-Ismail-style dunk to get back into the tourney at this point and I think the team knows it. BC is first up. Any thoughts?