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Username Post: Thoughts from a curmudgeon        (Topic#20133)
SteveDanley 
Freshman
Posts: 78

Age: 32
Reg: 02-25-12
03-13-17 03:03 PM - Post#226787    
    In response to Jeff2sf

  • Jeff2sf Said:
steve, could you elaborate on what being out of it for most of the season have to do with running more that year than all 4 years combined?

are you talking about pushing the pace or Dunphy making you do sprints?




Without getting too far into details, coaches are competitive, and when you lose, you run wind sprints / have a lot more grinding practices.

This has been true at every level I played, but coaches are generally constrained by the need to save a players legs. That's less true in the Ivies where teams have little to play for after being eliminated.

Our program rule was that if we were in 1st place in the Ivies we got Sundays and Tuesdays off (as opposed to just Sundays). That was heaven. Anything less was hell. Losing without a coach thinking he needs to save your legs was a 7th level (Freshman year, we had a few practices after Ivy season was over while we waited to hear about the NIT -- but the coaches heard through the grapevine we likely weren't getting a bid -- we didn't even get through 3-man weave without being on the line for wind sprints. Hardest practices of my life, and we still talk about them over drinks when teammates get together).

In talking to other Ivy players, I think it's generally true that once eliminated, things go haywire. More running, tougher to be mentally into it, the crowds are sparse, and little things (like the much debated on this board issue of playing younger guys) can be brutal for individuals players.

Some of this stuff has gotten better, as there is more research on back-to-backs and rest. The old school stories of getting off the plane and practicing upon landing at 1 in the morning after a bad loss seem to be happening less.

But 7am practices before class as punishment for losing, and scheduling mandatory 7am lifting in the offseason after a poor season, remain common "motivational" techniques. And it doesn't make for a fun February of your spring semester when you're juggling classes (even good students struggle and fall behind in season), falling asleep in classes b/c of am workouts, playing at Dartmouth in front of 800 people, and you can no longer dunk because your legs are so wooden from running wind sprints instead of playing the game (there's surprisingly little "playing" of basketball if you're not playing big minutes -- lots of walking through sets, some teaching, drills etc).

I do think this year gave a little more life to teams in the mid/bottom of the division, and that struck me as more important and valuable than I expected, as someone who was a tourney skeptic.

 
SRP 
Postdoc
Posts: 3036

Reg: 02-04-06
03-13-17 03:04 PM - Post#226788    
    In response to mrjames

  • mrjames Said:
After the second selection debacle in a row, I'd pause the tournament until the committee begins to incorporate real, objective metrics. I believe it will have to at some point, as their pervasiveness will force it, but that day is not today, and tomorrow's not looking good either. We have a real shot at a second bid coming up per an objective system, but the horrible anti-mid bias is still very real (after recent years where it was actually improving) and the odds of doing enough to overcome that bias are extremely low.



Is there a link to your critique or could you elaborate? Inquiring minds and all that. Personally I was stunned at the Stone Age approach to "scrubbing" the seeds that was described by the committee reps.

 
Tiger69 
PhD Student
Posts: 1941

Reg: 11-23-04
Re: Thoughts from a curmudgeon
03-13-17 03:07 PM - Post#226790    
    In response to caughtinasnare

I believe that we must face the fact that the Power Six have NOTHING to gain be either scheduling us or giving us another seat (bid) at the table. To me that says, time to switch tables.

We just have to convince the other screwed mid majors to join us.

 
caughtinasnare 
Senior
Posts: 306

Age: 28
Reg: 02-21-09
03-13-17 03:15 PM - Post#226792    
    In response to Jeff2sf

  • Jeff2sf Said:
the thing is, a lot of the students are big college basketball fans. just not penn fans. can't speak to what princeton is doing. and maybe 100% of students were back in the 70s and now the number definitely <> 100%. but there are plenty of college basketball fan students who aren't going.



Never thought I'd agree with you, Jeff, but here we are. I remember sitting in the back row of an Econ 102 class during the opening weekend of March Madness (my junior year, so 2009) and seeing at least 5 computers sprinkled throughout the room live-streaming a game during class. There were also several conversations about what was going on both before and after class. A lot of students care about college sports, they just have no excitement associated with Penn's teams. That problem, in and of itself, is multifaceted.

First of all, the lack of real TV coverage is a part of it. Fans are grown by watching teams on TV at a young age, and frankly, there's a significant synergy created when some of these players go pro, because that serves as a validation of quality. There's a reason UNC and Duke have fans around the country with no other connection to the school.

Second of all, a problem that we can actually address more easily, is community involvement. From what I have heard, it has gotten somewhat better, but the amount of time that athletes need to devote to their sports, in addition to their studies, leaves many of them fairly isolated from the community at large. If Penn could do a better job of getting the athletes connected with more people outside of Penn Athletics within the Penn community, you'll have a much stronger network of friends to come to games in which their friends are competing. We also need leadership among the (now seemingly defunct) Red & Blue Crew to get people up and moving.

The third problem, one that will surely not be resolved, is the amount of coursework that is assigned with such regularity as to limit people's free time that they could devote to coming out and supporting a team at a game, as opposed to watching college basketball on ESPN while working on an assignment. Also, along with this is the number of other extra curricular activities that exist pulling students in different directions that toward 33rd Street, as well. With a supremely high ranked school made up of a very widely diverse population, these issues will absolutely not go away.

Therefore, as the league itself hopefully improves, getting better opponents (and being able to stay competitive with those opponents) might bring about more TV opportunities to grow the Ivy and Penn sports brand. However the thing that we really can address is the community involvement to try to generate a network of fans out of the friends of athletes. Hopefully by doing that, we can bring back some of the excitement we haven't really had for 10 years.

 
umbrellaman 
Senior
Posts: 353
umbrellaman
Reg: 11-21-04
03-13-17 07:05 PM - Post#226841    
    In response to SRP

SRP - the proposal that westphilly describes is the right one - they might not go for the neutral site - but at have a rotation for the championship game.

With the home game semis - the games at the top matter as well. A team fights for the #1 spot - champion and NIT bid - you could also play their semifinal a day before the other one, so they get a day off between the final. A team fights for #2 to get the home game in the semi. A team fights for #3 to avoid the #1 team in the first round. A team fights for #4 to get in.

 
mrjames 
Postdoc
Posts: 4563

Loc: Jersey City, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
03-13-17 07:30 PM - Post#226850    
    In response to SRP

Ranted a lot about this on Twitter, but I can summarize here.

Regardless of whether "best" means "best resume" or "best quality" or both - something that the principles need to better define - the RPI is not only a bad metric for determining it, but it is crowding out really good metrics for doing so (KenPom, BPI, Sagarin on quality, and WAB or SOR on resume).

If those metrics were used (and they were proposed at the analytics meeting in January), we'd see a more objective selection process that would have the net effect of benefitting mids, but would also have an impact on certain high major programs in a positive direction as well (while really punishing those, mainly, that live on home wins and avoiding tricky road games that currently are mislabeled as bad losses). More on the Twitter feed, but that's the high level.

 
SRP 
Postdoc
Posts: 3036

Reg: 02-04-06
03-13-17 07:49 PM - Post#226855    
    In response to mrjames

Thanks, Mike. I thought the commentators were even more pusillanimous than usual this year in criticizing the committee, probably because (as noted by everybody) there were fewer midmajor regular-season champs who lost in their conference tourneys, and so some glaring injustices were avoided by luck.

But there was a strong implicit critique in that practically everybody on both CBS and ESPN has Wichita State favored over Dayton and Middle Tennessee State favored over Minnesota, two teams that the committee and the bracketologists made clear would have been left out had they messed up in their conference tourneys.

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4104

Reg: 11-22-04
03-13-17 08:29 PM - Post#226862    
    In response to gopenngo

The problem with this analysis for me is that, if the goal is to put the best teams in the tournament, then Vanderbilt appears to me to belong. There aren't any mids who are close to them in kenpom. This isn't just strength of schedule -- it's the way they've actually played on the court. The metrics are good enough at this point that we know how a mid compares.

Despite the seeding, I think Wichita State was a lock even as an at large. And the metrics make it clear that they are the one kid who was clearly on par with the big conference schools this year.

 
SRP 
Postdoc
Posts: 3036

Reg: 02-04-06
03-13-17 08:31 PM - Post#226863    
    In response to SRP

Great Twitter rant. And hey, don't feel bad about joining the dark side "conspiracy" (more like public-choice) theorists. Think of it as a different kind of analytics--reverse-engine ering committee incentives to predict their behavior.

And Gregg Marshall was hilarious in that press conference video, even noting how the committee seems to schedule as many non-power-five teams as possible against each other early on.

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4104

Reg: 11-22-04
Thoughts from a curmudgeon
03-13-17 08:38 PM - Post#226865    
    In response to SRP

I guess I need to defer to you on this (I was busy rooting for my 4th place team), but I don't understand how this could possibly be the case for Princeton. You guys were going for an undefeated season -- something that just doesn't happen in the league anymore. Harvard was in it for first literally until the final weekend head to head match, which sure looked like a great game to me. And first mattered this year -- Penn snuck in and made it less advantageous to be #1, but if things just go differently at Brown on the final Saturday, Princeton is playing a 5-9 Columbia team in what would probably play as a home game for Princeton. No question Harvard or Yale would be a much tougher match. I just don't see how the tournament didn't make the season better for Princeton.

Same holds true for Harvard. If they get the #1 and Columbia gets in, Harvard could have avoided playing a comparable Yale team in the 1st round. Should be clear at this point how that would matter. I also think you are letting one Harvard poster (albeit a great poster and fan) speak for all of Harvard in saying they were blasé.

Maybe Yale didn't have much to play for, but they sure had enough to beat an opponent in a must win situation on the last Saturday of the season.

Edited by SomeGuy on 03-13-17 09:04 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
mrjames 
Postdoc
Posts: 4563

Loc: Jersey City, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
03-13-17 08:50 PM - Post#226867    
    In response to SomeGuy

That point, SomeGuy, gets to the heart of "best." I lean toward "best" as quality (i.e. KenPom) but I'm fine with either that or resume (i.e. WAB or Strength of Record). It sounds like most want it to be resume vs. quality - the primary difference being that MOV will have no impact on resume but will drive quality.

Some years resume benefits mids more. Other years quality does. Some years it's the same number of mids in both but different ones.

This year Illinois State would have easily been in on resume (WAB or SOR), but was right on the cut line for quality. Vandy had the opposite case - in easily on quality but on the cut line for resume.

The first step is for the committee to clarify the meaning of best. Either one would help the mids, as the lack of definition currently allows the committee to search for any meaning of best that could support selecting a power conf team and will search for any meaning of best a mid DOESN'T meet in order to keep them out.

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4104

Reg: 11-22-04
03-13-17 09:02 PM - Post#226868    
    In response to mrjames

Agreed that Illinois State had the best argument this year.

I also agree that whether we want to send the "best" teams is an open question. I'm all for getting more mids in there. Vanderbilt had enough chances against big conference teams. So I'm fine leaving them out. But if we're really trying to put the best 68 schools out there, well, I think Vandy is clearly better than Illinois State. Or Princeton.

Anyway, I finally agree that clarity as to what the committee is looking for is a good thing. I think the big conferences mostly win in a fair fight anyway. So be transparent and make the fight fair.

 
mrjames 
Postdoc
Posts: 4563

Loc: Jersey City, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
03-13-17 09:53 PM - Post#226872    
    In response to SomeGuy

By pure resume, Illinois State was considerably better. By quality, Vandy was considerably better. All depends on whether MOV should matter or not. And I guess it could be both, but in a defined way, not a nebulous, choose-whatever-fits-high -majors-better-when-conve nient, kind of way.

 
Ted 
Sophomore
Posts: 190

Reg: 12-23-12
Re: Thoughts from a curmudgeon
03-14-17 12:08 AM - Post#226885    
    In response to Okoro Dude

As a Penn fan, I of course would love for the tournament to be played at the Palestra every year, but if that can't be, I'm thinking that there must be some venue/arena in the NYC area that would fill the bill (other than at Columbia's gym, which for starters is too small). This location would be pretty centrally located for all of the schools, could easily accommodate everyone, and provide other activities as well, especially if the tournament was changed to a Friday & Sunday schedule, as suggested by P38 (good suggestion P38, by the way). Maybe this (NYC venue) was suggested in another thread, but if so I missed it.
Finally, like some others on this board, I initially had some real negative views about this tournament, but after this weekend, those views have vanished, for many reasons, not the least of which is that it almost certainly helped to make my 5 grandkids (ages 4-13) Penn Basketball and Palestra fans for life.
My only complaint = the same as many others here have indicated - the ticket prices were WAY too high. I bit the bullet there, but I wonder how many locals who may have considered attending were turned off by the exhorbitant prices.

 
Tiger69 
PhD Student
Posts: 1941

Reg: 11-23-04
Re: Thoughts from a curmudgeon
03-14-17 12:37 AM - Post#226888    
    In response to Ted

If you think this was an expensive weekend, imagine 2 nights in the Big Apple with meals, even if someone GAVE you the tickets.

 
westphillywarrior 
Sophomore
Posts: 125

Age: 36
Reg: 01-08-11
Re: Thoughts from a curmudgeon
03-14-17 12:44 AM - Post#226889    
    In response to Tiger69

You don't have to stay in NYC.

 
westcoast 
Freshman
Posts: 27

Reg: 03-08-16
03-14-17 01:06 AM - Post#226890    
    In response to mrjames

But the distinction between resume and quality is not the issue the selection committee has. I am sure that they feel that Vanderbilt also has a better resume, and they would point to their wins over Florida (three times), Iowa State, South Carolina, and Arkansas, who are Top 50 teams by almost all measures. True, only one was a true road game.

Illinois State's resume is mostly built by beating a lot of teams ranked in the 100-150 range. Now, one can reasonably argue that a team like Vanderbilt would have lost more of those games if they had Illinois State's schedule, but that is a step that the committee is not ready to commit to. They can see Vanderbilt's big wins (ignoring that they more than 25 chances against Top 100 teams), while Illinois State only had 5 or 6 chances and as a result much fewer "big" wins. In the committee's eyes, I think Illinois State's resume is not particularly strong.

 
caughtinasnare 
Senior
Posts: 306

Age: 28
Reg: 02-21-09
Re: Thoughts from a curmudgeon
03-14-17 03:02 AM - Post#226891    
    In response to Ted

  • Ted Said:
As a Penn fan, I of course would love for the tournament to be played at the Palestra every year, but if that can't be, I'm thinking that there must be some venue/arena in the NYC area that would fill the bill (other than at Columbia's gym, which for starters is too small). This location would be pretty centrally located for all of the schools, could easily accommodate everyone, and provide other activities as well, especially if the tournament was changed to a Friday & Sunday schedule, as suggested by P38 (good suggestion P38, by the way). Maybe this (NYC venue) was suggested in another thread, but if so I missed it.
Finally, like some others on this board, I initially had some real negative views about this tournament, but after this weekend, those views have vanished, for many reasons, not the least of which is that it almost certainly helped to make my 5 grandkids (ages 4-13) Penn Basketball and Palestra fans for life.
My only complaint = the same as many others here have indicated - the ticket prices were WAY too high. I bit the bullet there, but I wonder how many locals who may have considered attending were turned off by the exhorbitant prices.


As a NY'er, I've wondered a few times what would be a suitable location to play such a tournament in the NY area, seeing as it is so centrally located. I struggled for the longest time to come up with a suitable spot. Levien is clearly a no-go. Nor would Fordham or Manhattan College be suitable due to size. Not gonna even bother thinking MSG or Barclays would be reasonable, either. Perhaps doing it at the Prudential Center would work, though it's in Newark, so you're taking your life in your hands at that point. It's also probably a bit big at 18,711 capacity for basketball, according to Wikipedia, which is actually more than Barclays holds. Could go with the Westchester County Center, the home of the D-League Westchester Knicks, but that only seats 5000, which is less than the Palestra or Jadwin, though twice that of Levien or Payne Whitney.

Really, there's no obvious answer in the NYC area, as great as it would be to make it centrally located. As such, it should probably go to the best arena in the league, which is still The Palestra.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 15371

Reg: 11-21-04
Re: Thoughts from a curmudgeon
03-14-17 04:13 AM - Post#226892    
    In response to caughtinasnare

The closest appropriate venues in the NY Metro area are the RAC (8000), Alumni Hall at St. John's (5600) and the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport (10,000). Sun Bank Arena in Trenton (10,500) also would work. Although I hear Barclay's would love to host this event, I can't imagine that that would be a good spot given its size and location (same for St. John's for the opposite reason). Getting onto and off of Long Island sucks.

 
Old Bear 
Postdoc
Posts: 3221

Reg: 11-23-04
03-14-17 11:38 AM - Post#226938    
    In response to palestra38

Mohegan Sun Arena in CT.

 
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