Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tempo-Free Hate 2013-2014: Bo Ryan's Revenge!

Last year, between the Ohio and Wisconsin games, we spent the time wondering why do we all hate Aaron Craft so much? To answer this question, we proposed the Four Factors of Hate, and used these factors to find the Big Ten leaders in Tempo-Free Hate. This year, the question of why we all hate Aaron Craft was answered once and for all when Doug Gottlieb blamed this on the ball being too slippery:

GIF by Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog)
Even though unwarranted media attention and apologia are good reasons to be annoyed by a player, the Four Factors of Hate try to quantify just what makes a player so annoying using only the stats on the floor. The four factors are:
  • Steals per personal foul (ST/PF). Also known as handchecking ability, or Craftiness.
  • Ability to draw fouls (Free Throw Attempts/(Minutes Played * Usage %)).  Jordan Morgan is not as bad at this as you think.
  • Three-Point Specialization (3FG/FG). The "Just A Shooter" Award.
  • Free Throw Percentage (FT%). For those annoying players who just Win The Game. Since all players are supposed to be able to shoot free throws reasonably well FT% only counts half as much as the other three.
All stats come from Sports Reference College Basketball, except for team adjusted tempo, which is pulled from the front page at kenpom. Who is the most annoying player in the Big Ten? Find out after the jump!
First, the top ten in each factor. Only players that averaged more than 5 minutes per game before the Big Ten Tournament were considered. Here are the leaders in steals per personal foul:

1Ben BrustWISC1.130
2Aaron CraftOSU1.096
3Austin HollinsMINN1.017
4Roy Devyn MarbleIOWA0.966
5Gary HarrisMSU0.947
6Aaron WhiteIOWA0.939
7Branden DawsonMSU0.935
8Shannon ScottOSU0.914
9Deandre MathieuMINN0.773
10Mike GesellIOWA0.694

Aaron Craft was further down this chart last year, but in 2013-14 he's right near the top, just behind his Wisconsin doppelgänger, Ben Brust. This factor is dominated by backcourt players, in particular Spartans, Buckeyes, Hawkeyes, and Gophers.

Next up, the ability to draw fouls:

1Hanner Mosquera-PereaIND1.170
2Geno ThorpePSU1.057
3Gabriel OlaseniIOWA1.019
4Nigel HayesWISC1.008
5Anthony ClemmonsIOWA0.900
6Aaron WhiteIOWA0.886
7Josh GasserWISC0.860
8Austin EtheringtonIND0.849
9A.J. HammonsPUR0.812
10Noah VonlehIND0.812

Hanner Mosquera-Perea leads the way here in limited action. He averaged one free throw for every five minutes he was on the court; the Big Ten average was one free throw for every 12.5 minutes per player. Aaron White is the only player in the top ten of the first two factors.

Three-point specialization is fittingly third:

1Kendall StephensPUR0.808
2Graham WoodwardPSU0.778
3Malik SmithMINN0.730
4Nathan TaphornNU0.714
5Ray GallegosNEB0.710
6Zak IrvinMICH0.708
7Kenny KaminskiMSU0.696
8Kale AbrahamsonNU0.694
9Travis TriceMSU0.652
10Josh OglesbyIOWA0.652

The three-point specialization leaderboard is composed entirely of part-time players; Ray Gallegos averages 26.2 minutes per game, the most of anybody on this list.

Lastly, we have free throw percentage:

1Ben BrustWISC88.4
2Brandon TaylorPSU87.3
3Josh GasserWISC87.2
4Benny ParkerNEB86.7
5Kendall StephensPUR84.4
6Andre HollinsMINN83.8
7Malik SmithMINN81.7
8Terran PettewayNEB81.7
9Yogi FerrellIND81.6
10Nik StauskasMICH81.1

To compute tempo-free hate, we perform the following calculations.

  1. For each factor, I calculated the league mean and standard deviation and converted each player's raw factor score into a normalized z-score. Each of these stats in a rate stat, so I defined a player's Hate Rate as HR = z(ST/PF) + z(ADF) + z(3FG/FG) + 0.5*z(FT%).
  2. You can't build up hate if you're not playing. So, to calculate a player's total Hate, I multiplied the Hate Rate by Minutes played (HATE = HR*MP).
  3. To calculate Tempo-Free Hate, we divided a player's total Hate by his team's number of games played and adjusted tempo (TFH = HATE/(G*Tempo)).

Crunching the numbers produces your 2013-14 B1G leaders in hatred!

1Ben BrustWISC1.509
2Josh GasserWISC1.112
3Aaron CraftOSU0.960
4Roy Devyn MarbleIOWA0.909
5Gary HarrisMSU0.903
6Nik StauskasMICH0.810
7Austin HollinsMINN0.784
8Aaron WhiteIOWA0.697
9Yogi FerrellIND0.609
10Malik SmithMINN0.602

Ben Brust is so far off the charts this year, it's like he's 40 feet away from everyone else *ducks*. Not only is he the leader in ST/PF and FT%, he's also the highest ranked three-point specialist who averages more than 30 minutes per game. Finishing a distant second is Brust's teammate Josh Gasser, whose inability to steal the ball keeps him from being quite as hated. Aaron Craft finishes third, held back by his poor three-point shooting ability. You can't hate him that much when you're thinking about him shooting three pointers.

Using TFH, we can assign each team its "Most Hateable Player" award.

1Ben BrustWISC1.509
3Aaron CraftOSU0.960
4Roy Devyn MarbleIOWA0.909
5Gary HarrisMSU0.903
6Nik StauskasMICH0.810
7Austin HollinsMINN0.784
9Yogi FerrellIND0.609
14Rayvonte RiceILL0.407
15Tim FrazierPSU0.311
17Kendall StephensPUR0.273
25Ray GallegosNEB0.179
29Kale AbrahamsonNU0.146

There's a strong relationship between a team having a very hateable player and that team being good at basketball. The exception: Nebrasketball. Everybody loves Nebrasketball.

To get more insight into the relationship between TFH and actual basketball ability, here's a scatterplot of the 114 players we considered, with a loess curve on top:
Based on this chart, we can conclude that you don't have to be hated if you're good, but you have to be good to hated. There's almost no correlation between TFH and Offensive Rating - Defensive Rating if the tempo-free hate is less than about 0.25 - the loess curve is basically flat in this region. However, there's a group of 10-20 players that are both pretty good and basketball and masters of at least one of the annoying skills that make up the Four Factors of Hate.

Comparing this year's chart to last year's, not only will you notice that I've upgraded from Excel to ggplot, you'll see that tempo-free hate is somewhat repeatable. Nnanna Egwu is the least hateable player in the league for the second year running. Who can hate a center who can't create his own shot?

Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford are basically tied for being the most likeable player relative to performance and they're in the same spot on the chart that Mitch McGary had last year, before he went beastmode in the tournament. Austin Hollins, Craft, and Nik Stauskas all make repeat appearances in the Top Ten of Hate.

And all those Northwestern guys are at the bottom in Offensive Rating - Defensive Rating. Poor Northwestern. They wouldn't have turned down the CBI.

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