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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 9:00 PM EST.

How big of a role does 'randomness' play in the HD engine? How does that compare to real life? How do the HD engine statistics compare with actual NCAA DI statistics? Click here for some background information...

Has anyone taken a look at team statistics variability? For example, while overall game stats may follow the normal game distribution do the top teams look statistically like a Top D-1 team and the bottom dwellers like D-1 bottom dwellers or is the variation more extreme? (hermrats - Veteran - 1:51 PM)

Yes, we initially broke the actual DI stats into 3 separate classifications - 20 or more wins, 10-19 wins and less than 10 wins. There was no statistical signficance based on the success of a team as to how variable their game to game stats were.

Hi Admin, Two-part question. I frequently observe a large, and consistent, disconnect between an individual player's ratings and the player's performance over the course of a season, (e.g., a B rated FT shooter who shoots 60% from the line all season; a 90-PER with 80+ ATH/SPD who shoots 30% from 3-pt range, etc.) First, is there any built-in explanation for this, other than random variation? (bluespruce - Hall of Famer - 1:54 PM)

It depends on the statistic. With free throws no - the only other variable there is fatigue and you'll notice the FT shooting in HD less variable than that of real life. For other stats such as 3pt shooting, there are numerous variables that go into how a player will perform - perimeter, speed, athleticism, IQ, double-teams, fatigue, defender, defender's fatigue, defense, defensive positioning, etc.

2nd part. I know that individual examples aren't helpful because there are multiple variables that affect specific results. But aggregate results would be helpful in letting us know how much variability we should expect. Would it be possible for you to provide (perhaps later in the forum) the means and standard deviations for 3-pt %, broken down by PER ratings (e.g., the average 3-pt% for players with PER of 84 to 86 is x, for players with PER of 87 to 90 is y, for players with PER of 91+ is z, etc.)? (bluespruce - Hall of Famer - 1:58 PM)

Sorry, but that's not something we'll be providing. Our intent is to address the perception of "too much randomness", not to tell coaches how to recruit.

does anyone use the up tempo offense effectively? is the common perception that it causes far more problems than advantages accurate? (kcsundevil - Hall of Famer - 2:01 PM)

Based on last night's games, 28% ran slowdown, 49% ran normal and 23% ran uptempo. I personally use it anytime I feel we have a more talented team than my opponent.

Despite the sagging defenses that you cite as driving up 3Pt%, the leading scorers in HD are predominantly represented by post players. Why don't similarly talented guards and SFs score as much as PFs and Cs, and what if anything do you propose to do about it? (jpritchard - Hall of Famer - 2:21 PM)

That's really an artifact of how each individual coach and how they set their offensive distribution. The common perception is that you'll get more consistent scoring from your post players which is not necessarily true.

If LP gauges a player's ability to play with his back to the basket, and Perimeter generally refers to shots further from the basket... Is there an easy way to gauge how well a player can make an 8-12 foot baseline jumper? I've read in the play-by-play of my big men making them, but I was wondering what made certain players better at it than others. (r0b0t - Hall of Famer - 2:23 PM)

For guards and forwards, that's a factor of not just perimeter, but speed and athleticism as well.

Say if I play some very easy teams for the first half of the season and my numbers are generally above the averages that you posted (in the forum) does that mean my team will produce poor numbers during the second half of the season, regardless of the opponent, to sort of even things out? (organicyoda - Veteran - 2:24 PM)

No, your prior games aren't factored into what will happen in the future. Each game is played on it's own.

The biggest issue I have is that lately the games in the tournament seem so random. I would like to see a statistical analysis of the number of upsets versus real life, and particularly the seeds that make the sweet 16. This analysis needs to look at the tournaments for the past 2 months, as something has definitely changed, or at least it sure feels like it. (joelhall32 - Hall of Famer - 2:26 PM)

It's the same engine throughout the season - exhibition through tournament games. Nothing is different.

This is a great game and the numbers seem to back it up...Is there a plan yet in place to enable a coach to set defensive matchups regardless of a players starting postion? (example: I might like my starting C to guard my opp's PF yet still be in the middle on offense) (joeymillman - Hall of Famer - 9:27 PM)

We've wrestled with that issue before but it presents many logistical issues with substitutions and lineup changes. If we can nail down a model that enhances the game and is not overly time-consuming on the coaches, then we certainly would introduce it.

In the HD engine, if a player is double teamed, is there actually a player left open, or does it just cut down the touches a particaular player may see? (unluckycharm - Hall of Famer - 9:31 PM)

Actually both - the double-teamed player will get less shot opportunities (how much less will depend on the positioning of the defense) but it will also present open shots for his teammates.

One thing I would like to see on the PBP is the actual positions each player occupies on the floor offensively as this would allow the coaches to setup defensive matchups based on the opponent's offensive tendencies. As it is set up now, you are throwing a dart at the wall hoping you are assigning your defensive "stopper" to the proper position player on the offensive team. ... (thaverkos - Pro - 9:34 PM)

In the stamina bar that is shown at the beginning of the game and every 4 minutes after, the players are shown in the positions they are playing (PG, SG, SF, PF and C).

This pass season(12)I had I think 3 games that I had 26 Tos. That also jappened in the CT turny. It has happened to an other team in the Champtionship CT this pass season. I do understand the about the law of averages. There was one game in D1 in real life that had 26tos,it happening to many times. Is it something you look at to see if it needs to be "fixed". Have you thought about letting use e-mail the other coaches on our team when they e-mail me about something? Just a thought. Thank you for your time! (cjbphoto - Hall of Famer - 9:57 PM)

This is a great question and I'm glad you asked it as it's very common whether it be turnovers or some other statistical category. The first thing you should look at is not the fact there were 26 turnovers, but how many turnovers per possession were there? Were both teams playing uptempo (creating more possessions)? Was it an OT game?

The next thing you have to look at is how does 26 compare to your average? I don't have access to your team stats from last year but I see that you had 18 turnovers in your first game in Naismith. If you continue to average 18 to/gm, you should expect to see 23-26 turnovers in a game roughly 4-5 times in a 26 game season. That's what you should expect in real life and that's what you should expect in HD.

Finally, as to the assertion that it's not realistic, there are 16 actual DI teams that averaged 18 or more turnovers per game this season.

are there any variability factors in who gets an in-demand job during hiring season? or is it straight up determined based on firm formulas based on qualifications? (kcsundevil - Hall of Famer - 9:58 PM)

No, there is not variability - best resume will get the job.

does running the slowdown reduce the variability of what'll happen in my offense in any given possession? (kcsundevil - Hall of Famer - 9:59 PM)

No, it will only reduce the number possessions throughout the game but it has no impact on what happens on any given possession.

I noticed in prevous chats that only the last 4 years really matter. Will the fact that you may have won a championship prior to those 4 years ever be taken into consideration? (alphadog72 - Veteran - 10:00 PM)

That's not correct actually - when it comes to success we look at your last 4 seasons but the championship is never ignored - you continue to build experience throughout your coaching career and the championship is recognized there.

Do you think that a player with a 90+ stamina can play close to 40 minutes. In real life at Duke and others the stars never come out. Do you think in HD that is a sound strategy? (coach_knight - Veteran - 10:10 PM)

Can they play 40 minutes? Yes. Will they be as effective in the 40th minute as the 1st minute? No - and by how much depends on their stamina and the type of defense you play. The reason you'll see a player like Redick average 37mpg is that even a 75% Redick is going to be better than 100% Jamal Boykin. If you have a weak bench, might not be a bad idea...

I commend WiS for their good work on HD but I think what I would really like to see is the DI blocks/game and the HD blocks/game average and the deviations between the two like you posted with steals in the forums. It seems to me that block rates are significantly lower and I'd appreciate any light you could shed on this. (arbolitos - Hall of Famer - 10:12 AM)

Happy to - the NCAA DI average for blocks per game is 3.29, the average in HD is 3.71. I think the fact that there are more blocks in HD than real life can be explained by the trend in HD to force the ball inside (16.3 3pt/gm in HD vs. 18.3 3pt/gm in DI). The standard deviation in HD is 2.03 blk/gm and in DI it is 2.10.

Why is there such a huge discrepancy when teams play the -5 or -4 and foul much less than teams playing straight up, or -1? Seems to happen alot. (shins - All-Star - 2:45 PM)

If everything else remained the same, you'd see more fouls with the packed in defense than at -1 or 0. The issue is that a balanced team will shoot more 3s against that defense (less penetration) which will produce less fouls.

what will this new update do? (imthecrew - Veteran - 2:46 PM)

You can find all release notes here: http://www.whatifsports.com/locker/site_updates.asp?sport=HD

can you discuss the interplay between the offensive distribution settings and the variability functions that affect who takes a shot on any given possession? (kcsundevil - Hall of Famer - 3:18 PM)

Shots can vary for a player from their offensive distribution for a variety of reasons:
- minutes: the more minutes he plays, the more shots he'll get (and vice versa) so FGA should be looked at on a per minute basis, not on an absolute basis

- out of the offense: offensive rebounds and steals both can lead to shots that are not part of the normal offensive sets

- double-teams: when one or more players are doubled, that will lead to (normally) less shots for the double-teamed players and more shots for the non-double-teamed players

- FTA: a player who is fouled does not get charged with a FGA so if you see a player with 10 FTA, that's roughly the equivalent of 5 more FGA

- Chance: on each possession your offensive distribution weightings are evaluated and someone will take the shot based on those numbers, but that is done on a possession by possession basis, which over the course of a season will balance out but may lead to more or less shots in any individual game

Is shooting percentage lower earlier in the season and higher later as IQs improve or is it offset by corresponding improvement in defensive IQ? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 9:20 PM)

For the most part offensive and defensive IQs improve at the same rate so any improvement in offensive IQ is neutralized by improvements in defensive IQ.

Does the slow down offense improve shooting percentage and increase turnovers and does the fast paced offense have worse shooting percentage and less turnovers? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 9:21 PM)

The pace has no impact on shooting percentages or turnovers, only on the number of possessions in the game.

Two questions if you don't mind. 1. What effect do the -5 and + 5 defenses have on rebounding? 2. What effect do slow and fast pace have on FG% and turnovers/posessions assuming that fatigue is not a factor? (mswilso2 - Hall of Famer - 9:23 PM)

The -5 will help in rebounding but it cuts down on turnovers forced since there is no pressure on the entry passes while a +5 has the opposite effect - decrease in rebounding but increases turnovers. Answer to #2 was posted above...

Some things about this game that I just dont get...My shooting guard had a 92 PE....but he sucks...40.8 from the field,36.7 from 3, and 69 from the line... Averages 10 a game..There has been games where he hasnt made a shot..I just dont get it (iccoachb - Hall of Famer - 9:27 PM)

While PE does have the highest correlation with outside shooting success, there's more to shooting than just PE. You also have to look at IQ, speed, ball handling, double-teams, fatigue, defender, defense, defensive positioning, etc. On top of that, you also need to look at the makeup of your team - do you have an inside presence? What about the other players on your team - are they good passers? All of these variables go into every single shot taken.

quote, "The pace has no impact on shooting percentages or turnovers, only on the number of possessions in the game." end quote.. not to doubt you, but why do you think so many coaches are playing slow tempo games now if the number of possesions is the ONLY thing impacted by game tempo ? (branmarr24 - Hall of Famer - 9:31 PM)

They're not actually - as posted earlier - based on last night's games, 28% ran slowdown, 49% ran normal and 23% ran uptempo. It's just when that's all you hear about in the forums then it becomes "group think".

why does everyone assume any SG with a 3fg% below 40% "sucks"? if anything i'd think the overall 3fg% numbers need to be lowered a bit... except i know they're so high because the -5 is so popular. (kcsundevil - Hall of Famer - 9:32 PM)

That's a good point and I don't know exactly. The NCAA DI average is around 35% from 3 and most of those shots are coming from SGs and SFs. If my guards are shooting 40% from 3, I'm ecstatic.

just curious, are the percentages of teams running slow / normal / fast taking into account the fact that every Sim AI team runs normal? (kcsundevil - Hall of Famer - 9:34 PM)

Good point - those stats are only for human-controlled teams.

It doesn't seem like coaches use +1 to +5 very often. Are we missing some advantages by not using it more? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 9:34 PM)

Yes, I think you are. As I mentioned, if you have quick perimeter players, the + defensive positions can cause a lot of problems for an offense because they put so much pressure on the ball which leads to turnovers and poor entry passes.

Are you going to publish DII and DIII data in the forums just like you did for DI? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 9:38 PM)

The data we published in the forums is for all divisions, all worlds in HD, not just HD DI. There differences between divisions in HD are insignificant. We don't have actual DII or DIII averages for all teams, but from the sampes we've taken, both the averages and the standard deviations match DI very closely.

does Sim AI get any advantage when games are run like it does in recruiting? as in, since Sim AI can't game plan to the extent we can, it maybe gets a little boost in FG% or stamina? (kcsundevil - Hall of Famer - 9:39 PM)

No, the engine doesn't know anything about the coaches for the teams that it is playing, not even if they are human or AI.

Would you say that you are currently satisfied with the gameplay aspect of the sim? In other words, do you feel the results that are being generated are representing the expected results? (srward - Hall of Famer - 9:42 PM)

Yes, statistically we're very happy with the results we're getting. Obviously we'll continue to make adjustments and feature additions (e.g. official timeouts, additions of more defenses, more in-game coaching controls, etc.).

The point of this was really just to post the actual data so coaches could see how HD compares to actual stats and deviations.

Would it be correct in assuming that using a +5 against a very week ballhandling team would create a lot of turnovers. (majresorter - Hall of Famer - 9:43 PM)

Would it create a lot of turnovers? Not necessarily - in the same way you won't shoot 60% from 3 against a -5. Would it increase the odds of more turnovers - yes.

I'm I crazy or have the HS stats been changed to show us how wella recruit will do......the old recruits would have 3pnt% of 50%+, but never achieve that number in college, now the #30 SG could easily shoot 30% form 3 point range in HS and that seems to be where he is in his Freshman season in college? (jlovicz - Hall of Famer - 9:45 PM)

Your crazy, now back to your question. We haven't changed how the HS stats are generated in a long, long time.

How can the differences between HD stats at DI, DII and DIII levels be insignificant when there is such a broad range of player ratings being utilized in the games? Because if the overall stats are comparable but they deviate more at the DI and DIII level that would lead to a lot of the perception of randomness or too much variabiilty. (jimbo3772 - Hall of Famer - 9:47 PM)

I'll post some of the key stats and their SDs in the forums.

I've played 17,000,000 HD games .... why do I still suck? Will any upcoming releases help me NOT suck? (smeric - Hall of Famer - 9:49 PM)

I have a feeling you'll have some success within your next 17,000,000 games and unlike Staples, we don't offer an "easy" button (or cheat codes!)

How come I set my PGs to -1, they still shoot 2/3 of their shots from 3 pt range regardless of the offense I choose? I hate seeing my PGs shoot 38% no matter what offense I'm in and no matter how many 3s I tell them to take. (tdowdy3 - Hall of Famer - 9:52 PM)

Remember, it's relative to the player's natural tendency and the defense being played. If you're playing against a 2/3 zone a 0 would result in more 3 attempts than a 0 versus man to man. You can use exhibition games to help determine a player's natural tendency and adjust from there. If -1 is still yielding too many bombs, go down to a -2.

If you decied to double team an entire teams starting 5 "if leading scorer," is there any negative effect on your defense? (unluckycharm - Hall of Famer - 9:55 PM)

No - not until one player establishes themself as the leading scorer and then it's just treated as a traditional double-team.

If you set your guards to -2 on individual 3 pt attempts and you are playing a -5 defense, will your guards drive in for a bunch of close shots or will the -5 also reduce the guards ability to drive? (jimbo3772 - Hall of Famer - 9:56 PM)

They will definitely drive more - that's really what the -2 is telling your perimeter players. If they can get to the basket they will but it will be tough against a -5, they'll probably be taking mid-range jumpers.

my wife wants to know if that's Dave Matthews with the sensor window over his eyes (jlovicz - Hall of Famer - 9:57 PM)

Yes, he interned here a few summers ago. Good times, good times.

Wouldn't it be fair and realistic that if your team makes the NT or PT then they get to keep practicing just like real life? (majresorter - Hall of Famer - 9:58 PM)

Yes, but in real life their practices at this stage are more walk throughs than anything else to avoid injury. In addition, making the post-season is a significant edge when it comes to recruiting and jobs, we felt it was unnecessary to further penalize the team's that don't make the post-season.

Hello Admin, When double teaming and opponent, how do you tell which position the double comes from. Ex Dopuble the sf, does the sg or pf come over on defense? (tarzan - Hall of Famer - 9:59 PM)

It will be the closest player to the ball - it's really hard to say it will always be a specific position.

halfcourt press/man-to-man is that a halfcourt press or a press that once it crosses half court becomes a man defence. (majresorter - Hall of Famer - 10:01 PM)

It's a press until the ball crosses half-court and then it reverts to a man-to-man.

Is their any number in a player that is hidden. In the fact that two players who have the same IQ and all ratings one will out perform the other. I know it can be random but is their anything that will make one player superior. (coach_knight - Veteran - 10:01 PM)

No, everything is out there except for their personality traits. From a basketball skills perspective, it's all ratings and you can see all of them.

what would you say to a user that says ALL games are flukes and the numbers never add up? (jlovicz - Hall of Famer - 10:06 PM)

I'd say they probably had a bad season or really don't have a good grasp on the nature of college basketball statistics.

When can we expect The Sounds of WIFS CD to be released? I just can not get enough of the song on the HD main page. (drewt3 - Veteran - 10:07 PM)

You're the first person I've ever heard say that. Most people want to kill us.

Any thoughts on limiting HD to one standard deviation instead of three? That would certainly cut back on the "randomness". (Weena - Hall of Famer - 10:07 PM)

By definition you couldn't do that. I really just wanted to get across that yes, there is variability in HD but not to the point of "all results just being random" as some coaches like to think and more importantly, no more variable than real college basketball.

Would a player shoot more threes if he was set at 0 and everyone else -2 then if he was set a 0 and everyone else +2 or is it independent. (majresorter - Hall of Famer - 10:08 PM)

It's independent.

Consider a player with, say, 90 PER, 80+ ATH/SPD, good IQ, who encounters an average range of ALL other relevant variables (defenses, double-teams, fatigue, etc.) over a SEASON. Why might he shoot very poorly from 3-pt range over the whole season? That seems to happen often. My only hypothesis is that the standard dev for performance around a given rating is so large that it dwarfs the impact of the rating itself. (Hence, a PER=60 outperforming a PER=90 is pretty common.) Do you have any other explanation? (bluespruce - Hall of Famer - 10:10 PM)

Over the course of a season, ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL, the 60 PE will not (or rarely) outperform an 80 PE player. I think too many coaches simply focus on the PE number and don't look at all of the other variables I mentioned earlier.

Thanks for taking the time to post your question(s)!

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