Saturday, January 14, 2012

College Hoops Hotness and Coldness

It's only late afternoon, and we've already seen instances of pronounced hot and cold shooting in men's college basketball.

Florida State's Deividas Dulkys hit 8-of-10 on three-pointers in Seminoles' 90-57 shocker over No. 3 North Carolina. Dulkys, a senior guard, has made almost exactly one-third of his shots from behind the arc during his junior (.333) and senior (.321) years, making this afternoon's 8-of-10 performance extremely unusual. How unusual?

Using what is known as a binomial probability calculator, we can answer the question of how likely a long-term .333 three-point shooter is to make 8 (or more) out of 10 attempts from downtown. The answer is .003 or roughly 3-in-1,000.

Jaron Nash is a Texas Tech sophomore forward who plays about 10 minutes per game (Nash stats). He doesn't get to the free-throw line much, but when he has, he hasn't shot well. In fact, before making a pair from the stripe late in the Red Raiders' 67-54 loss to Texas A&M, Nash had missed 11 straight free throws.

It's not like Nash got flustered and missed several free throws in one game while in a funk. Rather, he compiled the streak gradually over five games.
  • Against Oral Roberts, he missed his last free-throw of the game, after two previous makes (box score, play-by-play).
  • He then went 0-for-4 against Cal State Bakersfield (box score).
  • And 0-for-3 vs. Southeast Louisiana (box score).
  • He had no free-throw attempts in Texas Tech's next two outings, against Oklahoma State and Baylor.
  • He missed his only attempt against Kansas (box score).
  • Finally, this afternoon vs. Texas A&M, he missed his first two before making a pair (box score, play-by-play).

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