Earlier this week, we read with interest in The New York Times that Davidson College’s math department is helping its men’s basketball team win games. Since this combines three of our favorite subjects — sports, math and using math to win at sports — I asked Tim Chartier, a professor in Davidson’s mathematics and computer science department, to elaborate on the unusual partnership between his department and the Wildcats.He was understandably reluctant to spill too many details — particularly regarding how the math department analyzed the data about Iowa, Davidson’s round-of-64 opponent in the NCAA tournament Friday, or Gonzaga and North Dakota State, one of which Davidson will face if it reaches the round of 32 and both of which he’d already started scouting. But Chartier did shed a little more light on the math behind the surprise Atlantic 10 champs. And it sounds a lot like what we do at FiveThirtyEight, except with a goal of winning basketball games instead of writing articles about winning basketball games. Here are edited excerpts of his reply:So, what do we offer the coaches?Heat maps: Two members of Cats Stats, as we call our group, track the games for heat maps. They mark who takes a shot and estimate the location by clicking a computer program that I wrote. Then, as you see, regions of the court are marked as hot and cold regions. Two members of the group met with coaches in January and went through heat maps not just at the team level but player level and then various combinations of players. The coaches found this very helpful and discovered things that led them to analyze player combinations with similar tendencies that they then recognized.Lineup efficiencies: Here we show Dean Oliver’s Four Factors for offense and defense for every five-man lineup and the total amount of time that lineup has been used. Then, we also found various subsets of lineups, as well, like guard trios and forward pairs. For example, we might see that two big men are most efficient/inefficient when in the game together.Personal scouting: Here we produce a detailed breakdown of players’ tendencies and how well they performed in each aspect of the game. Here no new statistics were created. We presented data and numbers so that the coaching staff could easily implement the reports into their game plan. It could range from things like whether or not a player liked to shoot off the dribble and how effective they were in those situations to things like how effective a player might score driving left out of isolation situations. Said another way, we look for the tendencies in the numbers, especially outlier numbers. We think of these as creating data points or dots. Then, we dig into the video that accompany these stats on Synergy and figure out the story/tendency behind the number. That gives context and, in a sense, connects the dots. For example, if a player drives to the right 80 percent of the time and scores much better than going left, that is important. But, then the video can help see that his first step when driving is quicker going right than left, allowing him to beat his man more often.
2019 TV shows you can’t miss The NFL is officially launching its 100th anniversary celebrations with Super Bowl 53, and it sure went big for the kickoff party.The league’s 100-Year Game commercial features a who’s-who of players current and past, including Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, retired QB Payton Manning, running back Barry Sanders and newer stars Saquon Barkley and Baker Mayfield. Post a comment Sam Gordon, a Utah Girls Tackle Football League running back, takes a star turn at the end of the ad when she shows off a wicked spin move.Anybody who loves the NFL may want to give the 100th-season video a rewatch to catch all the cameos. It’s an energetic start to the league’s big celebration. Tags Aug 14 • Raising the entry-level bar Super Bowl 2019 Feb 28 • Last chance to get 3 months of Mint Mobile service for $20 The theme centers around a stately black-tie gathering that descends into madness as the players tussle over a golden football. It’s not just on-the-field names who participate in the food fight/pickup game. The ad also highlights play-by-play announcer Beth Mowins and Sarah Thomas, the NFL’s first full-time female official. 50 Photos More Super Bowl reading • Super Bowl 2019 melee pits Tom Brady, Payton Manning for NFL’s 100th season Sports May 7 • 2020 Toyota Supra first drive review: More reset than reboot 0 Share your voice Super Bowl 2019 • Best Super Bowl 2019 commercials ranked: Harrison Ford, The Dude, the Backstreet Boys and more Avengers, Captain Marvel, Twilight Zone: All the must-see Super Bowl 2019 trailers Super Bowl 2019: New Avengers: Endgame trailer shows heroes at their best Super Bowl 2019 commercials: Watch them all here Super Bowl 2019 memes: Game of Thrones, SpongeBob, Adam Levine’s nipples SpongeBob SquarePants barely shows up at Super Bowl 2019 halftime show See all of our Super Bowl coverage Feb 7 • Every Avengers: Endgame character flash at the start of that Super Bowl trailer See All
Listen Nicoguaro President Trump has pushed back the start date for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) several times over the past few months, in large part because the Senate has yet to vote on the confirmation of his nominee for U.S. trade representative, attorney Robert Lighthizer. By law, only the U.S. trade representative can notify Congress of the president’s intent to renegotiate a trade agreement.“One of the requirements in terms of what the USTR must satisfy is that he has not worked for any foreign interest involved in a negotiation with the United States government,” says Stephen Lande, president of Manchester Trade, a trade policy advisory firm based in Washington, D.C. “And Bob Lighthizer was involved actually in a fairly minor negotiation with Brazil. So one needs a waiver for that in order for the Senate to be in a position to consider his nomination and, of course, approve his nomination.”Lande says Trump seems to be counting on such a waiver being attached to a must-pass measure to fund the federal government.The Houston area has a big stake in what happens next. “There’s $18 billion traded between Houston alone and Mexico, which is more than many countries trade between each other,” says Kenneth Smith Ramos, who heads the trade and NAFTA office at the Mexican Embassy to the U.S.Once the president notifies Congress of his intent to reopen NAFTA, that will trigger a 90-day countdown. Three-way talks with Mexico and Canada could begin by mid-summer. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:20 X Share