Here's an excerpt of the latest Cougar Sports Weekly:
Most analysis that tries to measure the impact of participating in the postseason looks a lot like this piece from Bud Withers. "What was the team’s record the following year? Did the team make the postseason? How deep did they get?" Etc.
The problem with such analysis is that it ignores a lot of context. For example, what if the team that won the CBI had four seniors starting? Would you then expect that team to significantly improve the next season based on its postseason experience? Doubtful, right?
To try and take this context into account, I went back and looked at the eight previous teams that reached the finals of the CBI, as WSU did. I calculated what percentage of the team’s minutes returned the following year, then calculated what percentage of possessions those guys used* the year of their CBI run. Then I looked at how each of those teams ranked in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings at the conclusion of their CBI run and compared their finish the following year.
*"Possessions used" is just another way of saying "possessions ending with a player's action" e.g. made shot, turnover, missed shot not rebounded by the offense, free throws, etc. The more possessions used by an individual, the more integral that individual is to the team's production. Klay Thompson, Brock Motum and Tony Wroten are all examples of high usage players.
If there indeed is a "tournament effect," there should be some relationship between improvement in ranking from one year to the next and the amount of returning minutes and usage.
Here’s the data, table style, ordered by most improvement to least improvement.
That, folks, is what we call a teaser. I completed this quantitative look at what it all means, then followed it with a qualitative look via my own observations after watching every game of the CBI. Also included? Spring football thoughts and a take on Ryan Leaf.
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