7th August 2015
Jonah Gardner joined the Sports Reference crew (working out of Philly) a few weeks ago as our Social Media Coordinator bringing SR's head count to seven full-time staff. Jonah brings experience working in social media for The Human Solution in Austin and also for several musical acts and record labels. He's an Atlanta Braves fan, backs Everton FC (the Braves of the EPL), and is a big NBA fan (see his Kevin Garnett Trade Voltron). Jonah will be leading our change on social media for Sports Reference and you'll see us on much more active on twitter and joining additional platforms in the near future.
Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire21d, Hockey-Reference.com, Olympics at S-R, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sports Reference Welcomes Jonah Gardner to Our Staff
27th May 2015
We've been working recently to make our European stats better and easier to access. Toward that end, I wanted to introduce a few recently-added features that make it easier to find detailed European league player and team stats, standings, and game logs. In case you haven't spent time on our European league sites, know that we maintain sites for the Euroleague and Eurocup competitions as well as Liga ACB (Spain), LNB Pro A (France), Lega Serie A (Italy), and the Greek Basket League.
Foremost, our European sites share a new, easy-to-find homepage at http://www.basketball-reference.com/euro. The homepage has six large links that serve as a portal to each league's individual home. Each league's page looks much like our NBA homepage, with a rotating leaderboard, league standings, results from recent games, top performers, and more.
We've also added player game logs and box scores to the site, for example this box from Real Madrid's Euroleague clinching game. To find the gamelogs, visit any active player's page and mouse over the 'Gamelogs' box, and you'll see a link for game logs from each league in which the player has appeared (see below). Links to box scores are available on the respective league homepages, team schedule pages, and are also linked from the player game logs.
We've also added a new European stats section to the bottom-right of our homepage, with links to each league and the most recent day's games:
Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference | Comments Off on Several New European Stats Features
27th May 2015
We occasionally get emails from users who have interesting research to share. Recently, Todd Spehr (@toddspehr35) forwarded box scores from the NBA All-Star Legends Games that were played for a decade in the mid-80s until the 90s. It would seem out of this world to modern fans, but the NBA staged an annual exhibition of living legends during its All-Star festivities. Hall of Famers John Havlicek, Walt Bellamy, and Artis Gilmore were among the participants until the exhibition ran its course in 1993.
You can find links to these box scores from any page of our comprehensive all-star archives. In particular, look for the Legends Game tab and hover your mouse for a link to every box from the 1980s and 1990s.
In addition to his donated research, Todd is also the author of a recently released biography of the Croation legend Drazen Petrovic: Drazen: The Remarkable Life & Legacy of the Mozart of Basketball.
Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference | Comments Off on NBA All-Star Legends Game boxscores added
26th May 2015
Earlier this month we added historical NCAA schedules going back to the 1949-50 season. Just wanted to follow-up that we've added SRS and SOS for those seasons, as well.
As we've already published SRS going back to 1980, the only newcomers to the top 10 all-time teams are 1960s/70s UCLA juggernauts: 1967 (#10), 1968 (#3), and the 30-0 1972 team (#2)
The 1998-99 Elton Brand-led Duke team still has the highest single-season SRS rating (34.8), even with their championship-game loss. Curiously, the only team in the top 10 that didn't at least make the Final Four was the previous season's Duke team that was bounced by Kentucky in the regional final.
SRS and SOS are published at the top of the school season pages (illustrated below), and you can find a list of all schools' ratings on the season standings page or the dedicated ratings page.
Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference | Comments Off on CBB: Adding SRS to historical (pre-1980) schedules
15th May 2015
I'm excited to announce that we've extended our historical College Basketball schedules back to 1949-50. Previously, we had published them back to 1979-80, and had displayed a scanned image of the team's schedule when available. These three decades of additions supplements our full collection of historical NCAA Tournament box scores.
Some of the highlights of this new addition include the full-season slate for the 1975-76 undefeated Hoosiers, John Wooden's 1967-68 NCAA Champion UCLA Bruins, and the 1973-74 NC State Wolfpack.
The easiest way to find school schedules is to click on a school season page and click on one of the prominent Schedule links:
Note that we also publish schedules in the Conferences section, if you just want to view conference games:
Many thanks to Kevin Johnson, from whom we source this and much of the historical data on the site.
Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference | 3 Comments »
7th May 2015
Just wanted to show off a couple new features that we've recently introduced...
When you find yourself on our team season pages look for the "Game-by-game roster status" links:
These will bring you to a Roster Status page with a color-coded visualization of each player's roster status for the 82 regular season games, and the playoffs. Designations include Starter, Reserve, DNP, Inactive, and Suspended. Note that a player's status is also noted on boxscores and our player gamelogs. Notable in 2014-15 are the Raptors, Bulls, and Magic, all of whom maintained a stable roster throughout the season. The Sixers page is a lot of fun to look at, too.
We've published these going back to 2013-14, and should hopefully extend that period at some point.
The other new feature is a historical time series of roster continuity for each currently-active franchise. Our accounting begins with 1952-53 given that the season prior is the first for which we have Minutes Played data for every league player.
Several years ago former colleague Neil Paine published some musings on our blog about Team Continuity, and Dean Oliver devotes a couple pages in his Basketball on Paper book in the context of historically bad teams. The Spurs are well-noted stalwarts of year-to-year stability - on the other hand, the Cavaliers and Mavericks show that it's possible to turn over most of your minutes and not come apart at the seams, especially if one of your newcomers is LeBron James.
You can find a link to this page on our Frivolous Pages index, under Roster Continuity.
Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, Data | Comments Off on New Team Roster Features
14th April 2015
We've made a neat addition to our College Basketball site that we wanted to share with everyone. If you go to our Leaders & Records section, you'll notice that the right column now contains 2 "records" links. These pages contain all-time individual records for NCAA Tournament games and single NCAA Tournaments.
Now you can see that Austin Carr has 3 of the 5 highest scoring games in NCAA Tournament history. And you can even click on the date of the game to check out the box score.
The other option is to look at records for a single tournament run. Glen Rice holds the all-time record for points in a single tournament with 184 in Michigan's run to the 1989 National Championship.
We've added a note to the top of each page to indicate certain limitations of the scope of these statistics. For instance, although the NCAA Tournament has existed since 1939, assists, blocks and steals have only been officially tracked since the mid-1980s.
We hope you all enjoy this new addition.
Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, Data, Features, History, Leaders | 2 Comments »
11th March 2015
We have rolled out a Player Game Finder on our College Basketball site. Fans of our other sites are likely familiar with this tool, but for the uninitiated, this tool allows users to make custom searches through player box score lines since 2010-11. These searches can be for single games, cumulative season games, cumulative multi-season games, season games or total games.
Queries can be made using filters such as season, school, opponent, month, location, result, position, etc. One filter not currently available is class, but we may add that in the future. To give a better idea of what this tool is capable of, here are a few sample queries:
As you can see, there's a variety of different search combinations available. Like the rest of our Play Index tools, this finder is available via the Play Index menu. We encourage you to play around with this new tool and hope you enjoy it!
Posted in Announcement, CBB at Sports Reference, Data, Features, Play Index | Comments Off on College Basketball Player Game Finder Added
3rd March 2015
One of the more common subjects for queries we receive at Sports-Reference is our SRS (Simple Rating System) figures. For some background, the first of our sites to add SRS was Pro-Football-Reference, when Doug Drinen added it to the site in 2006 and provided this excellent primer. The important thing to know is that SRS is a rating that takes into account average point differential and strength of schedule. For instance, the 2006-07 Spurs won games by an average of 8.43 points per game and played a schedule with opponents that were 0.08 points worse than average, giving them an SRS of 8.35. This means they were 8.35 points better than an average team. An average team would have an SRS of 0.0. The calculation can be complicated, but the premise is simple and it produces easily interpreted results.
However, there are some variations in the way we calculate SRS across our various sites. We'll break down these differences below.
Pro-Football-Reference.com SRS: PFR's SRS is unique in that a home-field advantage is included as a part of the calculation because of the short schedule compared to the other sports (we don't want a team to look relatively weak at the halfway point because they've only played 3 of their first 8 at home, for instance). This HFA fluctuates yearly based on game results, but it is generally somewhere between 2 and 3 points (2006 being an outlier, as you'll see). Below is a look at the HFA numbers we have used since 2001. If you'd like to calculate these HFAs yourself, just sum up every team's home point differential and then divide by the total number of games played across the league that season. This data can easily be found in the Play Index for each season:
- 2001: 2.0081
- 2002: 2.2461
- 2003: 3.5547
- 2004: 2.5078
- 2005: 3.6484
- 2006: 0.8477
- 2007: 2.8672
- 2008: 2.5586
- 2009: 2.2070
- 2010: 1.8945
- 2011: 3.2656
- 2012: 2.4336
- 2013: 3.1055
- 2014: 2.4883
College Football SRS: Our CFB SRS does not contain a home-field advantage element, but it does have some other quirks. Most importantly, we have capped the margin of victory considered for the formula. Due to the number of mismatches seen in college football, the maximum point differential a team can be credited with in a game is 24. We also credit all wins as a minimum of plus-7 margin of victory (so if you win by 1 point, it's treated the same as a 7-point win). The same logic is applied to losses, as well. One other wrinkle for CFB is that all non-major opponents are included as one team for the sake of the ratings.
College Basketball SRS: SRS for college hoops is straight forward (no HFA & no adjusted MOV), but one item to note is that games against non-major opponents are not counted in our calculations.
MLB, NBA & NHL: All of these SRS calculations are straight forward with no adjustments for HFA and no capping of MOV. It should be noted, however, that no special consideration is given for extra-innings, overtimes or shootouts, either.
We'll close with a quick rundown of the various merits and weaknesses of SRS, from Drinen's original 2006 post. These bullet points were created to describe the system used for NFL SRS, but many of the strengths and weaknesses can applied to the other sports, as well:
- The numbers it spits out are easy to interpret - if Team A's rating is 3 bigger than Team B's, this means that the system thinks Team A is 3 points better than Team B. With most ranking algorithms, the numbers that come out have no real meaning that can be translated into an English sentence. With this system, the units are easy to understand.
- It is a predictive system rather than a retrodictive system - this is a very important distinction. You can use these ratings to answer the question: which team is stronger? I.e. which team is more likely to win a game tomorrow? Or you can use them to answer the question: which of these teams accomplished more in the past? Some systems answer the first questions more accurately; they are called predictive systems. Others answer the latter question more accurately; they are called retrodictive systems. As it turns out, this is a pretty good predictive system. For the reasons described below, it is not a good retrodictive system.
- It weights all games equally - every football fan knows that the Colts' week 17 game against Arizona was a meaningless exhibition, but the algorithm gives it the same weight as all the rest of the games.
- It weights all points equally, and therefore ignores wins and losses - take a look at the Colts season. If you take away 10 points in week 3 and give them back 10 points in week 4, you've just changed their record, but you haven't changed their rating at all. If you take away 10 points in week 3 and give back 20 points in week 4, you have made their record worse but their rating better. Most football fans put a high premium on the few points that move you from a 3-point loss to a 3-point win and almost no weight on the many points that move you from a 20-point win to a 50-point win.
- It is easily impressed by blowout victories - this system thinks a 50-point win and a 10-point loss is preferable to two 14-point wins. Most fans would disagree with that assessment.
- It is slightly biased toward offensive-minded teams - because it considers point margins instead of point ratios, it treats a 50-30 win as more impressive than a 17-0 win. Again, this is an assessment that most fans would disagree with.
- This should go without saying, but - I'll say it anyway. The system does not take into account injuries, weather conditions, yardage gained, the importance of the game, whether it was a Monday Night game or not, whether the quarterback's grandmother was sick, or anything else besides points scored and points allowed.
Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, Data, FAQ, Features, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com, SRS, Stat Questions, Statgeekery, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »