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Archive for the 'Awards' Category

Is This the Best NBA MVP Race Ever? A Statistical Inquiry

10th April 2017

We're just a couple of weeks away from the most glorious period of the annual sports calendar, the NBA Playoffs. However, there's still one huge piece of unfinished business to settle before we get there: the race for NBA MVP. This year's race is going down to the wire as LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden all remain in contention with just a few games remaining on the NBA schedule.

In the big picture, very little has changed since the last time we checked in on the race: Russell Westbrook is still averaging a triple-double, James Harden is still combining efficiency, volume, and playmaking to an unprecedented extent, LeBron James is still looking like Magic Johnson 2.0, and Kawhi Leonard remains the best two-way player in the league while dominating the ball and shouldering the offensive load in a way that no Spurs player has since Gregg Popovich took over as head coach. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Awards, Basketball-Reference.com | 5 Comments »

NCAA Men’s Basketball All-Tournament Teams Added

31st March 2017

Since we now have most players who have participated in the NCAA Tournament in our database, we thought it would be good to add All-Tournament teams to College Basketball Reference. So we've added these teams to our college basketball Awards section. This team was originally named in 1940 (the 2nd NCAA Tournament), and was then discontinued for 1941-51. It has been awarded every year since 1952. We've included tournament scoring stats for each player awarded, as well as other stats when fully available. Jerry Chambers's 35.8 PPG in the 1966 tournament for Utah represents the highest scoring average for an all-tournament selection, while Jim Thomas's 4.6 PPG for 1981 Champs Indiana represents the lowest. This list complements our previously existing list of NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Players.

We hope you enjoy this addition. And keep an eye out for NCAA Tournament All-Regional teams in the future.

Posted in Announcement, Awards, CBB at Sports Reference, Data, Features | 1 Comment »

Breaking Down College Basketball’s Naismith Award Race

24th March 2017

With the 2017 NCAA Tournament heating up, all eyes are on the college basketball world. By the end of this weekend, the March Madness field of 68 teams will have been pared down to just four finalists, and we'll have just three meaningful games of college hoops left to enjoy this year.

So, as the season wraps up, we wanted to turn our attention to another exciting race for a major trophy: the competition for this year's Naismith Player of the Year Award. The Naismith, given during the Final Four weekend, recognizes the year's best college basketball player. This week, the voters narrowed the field from the original ten semifinalists to four finalists, each of whom has an excellent case for taking the trophy. In fact, in an interesting mirror of the NBA MVP race that we examined a few weeks ago, this year's award could go to any of the major four contenders depending on what voters choose to prioritize. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at the pros and cons of each finalists' case. Read the rest of this entry

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Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and the Unconventional MVP Race

3rd March 2017

Russell Westbrook has broken a lot of things this year: triple-double records, Basketball Twitter, the lengthy drought of NBA players failing to appear on-stage with Migos. However, there's something a little less well-publicized than those that we can add to the list: Basketball-Reference's MVP Projections.

The MVP Projection uses a model that's based on previous MVP winners to use stats like points, rebounds, and assists, as well as team win-loss record, to determine which players voters are likely to target this year. And, as you can see below, it has a minor disagreement with the consensus on Westbrook's odds: Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Awards, Basketball-Reference.com | 3 Comments »

Top 2016 Recruits Added to Basketball Reference

28th November 2016

With the college basketball season now up and running, we've added the 2016 RSCI Top 100 recruits to Basketball Reference. RSCI stands for Recruiting Services Consensus Index and can be seen here. It combines the rankings from various respected sources into one consensus ranking. It should be noted that this consensus can under-rank reclassifying players like Thon Maker or Jamal Murray since they're not always taken under consideration by all of the rankers.

This page contains links to college stats for this season's top freshmen (when applicable) so could come in handy if you're checking out 2017 NBA Draft prospects.

Historical RSCI rankings are available back to 1998, if you're curious about their predictive value.

This data is accessible via the "High School Season Honors" section of our NBA Awards menu.

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NBA Coach of the Month Winners Added to Basketball Reference

15th November 2016

We have recently made an addition to the Awards section on Basketball Reference. We now have NBA Coaches of the Month all the way back to the creation of the award in 1982-83. These winners can be found not only on the page for the award, but also on season pages and coaching pages. It should also be noted that from 1982-83 through 2001-02, there was one winner per month for the entire league. Starting in 2002-03, however, there was a separate winner from the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference every month. The all-time leader in Coach of the Month Awards (through the 2015-16 NBA season) is Gregg Popovich, with 16. He's followed by George Karl, with 12, and Pat Riley/Phil Jackson with 11 apiece. The leader among currently active head coaches is Doc Rivers, with 9 (and November 2016 could well end up being his 10th).

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Digging into the MLB Award Races

29th September 2016

This week is one of those good news/bad news situations. On the one had, we're just a few days away from the start of the MLB Postseason! But, on the other hand, the regular season finishes up this Sunday. With another year in the books, we wanted to break down the main contenders for MLB's most important awards. Unfortunately, Tim Tebow will have to wait till next year to get his shot at a trophy, but there are a lot of worthy players who've had excellent years. Let's take a look: Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Awards, Baseball-Reference.com | 9 Comments »

NHL Rookies of the Month Added Back to 1983-84

11th August 2016

In January, we added NHL Rookies of the Month back to the 2005-06 season. We've recently made some additions and now have the award listed back to 1983-84.

There are a few holes in the data, however. If anyone has the October 1987, November 1989 or December 1990 winners, please let us know.

We hope you enjoy this addition to our NHL Awards section.

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All-Time NFL Players of the Week on Pro Football Reference

22nd June 2016

About 9 months ago, we added NFL Players of the Week back to 1997 on Pro Football Reference. Shortly after that, we were able to extend that data back to 1989. Now, thanks to an assist from football researcher extraordinaire John Turney, we have completed this data back to 1984, which was the first year that the NFL handed out these awards.

These winners can be seen on the pages we have built for each NFL Week (such as Week 1 of 1984) and also in this register of the all-time NFC/AFC Player of the Week winners. You'll notice that Special Teamers were first awarded in 1993.

Posted in Announcement, Awards, Data, Pro-Football-Reference.com | 1 Comment »

2016 Spira Award Winner Announced

27th April 2016

The results have been announced for the Fourth Annual Greg Spira Award, which is given annually in recognition of the best published article, paper, or book containing original baseball research by a person 30 years old or younger.

This year's winner is Jeff Long, for his piece "Every Player in Its Right Place" for Baseball Prospectus (follow the link to read the winning submission).

Long’s winning piece featured the comparison of players using proprietary information through an arrangement with Ayasdi, an analytics company that uses machine intelligence software to analyze data sets. Looking at all 311 players with at least 250 plate appearances in 2014, Long analyzed the resulting topological maps, providing a new look at “the old ballgame,” those who play it at the highest level, and how many have more similar skill sets than would otherwise.

Second Prize went to Jon Feyen for "Analytics: The New Currency of Major League Baseball," the capstone project in his Sports Management graduate degree program at Cardinal Stritch University in Fox Point, Wisconsin.

Third Prize was awarded to Ben Diamond for "What is the Success Rate of Shoulder Surgery." At 18 years of age, Diamond is the youngest person to receive a prize in this competition.

The award is named after Greg Spira, a longtime member of the Society for American Baseball Research, who was the founder of the annual Internet Baseball Awards (IBA) in 1991. A graduate of Harvard University, Spira was also an early adopter and a pioneer in using the Internet to advance baseball analysis, particularly via Usenet’s groundbreaking rec.sport.baseball group and via BaseballProspectus.com.

Spira later contributed to many sports books as a researcher, writer, and editor, including the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, the ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia, Total Baseball, and annual periodicals about the Mets. A lifelong and passionate Mets fan, Spira passed away on December 28, 2011 in his native New York City.

For remembrances of and more information about Greg, visit GregSpira.com. For more information about the award, visit SpiraAward.org. Thanks to everyone who submitted a piece in the 2016 competition and congratulations to all three prize winners!

Posted in Academics, Announcement, Awards, Baseball-Reference.com | Comments Off on 2016 Spira Award Winner Announced