Wednesday, February 18, 2009

That Guy - Hidden Superstars

I've been quite busy with work and interviews, and sadly my dreams are filled with thoughts of simulated and annealing instead of Ultimate cuts and theory. For this reason, more of my ideas are coming in another field at present, so don't expect too much brilliance from me.

Fortunately, various readers pass on tips and articles that they think others might be interested in. If you're up for a long read, then check out this article on Shane Battier of the Houston Rockets (tip David Sheffield). I've only made it one page into the article, but the mood suggests we're getting into methods of identifying key players without the standard statistical or heroic play.

I've alluded to the other end of this problem in Ultimate. The guy who always gets the flashy D, but is likely poaching or gives away every other easy in cut. More important is identifying the quiet guys who shut down their man or make a key cut to open space. I'm sure we've all felt like we were doing the right things and not being acknowledged for it. The bigger question is how do coaches and teammates recognize these contributions, so the player isn't lost or deemed unworthy.



Rich said...

This is an area where good detailed stat keeping and some analysis can help. We spent a year recording every point everyone played and the result of every possession therein. We were then able to analyze any combination of players to determine things like percentage of possessions the combination scored on, for instance. Once you have that, its pretty easy to figure out which players, when put on the field, increase the team's scoring %, even if they don't end up with countable stats. Similar analysis works for the defensive side as well.

Yaacov said...

It's worth reading the whole thing! Thanks for sharing it.

Yaacov said...

Inspired me to do some more research. Youtube's first result is Battier singing karaoke. The second result is "How to Take a Charge":

There's also a highlight mix that has as many hits as an NHL highlight mix, except the subject of the mix is taking them:

llb said...

Why do you think that simulated annealing is not relevant Ultimate?

Take a look at

That rsd post describes some work I have done in this area (actually using simulated annealing, though it is not mentioned in the post), and also has some links to similar approaches others have used.