It was really a special occasion for us the possibility to make some questions to Ken Pomeroy, and now, after expressing him our thank you for the time he dedicate us, we present to our special readers his interview with a particular pleasure.
I kindly ask you to make again a little jump in the past please for our readers. You helped a generation of fans (us) to change their culture about the game. When and how did you start your study about advanced stats followed by your amazing site?
“I started thinking that there needed to be an easy way to access better stats in college basketball in about 2001, but I didn’t post anything to the web site until right before the 2004 NCAA tournament. Of course, few people were paying attention back then!.”
In your opinion which is the most important aspect of the game that advanced stats are not still able to describe (if you see a limit)?
“Measuring individual defense is still very difficult with the information available to us. I think it is possible to develop better defensive measures with the information that is out there, but it will take a lot of time and thought by someone in order to accomplish.”
Which is in your opinion the next step for advanced stats that should be made for example by experts like you?
“For me, work in stats is a matter of figuring out how to measure things better, especially things that aren’t easy for people to judge on their own. It is hard to say what that means for the future, but there is still a lot of work to be done using data to inform strategic decisions.”
In your opinion, which is the actual position of the advanced stats in the american college basket culture (fans,coaches,scouts)?
“For coaches there is a wide range of expertise. For some, the use of advanced stats is very important in preparing for an opponent. For others, it is not use used at all. I think it is less critical that scouts understand advanced stats, although most of them are aware of their importance. But I would rather scouts use their own judgments and provide observations that are not influenced what the stats say. For fans and media, I think by now nearly everyone is aware of the stats available. It is a matter of personal taste whether they are interested or not.”
Which is your opinion about this season after games played until now?
“I think the national champion will be one of five teams: Duke, Villanova, North Carolina, Kansas or Kentucky. If it is not one of those teams, it will be considered a big upset.”
Do you see in particular a basketball big point of interest that you must suggest us to follow nearly in the next months (may be a regretion of a player or a team)?
“One team I did not mention is UCLA. They are ranked second in the media’s poll, but it not clear whether that means people actually think UCLA is the second-best team or something else that is less useful. Anyway, the Bruins are only 13th in my system as I write this. They play in the weaker Pac-12 conference, so they will not lose many games and will be ranked very highly by the media all season. It will be interesting to see how strongly people feel about their chance of winning a title before the NCAA tournament begins.”
Last, a free answer about a free argument: share with us one mind of your opinion about everything in the college basket system, in the game, in Conferences expansions that i didn’t touch? We would love to learn from you after hearing from you about something important in your opinion.
“I think college basketball is very healthy right now. We’ve finally modernized the rules to match the way the game is played in the NBA and internationally. The next major improvement to making the game more fun to watch is solving the problem where the last seconds of a close game can last minutes with timeouts and reviews causing long delays.”
Note: Mr.Davide Bortoluzzi collaborated at the interview.