Good morning. It's a slow week with the Huskies basketball team playing just one game -- at Washington State on Sunday -- but we did take a look today at a member of UW's basketball program you might not know much about. Links:
--- Here is our feature on Pabail Sidhu, the Huskies' director of basketball strategies. Sidhu, also featured by UW 360 in the above video, uses advanced statistical analysis to help the Huskies' coaches develop scouting reports and game plans. And -- unlike Charles Barkley -- Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar and UW's assistants place a great deal of value on Sidhu's work with numbers. An excerpt:
As Sidhu explains, coaches watch film to figure out why and how something is happening. He watches film to figure out where and when something is happening.
And by “something,” he means pretty much everything. He tracks what happens any time any player touches the ball, anywhere on the floor. He tracks how UW’s offensive efficiency changes depending upon the number of passes thrown per possession — four or five typically yields the greatest efficiency, he says — and how everything correlates with the opponent’s personnel. It’s all stuff you won’t find in a box score. Efficiency is the emphasis. Statistical analysts don’t examine per-game averages so much as per-possession — specifically points per possession, both offensively and defensively — and that has become the primary focus of Romar’s statistical evaluation.
Sidhu noted something interesting -- that legendary North Carolina coach Dean Smith, who died earlier this month, was an early disciple of what we now call analytics. According to this New York Times story, Smith told his team at halftime of each game how many points per possession they had scored and allowed.
--- Jerry Brewer wonders why the Huskies didn't have a better football season in 2014, considering the number of touted NFL prospects they produced.
--- Danny Shelton, Hau'oli Kikaha and Shaq Thompson travel Friday to Indianapolis for this week's NFL scouting combine. Marcus Peters (and all other cornerbacks) departs for Indianapolis on Saturday.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple