Hogs and Vols have cracked the code for NET rating

Not my original quote, but saw it on Twitter and thought it was the right description.

Tennessee is #3 with 8 losses and Arkansas is #14 with 11 losses.

Hogs NET moved up from 16 to 14 after two losses this week.

Definitely not ideal to my eye to be backing into the Tourney, and that is exactly what we are doing based on our metrics.

This team is flawed, hopefully not fatally, but something just ain’t right.

Nick is back now, and playing big minutes, but we have a losing record since he’s been back.

Muss never could have possibly predicted having to add Nick back to the lineup against this back loaded schedule, but that is where we are.

Muss’ rotation is normally set by now, and we typically surge in February, but that most definitely has not happened.

We have great talent, but as of March 1st, I have no idea how good this TEAM is.

I guess we will see.


And that is an excellent point. Good take.

I don’t know whether it is or not, but I am definitely frustrated.
Not even gonna try to imagine how Muss feels…
I’m guessing REALLY frustrated.

His PC certainly would indicate he isn’t happy that they haven’t figured it out by now and there’s only one game left to do that. I’m not sure the answer, but I believe Graham has to see more minutes if the twins can’t play together.

Muss continues to have to reinvent what the team will be. That is hard on players mentally and physically. Smith’s return changed roles favorably for Walsh and Devo - less offensive pressure allows them to not be spent on defense. It hurt Council a lot because now Council defers to Smith on offense.

Smith gives you a chance to beat anybody, but change increases the chances you lose oddly, and sometimes badly.

There is too much thinking on the court at this point in the season. Council, maybe more than anyone, seems to be rethinking what he is supposed to do when the ball hits his hands.

The twins struggle with consistency when the ball hits their hands - sometimes they make a play sometimes it is an “oof.”

The longer you play the less you can fool someone - your achilles’ heel becomes obvious and even under-manned teams can exploit it (to an extent). Its why you will read a lot of comments between now and the end of our season about “playing ugly” or “winning ugly.” We will double-down on preventing points and try to manufacture some points where they are unanticipated.

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Nobody really knows the formula for NET, although we know the four components: Team Value Index, which is game results adjusted for opponent and location; Net Efficiency, which is sort of a takeoff on the work of Pomeroy and others with offensive and defensive efficiency; Winning Percentage, which is fairly obvious; and Adjusted Win Percentage, which is based on record and where the game was played. TVI would have bumped upward, probably, for playing Murder U and Mustard in one week. AWP wouldn’t have gone upward with two losses, but the fact that both games were roadies minimizes the impact, and our efficiency was very good against the Scum, not so good against the Vomiteers.

If NET means anything to the pundits, the Hogs are in the dance. They certainly meet the eye test of a quality team, except for the large # of losses. This still is the same team that beat UK at Rupp, plus Nick.

Swine you could probably find the answer to this. What is the highest ranked NET team (I’d say Power 5 to eliminate odd situations with smaller schools) not to make the tourney in the couple of years they’ve used it?

Yes, his rotation has changed during each game all season. Muss has though, stuck with the same starting line up every game since he put Nick in as a starter.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand what his rotation will be this season just because of his handling of Graham. For instance, this last game, Graham was pulled after 3 minutes early in the first half. He had all zeros in the stat line. Mahkel ended the game with 11 minutes and a stat line of all zeros except 5 fouls, 1 TO and 2 blocks (good). Zero boards in 11 minutes and lots off matador defensive minutes. He’s never a scoring threat.

Graham has been playing much better in recent games with rebounds, blocks, fewer TOs, and a few double digit scoring outings. He still sat on the bench for the last 30 minutes of this last game. He seems to have the shortest leash with the most unforgivable mistakes of any player I’ve seen. As badly as this team needed points in the 2nd half, Muss never considered using Graham, who’s proven to be his only good scoring big?

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I can’t explain it, Larry. Twins were awful Tuesday and didn’t play a lick of defense.
Why not play Graham? He couldn’t have defended any worse than the Mitchells did.
I expect way better Saturday.

I understand people love offense but we’ve all seen that Muss hangs his hat on D first. And we were getting killed in the paint, particularly offensive boards. Graham, though we know he can score, is our worst interior defender and the worst at getting physical tough contested rebounds. That’s why Muss even went to Kamani in that game. At least he knew he would fight.

I understand those that would trade D for some more offense but that’s just not our coach’s position. I respect that.

This is true and I certainly understand and agree with that philosophy. In that 2nd half, the twins were playing abysmal defense with zero rebounds and zero points. Graham couldn’t have played worse defense or had fewer than zero rebounds, but probably would have at least scored a few points.

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Can’t argue that the twins stunk it up. 5 fouls and no rebounds for Markhel is unbelievable. They’ve been much better most of the year. Let’s hope it was an aberation.

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I think not playing too many Quad 4 games, if any, has helped Arkansas maintain high NET rating, win or lose. Great scheduling job by Ruta, I must say.

I think I have figured out what happens by watching replays of the games. If the opponent runs a play two times in row against Graham and are successful and he does not score on the other end during that stretch, he is pulled and never put back in. Muss has done the same with Pinion

Muss is not one of those coaches who believes in outscoring the opponent to win. His philosophy seems to be that to win, you must hold the opponent to less points than the opponent hold you.

He has won so much, so I am not going to say what he does with Graham is wrong,

As far as twins, when competition goes physical, they have issues. Vol bigs for example are bruisers and just outmuscled them, causing them to play defense with hands and commit fouls.

Mobilehoma was the best NET team left out last year at #40. NC State was top 35 in 2019 but had a terrible NC schedule and only 3 Q1 wins. Apparently beating up on cupcakes got them that high NET.

I think when the opposition lacks height or bulk, Graham is not a bad choice. But, when they have real height and strength, that neutralizes Graham. Tennessee’s interior defense and ability to screen away from the ball probably makes Graham less of an option in the eyes of the head coach who knows all too well what happens to him in those situations. Tennessee just didn’t look like the right matchup for Graham. I sort of knew that going into the game. The physicality that Tennessee plays with inside is tough on anyone who is a finesse player and that’s Graham. There are certain things you must do if you are going to play for Muss. Be able to guard is first. Rebound defensively is next. Go on the floor for a loose ball is right there with those first two. I don’t think he makes it a secret. If you don’t do those three things, you just don’t get minutes.

I’m guessing that Muss lays awake at night thinking of possible matchups. He knows his players in such detail on every tendency, just as he knows the opposition. I believe he sees things in a different order than the casual fan and that’s what most of us are these days.

Nolan Richardson and I were talking after practice one day and he said he was having a tough time explaining to both Notes and his wife about why and when Notes would play.

He finally explained, “You show me how you are going to help me win, I’ll play you. Unfortunately, you show me how you are going to make me lose. So I won’t play you.”

Of course, the devil is in the details. But that is as simple as it gets. And that’s what all coaches weigh, will you help me win or are you going to make sure I lose.

I talked to my daughter during her freshman year in college about that talk with Nolan when she was not getting as many minutes for her soccer team as she thought she deserved.

She changed her attitude about defense and became a little more physical when there was a 50-50 ball near her. All at once, she never came off the field again for 3 1/2 years.

It was not about her considerable offensive ability, passing or crosses that led to scoring chances. She came to college as an attacking midfielder with speed.

But that’s not really what was needed on her team. The coach was not going to play someone that allowed ANY scoring chances, ever. She figured that out. When he realized her changed attitude on defense, he put her at left marking back and never subbed her out the rest of her time in college.

We tend to watch a game with offense in our mind. Scoring excites us. We seldom see it when a forward does or does not allow his man to touch the ball either on a drive or a rebound. It is a huge part of the game.


Goodness, that is a golden quote. Thanks for sharing.

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