CougarStats 2000s all-decade team: Linebackers


You selected the 2000-2009 all-decade defensive line last week. The winners were Brett Keisel, Jan Jorgensen, Chris Hoke and Ryan Denney. Now we turn to the linebackers. The nominees are Matt Bauman, Coleby Clawson, Justin Ena, Cameron Jensen, Bryan Kehl, Isaac Kelley, David Nixon, Brady Poppinga, Kelly Poppinga and Paul Walkenhorst.

Vote for three. The poll will remain open for the rest of the week.

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CougarStats 2000s all-decade team: Defensive Line


After taking a three-week hiatus, we are back to vote on the CougarStats 2000-2009 all-decade defense. We’ll start this week with the defensive line. The nominees are Manaia Brown, Ryan Denney, Setema Gali, Chris Hoke, Jan Jorgensen, Brett Keisel, Shaun Nua and Hans Olsen.

Vote for four. The poll will stay up for the rest of the week.

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Your CougarStats 2000s All-Decade Offense


The voting is complete for the CougarStats 2000s all-decade team on the offensive side of the ball. We’ll move on to defense starting next week.

QB: John Beck

RB: Luke Staley, Harvey Unga

TE: Dennis Pitta

WR: Austin Collie, Reno Mahe

OL: Ben Archibald, Travis Bright, Ray Feinga, Scott Jackson, Matt Reynolds

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BYU’s Long-Distance Shooting: Sinking to New Lows


A week ago, https://blog.cougarstats.com/2012/01/30/the-terrible-tale-of-the-threes/ was posted, using a little mathematical thought exercise about how unlikely BYU’s 4 game shooting slump from three point range was.  Times have changed, but BYU’s shooting woes haven’t.  Over their last  6 games, BYU has only hit 17 of their last 101 three point attempts.  A mere 16.8%.

Let me introduce you to the Grambling State Tigers.  Grambling State has a wonderful football legacy; Eddie Robinson had over 400 career wins, placed dozens of players in the NFL and they get a national appearance on NBC every Thanksgiving weekend.  However, their basketball program is another story.

Grambling is the worst shooting team in the nation.  Period.  They are the 2nd worst in the nation in 3 point percentage (26.0%) and are the worst in the nation in two point percentage (37.2%).  There are 345 Division 1 basketball teams and they are 344th and 345th in 3 point and 2 point shooting respectively.

HOWEVER, they have not had a 3 point shooting slump anywhere near as bad as BYU’s current slump this season.  The worst 6 game total for Grambling was their first 6 games of the season, where they shot 21 of 95 (22.1%) from outside the arc.  Their worst is still 5% better than BYU’s worst.

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CougarStats 2000s all-decade team: Offensive Line


The voting for Wide Receivers last week wasn’t very close. Austin Collie ran away with it receiving 145 votes. Reno Mahe also made the team with 65 votes. Todd Watkins was the only other WR in the running with 47.

This week is different. We’re voting for the whole offensive line.  We have 13 nominees — three with the same last name. If you want to consider positions, great. Or, just vote for the best 5 and if we end up with five centers, we’ll let them take turns snapping the ball.

Your nominees are:  Ben Archibald Sete Aulai Travis Bright Ray Feinga Scott Jackson Jake Kuresa Dallas Reynolds Lance Reynolds Matt Reynolds Dustin Rykert Brian Sanders Jason Scukanec and Scott Young.

Remember, VOTE FOR FIVE LINEMEN.

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The Terrible Tale of the Threes


Two weeks ago, BYU was better than more than 330 of the 345 Division 1 basketball teams in 3 point shooting. Over their first 20 games, BYU was making a very respectable 39.8% of their 3-point attempts. Then something happened. Something terrible. Something so unprobable that it led to the following use of oversized tables and graphs.

Over its last 4 games, BYU has only made 11 of 73 three point attempts, a mere 15.0%. Jimmer Fredette, over his last 4 games has made 11 of 17 NBA-length 3 point attempts; 56 fewer attempts than BYU, but the same number of makes.

Can this slump be blamed on the level of competition? Yes, and no. Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Virginia Tech and St. Mary’s rank 15th, 155th, 3rd and 246th respectively in 3 point percentage defense. That’s an average of 105th.

To try to get a rough feel for how unlikely the magnitude of this shooting slump is, let’s look at the math of the coin flip. In calculating the odds of getting a certain number of heads, an assumption is made that it doesn’t matter what has happened in the past as far as what will happen in the future. Now, intuition would have you believe that in the real world, it DOES matter how you have shot in the recent past when determining how likely you will make your next shot. In other words, if a team is hot, they will be more likely to make a shot than average and vice versa. However, statistical research into this very topic (feel free to Google a bit) has failed to substantiate that intuition.

So let’s assume that we have a coin that comes up heads 40% of the time; consistent with BYU’s 3 point accuracy for their first 20 games. If you flipped that lop-sided coin 73 times, how often would you expect to get heads 11 times or less? Well, I simulated this very thing 500,000 times in Excel. In only TWO simulations did Excel produce a result where there were 11 “heads” or less.

Take a look at the raw data and then the bar chart below.  I had to stretch the graph in Excel to be 350 rows high before I could even see the pixel representing BYU’s 11 for 73 likelihood.  Using this approximation, the odds against this severe of a slump is 250,000 to 1.  In reality the odds are most likely not anywhere that extreme, but even if you generously account for an increase in the level of competition and the psychological effects of being in a slump, it’s still safe to say that the magnitude of this slump is still quite remarkable.

Makes Frequency
1 0
2 0
3 0
4 0
5 0
6 0
7 0
8 0
9 1
10 0
11 1
12 7
13 15
14 52
15 122
16 329
17 660
18 1288
19 2533
20 4587
21 7715
22 11815
23 17362
24 23454
25 30451
26 37444
27 42789
28 46518
29 47320
30 45937
31 42273
32 36334
33 30068
34 23233
35 16976
36 11843
37 7892
38 4854
39 2910
40 1576
41 824
42 413
43 233
44 98
45 43
46 16
47 8
48 3
49 3
50 0
51 0
52 0
53 0
54 0
55 0
56 0
57 0
58 0
59 0
60 0
61 0
62 0
63 0
64 0
65 0
66 0
67 0
68 0
69 0
70 0
71 0
72 0
73 0

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CougarStats 2000s all-decade team: Wide Receivers


Last week’s Tight Ends poll was much less dramatic than the previous week’s QB voting. Dennis Pitta ran away with it while Jonny Harline was a distant second.

This week we move on to wide receivers. If we were only allowed one vote, we might have a similar result. But we’re choosing two: Matt Allen,  Toby Christensen, Austin Collie, Reno Mahe, Michael Reed, and Todd Watkins are the nominees.

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