Advertisement WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Linkedin TAGSCouncil houseslimericktenants Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Twitter Facebook Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Print Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival THE ISSUE of adult children who live with their parents in local authority housing not being able to take over the tenancy when parents die was raised at a meeting of the local authority’s housing committee this week.Cllr Cian Prendiville (AAA) said that he is currently dealing with such a case.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “He was not named as the tenant but lived in the house with his father, who died. Now the council are trying to evict him through the courts,” Cllr Prendiville explained.Cllr Richard O’Donoghue (FF) said there are too many impediments to people buying their council homes after living in them for years. Under the purchase scheme, tenants have to have an income in excess of €15,000“‘We’ve had people who are tired and they can’t buy their houses, even if they come into a few pounds.“If you’re someone who has special needs and your home has been specially adapted, you come up against the same problem,” he said. Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” NewsAdult children losing council homesBy Bernie English – October 29, 2016 967 WhatsApp Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Previous articleBrakes could be put on trainsNext articleNew Halloween Horror Events Unveiled At Bunratty Castle and Folk Park Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. Email
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is one of the largest potential sources of future sea-level rise, with glaciers draining the WAIS thinning at an accelerating rate over the past 40 years. Due to difficulties in calibrating palaeoceanographic proxies for the Southern Ocean, it remains difficult to assess whether similar changes have occurred earlier during the Holocene or whether there is underlying centennial to millennial scale forcing in oceanic variability. Archaeal lipid – based proxies, specifically Glycerol Dialkyl Glycerol Tetraether (GDGT) (e.g. TEX86 and TEX86L) are powerful tools for reconstructing ocean temperature, but these proxies have been shown previously to be difficult to apply to the Southern Ocean. A greater understanding of the parameters that control Southern Ocean GDGT distributions would improve the application of these biomarker proxies and thus help provide a longer-term perspective on ocean forcing of Antarctic ice sheet changes. In this study, we characterised intact polar lipid (IPL) – GDGTs, representing (recently) living archaeal population in suspended particulate matter from the Amundsen Sea and the Scotia Sea. Shifts in IPL-GDGT signatures across well-defined fronts of the Southern Ocean revealed a correlation between the physicochemical parameters of these water masses and IPL-GDGT distributions. Further analysis is required to elucidate the additional role of productivity and nutrient availability on Southern Ocean IPL-GDGT distributions. Of particular note for proxy development in the Amundsen Sea is that IPL-GDGTs are likely actively synthesised at Circumpolar Deep Water depths and may be a significant source of GDGTs exported to the sedimentary record in this region.
The smoking rate in Southeastern Indiana remains higher than the national average.According to the Greater Cincinnati Community Health Status Survey, 33.7% of adults in the Ripley, Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio and Switzerland counties are current smokers. The figures are nearly unchanged since 2010.The report revealed the Tri-State smoking rate of 25% is higher than the national average of 20%.Rural areas in the region generally have higher smoking rates than urban areas. The past three years have shown some improvement, as the Tri-State rate remains double the number from the Healthy People 2020 goal of 12%.Healthy Choices about Substance Use, Interact for Health Senior Program Officer Ann Barnum says the numbers show the region is moving in the right direction but not as steady as preferred.“What we have seen in our communities in Indiana, is that Indiana has dropped significantly,” Barnum said. “One of the reasons, is because they have put a lot of effort into countering the advertising that goes on for tobacco and countering it with messages about health promotion.”The smoking rate in the Tri-State has been steadily decreasing over the past 14 years, down from 35% in 1999.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The Coyotes found new life when Valerie Evans floated a 35-yard shot just inside the crossbar and just over the hands of Wildcats goalkeeper Kerrie Gonzales in the 75th minute to draw Cal State to 2-1. Evans then tied the match in the 84th minute when she turned Krista Feer’s pass into a one-on-one opportunity and beat Gonzales with a low shot to the left corner of the net. Each team had a pair of good opportunities during overtime, but could not capitalize. Cal State San Bernardino improves to 5-8-1 overall, 3-7-1 in CCAA play. WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL On Saturday, Nicole Courtney led all players with 20 kills as the UC San Diego women’s volleyball team rallied for a five-game victory over 11th-ranked Cal State San Bernardino 31-33, 24-30, 30-20, 30-20 and 15-11, in La Jolla. Down 3-0 in the second half, the Cal State San Bernardino men’s soccer team battled back as Barry Steele scored an unassisted goal in the 51st minute and Lorenzo Loson hammered home Steele’s pass from the corner in the 82nd minute. But it wasn’t enough as the Coyotes lost 3-2 Sunday to Chico State in a California Collegiate Athletic Association match at Chico. A.J. Carboneau scored a pair of goals and Kurt Murin notched a goal and an assist as the Chico State men’s soccer team snapped its five-match losing streak. The Wildcats scored all three of their goals in the first half, and then held off the Coyotes for the win. With the loss, Cal State drops to 12-7 overall, 6-4 in CCAA play. Up 2-0 heading into the third game, the Coyotes proceeded to drop the next three games to lose their second match of the season to the Tritons, who improve to 15-4, 7-3. Cal State was led by Lisa Dogonyaro, who had 19 kills and 23 digs, and Traci Weamer, who added 17 kills and 14 digs. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Cal State San Bernardino falls to 6-8-1 overall, 5-6-0 in CCAA play. WOMEN’S SOCCER Valerie Evans scored two second-half goals as the Cal State San Bernardino women’s soccer team rallied for a 2-2 with Chico State on Sunday in a California Collegiate Athletic Association match at Chico.
There’s no genetic difference between Cro-Magnon Man and modern Europeans, a genetic study reported by Science Daily. Researchers took extra care to avoid contamination of bones found in southern Italy, they said. They claimed Cro-Magnon people were able to maintain genealogical continuity for 28,000 years, remaining distinct from Neanderthals, whom they said lived in Europe for 300,000 years.Forget everything you were taught about early man in Europe, because the evolutionists keep changing their story and what they say now is absurd. Is it really plausible that two groups of Homo sapiens lived side by side for nearly 30,000 years and never intermarried? Has that ever happened in modern times? Where is all the genetic evolution that should have occurred between the time this Italian Cro-Magnon individual lived and today? He’s virtually identical to modern Europeans. Why even classify him as “other” than us? And why think that he lived so long ago? 28,000 years is three to four times the length of all recorded human history. These people were our equals physically and probably mentally. Maybe they were even superior. Who could possibly believe that Cro-Magnon, or even Neanderthals for that matter (with bigger average cranial capacity than us), would not have reached the moon in 28,000 years, to say nothing of 300,000? Evolutionists want us to believe they were smart enough to hunt mammoths and produce cave paintings that attract the awe of modern artists, but never learned how to ride a horse in all that time. That is absurd. Wouldn’t you expect that they would have built cities in a fraction of the evolutionary time scale, and invented writing? They have no answer for what “switched on” in the human brain to create instant civilization about 6,000 to 8,000 years ago. The ages they give are not scientific. They are part of a vast evolutionary myth that is propagated by a powerful class of shamans who run our schools and scientific institutions. There is nothing in the data that is inconsistent with the Biblical view that these were people after the Flood (which itself is remembered in hundreds of tribal legends around the world), scattered after Babel into distinct family clans. Those remaining in the Fertile Crescent built the first cities and started writing in clay tablets about their banking transactions and laws. Others with different spoken languages migrated east and west, north and south. The harsh conditions in Europe during the Ice Age delayed the development of writing and civilization. (Think of how few records modern tribes near the Arctic leave today.) Neanderthals were particularly hardy individuals who got to Europe first. Cro-Magnon people (just as much offspring of Noah as their brethren but genetically distinct) arrived later after conditions were becoming more hospitable. If this started a big war, with the Cro-Magnon ending up victorious over the Neanderthals, would there be any fossil remains? Not likely; nor would there necessarily be any written records, any more than detailed accounts of wars between Germanic tribes in later Roman times or Anasazi in North America much later, who vanished without a trace (unless the Hopi are living descendants). No long periods spanning tens or hundreds of thousands of years is required in this scenario. It matches what we know about people, and it matches the Table of Nations in Genesis 10. Think how much migration could happen among intelligent people in just decades or centuries. We know how curious people are. Within a few millennia, Germanic tribes were exploring the New World. South Pacific Islanders were hopping from island to island. Columbus, a latecomer, was sailing west for the Indies. We are familiar with human wanderlust. It is inconceivable that Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons would have sat still for 28,000 years or 300,000 years and not populated the globe. There’s only one logical conclusion. The evolutionary story, with its vast periods of time, portraying brutish people living like cave potatoes, is a myth. If they can be so flagrantly wrong about dates and activities close to us in time, do the math and tell us if you trust them when they weave tales about what happened millions and billions of years ago. The reckless drafts on the bank of time must stop.(Visited 101 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
“She has worked fantastically during the time since we met. When we started in November she lost to the number 42 in Canada and a month ago she beat the Canadian number one,” said Hogstedt. He also defeated other number one ranked players like Pat Rafter, Jim Courier, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Guillermo Vilas. He won the US Open Junior event in 1981 and reached a career-high ranking of number 38 in the world. “Zoe plays an aggressive game from the baseline, but she can play with high spin and angles. She also likes to come to the net and serves well, so she has a great all-around game and has a liking for all surfaces,” he said. Looking ahead, he said: “I took Wozniacki, Li Na and Sharapova to the top. Next it will be two young sisters from South Africa, Zoe and Isabella Kruger, who I will make Grand Slam champions for South Africa.” He then discovered that Kruger, who comes from Pretoria, had an equally talented younger sister, Isabella, who is just eight years old. “I saw from the first day I could transform Zoe Kruger into one of the best players in the world,” Hogstedt said in a statement on Wednesday. Thomas Hogstedt, one of the world’s leading tennis coaches, has identified two South African sisters as potential future Grand Slam champions and has taken them under his wing. “Isabella reminds me of Martina Hingis. She plays a very fast, flat game and has great feel for the ball. Her favourite shot is the volley, but she also hits a very good drop shot.” Hogstedt comes to South Africa whenever he is able to, but has a coaching team who work with the girls when he can’t travel. The girls also go to his facility in Sweden for training camps and he and his coaching team travel with the girls when they play on the international circuit. His almost three-year coaching relationship with Maria Sharapova came to an end in July this year. The Swede, who has guided the likes of Maria Sharapova, Li Na and Caroline Wozniacki to the pinnacle of their careers, was invited by Tennis South Africa to conduct a clinic in Stellenbosch last November. At the clinic, he came across then 10-year-old Zoe Kruger, who immediately caught his eye. Zoe also helped South Africa to a third place finish in the under-12 team championship in Canada. Hogstedt knows what it takes to play at highest level of the game. In his 14-year professional career he managed wins over all three Swedish players who were ranked number one in the world at some stage during their careers: Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg. Uncanny abilityHogstedt has an uncanny ability to recognise what it takes to turn a pre-teenager into a champion, as he proved when coaching Wozniacki as a 13-year-old. He took her to number one in the world. SAinfo reporter One of the bestIsabella is already regarded as one of the best eight-year-old players in the world. She reached the final of the highly regarded Little Mo tournament in the under-eight age group when she was just seven and lost the final in three sets to Russia’s number one player. 26 September 2013 Coaching careerAs a coach he has worked with some of the top names in the sport, including Germany’s Tommy Haas and Nicolas Kiefer. Hogstedt also coached three top Swedes Jonas Bjorkman (career high world number 4), Magnus Norman (ranked 2) and Thomas Johansson (ranked 9). No peersZoe has no peers in her age group in South Africa, which she demonstrated by winning the SA National Under-12 Championship when she was just 10 years old. Last month she reached the final of an under-12 tournament in Canada, winning five of her six matches.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 29: Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals reacts as he coaches against the Louisville Cardinals during the Midwest Region Semifinal round of the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Saturday’s fantastic Kentucky-Louisville game should have made headlines for the great game on the court, but an alleged gesture by Cardinals coach Rick Pitino as he exited the floor has captured the attention of the college basketball world. Following his team’s two point loss, a Kentucky fan tweeted a video of Pitino allegedly giving the middle finger to taunting Wildcats fans. It is hard to tell definitively what the gesture Pitino makes is, but a new video has come out that gives a slightly better angle.This video, posted to Facebook by Adam Joseph Gatzke, is still grainy, but it definitely looks like Pitino extends a finger, and it doesn’t look like it could be his index finger to make a “No. 1” gesture, as Pitino said was the case.Between this incident, and Pitino skipping his post-game press conference, and the looming questions surrounding his program due to the sex scandal that broke before the season, Pitino is having a very rough 2015. Fox Sports’ Aaron Torres has gone as far as to call him the “least likable” person in college sports. If he did, in fact, flip off a number of fans, even if they taunted him, it doesn’t help his case there.[Reddit]
APTN National NewsA toddler was recently mauled to death by neighbourhood pet dogs on the Mosquito First Nation in Saskatchewan. A funeral was held Tuesday.APTN National News reporter Priscilla Wolf has this story.
San Francisco-12.9% Sam Houston State+27.5% Stony Brook+9.7% Sacred Heart-13.1% SeasonBearkats’ assist boostVisitors’ boostTotal boost Nicholls State-11.3% Montana State-11.5% 2010-11+31.3%+25.6%+29.1% Lehigh+10.5% UNC-Asheville+14.8% Michigan State+9.5% Hawaii-10.3% Army-13.1% In January, the Sam Houston State University Bearkats traveled to Hammond, La., where they beat Southeastern Louisiana University, with 29 field goals, nine of them assisted. Two months later, the Bearkats hosted a rematch back in Huntsville, Texas, this time scoring 28 field goals, with an astounding 26 of them assisted.Basketball fans know that lots of variables determine whether a shot is deemed assisted: the quality of the pass, how much time and how many dribbles separate the pass from the shot, and, most essentially, whether the shot goes in. But another factor can be just as important in assist decisions: where the pass was made. Not where as in where on the court, but where meaning at which venue.Like errors in baseball and tackles in football, assists are subjective, and the decider’s philosophy matters. Sometimes the effect is extreme: On some courts, assist counts rise or fall dramatically, as if players suddenly learned or forgot the art of the pass. And nowhere in men’s college basketball is the effect more extreme than at Sam Houston State’s Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.In more than 800 team-seasons at the NCAA Division I level over the last three years, the scorers who were most generous in awarding assists were those at Sam Houston State.“Our philosophy has always been, if the pass creates the basket, it’s an assist,” said Jason Barfield, a spokesman for Sam Houston State’s athletic department.Sam Houston State’s twitchy assist-scoring trigger finger is well known around the Southland Conference, Barfield said. “We’ve always kind of been known as being too liberal on assists,” he said. “People laugh about it in our league.”At the conference tournament last month, where the Bearkats lost in the final, other teams’ officials laughed as they flipped through their media guides to check which of their single-game assist records were set when playing at Sam Houston State, Barfield said. That’s a permanent record of the school’s equal-opportunity assist generosity.Spokesmen for other teams in the conference didn’t criticize the Bearkats’ assist-counting, acknowledging that it’s a tricky stat to measure. “The assist is about the most subjective part of basketball,” said Shane M. Meling, spokesman for University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.The more room for interpretation in stat collecting, the more interpretations will differ. The evidence is in assist numbers. ESPN Stats & Information supplied box-score stats for the last three seasons of Division I men’s college basketball for pairs of teams that played home games against each other in the same season. I compared the two teams’ combined assist percentage — percentage of field goals assigned an assist — in each pair of games.1The simplest way to compare teams is to examine their home assist rates, where assist rate is percentage of made field goals that are credited with assists (assists divided by field goals made). But that doesn’t account for different styles of play: Some teams set up more of their shots with passes, while other teams have players who generate their own shots.One step toward controlling for the team’s style of play is to subtract its road assist rate from its home assist rate. But teams in college hoops don’t all play balanced home and away schedules. So the difference in their home and away assist rate may reflect differences in opponents’ defensive schemes.So I isolated my comparison to the most similar pairs of games I could find: those between the same two teams. And since most of these were home and away games, I didn’t include pairs with neutral games, in case those had different properties than away games. These pairs of games are nearly always, at the college level, between teams from the same conference.I isolated the analysis to teams that had at least five pairs of home and away games in each of the last three seasons: 279 teams in all. Then I calculated the average of each team’s assist percentage and of its combined assist percentage, and compared those figures for home and away games.One weakness of this method is that a team that plays mostly against teams with home scorers who are, say, especially generous with assists might look stingy because of the tough comparison. However, it’s unlikely this affected the results because the outliers were spread out over many different conferences. Another possibility is that some teams play a different style at home than on the road, even against the same opponents.Some schools are especially fertile ground for assists. Over the last three years, scorers at five schools have consistently awarded assists on a far higher percentage of made field goals than scorers judging the same matchups at a different venue: Sam Houston State, the University of North Carolina at Asheville, Lehigh University, Stony Brook University and Michigan State University.2This is based on averaging overall assist percentage — for both teams in our home-road pairs — in each game and subtracting the away percentage from the home percentage. All five schools ranked in the top 15 percent of schools in our sample by this measure in each of the last three seasons. Scorers at eight schools are stingy about awarding assists: the U.S. Military Academy (Army), Sacred Heart University, the University of San Francisco, Alcorn State University, Montana State University, Nicholls State University, Northern Illinois University and the University of Hawaii.3All eight schools ranked in the bottom 15 percent of schools by this measure in each of the last three seasons.If there were no consistency from season to season, we’d expect roughly one school to rank in the top 15 percent, and another in the bottom 15 percent each season. There were 279 schools for which we had stats in each of the three seasons, for at least five pairs of games in each season. So about 42 schools ranked in the top 15 percent in 2011-12. By chance alone we’d expect 15 percent of these, or about six, to rank in the top 15 percent again in 2012-13. And again by chance we’d expect 15 percent of those, or roughly one, to rank in the top 15 percent in 2013-14. That there are instead five and eight schools, respectively, in the top and bottom 15 percent in each season suggests a meaningful finding. Team4Average over last three seasons, of average effect on total assist rate of playing at home against teams also faced on the road. Teams shown ranked in bottom or top 15 percent in each of the three seasons.Assist effect 2011-12+32.0%+16.7%+24.7% I also tested whether any schools were tilting the scales for their own players. None gave an unusually high boost to the home team’s assist percentage in each of the three seasons.5This is based on calculating a team’s net assist percentage — its assist percentage minus its opponent’s — for both the home and road game in each matchup, then subtracting the road net assist percentage from the home percentage. I averaged that over all the pairs of games in each sample for the teams studied, then searched for teams that ranked in the top 15 percent in each season. This stat, by the way, had almost no correlation (R=0.015) with our measure of a team’s assist generosity — suggesting whether teams were more likely to give assists overall wasn’t related to whether they were more generous to their own players than to opponents. Scorers at Eastern Kentucky University, though, appear to hand fewer assists to home players. (It was the only school to rank high in this category in all three seasons, so it could just be a statistical fluke.)6As mentioned in an earlier footnote, we’d expect about one school each to rank in the top and bottom 15 percent of each of our measures.The NCAA Basketball Statisticians’ Manual defines the assist, but leaves plenty of leeway for the scorer to exercise judgment: “An assist should be more than a routine pass that just happens to be followed by a field goal. It should be a conscious effort to find the open player or to help a player work free. There should not be a limit on the number of dribbles by the receiver. It is not even necessary that the assist be given on the last pass.”“At times, statisticians have to use their judgment and knowledge on how to score a certain play,” said NCAA spokesman Ketrell Marshall. “Similar to how an official scorer in baseball has to judge a hit or error, the same applies in basketball where one statistician might give an assist on a particular play while another statistician would not.”Some athletic departments whose men’s basketball scorers came up as outliers in the research cited the subjectivity of assists as an explanation for their stats.“While the NCAA Statisticians’ Manual provides several examples of what is and isn’t an assist, and those rules are followed, to quote Justice Potter Stewart, I know it when I see it,” said Daniel Snowden, athletic department associate director for media and public relations at the University of Mississippi, which is one of the leaders in my measure of awarding assists in the last two seasons. He added, “It does not surprise me we are at the top of the conference.”Snowden said he and the Rebels’ official scorer are “very proactive” about awarding stats other than points, such as assists and blocks. “I don’t believe any team deliberately underreports assists, or blocks for that matter, but I have noticed that some teams are less liberal in awarding assists. When I have mentioned this in the past, the response is usually the scorer forgot to add it. Rarely, if ever, have I had someone not agree that a play wasn’t an assist or a block. Basketball is an extremely fast-paced sport to stat on a computer, and sometimes things are simply missed.”“We try and be objective for both teams and maybe I’m a little more liberal than some places,” said Mike Gore, who does most scoring for home basketball games at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, which was one of the top venues for assist rates. “I’ve been doing this 28 years and every place is subjective,” he added.Schools on either end of the assist spectrum think other scorers are too generous or too stingy with assists. “It’s an extra keystroke, so sometimes people are being lazy when they don’t give the assist,” Barfield said. “When you go on the road, you’ll see obvious assists that aren’t marked for one reason or another.”He’s baffled by road box scores in which the Bearkats are credited with five assists on more than 20 field goals.7They had two road games with six or fewer assists and 19 or more field goals in 2012-13. “That’s almost an impossibility,” Barfield said. “Our guards are very involved in ball movement. Very few of our shots are where the guard just dribbles it up and takes a shot. Probably once a year we’ll play a game where we get the box score back and see something like that.”Dave Guffey, a spokesman for the University of Montana, which awards a relatively low assist rate at home, said, “I think there are at least two teams in our conference that over-count assists.”Some spokespeople cited factors other than their scoring tendencies — such as statistical flukes, or playing styles differing at home and away. One of the venues we found to be suppressing assist rates is Sacred Heart University’s William H. Pitt Center.“My guess is it’s more of an anomaly than anything else,” said Chris O’Connor, associate athletic director for external affairs at Sacred Heart. He said several different people have scored games over the last three years, reducing the likelihood of a rampant anti-assist philosophy. He also pointed out that the analysis, restricted to games between teams that played in each others’ arenas in the same season, excluded some home dates where visitors got lots of assists: Long Island University’s Jason Brickman had 12 at Sacred Heart this year, but the Blackbirds played LIU only once so the game didn’t count toward this assist analysis.8Brickman also had 12 or more assists in two home games against Sacred Heart over the last two seasons — plus 13 this season in a visit to Sam Houston State.Told that his players’ assist percentage relative to opponents’ was much higher at home than on the road, Kevin Lorincz, director of athletic communications at Rutgers University, said, “I would be really surprised if our home stats weren’t markedly better, given that we shared the ball and played much better at home.”9Rutgers wasn’t included in the list of outliers because it had fewer than five pairs of home-away games in 2011-12 and 2013-14. Lorincz added, in an email, that opponents wouldn’t be shy if they thought their players were getting shortchanged in visits to Piscataway, N.J.: “You develop relationships with your fellow [sports information directors] and being the team that ‘loads up its box scores’ would be an uncomfortable and short-lived exercise.”In special cases, though, teams might do just that. “In my experience that typically happens when there’s a direct benefit in a particular stat — for instance when a team or player is near the top of conference, national or all-time school leaders,” Lorincz said. “We had a center a few years back that was a tremendous shot-blocker. We didn’t give him any blocks he didn’t deserve, but we certainly didn’t miss any either.”Lorincz added, “I’m not denying that home stat crews can be somewhat optimistic at times.”In their home game last month against Southeastern Louisiana, Sam Houston State players got the benefit of optimistic scoring. Many of their 26 assists were clear-cut, catch-and-shoot situations.10I watched a video cut of the Bearkats’ assists using Synergy Sports Technology. Four passes credited as assists, though, ended with a Bearkat catching the ball near the three-point line. In each case, the player then took several seconds and dribbled through the defense before scoring from near or in the paint — once on a reverse layup. On a fifth occasion, Kaheem Ransom caught a pass from James Thomas behind the three-point line, waited two seconds for a pick to be set, then took a few dribbles before shooting from elsewhere in three-point territory, 4.5 seconds after receiving the pass. Thomas got credit for an assist.“Whether the guy takes one step after or four steps on a break, if the pass was good enough to set up a basket, it’s an assist,” Barfield said.Barfield gave examples of types of passes that his scorers see as assists but others might not. For instance, he believes an outlet pass setting up a streaking guard for a score should count no matter where the guard catches it, or how many dribbles he takes afterwards. “That [basket] doesn’t happen if you don’t pass the ball down the floor,” Barfield said. “I would give an assist there, where on the road you might not see an assist there.”He also thinks centers don’t get enough credit for kicking the ball out for a three after collecting an offensive rebound. “For whatever reason, that’s a play where the center does not get an assist, or the forward who gets a rebound will not get an assist there,” Barfield said. “I can’t explain why.”Barfield points out that Sam Houston’s scorer, Paul Ridings, applies his philosophy consistently, lifting opponents’ assist rates, too. “It’s not just our numbers” that are relatively high, Barfield said.And he’s right. In a typical Division I game not played on a neutral floor, the home team’s assist rate is 5 percentage points higher than the road team’s — perhaps a reflection of both a slight lean toward home players by the scorer and home teams simply playing better. But teams that played both home and away games against Sam Houston State in the same season over the last three years averaged assist rates that were 20 percentage points higher in Huntsville than when they hosted the Bearkats.11I took a closer look at Sam Houston State’s stats because of the Bearkats’ status as outliers among assists outliers. Using data from Sports Reference over the last four seasons, I pooled the Bearkats’ Division I games into two groups: those that were part of home-away pairs against the same opponent in the same season, and those that weren’t.For the first group, I ran three regressions using the dummy variable of home or away games: one with the games’ total assist rate, one with the Bearkats’ assist rate and one with their opponents’. All yielded highly significant results (p<10^-4). The first indicated that teams’ combined assist rates rise by 26 percentage points at Sam Houston State. The second indicated that the Bearkats’ assist rate rises by 35 percentage points at home. And the third showed opponents’ assist rate rises by 20 percentage points when visiting Sam Houston State.The second group was all Bearkats games that didn’t fit neatly into home-away pairs — many of these were against nonconference opponents or Southland teams that played the Bearkats just once before the conference tournament. I didn’t include these sorts of games in most analyses because other factors such as team matchups could come into play. Nonetheless, as a check, I ran similar regressions. Since I didn’t have paired games to compare, I checked three variables:total assist rate for these games minus the average of the total assist rate in all other games played by the Bearkats and their opponent in that game;the Bearkats’ assist rate in that game, minus the average of their assist rate in the rest of their games, and the assist rate yielded by their opponents in the rest of their games;their opponents’ assist rate in that game, minus the average of that team’s assist rate in the rest of their games, and the assist rate yielded by the Bearkats in the rest of their games.For each I ran a regression, with a dummy variable for home, away and neutral-site Sam Houston State games. The analyses found, with a high degree of significance (p<10^-7), that Sam Houston State’s assist rate was 33 percentage points higher at home than on the road and 27 points higher at home than on neutral courts; that the Bearkats’ opponents’ assist rates climbed by 24 and 27 percentage points when playing at Sam Houston State relative to their home court or a neutral court, respectively; and that the total assist rate was 28 and 27 points higher at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum than on the road or on a neutral court.The story from the two sets of games was consistent, suggesting that the effect isn’t isolated to Sam Houston State’s conference opponents. Subjectivity isn’t the only downside of the assist stat. It gives equal credit to passes of varying value: Some do much of the work for shooters, while others leave the shooter to make, say, a long jump shot.12A charting project by 82games.com found that in the NBA, passes that would likely have counted as assists boosted shooting percentage on close shots by more than three times the boost for three-point shots. The passer also gets credit only if his teammate hits the shot — if he misses, or is fouled and hits free throws, there’s no assist.“I believe if the shooter goes to the line and makes both free throws, then the passer should be awarded the assist because his pass led directly to points on the board,” said Lance Fleming, a spokesman for Abilene Christian University’s athletic department. “Help get that written in the rulebook.”A generous assist-scorer will only get a college player so far, since most professional scouts go by video, rather than relying solely on box scores. A working paper by University of Maryland Baltimore County economists found that in relatively weak conferences such as Southland, college assist stats have no statistically significant effect on NBA draft position.A big assist number could get a player past the first screen, though. And leagues outside the U.S. have to rely more on stats than on in-person scouting. Mike Laninga, director of athletic communications at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said he could imagine scouts saying, “Obviously if you had eight assists per game rather than five assists per game, whoa, that’s something we need to look at.”Some players and coaches notice which places are the best and worst for their stats. At Montana, where assists are hard to come by, “Our players have grumbled in the past, but not in recent years,” Guffey said.Visiting players know when they’re going to Sam Houston, “they’re going to get some assists they wouldn’t normally get,” Barfield said. Opposing coaches have commented that “point guards like to come and play against us.”Laninga said this wouldn’t fly at UIC, where assist rates are relatively high.13UIC ranked just below the top 15 percent in our sample in 2011-12 and 2012-13. “Our coaching staff told them, you don’t even get a stat sheet after the game. If a starter ever asked for stats, there would be hell to pay,” he said.The only people who complain about college stats, in his experience, are players’ parents. Alcorn State-11.8% 2012-13+37.2%+13.8%+25.8% 2013-14+36.5%+28.1%+32.0% Northern Illinois-11.3%
You’re reading Back of the Envelope, an experiment that aims to bring shorter, quicker content to FiveThirtyEight. All postseason, FiveThirtyEight’s MLB projections have had a lot of doubts about the Cleveland Indians — our forecast didn’t even think they would make it out of the division series. In the video above, Neil Paine explores the chances that Cleveland’s expectation-defying streak will continue in the World Series against the mighty Cubs. Share on Facebook