A few things of note:
• Queen City Hoops, the TrueHoop Network Bobcats blog, wanted to know which players can maintain their scoring efficiency even as they attempt more shots. Players generally score less efficiently as they take a greater share of their team’s shots. This makes sense; few players can handle the burden of taking 25 shots—many of them contested—while staying at peak level scoring efficiency.
Brett Hainline at Queen City Hoops—basically your garden variety stat genius blogger—calculated how strongly a player’s efficiency correlates with his usage rate (a measure how often a player ends a possession by doing something with the ball). He was inspired by Gerald Wallace, but if you scroll down to the third spreadsheet in that post, you’ll see the numbers—sorted by team—for every player.
If you’re curious, go find out which C’s have remained efficient even when they’ve taken on extra responsibility on offense. Hint: It may not be who you think.
• Rob Mahoney at the Mavs-themed blog The Two Man Game has a very nice video post of how the Mavericks designed some effective counters to the C’s defense on Dirk Nowitzki. Worth your five minutes.
• Link #1 to get you excited for Thursday’s March Madness: A bench player on Cornell’s team used to start for Kentucky. Wait. What?
• Link #2 to get you excited for Thursday’s March Madness: A really interesting—if ultimately pointless—discussion of whether college hoops needs to change its rules to cut down on the intentional foul-fests that make the last minute of any semi-competitive (but not super-close) college game last 20 minutes. Among the ideas: Actually call intentional fouls; give the team in the lead the option of taking just one foul shot but keeping the ball if the trailing team fouls on purpose; reducing the shot clock to 24 seconds in the last minute or two of every game.
It’s pretty clear that just about every college coach in will throw a fit if the NCAA even attempts these kind of changes, but you have to admit: They’re interesting. The “intentional” foul rule in its varied forms has always been one of the most confusing to casual fans.
• Adidas and the NBA have signed a licensing deal giving Adidas exclusive rights to distribute official NBA merchandise in Europe.