129/366: Hoop It Up

When schedules permit, I like to take the kids to home basketball games at Union. This works out well for everyone, as almost nobody goes to the games, so the kids can rampage all over the gym and get good and tired without upsetting anyone, and we add somewhat to the crowd supporting the home […]

Science Talks and Pick-Up Hoops

Over in Tumblr-land, Ben Lillie has an interesting post on all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes of a science talk. It’s an intimidatingly long list of stuff, in quite a range of different areas. But this is a solved problem in other performance fields: And that raises and interesting question, since aside […]

Jim Boeheim

It’s the absolute peak of college basketball season, and it still seems weird to be almost completely disconnected from the game. This is not, by the way, the result of any principled objection to the manifest hypocrisies of the NCAA, or anything like that, but a practical effect of having kids. If the tv is […]

Ownership of the Means of Adjudication

Back on Thursday when I was waiting to be annoyed by a speech, one of the ways I passed time was reading stuff on my phone, which included This Grantland piece about Charles Barkley and “advanced stats”. In it, Bryan Curtis makes the argument that while Barkley’s recent comments disparaging statistical tools seem at first […]

Wanted: The Hoosiers of Science

I’ve been revising a chapter on collaboration in science for the book-in-progress, making an analogy to team sports. And it occurred to me as I was trying to find a way to procrastinate, that while science is a highly collaborative endeavor, most of the popular stories that get told about science are not. There’s no […]

How the NBA Ruins Our Pick-Up Games

In which I get a little ranty about basketball. ———– Over at Slate, Matt Yglesias has a column about why everybody ignores the Spurs.: America—at least in its own imagination—stands for certain things. For the idea that hard work and sound judgment bring success, and that success deserves celebration. That winners should be celebrated as […]

On Basketball

While in the past, I’ve written a bunch about basketball here, I’ve been unusually silent on the subject this year, confining my commentary to the occasional Links Dump item from Grantland and other sites. This isn’t because the past season was not noteworthy– indeed, it was a rather eventful year for Syracuse basketball, with the […]

Concussions, Back Problems, and Odd Statistics

Jonah Lehrer has a big article at Grantland on concussions in high school football that paints a fairly bleak picture: The sickness will be rooted in football’s tragic flaw, which is that it inflicts concussions on its players with devastating frequency. Although estimates vary, several studies suggest that up to 15 percent of football players […]

On the “Hot Hand” in Basketball

A little while back, Jonah Lehrer did a nice blog post about reasoning that used the famous study by Gilovich, Vallone and Tversky, The Hot Hand in Basketball (PDF link) as an example of a case where people don’t want to believe scientific results. The researchers found absolutely no statistical evidence of “hot” shooting– a […]

Gary Williams

Maryland head basketball coach Gary Williams announced his retirement suddenly yesterday. He was a player at Maryland back in the 60’s, and has been the coach there for 22 years, now. As I didn’t start rooting for the Terps until I went there for graduate school in 1993, he’s the only coach I’ve really seen […]