Saturday, June 15, 2024

VABG Strategy Tips and Adjustments After Classic Simulated Texas Tech 1993-Oklahoma 2002 Game

One of the ultimate even Value Add Basketball Game debut match-ups gave an example of why we need to play every team once to catch any tweaks to the cards. As Texas Tech 1993 and Oklahoma 2002 battled in a classic simulated overtime showdown, a couple of tweaks became evident that we have now made to the Texas Tech cards.

First, because of their strong bench and balance we gave their reserves three more possessions than the standard team from before minutes played are available, letting the bench play possessions 44-35, then the starters 34-1. A little "oops" there, as the math does work on that except for of course Sheryl Swoopes, the No. 1 pick in the first WNBA draft who we rank as the 18th greatest college player ever, and looked pretty good in this one-on-one against Michael Jordan, should not sit on the bench for the first 10 possessions. We changed her suggested possessions played to the whole game, 44-1, and had Melinda White and Kim Pruitt both get just five possessions to split time at the 2-Shooting Guard possession.

Second, we had put White and Pruitt at 4-Power Forward and 5-Center because they were taller reserves, but their low rebounding range was allowing Oklahoma to dominate the boards. Centers have the most chances at rebounds so you want the best rebounder there, so Janice Farris moved to back-up center, and forwards get the second most chances so we moved Nikki Heath to 4-PF.  You like to put the best steal ranges in the two guard position, so hated to move Heath from guard since she also gets a lot of steals, but it was more important to stop the Oklahoma board domination early. 

That still left the 1-point guard Stephanie Scott at the guard position in order to have a chance at steals. Any time a guard steals the ball the team has a better chance to score because all guard steals can be used to start a fast break - meaning the 20-sided die roll is reduced by 1 to give a 5% better chance at a 3-pointer, 2-pointer or foul drawn on the break. When a forward steals the ball they can only start a fast break on an odd number (11, 13, 15 or 31). A center can never start a fast break with a steal.

Even with these in game adjustments, Oklahoma did an unbelievable job of keeping the ball out of Sheryl Swoopes hands - quite a feat since she gets the ball 37.5% of die rolls as a 3, 7 or 8 on the 8-sided die. They held her to just 12 points, less than half of her average, but her 10 rebounds and 5 steals and then passes to teammates set up many crucial baskets down the stretch to hold off a big run by Oklahoma's future WNBA backcourt of Stacey Dales and Laneishea Caufield, who combined for 33 points. Here is the adjusted Texas Tech line-up that is now in the game.

Thrilling Final Minutes and OT

With four possessions (2:07 to play), Texas Tech led 66-61 but Stacey Dales scored and drew a foul, completing the traditional 3-point play to gut it to 66-64.

Michi Atkins had drawn a 5th foul on Caton Hill, but back-up Dionnah Jackson-Durrett came through by drawing a foul and hit one of two to make it 69-69. However, she missed the second shot and Swoopes grabbed the rebound and scored at the other end to make it 71-69 Texas Tech. However, Stacey Dales beat the buzzer with a game-tying shot to force overtime 71-71.

While Jackson-Durrett was playing tired (more possessions than Stamina on her card) the final few minutes of regulation so all rolls of the 20-sided die and 11-66 dice rolls in which she had the ball or was guarding were adjusted 1 against her whenever it helped Texas Tech. Michi Atkins for Texas Tech was also a freshman who would become a starz averaging 21 points and 12 rebounds a game once she was a senior.

However, when overtime starts, all players on both teams are considered tired so noone has the disadvantage. No longer with a disadvantage, Dionnah Jackson-Durrett came up with a big basket and drew a 4th foul on Swoopes to give Oklahoma 76-73 lead and mean one more foul on Swoopes would be a disaster for Texas Tech. Jackson-Durrett was just a freshman for this season, and as indicated in the box score averaged 7.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists that season. However, the next two seasons she was 2nd team all-Big 12 and her senior year averaged 15 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists a game to go 1st team all-Big 12 and go as a 1st round pick in the WNBA draft.

However, Swoopes took over from there with three rebounds and two steals in the final minutes of overtime to pull Texas Tech back to an 80-79 win.

Then in the most unlikely play of the game, Oklahoma's best free throw shooter Laneishea Caufield drew a foul and went to the line only needing to hit two free throws - meaning roll a 1-17 (85% free throw shooter) on the 20-sided die twice to take the lead - but missed both with a roll of 18 and then 19 and the Sooners never scored again and had to foul twice to stop the clock as Texas Tech won 85-79.

We count overtime games as a 1-point margin no matter the final score. Going into these debut games, both teams were in a 4-way tie for 47th. Texas Tech moves up to a 2-way tie in 45th place with Kentucky (who will play LSU) while Oklahoma drops slightly to a 2-way tie with Virginia Tech for 50th.

The Actual Seasons

This was the one game we picked as EVEN with no favorite. Texas Tech 1993 split with Texas during the season as both dominated the Southwestern Conference to finish as co-champions at 13-1 - but neither was in the top 10 until Texas Tech broke it late in the season, then beat Texas for the conference tournament title and then made a bit of a surprise run to the national title.

By 2002, they were both in the Big 12 (after the SWC and Big 8 merged) and Oklahoma also split with Texas during the season, but looked like more of the national champion threat as a top 5 team every week of the season, including beating Baylor for the Big 12 tournament title and then beating that Texas Tech team as well as 1-seed Duke in the Final 4 before falling to UConn for the second time in the season to finish as runner-up. 

Pos            Texas Tech 1993             Pts  3pt 2pt FT AtReStBkFlHt, Pts, Reb, AstPt
1-PGKrista Gerlich17421211135'10, 12.9, 4.9, 5.3 17
2-SGNoel Johnson7120041025'7, 8.8, 3.8, 3.6 7
3-SFSheryl Swoopes120522105146'0, 28.1, 9.2, 4.1 12
4-PFMichi Atkins15063751026'1, 9.2, 5.1, 0.4 15
5-CCynthia Clinger10050090316'2, 10.7, 4.4, 0.6 10
PosTTU BenchPts3pt2ptFTAtReStBkFlHt, Pts, Reb, AstPt
1-PGStephanie Scott8210020015'9, 4.5, 3.0, 3.9 8
2-SGNikki Heath6014610025'9, 2.5, 2.8, 0.7 6
3-SFJanice Farris6030040025'11, 6.0, 3.2, 1.2 6
4-PFKim Pruitt2010020026'1, 2.0, 0.7, 0.2 2
5-CMelinda White2010010015'11, 2.3, 1.4, 0.1 2
 17 Turnovers857271017398520 85
PosOklahoma 2002Pts3pt2ptFTAtReStBkFlHt, Pts, Reb, AstPt
1-PGStacey Dales19172232026'0, 17.0, 5.0, 4.9 19
2-SGLaneishea Caufield14070222025'9, 17.4, 5.0, 2.6 14
3-SFRosalind Ross15144651215'9, 11.6, 5.3, 2.2 15
4-PFCaton Hill2010082356'1, 12.6, 6.9, 2.1 2
5-CJamie Talbert10050051216'2, 7.8, 5.0, 1.0 10
PosOU BenchPts3pt2ptFTAtReStBkFlHt, Pts, Reb, AstPt
1-PGKate Scott2010010015'10, 1.5, 0.5, 0.6 2
2-SGDionnah Jackson-Durrett8032520035'9, 7.3, 4.7, 2.9 8
3-SFLauren Shoush4020010015'11, 1.3, 1.3, 0.7 4
4-PFStephanie Simon3011210016'0, 1.2, 1.2, 0.2 3
5-CLindsey Casey2010030016'1, 1.6, 0.6, 0.0 2
 18 Turnovers79232917318718 79

All games are tracked on this google sheet with this game and the other eight yet to play at the top. Each team's starting rating appears first, as a measure of how many points better or worse their cards appear to be than the average great team in the game. The next column shows how much they were favored or underdog in that game. When we add results such as this game, a game score is calculated based on the margin (overtime margin is always reduced to 1 point), then the margin of victory or defeat, then and extra +3 or -3 based on if the team won or lost. Finally, if one team is at home (thus can flip rolls from 36 to 66 or vice versa) then they get a -4 and the road team gets a +4, but we are playing the games below as neutral court. Finally the Game Score is adjusted for the opponents team rating. These ratings are very similar to those at www.kenpom, except he does not adjust for who wins or loses a game.

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