A View to a Kill: New stat bolsters BYU’s defensive effort

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  • Scores Idaho Falls, ID
    Jan. 17, 2018 12:52 p.m.

    I'm just glad that there is an emphasis on playing defense for a change.

  • NevadaCoug Overton, NV
    Jan. 17, 2018 11:45 a.m.

    "This season, BYU is giving up 65.1 points per game, compared to 74.3 points a year ago. But that probably reveals more about the slower, more deliberate pace the Cougars are running this season.

    Meanwhile, BYU opponents are shooting 44 percent from the field, including 33 percent from 3-point range, this season. Last year, the Cougars’ opponents shot 41 percent from the field and 32 percent from 3-point range. BYU’s team defensive efficiency is .938, ranked No. 45 nationally this season, compared to .961 last season, No. 50 in the country."

    This. This is why I'm not quite sold on the defensive turnaround just quite yet. They are definitely moving in the right direction, and with stats like the kill, it's obvious they are putting more emphasis on defense. But I am still skeptical about them being "vastly improved over last season." Some numbers just don't support that.

  • Jello is Good ,
    Jan. 17, 2018 9:19 a.m.

    This is a great motivational change. You have broken your defensive effort from a season, or a game down to a few possessions each game. It is easy to measure, hard to accomplish, and goals that are broken down to small segments that the measuring period starts fresh after each success or failure.

    But the most important thing it does is put a focus on defense. The team and players talk about it at practice, before the game, during the game, immediately after the game. Players always want something they can measure their effort by. On the offensive end this is easy as there are shots, points, assists, turnovers. But defense needs to be played by all five players. giving them a defensive goal each time down the court motivates even the non-scorers and bench players.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Jan. 17, 2018 9:01 a.m.

    I'm not a big metrics guy in any sport, but this "kill" metric seems to be working. If this helps BYU play better defense - I'm all for it.

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    Jan. 17, 2018 8:49 a.m.

    I like the "kill" stat because it recognizes great effort on defense, which is obviously much improved this season.

    Regardless of how you measure it's impact on other stats, it's working.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Jan. 17, 2018 4:55 a.m.

    A kill is three consecutive non-scoring possessions. This is not about averages. It is a good metric of defensive efforts. In other words, your analysis needs to consider the distribution of the opponent's points. It is a measure of defensive effort. I can shoot 50% from the floor, but if I get a shot in only half the possessions, I'm not going to score as much as if I get a shot in 60% of the possessions.

    Also, three CONSECUTIVE no-score possessions gives us three chances to score on our end and move ahead.

    Clever idea. Gives impetus to defensive efforts. A reward for defense.

  • ND95CA Lincoln Park, IL
    Jan. 16, 2018 11:44 p.m.


    Your basic math is seriously flawed by assumption that good teams shoot 50%. Of 351 NCAA D1 teams, only 17 (less than 5%) are shooting 50% or better.

    The majority of good teams don’t shoot 50%.

    The other factors that you failed to account for are turnovers and rebounds.

    In other words, measuring the impact of a kill is much more complicated than simply measuring FG %.

    Jan. 16, 2018 11:32 p.m.

    @Louisiana Cougar

    It is really seven kills a game and kills are significant because they can affect a team emotionally enough to create a momentum change in favor of the team getting the kill(s).

    It is very interesting how much of an influence the mind has in sports. Visualization, confidence, frustration, anger, trust and many more can really affect how well a team and an individual plays.

    Sometimes just believing in something is enough to make a difference between winning or losing regardless of whether there is causation outside of the belief.

    I am excited that BYU is focusing more on defense this season and looking forward to an improving team effort, go Cougars!

  • El Gringo Mesa, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2018 11:29 p.m.

    @Louisiana Cougar
    The math isn’t as simple as just missed shots. The stat is three stops. If you give up an offensive rebound and then they score it is not a stop. If you foul the other team and they shoot free throws it is not a stop either.

    You would also have to adjust your formula to account for the fact that after getting 3 stops they restart the count. Your method doesn’t adequately account for not counting a 4th stop in a row as another “kill”

  • Louisiana Cougar Pineville, LA
    Jan. 16, 2018 6:30 p.m.

    Hmm. Let's do some basic math. Figure a decent team will shoot 50%. That means that half the time they miss anyhow. And there's a one in four chance (25%) that they will then miss twice in a row. And three misses in a row will occur one in eight times (12.5%), assuming that 50% make percentage.

    So, if a team takes 50 shots in a game, the odds are pretty high that average defense will generate six kills (50 shots X (.125) = 6.25 kills a game.

    Tell me again why six kills a game is some kind of big deal?