You Can Take The Players Out Of New York City, But…

Some time ago, my friend Martin Kessler came to me with what he called a “crazy theory”: Pickup games in New York City are notoriously rough, featuring physical drives and slick dribbling rather than outside shooting. (At certain courts, the three-point line is even disregarded, and scoring is kept with ones only.) What if, he wondered, that permanently affects basketball skills? Are NYC-born players more likely to be bad shooters, due to the style they grew up playing?

Martin works for WBUR’s Only A Game, and this weekend he aired his story about the Big Apple playing style. Along with anecdotes from Sundiata Gaines and pickup lifers, he asked me to run the numbers on how they play at higher levels. And I found that his crazy theory wasn’t so crazy: New Yorkers indeed shoot worse and take fewer threes, and they earn more free throws instead. The differences aren’t huge, but they are consistent across the NBA and NCAA. Continue reading “You Can Take The Players Out Of New York City, But…”

New York City Power Poll – Nov. 3

The second edition of the New York City Power Poll is here. This time we had 13 people, including myself, vote on who they think is the top team in the NYC area. Not surprisingly Iona came out No. 1. The Gaels reportedly took down Rutgers in a scrimmage last week and also got the boost of Momo Jones’ eligibility. That was enough to convince a few doubters. After that things get murky. All 23 teams are after the jump.

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New York Power Rankings – Preseason Edition

There are a bunch of teams in and around the New York City area. What better way to get a handle on them by putting them into your classic power ranking? Note: In order to be included in the power rankings a team’s campus has to be within a 65 mile radius of Manhattan according to Google Maps. That means that every team that plays Division I basketball in New Jersey is also included along with a few Connecticut teams. Let me know if you think I’ve missed anyone. From now on these will get updated every Wednesday and contain a little feature at the top instead of this boring explanatory blurb. Away we go…

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