Tuesday, February 27, 2007


In the previous post, I noted that Maryland's opponents have shot .131 lower from the line than their collective season free throw percentage (actually, in that post I think I gave .138 as the difference, but that was wrong; Maryland's home opponents have shot .578 from the line this season, and their collective FT% is .709). This raised a couple questions: First, is that unusual? If so, is there something in the air (or behind the basket) in Comcast Center that makes players miss, or is this a one-season anomaly based on a small sample size?

The answer to the first question would appear to be Yes, this is unusual. Since the 2005 season, the biggest such disparity other than Maryland's was Georgia Tech in 2005, whose opponents hit .085 less in the Thriller Dome than those same teams did in all their other games.

The answer to the second question is Probably Not. In 2005 and 2006, Maryland's opponents actually shot slightly better from the line in Comcast Center than they did elsewhere (+.003 in '05 and +.033 in '06). So maybe the hypnotic spinners are having some effect--there's no way to prove that they are or are not--but the likely explanation is that the 2007 Terps have just been lucky to have their opponents shoot poorly from the line in their home games this season.

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