I recently wrote a piece on how teams faired against kenpom top-100 teams in road games that actually surprised me somewhat. The biggest shock for me being just how poorly a solid Richmond Spiders program performed over a 3.5-season sample. Teams like VCU and Saint Louis on the other hand had a ton of success, success that not surprisingly translated into NCAA tournament appearances and mild success while there.
Tonight I’m looking a bit more at home v road performance, but this time focussing on a small sample of just this season’s conference play.
Editors note: I started this blog post prior to Wednesday night’s games so they are not included in this data.
What I did here is crazy simple and I’m sure proves just about nothing with such a small sample size, but is perhaps a decent indicator of why teams are struggling, who is underrated, who might be overrated and just how different teams have been this season at home versus on the road.
Here are the results with average kenpom rating of opponents in parenthesis.
Avg. A-10 home margin (88.7) +15
Avg. A-10 road margin (208) +7.5
Avg. A-10 home margin (164.8) +14
Avg. A-10 road margin (147) +6.7
Avg. A-10 home margin (185.3) +7.8
Avg. A-10 road margin (144.3) -3.3
Avg. A-10 home margin (115.7) +22
Avg. A-10 road margin (96.25) -4.3
(Beat Richmond at home by 14 then lost on the road by 26)
Avg. A-10 home margin (133.8) +3.8
Avg. A-10 road margin (200.7) +3
Avg. A-10 home margin (131.7) +4
Avg. A-10 road margin (119) -1.75
Avg. A-10 home margin (115.7) +18.3
Avg. A-10 road margin (46.3) -6.7
Avg. A-10 home margin (71.3) -6
Avg. A-10 road margin (168) +1.3
Avg. A-10 home margin (158.8) +5.8
Avg. A-10 road margin (96.3) -10.3
A-10 home margin (156.7) +4.3
A-10 road margin (122.25) -8
A-10 home margin (85.7) -1
A-10 road margin (84.7) -13.3
A-10 home margin (105) -1.7
A-10 road margin (46) -18
A-10 home margin (90.8) -1.8
A-10 road margin (118) -16.7
A-10 home margin (41) -18.3
A-10 road margin (111.3) -8.3
No huge surprise to see virtually all the teams in the A-10 have faired better at home than on the road, the two exceptions coming in the form of UMass and Fordham, who, according to kenpom at least, have played considerably tougher home schedules than the ones they faced on the road.
Quite the opposite of that, VCU has faced a much tougher home schedule than road schedule yet has made much easier work of those difficult teams within the friendly confines of their home court advantage in Richmond.
Duquesne and Rhode Island are similar stories. The Dukes have been able to hang tough at home against a more challenging schedule while getting blown out of the water in road games, while Rhode Island has boasts a +3.8 average margin of victory at home against a tougher schedule than the road slate they’ve won by a margin of just +3 against.
Another stat that pops out at me in this one: You don’t want to play at Richmond, Davidson, Dayton or VCU.
The Wildcats have been deadly at home, leading all teams with a +22 home margin of victory. The Rams have played a slightly more challenging home schedule and for an impressive +15 average margin against, the only positive margin against a top-100 avg schedule either home or on the road, and +15 at that.
Richmond is almost as deadly as Davidson and as of this exact moment is up 20+ in just the first half against a clearly out-matched Duquesne team.
But why is it so tough to win at home?
I read a great (and quick) Discovery article on it here that you might find interesting.
To paraphrase, social psychologist Jeremy P. Jamieson wrote a 2010 paper where he looked at a six-decade sample of a number of both individual and team sports. Jamieson found that college hoops had one of the most lopsided home court advantages he studied with the home team winning 68.8 percent of contests between 1947 and 2009.
Why? Well you’ll have to just read the article. I will hint however that it involves some combination of hormones, hatred, territoriality, overcompensation and refs who crave acceptance.
Now if you’ll excuse me I believe I’ll publish this article to see if winless Fordham can hold on to their lead at home against 5-2 Rhode Island.