Developer Chat

Hoops Dynasty

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST


The LIVE portion of this chat will begin on

Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 4:00 PM EST.

Read through the FAQ and Knowledgebase and you still have questions? Now is your opportunity to pick our brains as you start your HD career! Recruiting, scheduling, gameplanning - this is your opportunity to get those questions answered.

Why aren't there some freshman who have a huge impact? In real life, you always have a freshmen or two on the all-conference teams. You almost never see it on Whatif. (tbell16bc - Rookie - 4:05 PM)

Freshman can make an impact - just like in real life it's going to depend on your returning players, the offense/defense the kid played in high school and numerous other factors.

Recruiting: Any benefit to recruiting player from home state as college (other than travel expenses)? Any benefit as to attracting D-II player to D-III if in same state? Any benefit to recruiting players from same high school? (dknox - Hall of Famer - 4:09 PM)

There is no same-state benefit other than, as you've mentioned, decreased recruiting costs. To that end, one of the upcoming recruiting changes will be a home/away variable to each recruit as some recruits will really want to stay close to home while others will want to get away. If you see recruits within 1 hour of your campus (roughly 70 miles), they will be more likely to at least hear what you have to say whereas another DIII school may not even get calls returned. Yes, there is a benefit to recruiting players from the same high school - you'll already know the offense/defense they run.

This probably a stupid question but in the game stats area what does SCP, FBP & BP mean? (That's a win - Prospect - 4:10 PM)

Great question, SCP=second change points, FBP=fastbreak points, BP=bench points.

How has the "Athleticism" value been programmed to affect the game ie- if all other skill values were high but Athleticism was 8 or 9, would it "dramatically" affect all of Shooting %, rebounding, defense, steals, turnovers, or only certain aspects and if so which ones? Or is it a very minor consideration? (naturopath - Hall of Famer - 4:13 PM)

Athleticism plays a role in nearly all aspects of HD. Driving to the basket, playing defense, rebounding and especially for fastbreak and pressing defenses. That said, it's not the same by position, e.g. you can get by with a weaker athlete in the low-post than you could at a perimeter position such as SG or SF.

Is there a certain philosophy/offense/defense inherently better than another, or is it about your players and how they run the system? (comonoyeaha - Rookie - 4:15 PM)

No, if you look at the top teams across divisions and worlds, you'll see a good mix of offenses and defenses represented. The key to having a great team is finding the right players for your system, e.g. if you're playing a 3-2 zone because of weak perimeter defenders, you'd want to make sure your PF and C are VERY good rebounders.

the ability to rescind schollies is too limited for coaches that take over programs. deadwood that makes rebuidling a pain. In real life, coaches find ways to move some kids along when they come in. why not allow a new coach to rescind one or maybe two schollies during the jobs period - that means a 24-48 hour window and it means that someone who gets a job at the end of the jobs period doesnt have a window, but almost no one does that let us cut out some of the old coaches mistakes! (fd343ny - Hall of Famer - 4:18 PM)

Currently scholarships can be rescinded up until signings begin in the next recruiting period. The higher the division, the more flexibility coaches have in rescinding scholarships. That said, if you rescind a scholarship player before signings begin, you do receive recruiting money for his scholarship but not during the current season -- assuming the scholarship is not filled during recruiting, you'd receive funds to fill it during the following recruiting period.

PRACTICE: Does it help to give an inordinate amount of time - say, 90 minutes - to an aspect of a player's game to improve it (with the given that it provides less time for other areas)? Is there a point where that much time just doesn't make a difference? (dknox - Hall of Famer - 4:20 PM)

No, those would end up being wasted minutes as there is a point of diminishing return which varies by player. On average, you'll want to go no more than 25 minutes in any given practice area.

Why can SIM teams still be successful giving heavy minutes to only a few players even when Uptempo is run against them to exhaust them? ie - Is exhausting the other team by running Uptempo simply a myth, or is it actually programmed into the game, and to what degree? (naturopath - Hall of Famer - 4:24 PM)

Running uptempo will create more possessions which does increase fatigue but equally, if not more important is the defense being played. Tempo should be used not to create fatigue opportunities but instead to leverage a talent advantage. If the Florida Gators are playing the Wright State Raiders, there chances of winning as the number of possession increases where as Wright St. should try to slow the game down.

How long will it take until I can coach a Division II teams? jimmyeleven (jimmyeleven - Prospect - 4:25 PM)

It varies but coaches can be qualified to move up to DII after a single very successful season at DIII (assuming there are positions open in DII).

Is there any thought to making more of a how-to interface with help screens? (cybed - Hall of Famer - 4:28 PM)

Actually no but the tour gives a good high-level visual overview:
http://www.whatifsports.com/hd/default.aspx

Under the Help menu are links to the FAQ and other resources and if you still have questions you can always submit a support ticket using the link at the bottom of any page.

Defensive Alignment: Is a zone with 1 double team REALLY equal to a match up zone, or is it a box and 1? I've heard different answers from all parties. (mlatsko1 - Hall of Famer - 4:29 PM)

A zone with double-teams treated by the engine as a matchup zone (unlike a box and 1 where the keyed player is guarded man to man for the entire possession).

Can you elaborate on the upcoming recruiting changes you mentioned? What changes? When? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 4:33 PM)

The next major change will be an engine change which includes many updates as well as the ability to sub based on fatigue (or based on target minutes as you do today - but not both). Shortly thereafter you'll see a change to how homecourt advantage is handled both inseason and between seasons to give it more flexibility, promotions, prestige (which will be visible), and recruiting. Recruiting change highlights include the distance factor you mentioned, new messages to communicate player potential, improved AI recruiting and some measures to curb poaching.

You said "Tempo should be used not to create fatigue opportunities." Is this a tacit admission that, as many people has suspected, performance is not significantly affected by fatigue? Why would attempting to wear down an opponent with a short bench not be an effective or available strategy? If it is an available strategy - how else would we accomplish it, beyond increasing tempo? (acn24 - Hall of Famer - 4:37 PM)

Not at all, increased possessions due increase fatigue but the defense played carries more weight in terms of fatigue than the tempo. Too often we see teams trying to wear down better talented teams by playing uptempo which (in my opinion) is the wrong way to play them. The focus should be on minimizing possessions when you are playing a more talented opponent. Again, just my opinion there.

RECRUITING: Is a 450 D-II projected player the same as a 450 D-III projected player? How come the overlap in ratings? (dknox - Hall of Famer - 4:42 PM)

No, they're not. Looking only at total rating is a big pothole for new coaches. A 450 player who is 100 in durability, 100 in stamina and 100 in Work Ethic means he only has 150 in 'core skills'. For example, when looking at the player, I may choose to go after a 50 speed, 60 stamina PG instead of a 20 speed, 90 stamina PG.

What kind of improvement can we expect/season in the FT rating, practicing 25 minutes. I know it will differ from player to player but what would the average improvement % be? If what I am hearing is true (4% increase over a player's career) why in the world do we even have a practice slot for it...seems quite pointless to me? (jlovicz - Hall of Famer - 4:52 PM)

With regards to free throw improvement, when the *average* HD senior is shooting nearly 80%, there is a disconnect between HD and real life in terms of improvement rates. The argument has been made that HD coaches may be spending a larger percentage of their time practicing free throw shooting and if real life coaches did the same, they'd see the same. We're working based on the assumption that in 100+ years of college basketball, if coaches could figure out a way for they're Seniors to average 80% from the line, everyone would be doing it and Shaq and Wilt wouldn't be the legends at the line that they currently are.

That said, the trendline players were placed on is relative the FT improvement we measured over 1,000 players from the end of their freshman year to the end of the senior year. That was just over 4 percentage points. That is NOT the maximum someone can now improve in HD. That's based on the average player with average work ethic who plays average minutes during his 4 years in college. Kids that play more, practice more and have higher work ethics WILL improve more than 4 percentage points. Also, we did not have access to each of kid's HS stats so our study covers a 3 season improvement span which is why off-season improvements were not changed. In addition, you'll see much more varied improvement rates with the introduction of potential.

I just took over a bad D111 team and am starting 3 freshman and a sophmore. I changed my defense and offense so most of there IQ's are F's. How long will it take for them to understand man to man and motion? (johnwilder84 - Prospect - 4:54 PM)

Good question. The rate at which they learn will be based on your practice settings as well as their work ethic and how smart they are. It also will depend on how define acceptable. Some coaches define that as a C+, others B while others A. That said, as any player moves toward an A IQ, the rate at which they get there begins to slow.

Why is it that a player seems to fatigue a whole lot in the first 4 minutes of a game, but then later in the game they can play for longer stretches without significantly tiring? Do sim players not go through pregame warmups properly? (istafic - Hall of Famer - 4:55 PM)

LOL, not quite. The next release of the engine will use a new fatigue system which will address that issue.

Is there an easy way to determine shot distribution? (cybed - Hall of Famer - 4:58 PM)

Since it refers to play distribution and plays may or may not result in shots (turnover, fouled before the shot, etc.), the only way would be to chart out the number of plays by player by reading the play by play and even then you'd have to factor in possible changes to your distribution if the opponent changes their defense, late game settings (shoot more 3s when losing, etc.).

What if I play a zone, want to focus my defense on an opposing player, but don't want any of my players getting stuck playing man against that player? I have some players with low DE and I don't want them getting burned. (jakurus - Hall of Famer - 5:01 PM)

That's how the zone + double-teams work today (ala Temple's matchup zone).

Could you answer jlov's question: How much improvement can we expect practicing 25 mins ft right now over the course of a season. I know it will vary, but assume an average we and average pt. (umpikes - Hall of Famer - 5:04 PM)

Using the average player you could probably expect 7-9% (e.g. 66 -> 73/75) not counting any off-season improvements.

What changes do you see happening in the DI landscape? In real life, the landscape changes over the course of 30-35 years (1970 to today). Duke, for example, wasn't a powerhouse 35 years ago like it is today and of course we've seen Florida's recent rise. It won't be long before some of the worlds hit season 25! (Rails - Hall of Famer - 5:09 PM)

I think with the new prestige changes and the fact that prestige will be visible, you'll see some interesting changes in DI. For example, you'll be able to see your prestige improve - even if you have a bad season due to the rest of your conference doing very well (e.g. the Big East getting 3 teams to the final 4 would elevate the entire conference's prestige which would help all the schools in the conference) which may make it more likely that mid-major conferences such as the A-10, MAC and Colonial retain their HD coaches and can compete for recruits more readily with the major conferences. Obviously there can only be so much change due to circumstances outside of HD (specifically BCS college football programs) carrying a lot of weight to athletic budgets.

Circling back to the FT change issue, if your 1000 player FT study showed 4% improvement from end of freshman year to end of senior year (3 years of improvment), we'd expect perhaps 6% improvement over 4 years. Doesn't that equate to more than a 1/3 or 2/3 grade improvement over an HD career? (which is what customer service apparently told a forum participant via a ticket response). It seems like you've over-corrected on this issue. (testudo34 - Hall of Famer - 5:10 PM)

As was mentioned, that's why off-season free throw improvement was not touched. We're only talking about a 4 percentage point increase for average players with average playing time and average work ethics - NOT counting off-season improvement.

back to tempo again, so are you saying that a good defender won't be affected by being fatigued? It would seem that, in fact, when a player is tired, their performance will not suffer then. (homerjoe1973 - Hall of Famer - 5:12 PM)

No, we never said that. We simply stated that the fatigue of your opposition is more based on the defense your opponent plays (which you can't control) than the tempo of your offense.

Can you please clarify this... in ticket response I (and others) were told that the reason HD FT% was higher was more than likely due to coaches putting more emphasis on FT practice..... yet you're just changing it anyway.... HUH? (billyho1515 - Hall of Famer - 5:19 PM)

Actually no, that's not correct. The reason HD was higher was due to the rate of improvement being too great. The average player is only practicing free throws 12 minutes per practice which is the equivalent 11 minutes during a 2 hour practice (which seems inline with actual practices) and yet the average senior is near 80% in HD.

As always, thanks for playing HD and for taking the time to submit your questions!

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