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Friday, November 09, 2007

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST


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Friday, November 09, 2007 at 4:00 PM EST.

Just a quick Q&A to answer any questions regarding recent changes to homecourt advantage, school prestige and/or rankings.

What are the odds of changing HCA for specific games? Many teams will draw big crowds and have an electric atmosphere when a ranked opponent, especially a bitter rival, comes to town. "You can throw out the records when these two teams meet" because it's such a big rivalry. Seemingly even mediocre teams draw well against the team's biggest rival. (Rails - Hall of Famer - 11:12 AM)

Agreed, certainly very realistic but I'm not sure the added complexity of trying to figure out when your HCA would go up/down (e.g. historic rival) would be worth the benefit. Currently you get more of an average impact so Kentucky's HCA isn't as high as it would be normally when Florida comes to Rupp, but it's not as low as when Gardner Webb shows up either.

Regarding the promotion change, will it now be more likely you won't take such a loyalty hit moving from one school to another? It's pretty ridiculous when coaches are told it's a step back to move from a low level school to a school in the Big 10. Then the loyalty drops to a D range. (homerjoe1973 - Hall of Famer - 11:21 AM)

No, we haven't made any changes with regards to how loyalty is calculated/adjusted. It's still based on the school you are leaving and the school you are moving to along with how long you were at your prior job. With prestige being more fluid now, of course you can see loyalty hits when a coach leaves a successful mid-major for less successful school in a 'bigger name' conference. If Mark Few leaves Gonzaga to take the Rutgers job, his loyalty is going to take a hit.

Also, keep in mind that your loyalty doesn't negatively impact your recruiting, it's just there to force coaches to stick around for a certain period of time.

With the new change to HCA, what affects that rating more? Is it your overall record, or just your home record for that and past seasons? For example, if a team goes 12-14 for the regular season overall, but is 12-0 at home for the same season, will their HCA go up or down? (z0601 - Hall of Famer - 11:24 AM)

It's your overall record - HCA is, in essence, how tough it is to play at that arena and that's based on the overall success of the team, not just how they're doing at home. If Dayton wins at UNC, there next home game will have more fans than if they just beaten Praire View A&M at home in the prior game.

Assume I use the evil redshirt button during recruiting, and I miraculously sign my player after he agrees to redshirt. However, I end up redshirting someone else. Would said recruit be more amenable to redshirt as a sophomore than he would without the use of the redshirt button? (seabreeze - Hall of Famer - 11:25 AM)

No, you're telling the kid you plan on redshirting him his freshman year while you're recruiting him. Once that comes and goes, it's not going to make it easier to try to redshirt him is sophomore season.

What influences an ineligible recruit to go the JUCO route? Is school prestige involved? Number of players at his position on the depth chart? Recruiting effort? Distance? Coach prestige? Or is it simply random? And, yes, we know that each recruit is different... (seabreeze - Hall of Famer - 11:26 AM)

Well each recruit is different. That said, it's primarily based on the prestige of the school, the kid's personality (they're all different) and how much recruiting effort you put into the kid. All of that AND each recruit is different.

How much time should an average-skilled team be spending on team offense/defense practice vs. individual drills? Is there a maximum time as well where the returns begin to diminish? Thanks in advance. (ankerj - Newbie - 11:28 AM)

Personally I spend 20 minutes on offense and 20 on defense. I may raise that slightly if I have a very young team and lower it slightly if I have a veteran team. The point of diminishing return varies based on the individual player but on average, I wouldn't go over 30 minutes on either.

OT, but forgive me - will it someday be possible to add players to rosters DURING recruiting as they sign - so we can set depth charts and practice plans - would be tons better than existing scheme where there is a 12 hour window to do so before the first exhibition - better for users (mamxet - Hall of Famer - 11:30 AM)

That's not in the works but moving the first exhibition game to the following evening is - that would give coaches 24 hours to get setup for the first exhibition game and then we'd play the 2nd exhibition game the following afternoon and begin the regular season that evening.

In recruiting, which is bigger factor -- school's prestige or league's prestige? (dknox - Hall of Famer - 11:36 AM)

At DI, the prestige of the conference is already taken into consideration when we set the each school's prestige at the conclusion of the season so when recruiting begins the following season, recruiting efforts are based on the prestige grades that you can see (there's no other hidden prestige variable).

How do you feel about the way I own your UConn squad? (jlovicz - Hall of Famer - 11:37 AM)

Sure, UConn is no Grand Valley State, but regardless, it's fairly obvious that you must be cheating. I smell an investigation in your future.

Are teams that start all Freshmen penalized in any way? By prestige, reputation, or other means? (toomuch - All-Star - 11:40 AM)

Nothing more than the inherent issues with starting all freshman (inconsistent play, low IQs, etc.) which can lead to lower prestige, lower HCA, etc.

Will the HCA grade from the last game of a season be carried over to the first game of the next season? (pour1up4me - Hall of Famer - 11:45 AM)

No, it's not carried over - teams that do well in Season 10 will start season 11 with a higher HCA than they started with in season 10 but it will be lower than where the finished season 10 and vice versa - teams that don't do well will start with a lower HCA but it will be higher than where they finished.

what is each step up in homecourt advantage worth? point a game, two? Say D- to D+ be roughly two points? (aubie8 - Hall of Famer - 11:50 AM)

That's a very difficult question to answer since homecourt advantage impacts abilities and abilities vary from player to player, team to team. In general, HCA will lead to lower FG% for the visiting team, more fouls on the visiting team and more turnovers by the visiting team. Guessing, I'd say that the difference between an A+ and a D- could be up to 6 points a game.

Does your homecourt advantage take into account the rpi's of the teams that you play or just won loss of those games? (augusta8 - Veteran - 11:57 AM)

It takes into account the things fans would be looking at, who you played, margin of victory, whether you won or lost, etc., i.e. it's not just winning percentage.

As of now, it's possible to be the #2 ranked team with a 32 RPI and be given a #8 seed in the NT. In real life, a team ranked that high in the polls would never be given below a #3 seed. Are there any plans to make rankings and prestige play a bigger role in tournament seeding? (tdiddy3 - Hall of Famer - 12:02 PM)

You're absolutely correct. Currently our seedings have a MUCH higher correlation to RPI than in real life and in fact, there have been studies which have shown that rankings carry more weight in seeding teams than RPI. Whether or not the real selection committee actually looks at rankings is unknown, but what we do know is that it's more than RPI and the one major difference between rankings and RPI is that RPI completely ignores margin of victory, which, while politically correct, is not the best way to measure the strength of a team.

Once we feel comfortable with the new rankings, rankings will play a role in seeding teams in the post-season.

Is HCA changed based on the same factors, even the same methodology, that affects - school prestige? - rankings? - some different methodology? - for example, does a road win count for more than a home win (as it does in RPI) - does margin of victory and SOS influence the extent to which HCA changes? (fd343ny - Hall of Famer - 12:05 PM)

It's not the same methodology, but it looks at many of the same pieces of information (who you played, outcome, margin of victory, location, etc.).

It seems like crappy SIM teams are beating far superior teams on a regular basis---in all the worlds. What gives? (garwood34 - Hall of Famer - 12:09 PM)

The winning percentage for AI schools vs. human-coach schools has gone down since I began tracking it on January 1, 2006 from 39% to 37% currently.

Does getting a player drafted visably affect prestige or just "behind the scenes" recruiting efforts? (Rails - Hall of Famer - 12:11 PM)

Yes - well, it's at least possible. Every time a player gets drafted your prestige will get a slight bump, whether or not that's enough to register a grade change is another question but it's possible if you were right on the border between an A- and A for example.

When HCA, prestige, advancement, etc., are all tied to success, doesn't that create something of a self-fulfilling prophecy? Isn't there a way to add another another element of "play" here; for instance, letting us set aside a certain portion of recruiting $ for "fan initiatives" that might increase HCA? (jpritchard - Hall of Famer - 2:26 PM)

Success can (and should) beget success in HD as it does in real life but prior success is not a guarantee of future success. There are countless examples of coaches in both real life and HD that have turned programs around, elevating both their homecourt advantage and the prestige of the program. At the same time there are numerous examples in both real life and HD of coaches who have taken over successful programs and/or programs with a high HCA and been fired (see "Admin Fired at Dayton" in Rupp).

Why is the press so darned magical? Or is it highly dependent upon my team's ATH, SPD and defensive IQ, especially for the guards? (seabreeze - Hall of Famer - 2:50 PM)

I think you may be confusing the fullcourt press with a unicorn. Just like any other defense, it can be highly effective with the right personnel and very ineffective with the wrong personnel. Overall, the fullcourt press ranks last in Opp FG% (it gives up the highest of all 7 possible defensive combinations), ranks 6th in Opp 3pt FG% allowed (only the 2-3 zone and halfcourt press/2-3 zone give up a higher percentage), ranks 1st in turnovers created, ranks 1st in steals, ranks 1st in fouls per game, ranks last in FTA per game and ranks last in blocks per game.

For teams that have had long sucess in both and DII and DIII. Previously their HCA had been limited. With this change, will DII and DIII teams have the ability to get their HCA to A & A+ ranges that are possible in DI? Also, what kind of carryover from season to season can we expect with the improvement to HCA? (z0601 - Hall of Famer - 3:48 PM)

While there is not a set maximum for DIII and DII schools and they can certainly fluctuate more than in the past, it would be nearly impossible for a DIII or DII school to have enough sustained dominance to reach an A level HCA.

Does a coach have a published prestige or is recruiting entirely based on school prestige? (jetsons - Hall of Famer - 3:56 PM)

Although there isn't an official "coach prestige", the success of a coach does play a role in addition to the prestige of the school.

You said "Once we feel comfortable with the new rankings, rankings will play a role in seeding teams in the post-season." When will this happen. I know the engine was changed a few days ago but I have seen little to no change. (geespark - All-Star - 3:58 PM)

We made some changes to the rankings algorithms a few days ago but the polls are only released evey other day so we'll be monitoring them over the next few weeks (at least) before any changes are made to seeding.

This was your answer to a question from the 08/27/07 DEV chat: "We're actually changing that to go from A+ to D- at all divisions so both a DIII team and a DI team can be at A+ prestige." However, the DIII prestige range is only A+ to C-. When are the D range prestige ratings going to be activated for DIII and why was there a delay in this happening. As always, I appreciate your time, Admin. (gomiami1972 - Hall of Famer - 4:03 PM)

That was my mistake - DIII schools are limited to how low they can fall. DIII schools range from roughly C- to A+ where as DII and DI can go down to D-.

Are adjustments being made to the rankings, so when you are ranked in the top 25 at the end of the regular season, you can't be left out of the final 64 teams? (hulnder - Hall of Famer - 4:06 PM)

No, how we hand out bids is not changing, only how we rank teams. Being ranked is not a guarantee that a team will be invited to the post-season - obviously we'd like the rankings to be reflective of the top teams so ranked teams are always invited, but just like in real life there can be situations in which ranked teams do not receive National Touranment bids.

How exactly does a conference's prestige improve. The conference RPI of, say the Ivy League was better than some conferences that had a D+ prestige, but the Ivy stayed at D. Are conferences restricted to a range such that the Ivy leahgue could never get better than D+ and ACC never lower than B+? (jetsons - Hall of Famer - 4:12 PM)

It's based on the prestige of the 12 teams which comprise that conference. The more success the teams in the conference have, the higher the conference prestige will go. When you start off in a lower level conference such as the Ivy league, it's relatively difficult to get multiple national tournament bids on a regular basis which makes it difficult for the conference to maintain elevated prestige levels.

Will HCA have any affect on school prestige, and does HCA have any impact on getting better recruits to come to your school? (elmossle - Hall of Famer - 4:14 PM)

No, currently HCA does not have any impact on prestige - otherwise schools would be getting double the benefit. HCA does not play a role in recruiting at this time either.

How quickly can a DI coach get fired if he has been inactive? Some coaches desert a franchise and the entire conference takes a hit with all the walkons that end up on that team. (jetsons - Hall of Famer - 4:18 PM)

It really depends on the school. The higher the baseline prestige of the school, the higher the expecations. It can be as quickly as 4 seasons for a major school (we want to allow coaches a chance to win with their own recruits).

We're starting to see more coaches getting fired now and that's a process we review with every firing to make sure the administration is not being to aggressive nor to passive.

In Tark last season, the D1 NT champ finished #2 in the top 25 poll (the runner-up finished #1). If the recent Top 25 poll changes were in place last season, would this still have happened? I just can't see a NT champ not being ranked #1 in real life. (jaisonline - Hall of Famer - 4:19 PM)

I don't think we'll see that in the future but we'll have to watch the polls to ensure that in fact is the case.

Would it be possible theoretically (with years of success) for coaches in a lower DI conference to turn it into a powerhouse conference equivalent to the SEC or the ACC? (HRDude - Hall of Famer - 4:21 PM)

Yes, theoritically it is possible. There are no artificial limits or barriers in HD which would prevent a school or conference from becoming dominant - it's just going to be harder to do at some schools/conferences than at others.

So prestige is tied to tournament appearances rather than conference RPI? (jetsons - Hall of Famer - 4:23 PM)

At the conclusion of each season we evaluate every school and adjust their prestige based on what they've accomplished as well as what the conference as a whole has accomplished. Conference prestige is simply the roll-up of those 12 teams' prestiges.

a collusion question - been heavy discussion lately on the forum - when something happens about "alleged collusion" what is the action that HD takes? warning? strenuous warning? lose the player? see http://www.whatifsports.com/forums/threads.asp?ForumID=30&TopicID=178449&PagePosition=1 (mamxet - Hall of Famer - 4:25 PM)

Anytime we receive an allegation of collusion, we investigate the situation and based on the evidence, we'll take some level of action which can range from a warning (as was issued in the Big East situation you are citing) up to WCAA sanctions against the program, a hit to the coach's reptuation which would likely lead to a firing and even removing the coach from the site by closing their account.

Do teams that were ranked in the top 25 at seasons end, get any benefit from the voters the following year? (hulnder - Hall of Famer - 4:28 PM)

Not directly - there is some benefit in that the success of the coach and prestige of the school both play a small role in preseason polls but talent is the overwhelming criteria used to initially rank the teams.

My question is directed towards the new ranking system. What factors will determine your ranking now that RPI will be less of a factor? Also, do you feel this new system benefits good teams in below-average conferences? (wiz3421 - Hall of Famer - 4:30 PM)

Actually RPI has never been used as a factor in ranking teams. Ranking teams is based initially on a team's talent level, coach success and school prestige. Once games being, teams move up and down based on who they've beaten, where they've played and the margin of victory (or loss).

Small UI question: There are a few pages where Homecourt and Prestige Rankings are shown. Non-conf game scheduling and RPI ratings are 2 examples. Anyway, when I click on either one of those 2 column headings (Homecourt, Prestige), the default behavior is to sort descending (e.g. D- shows ahead of A-). I then have to click on the column heading again to see the better grades 1st). Can you make the default sort be in ascending order? (jaisonline - Hall of Famer - 4:35 PM)

Sure, just submit a ticket so we can track the request.

Could you give us a couple of examples of the changes in the ranking logic that were implemented_ what were the most significant changes? (fd343ny - Hall of Famer - 4:35 PM)

The biggest change was more fundamental than anything else - under the old system everything was based on your prior position in the polls, in essence you couldn't get passed in the polls as long as you kept winning - this put way too much emphasis on the preseason poll and didn't do a good enough job of accounting for the strenth of teams being played.

The new rankings system includes many improvements such as doing a better job of accounting for teams which play weak competition and allowing them to be passed in the polls even if they win. Overall I think it will be good in the long run but playing with the weighting will take some tweaking as we receive feedback from coaches.

Has their been any change in 3PT FG% recently? I've seen some comments where it seems like players have been shooting worse from 3 lately. I've also seen more really bad 3pt shooting the last couple weeks. (kelby_03 - Hall of Famer - 4:39 PM)

I posted some stats in the forums but here they are again - 3pt shooting percentages have not changed - they are exactly the same as prior seasons (roughly 35% regardless of division or world). Also, they can only change if the engine changes and we're still on the same release since September 13, 2007.

I think a lot of coaches are confused about prestige as it applies to promotions. Could you clarify what the relationship is? (daalter - Hall of Famer - 4:44 PM)

Sure, hirings are based on meeting hiring requirements (success, reputation, experience, loyalty) which vary by school. Prestige can play a role in the hiring process if a coach has elevated the prestige of his current program above the prestige of the school he's applying to, e.g. if you're at a mid-major but you've managed to get to the national tourney for the past 5 seasons and you're coming off back to back Sweet 16 appearances, normally that wouldn't be enough for Duke, but if Duke hasn't had a winning record in the past 4 seasons, that may put you in contention for the Duke job.

It seems that prestige can change twice in between seasons - is this intentional, or a glitch? For example, my Stanford team was listed as "B+" all last season, then when the season ended, it was listed as "B" in the team history and on the team page. Just before recruiting began, however, it was back up to "B+." I'm confused... (bluespruce - Hall of Famer - 4:47 PM)

Normally you'll only see it change once but again, if you had one or more players drafted you could see it bump again. If that wasn't the case, just submit a ticket.

I am unclear regarding the earlier question about abandoned teams. If you can see that there's been no activity on the coach's part for a full season or more, are you saying it could still take four seasons for him to be fired if he has that many seasons remaining? (loose - Pro - 4:49 PM)

Currently yes if as part of the normal firing process. If the team has been abandoned you can submit a ticket though and we may be able to remove the coach sooner.

related to kelby's question, I think the issue began with the engine change, and seems to have made all 3 pt shooters a little closer to each other (less variation), I have some data I know of that shows that, did you run the std deviation when you ran the averages? (oldresorter - Hall of Famer - 4:51 PM)

Yes, we look a both the averages as well as the standard deviation. If you have some data you'd like us to look at you can just submit a ticket and we're happy to do so.

What did you enjoy more; Appalachian St beating Michigan or Gardner Webb beating Kentucky? (kelby_03 - Hall of Famer - 4:53 PM)

Gardner Webb of course. Where is dogget?

what is in the future for hoops dynasty (bosox1113 - All-Star - 4:58 PM)

I've had a couple of people submit questions about what's next for HD. The next series of changes will all revolve around recruiting. Some of the enhancements include the incorporation of player potential which will certainly create some difference in skill levels, especially at DI so all the players aren't so homogenous, variable player IQs for incoming freshman, the addition of a scouting service which you can hire, assistant coach signings which will ensure that teams will not have more than 2 walkons.

Beyond that we're working on numerous coaching control options such as late game lineups, the ability to control substitutions for each player when they get into foul trouble and much, much more.

In the promotion process, does recent success(last 4 years) have more signifcance than loyalty/experience/rep? are there any other variables involoved such as recruiting success, HCA, etc...? (xequte - Hall of Famer - 4:59 PM)

Yes, success plays the biggest factor in an AD's hiring decision. ADs will even take less experience than they'd normally want for a coach that has been very successful.

When you talk about decreasing the homegeneity of players at DI, does that mean removing (or softening) the ratings caps? (daalter - Hall of Famer - 5:00 PM)

If you're talking about having a player be 147 in rebounding, that's not going to happen but the addition of potential will give you the same end result.

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

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