Welcome to Part II of the How To Be Successful at College Basketball series as we take a look at what I go through in terms of my research for a particular College Basketball slate! If you missed it check out part 1. This part of the series is probably going to be the longest article as I will focus on the use of www.kenpom.com and how to utilize all of the information that is packed in the site! This site is extremely affordable for a yearly subscription and I HIGHLY recommend it for those of you who are serious about CBB DFS!
KenPom.com has been a huge addition to my researching repertoire and once you play around you will fall in love with the site and what it has to offer you.
The first thing that I head to when I get logged onto the site is the FanMatch section where I can see the grades that are given to each game on the slate along with the projected score. I utilize this more so than that of the Vegas lines as I feel like KenPom is more invested in his research and has a finger on each team’s identities. Each game is also given a “Thrill Score” which should point out the games that are expected to be close and exciting. The big thing with this is the closer the games are expected to be, the better the chance of lucking into a game that goes into Overtime.
The next thing that I do is go to each team individually to check out all of their ratings as well as their lineups. When doing this I will also be able to check out each individual player’s ratings, minutes and shooting. I will use Iowa St as an example as they were the best team to target for tonight’s slate. When looking at the Iowa St team rankings, we see that they are the 12th fastest team in the country in terms of average possession length and we also see that they are extremely effective from the field while also being a top 30 team in terms of not turning it over. They are the #6 team in the country in terms of 2PT FG% and when you see stats like that you want to immediately take a look at their opponent to see where their defense lands in terms of Iowa St’s strength. One last thing that stands out is the fact you get to see the team’s primary defensive fingerprint which is always nice as it will show us who runs a zone and who might be in a bad spot against a solid 3 point shooting team.
After taking a look at the team’s ratings and percentages, I then spend a ton of time sorting through each team’s individual players as KenPom does a great job of providing each player’s Offensive rating, the % of the team’s minutes the players see, their % of possessions used, % of the shots they take while they are on the court, the player’s true shooting %, their offensive and defensive rebounding rates, assist rates as well as fouls called per 40 minutes. Underneath each players’ numbers, you may find a player who is ranked nationally in that category and those are the numbers we want to take a look and try to find some diamonds in the rough.
I know all of this information sounds like overload and at the beginning it might be, however as you utilize the website more and more you will start to understand what numbers you give more weight to while also noticing where you’d like certain numbers to fall for you to be willing to target a particular team and/or players. I will rank the players on a particular team in terms of my interest in using them based on their ratings and then I will check salaries and game logs to help adjust each team’s roster rankings. I then utilize my rankings to go after which guys I feel are must plays based on match-up, over/under and upside.