What Determines Success In The FIBA World Championship Research Paper

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FIBA World Championship History of the FIBA

Factors for Success

Data Driven Approaches

NBA Players

Team Culture

2013 Rankings 15

The FIBA has become the premier international basketball league in the world. Over the course of the last few generations the tournaments have been increasing their viewership and fan base. The level of competition in this league has also increased. Since 1989 the league has opened the doors to NBA players which not only increased the league's competitiveness but elevated the popularity of it as well. There are many different approaches to trying to discern which teams will be successful in the league. This analysis will look at statistical approaches as well as cultural approaches to provide insights into what constitutes a successful team in the FIBA.

History of the FIBA

The International Basketball Federation (French: Federation Internationale de Basketball), more commonly known by the French acronym FIBA, is an association of national organizations which governs international competition in basketball. FIBA has organized a FIBA World Championship for men since 1950 these events are now held every four years, alternating with the Olympics.In 1989 FIBA opened the door to Olympic participation by professionals such as players from the NBA in the United States. At this point, the Federation Internationale de Basketball Amateur became the Federation Internationale de Basketball, but retained FIBA as an abbreviation. The tournament was most recently expanded in 2006, increasing the number of teams from 16 to 24. During the preliminary rounds of the FIBA World Championship, teams are divided into four groups of six, and play a round-robin schedule with the other teams in their group. The top four teams from each group based on win-loss record advance to the round of 16, where the tournament moves into single-elimination mode. A consolation bracket is held for teams that lose in the quarterfinals to determine exact finishes from first through eighth place (ESPN).

Factors for Success

Data Driven Approaches

It is becoming increasingly popular to try to achieve a competitive advantage in professional sports through statistical analysis. Dean Oliver has a Ph.D in engineering from North Carolina and has worked for Bill Bertka's scouting service for many years and has used his statical training as a computer consultant and risk analyst to analyze the basketball profession much like the Michael Lewis approach in which the popular movie "Moneyball" was based upon (Lyons). Based on statistical analyses, the four most important keys for team success in basketball and their relative weights, in parentheses, are:

Shoot a high field goal percentage (10).

Do not commit turnovers (5-6).

Get offensive rebounds (4-5).

Get to the foul line frequently (2-3).

The teams that perform well will be able to maintain at least three of these categories on a consistent basis. With respect to evaluating individual player's performances, Oliver says the goal is obviously to determine how well a player helps a team do the things that win basketball games. From an offensive perspective, the player should:

Shoot a high field goal percentage or help teammates shoot a high percentage through assists and playmaking.

Avoid turnovers.

Get offensive rebounds.

Draw fouls.

At the defensive end, the player should:

Make offensive players take low percentage shots.

Cause turnovers.

Box out and prevent offensive rebounds.

Avoid fouls.

NBA Players

Another data driven approach considers the number of NBA players that are on each team. This is often a common focal point for many analysts because, in general, the qualities of players that come from the NBA are really high compared to those that come from other leagues. Thus many commenters will base their predictions on the NBA players that are on the teams. For example, Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson will lead the well-rated Canada's men's basketball team at the upcoming FIBA Americas Championship; Thompson is one of four NBA players on the team, which also includes Miami center Joel Anthony, San Antonio point guard Cory Joseph and Orlando forward Andrew Nicholson and it's the first time Canada has had four NBA regulars on its team in FIBA competition (The Canadian Press). The number of NBA players on a team is definitely one of the focal points that can help determine whether a team will be successful or not.

The quality of the NBA players is also a key consideration. For example, China has Yi Jianlian who rated as one of the best player the league has to offer. Yi did play for China in a recent tournament opener against Korea, and he looked every bit like the superstar he is, according to one analyst. The former NBA player dropped 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, but no other Chinese player scored in double digits. Yi couldn't do it all on his own, as Korea shockingly defeated China 63-59 (Chiari). Therefore, even though this team has a high caliber former NBA player, it still lacks the depth of other teams with multiple NBA players. Therefore, it is both the quality and quantity of NBA players that analysts can base their predictions on.

Data was found that showed the total number of players that was a player in the NBA as well as involved in the FIBA network from HoopsHype.com (HoopsHype.com). There was also data collected by the FIBA teams current rank in relation to the amount of points that they were able to earn based on the FIBA ranking system (FIBA). From these two data sources a composite of the data was combined to show the number of NBA players, the team's total points and the team's rank. From this condensed data set many insights can be gained. One that was initially apparent was that any team that had at least two active...

...

Many teams that only had one NBA players did not even achieve ranking status.
The average number of ranking points for the NBA players was 106.8; however countries like Argentina (245) and Spain (221.25) were significantly larger. This can indicate that there may be a vastly different quality of NBA players or that the rest of the team is equally as important. Judging from the range of data in the effects of having a NBA player is not as important as previously believed although there seemed to a small correlation between the factors.

Country

# NBA

Points

Rank

Argentina

2

3

Bosnia

1

Cameroon

1

Canada

5

49

25

Czech

1

DR

1

47.2

26

France

5

8

Georgia

1

Iran

1

94.2

20

Israel

1

21

37

Italy

3

73

21

Lithuania

2

4

Macedonia

1

Mexico

1

59.2

24

Montenegro

1

Nigeria

2

18

18

Poland

1

Puetro Rico

1

17

Russia

2

6

Serbia

1

11

Slovenia

1

Spain

4

2

Sweden

2

6

64

Turkey

3

7

Ukraine

1

15

45

Venezuela

1

36.2

28

Historical Data

Table 1 - FIBA Historical Leaders (FIBA)

COUNTRY

GOLD

SILVER

BRONZE

TOTAL

USA

3

3

5

11

Soviet Union

3

3

2

8

Yugoslavia

3

3

2

8

Brazil

2

2

2

6

Russia

0

2

0

2

Argentina

1

1

0

2

Yugoslavia

2

0

0

2

Chile

0

0

2

2

Spain

1

0

0

1

Greece

0

1

0

1

Croatia

0

0

1

1

Philippines

0

0

1

1

Germany

0

0

1

1

The historical data provides many insights to the types of data that could be relevant to a model that could help predict outcomes. For example, one consideration would be total population. The United States is rated the number three most populated countries in the world and is number one in the basketball standings. The Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Brazil and Russia are all heavily populated countries as well and are all in the top five of the rankings. However, India and China are the two largest countries in terms of population sizes and neither of them is on the list at all. Therefore, although population may play a role, it cannot be one of the dominant factors.

Another consideration might be the level of economic development of the country that hosts a team. However, once again, countries like Yugoslavia and Brazil, though they are developing, have relatively small per capita incomes. Therefore the country's economic development is probably not a dominate factor either. However, it might be interesting to conduct future research into the economic activities in the country and the level of funding the individual teams receive and see if there is any kind of correlation among these factors.

Another possible factor might be the average height of the teams. It was difficult to find data on the average height for the whole international network of teams, but some data was found on the Asian teams. In this competition China had the tallest average team by far, followed by Iran, Jordan, and Qatar. Iran, with two players standing at exactly 200 cms and four taller than that, was able to regain the gold they last won at 25th FIBA Asia Championship at Tianjin (China) in 2009, thus becoming the first team in FIBA Asia history to bag a FIBA Asia Cup-FIBA Asia Championship double (FIBA Asia).

In this individual region is seemed as if team height might be a determining factor. More research should be conducted with data that can be found on the teams worldwide. Unfortunately, data like this is not readily available and therefore it would be difficult to compile from various sources and exceeds the scope of this assignment. China has one of the tallest teams that averages 201.92 cm or about 6 feet, 7 1/2 inches (InterAKTV). The United States was found to have an average height of 200cm, or about 6-foot, seven inches (FIBA). Therefore, if height was the dominating factor, you would expect China to be higher up in the worldwide rankings however this is obviously not the case. Iran also has about the same average height as the United States and is also not one of the finalist in the rankings.

Table 2 - FIBA Asia Average Height (FIBA Asia)

In conclusion, there seems some potential for height, economic progress, and population to all play a role in the…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Canada, G. Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America. Beacon Press, 2010.

Card, D. And G. Dahl. "Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior." The Quarterly Journal of Economics (2011): 103-143.

Chiari, M. "FIBA Asia 2013: Top Stars to Watch in Basketball World Cup Qualifying Tournament." 3 August 2013. Bleacher Report. Online. 5 December 2013.

Debate.org. "Are the Yankees the best baseball team ever?" N.d. Debate.org. Online. 4 December 2013.
-- . "USA." N.d. FIBA. http://turkey2010.fiba.com/pages/eng/fe/10/fwcm/team/p/eid/4728/rid//sid/4728/tid/379/profile.html. 11 December 2013.


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