Michael Menz


BY THE NUMBERS: Ivy League Track MVPs: Michael Menz ’17 runs a 10,000 iterations of a simulated track meet to account for race-to-race variability and find the most valuable performers in the Ivy League.

BY THE NUMBERS: Swimming MVPs: Michael Menz ’17 offers an in-depth look at which Ivy League swimmers are most valuable to their respective teams.

Live Basketball Win Probabilities: Michael Menz ’17 , James Pastan ’20, and Gabe Zanuttini-Frank’s ’19 live NBA win probability charts tracks each times chances of winning based on the current game situation. Watch along as probabilities are updated in real time.

ANALYSIS: Volleyball starts slow, ends strong: In another collaboration with the Yale Daily News, Michael Menz ’17 explores the signal given by the first set in Ivy League Volleyball. Teams that win the first set by more are more likely to go onto the win the match. Additionally, the Yale Volleyball team was the team most likely to come back from losing the first set.

Total Defensive Pressure (TDP): Analysis of Off Ball Defense in the NBA: In the inaugural NBA Hackathon, we took the opportunity to analyze SportsVU tracking data and create a new metric for off ball defense which had mostly been neglected by the current  research. The metric was based on the sum of squared distances from each offensive player to the defender closer to him. We found that closer off ball defense was related to more missed shots and fewer three points attempts. We also noted individual differences in effort based on differences in on ball and off ball defense.


The Success of Short Yardage Play Types on Fourth Down: The quarterback sneak is a play in football in which the quarterback pushes forward behind the offensive line immediately after the center hikes the ball. It is often employed in short yardage situations, especially when the defense has not had time to set their position. We sought to determine whether this play in under or overused by NFL coaches in such situations.

Player Clustering in the NBA: As a result of position, physical attributes, or basketball ability players in the NBA naturally gravitate toward certain roles within a team. We attempt to formalize this notion by clustering NBA players based on a combination of traditional and advanced statistics. These clusters can then be applied to examine how teams construct lineups.