Whether settling arguments, researching the sport, or better understanding a team, numbers and statistics have become invaluable and in demand at all levels of sport.
For Ayersville graduate and resident Brayton Martin, a love for high school hoops and creating data collection led him to provide an intriguing new resource for ranking boys’ basketball teams.
A three-year process led Martin to launch MartinRPI.com, a website that ranks all high school basketball teams with a computer metric, much like the Ratings Percentage Index used in college basketball to compare teams.
Martin began in 2019 using a formula to rank Division III and IV teams in the Bowling Green Regional, triggered by a look at how teams were divided into district brackets.
“It was a mix of curiosity and frustration just because seeing how unbalanced some districts were here didn’t make sense,” said Martin, a former Pilots multi-sport athlete before earning his business administration degree. University affairs. from Toledo. “Something like 11 of the last 17 regional champions in Division IV have come through Elida district and like 2018, eight of the 11 schools in this district had a winning percentage of .750 or better and there were three on 23 in two other districts. combined. It’s like putting all the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in one region of the NCAA Tournament.
“From there, it was the definition of a snowball effect. I would post the Northwest District teams on my personal social media and reached out to people in the Southwest of the state who were curious how they matched up with the teams in our area.
Martin’s formula is relatively simple. A given team’s winning percentage is included, along with the winning percentage of that team’s opponents, the average winning percentage of those opponents’ opponents, and a leveled point system to give a bonus for beating the big schools.
After the 2019 foray into the numbers, Martin did the same but added Division I and II Northwest Regionals before deciding to take the plunge and face the task of incorporating all 799 basketball schools in the state.
“When I explain how long it takes, a lot of people look at me like I’m crazy and I am, but I appreciate the process,” Martin said with a laugh. “I’ve always wanted to do something similar to Joe Eitel and it goes back to me and my dad. We were printing brackets for all splits after week 10, one for our predictions and one to follow. With social media people do a lot more online and they don’t really have an objective ranking like there is in football.
The website includes RPI rankings by division, region and district as well as a schedule strength ranking for each division.
Gathering data and schedules from all the schools in the state is no easy task, one that took Martin about three weeks after he decided to undertake the task in early November. With various inputs and functions already programmed into its spreadsheet and database, the bulk of the work involves researching preseason schedules and then regularly entering scores for all games played in the state.
“It’s quite tedious at times, but when I started a few years ago doing just one or two splits, that was the hardest part,” explained Martin, who currently works for Oldcastle Infrastructure at Napoleon as demand planner. “Creating the formulas, figuring out which one is the most accurate was the hardest part. Now it’s so easily repeatable, you just have to follow the formula, enter timings and scores. It’s a lot of work, yes, but it’s not hard work, it’s just a lot to do.
As the regular season winds down, the number of comments has continued to grow, especially ahead of the Feb. 6 tournament draw, as teams are seeded and ranked by district coaches to determine how the brackets play out. .
“It was all a surprise, to be honest I only really started planning it a few months ago,” Martin said of the comments he received online from coaches and fans alike. high school hoops. “The cool thing is it’s still in its infancy, I’ve got a lot planned for what I can do with it. I’ve had a bunch of girl coaches contact me and said how awesome it was and it’s really cool. I would love to do a women’s ranking next year, that’s my biggest goal.
“I got a bunch of messages from coaches and ADs all over the state, and even teams like Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller and Canton McKinley, it’s not just a small school thing. “
With websites like JoeEitel.com which tracks computer scores for high school football each fall and Davey1.com which updates schedules and scores for more than 160 boys’ basketball schools, Martin’s website could become another favorite tab on sports fans’ web browsers every season: something the former Hoopster driver never expected.
“What really sparked the creation of a website was that when I decided to do the whole state filing, I realized that if I just kept posting them on my Twitter usual, the only people who would really see it would be in northwest Ohio,” Martin explained. “Joe Eitel, everyone in Ohio has been going there for years. I have no idea how a website is made so I texted my sister Kaleigh who is more up to speed on this. She had a friend of hers who was more on the computer engineering side, more corny stuff that I don’t understand.
Although the season isn’t over yet, Martin was quick to point out that the formula isn’t perfect or a final standings for state teams, even joking that he hopes his standings would have proven wrong in the playoffs by the Upsets and Cinderella teams. .
“It’s definitely flawed and it probably always will be because there’s no perfect,” Martin said of tweaks or things he’d like to see in the rankings in the future. “I have a small component that looks like Joe Eitel in the weighting to beat the bigger schools, I would like to adjust that a bit more. I don’t have any sort of national ranking and there are about 20 teams in the state who play at bigger national schools.Another thing I want to look at next year that might be difficult is the weighting of road/home/neutral site wins.
To learn more about the standings and see where all the teams in the state rank, fans can visit the standings Twitter page at @MartinRPI_ or by visiting www.MartinRPI.com.