U.S. men’s team is…

Jonathan HortonFrom NBCOlympics.com:

1. Paul Hamm

2. Jonathan Horton

3. Kevin Tan

4. Justin Spring

5. Morgan Hamm

6. Joseph Hagerty

Alternates: Raj Bhavsar, Sasha Artemev, David Durante

For a U.S. men’s program, this is probably the best of all possible combinations. Hagerty and Hamm will make excellent lead-off men on almost any event, Paul Hamm can be put anywhere, Tan can contribute on pommel horse and of course rings, and Spring and Horton provide flair and extreme difficulty on nearly all their events.

As for the alternates, it’s where Durante, “the ultimate filler” probably belongs. Too bad his flair and elegance won’t see Olympic competition, but hopefully even from the alternate’s seat his leadership will be given a role.

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14 Responses to “U.S. men’s team is…”

  1. TCO Says:

    Golden contributes two tenths on vault. But within that group, he is not even third best on rings!

    Team looks light on pommels. Tan is NOT good on pommels!!!!! His straight average for Nats and Trials is 14.0625. Haggerty is almost as good at 14.000!

    See my calculations from gymnastics coaching: http://gymnasticscoaching.com/?p=5294#comments

    I think Sasha gives you more on PH, than Golden does elsewhere. EVEN WITH Sasha’s falls on PH, he still contributes more to the team. That’s because the calculations of his scores INCLUDE the impact of his falling. He’s still that good, that he helps. And if he hits!!!! That’s gravy.

    Will do a calc, based on my spreadsheets, earlier discussed on gym coaching.

  2. TCO Says:

    Ok. belay my last. I somehow had two “tabs open” and read your prediction thread after seeing the headline. I see know that Golden was not even chosen.

  3. TCO Says:

    Ok…anyway, here is how the team looks:

    Expected scores*

    name FX PH SR VT PB HB
    Hamm, P 15.83 14.9 15.65 15.99 15.7625 15.72
    Horton 15.3625 13.7125 15.9 15.95 15.2875 14.45
    Tan 0 14.0625 16.6125 0 15.1125 14.05
    Spring 15.2 0 14.8 16.0125 15.5375 14.8
    Hamm, M. 15.1125 14.425 0 15.9625 0 15.2
    Hagerty 15.375 14 14.1125 15.825 15.2125 15.45

    Ranking WITHIN team of 6:

    name FX PH SR VT PB HB
    Hamm, P 1 1 3 2 1 1
    Horton 3 5 2 4 3 5
    Tan 6 3 1 6 5 6
    Spring 4 6 4 1 2 4
    Hamm, M. 5 2 6 3 6 3
    Hagerty 2 4 5 5 4 2

    Derived 3 up format schedule:

    3 up guys FX PH SR VT PB HB
    best Hamm, P. Hamm, P. Tan Spring HammP HammP
    second Hagerty Hamm, M. Horton Hamm, P. Spring Hagerty
    third Horton Tan Hamm, P. Hamm, M. Horton HammM

    Derived scores on 3-up format:

    3up guys FX PH SR VT PB HB
    best 15.83 14.9 16.6125 16.0125 15.7625 15.72
    second 15.375 14.425 15.9 15.99 15.5375 15.45
    third 15.3625 14.0625 15.65 15.9625 15.2875 15.2

    *See gymnastics coaching for description of calculation, based on straigh average of Nats and Trials, except for Paul Hamm (average in other meets, ignore PB at Nats where he broke hand)

  4. TCO Says:

    Fiddling around now:

    Rank within a seven member team, including Sasha:

    name FX PH SR VT PB HB
    Hamm, P 1 1 3 2 1 1
    Horton 3 6 2 4 3 5
    Tan 7 4 1 7 6 7
    Spring 4 7 4 1 2 4
    Hamm, M. 5 3 7 3 7 3
    Hagerty 2 5 6 6 5 2
    Artemev 6 2 5 5 4 6

    The only event that Sasha is top 3 on is PH (only place where he helps over the current group).

    Looking at replacing various team members with Sasha, we get the following score changes, based on best 3 up team:

    gainPH lose VT lose HB change
    Hamm M 0.3625 0.0125 0.4 -0.05

    Tan gain PH loss SR change
    0.725 1.8125 -1.0875

    Horton gain PH loss FX loss SR loss PB change
    0.725 0.1625 1.1 0.05 -0.5875

    Hagerty gain PH loss FX loss HB change
    0.725 0.175 0.65 -0.1

    Spring gain PH loss VT loss PB change
    0.725 0.0625 0.3 0.3625


    1. No point in looking at replacing Paul Hamm, as he is better at PH.

    2. Replacing Morgan is almost neutral, but still a half tenth worse for the team as the under 4 thenths difference in PH scores of the two is neutralized by a 4 tenths HB loss (using Spring rather than Morgan). there is also a very tiny lowering of team vault from using Horton rather than Morgan.

    3. Replacing Tan is a simple thing to think of, but robs the team of over a point of score. However, the substantial seven plus tenths benefit on horse is counterweighed by an incredible eighteen tenths difference of Spring and Tan on rings.

    4. Replacing Hagerty is almost neutral, but still costs the team a tenth. The seven plus tenths on PH gained is counterweighted by almost 2 tenths lost on floor and six and half tenths on high bar with Spring replacing on each of those events.

    5. Replacing Horton costs the team almost 6 tenths. The large benefit on PH is counterweighted by small damage (.16) on FX, very small damage on vault and over a point of damage on rings.

    6. But looking at Spring last, we see over three and a half tenths benefit to the team from replacing Spring with Sasha. The seven tenths+ PH benefit is bigger than a very tiny vault impact and a more moderate PB damage of three tenths. In this scenario, Sash would be third on PBs, but Haggerty is almost the same.


    NET, NET: Just looking at this team, Sasha should replace Spring. This is based on a calculation that INCLUDES Sasha’s misses. Were he to hit, the result would be even more dramatic.

    Number are fair. Put Sasha on the team!!!!!

  5. sam Says:

    The only place Sasha would benefit us is on PH, and he choked 3 out of 4 times in qualifying events (nats & trials). Beyond PH, in combined qualifiers he placed 9th in rings, 6th on HB, 5th in PB, 8th on FX and 6th on VT. I think he’s lucky to have an alt position.

    If he’d been consistent on PH, he could have written his own ticket on to the team. PH was his niche, but he couldn’t handle the pressure. I’d be scared to death to put him on the team given the format for preliminaries, where we need five guys to deliver on all 6 events. He hasn’t proved he can handle the pressure without choking, but hopefully he will for 2012.

    The numbers above also skew Morgan Hamm on FX and VT. He was never going into qualifiers angling for personal best scores, given his injuries. He has said repeatedly that his goal was to show the committee he was on track to be in shape to deliver his top scores in beijing.

  6. TCO Says:

    For Geoffrey Taucer of illegal tumbling fame, the substitution analysis with Bhavsar:

    Here are the scores for the entire team, with Bhavsar at the bottom:

    name FX PH SR VT PB HB
    Hamm, P 15.83 14.9 15.65 15.99 15.7625 15.72
    Horton 15.3625 13.7125 15.9 15.95 15.2875 14.45
    Tan 0 14.0625 16.6125 0 15.1125 14.05
    Spring 15.2 0 14.8 16.0125 15.5375 14.8
    Hamm, M. 15.1125 14.425 0 15.9625 0 15.2
    Hagerty 15.375 14 14.1125 15.825 15.2125 15.45
    Bhavsar 14.625 14.1 15.575 16.0125 15.3875 14.0375

    Here are the rankings for the seven member group (picked 6, plus Bhavsar).

    name FX PH SR VT PB HB
    Hamm, P 1 1 3 3 1 1
    Horton 3 6 2 5 4 5
    Tan 7 4 1 7 6 6
    Spring 4 7 5 1 2 4
    Hamm, M. 5 2 7 4 7 3
    Hagerty 2 5 6 6 5 2
    Bhavsar 6 3 4 1 3 7

    Bhavsar can improve the team on PH, on VT and on PB.

    Substitution scenarios:

    gainVT lossFX lossPH lossSR lossPB lossHB change
    Hamm,P. 0.05 0.63 0.8 0.075 0.375 0.92 -2.75

    gain PH gain VT gain PB loss FX loss SR change
    Horton 0.0375 0.05 0.1 0.1625 0.325 -0.3

    gain PH gain VT gain PB loss SR change
    Tan 0.0375 0.05 0.1 1.0375 -0.85

    Spring gain PH VT wash loss PB change
    0.0375 0 0.15 -0.1125

    Hamm, M. gain VT gain PB loss PH loss HB change
    0.05 0.1 0.325 0.4 -0.575

    Hagerty gain PH gain VT gain PB loss FX loss HB change
    0.0375 0.05 0.1 0.175 0.65 -0.6375

    Discussion of scenarios:

    If you had the whole seven member team at the Olympics, the MOST that Bhavsar could do for you would be less than two tenths benefit. Less than half a tenth for replacing Tan on pig. Exactly half a tenth for replacing Hamm in vault (even though he would be tied with Spring for best vault, we just are so bunched up there, there is little spread). And one tenth exactly on PB for replacing Horton. But in the real world, these possible benefits have to be balanced against the losses for displacing someone else. Looking at replacing each man:

    A. Replacing Paul Hamm, does 2.75 points of damage to the team. The only benefit comes on VT, where Raj is .0225 better than Paul (less than a quarter of a tenth.) But on FX, PH, PB and HB losing Paul does several tenths on each event. Even on SR, Paul is slightly superior to Raj (less than a tenth, though.)

    B. Replacing Horton, hurts the team by three tenths. All the posited benefits occur, but the team suffers on FX and more importantly on SR. Horton is just better than Raj on that event and it is the difference maker. It’s interesting how small the difference is though…

    C. Replacing Tan hurts the team by eight and a half tenths. All the small benefits occur, but the damage on SR is over a point.

    D. Replacing Spring only gives the miniscule benefit on pommels. VT is actually a wash, with both gymnasts being tops in that group of seven. There is a loss of .15 on PB, giving an overall damage to the team of just over a tenth for this scenario. (Note, though, that I don’t think Spring should be on this team. I’ve already shown mathematically, separately that there is about a 4 tenths benefit for replacing Spring with Artemev. But that’s a different issue.)

    E. Replacing Morgan gives a tenth and a half benefit from VT and PB. But in this case there is a loss from pommels of over three tenths and a 4 tenth loss on HB, so that the overall damage of this change is almost 6 tenths.

    F. Replacing Haggerty would give all the small benefits, but would cost six and a half tenths on HB and almost two tenths on FX for overall damage of over six tenths.

    NET/NET: Every single subsitution scenario with the given team shows a worse situation. Note, that there may be scenarios for replacing more than one gymnast (with others in the pool), which would include Raj and be better than the current team. It really is almost impossible to figure out without a computer to compile all the possibilities.

  7. TCO Says:

    Analysis of simple substitutions for Golden with existing team show no benefit. (Will cut back the length on this post, compared to previous.)

    Here are Golden’s average scores:

    name FX PH SR VT PB HB
    Golden 15.125 0 15.5125 16.2375 0 0

    If we added him to the picked team for a total group of seven, here are his rankings within that group:

    name FX PH SR VT PB HB
    Golden 5 6 4 1 6 7

    Clearly, the only place where Golden can help the team is on Vault. Here are the substitution scenarios for each member of the team:

    gainVT lossFX lossPH lossSR lossPB lossHB change
    Hamm,P. 0.2475 0.63 0.9 0.1375 0.55 0.92 -2.89

    gain VT loss FX loss SR loss PB change
    Horton 0.275 0.1625 0.1375 0.075 -0.1

    gain VT loss PH loss SR change
    Tan 0.275 0.0625 1.1 -0.8875

    gain VT loss PB change
    Spring 0.275 0.325 -0.05

    gain VT loss PH loss HB change
    Hamm, M. 0.275 0.425 0.4 -0.55

    gain VT loss FX loss HB change
    Hagerty 0.275 0.175 0.65 -0.55

    Discussion of substitutions:

    Golden adds over two tenths on vault to the team in any of these scenarios. In general, he adds 0.275 (the difference of him and Morgan), except if he replaces Paul, where the difference is 0.2475 (Paul is a little better than Morgan on vault).

    Of course replacing Paul would do extreme damage, almost 3 full points. Replacing Tan would subtract almost nine tenths. And replacing either Morgan or Hagerty would subtract five and a half tenths. However, replacing Horton would only give a tenth loss and replacing Spring only a half a tenth loss.

    It’s amazing how close the many different team combinations are. While I use straight averaging (not just from laziness, I think it’s fairer), in general it makes no difference. Even here, even with Golden who improved from Nats to Trials, the differences are tiny. However, this is a case where using weighted averages might swing the bar enough to argue for Golden on the team.

    As always, the other point to note is that this is only simple substitution, starting from the picked team. We already know that this entire team is better with Artemeve for Spring. Looking at substitution with that team, might give a different answer. Also more complicated multiple substitutions might also be superior, while including Golden. Given how close these guys are, it’s not really possible to check without having a computer just crunch all the possibilities.

  8. david Says:

    wow, just wow.

    I’ve never seen any analysis like this. Incredible. I hope my math can be as good as yours.

    With the scores you predicted, this might just have a good chance to medal in the Olympics. But the gold is definitely out of reach for the US team because the Chinese are so strong.

  9. TCO Says:

    If you read back to gymnastics coaching, I talk a bit about the scores. BTW, they are STRAIGHT AVERAGE for Nationals and for Trials, except for Paul Hamm, I include some earlier meets. The scores INCLUDE lots of misses. THey are AVERAGES of missing and hitting. Especially on PH which has the most variability. I think they’re reasonable, because out of 18 routines, there will be some misses.

    The key is having Paul compete at the level of what he was doing for the last year.

  10. Tish Says:

    Raj Bhavsar

    Should be on the team, not an alternative.

  11. TCO Says:

    There were stories in a couple mainstream papers saying that it was a big surprise that Spring made it. He even said himself, that he did not think he would get the nod once the selected Hagerty (the two contribute on same events and Hagerty gives more).

    Come on people. Make some noise! Get Spring off this thing and Sasha on. Sasha carries us on pommels!

  12. Catherine Says:

    WE REALLY NEED SASHA INSTEAD OF SPRING. i am sorry but speak the truth. this team is NOT a medal contending team

  13. TCO Says:

    I did some more looking at the numbers and different substitutions. I’m about 90% sure that the very best team is the exact one they have, but with the substitution of Sasha for Spring.

    There’s no scenario where any of the other bubble guys (Durante, Raj, Golden, Sender, etc.) help more than they hurt by substitution.

    ON team:

    Here are the expected team uses and the ranks (within the group of 13 competitive athletes, basically all of them except Town and McNeil)

    selected FX PH SR VT PB HB
    name1 Hamm, P. Hamm, P. Tan Spring Hamm, P. Hamm, P.
    name2 Hagerty Hamm, M. Horton Hamm, P. Spring Hagerty
    name 3 Horton Tan Hamm, P. Hamm, M. Horton Hamm, M.
    selected FX PH SR VT PB HB
    rank1 1 1 1 3 1 1
    rank2 3 5 2 5 2 2
    score3 4 8 3 6 5 3

    The selected team gives us our absolute BEST on rings and on HB. But on the other events, we fall off, so it’s worth looking at these areas and seeing if they can be shored up without too much damage. PH and VT in particular look interesting. OF course, you can’t just judge off of “rank”. What matters is how much tenths difference between alternatives.

    Current team discussion:

    * You have to have Paul (he’s almost contributing 3 whole points versus a substitute).

    * You have to have Tan. He gives you about a point versus a substitute.

    * Morgan contributes substantially on HB (4 tenths better than next choice in any scenario). Within the current team, on PH, he gives 4-5 tenths over substitutes on team. There are some specialists better than Morgan, but not by as much as Morgan’s delta on HB. There are no reasonable scenarios to replace both Spring and Morgan, putting two new horse guys in. So you gotta have him.

    * Hagerty contributes too much on HB(six and a half tenths versus any sub) and FX (two to three tenths) to lose.

    * Horton is a tricky one, but basically you end up having to have him for 3+ tenths of rings score (3+ versus Raj, but much more versus subs on the team) and a 2+ tenths of FX and a very tiny amount on vault. But I looked at him case by case, as there are some types like Raj or Durante as possible subs.

    * Spring contributes on PB only really, where he’s 3 tenths above Haggerty as a potential replacement. He’s in the VT lineup as well, but there is a huge group of athletes in the 15.97-16.02 range of VT where he is, so he’s basically just equal there…thus not needed. So he should be “under the gun” if someone else can drive more than 3 tenths value.

    Left out:

    * Alvarez helps on PH by 5+ tenths and you only lose 3 tenths of Spring PB. Team is better off with him than Justin!!

    * Artemev helps on PH by 8 tenths (note, this is WITH his crappy record) and you only lose 3 tenths from Spring PB. THis sub makes the best overall team!!

    * Bhavsar gives you 1+ tenths on PB, which is not enough to replace anyone, give 3+ tenth loss for any of the group.

    * Durante can help on PB only (couple tenths over Horton). Not enough, given what you lose on othe events.

    * Golden helps on VT by two tenths. Not enough, given what you lose on other events.

    * McNeil gives you a hair under three tenths on PH as the only place he can help. Not enough even to justify yanking Justin.

    * Sender gives you a half tenth on FX and a 3 hundredths on vault. Not enough to compensate for the several tenths from yanking anyone. (Note that SEnder is hurt here, since I calc his average based on the WC meets plus nationals. But I think that is fair to include the good and the bad. He has been up and down, not a crusher like Paul.) If his real capabilities are what he showed in nationals, the only event where he would add would be vault where he gives a couple tenths. He would barely justify changing out for Spring (by a nose!) and would not help as much as a PH specialist like Artemev, Alvarez or Tomita. In any case, I don’t think judging him on NATS alone is fair. Need to have more meets to show his variability.

    * Tomita gives you 8 tenths if you substitute with Spring and you only lose the 3 on PB. He should be on that team before Justin. Artemev has a very slight mathematical lead over Tomita. But besides has international regard and the possibility of high upside. But regardless, Sasha has a nose on Tomita just by the recorded numbers, given Sasha being slightly higher than Haggerty on PB as the replacement for Justin.

    * Townie gives you a couple hundredths on vault versus Morgan. Not enough given the several tenths damage from pulling anyone.


    I looked at various scenarios of putting in two PH specialists or switching HOrton out with “next best” rings types like Dave or Sean, while making other changes, but none of them play out well.


    Net, net: Just change Sasha for Spring and we will have the best team.

    USAG: You almost got it right. Really tricky problem, with lots of complexity. You are 5 for 6. Make that little change and we will be sitting in the tall cotton!

  14. GymDAD Says:

    I have alot of say about this subject. Not all of bad. First of all USA Gymnastics (MEN) was hammered after the last olympic trials for holding a team camp for the men and making final selections there – so, this year they said they would name the team at end of trials and make it procedure etc… This set up a bad situation when Paul got hurt. (If they had not make that ruling – the same 9 guys would still be in the hunt and it would be determined at a camp and we would know if Paul and Morgan or anyone else would be too injured to go. Instead they named a team…I cannot argue that they had to put Paul Ham on the team – yet, (As I have reviewed the team closely – all assumptions is that Paul will compete as an AA and play a crucial role in every event. Paul may be ready for the Olympics but not ready for every event – what do they do then??? We do not have any back up on Pommel and Vault and Floor. What if Paul can only do 4 events but really well – then do they bump someone else off the team just to get another All arounder?? It is truly a mess. It is true that Paul and Morgan are cojoined as someone put it and yes Morgan hurt his ankle (again…!!) on the first day in Philly but while Paul has proved he can be the gymnast of old, Morgan has yet to do that – I don’t see him regaining his form of 2004. I think Raj and Durante should both stay in top shape for the Team Camp in late July – I think they could both still be players. Sasha needs to just concentrate on 2012..no matter how he looks he is just too inconsistent to hold a spot.

    I was in Philly the whole trials and Hagerty is a great gymnast and so consistent, Spring deserves his placement and he was a long shot and not part of the USA Gym tight circle – so, I don’t see corruption – I just see too much focus on past performances international reputations. Remember Michelle Kwan made the 2006 Oly Skating team because she already had all the endorsement deals and made for good TV and name recognition and she went to the games but left abruptly before competing. Don’t be surprised to see something similar happen to one or more of the guys on the Team.

    Also, just FYI… one of the selection members was Stacy Maloney – who coached the Hams as kids and took them to their first olympics (rumor has it he and the Hams are not on the best terms now – but many think they have made up) But when selecting the committee – as each member was nominated to serve they were all approved 100% until Maloney was nominated – it was highly contested and he only marginally won the right to serve on the committee – many were deeply opposed to that position. Anyway, what effect did he have on the selections?

    Finally, I have to be honest – Raj is awesome and this blog is mostly about him, but he is very weak on HBar and only average on Floor and pommel – he is great on rings, good on vault and good on P-Bars and Raj competes with passion but less than stellar form – (pointed toes – legs together) – Internationally that will get you dinged more than in the US – BUT I still think he deserved that spot on the team over Morgan and I feel Durante did also – but it is not over yet – let it all play out!

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