We generally do have that discussion early on in the evening for three reasons.
The first is to help with the discussion of what robot attributes would best complement us on an alliance. I.e. if we can pick a clone of ourselves, should we?
The other is to calibrate where we stand relative to the field and to try to understand what the top robots might do with their picks. I.e. if we put ourselves in X position, what slot will we be picking from and who, realistically, will be left to pick?
I think it leads to valuable discussion and also gives us an opportunity to bring our, let’s say, “more confident” team members back to reality a little bit. “Oh you think we’re better than XYZ? The data might suggest otherwise…”
On the topic of the data, I think comparing our numbers to the field helps me to calibrate what those numbers really say about a given robot. As drive coach I don’t get to see a ton of matches but I know what we’ve been able to do so seeing how we compare to other teams helps to give better answers to the first two questions.