Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Top Fifteen Big 5 Value Add Returning Players

The City Series
Pulling out the five Division 1 schools that make up the Big 5 from the spreadsheet sent to me by from Cracked Sidewalks poster bamamarquettefan1, I was able to sort them down to find the 15 returning players with the highest Value Add rating. I doubt the top five are next season's All-Big 5 First Team (they are good players, but Big 5 tradition mitigates against four players from the same team -- even a Final Four team -- being named to the first team...), the pool is large enough to suggest most of the First and Second All-Big 5 Teams will probably come from the list below. From highest to lowest...

NameCollegeRankORtgDRtgOff AddDef SubTotal
K WyattTemple 107114.195.42.54%-1.72%4.26%
R MooreTemple 115105.296.82.43%-1.64%4.07%
S RandallTemple 122122.797.02.86%-1.08%3.94%
GallowaySt. Joseph's126113.9108.63.86%0.00%3.86%
JeffersonTemple 182105.095.71.11%-2.01%3.12%
Z RosenPennsylvania212110.8106.32.93%0.00%2.93%
M YarouVillanova 222107.097.21.93%-0.96%2.89%
C JonesSt. Joseph's237104.1111.02.78%0.00%2.78%
M WaynsVillanova 252103.899.12.67%0.00%2.67%
M EricTemple 362101.094.50.56%-1.50%2.06%
R RobertsSt. Joseph's648104.4110.01.15%0.00%1.15%
D CheekVillanova 654100.698.00.75%-0.40%1.15%
FernandezTemple 71096.898.00.46%-0.58%1.04%
T DurenLa Salle717102.7108.71.02%0.00%1.02%
C StefanLa Salle837117.1110.70.81%0.00%0.81%

One number systems like Value Add (Sub) are valuable because they can, via rankings, promote discussion about players who might not easily come to mind when thinking "best" or "best 5 (15)". A list like this should stimulate discussion about the best players in Philadelphia, and given the ranking, I have spent a few days thinking about the players from Temple and Saint Joseph's going into next season. As a Villanova fan I would not swap Mouphtaou Yarou or Maalik Wayns for any of the players ranked above them in this list, but that four players from Temple are ranked #1, #2, #3 and #5 is a credit to Coach Fran Dunphy's ability to recruit to North Broad and rebuild the Owl program. While Coach Dunphy was recognized as a good program manager and game planner during his tenure at Penn, the whispers when he moved over as Coach John Chaney's successor were whether he could recruit players for a conference as competitive as the Atlantic-10. Temple's record over the past four seasons, coupled with a listing like this should silence those voices.

1. That Khalif Wyatt made the top 12 is hardly surprising, after all he was honored as the Atlantic-10's Sixth Man in 2011; that he is the highest rated returning player however, did get my attention. Though I have followed Temple (and La Salle and St. Joseph's) with more interest over the past two seasons, I did not believe Wyatt was the impact player suggested by the ranking. Temple placed four players among the top five -- and from my time at the Atlantic-10 Tournament last March, I believe Scootie Randall's injury and absence from the tournament influenced Temple's inability to beat Richmond in the semi-final game. Ramone Moore was, unlike Wyatt, a regular rotation player (and starter) through the entire season.
2. Zach Rosen's spot on the list is no surprise at all. Health allowing, the senior should again make the First Team All-Ivy and All-Big 5. Having an opportunity to play a second season with fifth year senior Tyler Bernardini should give Penn the best backcourt in the Ivy League next season and one that will challenge the backcourts of the other Big 5 teams -- all five of the schools will boast sterling backcourts.
3. Langston Galloway, cited four times by the A-10 as Rookie of the Week and honored with a spot on that conference's All-Rookie Team certainly belongs on this list. For the curious, CJ Aiken, another rising sophomore from Hawk Hill, was ranked #16 on the list. Having a third rising sophomore, Ronald Roberts among the top 15 certainly bodes well for Coach Martelli's squad going into 2012.
4. La Salle's contribution to the top 15, Tyreke Duren and Cole Stefan are, like Galloway and Roberts, rising sophomores. Both are guards, suggesting that the competition for "best backcourt" in the City Series in 2012, will be very competitive. Note at Sam Mills, another guard, was ranked #25, behind two other returning Explorers, forward Devon White and wing Earl Pettis.

About the Defense -- Value (Sub)
A feature of the Value Add (Sub) system is that bamamarquettefan1 combined individual statistics -- steals, defensive rebounds & blocked shots -- with team-wide statistics (Ken Pomeroy's defensive rating, to create a defensive "value" -- Value (Sub) component that he calculated for each player ranked in his system. For those defensive elements for which no individual stats were available, he eleminated the individual defensive elements (shot blocks, steals, defensive rebounds, etc.) from each team's (Pomeroy's) defensive rating, allocated that remaining value (about 72% of the team's defensive rating) according to minutes played (Min% per Pomeroy) and then "added" the individual elements with that value to compute a Value (Sub) for each player. Unlike a plus/minus approach which tallies the points for and against for each time sequence a particular player is on the court (and by indirection assess offensive and defensive "value" by presence), this system relies heavily (about 72% of the weight of the "Sub" value) on the "team" element -- that part for which no direct stats are compiled. A number of the returning Big 5 players (seven in the top 15) contributed 0.0% beyond "normal" team defense, to their team. This was, according to bamamarquettefan1, is not unusual. Because the individual defensive stats -- defensive rebounding, steals and blocked shots (weighted in that order) -- are tallied and converted for each player, a player who contributes "below" his team's average for two categories (or even one if he is significantly below average for either defensive rebounding or steals) will compute to a 0.0% Value (Sub). Six of the seven players (Ronald Roberts excepted) are guards. Lacking defensive rebounding and blocked shots (traditionally not strong areas for backcourt and wing players), that should not surprise.

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