Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Calvin Has Some Pretty Big Holes To Fill

If we compare the players that Calvin is losing to the rest of the teams in the MIAA, it becomes clear that Calvin has their work cut out for them. They're only losing three guys (which isn't too bad for college basketball), John Mantel, Matt Veltema, and Paul Cambell, but the three combined for some big contributions.

Let’s start with the team statistics from last year:


Now, let’s take out the seniors and the guys who weren’t on their respective rosters (for whatever reason) by the end of the season. The second group is primarily composed of players leaving Alma’s program; this will likely get worse as they have a tendency to lose guys in between seasons as well.


And if you don’t want to look back and forth to compare, here’s a chart with the difference. This is what teams are losing due to graduation.


Negative numbers indicate improvement.

Let's start at the left. Albion is the only other non-Alma team with more minutes to fill. The good news is that there will be plenty of opportunity for some new guys to get playing time, or maybe some old guys to get more playing time. The bad news is that we don't quite know if that's a good thing or a bad thing yet.

Moving on, we see that the Knights lead everyone, except Alma, in number of shots lost. The big bummer here is that the shots they're losing, for the most part, were really good ones. We see this with the drops in eFG% and PPWS (Calvin loses the most in the league in both categories). Matt Veltema, especially, was very good at turning his shots into points. His 1.28 PPWS was among the best in the league (I don't have my numbers handy, so I can't say exactly where he ranked).

Danny Rodts will need to be the leader of the offense. His numbers were fantastic last year (1.23 PPWS, .567 eFG%), but he only took 19% of the team's shots when he was on the floor. That could be due to him yielding shots to fellow starters Mantel and Veltema, but Tom Snikkers found a way to get 21%, and Bryan Powell jacked up 26% (in significantly fewer minutes). If Danny can maintain similar numbers while upping his %SHOTS to 25% the Knights' offense will be just fine.

Obviously, the loss of Mantel and Campbell will hurt the league's best rebounding team. Their departure leaves Brent Schuster as the lone experienced big man on the roster (the term 'big' is used relatively loosely here). Adam De Young is the only guy that was on the roster a season ago that could step up to fill the void, but they'll need at least one more reliable big man to give them quality minutes. I'm really not sure if any of the JVers will be able to make the jump (I really should pay more attention to these kind of things) or if there's a freshman that will be able to bang around in the post, but this is probably the biggest position of need.

I think they're more or less fine in a two-deep scenario when it comes to 1's through 3's with Salo, Powell, Schnyders, Snikkers, and Rodts. There's probably room for one more guy in that rotation, but it'd be a good thing if two guys push this group for playing time.

Practice starts on October 18, so we'll start to get some answers to our roster questions then.

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