Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Calvin +/- Versus Davenport

The plus/minus fad has been making its way through the NBA for several years now, and some of the stat-head type D1 sites have been keeping track of similar data for a while too, so I thought it might be fun to track some numbers for Calvin this year.

[EDIT] I probably should explain this. Basically, you get a '+' for every point your team scores while your on the floor, and a '-' for every point your opponent scores while your on the floor. It's the exact same concept as  hockey uses.

I'll be getting my data from the play-by-play section of the box scores, so I can only be as accurate as they allow me to be. I took a quick glance at some box scores from years past, and some away games didn't always include "SUB OUT" notations. If I run into that this season, I'll probably have to skip that game.

Without further ado, here's the +/- chart from Tuesday's loss at Davenport (sorted by minutes).

Player +-+/- MIN  +/min-/min+/-/min

I probably wouldn't put too much stock into a single game's worth of numbers. There are several factors that would "artificially" push +/- up or down. Obviously, the other four players on the court have a large say on how an individual's game numbers turn out. Late game substitutions can also affect the numbers. If, for instance, Coach Vande Streek prefers to insert Adam DeYoung for defense and Brent Schuster for offense, then Schuster will get more 'plus' opportunities while DeYoung would see mostly 'minuses'.

I think, though, that the numbers will give us a good look, especially to individual defensive abilities that are difficult to measure with traditional statistics, once we get several games into the season. I'll always post the game and the season total in these posts.

Anyway, the chart and the game, right. Really surprised to see Powell as the high man for the game. He played a lot of minutes (it would seem that the more minutes you play, the more likely it is that you end up with your plus/minus near that of the final margin. See Snikkers and Rodts), didn't score a ton of points, and turned the ball over a ton. Still, the Knights were +4 points when Bryan was on the floor. Before compiling the data I probably would have guess Brian Haverdink would have been one of the top guys.

But again, you absolutely can't make any "true talent level" conclusions from one game. Let's wait several games before we expect it to match up with the eye test. Still, it's nice to see the freshmen, Brink and Vallie, have a good showing in the numbers.

Speaking of Vallie, I failed to mention this in the recap, but I really think he's going to end up being a stud in this league. He only played five minutes, and I don't expect him to really crack the rotation this season, but he made some plays while he was in the game. He made you take notice that he was on the floor. He had a nice block on defense, and also pulled off a sweet spin move to take the ball to the hole on the other end of the floor.

That's really it for now. Like I said, I don't want to dissect this too much, but I wanted to throw it out there. Maybe we'll find it interesting after a few games.

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