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28 June 2008

Numbers prove Grant best of four freshmen

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
6/28/2008 03:10:00 AM
I know this post will bring out the "enough with Malcolm Grant" haters, but it's summer, news is slow, and Greycat of Villanova by the Numbers just posted his analysis of the four Wildcat freshmen and their progression throughout last season.

The numbers show what we've known around here all year: Malcolm Grant was the best performer of his much-touted freshman class, and it wasn't even close.

Greycat's chart shows the Pomeroy offensive efficiency rating for each of the four Villanova freshmen for each game of the season. The numbers do not take defense into account, but before you justify Grant's latter-season disappearance on defense, remember that Grant was at least as good a defender as Corey Fisher, and that is being quite generous to Fisher.

Grant showed a consistent level of offensive performance once conference play kicked in, maintaining a large separation above the other three freshmen. Corey Stokes improved his game greatly, while Fisher and Pena seemed to decline offensively as the season wore on.

We may never know the true story behind Grant's fall from grace, so I can't beat up Jay Wright about it more than I already have all season, but Greycat's chart serves as a stark reminder of how good Grant was, how much the team will miss him, and what a waste it was that Coach Wright could not keep him in a Wildcat uniform, for whatever reason.

Grant is on his way to Miami, and the Hurricanes will be Let's Go Nova's second-favorite college team in 2009-2010.

As for the three remaining freshmen, now rising sophomores, Corey Stokes is clearly a bright spot. If he continues his offensive development at the pace he improved last season, he could be a star in the Big East. Fisher and Pena need to work on being more consistent offensively, but we didn't need the chart to tell us that.

Keep on eye on the three sophomores and their offensive development in 2008-2009. And look for Malcolm Grant to crack the all-ACC squad the year after that.

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At 9:03 AM, June 28, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pena has the most upside, and could be all big east as a junior, but it would be more probable as a senior.

Also, the ACC is the type of league that Grant will dominate. The BE is known for hard nosed defense, and Grant still tore many defenses apart. With the ACC's run and gun style of play, he will excell even more.

At 12:44 PM, June 28, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is the p value to show that this data is significant?

At 1:01 PM, June 28, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete, this is a function of small sample size. The rating is how he performed over the year, of course he started really high, with the LSU game . However, he played less and less throughout the year, so that one huge performance had more of a weight on his overall ranking. If you actually look at Ken Pom's site, the 4 freshman played:

Fisher-53.1% of the mins.
Pena-48% of the mins.
Stokes-46% of the mins.
Grant-29% of the mins.

I'm reasonably sure that if Grant had played nearly as much as the others, his ORTG would be lower.

Its the same thing as in baseball when in April a guy goes 10 for 20(.500), then the rest of the year he only gets 20 more at bats and goes 5 for 20. His overall average is going to be .375(15 for 40), but its not really reflective of his true talent level, because he didn't get enough at bats to prove anything, either way.

If you really wanted to make a controversial post, you'd try and explain Dwayne Anderson's 115ORTG(!?!) in a rather large amount of play time(45%+ of the mins.)

At 1:18 PM, June 28, 2008, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

The sample size is fine. We are not talking about 1 or 2 minutes per game; Grant played a significant number of minutes. It's an offensive efficiency rating over the entire season. The only thing these numbers suggest about minutes is that Grant should have played a lot more of them.

At 1:37 PM, June 28, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you're saying a difference of almost 16% is not significant? You realize thats about 6 to 7 mins. per game, right? Not sure I agree. And because it is over the entire season, it'd be weighted towards the early games, where he played more, and less towards the late games where he played less.

Furthermore, you aren't looking at the distribution. Grant played, objectivity, more towards the beginning of the season, and a lot less towards the end, when you generally play better teams. So I'm positive if you break it down by opponents Grant has had more games against easier opponents, which would inflate his numbers.

This graph doesn't prove anything about Grant. I'm not saying hes good or bad, but all I'm saying is that this graph shows that he had a huge game early in the season, and then didn't play enough mins. to bring the data to be normal.

At 1:48 PM, June 28, 2008, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

I am saying his minutes throughout the season are enough to draw conclusions on offensive efficiency. In fact they were more than enough. Are you saying that Pomeroy's offensive efficiency ratings don't mean anything unless the player is getting starters' minutes?

The whole point of an efficiency rating is to compare performance per minute. Grant averaged enough minutes to make the comparison meaningful.

At 1:51 PM, June 28, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well if you look at KenPom's site you will notice that to be qualified for KenPom's leader-board in anything you have to play 40% of the mins in a game. That would seem to imply that Ken thinks that a significant number of mins. are necessary to make a judgment on a player.

Agreed the whole point of efficiency stats are to be a per min. average, but I don't think the amount or distribution of mins. lends itself to being a very useful statistic this case.

Agree to disagree, I suppose.

At 2:01 PM, June 28, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad Pete is not a statistician or a scientist.

At 2:02 PM, June 28, 2008, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

haha, please. I do know a little about statistics. Take it up with Pomeroy or Greycat, though -- they are both way beyond my level.

At 9:19 PM, June 29, 2008, Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9:19 PM, June 29, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this team is moving forward. Next year when taylor king joins the big man crew (semi big man) we could be amazing. Dante Cunningham will be missed terribley so we need to recruit a big center for the 2010 season. Scottie reynolds stays, corey fisher stays, stokes. This team is going to be wreckless. If you also look on ESPN.com under top 25 villanova is ranked 18th because of their strong ability to fast break and the experience and chemistry

At 8:51 AM, June 30, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i cant wait til pete gets off his knees about this malcolm grant thing....all-acc team in 2 years? your crazy, and who said miami is going to be our second favorite team? B.S.

At 9:15 PM, June 30, 2008, Blogger pete said...

I love how thinking a (former) Villanova player is good at basketball means I am "on my knees."

At 9:30 PM, June 30, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets go Miami!

beat nova

At 9:27 PM, July 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 12:09 AM, July 02, 2008, Blogger krizz02 said...

sorry pete, but move on with grant. the situation was much more than stats alone can justify.


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