Black and Gold StatBreak

We got a lot of positive feedback on the comments section, in the UWMFreak forum, and through e-mail for our posting of the Panthers’ numbers last week.  Therefore, I’ve made the decision to start doing this every week following the last game of each week.  Since the UALR game is our last of the week, we’ll go ahead and take a look at the numbers now.

Plus/Minus and Roland Rating available for D-I games only

Player Offensive Rating Plus/Minus Roland Rating Effective Field Goal %
James Haarsma 123.6 37 32 58
Ryan Allen 111.8 33 24 51.5
Kyle Kelm 88.8 44 46 48.6
Ja’Rob McCallum 103.5 19 -4 47.3
Kaylon Williams 94.7 48 54 53.5
Paris Gulley 90.3 15 -12 36.3
Evan Richard 91.1 26 10 31.4
Ryan Haggerty 55.7 1 -40 25
Demetrius Harris 64.3 7 -28 50
Shaq Boga 57.7 -3 -57 26

So what can we tell from these numbers?  By taking the aggregate Plus/Minus and Roland Rating numbers, we can see how the score has gone with X player on the court and how the team does without him.

The Roland Rating is looked at as the evolution of the Plus/Minus.  Sure, it’s good to know how a team does with a player in the game, but what about when he’s not on the court?

There are five players who have a positive Roland Rating compared to all but one (Shaq Boga) who have a positive Plus/Minus score.  It is interesting to see that four of the five are members of the starting five – Kyle Kelm, James Haarsma, Ryan Allen, and Kaylon Williams – and the fifth is freshman Evan Richard, who plays the same position as the lone negative Roland Rating starter, Ja’Rob McCallum.  Very interesting.

This isn’t to say that McCallum should be sitting down.  On the contrary, while Richard’s scoring has been so-so this week in sparse playing time, McCallum has continued a beastly run with an effective field goal percentage of 85.7% against TSU and 75% on Saturday against UALR.  It is only disappointing to see that his numbers didn’t fare well against Michigan State (25%), but he is now shooting at a significantly superior clip compared to Richard.  I question the validity of comparing the two players with vast differences in their playing time, but the question is there – if McCallum is shooting so much better than Richard, why does the team score more and opponents less when Richard is in the game?  Richard definitely isn’t a slouch – even though his Effective Field Goal percentage is weak (31.4%), he still boasts a pretty decent Offensive Rating (91.1) and could see both numbers rise if he were given more playing time.

If there is one thing I draw from this table, it’s this – the Panthers are a much, much better team with Kaylon Williams on the court, and James Haarsma is a better shooter than advertised.

Nothing is more important than making your shots – in the Four Factors of winning, Dean Oliver puts more emphasis on shooting than the other numbers, saying that Effective Field Goal Percentage is as much as 40% of the winning formula.

Notice that in the game against UALR, despite shooting poorly from inside the arc, the Panthers managed a 54.5% eFG based on the 12-for-24 shooting.  This doesn’t mean we need to shoot from the outside, but it shows how we won in spite of a poor inside offensive game until the latter moments.

It is interesting to see what the coaching staff does with this knowledge heading into practice to prepare for Loyola and UIC.

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