Value added in Chicago

Value added is a somewhat esoteric metric developed by the Marquette basketball blog Cracked Sidewalks (used by John Templon) and explained in this post that essentially combines a player's offensive rating as calculated by Ken Pomeroy with min% to calculate the value that a player contributes to a team's offense vs. an average replacement over the course of a season at a given level.

If I've lost you already, take Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor as an example. According to this formula Taylor was the single highest offensive contributor in the nation. Because of Taylor's contributions over the course of the season the Badgers scored 9.46 percent more points.

If Taylor had sat the season out to be replaced by an average BCS player, the Badgers would have scored 9.46 percent fewer points.

Fewer than 1 in 1,000 players contribute at a rate greater than 7 percent and less than 1 percent contributed more than 5 percent, so Taylor is off the charts good.

Applying this metric to the student-athletes in Chicago brings some interesting results.

Here are the top 15 overall contributors from the Chicago five in the 2010-2011 season with their national rank in parentheses. These numbers are based on play at the BCS level.

  1. Michael Thompson, Northwestern - 5.15% (31)
  2. John Shurna, Northwestern - 4.46% (56)
  3. Ben Averkamp, Loyola - 2.82% (241)
  4. Luka Mirkovic, Northwestern - 2.54% (297)
  5. Robo Kreps, UIC - 2.51% (309)
  6. Drew Crawford, Northwestern - 2.08% (435)
  7. Cleveland Melvin, DePaul - 1.88% (501)
  8. Geoff McCammon, Loyola - 1.74% (554)
  9. Alex Marcotullio, Northwestern - 1.69% (577)
  10. Andy Polka, Loyola - 1.57% (635)
  11. Davide Curletti, Northwestern - 1.42% (700)
  12. Walt Gibler, Loyola - 1.28% (762)
  13. Jimmy Drew, DePaul - 1.25% (779)
  14. Terrance Hill, Loyola - 1.21% (797)
  15. Jordan Hicks, Loyola - 1.09% (880)

The metric rewards Juice Thompson not only for his high offensive rating (172nd nationally), but most of all for his ridiculous min% (12th nationally). Perhaps Northwestern has a bigger hole to fill at point guard than previously thought.

The fact that Loyola had six players contribute greater than one percent is no small feat, especially considering that Whitesell's deep rotation meant a lot of minute sharing. This was a very offensively efficient Ramblers team that was hampered by defensive problems which these numbers do not reflect.

As the only UIC player to make the cut Robo Kreps really did carry the Flames backcourt this season and burned a lot of calories in the process with the nation's third highest min% (94.8%).

If we examine only returning players John Shurna stands out on a national level. His 4.46 percent contribution level is good for 14th in the nation among returners and third in the Big Ten behind Jordan Taylor and Jared Sullinger.

Ben Averkamp ranks 108th nationally among returners and sixth in the Horizon League.

There is a defensive component to this, but I'm saving that for another post. Check back!

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