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February 15, 2013

UConn Hoops: Behind the Numbers

Within the past few seasons individual plus/minus numbers have become more readily available for individual basketball players. For fans not familiar with plus/minus numbers, it's calculated by taking the number of points a team scores while an individual player is on the court added by the number of points a team allows while an individual player is on the court. While it's not an exact science, it can give you some valuable information as to how a team performs while a particular player on the court. It can be an indication of how a player may contribute beyond his points per game average.

Here are UConn's individual numbers in Big East play

Total +/- in Big East Games

Daniels -10
Olander 4
Boatright 28
Napier 38
Calhoun -6
Nolan -10
Wolf 37
Giffey 22
Evans 43

Not surprisingly, Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier are near the top in this category which is no surprise based just on the eye test when watching the Huskies. When you throw in that Boatright plays 85.6% of the team's possible minutes, and Napier plays 89% you realize that these two players have an obvious huge effect on the team.

What may surprise some people is that R.J. Evans leads the team in the +/- category. This goes to show that Evans shows some real value beyond his 1.9 PPG that he averages in Big East play. Another big contributor is Enosch Wolf with the 3rd highest number. Wolf blocks 6.1% of all opponents shot attempts while he's on the court, so that along with his rebounding is a big factor in his high +/- numbers.

The lowest +/- numbers on the team belong to DeAndre Daniels. A big reason for Daniels' low number can be found in his shooting percentages. When the sophomore is on the court he taken 25% of all the shot attempts, but has the third lowest effective FG% on the entire team, behind only Niels Giffey and Phil Nolan.

In the numbers below we took out the highest and lowest individual +/- game number for each player. It didn't change things too much except for Boatright who fell to the middle of the back. That can be explained because his +33 performance against DePaul was taken out, the highest + number any player put up this year.

Total +/- With Highest/Lowest Game Taken Out
Daniels -4
Olander -2
Boatright 16
Napier 32
Calhoun -3
Nolan 2
Wolf 25
Giffey 19
Evans 38

Below are the home game numbers followed by the away game numbers. Daniels and Calhoun seem to be much more effective at home than the road which isn't surprising for young players.

Home vs Away
Daniels 14 -24
Olander 9 -5
Boatright 32 -4
Napier 31 7
Calhoun 15 -21
Nolan -4 -6
Wolf 24 13
Giffey 6 16
Evans 13 30

Below are +/- numbers in wins and losses

Wins
Daniels 41
Olander 29
Boatright 80
Napier 71
Calhoun 27
Nolan -7
Wolf 41
Giffey 24
Evans 23


Losses
Daniels -51
Olander -25
Boatright -52
Napier -33
Calhoun -33
Nolan -3
Wolf -4
Giffey -2
Evans 20

No surprise in these numbers as Boatright and Napier have the biggest disparity. Daniels and Calhoun have the 3rd and 4th biggest disparity between wins/losses, which is an indication that each of their performances directly affects the outcome of the game.


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