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Wisdom of Crowds Recap - Part I: The Guards

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Five weeks ago, inspired by the best selling book, The Wisdom of Crowds, we set out to test author James Surowiecki’s central thesis that by averaging the individual predictions of a group of independently thinking people, groups can make more accurate predictions than experts working alone. We conducted our test by polling the VUHoops readers, asking them to predict the minutes per game (MPG) of each player on Nova’s roster for next season. The polls are now closed, but we’ll have to wait until the season ends to assess whether there is, indeed, wisdom in the VUHoops crowd. Until then, we have some interesting scenarios to ponder, including what combinations of players will be on the floor to account for all those MPGs we predicted for each player.

We had to make a few computations to translate the readers’ votes into player MPGs. For you diehard statisticians, our methodology will be fully described in Part III of our recap, which will be posted next weekend. To the other more trusting readers, we offer the assurance that we validated our methodology with greyCat, editor of the outstanding and quantitatively-oriented blog, Villanova by the Numbers. In this installment, we review the MPG results for the guards; forwards & centers will be posted later this week.


SCOTTIE REYNOLDS: 31.5 MPG … ▼0:42 from 2008-09 … projected games played = 38

Stan’s Take: [Scottie] gets about the same amount of time over the course of the season, barring injuries.  I just don’t see JW cutting back or “sacrificing” those points or any of his game. He is a glue guy. He is the guy who is going to direct traffic."

Games Played Assumption: Plays all 38 games, as was case last year