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Wisdom of Crowds Recap Part III - Return of The Four Guard Set?

woc-table-62Concluding our Wisdom of Crowds Recap (Part I - The Guards, Part II - The Big Men), today we look at the results for the team as a whole, as summarized in the table above. The collective wisdom of the VUHoops Crowd is that our guards will account for 63% of the available game minutes next season. How does that compare to years past? The 2005-06 team, which reached the Elite Eight, deployed an innovative four-guard set to compensate for the loss of Sumpter and take advantage of speed and shooting of Foye, Ray, Lowry and Nardi. Guard play on that team accounted for only 61% of the team’s available minutes (Sheradan, Cunningham and Frasier accounted for most of the remaining minutes). The table on the next page compares our WOC projections to the actual guard / bigs split in the 2008-09 and 2005-06 seasons.

COMPARISON TO THIS CENTURY'S GREAT NOVA TEAMS

woc-year-comparison4

So, if the 2005-06 season marked the birth of the four-guard set, our poll suggests that the 2009-10 season will give birth to the four guard set on steroids. What does that mean for the looks we’ll see next season and the rotation patterns for a team that is 11 quality players deep? That sounds like fodder for another series!

Computational Methodology: A total of 1,839 votes were cast for the 13 players on next season’s roster. Each player received between 119 and 177 votes, certainly providing a “crowds’” perspective on each player. To calculate the MPG for each player, we first calculated the mid-point for each voting choice for the individual players. Next, we computed the weighted average MPG for each player based on the mid-points and the number of votes cast for each voting option. We then estimated the number of games each player would play over an assumed 38-game season, and using that estimate, computed the implied minutes for each player and the team as a whole (7,433 minutes, as shown in the top table). Not surprisingly, the implied minutes did not equal the total player minutes for a 38-game season (7,600 minutes, ignoring the possibility of overtime). Finally, we normalized the MPGs by proportionately increasing them for each player such that the aggregate minutes for the team as a whole equaled 7,600 (as shown in the top table).

Closing Remarks: In closing, we thank all the members of the VUHoops crowd for participating in our experiment, and GreyCat, editor of the outstanding and quantitatively-oriented Nova basketball blog, Villanova By The Numbers, for taking the time to opine on our methodology. It’s been a fun way to keep the buzz going about Nova basketball during the dog days of summer. We’ll take another look at the end of the season to see how close we came to the actual team MPGs.