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Indeed There Was Wisdom in the VUHoops Crowd

Wisdom of Crowds Final -- CrowdLast summer, 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 2009-10 season. [Big Man Recap] [Guard Recap] [4 Guard Set Recap]

Now that the season is over, we take a look back to see how our W.O.C. predictions compared with actual results. The table below summarizes predicted vs. actual MPGs.

Player Predicted
R. Redding 24.1 27.8 3.7
A. Pena 21.9 24.9 3.0
M. Sutton 7.4 10.3 2.9
C. Stokes 24.7 26.0 1.3
J. Colenda 1.8 3.0 1.2
I. Armwood 10.0 11.0 1.0
T. King 18.5 19.0 0.5
M. Wayns 14.7 15.0 0.3
R. Wooten 1.8 1.4 (0.4)
S. Reynolds 31.5 30.3 (1.2)
C. Fisher 28.5 27.0 (1.5)
D. Cheek 15.8 13.5 (2.3)
M. Yarou 23.1 15.0 (8.1)

Generally our predictions we pretty close to the mark, but there were a couple of surprises.  The biggest are listed below.


MOUPHTAOU YAROU: … ▼9.6 MPG… predicted 23.1 MPG; actual 15.0 MPG

YarouWhat we were thinking last summer:  (Colt) … “Mouph’s biggest adjustment will be with the speed of the game at the next level. Jay won’t be limiting Mouph’s minutes as much as cheap fouls will. Mouph will have to figure out how to stay in the game as much as play it.”


REGGIE REDDING: … ▲3.7 MPG… predicted 24.1 MPG; actual 27.8 MPG

ReddingWhat we were thinking last summer: (Stan) … “I just don’t see that many minutes for Reggie. We have too many guys coming in who can do things well. They are going to get their chance because Reggie is out until December 18.” (Nick ’09) … “If you get a chance to look back at the tournament games, Redding was absolutely dynamic. If he works on his shot and his confidence, I think there’s more than decent chance that he becomes a “go-to-guy.”


ANTONIO PENA: …  ▲3.0… predicted 21.9 MPG; actual 24.9 MPG

PenaWhat we were thinking last summer:  (Regred) … “Pena is perhaps the most interesting player going into next season. He seems ripe for a breakout season and certainly has the tools to accomplish it. He just needs to get it together mentally. I hope he learned from Dante and put in the work over the summer.”


MAURICE SUTTON: … ▲2.9 MPG… predicted 7.4 MPG; actual 10.3 MPG

SuttonWhat we were thinking last summer:  (Brian 06) … “This kid has the height and instincts to be a good player. He’s just got to get his body ready to deal with the big men in the Big East.”


DOMINIC CHEEK: … ▼2.3 MPG… predicted 15.8 MPG; actual 13.5 MPG

CheekWhat we were thinking last summer:  (Joegrane) … “With the graduation of Dwayne Anderson and with Reggie's problems, this team really needs someone to defend opposing SGs and SFs.  Cheek's length and athleticism makes him very well suited for this, but he has so much to learn.  Considering how much Jay loves guys who defend, Cheek could earn many more minutes than we'd otherwise expect for a freshman.”


COREY FISHER: … ▼1.5 MPG… predicted 28.5 MPG; actual 27.0 MPG

FisherWhat we were thinking last summer:  (Joegrane) … “Fisher's situation makes me nervous.  He has the quickness to play point in the NBA but lacks range on his shot and is not a great distributer.  What happens if he develops that range on his shot and his ability to distribute this season?   Jay has to protect the team in the event of an early exit by Fisher by getting minutes for Wayns this season.   He can do that through a modest reduction in Scottie's minutes, by not increasing the minutes for Reggie and only slightly increasing the minutes for Cory Fisher”


We’ll run another series this summer once the 2010-11 roster is settled.  Until then, let us know what surprised you the most about our 2009-10 WOC results.