Basketball season’s only been over for a month. But Bluejay basketball fans are talking about recruiting battles, offseason improvements, possible schedule additions for next season, and trips to the Bahamas. Throw in the anticipation for local Summer League basketball, and CU hoops is still on the minds of many die-hard fans.
To know where Creighton basketball going, I decided to take crack some numbers and take an analytical look at what occurred last season. During the past few seasons, I have done looked at the Creighton men’s basketball Win Score. The purpose? To cast a statistical conclusion about a players’ effectiveness as individuals.
The Win Score takes into account all of the statistics from the minutes played, to the points scored, and even including what they had for lunch (well maybe not). The Win Score is adjusted with the Expected Win Score based on the position they play. From there you can use the Position Adjusted Win Score to translate into wins produced. While it may be confusing, it still mostly tells the story of what we watched this season. Let’s dive into this season’s Win Score analysis and wins produced.
Win Score Wins 2010-11
Player Position Adjusted Win Score 1/29 Wins Produced 1/29 Position Adjusted Win Score EOS Wins Produced EOS
McDermott, Doug 0.28879
7.854929 0.30528 14.14812
Young, Antoine 0.17324
6.421811 0.17776 11.38064
Lawson, Jr.,, Kenny 0.28030
5.479094 0.28687 8.8985801
Echenique, Gregory 0.28344 3.474706 0.31959 8.864304
Ashford, Darryl 0.14967 3.913958 0.12796 4.892147
Korver, Kaleb 0.01810 1.891962 0.00548 2.563616
Manigat, Jahenns 0.02929 0.978306 0.05801 3.304898
Jones, Josh -0.01529 0.402634 0.00548 2.718681
Runnels, Wayne 0.12996 1.691336 0.13321 2.98611
Wragge, Ethan 0.09382 0.544187 0.09382 0.544187
Stormberg, Taylor -0.25200 -0.15859 -0.2366 -0.25049
Harriman, Casey -0.09961 -0.01557 -0.0996 -0.01557
Sebastian, Derek 0.09800 0.04381 -0.1832 -0.06435
Ferrarini, Ross -0.29466 -0.07006 -0.1806 -0.07473
Dorwart, Matt -0.21500 -0.03056 -0.3221 -0.12197
*The break points were 22 games in, after the Indiana State game January 29, and the end of the season against Oregon in the CBI Championship games.
What is exciting to see is that three of the top four in this listing — Doug McDermott, Antoine Young, and Gregory Echenique — will be back next season.
What you would expect to see from the middle of the season to the end is that the Win Score should have produced double the amount of wins by the end to show a level of consistency. McDermott and Young were the most consistent this season, and the Win Score Wins Produced show that as their number of wins almost doubled over the final 16 games of the season.
If you combine Kenny Lawson and Gregory Echenique as one person (similar to Otter’s infamous combination of Jeffony Tolliday — Jeff Day and Anthony Tolliver), then the numbers show the doubling of wins from a little over halfway through the season to the end of the season. However, if you actually look at the Adjusted Win Score (adjusted based on the position they play), the results show that Echenique was the most important player on the court in the games he participated in this season. It was even higher than Doug McDermott’s Adjusted Win Score. Everything looked to come together for Gregory once Creighton started play in the CBI. That is exciting to see heading into 2011-12.
Doug McDermott: We all have watched Doug grow into a record setter this year as a freshman, and his Win Score numbers back it up. His Wins Produced was a team leading 14.14812, which is actually just under Kenny Lawson’s 14.67 from last season. Lawson’s numbers were pretty impressive based on Creighton’s struggles in 2009-2010. What hurt McDermott from having an even better Win Score and Wins Produced were turnovers. He led the team with 87. However, it is hard to dispute that without McDermott this season, the Bluejays would have struggled exponentially.
The Five Seniors: Going from one extreme to the other is looking at the five seniors on this year’s team. It was unfortunate that Casey Harriman couldn’t play this season. His Win Score numbers the past few seasons were pretty negligible, but his results always highlight a flaw in the Win Score stat: it doesn’t incorporate toughness. As we all watched as fans, we knew what Harriman brought to the court.
Kenny Lawson led the team in 2009-10 in Wins Produced (14.67) and the Adjusted Win Score (.465012). It appeared it was going to be his team to carry on his shoulders heading into his senior season. That didn’t work the way many thought it might. The Win Score stats from this season reflect some of that, with 8.9858 Wins Produced and a Position Adjusted Win Score of .286873. The pressure of being the preseason MVC Player of the Year and the team’s efforts to get Echenique ready to get back on the basketball court could have been reasons. But if you look at the stats, it was actually Echenique that took over some of the numbers produced by Lawson in the past. Lawson had the luxury of playing over 24 minutes a game last season. This season he was over 24 minutes a game through the first 9 games. But when Echenique became eligible, Lawson’s minutes went to under 18 a game the rest of the season. It took a while, but he eventually settled in his new role and made the most of it over the final 11 games.
Wayne Runnels is probably one of those guys who wishes he had one more season on the Hilltop. Playing somewhat out of position for his time here, he was productive when on the court. His position adjusted Win Score put him fifth on the team. Had Ethan Wragge been healthy this season, things might have been different for Runnels. With Wragge out, Runnels had to back up McDermott and with McDermott playing so well, it was hard to get Runnels on the court. He might have had an opportunity to play more of that small forward spot if it wasn’t for the front court depth.
Kaleb Korver and Darryl Ashford were the guys Greg McDermott looked to at the beginning of the season to help lead the Bluejays. They did what they could to carry the load, over the final 17 games of the season, the Wins Produced only increased slightly for Korver and Ashford.
Josh Jones and Jahenns Manigat: As Ashford and Korver struggled later in the season, Jones and Manigat made the most out of some opportunities to play more minutes. The Position Adjusted Win Score doesn’t show it, but from game 22 until the end of the season, their Win Score Wins Produced went up significantly basically from the improved play by both players. If Jones can play a full season at the same confidence level that he had in the second halves of his first two playing seasons, he could be a dangerous threat from outside or driving to the hoop. Manigat brings a full blast of energy to the court. Once he got comfortable and shook off the freshman shackles, the Canadian Red Bull ranked as the most improved player this season from beginning to end.
Antoine Young: You have to save the best for last. McDermott got a lot of the accolades this season, but Young quietly led the league in assist to turnover ratio for the second straight season and developed into one of best dual threat guards in the Valley. He can score, and he can distribute and create scoring opportunities for his teammates. His Win Score stayed consistent the whole season and he did the things it takes to produce wins. I would be very surprised if Young isn’t one of the Preseason All-Valley players heading into next season. His steady improvement can only translate into a phenomenal season in 2011-12. No pressure.
Initial Leaders: Creighton fans have to be excited heading into 2011-12 with a starting lineup based on Win Score of:
- Antoine Young
- Jahenns Manigat
- Josh Jones
- Doug McDermott
- Gregory Echenique
This is a great core to start from based on their performance at the end of the season. With a combined produced wins of 40 with this lineup heading into 2011-12, it is a lot better than the 30 produced wins from the 2009-10 lineup heading into 2010-11.
Next season will see the return of Ethan Wragge to the perimeter, and the return of Grant Gibbs to a college basketball roster. Gibbs, a transfer from Gonzaga, has been dealing with knee injuries and is ready to get back on the court. Wragge excelled during his freshman season as a Bluejay but had a setback this season with a foot injury. In the games he got to play in — Phil Martelli won’t forget his name — he can be an impact player next season with instant offense.
Will Artino has been patiently waiting for his opportunity to get on the court. The 6’10″ redshirt freshman has spent this season watching, learning, and adding some weight to his frame. Whether he gets minutes behind Echenique or even plays alongside of him with McDermott on the bench, he could be a tough matchup for opposing teams.
Freshman Roles: Outside of the starting five, there are a lot of question marks after that. If Wragge, Gibbs, and Artino aren’t ready to go, will the four freshman of Avery Dingman, Geoffrey Groselle, Nevin Johnson, and Austin Chatman be in a position to play significant minutes early? Will one of them emerge as another all-Freshman performer for the Bluejays?
Whether you give any credence to stats like the Win Score, it isn’t a stretch to say this offseason is full of intrigue for Creighton basketball fans. Will the program fill the last open scholarship? Will people play in the Metro Summer Basketball League? Will last year’s freshmen make even better improvements to their games? Will the incoming freshmen make a difference in the depth and ability of next year’s team?
What is your starting lineup heading into next year?