March 6, 2012

Kevin Jones: The case for player of the year

Kevin Jones is the Player of the Year. Jae Crowder may carry home some metal, but KJ is the Player of the Year. He is what I affectionately call a Dirt Dog - blue collar, relentless, intelligent, consistent - and he has been since his freshman year. That he elevated his game and forcibly led this team to an NCAA berth would merit POY consideration before even looking at the numbers.

There are plenty of numbers that would support that conclusion. At the outer reaches of stat geekdom, there are metrics used to isolate a player's impact. They are useful for uncovering players that might be off the national radar or evaluating how a player might adapt to different personnel or a new system.

They are widely used by NBA scouts. In both - Value Add and Four Pettinella - KJ and Crowder are statistically identical. It is important to note that those same statgeeks have found a strong inverse correlation between usage (percentage of possessions) and efficiency, meaning the more a player touches the ball the less good touches he will have. As you likely assumed, WVU uses KJ on a higher percentage of possessions than Marquette uses Crowder, yet Kevin rates higher in Offensive Rating (125.1 to 123.8) and the percentage of scoring possession, called Floor Percentage (61.0 to 58.6).

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