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A Look into XU's Recent Plus Minus Statistics

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Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

One of the things that’s become increasingly popular in the NBA but has yet to catch on in college basketball is the use of plus minus statistics.  In a moment of frustration during the 15-1 Marquette run on Saturday I made a snide remark to my dad about how I would love to see some of Xavier’s player’s plus minus for the game, as I’d imagine some might not look so great.  In an effort to prove me wrong (which frankly, he did) he put together that exact statistic, which I have compiled for you today.

Let me start by explaining how the stat was calculated.  Plus/Minus is the net amount of points gained or lost by Xavier in a player’s time on the court.  For example, if while a player was in Xavier scored 20 and Marquette scored 15 that’s a plus 5.  If Marquette scored 23 and Xavier 15, that’s a minus 8.  To be totally honest I’m not sure if the NBA uses any tweaks in their calculation, but the only one made here was counting free throws towards the players on court at the time of the foul rather than the time of the free throw.  I have put together this data for the past 3 games not including DePaul, as the game film was unavailable.  Minutes played and points scored are also included.  Lets take a look.

We’ll start with Marquette.  The first thing you’ll notice is the total plus minus is off by one (39 while it should be margin of victory times players on the court or 8 x 5=40), and I apologize for that error but didn’t think it was large enough to warrant a recalculation.  The second thing you’ll notice is JP Macura had a heck of a game, going plus 22 in 31 minutes.  Going 7-7 from the field not including half court heaves will certainly help your plus minus on the offensive side, but it appears he made us better on defense as well.  From there, Bluiett, Sumner, Jalen, and Myles performed better relative to the others.

Next St. Johns.  The thing that really jumps out here is how balanced we look.  Not a single player had a negative plus minus which is pretty remarkable for a game we only won by 6.  On the other hand, no player really stands out either.

Finally Providence.  Farr seemingly had a positive effect on the game, going plus 13 in just 18 minutes.  Remy did as well going plus 8 in 21 minutes while only scoring 6 points, suggesting that he played a big role defensively.  Surprisingly, Bluiett was minus 2 while having a solid game.

Its safe to say this is way too small of a sample size to really make any assumptions and on top of that I'm not totally sure how the NBA uses the stat, although I'd be interested to hear if we have any experts in the comments.  With that said I thought it was interesting to see and thought others would be interested as well, so I figured I’d post it and let you all ignore it or over react as you see fit.  Maybe if I'm feeling inspired I can make this a reoccurring post after each game with a little more detailed analysis.

Let me know what you think and as always thanks for reading.