Looking at the 2013 Ivy League with Value Add

Ed. Note: This is a guest post from the creator of Value Add, John Pudner. A big thanks to him for putting this together. You can watch him speak here.

Last year when I produced the Value Add equations to pinpoint how many points each player would be worth to his team over a replacement player, Big Apple Buckets stumped me with a question that it’s taken me a year to adequately answer. Today I finally have the answer in the creation of a database of all players that allows you to check the value of every player over EITHER a typical BCS replacement player OR a replacement level Low-Major player:


If you go to the page and choose the “Low-Major” option at the top, then pick “Ivy” in the conference field and “2013” in the year, the following will be the team’s total projected Value Add for next year:

Low Major VA
Harvard total 49.59
Princeton total 29.86
Penn total 27.93
Columbia total 25.53
Cornell total 17.94
Yale total 12.66
Dartmouth total 12.03
Brown total 10.40


No surprise that Harvard is a runaway favorite, while Columbia does bring enough Value Add back to potentially break into the top half, particularly if Penn’s great recruiting class of freshmen take a little while to fill some big shoes.  (I should disclose my parents met at Columbia, and my brother is a UPenn law grad, but I am a pure number cruncher.)

The problem with projecting low-major conferences when I first put out the formula last year was that a team with one player who would be dominant even at the BCS level – such as Ken Horton of Central Connecticut who was the 25th most valuable player in the country last year with a 6.79% Value Add, would appear to dominate the NEC by himself.  The NEC only had three other players good enough to start for a BCS team (3% is a BCS starter, and each of them were between 3% and 4%). However, Horton was a one-man team while other NEC teams had lots of players who were a 0% at the BCS level – because they would not have been good enough to be in the 8-man rotation – but added tremendous value in a low-major.

The link above now gives you the option of seeing how valuable a player would be to a BCS team, or how valuable he would be in Low Major play.  Measuring Horton against the average 8th man on a Low-Major team, his Value Add is even stronger at 11.33%, but that is overwhelmed by Long Island’s four dominant players in Julian Boyd (7.23%, 67th best low major player), Jamal Olasewere (7%, 75th), CJ Garner (4.62%, 232nd), Jason Brickman (4.52%, 242nd best) and an equally impressive group from Wagner. In other words, add Horton to a team who would have otherwise been tied at the end of regulation 70-70, and his 11.33% gives his team an 8-point win.  Add the four great Long Island players, and their combined 23.37% Value Add gives the team a 16-point win.

McCollum could challenge Curry for best low major

CJ McCollum’s stunning return to Lehigh instead of going to the NBA makes him easily the top projected low major player for next year. We had to list a dozen deep to get the top Ivy Leaguer. The 2013 Value Adds are projected based on freshman rankings compared to how productive similarly ranked players were last year, and for returning players the average progression of players each year (the biggest jump in Value is freshmen becoming sophomores):

Projection Player School Height Proj 2013
1 C.J. McCollum Lehigh 6’3″ 14.80
2 Nate Wolters South Dakota St. 6’4″ 12.53
3 Robert Covington Tennessee St. 6’8″ 11.89
4 Mike Muscala Bucknell 6’11” 11.70
5 Torrey Craig South Carolina Upstate 6’6″ 11.09
6 Ike Azotam Quinnipiac 6’7″ 10.91
7 Eric Ferguson Georgia Southern 6’7″ 10.49
8 Terell Parks Western Illinois 6’7″ 10.35
9 De’Mon Brooks Davidson 6’7″ 10.29
10 Kerron Johnson Belmont 6’1″ 9.83
11 Mike Groselle The Citadel 6’8″ 9.71
12 Ian Hummer Princeton 6’7″ 9.52


In fact, McCollum already put up the 8th best season of any Low Major player since the ratings start in 2006, and if he does just a little better than his projection next year, he could pass Stephen Curry as the most valuable Low Major player in the system – as Curry now has the top two seasons.

Stephen Curry Davidson 6’3″ 15.23 2009 SC
Stephen Curry Davidson 6’2″ 15.16 2008 SC
George Hill IUPUI 6’2″ 14.25 2008 Sum
Lester Hudson Tennessee Martin 6’2″ 13.58 2009 OVC
Bobby Dixon Troy 13.52 2006 SB
Arizona Reid High Point 6’5″ 13.26 2008 BSth
Kenneth Faried Morehead St. 6’8″ 13.21 2011 OVC
C.J. McCollum Lehigh 6’3″ 13.11 2012 Pat
Damian Lillard Weber St. 6’2″ 13.07 2012 BSky
Ibrahim Jaaber Pennsylvania 6’2″ 12.80 2006 Ivy


The Formula

For those of you really into the details, below is the formula – and please do email any corrections for transfers I may have missed or anything else to jpudner@concentricgrasstops.com:

To calculate offensive value add vs. low major competition, the figure of .8435 below is used instead of the .9435 for BCS Offensive Value Add:

valueWithBall = oRtg /(oppD * .8435)

valueOnCourt = (valueWithBall * poss) + (100 – poss)

valueAdd = ((valueOnCourt – 100) * (min/100))

(if valueAdd < 0 then it is set to 0)

To calculate defensive value add, the figure of 110 below is used instead of the 100 for BCS Defensive Value Add:

teamStops = ((adjd – 110) + ((teamBlock – 9.2)*.217) + ((teamStl – 9.4)*.957) + ((100 – or) – 67.3)) * .2;

 drtg = teamStops + (.217*(1.84 – blk%)) + (.957*(1.88 – stl%)) + (.163*(13.46 – dr%))

 valueSub = (drtg * min) / 100

Ed Note 2: I’d highly recommend you go check out the ranking of all the Ivy League players for 2013. Some things might surprise you!

4 thoughts on “Looking at the 2013 Ivy League with Value Add

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