Saturday, January 12, 2019

Duke's Zion' #1 Ranked Defender, #2 Offense After Howard's 53-pt Game

For those of you not on the sports email list, please like @valueaddsports and send an email to with the subject field "add to sports email list." Here is te email sent the morning of Jan 12, 2019

Duke's Zion; #1 Ranked Defender, #2 Offense after Howard's 53-pt game


John Pudner, Value Add Sports via 

11:35 AM (42 minutes ago)
to me
Duke's Zion Williamson ranks as the top defender of 4,088 college basketball players, and just missed being the only player to ever ranked as both the best offensive and defensive player in the country at the same time when Markus Howard's Big East record 53-point performance nudged him out for the top spot in the new Value Add Basketball rankings..
The rankings for all 4,088 players can be sorted by conference or team at, or on this google sheet for those who want to export the data, and you are free to reuse as long as your reference To better able you to give credit to more players on your team or conference, we also noted any player who ranks as one of the top 500 defensive or offensive players in the notes column. We are working on a temporary glitch in the database that is causing each player to appear twice, so keep in mind if a players ranking is listed twice just cut the ratings in half (e.g. if ranking is 999 and 1000, he is really the 500th ranked player). A 9999 appears by any player who is not ranked.
The thing that sets the Value Add Basketball rankings apart from others is the calculation of how well players guard opponents as part of the ranking, which we outline using the pretty bad defense in the Marquette - Creighton game as a sample game. Please see the CBS Sports 247 story including the interview with Markus Howard by clicking on the image below, and this story also provides a sample table of how everything a player does in a game to help or hurt his team - including many mistakes such as the foul, turnovers and missed shots by Howard that were more than offset by his 44 positive plays during his 43 minutes on the court. For those of you who confuse Markus and me, it is true we are/were both Marquette journalism students, but I was the better shot blocker during my runs to the Marquette intramural Final Four and two more recent titles (Wetumpka YMCA, Montgomery YMCA) and he is the one with the top four scoring games - 53, 52, 45, 45 - in 101 years of actual Marquette basketball. After watching this interview and listening to my kids ridicule my jokes, I believe he is also a lot more funny than I am. The full disclosure that I am a Marquette fan is provided also with a note that the rankings for all seasons from 2002 to current are all based on the formulas I developed that were covered by Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Fox Sports and others, so my personal opinions do not impact any player's ranking whether he be at Marquette or my hometown Auburn or one of the other 351 Division 1 schools. See also the @valueaddsports Facebook or blog for more information on my basketball and baseball projections. - John Pudner, 404.606.3163

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