Jae Crowder

Top 200 most valuable players in the country


Over the summer, a blogger named John Pudner — who does his work over at the Marquette blog Cracked Sidewalks — came up with a new metric that he termed “Value Add“. For those that are statistically-inclined, you can find the precise breakdown of what exactly “Value Add” means and how it is determined, but, essentially, it is the college basketball equivalent to the baseball’s Wins Over Replacement (WAR). in layman’s (read: NBC Blogger’s) terms, it is a stat to determine how much better a team is with a given player on the court instead of a regular Joe Schlub.

The post got plenty play over the summer and was embraced by the mainstream King of the Stat Geeks himself, Luke Winn. Yesterday morning, Pudner finally ran the numbers for this season and gave us the 200 most valuable players in the country.

And it should come as no surprise that Kentucky’s Anthony Davis checked in at No. 1.

What did come as a surprise, however, was the rest of the list.

I’ve been touting the play of Jae Crowder for a long time, and I haven’t been alone. He’s as well-rounded as any player in the country, and it shows. Crowder is the second-most valuable player in the country. He’s followed by West Virginia’s Kevin Jones, Damian Lillard of Weber State and Cody Zeller of Indiana.

Jordan Taylor, who was the nation’s most valuable player in 2011, is sixth while Player of the Year favorite, Thomas Robinson, checks in at seventh. Jared Sullinger is eight while John Shurna and Aaron Craft round out the top ten.

After the top ten is where the numbers start to get a little weird. Like, for example, how Shabazz Napier is the 11th most valuable player in the country, nearly 30 spots ahead of Mike Moser and Isaiah Canaan? Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is all the way down at 61st?

I’m not going to nitpick at the numbers too much. This really is some terrific work by Pudner and our friends over at Cracked Sidewalks. And who knows, maybe Shabazz Napier actually is more valuable to UConn than Kidd-Gilchrist is to Kentucky.

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student

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Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.