03-12-2010, 08:55 PM #1
John Wall: Numbers Don't Tell The Whole Story
Numbers sure are convenient. As a math teacher, I use them everyday to make comparisons, draw conclusions, and make decisions. Numbers can be useful to analyze individuals and teams in basketball as well– from comparing points scored and rebounds grabbed, to considering percentages of success. Numbers, however, remain the default factor in making many important basketball decisions, like choosing All-Conference players, making draft picks, and debating which player is “better.” While numbers may be symptomatic of a player’s effectiveness, they are rarely the cause. It is the qualities that contribute to a player’s effectiveness – his influence on his team, his will to win, his unselfishness – coupled with his basketball talents, that truly distinguish a great basketball player. It is therefore essential that we look at the right numbers before jumping to any conclusions.
Case in point: Let’s take a closer look at Kentucky freshman point guard, John Wall. He has been widely regarded as the best point guard in college basketball and the consensus #1 pick in this June’s NBA draft, yet his most commonly considered numbers - 16 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds (and 4 turnovers) per game – do not garner such praise alone.
But if we take a look at some of Walls’ more important numbers, his value becomes more apparent ...