Wisconsin Plus/Minus

Dylan Burkhardt

Note: There were two errors in the lineup data. They were with lineups: L-LP-H-N-G and D-LP-H-N-S. Just a sloppy mistake, thanks to GoBlue for pointing it out.

I added points allowed, points scored, per 40, points allowed per 40, and points scored per 40, and normal (+/- divided by square root of minutes) to the tables. These are all pretty self explanatory and they are an attempt to correct for the number of minutes played as well as find out whether contributions are coming on offense or defense. The cells are color coded green to red, and also sortable (click the column headings). If you are looking for more traditional post game thoughts, they are here.

Wisconsin Game Individual +/-:

Name All. Sc. +/- Min Per40 All./40 Sc./40 Normal
Lee 12 22 10 15 26.67 32.00 58.67 2.58
Gibson 15 22 7 14 20.00 42.86 62.86 1.87
Puls 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Wright 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Shepherd 7 6 -1 4 -10.00 70.00 60.00 -0.50
Douglass 38 34 -4 20 -8.00 76.00 68.00 -0.89
Merritt 22 15 -7 11 -25.45 80.00 54.55 -2.11
Lucas-Perry 55 46 -9 30 -12.00 73.33 61.33 -1.64
Grady 25 16 -9 11 -32.73 90.91 58.18 -2.71
Novak 66 51 -15 33 -18.18 80.00 61.82 -2.61
Sims 58 43 -15 29 -20.69 80.00 59.31 -2.79
Harris 67 50 -17 33 -20.61 81.21 60.61 -2.96

Total Individual +/- (NCCU & Wisconsin):

Name All. Sc. +/- Min Per40 All./40 Sc./40 Normal
Douglass 61 77 16 37 17.30 65.95 83.24 2.63
Novak 72 88 16 48 13.33 60.00 73.33 2.31
Lee 19 26 7 19 14.74 40.00 54.74 1.61
Grady 61 70 9 38 9.47 64.21 73.68 1.46
Sims 109 115 6 63 3.81 69.21 73.02 0.76
Harris 117 123 6 69 3.48 67.83 71.30 0.72
Puls 2 2 0 1 0.00 80.00 80.00 0.00
Gibson 40 39 -1 28 -1.43 57.14 55.71 -0.19
Wright 6 5 -1 3 -13.33 80.00 66.67 -0.58
Shepherd 31 27 -4 17 -9.41 72.94 63.53 -0.97
Merritt 43 34 -5 24 -8.33 71.67 56.67 -1.02
Lucas-Perry 89 80 -9 53 -6.79 67.17 60.38 -1.24

Some thoughts…..

Lee and Gibson were the only ones to post positive +/- totals against Wisconsin and they both played around 15 minutes.

Lee played better than I thought and he did a good job running the offense but where he really shined appears to be defense. CJ had the fewest points allowed per 40 minutes of anyone on the team and it wasn’t close. The offense was only mediocre when CJ was on the floor 58.67 points scored per 40 minutes but that was still better than Merritt and Grady. Speaking of Dave and Kelvin, the reason neither of them played much is pretty clear — they were getting abused on defense and posted very high “points allowed per 40” numbers.

Gibson posted a surprising +7 against Wisconsin and even more surprisingly it was because of his defensive numbers. Gibson’s high numbers point to a couple things. First, it really helped to have his size in there even though he is pretty soft and not a good rebounder. Second, DeShawn Sims was getting abused on defense and wasn’t assertive on offense. Watching the tape there were numerous times that Jon Leuer or Joe Krabbenhoft would blow by DeShawn and get in the lane for an easy shot or dish to a wide open player. DeShawn was the weakest link on defense yesterday in my opinion.

It’s hard to take that much from guys like Novak, Sims, and Harris who all played around 30 minutes because their numbers fall in line with the total of the game for the most part. The people with positive +/- numbers after two games are Douglass, Lee, Novak, and Grady. 2 games still is too small of a sample size to distinguish much in my opinion.

It’s also becoming clear that Stu Douglass being in the game is good for the offense. He has the highest “points scored per 40 minutes” of anyone on the team by a wide margin. Ignore Puls’ numbers because he only played a minute and Stu is around 10 points per 40 minutes higher than anyone else on the team. Stu’s numbers aren’t bad on defense and I think both his and Zack’s numbers continue to look good because they are smooth at running the offense.


Michigan only played the 1-3-1 zone on 11 possessions and they played man (and the trapping press late in the game) for 49. Wisconsin scored 14 points in the 11 possessions they played 1-3-1 and scored on 6/11 (54%) possessions for 1.27 points per possession. The Badgers averaged 1.20 points per possession against the man to man and scored on 28 out of 49 (57%) possessions.

Those numbers don’t really say much because they are really pretty close but I still think I would have liked to see a little more 1-3-1 to at least change it up. Wisconsin got some really easy baskets on the 1-3-1 but it wasn’t like we were shutting them down in the man-to-man.


Wisconsin Line Up +/-:

Lineup Mins All. Scr. +/- Per40 A/40 S/40 Normal
G-LP-L-Sh.-G 2 2 6 4 80.00 40.00 120.00 2.828427
L-D-H-G-S 3 0 4 4 53.33 0.00 53.33 2.309401
G-LP-L-N-G 0.5 0 1 1 80.00 0.00 80.00 1.414214
L-LP-H-N-G 2 2 3 1 20.00 40.00 60.00 0.707107
D-LP-H-N-S 6 13 13 0 0.00 86.67 86.67 0
G-LP-L-N-S 0.5 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0
L-LP-H-N-S 4 4 4 0 0.00 40.00 40.00 0
M-LP-L-N-G 2 2 2 0 0.00 40.00 40.00 0
M-LP-L-N-S 1 2 2 0 0.00 80.00 80.00 0
D-LP-H-N-G 4 7 6 -1 -10.00 70.00 60.00 -0.5
G-LP-H-N-G 1 2 0 -2 -80.00 80.00 0.00 -2
G-LP-H-Sh.-S 2 5 0 -5 -100.00 100.00 0.00 -3.53553
G-LP-H-N-S 5 16 9 -7 -56.00 128.00 72.00 -3.1305
M-D-H-N-S 7 18 11 -7 -40.00 102.86 62.86 -2.64575

Michigan played 14 different lineups on Wednesday and a lot of them we hadn’t seen yet this year. Only 2 lineups that we saw in the Wisconsin game were ones that we also saw in the North Carolina Central game (G-LP-H-N-S and G-LP-H-N-G). These two repeat lineups were pretty successful against NCCU (+11 combined) but against Wisconsin they were -9 combined. I didn’t include a total table because these were the only two lineups that were seen in both games.

The best defensive lineups all had CJ Lee at point guard or small forward and all of the lineups that posted negative plus minus numbers didn’t have CJ Lee. There were only 4 groups that “won” their time on the court and they didn’t play very much time.

I’m not really sure what more to take from these numbers because we saw so many different line ups. I think that in itself is frustrating because I would have liked to see a more established rotation going into the Big Ten season. It will be interesting to see whether CJ will continue to play more minutes or Douglass will see more time at point guard or whether those were just products of Wisconsin’s style of play. When so few lineups play together more than once I think it’s hard to establish much continuity.

I’d love to hear more suggestions about this data and any conclusions you guys might take from it. Happy New Year to everyone and hopefully the 2009 side of the Big Ten season will be a bit more friendly to Michigan starting this Sunday.

  • Voice of Reason

    I think you’ve done a great job with this information, so please keep up the good work. What I ask myself just reviewing it quickly is “what was John Beilein seeing and responding to when he was coaching and watching the floor?” He obviously had something he was trying to do and when it didn’t work, maybe he was going to plan B, then plan C, etc. When they’re shooting 60% and you’re shooting 30/40 % and you can’t stop them as a coach maybe you tinker a bit more?

    Happy New Year!!!

  • Blazerine

    Very nice tables/charts. I’m a fan of #’s myself but I think in certain situations (this being one of them) you may not be able to infer as much as you might want to. It’s very interesting to see the Lee & Gibson breakdowns as well.

    If I had more time I’d try to make myself clear but this is the ONE thing that really got to me about yesterday’s game. Shep (Air Canada) played 4 minutes? Arguably one of (if not the best) defender on the club, given his size and athletic ability. I would have liked to have seen a whole lot more Shep. I don’t know if he’s in the dog house or what but his game has been improving and he gives us more size, which was a bid disadvantage against Wisconsin.

    And I understand Novak played a really good game. But I’d have liked to seen Shep get 15-20 minutes. Yeh, Novak played the best game of his life but move him to the 3 if you need to bring Shep in. Manny still knows the 2 and leave Grady/Douglass/Merritt/LLP @ point.

  • Merlin

    I am abit uncertain what these statistics add to analysis of the game. I guess we will need to see the whole season and decide if anything is learned by them. It can to some extent assuage our fears “0h no here comes Gibson and Lee we are going to collapse”. On the other hand it cannot change how Beilein ultimately decides who will play. I think the most interesting thing is how many lineups he tried. This is unsettling and may contribute to the poor defensive performance. We need to see as the season goes on if the defense is this bad or if Wisconsin was just hot this game. I fear the former-the defense will not be able to bail us out when we cannot shoot.

    Another reason for all the lineup shuffles-Beilein likes to send messages by sitting players down and he sat Deshawn and Manny alot in the first half. By the second half he gave up on that because I am guessing he saw sitting Manny would be worse than just letting him try to play through it.

  • The lineups also come from CJ playing PG for the first time all year (new combination every lineup that CJ is involved in) as well as sending messages to Manny and Peedi in the first half.

    I agree we still have to feel out what we can infer… Hopefully once we have 4-5 Big Ten games behind us we can get a better idea.

  • Giddings

    Wow Dylan, just when I thought this site couldn’t get any better you roll out these awesome tables complete with color coding AND all the sorting you could ever want. Great stuff!

    I myself am also a numbers guy, and while numbers don’t always tell the whole story, they are a great way of taking an objective look at things. For example, all the Gibson-haters out there probably saw Zack miss a shot or two in the game and thought “c’mon, Gibson is awful, get him out of there now!”. But then you go back and look at the numbers and see that he was actually helping us more than hurting us.

    Of course, some may look at the fact that Gibson and Lee’s +/- were at the very bottom for NC Central and at the very top for Wisconsin and think “these numbers don’t really tell us anything”, but that’s why it’s key to separate the game-by-game numbers with the cumulative numbers.

    Just because Gibson had a high +/- yesterday doesn’t mean he should be playing more than Sims… it just means that Peedi had a bad day (possibly because of the cold or his ankle) while Zack did not.

    I’m really interested in the cumulative +/- and how it starts to shape up… as soon as I saw Stu and Zack at the top I just smiled and thought “Beilein is a genious for getting these guys because they’re exactly what he wants”.

    One more thing – I thought LLP played too many minutes against Wisconsin. He’s still getting in “game shape”, he didn’t really impress me on defense, and his shot wasn’t falling.

  • Bluebufoon

    Here is a blurb on Matt Vogrich from the Chicago Sun-times:

    “…. This is no secret, but the Hoops Report loves Matt Vogrich’s game and his presence on the floor. In a game featuring two high-major college prospects — Lake Forest’s Vogrich and Sterling’s Joseph Bertrand — it was one player (Vogrich) rising to the occasion and lifting his team to a win. Vogrich scored 24, was big down the stretch and lifted Lake Forest to the semis with a 53-51 win. While Bertand did play pretty well overall, the concerns that constantly dog Bertrand (toughness, being assertive, being the man — at least at the high school level) continue to re-surface.”

  • PeteM

    I was surprised that CJ’s numbers came out that high, but he’s been a favorite of mine since last based on the obvious intensity with which he plays.

    Manny’s a great player, but is sometimes frustrating to watch as he tries to drive into 3 guys. He needs to learn to pick his spots (or pass before he gets trapped).

  • Ky Fox

    Love the stat break down Dylan. I was at the game and it was absolutley painfull to watch! The things I think led to the loss are very correctable. I think that game exploited our youth. While looking at all the breakdowns of the game it boils down to just a couple factors for me.

    1.) Intensity/defense. We have to learn to bring it 110% every game out, especially in the big ten, as there will be NO gimmies. Manny needs to step it up on the defensive end on a consistant basis.

    2.) I look down the rosters of both teams and I find only one player from wisconsin who is physically more talented and or more of a threat than anyone on our roster. The one player they have who should pose a threat is Hughes. Outside of Hughes we should win the individual battles most of the time, and that clearly did not happen Wednesday. Wisconsin stays so painfully true and fundamental to the lifeless system that bo ryan demands. They are one of the most unenjoyable teams to watch in the history of basketball. We need to understand that every time they have the ball we should be ready to defend for at least 30 seconds…at least It was as if we were intimidated or something, I couldnt figure it out…it just goes back to we have to raise the intensity level, and stay patient.

    3.) Like many of you said before I could not understand the abandonment of Shep. I know some of the numbers do not lie but Gibson is begining to be such a liability on both ends of the floor. I understand he had the and 1 to spark a run but they are few and far between. Defensivley he is the biggest liability we have. JB is going to have to figure out a better defensive rotation, even if we go slightly smaller with shep. While Gibson is 6’10” he does not play like he is one of the bigger guys on the floor, he plays like one of the smaller guys.. sadly enough.
    This is just a slight concern of mine, and its the lack of any post prescense on this team. In games such as the wisky game when perimeter shots are not falling, you have to continue to play solid defense, and have a plan b on offense. You have to have a pinch of low post offense, because if you do not and the team hits a shooting slump you have no other forms of putting the ball in the hoop. Low percentage shots(shots/points in the paint) are nescissary for a balanced team. My hopes are that when we have able bigs(Cronin, Jordan Morgan, McLimans) that JB adds a little bit of a low post ingredient to our recipe. I know that its not particularily his style but if you look at history, and highly sucessfull programs, they all have BALANCE.

  • Ky Fox

    But its only one game. We need to refocus and come out on top against Illinois

  • You’re putting me to shame, man.

  • Andy

    The biggest thing that stood out to me in this game is size, and Michigan has a problem with it. Novak had a big scoring and rebounding game, but it doesn’t surprise me to see his “effect on the game” #s were poor. I just don’t think we can expect to succeed playing him at the 4. Watching him try to defend Landry was painful. He was in position to get about 12-14 rebounds, but only ended up with 8 because he just got out jumped several times.

    Second thing we commented on while sitting at the game is that when playing a team like Wisconsin, Gibson and Sims need to be playing together. The short spurt that they played together was one of the most successful periods of the game in our immediate observation and this data backs it up. I certainly don’t think Gibson is a superstar of any variety, but having him out there makes every defensive matchup better for us and it just feels more solid. Man would it have been nice to have Ekpe in that one…

    Three, it seemed like Krabenoff (sp) was man handling Manny all day. I know that is kind of the way the Big Ten works, but if the rest of the season continues like that, it’s going to be a long season.

  • jg

    Cool stuff Dylan, will be interesting to see how these stats evolve as the season progresses.

    Wednesday’s game wasn’t particularly interesting. Wisconsin just hit every shot, we couldn’t heat up, and they never let us make a run. Their help defense was absolutely ridiculous and they doubled on pretty much every dribble drive situation and dared us to beat them from behind the arc.

    Yeah we got a little sloppy in the second half but when manny isn’t converting close to the basket and we’re not shooting the three ball exceptionally we are going to have a very hard time winning the game, especially when the other team isn’t shooting lights out. I was surprised we were only down 12 with eight minutes to go.

    A defensive UFR sorta thing would be neat, since I actually thought our defense in the first half was a lot better than it was in the second. I remember Wisconsin getting more easy baskets after halftime.

    I’m not particularly discouraged with the performance. It was just one of those they played one of their better games and we played one of our worst. I still think we win that game six or seven times out of 10 and I think we can get it back when we go to Madison with a better all around performance.

    However, the Illinois game is much more important now. Losing the first two conference games at home would is obviously worst-case scenario territory and we’re back on that tournament bubble. We really can’t afford to go into Indiana and Iowa having confidence issues.

  • MattNYC

    I’m not a huge +/- fan, and I think it’s usefulness with just one game of data is about nill, that said, it can be useful for judging how well certain players play together and for judging “what you see” when you watch the game live or on tape.

    That said, Simms was clearly a sieve on defense and the data backs that up. Having him in their with a “big body” like Gibson might help that problem, although Gibson is so soft and slow that I’m not sure how much of a presence on defense he can be, even at 6-11.

    I echo the thoughts of most of you guys. Michigan played poorly, Wisky played well, not that much to take out of it other than gotta win the next one now.

    Playing all those cupcakes in a row then the Big 11 schedules this game when the students are on break — not a great recipe for success.

    Hopefully Beilein evens out the holiday schedule in the upcoming years so that they play at least one solid team in the weeks leading up to Big 11 play. Another top 50 team like Maryland at home would have been perfect, perhaps that can change into a home and home.

  • UMDC

    This is all really interesting stuff.

    The thing that makes this data hard for me to evaluate (besides there being only one game’s worth of numbers) is that there isn’t any real sense of who these guys are playing against. I know it’s Wisconsin, but all Wisconsin players and line-ups are not the same (the same would go for any team we would play). I’m sure someone has already mentioned this, I haven’t looked back at the comments on earlier versions.

    Are Lee and Gibson looking great in these numbers because they played really well (from watching the game in person I would say Lee did play really well, but I’m not so sure about Gibson), or are their numbers great because they happened to be on the court when Wisconsin was resting their best players? I’m just wondering if there would be any way to control for the quality of the Wisconsin team these players and lineups are facing.

    It was easy to outscore and play defense against the Bulls in the 90s when Jordan and Pippen were on the bench.

  • Giddings

    I was doing some more thinking about why Stu’s offensive +/- is so high (same for Novak) even when he himself is not scoring. I think this really supports the theory that many of us had even before the season that having legitimate 3-point threats (and DEEP 3-point threats) on the floor would open things up a little more for Manny to slash and Peedi to work the low post.

    Imagine when we get Vogrich in there next year…

  • jmblue

    Wow, great stuff! I love the charts. It’ll be really interesting to follow these over the course of the season.

  • TCKTS:

    I have 2 Michigan v Illinois Tickets in blue for tomorrow. I cannot use the tickets. I can get them to will call, or arrange to meet before the game. Section 52, Row 19. Email if interested.

  • ryan

    Will most the students be back? I know they start class on Wednesday. The team feeds off there energy. I hope the maize rage is filled up.

  • This game is NOT in the student ticket package. Students can get in free with an M-Card but they would have to sneak into the Maize Rage.

  • Tisdale and Davis will be a load. Both can knock down jumpers, especially Davis (made a ton versus Purdue) If there ever was a time for Gibson to play great D, it would be on Sunday.

  • GoBlue

    I love the charts that you have done. I think they really help you see an awful lot with a few numbers. I especially like the one which shows you the numbers by the lineups, since basketball is a team sport getting a feel how each of the lineups plays against the opponent is helpful.

    There is one curious number in the Lineups chart that has me somewhat confused, on the D-LP-H-N-S (forth from the bottom) the Scr. for this lineup is -8 and the +/- was -5.

  • Dylan

    good call goblue. I’m on my phone but I’ll double check it later.