The basketball season is getting closer men, with that lets take a quick look around the Big 12. Some teams still have eligibility issues (us) and many others are still trying to figure out who will fill in the holes left from graduation or early departure to the NBA (also us). Using the plus/minus that I tracked last year, I figured each team's returning contributors and their losses from last season's top 10 players. Hopefully the rosters at ESPN are accurate because going through each team's official site would have been a little too much work.
To review, the plus/minus is a very simplistic way of looking at a basketball box score. Each player is credited or docked depending on what they contributed. A player will get a +1 for each point, rebound, assist, steal, and block. A player is docked a point for each field goal attempt, free throw miss, turnover, and foul. This isn't anything new or fancy but it does give me an easy way to calculate it and the scoring system fits what I want to see in a team. If anyone has some ideas, share them in the comments and I'll be happy to listen or justify why I'm doing something a certain way.
Below you'll find the graph and some other thoughts on some of the things I notice.
*sorry about image quality...Google Docs changed their publishing options and it's not playing nice with SB Nation at the moment.
- Colorado returns 4 of their top 5 from last season, led by Alec Burks and Cory Higgins. If they have a smooth transition with their new coach (not a given, huh guys?), they could easily be the surprise team of the Big 12 this year.
- Texas Tech also returns their key players from last season. Pat Knight said it himself in the last week, they return a lot and it is "a get-an-extension or a get-fired kind of year".
- It's easy to see why KU's depth was a hot topic last season. After losing three players to the NBA, we still bring back the 3rd highest plus/minus from last season.
- Preseason Big 12 favorite Kansas State brings back the 4th highest total. Kind of surprising to me here actually because the plus/minus wasn't a fan of K-State all last year due to their free throw shooting and leading the conference in turnovers. Can they overcome those same issues again?
- Jeff Capel better hope he is either the best coach or recruiter in the nation because their 2010-11 season isn't looking good from here.