Women's basketball: Dykstra, Lennox, Hodgson top list of best performances of the year

Throughout the year, in our Top 10 trackers, we often kept track of the top Game Scores from each week. Now that the regular season is over (for the women, at least), we can look at who the top offensive performers were. The next two paragraphs provide the details.

Game Score is a simple stat meant to weigh a player's contributions. It's back-of-the-envelope, but more sophisticated metrics aren't really possible with the limited CIS stats we have available. It produces a number sort of similar to points per game--for example, when Kobe Bryant went off on the Raptors for 81 points he got a Game Score of 63.5 (it would have been higher had he not missed 18 shots, but that's just being picky). Chris Bosh has averaged about a 17.6 this year; LeBron James is at about 24.3. CIS averages will be smaller because it's a lower-scoring game.

The average game score for each player is adjusted based on his or her conference's average game score and on the RPI of the teams he or she played against. This (hopefully) controls for a tough schedule and puts the performance in league context. Ideally, we would adjust based on each team's defensive quality rather than RPI, but again, there's only so much sophistication we can do.

So we'll start with the women's results today; the men will follow once all their regular-season games are complete.

Top 10 adjusted Game Scores, 2008-2009
1. 15.6 Kayla Dykstra, Victoria (23 games played)
2. 11.6 Bess Lennox, Western (22)
3. 10.9 Kelsey Hodgson, Cape Breton (18)
4. 10.9 Anneth Him-Lazarenko, McGill (12)
5. 10.4 Renata Adamczyk, Laurier (22)
6. 10.3 Marie-Michelle Genois, Laval (16)
7. 10.1 Alisa Wulff, Windsor (22)
8. 10.1 Laurelle Weigl, Simon Fraser (23)
9. 9.7 Amanda Sharpe, UNB (19)
10. 9.6 Leanne Evans, UBC (22)

Kayla Dykstra would get my MVP vote, if I had one. She was one of the few players who did well offensively against the SFU Clan: in her worst game against them, she still had 18 points. She has two of the top six single-game performances of the year: a 27.5 on Feb. 6 and a 27.2 on Jan. 24. (Sure, those came against UFV and TRU, but nobody else torched those teams for more points than Dykstra did in those games.) She's top-3 nationwide in rebounds per game and #1 in field-goal percentage. And her 15.6 is pretty far ahead of second-place Bess Lennox, who set her team's single-season rebounding record (270 in 22 games this year; 13.7 per 35 minutes).

Anneth Him-Lazarenko, who was in the midst of "the best rookie campaign by a McGill player in 16 years" (according to Earl Zuckerman), shows up in fourth place here. For those who weren't following the 5-11 Martlets that closely, Him-Lazarenko played just 12 games because she "suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament" at the end of January. (I know what two-and-a-half of those words mean, but all four together sound painful.)

Also worth noting is that Alisa Wulff, former Spartan (of the East Lansing variety), was seventh nation-wide and third-highest in Ontario; and Kelsey Hodgson is in third after her great season (she was nearly 50% from beyond the arc).

Because the boxscores for some games are empty, some players are missing games. This problem doesn't affect much, even for SMU, who had four empty boxscores during their home games when I grabbed all the data.

Top 5 in each conference:

Canada West
15.6 Kayla Dykstra, Victoria (23)
10.1 Laurelle Weigl, Simon Fraser (23)
9.6 Leanne Evans, UBC (22)
9.0 Robyn Buna, Simon Fraser (23)
8.3 Jana Spindler, Saskatchewan (21)

11.6 Bess Lennox, Western (22)
10.4 Renata Adamczyk, Laurier (22)
10.1 Alisa Wulff, Windsor (22)
9.2 Darrah Bumstead, Laurentian (22)
8.1 Tara Kinnear, Toronto (21)

10.9 Kelsey Hodgson, Cape Breton (18)
9.7 Amanda Sharpe, UNB (19)
9.0 Victoria Thistle, Memorial (20)
6.8 Laurie Girdwood, Dalhousie (20)
6.5 Kari Everett, Cape Breton (17)

10.9 Anneth Him-Lazarenko, McGill (12)
10.3 Marie-Michelle Genois, Laval (16)
8.3 Nathifa Weekes, McGill (16)
6.5 Elyse Jobin, Laval (16)
5.9 Jessy Roy, Bishop's (16)

As is the case with anything statistical around here, I don't claim this is the final word. It simply provides an opportunity for discussion and some recognition for players who might otherwise be overlooked. So, discuss away!
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