Basketball: Top teams of the first half (women's edition)

This is part two of our look at the first-half basketball stats, the part focusing on the women's game. For explanations, see part 1.

There's one huge gap in this post, because very few of the Simon Fraser Clan statistics are posted correctly on a game-by-game basis: this game is the only one with their players' names properly linked to their individual pages. Before you ask why I'm bothering with boxscores and not just using the team stats provided, I'll give two answers: they don't have statistics for anyone's opponents, and they're not complete anyway. The 8-0 Clan are credited with just seven games played. Which leads me to say, and certainly not for the first time, that this lack of accurate information from the official CIS site is extremely frustrating.

With that unpleasantness out of the way:


Recall that Offensive Rating, or ORtg, represents points scored per 100 possessions, and the definition of Defensive Rating follows from that.

Leaders in Offensive Rating (top 5 aside from SFU):
102.0 Cape Breton
100.0 Western
93.9 Regina
91.7 Laval
90.7 Lethbridge

Leaders in Defensive Rating (top 5 aside from SFU)
62.4 Cape Breton
73.0 St. Francis Xavier
73.7 Lakehead
74.3 Windsor
74.3 Queen's
74.3 Carleton

The Capers sit atop both lists, but two of their seven games so far were embarrassments of the PEI Panthers, with a combined score of 189-70 over the weekend series. There's probably a long story to be written about those games (10 of 50 on two-point shots in game 2? Really?) but we'll leave it for now and note that CBU might not be as dominant, especially in terms of defensive ratings, as the season goes on.

The Western Mustangs, despite being "only" fifth in the country in points per game, have had a greater offence than that ranking implies so far this year, especially when you consider their slow pace: it's harder to score when you don't play as fast as other teams. Their current scoring leader is Amanda Anderson, with 16.9 per game.

As for Regina, A. Writer previously asked if they would still be a top defensive team, and the answer so far is "wait and see." Their DRtg is not in the top 5, or even the top 10.

Putting ORtg and DRtg together...

Leaders in Net Efficiency (SFU assumed to be #1)
2. 39.6 Cape Breton (6th in the CIS Top 10)
3. 17.1 Regina (3)
4. 16.2 Laval (4)
5. 16.1 Carleton (15)
6. 13.3 Windsor (2)
7. 12.8 McMaster (NR)
8. 12.0 Queen's (NR)
9. 11.8 Lakehead (NR)
10. 11.7 Brock (14)

No. 5 Saskatchewan isn't here, but they are close behind and these rankings are only based on a handful of games anyway. The outlandish CBU number illustrates that limitation nicely: there's no way their real talent level is 20 points higher than the next-best team.

As with the men, we'll look at some of the weak spots, so to speak, of selected leading women's teams:

Regina: Somewhat paradoxically, their offence has more areas for improvement than their defence, which is okay-but-not-great across the board. The Cougars had more turnovers and fewer foul-shot opportunities than expected in the first half; although, with the best rebounding in the country (hat tip to Brittany Read for some of those), it's not clear how important those two areas are and how much they should be addressed.

Laval: Another team with some possible offensive improvements. Their shooting is excellent, but they're not rebounding nearly enough in their opponent's end. The season is only one-quarter complete for the Rouge et Or, though, so this analysis will cease to matter very soon.

Saskatchewan: They've had some trouble, winning-wise, against some good teams in UBC and UVic and Alberta, but that's not much of a problem. (Although it won't get better with the Clan coming to town in their second game back.) What's worth tracking for the Huskies is their turnover rate while on offence; the addition of Lindsay DeGroot appears to have alleviated this somewhat, though.


Again, looking at everyone except the Clan, we find the top individual game scores belong to Lindsay DeGroot (28.3 against Calgary), McMaster's Nicole Rosenkranz (27.4 against U of T) and Toronto's Nicki Schutz (26.6 against Ryerson). The worst game score so far belongs to a Panther and happened in this 94-39 drubbing in Wolfville, the first of three games in nine days they lost by 40 points or more.

I'll assume SFU's Robyn Buna, Matteke Hutzler, and Lisa Tindle are all in the top 10 for average adjusted game score, and list the top 7 from other teams: Brittany Read (Regina), Kelsey Hodgson (Cape Breton), Jane Meadwell (UFV), Lindsay DeGroot (U of S), Hannah Sunley-Paisely (Ottawa), Jasmine Douglas (Guelph), and Stephanie Price (Lethbridge). Meadwell's on her third CIS team (after UBC and Calgary) and now finds herself near the top of the league while UFV is at the bottom. Another interesting name here is Price, who was previously one of the best players in the country (as Stephanie Elford), but appears to have taken last year off.

Again, a more complete look will follow at the end of the season, around the time of the Final 8.
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