Basketball: Our 2012-13 player rankings are out

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, SMU's Justine Colley tops our women's player rankings this year, though the leader's name on the men's side may not be what you are expecting...

A bit of explanation. For the first time, this year's rankings include all playoff and Final 8 stats (both championship-side and consolation-side games). We are also ranking players slightly differently than we have in the past, combining their PER with the percentage of minutes they played, and giving the rest of the time to a replacement player. We also adjust for strength of schedule. Colley, for example, played 932 minutes when totalling the AUS Final 6 and CIS Final 8, or 83% of the minutes she could have played had she never left the floor. For the other 17%, we assign a PER of 6.0 — a very low number; the average is always 15.0 — that represents what a replacement-level, freely-available player would put up if given the playing time. This gives more credit to players who are on the floor more often, as those are minutes that don't have to be filled by others on the roster. Colley's actual PER of 46.9 is then adjusted to 42.3 to account for her "missed" playing time — though, really, she played quite a lot, more often than most of the players in the top 25.

Behind Colley, who topped the list for the third year in a row, are Windsor's Jessica Clémençon (who was somehow not named OUA West MVP), UBC's Kris Young, Saskatchewan's Dalyce Emmerson, and TRU's Diane Schuetze. Colley and Young were conference MVPs, and all but Emmerson were named first- or second-team All-Canadians. The second-highest PER actually belonged to Brittany Read of Regina, but she only played about half the time for the Cougars as opposed to the 70% or 75% the other top players did, so she is lower as a result of that missed time.

Amazingly, three Windsor Lancers found themselves in the top 10: Miah-Marie Langlois at 7, and Korissa Williams right behind her. It's too simple by half to say those players are three reasons why Windsor's won three championships in a row, but also not inaccurate either. Clémençon has been no lower than sixth in her four years in the league, and Langlois and Williams have been ranked among the best for each of the last three years.


And what about that unexpected result among the men, you ask?

Well, the overall leader was not named as an All-Canadian, nor the MVP of his conference. It was Alberta's Kenneth Otieno, with a PER of 30.3 (the highest in CIS) in 77% of available minutes. His shooting percentages were basically just as good as Phil Scrubb, one of the best players in the country of course, but on top of that he grabbed 15% of available defensive rebounds (Scrubb: 10%), turned the ball over only 10% of the time (nobody else in the top 20 was below 12%, averaging 16%), and generally played more of Alberta's minutes than expected for someone with his stats.

Otieno leads UVic's Terrell Evans (also not a first-team CW all-star), Scrubb, Calgary's Thijin Moses (who was robbed of even second-team Canada West recognition), Ward, and another Dino in Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson. Just like with the women's champions, three Carleton players ended up in the top 15 (Tyson Hinz 7, Thomas Scrubb 15), as well as Clinton Springer-Williams at 39.

Overall, though, these aren't meant to be definitive rankings from 1 to 600 or however many players there are. It's just a way to compare players on different teams with different skill sets. PER, the basis for the rankings, is not great at measuring defensive contributions (few basic boxscore stats are), but does a pretty good job at identifying the best players overall.


Full rankings: men's and women's.

Past years are also included.
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