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MU’s Oriakhi Earns MrSEC.com’s “Defensive Player Of The Year” Award

gfx - by the numbersPostseason awards are legion.  Every hour someone is handing out another award.  Most all of them are distributed based upon the “eye test.”  At some level they’re part popularity contest.

At MrSEC, we like to do things differently and we hand out our yearly postseason honors based upon actual data, actual numbers.  You may disagree with the statistics we use and how we choose to use them, but at least there’s actually a bit of math behind the accolades we dole out.

We start today with our version of the SEC’s “Defensive Player of the Year” award.  All SEC players who were on the floor for at least 800 minutes through the end of the SEC Tournament were up for the honor.  We combined the three most easily-measured defensive statistics — defensive rebounds, blocks, and steals — into a category called “positive plays.”  The rest was easy.  We took the total number of minutes played and divided it by the total number of positive defensive plays to see which players made a positive impact on the defensive end most often.

Obviously, there is no statistic for “good guarding,” so this isn’t a perfect way of doing things.  Some defensive efforts — like taking a charge or altering a shot — aren’t measured.  Still, we feel this system is fairer than most “eye test” awards.

One quick note before we get into the numbers — because our cutoff point was 800 minutes, the player with the top plays/minutes ratio wasn’t eligible for our award.  But injured Kentucky star Nerlens Noel (765 minutes) posted a number so great that we wanted to draw your attention to it.  With 162 defensive boards, 106 blocks, and 50 steals, Noel averaged a positive play on defense once every 2.40 minutes.  Had he only played 35 more minutes he’d have grabbed our honor (which comes with a laurel… and hearty handshake).

With Noel not meeting the minutes requirement, the 2012-13 MrSEC.com Defensive Player of the Year Award goes to Missouri’s Alex Oriakhi.  The big man who transferred to Columbia from UConn last offseason was responsible for a positive play on the defensive end of the floor once every 3.38 minutes.

Below you’ll find a list of the 51 SEC players who racked up 800 or more minutes as well as their defensive numbers:

 

Player   Def. Reb.   Blocks   Steals   Pos. Plays   Min. Played   Min./Pos. Play   Honor
1. Oriakhi (MU) 179 52 19 250 845 3.38 MrSEC Def. POTY
2. Buckner (UM) 149 91 37 277 967 3.49 All-Def. Team
3. Holloway (UM) 210 23 54 287 1057 3.68 All-Def. Team
4. Caldwell-Pope (UGA) 189 17 65 271 1086 4.00 All-Def. Team
5. O’Bryant (LSU) 164 20 15 199 845 4.24 All-Def. Team
6. Young (UF) 118 55 30 203 874 4.30
7. Powell (ARK) 113 37 38 188 819 4.35
8. Chubb (AUB) 135 37 15 187 816 4.36
9. Roberson (A&M) 136 26 23 185 815 4.40
10. Ware (MSU) 137 24 15 176 824 4.68
11. Thomas (MSU) 103 27 56 186 917 4.93
12. Coleman (LSU) 104 28 43 175 870 4.97
13. Murphy (UF) 127 22 20 169 854 5.05
14. Stokes (UT) 179 37 23 239 923 5.15
15. Caruso (A&M) 82 15 61 158 815 5.15
16. Ross (MU) 113 7 41 161 832 5.16
17. Poythress (UK) 137 14 9 160 852 5.32
18. Carmouche (LSU) 89 4 57 150 800 5.33
19. Bright (VU) 147 13 20 180 966 5.36
20. Hickey (LSU) 82 5 85 172 957 5.56
21. Lacey (ALA) 125 14 49 188 1054 5.60
22. Jackson (USC) 114 22 24 160 918 5.73
23. Payne (AUB) 105 3 38 146 865 5.92
24. Sword (MSU) 68 14 55 137 854 6.23
25. Richardson (UT) 100 22 33 155 981 6.32
26. Sullivan (AUB) 109 9 33 151 998 6.60
27. Goodwin (UK) 104 15 35 154 1048 6.80
28. Johnson (VU) 102 17 34 153 1047 6.84
29. McRae (UT) 100 28 26 154 1075 6.98
30. Odom (VU) 92 26 16 134 999 7.45
31. Pressey (MU) 85 2 58 145 1113 7.67
32. Henderson (UM) 89 1 47 137 1064 7.76
33. Wallace (AUB) 62 3 37 102 810 7.94
34. Randolph (ALA) 83 5 36 124 987 7.95
35. Wilbekin (UF) 75 2 46 123 995 8.08
36. Young (ARK) 78 8 21 107 866 8.09
37. Cooper (ALA) 87 3 22 112 912 8.14
38. Releford (ALA) 59 2 61 122 1027 8.41
39. Bloodman (MSU) 71 1 37 109 931 8.54
40. Williams (UM) 69 4 21 94 818 8.70
41. Boynton (UF) 84 3 29 116 1060 9.13
42. Fuller (VU) 72 2 20 94 866 9.21
43. Turner (A&M) 82 7 31 120 1139 9.49
44. Reese (A&M) 65 2 19 86 865 10.05
45. Summers (UM) 45 7 32 84 855 10.17
46. Rosario (UF) 57 1 30 88 951 10.80
47. Mays (UK) 81 0 14 95 1090 11.47
48. Golden (UT) 70 0 8 78 905 11.60
49. Harris (A&M) 44 0 38 82 965 11.76
50. Stringer (LSU) 47 5 25 77 950 12.33
51. Smith (USC) 46 1 20 67 885 13.20

 

Observations:

*  While Marshall Henderson gets the attention, much of Ole Miss’ success can be traced to the fact that Andy Kennedy has two of the top three defensive hustlers in the league in Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner.

*  Ole Miss was the only team to have two players both ranked in the top 10 of our minutes/positive plays chart.

*  There weren’t many positives in Starkville this season, but Fred Thomas and Gavin Ware both made our top 11.

*  LSU was the only squad to boast three players in the top 18 of our rankings: Johnny O’Bryant, Shavon Coleman, and Charles Carmouche.

*  The top-rated defensive player for South Carolina was Lakeem Jackson at #22 on our list.

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