Arizona vs. Northwestern State

Figured I’d throw together a quick player ratings comparison between these two teams, on very limited three game data for each team. Team quality is based off of Sagarin ratings, which I believe are regressed some to last season since it is so early in the season.

So, Sagarin has Arizona at a 90.11 rating, which for now is a bit lower than the last two seasons (not surprisingly with the early season regression). By these ratings, if last season’s Arizona team played this season – the expected final result would be something like 70 to 65 last season. I think that might be a tad low for this team, but that’s ok – we’ll still get solid player ratings from it.

Anyway, Northwestern State is a 68.12 by Sagarin. Pomeroy has Arizona winning 96-73. Using that expected total point outcome, my conversion for the Sagarin ratings would have Arizona winning 99 to 70 (actually 99.22 to 69.78, so around an expected 29.5 spread). Note my conversion for the Sagarin ratings is a little different than straight Sagarin rating ratios – using 19 college seasons of point differential data related to the historical Sagarin ratings.

But, there is an important player out for the season Northwestern State – Jalan West, their star. That will impact the final score. But, how much.

First, let’s just look at the player rating comparisons for this season, for fun. Ranked by HnI, with regular per game stats:

HnI Player Tm MP Mn/g Pt/g Rb/g A/g S/g B/g T/g TS%
188 Jalan West NSU 30 30.0 25.0 3.0 6.0 0.0 0.0 2.0 0.833
160 Kadeem Allen UofA 60 20.0 8.7 3.3 4.7 1.3 0.3 1.7 0.634
159 Ryan Anderson UofA 83 27.7 13.7 10.3 0.3 2.0 0.3 0.7 0.562
157 Zeek Woodley NSU 100 33.3 28.3 5.0 0.7 0.7 0.7 1.7 0.654
147 Dusan Ristic UofA 42 14.0 7.7 7.0 0.3 0.3 0.3 1.0 0.575
138 Gabe York UofA 79 26.3 15.3 1.7 1.7 0.3 0.3 1.7 0.667
130 Allonzo Trier UofA 73 24.3 14.3 2.7 0.3 0.3 0.3 1.7 0.623
129 Parker Jackson-Cartwright UofA 65 21.7 7.7 1.7 3.3 0.0 0.3 1.3 0.657
126 Mark Tollefsen UofA 67 22.3 7.3 3.3 1.3 0.0 1.3 0.7 0.647
123 Kaleb Tarczewski UofA 73 24.3 8.0 6.7 0.7 0.0 0.7 1.7 0.706
107 Devonte Hall NSU 76 25.3 6.0 4.7 6.3 1.0 0.0 1.0 0.450
103 Elliott Pitts UofA 31 15.5 3.0 2.0 4.5 0.5 0.0 2.5 0.333
85 Ishmael Lane NSU 79 26.3 11.0 2.3 1.3 0.7 1.7 1.7 0.500
76 Sabri Thompson NSU 68 22.7 10.3 3.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 1.0 0.456
70 Malik Metoyer NSU 44 14.7 4.0 2.7 0.7 0.3 0.7 1.0 0.444
63 Levi Yancy NSU 42 14.0 3.3 2.3 1.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.500
61 Tra’von Joseph NSU 56 18.7 3.7 3.7 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.393
58 Matt Killian NSU 54 18.0 2.3 2.7 1.0 1.3 0.0 1.0 0.233
35 Ta’Jon Welcome NSU 30 10.0 1.7 0.7 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.7 0.417
13 Bailey Walker NSU 19 9.5 0.0 1.0 1.0 0.5 0.0 2.0 0.000

Note again,  Jalan West is out for the season, I just included him to show how much he dominated their first game – he has been their star two years running, a legit D1 stud.

So, 8 of the top 9 players in this game will be Arizona Wildcats. Zeek Woodley has put up some gaudy stats, and in this three game sample has been about as good as Arizona’s top players.

OK, the same group, but by their ratings broken down into subsets – included an “average” player for these two teams for context:

HnI Player Tm MP Sco 2pt FT 3pt Reb BH Df
188 Jalan West NSU 30 188 26 21 141 12 45 -7
160 Kadeem Allen UofA 60 90 62 24 4 25 57 21
159 Ryan Anderson UofA 83 90 54 38 -3 59 -4 27
157 Zeek Woodley NSU 100 161 76 47 38 25 -8 7
147 Dusan Ristic UofA 42 102 84 24 -6 89 -15 4
138 Gabe York UofA 79 126 27 15 85 10 2 1
130 Allonzo Trier UofA 73 120 33 85 2 15 -18 6
129 Parker Jackson-Cartwright UofA 65 76 10 18 48 14 35 -2
126 Mark Tollefsen UofA 67 69 46 2 21 29 12 4
123 Kaleb Tarczewski UofA 73 75 40 35 0 41 -13 -2
111 Average Player     70 31 23 16 29 7 5
107 Devonte Hall NSU 76 26 16 5 5 28 69 6
103 Elliott Pitts UofA 31 5 -16 -8 30 25 51 -1
85 Ishmael Lane NSU 79 57 33 24 0 12 -3 16
76 Sabri Thompson NSU 68 52 47 4 2 22 -13 -2
70 Malik Metoyer NSU 44 30 17 23 -11 27 -6 11
63 Levi Yancy NSU 42 32 21 12 0 25 2 -9
61 Tra’von Joseph NSU 56 15 3 9 3 33 0 -13
58 Matt Killian NSU 54 -15 -15 12 -12 28 1 17
35 Ta’Jon Welcome NSU 30 15 -7 17 6 12 -9 0
13 Bailey Walker NSU 19 -12 0 -12 0 18 -29 10

Sorry, I won’t be going into details on all this, it’s sort of self explanatory. Higher number, the better. Top scorer by rating is Woodley, scoring from 2pt is Ristic, from three York, from the line Trier, rebounding Ristic, ball handling (assists & turnovers relative to pace, etc.) Hall, defensive “stops” (including personal fouls) Anderson. I highlighted the worst in light blue.

So, if this three game sample is indicative of what we can expect from players – then the only three point threat for NSU is Woodley. They also don’t have a rebounder anywhere near the quality of Ristic, Anderson, or Tarczewski. Heck, they don’t really have much of a scorer outside of Woodley.

Finally, the REAL prediction. If we take Hall completely out of the equation – the NSU’s team rating drops almost 10%. The final prediction then becomes:

Arizona 102.78

Northwestern State 66.22

Without Jalan West, the spread goes from 29.5 Arizona to 36.5.

Dan

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