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Statistically Speaking

One of the most basic questions people ask about players and teams is, “How good are they on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor?” There are many ways to attempt to answer such a question, but there is one metric in particular that gets right to the heart of it: Offensive Rating and Defensive Rating.

Offensive Rating is an estimate of the points an entire team produces per 100 possessions. Defensive Rating uses precisely the same concept, but focuses on points allowed rather than points scored. Dean Oliver was the first to introduce the Offensive/Defensive Rating metric to the world of NBA analytics. It’s a fairly simple idea, but one that does a good job of summarizing a team’s effectiveness on both ends of the court as well.

This metric is a substantial improvement over looking at per-game averages for players and teams. Offensive/Defensive Rating is a per-possession statistic, so no matter how many possessions per game a team has, this metric compares them on an “apples to apples” basis.

For example, a team that plays at a high pace (tends to shoot early in the shot clock, runs the fast break often) will have more possessions per game than a team that uses more of the clock and plays a lot of half-court offense. Comparing these teams’ per-game numbers gives the higher-paced club an unfair advantage, while using per-possession statistics levels the playing field and paints a much more accurate picture.

How do we calculate these statistics? First the the total number of possessions by a team needs to be calculated. There is a multiplier used to account for the fact that some free throws taken are the result of a possession, while others (such as “and-one” possessions) are part of an already existing possession.

Other adjustments include eliminating offensive rebounds from consideration (statisticians consider these rebounds an extension of the previous possession, not a new possession) and adding a multiplier to adjust for team rebounds.

Possessions = 0.96 (FGA – ORB + TOV + (0.44 * FTA))

Once the possessions have been calculated, the formula for offensive & defensive ratings is as follows:

Offensive Rating = points scored * 100/total possessions
Defensive Rating = points allowed * 100/total possessions
Net Rating = Offensive Rating – Defensive Rating

Looking at the Net Rating of the Top Ten teams in the first semester you have to take into account the opponent’s record. While Teams like Ryerson have an incredible Net Rating, the strong competition in McMaster, Brock, Ottawa and Carleton all come in the second semester. Brock and Carleton have played the same schedule so those numbers can be compared directly while Brock and McMaster have played the toughest 1st semester schedule of anyone playing each other twice and travelling to Ottawa and Carleton to play road games. Strength of Conference also weighs heavily into this and the top loaded Canada West Teams (UBC, Calgary and Alberta) have yet to face off against each other. Alberta’s U SPORTS leading 10-0 Conference record gets a hard test in early January with a home & home against Calgary and back to back games at UBC to start 2017. UBC & Calgary would have to wait until the Canada West playoffs to face off against one another.

Carleton Ravens:

Possessions = 0.96 (330 – 57 + 69 + (0.44 * 92)) = 367.1808

Offensive Rating = 421 * 100/367.1808 = 114.657411281

Defensive Rating = 330 * 100/367.1808 = 89.8739803388

Net Rating = 114.657411281 – 89.8739803388 = 24.7834309422

UBC Thunderbirds:

Possessions = 0.96 (517 – 117 + 123 + (0.44 * 247)) = 606.4128

Offensive Rating = 716 * 100/606.4128 = 118.071386356

Defensive Rating = 559 * 100/606.4128 = 92.1814315265

Net Rating = 118.071386356 – 92.1814315265 = 25.8899548295

Calgary Dinos:

Possessions = 0.96 (548 – 87 + 138 + (0.44 * 208)) = 662.8992

Offensive Rating = 763 * 100/662.8992 = 115.100455695

Defensive Rating = 614 * 100/662.8992 = 92.6234335477

Net Rating = 115.100455695 – 92.6234335477 = 22.4770221473

Ottawa Gee-Gees:

Possessions = 0.96 (321 – 48 + 59 + (0.44 * 90)) = 356.736

Offensive Rating = 413 * 100/356.736 = 115.771887334

Defensive Rating = 303 * 100/356.736 = 84.9367599569

Net Rating = 115.771887334 – 84.9367599569 = 30.8351273771

Ryerson Rams:

Possessions = 0.96 (512 – 82 + 87 + (0.44 * 106)) = 541.0944

Offensive Rating = 658 * 100/541.0944 = 121.605398245

Defensive Rating = 441 * 100/541.0944 = 81.501490313

Net Rating = 121.605398245 – 81.501490313 = 40.103907932

Brock Badgers:

Possessions = 0.96 (378 – 74 + 114 + (0.44 * 132)) = 457.0368

Offensive Rating = 436 * 100/457.0368 = 95.3971321347

Defensive Rating = 458 * 100/457.0368 = 100.210748894

Net Rating = 95.3971321347 – 100.210748894 = -4.8136167593

McGill Redmen:

Possessions = 0.96 (237 – 44 + 70 + (0.44 * 112)) = 299.7888

Offensive Rating = 316 * 100/299.7888 = 105.407540242

Defensive Rating = 270 * 100/299.7888 = 90.0634046369

Net Rating =105.407540242 – 90.0634046369 = 15.3441356051

Alberta Golden Bears:

Possessions = 0.96 (647 – 128 + 144 + (0.44 * 198)) = 720.1152

Offensive Rating = 862 * 100/720.1152 = 119.703069731

Defensive Rating = 682 * 100/720.1152 = 94.7070690912

Net Rating =119.703069731 – 94.7070690912 = 24.9960006398

McMaster Marauders:

Possessions = 0.96 (482 – 126 + 111 + (0.44 * 133)) = 504.4992

Offensive Rating = 506 * 100/504.4992 = 100.297483128

Defensive Rating = 517 * 100/504.4992 = 102.477863196

Net Rating =100.297483128 – 102.477863196 = -2.180380068

Dalhousie Tigers:

Possessions = 0.96 (443 – 79 + 82 + (0.44 * 168)) = 499.1232

Offensive Rating = 560 * 100/499.1232 = 112.196748218

Defensive Rating = 474 * 100/499.1232 = 94.9665333128

Net Rating = 112.196748218 – 94.9665333128 = 17.2302149052

So of the U SPORTS Top Ten teams, they’re ranked in Net Rating as follows:

  1. Ryerson Rams 40.10
  2. Ottawa Gee-Gees 30.84
  3. UBC Thunderbirds 25.84
  4. Alberta Golden Bears 24.99
  5. Carleton Raven 24.78
  6. Calgary Dinos 22.48
  7. Dalhousie Tigers 17.23
  8. McGill Redmen 15.34
  9. McMaster Marauders -2.18
  10. Brock Badgers -4.81

SO WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?

That’s an incredible Net Rating for Ryerson, for comparison the 73-9 Golden State Warriors had a Net Rating of 10.49. If you play every game Ryerson has played this year and give each team 100 possessions The Rams are winning those games by an average of 40 points. However, Ottawa might have the most impressive stat on this list. The Gee-Gees have played the same schedule as the #1 Carleton Ravens, yet the Net Rating is 6.06 higher for Ottawa, one of the reasons Ottawa is ranked higher in our CUSN Men’s Basketball Rankings. The low rankings for Brock and McMaster shouldn’t be read too deep into as they have played the toughest schedule for any two schools in the country, however it’s shocking that McMaster has a 2.63 higher rating than Brock consider The Badgers have already beaten The Marauders twice. These Net Ratings will mean a lot more after the stregth of schedule for all of these school’s average out, especially for the OUA and CWUAA schools.

Thoughts on these Net Ratings? Let us know!


CUSN’s men’s basketball insiders, Jordan Henry & Mitch Robson are the co-founders of Backdoor Cut, their platform for sharing game reports, profiles and features on Ryerson Men’s Basketball as well as video and multimedia content.

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Jordan Henry is one of CUSN's premier men's basketball insiders. Currently enrolled in his third year of Ryerson University's Radio and Television Arts, Sport Media program, Jordan is one of the voices of the Ryerson Rams men's basketball team, alongside Mitch Robson. Along with his commentary duties, Jordan serves as a Broadcast Crew Lead on the Ryerson Rams, Rams Live broadcasts, where he takes on one of the lead production roles, on all Rams varsity broadcasts, including producing, directing, and technical directing Ryerson Rams live game coverage.

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