[Bump for statheads have fun on Friday nights, too. -KJ]
A few weeks ago, when I calculated mid-season PORPAG for the conference, I also collected all of the data to get years from 2005-present day. After updating my 2011 numbers for games through Thursday, I thought it'd be fun to present the "career" PORPAG leaders
Before we get to that, I thought it'd be nice to see the best individual seasons. In total, I have 482 individual seasons in the PORPAG spreadsheet spanning the 2004-05 season through this year. Please see the link above for all the caveats with the statistic, as well as the qualifiers I've used. Below the jump, we have the data.
The top 25 individual PORPAG seasons:
I know people around the Big Ten has been talking about Jordan Taylor's great season this year, but I feel that Jared Sullinger gets the most individual love in the conference. Maybe that's because he's a dominating freshman big man or maybe it's because he plays for the higher-profile (basketball-wise) Ohio State. Maybe it's because Taylor's in the oft-overlooked, underrated Wisconsin system. Whatever the reason, there's a case to be made that Jordan Taylor's have far-and-away the best individual season in Big Ten basketball in a half-decade.
Taylor's PORPAG is driven by his 131.1 Offensive Rating, but he's got a rather high usage percentage (poss%) and he plays a lot of minutes. If we limit our data set to players with at least a 20% usage in the Big Ten, the closest ORtg is the aforementioned Sullinger at 122.9. Penn State's Jeff Brooks is third at 120.1. Taylor's been absurdly good. Taylor's efficiency all-around is wonderful (for a Badger fan): 84% from the line, 49% inside the arc, 41% outside it, 31% assist rate, 9% turnover rate, 44% free throw rate, and he draws twice as many fouls as he commits. Am I just not looking in the right places or is he completely ignored from the Player of the Year race nationally?
Moving on, a full 1.5 points behind him is his teammate Jon Leuer. The main differences between Leuer and Taylor are that Leuer plays less minutes, though he shoots all-around more efficiently.
Jared Sullinger's the runaway freshman of the year in conference and likely nationally, and he's been as good as anyone in the last 5 years in conference play (save for Jordan Taylor, of course). Sullinger is as dominant on the glass -- on both ends, too -- as anyone in the conference and that helps drive his value. He sits 109th nationally in true shooting percentage at just over 61% on the back of 58% shooting percentage from two. 71% from the free throw line, too? Unfair.
Talor Battle's clearly been Mr. Everything for Penn State for the last three years and 2011 has been his best year yet. He plays nearly every minute possible -- in fact, just four more people nationally have a higher minute percentage than Battle (they are, in order: Khalid Mutakabbir of Presbyterian (96.2%), Tu Holloway of Xavier (94.6), Robo Kreps of Illinois-Chicago (94.6) and Virginia Tech's Malcolm Delany (94.3) -- and Battle's posting a 53.3 effective field goal percentage and a 57 TS%. Battle never fouls, he steals the ball, can shoot the three effectively and when he's inside the arc, he's as good of a scorer as there is in the Big Ten.
Finally, we get out of the 2011 season. You all know Drew Neitzel. His junior year was his best season in East Lansing and we should be glad as only Travis Walton played 40% of available minutes with an ORtg above 100 for the Spartans that year. Neitzel seemingly couldn't miss from three, was really good in the lane and was 90% from the free throw stripe. I don't want to spend a ton of time lauding Neitzel because no one here needs to be reminded of how much he carried the Spartans at times. I know how good Neitzel was, but I don't always know or realize how good others have been. So moving on.
Sticking the 2007 season, Iowa's Adam Haluska posted one of only six seasons of 4.00 PORPAG since 2005. Haluska played about 86% of Iowa's minutes and took a third of their shots when he was on the floor. He put up a 57.2 TS%, shot 36% from deep and 46% from two. He was money at the free throw stripe, as well.
So we've got some grasp on the best individual seasons, but what about 'career' numbers? Hey, I've got those, too! (Unfortunately, I don't have the programming chops of, say, Spartan Dan, so I combined these totals with a pivot table in Excel. Because I'm not even great in Excel, I couldn't get the years or teams for each player to show up as well, and I didn't feel like messing with it. Because we're all amazing MSU and Big Ten fans, I'm sure we'll recognize the faces.)
Talor Battle, a.k.a.: Penn State Basketball for the last four years. You didn't need this to know that, though. Drew Neitzel had two seasons in the top 25 and that adds up to having the second most PORPAG in conference since 2005.
Well, here's a new name. Northwestern's Michael Thompson shows up third. You could've given me thirty guesses and I doubt I would've guessed him. Why is he here? Well, he's had PORPAG's of 1.44, 1.92, 3.18 and 2.93 from 2008-2011. He's been steady, solid and that leaves him underrated. Does this mean he's been the third best player in the conference over this time period? I likely wouldn't go that far. He's kind of a "compiler" of sorts. His best season -- his junior year in 2010 -- ranks as the 31st best since 2005. While that is very good, I don't think that constitutes "top three" in the conference.
D.J. White is a name I forgot about. White had PORPAG's of 2.87 in 2005, 2.30 in 2007 and 3.90 in 2008 which led the conference. White wound up with a medical redshirt in 2006 as he broke his foot early in the year and re-injured it in January and it ended his season.
Jon Diebler: playing 39 years in Columbus does put you near the top of some list.
Imagine Robbie Hummel without the injuries? Coming back next year, there's a good chance he puts himself top-5 on this list if his knee(s) hold up and he's the usual Hummeliscious player he is.
Now, something sticks out to me: 2011 is represented in the individual seasons list. In fact, eight of the top 20 and 10 of the top 30 individual seasons have occurred in the 2011 season. Why is this? For whatever reason, the Big Ten is shooting better this year than they have at any point from 2005-present day as a conference. This is something I will look at further in a different post.