Flagrant Stats – Statistical analysis for women's basketball

December 5’s Most Important Game

The most important game for December 5 is Texas A&M at Houston. A&M entered the season as my #15 team and Houston was #53.

Texas A&M heavily features star sophomore Chennedy Carter (19.0 PPG, 4.4 APG, 3.8 RPG, 1.6 SPG), but her teammates have improved. Aaliyah Wilson, now eligible after transferring from Arkansas and sitting out ’17-’18, is averaging 15.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.0 APG, 2.0 SPG, and 1.5 BPG, has made a tremendous impact already, and Kayla Wells (11.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG) has stepped up tremendously after playing 12.4 MPG of fairly benign ball. A&M is now 4-2 after a shocking six point home loss to Lamar.

The Cougars are off to a very disappointing 4-5 start, but two of their losses have come in single or double overtime. Houston is paced by one of the best AAC players that isn’t a UConn Huskies, Jasmyne Harris (17.4 PPG), though her shooting efficacy of 49.0% TS% is low on a massive 30.6% usage rate. For Houston to fulfill their preseason promise, they’re going to need to cut down on turnovers – they’re currently 348th out of 351 teams in D1 basketball in total turnovers.

I favorite Texas A&M, despite their surprising loss the last time out. I’m pretty concerned about where Houston is as a team.

You can catch this game at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

December 4, 2018: Most Important Game

I’m coming back from vacation and the holidays.

The most important game for December 4, 2018 is Middle Tennessee vs. Troy. The MTSU Blue Raiders (6-2) are built around A’Queen Hayes and Alex Johnson. Hayes, a versatile guard, is averaging 13.9 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 3.1 APG. Johnson, the hometown 6’0″ forward, is averaging 13.2 PPG and 4.8 RPG. I had MTSU projected as a mid-table Conference USA team before the season.

The 6-1 Troy Trojans, my preseason prediction to win the Sun Belt, have only lost their season opener. That was a road game against Florida State. Troy’s currently led by Sky’Lynn Holmes (9.4 PPG, 8.3 RPG), though I expect more from Amber Rivers (13.0 PPG, 3.9 RPG) soon. Troy is interesting in that their 13 players who have played this year are averaging between 11.6 and 22.9 MPG.

Troy plays at a much higher pace than MTSU, so this will be an interested contrast of styles.

This game is on ESPN+ at 6 p.m. Eastern.

I think Troy will pull out the win.

2018 WNBA Rookie of the Year Race

Stats are through 7/3

All picks are from 2018.

1. A’ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces (#1 overall pick) – 30.8 MPG, 20.1 PPG, 45.6% eFG%, 27.1 PER, 5.01 BPM, 1.51 VORP

2. Ariel Atkins, Washington Mystics (#7 overall pick) – 20.7 MPG, 10.8 PPG, 51.9% eFG%, 18.2 PER, 4.99 BPM, 0.61 VORP

3. Victoria Vivians, Indiana Fever (#8 overall pick) – 23.9 MPG, 9.8 PPG, 56.6% eFG%, 15.6 PER, 3.03 BPM, 0.75 VORP

4. Gabby Williams, Chicago Sky (#4 overall pick) – 25.3 MPG, 7.4 PPG, 43.0% eFG%, 17.3 PER, 2.62 BPM, 0.64 VORP

5. Kia Nurse, New York Liberty (#10 overall pick) – 23.2 MPG, 9.9 PPG, 47.9% eFG%, 15.4 PER, 2.84 BPM, 0.62 VORP

6. Myisha Hines-Allen, Washington Mystics (#19 overall pick) – 14.1 MPG, 4.6 PPG, 46.8% eFG%, 24.1 PER, 2.87 BPM, 0.29 VORP

7. Azura Stevens, Dallas Wings (#6 overall pick) – 18.7 MPG, 6.2 PPG, 47.3% eFG%, 14.0 PER, 3.21 BPM, 0.47 VORP

8. JiSu Park, Las Vegas Aces (#17 overall pick) – 14.8 MPG, 3.3 PPG, 39.4% eFG%, 16.0 PER, 0.85 BPM, 0.30 VORP

9. Kelsey Mitchell, Indiana Fever (#2 overall pick) – 28.9 MPG, 15.2 PPG, 46.9% eFG%, 4.6 PER, 0.46 BPM, 0.28 VORP

10. Diamond DeShields, Chicago Sky (#3 overall pick) – 25.8 MPG, 13.6 PPG, 43.8% eFG%, 11.1 PER, -0.54 BPM, 0.21 VORP

The one comment I’m going to write on this post is that Mitchell and DeShields’ places probably seem odd and overly harsh; I’ve seen them in the top five a lot in other peoples’ ranks. Neither is having much of a defensive impact on very bad defensive teams. They both have high usage rates with middling shooting numbers. DeShields is making an impact on rebounding, while Mitchell is decidedly not.

Also to consider: Jordin Canada, Seattle Storm; Maria Vadeeva, Los Angeles Sparks; Stephanie Mavunga, Indiana Fever