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Thursday, June 30, 2011

SectionEE on Facebook

Like SectionEE on Facebook.  Yes, I finally caved and made a facebook page for SectionEE.  Click here and hit the "like" button!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Big Man on Campus!

I read a rumor on the Valpo Fan Message Board that Vashil Fernandez is on the VU campus taking class this second summer session and will be playing this upcoming season.  Standing 6'11'', Fernandez gives Valpo a true center to guard and score in the paint.  Fernandez's strengths on ESPN are listed as his shot blocking ability, his good lateral quickness, and his ability to jump quickly and score around the rim.  His weaknesses are listed as his lack of experience and his need to add some muscle weight.

From ESPN:
"A raw but talented big man with a good deal of potential, Fernandez shows the motor to capitalize on his physical tools and the intellect to pick up the game pretty quickly without developing any bad habits. As he continues to develop his offensive skills and add more strength to his frame his impact will rise accordingly."

Here is an article from a Jamaican newspaper that featured Vashil.

I'm very excited about this news and can't wait to see what Valpo can do defensively with Vashil defending the bucket!  This rumor has been confirmed by several of the other new comers on the team!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Player Productivity Score

Here is the formula I'm using to come up with my Player Productivity Score (PPS):

(Points + Rebounds + Assists + Steals + Blocks) / Minutes - Turnovers / Minutes = PPS

The result gives you an idea of how many times per minute the player does something positive statistically to help the team.  A low score does not necessarily mean a bad player.  You will see low scores, most often a guard, when a player is primarily a scorer (see Vaughn Duggins) and not so concerned about other areas.  It was brought to my attention by "Jack Sikma" that with big guys in college they typically aren't just rebounding specialist (they may become this at the next level).  Ben Wallace for example averaged over 13 points per game and 10 rebounds per game during his time at Virginia Union.

For the VU guys last year who played over 400 minutes saw an average score of 0.565194.  A HL all conference player will typically see a score above 0.7 (Brandon Wood, Anthony Hill, Eli Holman) while an elite player will have a score above 0.8 (Norris Cole, Matt Howard).

Anyway, we'll keep track of these scores throughout the year and see what they show (number crunching is something I enjoy).  Maybe will be more useful then I'm giving it credit for...or maybe not.  We shall see!

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Assistant Coach

Valparaiso University has added another assistant coach to the coaching staff.  Roger Powell Jr will join Coach Drew on the bench this coming season.  Powell has been playing professionally for the last 6 years including some time with the Utah Jazz.  I think this is a good hire in that in adds a young African American coach to the bench who should be able to help in the recruiting efforts in the basketball rich Chicago-land area (he is from Joliet).  For more on this please click here!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

All Horizon League Efficiency

After running the numbers for the Crusader team I started wondering how they would match up with the top players across the conference.  I took the list of the All Horizon League 1st and 2nd teams and put the numbers into the super calculator.  Here are the results:

1st Team All Horizon League
1) Norris Cole: .90817
2) Matt Howard: .82579
3) Anthony Hill: .78222
4) Brandon Wood: .74643
5) Vaughn Duggins: .68189

2nd Team All Horizon League
1) Eli Holman: .79541
2) Shelvin Mack: .69729
3) Ray McCallum: .67122
4) Rahmon Fletcher: .65541
5) N'Gai Evans: .56372

Ok, once again these numbers probably don't mean much of anything.  But a couple of things come to mind when comparing these.  First, Vaugn Duggins had a monster conference season statistically.  There are two guys on the 2nd team, and I'm sure others from around the league that didn't make either team, that graded out higher then he did overall.  My second thought is: Why in the world did Eli Holman not play more?  He had to have been injured.  The guy is a flat out monster in the paint.  He needs more touches and more minutes for Detroit this coming season.  He is my preseason pick for conference player of the year assuming he is healthy.  Third thought, N'Gai Evans played very well in conference play.  Don't let his low grade fool you.

Leave a comment here then join the conversation here.  As always, if you'd like to receive an alert when a new post is made be sure to put your email address in the space provided above this post and click submit!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

2010-2011's Most Efficent Player

I was looking at the statistics from last years team and was wondering to myself which player would the numbers say was the most efficient for Valpo.  I had a feeling that it would be Brandon, but thought maybe Ryan or Cory might sneak past him.  Before I tell you the results let me explain the formula I used.

First I entered every player into an excel spreadsheet.  Next I took the total points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks and divided them by the number of total minutes played.  This let me find out the average of each category per minute played.  I then added all these numbers together.  Next I wanted to find out the average number of turnovers per minute.  I took this number and subtracted it from the totals from the points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.  This led me to my final number.  I realize that this doesn't take into account the play on the court that doesn't show up on the stat sheet (setting a good pick, blocking out, pressure defense that leads to a teammate getting a steal, etc...).

Here are the results.  First we'll do the top 5 for each category then list the roster in order and give the final total.

Points/Minute: Cory Johnson (.5369), Brandon Wood (.5242), Kevin Van Wijk (.3870), Ryan Broekhoff (.3677), Micheal Rogers (.3450)

Rebounds/Minute: Hrvoje Vucic (.2162), Rogers (.2098), Broekhoff (.1859), Cameron Witt (.1842), Van Wijk (.1744)

Assist/Minute: Erik Buggs (.1335), Matt Kenney (.1040), Wood (.0978), Jay Harris (.0808), Howard Little (.0668)

Steals/Minute: Witt (.0789), Wood (.0522), Van Wijk (.0492), Kenney (.0472), Little (.0418)

Blocks/Minute: Vucic (.1081), Broekhoff (.0398), Van Wijk (.0290), Witt (.0263), Johnson (.0190)

Turnovers/Minute: Vucic (.1081), Van Wijk (.0939), Johnson (.0894), Harris (.0875), Nick Shelton (.0714)

The final results: Wood (.746439), Johnson (.706935), Broekhoff (.651685), Rogers (.588235), Van Wijk (.579418), Witt (.578947), Little (.569292), Kenney (.514856), Harris (.39899), Buggs (.330882), Vucic (.243243), Shelton (0)

So what does this all mean?  Probably nothing, but June is a slow month so it gave me something to do.  The team has lost 3 of their top 4 efficiency players.  Any thoughts?  Remember, if you want an alert when a new post is made just put your email in the space provided above this post and click submit!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Saying Goodbye

This post has nothing to do with basketball but everything to do with our city of Valparaiso.  This evening (6/20) we had to say goodbye to our next door neighbor Elsie.  Elsie wasn't just a normal citizen of Valparaiso nor was she just your average next door neighbor.  Elsie was Valparaiso's oldest living person at 107 years old.

We first met Elsie when we moved into our home 5 years ago.  She was a spry 102 years old back then.  I recall I was cutting our grass when she caught my attention for the first time.  She was struggling a bit to get outside to enjoy the beautiful day.  You see, back then Elsie still lived on her own.  It wasn't long after that first meeting that my oldest son made his first friend.  Edward was barely a year old back then but the connection the two of them made was something special.  As he got older and even just yesterday he would ask to go say hi to Miss Elsie.  I'm not sure how, but he seemed to realize that a quick visit from him made her day.  When Elsie would visit the doctors over at Northwestern Hospital she would tell them about her boyfriend who was much younger then her.  Regardless of how crummy she felt or how much pain she might have been in, all of her aches and pains would disappear when he stopped by for a visit.  A couple weeks ago we were sitting in her room.  She was talking although not very coherently and the words we could understand didn't make any sense.  She wasn't moving much.  Edward walked into the room and you could have sworn that someone else was in that bed.  Instantly she started talking to him, could see him clearly, even gave him a huge hug!  If I fail in every other aspect of fatherhood, I can at least say that for five years I raised a son who knowingly cared about something bigger then himself. 

Elsie could tell you just about anything about just about everything in the city of Valparaiso.  From the big rocks at the corner of Center Street and Lincolnway, to who has lived in each house on our street since 1910, to any other landmark in town (that may or may not have still been standing).  Lord help you if tried to visit or call her on her birthday as she would have visitors nonstop.  Her house was more filled with flowers then any florist shop in town. 

This past month been tough.  There have been many times over the past 5 years that we thought we might be saying our last goodbyes, but Elsie was stubborn.  Before we met her, when she was still in her early 90's, doctors told her she wouldn't live long without some heart surgery.  She proved them wrong by going strong another 15 years or so.  Heck, a month ago her doctor thought she only had two more weeks in her.  Tonight she is finally pain free and living with the Lord in Heaven that she loved so much.  It has been a priviledge to have lived next to such a wonderful woman.
Elsie Wathne, 1904-2011, we will miss you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Looking back with Cory Johnson

Crusader fan favorite Cory Johnson was gracious enough to take some time away from his studies, workouts, and weight sessions to answer some questions for Section EE about his time spent as a Valparaiso Crusader.  Before we get to the interview lets take a look at some of Cory's accomplishments during his playing time at VU.  In his first season as a Crusader, Johnson was named 2nd Team All Horizon League.  His 15.6 ppg and 5.8 rpg averages were both top ten in the league that year.  That season he scored in double digits in 28 of the 32 games he played.  This past season he averaged over 14 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while being assigned to defend the biggest baddest guys the opponents could throw at him (more on this later).

Cory had some monster scoring games while at Valpo.  During his junior year he put up 31 points against Detroit, had a 28 point 10 rebound effort against Butler, put up 26 points in a game against Arkansas Fort Smith, and had a real nice Wisconsin trip scoring 21 at Milwaukee and 20 more against Green Bay.  This past season Johnson put up 25 points at Toledo, had 33 points in the thriller against Oakland, and 26 points in a game against Youngstown State.  Lets get to the interview!

HC: What is going to be your fondest memory of your time here at Valpo?
CJ:   Valpo has been so great to me, I’m not sure I can narrow it down to anything specific. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible people in and out of the community, get a great education and play the sport I love. 
HC: You were the fan favorite last year, what did it mean to you to have the fans chanting your name every game?
CJ:  COR-Y JOHN-SON…. COR-Y JOHN-SON haha! I am going to miss that! Stuff like that is what I think college basketball is all about. When fans are getting on their feet, yelling, cheering and enjoying the game of basketball, as a player it makes it that much more fun to compete. 
HC: What was the high point of last season? The low?
CJ:  This was a very exciting and interesting year, which provided many high points and like any season a few low. Winning twenty-three games and taking home two holiday tournament championships - a lot of great memories came out of it. One memorable win came in a shootout up in Oakland (MICHIGAN). I have never been to California, so I was excited to see them on the schedule. My parents are lucky I realized it was in Michigan before they booked a flight!

Another great win was against the Missouri Valley champs, Missouri State. Having Dickie V in the house was exciting and I even got in a quick game of one on one with him. What really threw me off was when a man with Dickie V came up to me after the game, complimented my play and congratulated us on the win. I’m not sure if anyone else noticed the legendary brainiac of sports, Howie Schwab in the ARC (Stump the Schwab – Google it!).

Cory celebrates with fans after a big win!
Finally, who can forget knocking off archenemy Butler at home in OT. Howard Little - I am still in love with you for making those shots!

For me the lowest point came in those trips up to Green Bay and Milwaukee in such a crucial time of the season. Being born in the Wisconsin, I was a little hurt on how the state treated me. I played terrible. In basketball, you have to have a short memory. Those are games I want to forget. I focus on the many positives we had this year!
HC: The fans were all pretty disappointed in the CIT bid; the performance on the court was equally disappointing against Iona.  Looking back, what happened that night?
CJ:   I don't think there is anything to be disappointed about getting a bid to the CIT tournament. Obviously, going to the NCAA or NIT tournament would have been a special experience, but most team’s goals at the beginning of the year are to make some sort of post season and we did that. I can guarantee A LOT of other teams would love to have been in the situation we were in. We lost to a good basketball team in Iona that won twenty-five games last year and ended up making it to the championship game of the CIT. 
HC:  What are your post Valpo aspirations?
CJ:   This next year, I am looking to continue playing basketball professionally, most likely in the European market. I signed with a German agent that also represents former Crusader Benjamin Fumey. Along with playing basketball professionally, I will be finishing the Valpo MBA program remotely through the Internet. Being able to come back next May, walk across the stage and shake President Heckler’s hand for the second time is something I am looking forward to. 
HC:  Any good stories you can share about Homer?
Dancin' Homer?
CJ:   One of my favorite Homer stories that I actually shared during the banquet this year took place at my first Valpo basketball game. Like any new experience, you never really know exactly what to expect and I was excited to see how Coach Homer went about business on game days. Walking into to the locker room just before tipoff to the sight of Coach Homer Drew and fellow teammate Brandon McPherson breaking it down (dancing) to the pre-game tunes was definitely not what I expected. It was absolutely hysterical! Right then, Assistant Coach Luke Gore looked at me and said, ‘little bit different than anywhere else you been, huh?’ I laughed and told him ‘I picked the right place.’ 
HC:  How is Bryce going to do as the headman? Should we as fans expect to see anything different then what we saw when Homer was head coach (faster pace, different types of defense)?
CJ:   I think it’s great that Bryce has been given this opportunity to follow in his father’s footsteps. His has had a phenomenal work ethic his whole life. That shows through his successes. Bryce means a lot to this school as a person and former player. Now that I am now a officially a full time Valpo fan, I can’t wait to watch the Crusaders take the court next season under Coach Bryce’s leadership.

I think the coaches have done a great job in the past of building the style of play around the personnel. The last two years we have been one of the highest scoring teams in the conference. I am a big fan of giving the players the freedom to get up and down the court and make plays. 

HC:  Most nights you had to play out of position and defend guy who were bigger and stronger.  Most of the time you did quite well.  Was it frustrating to have to do that on a nightly basis?  Who was the toughest assignment defensively for you?
CJ4 playing defense on JuJuan Johnson
CJ:  Throughout my career, I have been assigned to guard some beastly guys like Greg Oden, Cole Aldrich, Blake Griffin, Eli Holman and Dexter Pittman. Being undersized, I tried to be active, move my feet, make them take a tough shot and hope that it didn’t go in. It typically would not turn out good for me if I got in a wrestling match with guys these. The toughest guy I remember guarding was David Hoskins. He was a 6’5” four man for K-State who was strong and relentless at attacking the basket. 
HC:  Anything else you'd like to add about your time at Valpo?
CJ:  Thanks for having me!

Thank you Cory for your time and cooperation in answering these questions.  We (the fans) appreciated everything you did on the court and in our community!  

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Horizon League Moments

Here is a nice, albeit brief, write up about the Valparaiso joining the Horizon League from  Hopefully we can get that first league championship under our belt in the 2011-2012 school year!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Still to come....

We've entered the slow time for college basketball.  Over the next couple months we will try to keep you entertained.  Here are a few topics you can expect to be addressed in the not so distant future:
  • An interview with former VU fan favorite Cory Johnson
  • An in depth look at the other Horizon League Teams (hopefully with an interview of an opposing player/coach for each one)
  • A breakdown with predictions of the Crusader schedule when it is released
  • A new writer on SectionEE
  • Hopefully, a few other interviews will be thrown into the mix as well
Please check back often or put your email address into the space provided above this post so you won't miss out on anything.