Against all the noisy data out there, this metric has become one of the game’s most important measurements.
A quizzical look. A raised eyebrow. A confused “Huh?”
As recently as a few years ago, these were the typical responses when anyone brought up VPS.
Now coaches say it’s become one of the most important statistics in basketball.
The Value Point System comes from a formula that factors in several counting stats to produce a number that gives a more well-rounded indication of overall performance. It’s not as simple to calculate as most statistics, so on the surface the formula looks a bit daunting.
But coaches now know just how powerful this number can be.
“Because of how it’s formulated, it really gives an accurate depiction of how efficient a player is,” Rob Brost, head coach at Bolingbrook High (Ill.) said. “For us, it’s next level. It breaks it down so quickly for us. We don’t have to look for anything. We don’t have to compute anything. We don’t have to really do anything except look at that VPS.”
How It Works
VPS provides an all-encompassing look at performance by weighing positive contributions against negative ones. The resulting number shows how effective a player is.
Let’s look at a lineup from a team with top Four Factors and field goal data. Who here is the best shooter on the floor? And are they really the most dangerous all-around threat?
The player with the best effective field goal percentage, Brad Hilligoss, also has one of the lowest VPS ratings. Looks like opposing defenses had better pay closer attention to Eric Brouillette or Doug McClure and their VPS ratings north of 1.3, especially when added to a fairly good effective field goal percentage, free throw factor and turnover percentage.
How Coaches Value It
When it comes to honest assessments of player performance, objectivity is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. Backing up intuition with VPS metrics helps bridge those conversations.
“It’s awesome,” Ryan Fretz, head coach at Clyde High (Ohio), said. “It takes the positive stuff, divides it by the negative and gives you a value point system. It truly shows how efficiently your players are playing. Your star can come out and say, ‘I had 22 points and 10 rebounds last night.’ Yeah, but you also missed ten free throws, had five turnovers and took 30 shots in the game. Look how much more efficient you could be if you took care of the ball and had better shot selection.”
From a scouting standpoint, the benefits are huge. Coaching in one of the nation’s toughest high school conferences, the Seattle Metro League, a good scouting workflow is paramount to account for the major talent that walks through those gyms. That’s why O’Dea High School (Wash.) assistant boys basketball coach Ryland Brown so readily turns to VPS.
“I’ll look at that to see which of their guys are most productive before I even look at plays and things like that, because then I can hunt down guys that maybe don’t jump off the stat sheet,” Brown says. “I kinda look at it from an opponent’s standpoint, and then try to get a quick overview for what I’m looking at and kind of help guide our next couple steps.
Chris Horton, the girls basketball coach at Lone Oak High (Texas) values VPS because it gives him an accurate depiction of his athletes’ performance, especially those who don’t play as much. Unlike traditional counting stats, VPS isn’t affected by minutes.
“We always talk about how efficient we want our players to be, and the VPS takes in all those factors,” Brost said. “If you miss a free throw, that’s a factor. If you miss a field goal, that’s a factor. It’s not just points, rebounds and assists. Things like steals, blocks and assists are worth more than a free throw, for example.”
How You Can Use It
Consider VPS to be an entryway into the deep dive analytics allows you to make. This can be a super resourceful statistic to pair with other data columns when scouting both your own team and your opponents.
Take, for instance, lineup data. It should immediately jump off the page which lineup here is the most effective.
This kind of knowledge can come in handy when scouting the tendencies of top lineups. If you see someone with limited minutes registering an unusually high VPS, it could lead to a key strategic adjustment when that player enters the game.
Since VPS is an accumulation of other stats, it’s only natural to pair this metric with other columns of data to make further discoveries. How is that player with the high rating performing on the glass? How can the one with the low rating become more than just a nice spot-up shooter? You can then go further and take it all to video, seeing exactly how the number came together.
VPS is just one of the statistics that are changing the way coaches analyze basketball. And with Hudl Assist, you can get these statistics delivered to you for every game.
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