Value Point System: The All-in-One Stat That Keeps Growing

Against all the noisy data out there, this met­ric has become one of the game’s most impor­tant measurements.

Value Point System: The All-in-One Stat That Keeps Growing

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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