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Stat Corner Powered by WrestleStat: Net Points Per Minute Leaders

Stat Corner

Two weeks ago in Stat Corner powered by WrestleStat, we debuted the points per minute (PPM) leaders in NCAA Division I wrestling.  Last week, we flipped that to its natural inverse, looking at who allows the fewest points per minute (PAPM) this season.  Neither of those measures is perfect, but they produced interesting results.  Today, we take this series to its inevitable conclusion with what I believe to be the best overall statistic yet, net points per minute (NPPM).  The measure is relatively simple given the work we’ve already done. Each wrestler’s points per minute is totaled then we subtract the number of points allowed per minute to get an overarching statistic that quantifies efficiency and dominance.  Looking at the top-10, there is no question that this calculation has yielded a strong group of wrestlers who are performing better than anyone else.  Competitors were required to have at least 10 matches this season as of 1/25/18 to make the list.

Rank Name School Weight PF PA Time PPM PAPM NPPM
1 Jason Nolf Penn State 157 235 53 55.6 4.229 0.954 3.275
2 Zain Retherford Penn State 149 231 31 63.4 3.645 0.489 3.156
3 Seth Gross South Dakota State 133 221 25 67.1 3.293 0.372 2.92
4 Ben Darmstadt Cornell 197 216 33 68.7 3.143 0.48 2.663
5 Daniel Lewis Missouri 174 221 20 85.8 2.575 0.233 2.342
6 Bo Nickal Penn State 184 181 44 62.6 2.894 0.703 2.19
7 Vincenzo Joseph Penn State 165 178 41 65.1 2.734 0.63 2.104
8 Michael Kemerer Iowa 157 216 58 75.3 2.867 0.77 2.097
9 Shakur Rasheed Penn State 197 128 21 51.9 2.465 0.404 2.061
10 Spencer Lee Iowa 125 92 13 38.7 2.379 0.336 2.043

Jason Nolf and Zain Retherford of Penn State head almost every list of dominant wrestlers and this one is no different.  Nolf was well out in front of the PPM rankings, but Retherford closes the gap dramatically thanks to a PAPM rather of almost half a point less.  Seth Gross (South Dakota State) is nearly as dominant as the Nittany Lions, coming in at number three even factoring in his loss to the top-ranked 141 in the country Bryce Meredith (Wyoming).  I owe Ben Darmstadt (Cornell) an apology after leaving him off the PPM list.  Falls skew the data I retrieve from WrestleStat as they don’t include the match scores so he wasn’t on my initial list.  I try to catch everyone that has a high fall percentage to keep omissions from happening, but I missed the freshman.  He has been impressive this season, putting himself alongside some of the biggest stars in college wrestling.

It is no surprise that you have to score a lot of points to get on this list.  We see seven of the top-10 in PPM and it would be eight with Darmstadt.  Myles Martin (Ohio State), Austin DeSanto (Drexel), and Chance Marsteller (Lock Haven) were the three from the PPM list that didn’t quite make the cut this time around.    However, only one wrestler from last week’s PAPM list made it, Daniel Lewis (Missouri) who just missed the top-10 in PPM previously.  Shakur Rasheed (Penn State) is the other wrestler in the top-10 that did not make the PPM list two weeks ago.  Rasheed has been one of the surprises of the season and his penchant for cradling people has put him among the best so far.

I believe this metric is pretty good to measure who is separating themselves from their opponents the most during their time on the mat.  Few would argue that these grapplers do an outstanding job which suggests this statistic is useful.  However, there is at least one aspect that NPPM does not account for, strength of schedule.  We have investigated strength of schedule in the past and may try to add that to the mix in the future.  However, to do so in the most effective way would require that gathering the data for this statistic be a much less manual process.  Until wrestling mandates that scoring and statistical data be kept for all matches and housed in one place, that will be difficult.  We’ve come a long way, but there is still progress to be made.

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