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By THE HUSTLE, 08/14/19, 12:15PM EDT


Mention the word “analytics” in a barber shop full of hoopheads and watch what happens. Groups will immediately form, the conversation’s tone will eventually become aggressive-to-accusatory and even the coolest customer will become a little unhinged.

You’re likely to get similar results in a room full of college students, college coaches or college professors. The word itself has become so divisive that most people feel obligated to choose a side before the stat’s value is defined or avoid the topic altogether due to the intimidating vibe that it creates.

Anybody who claims that they “don’t believe in analytics” is claiming that they don’t believe in gathering information prior to making an important decision

The old school hoophead’s argument inevitably leads back to trusting your eyes in order to define a player’s value on any given night or to project a prospect's long-term ceiling.

“All information isn’t good information, son…” or “These number nerds never played a game in their life” are the go-to lines for most who refuse to use the information or accept the ever-changing statistical landscape.

Meanwhile, the analytics community can be just as quick to dismiss the notion that a seasoned “eyes-&-instincts” guy can come anywhere close to defining a player’s true value after a basic game evaluation and a traditional box score. The fact that the soldiers on this side of the stat war have a tendency to use algorithms and polysyllabic words to state their case only adds fuel to the fire of both sides.

Sure enough, the best answer probably lays somewhere in the middle of the battlefield, where open-minded cats from each side gather to discuss how new metrics can be applied to help players improve their skillsets and efficient ways to explain the value of these numbers to get entire teams to buy-in.

There’s no substitute for decades worth of experience in any profession. But once a man relies solely on service time for his credibility, he's bound to lose the respect of his peers and lose sight of the ever-changing environment around him. Those who are willing to adapt and use new information to put others in a position to succeed eventually become leaders who stand the test of time. 

That's where analytics come into play. They allow you to take a deeper look at your own flaws from a different perspective. They can provide an obvious gameplan that was previously unrecognizable against an opponent. Sometimes, they can be just as useless as the guy who believes he’s entitled to something because he’s remained stagnant and hasn’t taken a risk in his life. 

Becoming a prisoner to the numbers, instead of a servant leader to your crew, isn’t what advanced analytics is asking you to do.

The human element will never leave and anybody who thinks they can replace it with a math equation is destined to fail. At the end of the day, it's all about finding the right mix. 

While I’ll concede that all information isn’t good information, I still want access to as much accurate information as humanly possible, especially if I’m preparing for an opponent or projecting a prospect’s future. Give me whatever you got and I’ll decide whether to use it or lose it.

Which brings us to our guys at Open Look Analytics….

Over the last few grassroots seasons, Sean Lawless and his team at Open Look have gone above and beyond to collect reliable stats from each sneaker circuit (Nike, Under Armour and Adidas) in an attempt to provide players and coaches with the same advanced stats that have traditionally been reserved for high major D-1 programs and professional leagues around the world.

The numbers Lawless compiles throughout each season can offer a glimpse into each team’s strengths as well as their potential Achilles heal. If you’re running a team in the EYBL without using Open Look Analytics as a resource, you’re doing your program a major disservice. Once you become accustomed to the respective value of each metric as it applies to your team, OLA’s numbers can paint a vivid picture in a hurry. 

Here’s a look at two basic Advanced Stats along with the leaders in each category among Northeast EYBL programs…

OFFENSIVE RATING: Individual offensive rating is the number of points produced by a player per 100 total individual possessions

USAGE RATE: An estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor (plays that end w/ a FG Attempt, FT Attempt or Turnover)


   NIKE EYBL O-RATING LEADERS                  (w/ USAGE RATE 15%+)

1. Max Edwards, NY Lightning     125.1                             (20.6%)

2. RJ Davis, RENS                                  121.6                             (25.7%)

3. Cliff Omoruyi, NY Lightning     120.3                             (17.9%)

4. Dylan Wusu, NY Lightning        120.2                             (21.7%)

5. Dyondre Dominguez, Expressions  119.3                   (18.5%)

6. Adama Sanogo, RENS                  117.5                               (18.3%)

7. JuJu Murray, NY Lightning        114.5                              (25.6%)

8. Richie Springs, PSA Cardinals  113.2                             (21.1%)

9. J. Mashburn Jr, PSA Cardinals  112.5                            (27.5%)

10. CJ Wilcher, City Rocks               112.3                             (29.1%)

11. Jonathan Kuminga, RENS        109                                 (30.6%)

12. AJ Hoggard, PSA Cardinals     107.6                            (26.9%)

13. Terrence Clarke, Expressions  107.4                           (25.5%)

14. Posh Alexander, NY Lightning   107                             (25.8%)

15. Aaron Gray, Expressions               105.8                         (17.3%)



1. Langston Love, Houston Hoops   132.1                        (25.6%)

2. Devan Cambridge, AOT                    128.2                       (18.9%)

3. Cade Cunningham, Texas Titans 126.3                        (28.6%)

4. Max Edwards, NY Lightning          125.1                        (20.6%)

5. Reece Beekman, Phenom               123.1                         (15.5%)


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