Skill Efficiencies by Team


This viz is the follow-up to the skill breakdown per player post from a couple days ago; a composite look at how each team fares on a per skill basis. The teams you see are ordered by their finishes in Big Ten conference play in the 2016 season and the data used is from conference matches only. Blocking is calculated via the responsible blocker metric rather than just block touches, meaning there are attempts counted on untouched attacks if the ball went to an area a blocker was responsible for.

The first thing you might notice is that Rutgers isn’t very good. Nor is Northwestern. On average, these teams hurt their Win Efficiencies each time they contact the ball, no matter the skill. The second thing you might notice is that all teams have negative Eff Changes for Reception. I need to drill down into that skill and see why all teams hurt themselves here, even passing powerhouses like Nebraska and Wisconsin. Maybe later this weekend.

Some interesting similarities: all teams have about the same percentage breakdown per skill – meaning that each is expected to perform each skill at about the same frequency, no matter the talent level of the team. This can be incredibly useful to understand if you’re looking for more efficient returns on your time investment in practice. Another interesting trend is the value that attacking adds for 3 of the top 4 teams. While Nebraska is good at everything, the other 3 excel offensively and this is evidenced by the proportion attacking holds in their composite view of added value.

The middle cluster of teams also have similar characteristics. They all perform exceedingly average, being only slightly above/below .000 per skill (minus Reception). Then in the bottom contingent, these teams all lose value on almost all skills – except for Purdue, who, if you’ve watched them, tends to fluctuate on a per match basis.

There are a bunch of different threads you could tug at in this viz, but I’ll let you form your own thoughts while looking at this. If something like this happens to spark a cool thought or helps you see an idea from a different angle, let me know about it and let’s see if we can dig deeper.