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Should [Insert Player Here] Be Getting More Playing Time?

Roy Williams is not suffering from a lack of advice on what to do now. At least, not if he reads the internet; everybody and their brother-in-law has an opinion on who should be getting more playing time and who should be getting less. But just this week Backing the Pack pointed out that Stat Sheet has added plus/minus statistics to its pages. (Plus/minus, of course, being the differences in points UNC scores versus those UNC allows when the player is in and out of the game.) It was trivial to go back through the last eight ACC games and see who was in the game when UNC was giving up big leads, versus who was in when they weren't.

First the aggregate numbers:

Name +/- Best Worst
Strickland 30 27 -16
Graves 18 14 -13
Henson 12 17 -24
McDonald 2 11 -9
Thompson -6 10 -17
T. Wear -12 21 -13
Ginyard -14 14 -10
D. Wear -19 10 -13
Drew II -30 22 -27
Davis -83 12 -31


So if you're one of the people arguing for Strickland to get more playing time, pat yourself on the back. If you've been advocating anything else - because I know no one has been saying Will Graves needs to play more and Ed Davis needs to play less - you're probably wrong. The the main thing is, if I was a coach looking at these numbers, it wouldn't tell me a damn thing. The last two columns are the players' best and worst scoring margins for an individual game. Every player has had a game where their presence on the court has been worth a ten or more point swing, and almost all have also cost the team an equal amount. There's no consistency game-to-game from anyone. On the one hand this a good thing, indicating that Williams is mixing up his player combinations trying to find something, anything that works. The bad news, however, is that this is nothing that can be fixed simply by benching one player and starting another.