Analysis Is Matt Crouch going to be the best ball magnet in the AFL?

Discussion in 'Adelaide' started by Redleg Crow, May 19, 2015.

Put it out there
  1. Redleg Crow

    Redleg Crow Brownlow Medallist

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    I was going to title this post "Who will be the better Crouch brother", because I think this will be a tough choice to make come the end of their careers.

    But in looking at some numbers I stumbled across an interesting statistic.

    In fantasy footy, "disposals per minute" is often used as a guide for targeting certain player to pick, but it doesn't get much of a run elsewhere - perhaps because disposals per minute is pretty meaningless without doing some extra maths.

    The NBA doesn't do it per minute, it instead converts the per-minute into a full game equivalent - the "scoring per 48 min" stat. Eg this season Stephen Curry averaged 23.8 points per game, but 34.9 points per 48 minutes.

    In the AFL we can use the "percentage of game time played" stat and rather than leave it at a per minute, if we convert it into a 100% of game time stat we get a number any footy fan can understand at first glance.

    ie anything over an average of 30 is going to be pretty bloody good.

    In another thread when responding to a comment comparing Priddis to Grigg at the start of their careers, I wondered about looking at not just their disposals per game but their disposals per game time, given Grigg's ample time in the shiny vest.

    After comparing Grigg and Priddis I thought about looking at Brad Crouch in his first 18 games (Grigg had played 17, so I just added one as I thought 18 sounded like a nice round number to judge a player's start to his career, you can argue I should use 24 or 25, but for here, I'm just using 18).

    Now we all know Brad Crouch is a ball magnet and has been from game 1. In his first 18 games he averaged 23.9 disposals per game.

    I thought about comparing that start with other midfielders first 18 games, and I so came up with a list of 27 players (I prob have missed a couple, but it's pretty extensive I reckon). I haven't included anyone who started in 2003 (Ablett, Judd, Mitchell etc) as the "AFL Tables" website doesn't have the "Game time played" stat for before 2004)

    Of those 27, including Pendlubury, Fye, Selwood, Rockliff etc etc, Brad Crouch had the highest average disposals per game in his first 18 games (Priddis was second with 22.4 per game).

    But what about Matt Crouch? Well his average in his first 10 games is just 17.2 per game - a long way behind his brother. But as we know, young Bob has worn the subs vest a bit. Of all the players in my list, he has averaged the least amount of game time in his first 18 games (or 10 for him).

    But when you convert his disposals into an average over 100% of game time, he comes out on top of all other players for their first 18 games with 32.8. The second best on the list for their first 18 games is Priddis with 32.2. Brad Crouch comes in third with 30.0.

    Now this of course isn't a definitive ranking of players - and I'm not suggesting it means Crouch is a better player than the others. Gray and Danger for example spent a fair bit of time in the forward line so not surprisingly their numbers are down a bit. You could use "metres gained" and other such stats, but I think it does say something about both Crouch's ability to get the ball.

    One reason a player doesn't get more game time is he isn't good enough (or at least not thought to be good enough), but Matt Crouch was pretty much drafted to get the ball. And get the ball he does - when he is given a chance.

    How good is his 32.8 average for 100% of the game time? Nat Fyfe in his past 18 games has an average of 33.0. So yeah, he's doing pretty good.

    The problem of course is player doesn't play a theoretical 100% of a game, they just play a game. And Here Bob needs to get more actual disposals per game if he is really going to be the game changer for the team.

    This table below might suggest that he needs to be given more playing time, or it might be that he needs to improve his fitness so that he can be on the field for longer. Even on the weekend when he wasn't a sub only Lyons, Jaensch and Smith were on the field for less time.

    It would not be surprising if as his game time increases his average disposals per minute drops. If we only use the 4 games in which he played over 70% of the match, his per 100% game average drops to 29.5 - but that is a pretty small sample, skewed by a bad game against Melbourne last year. If we use the 6 times he played at least 50%, his average is 33.2.

    So sure, maybe he still needs to do some work, but whatever, I think it's clear we have the makings of a player who is going to get some serious leather poisoning by the time he retires.

    Orange = top 5 of the category; Purple = bottom 5
    All stats are for a player's first 18 games except Matt Crouch who has only played 10 (edit now including Matt's first 18)

    EDIT: Have now added Lyons, Grigg and Adam Treloar to the list.
    EDIT 2: Also added Tom Mitchell (no idea why I forgot him!) and Matt's first 18 games where he started)

    Dispo per.png
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
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  2. Lawrst

    Lawrst Premiership Player

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    Very interesting comparisons.

    He is defiantly in special company in his ability to find the ball.

    I notice Thompson isn't on there, any reason why?
     
  3. croweater 41

    croweater 41 Brownlow Medallist

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    Solid matching is solid.

    Bob was a beast in the TAC cup. He somewhat carried the Rebels in his senior year and was an absolute ball magnet (averaged what 38 touches? per game) in that year as he was either at the bottom of every pack or getting the ball from a team mate at every possible occasion.

    As has been discussed regularly around this board Bob is the perfect replacement for Thommo for when he calls it quits. May not have the muscles that Thommo does but is every bit in and under the packs.

    I for one and I will admit was worried about his kicking when he came to the AFL but if Priddis can win a brown low from simply hand balling most of the time who knows what he could do.
     
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  4. FantasticShirt

    FantasticShirt Premiership Player

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    The two of them together will be an impressive sight when they're both fully fit and playing full games. That effort of Matt Crouch's on the weekend to get the ball and deliver it to Walker on the lead was perfect. The fact it came about from a Laird tackle made it even better :)

    This thread makes me happy, but it also makes me sad because it reminds me that Crouch Snr is out for another few rounds and we've been robbed of seeing him play a full season. I think people forget how good he was in the back half of his rookie year.

    #wecrouchasone
     
  5. mattymac

    mattymac Brownlow Medallist

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    All I know is "The Crouch Brothers" will become a household name across this great land. Feared. Respected. Ours.
     
  6. Rory Walkerfield

    Rory Walkerfield Norm Smith Medallist

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    I love this sort of sh!t.

    Spend a lot of time on stats sites. Interesting to benchmark players.
     
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  7. BACCS

    BACCS BigFooty Juggernaut

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    He will be our Priddis type of player for the next 10+ years, and that's nothing to snuff at. Gun.
     
  8. Wright Away

    Wright Away Cancelled

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    Crouch will be back for rnd 12 or 13.
     
  9. pjcrows

    pjcrows Brownlow Medallist

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    The Crouch brothers will be ridiculous in the post-Thompson era.

    I do fear for Brad's injury count though. Really needs to get it right.
     
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  10. DD#23

    DD#23 Norm Smith Medallist

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    I'm not going to fact check, but I'd presume he debuted before the time on ground stat was recorded, as with Ablett, etc as mentioned.
     
  11. The19thMan

    The19thMan All Australian

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    Nice work, we need more statistical analysis like this on this board and in the AFL in general.

    I've always thought that we need a more sophisticated player ranking system in the AFL, the Player Ratings system they have on the AFL website doesn't quite cut it and they don't really release enough info of interest.

    And regarding Matt Crouch I think that fitness is the major hurdle for him. Defensive work is also a weakness according to NikkiNoo. I reckon having his brother in the team would help that though, I'm sure B.Crouch wouldn't hesitate a second before screaming at his brother to get back :p
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015

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  12. Allefgib

    Allefgib Moderator

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    What does the player rating system not cover for you 19th?
     
  13. lunacy

    lunacy Premiership Player

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    I'm loving M.Crouch. I think he has a very nice kick and only really mis-kicks it mean he tries to kick it 50m+. I think he is a much better kick than Brad. Matt is the smooth mover, while Brad is the burst/powerful/quick midfielder. They'll complement each other really well.
    Both rack up the possessions, have wonderful hands in close, tackle hard, and have an aggressive streak.

    Whilst we have a surplus of inside mids, I was super happy we drafted Matt. Both aren't going anywhere now and they'll build a strong culture because they'll love this club.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
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  14. Redleg Crow

    Redleg Crow Brownlow Medallist

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    He started in 2001 so couldn't do the disposals per minute thing
     
  15. Redleg Crow

    Redleg Crow Brownlow Medallist

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    That kick was beautiful as I was typing when I first saw it, I thought Lyons had kicked it. Very happy to see it was from the supposed poor kick
     
  16. Scorpus

    Scorpus Snake Poison

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    This wasn't targeted at me, but there's a few things I don't like about the Player Ratings:
    • Defenders aren't given much credit for shutdown work, hence why Gibson, Johnson and Hurley rate so highly while the shutdown defenders people often rate as better (eg. in AA contention) like Talia, Hooker, MacKenzie, etc. don't rate as highly.
    • The rating of rucks is dubious as most people subjectively evaluate Naitanui (for example) as not as good a ruckman as Mumford, Lobbe, Minson, etc.
    • I don't think many people rate Brent Harvey as the 6th best player over the past few years, above JPK, Franklin, Gray, Watson all of whom are subjectively better
    • Key forwards ratings don't appear to be as highly rated to goals kicked as they should be. Hence why Westhoff is rated as a better forward than Hawkins, Schulz, Pavlich, Cameron, etc.
    It's hard to tell what's wrong with their rating system without seeing it, but I would definitely tweak it somewhat.

    Generally I think it does a decent job for a stats-based ranking for the top 50 or so players, bar the odd one. Below that, I don't think it's very accurate
     
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  17. Redleg Crow

    Redleg Crow Brownlow Medallist

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    Yeah I wonder if the fitness thing is the issue as well. Easy to forget his ankle surgery.

    Geez, Can we have these two brother have one full year without both getting injured??
     
  18. Redleg Crow

    Redleg Crow Brownlow Medallist

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    Yep.
     
  19. Redleg Crow

    Redleg Crow Brownlow Medallist

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    Throw in any other names you think worth comparing and I'll update the table when I get the time. (Of course if they come out better than Bob I'll have to pretend I couldn't find the time ;) )
     
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  20. The19thMan

    The19thMan All Australian

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    Well first of all they don't explain how it works very well. It isn't customizable at all, for example you can't see who has been the best player in the last 3 weeks or last 25 games.

    Then the actual system doesn't seem to quite get it right, for example the All-Australian defenders last year were Talia and Hooker right. Well they are 27th and 6th respectly among key defenders. Even then it rates Matt Wright ahead of Talia, I'm not a Wright hater but he's not better than Talia.

    All this is just scratching the surface.

    Stuff like GPS data should be readily available to supporters during games as well but that's going off on a tangent.

    Overall I just think the AFL should be putting more resources into the statistical side of the game.
     
  21. jumboprince

    jumboprince MASSIVE MEMBER

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    I hope they sacked the guy that kept putting him in the green jacket...his stats are outstanding
     
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  22. DD#23

    DD#23 Norm Smith Medallist

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    I love the way they try to analyse effectiveness rather than just rating people supercoach style.

    the problem I have with the whole system however is that assumptions have to be made and/or derived about how you measure that effectiveness and we're largely left in the dark about that black magic process.

    particularly interested in how much if any AI is involved or whether its just a bunch of manually configured parameters (or guesses as I like to call them :))
     
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  23. Scorpus

    Scorpus Snake Poison

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    [​IMG]
     
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  24. Scorpus

    Scorpus Snake Poison

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    Pretty sure it's all based off Champion Data's extremely comprehensive stats they provide through a subscription
     
  25. Drugs Are Bad Mackay?

    Drugs Are Bad Mackay? Moderator

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    Good thread :thumbsu:

    Priddis made his debut as a 21 year old too. Was a mature-ager and therefore ready to go.

    So our guys are No 1 and 2 really :)

    Where will you be when the Crouch Bros crack 80 disposals?