Wow, check out the plus/minus from Monday night’s 9-point win over the spartans. It will surprise you (or at least it surprised me).
Eddie had a career night, shooting lights out. He was 7/9 on FGs, 5/5 on 3s, and 9/10 on FTs. Yet he had a negative plus/minus. What does that tell you? Well, there are a couple of possibilities.
- Eddie didn’t play that great on the defensive end and Simpson for unc-g was more or less matching him on points (25 points); OR
- Tech wasn’t playing very good defensive when Eddie was in, especially guarding the perimeter and the defensive glass (unc-g had 11 made 3-pointers and 11 offensive rebounds but I don’t have the breakdown of those of when Eddie was in); OR
- The Hokies would have lost handily if not for Eddie’s scoring.
The nature of plus/minus tells you that you can rule out #3. If Eddie was carrying the team, then you’d expect his teammates to have similar plus/minus numbers. But Green had a +8, Barksdale, who got benched at the end in favor of Marshall Wood (-3) had a +11, and Robert Brown had an insane +21. So while Eddie was vital to the Tech win and was clutch down the stretch, you have to wonder how much his defense cost the Hokies, though he did draw the spartans’ best player. You could argue that Brown, van Zegeren, and Barksdale were in when Simpson wasn’t, but I can’t prove that.
And maybe Barksdale isn’t playing as bad as we thought – he had a solid 6 rebounds, 5 points, and 2 blocks in 22 minutes and a +11. He does appear to be working hard on defense and has a +46 on the season despite playing less than half the game on average.