Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

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Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by Cheynem » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:18 pm

It's time again for the annual event that brings us together in anger, the college player poll.

Here's the deal: Vote for the top 25 players. Obviously, as many as correctly have pointed out, this can be tough to rank in terms of generalism vs. specialism, and usually people end up making up their own way to rank players. That's fine. I think others have proposed doing subject-specific or specialist polls, and those would be good ideas, but i think there's some merit to just doing straight-up rankings.

*Vote for 25 (no more, no less) players and send ballots to me at chey0004 at umn dot edu.
*Don't vote for high schoolers unless they regularly played college tournaments.
*Please try and make good faith efforts to vote for players, but feel free to try to throw some votes to players you think deserve some love.

If I took last year's top 25 and threw out the players who are no longer active and moved up the players who also received votes, we'd have:

1. Eric Mukherjee, Penn
2. John Lawrence, Chicago
3. Jacob Reed, Yale
4. Chris Ray, Ohio State
5. Adam Silverman, Northwestern
6. Rafael Krichevsky, Columbia
7. Itamar Naveh-Benjamin, Missouri
8. Shan Kothari, Minnesota
9. Jason Golfinos, Cambridge
10. Aseem Keyal, Berkeley
11. Derek So, McGill
12. Charles Hang, WUSTL
13. Stephen Eltinge, Yale
14. Nathan Weiser, Stanford
15. Caleb Kendrick, Oklahoma
16. Kenji Shimizu, Michigan
17. Jason Zhou, Chicago
18. Sam Bailey, Minnesota
19. Bruce Lou, Berkeley
20. Eric Xu, Virginia
21. Ben Zhang, Columbia
22. Eric Chen, Berkeley
23. Weijia Cheng, Maryland
24. Aidan Mehigan, Penn
25. Alston Boyd, Chicago

I am not saying you need to obviously have all of these players on a ballot, but I thought this might be a good starting point. Take into account improvement, reduced play, and the many, many new impactful players who have arrived on the scene.

Jasper Lee and Sameer Rai, as far as I know, are still in school but didn't seem to play regularly.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by vinteuil » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:24 pm

Cheynem wrote: *Don't vote for high schoolers unless they regularly played college tournaments.
Does this mean we can vote for Clark Smith this year? Because people should do that if it's allowable.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by Cheynem » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:25 pm

Clark played both ICT and Nats, so I would say yes. I just meant by my question "don't vote for a high schooler who happened to play a few college tournaments." He or she should be basically an enrolled student.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by The Abydos Helicopter » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:25 pm

From a British perspective, I would suggest that people should vote for Jason Golfinos of Cambridge, who lead his team to the highest placing ever of a British university, Daoud Jackson of Oxford, who led his team to a way higher finish than most predicted, and Evan Lynch of Southampton, who top scored at the UK Regionals mirror, and whose stats across the season are worth taking a look at.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by vinteuil » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:29 pm

One metric I find particularly enlightening is PPG difference between prelims and the top playoff bracket of nationals and ICT (obviously, this can’t apply to everyone). For instance, Alston and John Lawrence both had higher PPGs in the top bracket of nats than during prelims, as did Adam Silverman, Rahul Keyal (damn son!), and Clark Smith (daaaaamn son!). Other players and teams, e.g. Sam Bailey and Yale, put up very similar/only slightly depressed numbers.

(To be fully transparent, yes of course this is somewhat self-serving, since I managed to go up the individual standings between "prelims" and "overall" at ICT, despite having two of my three worst games of the year contribute to the latter.)

Aside from Clark and Rahul, people should be careful not to ignore Taylor Harvey's great play this year. And among more known quantities, Kenji really had a stellar season, and Bruce Lou and Charlie Dees were both extremely consistent, high-performing supporting players.

EDIT: I can't believe I forgot to mention—this Sunday is a great demonstration of how important Isaac's offensive firepower on history and other stuff was to us as a team, and people should rank him accordingly

EDIT EDIT: Oh and duh, Aseem is the most general offensive player in quizbowl now, and is, uh, awfully good at it.
Last edited by vinteuil on Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by The Stately Rhododendron » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:58 pm

Kenji is really, really good, and probably the only active player who had my number at NAQT.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by heterodyne » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:31 pm

There's plenty of people who deserve recognition, and if nobody has brought them up in a few days I'll do my best to make a case for as many as I can. In this post, however, I want to make a case for why I am choosing the order of my top four in the manner that I am (and hopefully convince some of you to do the same!)

I started with a potential top 4 of Aseem, Jacob, John, and Eric, not necessarily in that order. This is based on the heuristic of "leading player on a team that was top two at either national." I think there are definitely good arguments to be made that Chris and Rafael could end up bumping one of them, and I'm happy to hear discussion of that, but won't be addressing that issue here because I'm writing this post quickly.

My number one is Jacob Reed. He was the second scorer in the top bracket at ICT (based on overall, since NAQT doesn't have a separate page for individual playoff stats) and top scorer in top bracket playoff play at ACF by a margin of over 15 ppg. He's a generalist who can buzz in basically every category with deep specialties in art and areas of thought/ss. He put up 11 tossups to secure his win at ICT. It seems that Jacob both adds incredible value to a hypothetical open team we are building and would be a top contender in a hypothetical college head-to-head tournament. Thus, Jacob comes in first.

My number four is Aseem. While Aseem did outscore Eric by a bit in playoff games at ACF, Eric outscored him by a larger margin at ICT. Aseem is also lethal at art, but Eric's comparative advantage on science is too good to pass up. As I'm about to show, if I can't put him above Eric I can't really put him above John.

My last decision, to have John at number 2 and Eric and number 3, is probably going to be the hottest take I'm putting forth here. Obviously, I'm mildly biased towards John, so I won't spend much time on the subjective reasons I think he should be placed here. Briefly, though, John dominated lit at nationals to such a degree that I was noticeably relieved when lit questions came up, even against top teams. This is not to say that nobody takes lit off him, but in general I had the feeling that he was the noticeable favorite on a given "generic" lit question. His abilities on music and philosophy are also, I believe, well known.

As I said, though, my subjective account can't be that valuable to you, so let's look at some numbers. John was 3rd scorer at ICT among top bracket players, with a power count only matched in the field by Jakob Myers (who, by the way, should be in your top 10.) This, of course, in spite of the major hit that his categories take at NAQT. He was 2nd scorer in top bracket playoff games at ACF. He did this in spite of, in my view, overlapping more with his teammates than anyone else in this conversation. His best categories are music, literature, and philosophy. In Kai, he's playing with one of the few people in the country who can take music off him with any consistency (for anyone who doubts this, look at the CMST detailed stats - Kai is no slouch at music.) I know some amount of lit and got several lit buzzes in the nats playoffs, and was taking maybe 30-40% of the philosophy buzzes on our team. (This could be an overestimation of myself, but I certainly got some philosophy buzzes.) In spite of this, John still delivered consistent good statlines against top teams. In my mind, this gives him the edge against Eric, who both put up weaker playoff stats and has less overlap with his teammates.



also vote for clark smith he's crazy good
Last edited by heterodyne on Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by jonah » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:42 pm

heterodyne wrote:My number one is Jacob Reed. He was the second scorer in the top bracket at ICT (based on overall, since NAQT doesn't have a separate page for individual playoff stats)
Top ten PP20TUH in 2018 ICT Division I playoffs only:
Itamar Naveh-Benjamin, 73.48
Jakob Myers, 69.47
Chris Ray, 68.23
Hidehiro Anto, 61.08
Jacob Reed, 55.65
Greg Peterson, 55.32
Charles Hang, 54.97
Adam Silverman, 49.47
Jason Cheng, 49.20
John Lawrence, 48.42
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:06 pm

I'll jump on the Kenji train and echo earlier posters' advice to rank Clark Smith and Taylor Harvey fairly highly (I've bitched in another thread already about how Florida got underseeded at ACF Nats. Don't make the same mistake.) Matthew Lehmann should at least be in your top 20 if not 15; the Chicago B teams he top-scored generally performed better against us than Chicago A did.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by ryanrosenberg » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:16 pm

I put together a rough tier list of generalists and specialists, since I find it very hard to decide between the two groups when making my ballot. In general, I tried to avoid overlap as much as possible, except where it was unavoidable or instructive to prove a point (i.e. Kai/Alston/Jaimie have all demonstrate excellent generalist potential without John/Eric, Clark Smith can develop along either track, Jakob Myers is well on his way to the top). For the "Noteworthy" section, I tried to (on the most part) include people who I feel are underdiscussed or underappreciated, rather than making it a strict fourth tier, since making an exhaustive list of that would stretch too wide for this discussion.

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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:36 pm

Coming out of self-imposed nonage to discuss three players who I think are roughly comparable this year: Rafael K, Chris R, and Itamar Naveh-Benjamin. I think each of these players is certainly better than Aseem, Jason G, Myers, or Adam Silverman (incidentally, I would place those four in that order after some ordering of Rafael/Chris/Itamar and those three, in turn, fall behind Jacob/JLaw/Eric in some order).

My first piece of evidence is anecdotal: Despite having a pretty small amount of support from his team, Itamar took Chicago A to tossup 20 in their game at ACF Nationals, which I'm told ended up playing out as a literature buzzer race. Chicago A won ACF Nationals and got third place at ICT.

My second piece, somewhat longer, is statistical. Itamar scored 24 powers at ICT, though admittedly he was in the middle bracket in the playoffs; however, a majority of his powers (14 / 24) came in the first five games. This is more than Rafael and comparable to Chris, adjusting down for bracket strength. He outscored Jakob Myers at both Nationals and ICT, despite being terrible at NAQT categories and best at literature, myth, and painting. He's responsible for the vast majority of Mizzou's bonus points, and Mizzou had the 8th highest PPB at ACF Nationals and the 13th highest at ICT.

I also think there's a very serious debate of this year about Rafael vs. Chris, whereas in past years Chris was very clearly better than both. In previous years, Rafael was able to rack up a ton of buzzes against middle teams but struggled against top teams (Ben Zhang pointed out that he outscored Rafael in the playoffs of 2016 Nationals). After a couple more years of steady improvement, Rafael has become something of a Chris-like player - he's able to get good buzzes in every category against every team has a few areas where he's definitely one of the best (history for Chris, music/opera/physical science for Rafael). I'm certainly not going to forget him dunking on Wang/Ryu/Joey/myself at CO 2016.

From here, you've got a tough comparison. Rafael and Chris are easier to compare directly. I would collectively rate Rafael's teammates as better than Chris', though not overwhelmingly so. Chris was clearly the better player at ICT, with more powers and about 20 more PPG. Rafael was the better player at ACF, putting up about 5 more PPG. Rafael also had 14 and 21 negs at ICT and ACF compared with Chris's 23 and 30, respectively. Columbia had 1.3 PPB more at ICT and 3.0 PPB more at ACF. Columbia also had more victories over top teams (2-1 vs Penn, 1-1 vs Yale, 0-2 vs Chicago, 0-2 vs Berkeley, 1-0 vs Cambridge, 0-1 vs OSU) as compared to OSU (0-2 vs Yale, 0-2 vs Chicago, 0-1 vs Berkeley, 0-1 vs Penn, 0-1 vs Cambridge, 1-0 vs Columbia). On the flip side, Chris performed much better than Rafael at CMST, where OSU split games with Penn, Jordan's team, and my team.

Finally, it's worth stacking these players up against the leaders of some other top teams. Aseem was far and away Berkeley's best player at ACF Nationals, but at ICT he wasn't that far ahead of Bruce in scoring and had two more 20 PPG contributors on his team. Jason was his team's best player and led Cambridge to a best-ever finish for a British team, but he got pretty substantial support from his teammates as well, who combined to have more PPG than him. Adam Silverman ended up in the bottom bracket at one of the nationals, and Myers has been discussed above.

I'd thus rank the top ten players so:

1. Jacob Reed (I don't think this is controversial - he outscored all the other team leaders while being on the best team with the best support)
2-3 John Lawrence and Eric Mukherjee (this seems the most contentious to me - I think John improved a lot more than Eric this year, for what it's worth)
4. Rafael
5. Chris
6. Itamar
7. Aseem (elite arts and science player, solid non-history generalist)
8. Jason (solid generalist, low neg, led team to 5th place)
9. Jakob (second-best history player in the country; massive power numbers at ICT; solid generalist)
10. Adam (elite science player, solid generalist)
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by gyre and gimble » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:48 pm

Ryan, your chart is a very interesting way to organize this discussion and I think it’s largely correct. I do think that it overranks Isaac (sorry Isaac) for his NAQT ability, at the expense of players like Kenji and Caleb who are much stronger ACF players (remember, ACF is the dominant format, even if ICT is one of the two nationals). I would include Nathan in this group as well but I don’t know if he’s played enough this year to justify it. He certainly would have belonged there last year.

I’m also glad to see other members of the Penn team make the list. The team took second at ACF Nationals and it was clear from the second-place matches that Eric’s supporting cast were instrumental in getting them there. If Alston and Kai are in the top 25 discussion, as they firmly seem to be here (and rightly so), I don’t see why JinAh and Jaimie shouldn’t be as well. The scoring breakdowns for Chicago and Penn are remarkably similar.

Robert Chu also seems like a player worth discussing. He led a Johns Hopkins team that’s seemingly come out of nowhere to a pretty impressive Nationals performance.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:59 pm

Because I'm somewhat bored, here's a shorter ranking of just Freshmen/below this year:
1. Me. I know, I know.
2. Matthew Lehmann
3. Clark Smith
4. Rahul Keyal
5. Luke Tierney
6. Tracy Mirkin
7. James Malouf
8. Annabelle Yang
9. Nitin Rao
10. Jonathan Tran
11. Ashwin Ramaswami
12. Pranav Sivakumar
13. Brian Kalathiveetil
14. Colton Sanden
15. Hunter Wotruba
16. John Waldron
Let me know if I left out anyone/you
Last edited by An Economic Ignoramus on Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:59 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by Kasper Kaijanen » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:08 pm

jonah wrote:
heterodyne wrote:My number one is Jacob Reed. He was the second scorer in the top bracket at ICT (based on overall, since NAQT doesn't have a separate page for individual playoff stats)
Top ten PP20TUH in 2018 ICT Division I playoffs only:
Itamar Naveh-Benjamin, 73.48
Jakob Myers, 69.47
Chris Ray, 68.23
Hidehiro Anto, 61.08
Jacob Reed, 55.65
Greg Peterson, 55.32
Charles Hang, 54.97
Adam Silverman, 49.47
Jason Cheng, 49.20
John Lawrence, 48.42
Since we missed the playoffs, this does not include Caleb Kendrick who is very good and should be very high on your ballots.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by jonah » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:14 pm

Kasper Kaijanen wrote:
jonah wrote:
heterodyne wrote:My number one is Jacob Reed. He was the second scorer in the top bracket at ICT (based on overall, since NAQT doesn't have a separate page for individual playoff stats)
Top ten PP20TUH in 2018 ICT Division I playoffs only:
Itamar Naveh-Benjamin, 73.48
Jakob Myers, 69.47
Chris Ray, 68.23
Hidehiro Anto, 61.08
Jacob Reed, 55.65
Greg Peterson, 55.32
Charles Hang, 54.97
Adam Silverman, 49.47
Jason Cheng, 49.20
John Lawrence, 48.42
Since we missed the playoffs, this does not include Caleb Kendrick who is very good and should be very high on your ballots.
Everyone made the playoffs. Caleb is #11 (47.66).

edit: added attachment. I can also do this for DII if you want.
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2018 DI ICT playoff individual stats.xlsx
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by Kasper Kaijanen » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:22 pm

jonah wrote:
Kasper Kaijanen wrote:
jonah wrote:
heterodyne wrote:My number one is Jacob Reed. He was the second scorer in the top bracket at ICT (based on overall, since NAQT doesn't have a separate page for individual playoff stats)
Top ten PP20TUH in 2018 ICT Division I playoffs only:
Itamar Naveh-Benjamin, 73.48
Jakob Myers, 69.47
Chris Ray, 68.23
Hidehiro Anto, 61.08
Jacob Reed, 55.65
Greg Peterson, 55.32
Charles Hang, 54.97
Adam Silverman, 49.47
Jason Cheng, 49.20
John Lawrence, 48.42
Since we missed the playoffs, this does not include Caleb Kendrick who is very good and should be very high on your ballots.
Everyone made the playoffs. Caleb is #11 (47.66).

edit: added attachment. I can also do this for DII if you want.
Sorry, I misinterpreted playoffs as meaning "top bracket"
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by High Dependency Unit » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:35 pm

An Economic Ignoramus wrote:Because I'm somewhat bored, here's a shorter ranking of just Freshmen/below this year:
1. Me. I know, I know.
2. Matthew Lehmann
3. Clark Smith
4. Rahul Keyal
5. Luke Tierney
6. Tracy Mirkin
7. James Malouf
8. Annabelle Yang
9. Nitin Rao
10. Jonathan Tran
11. John Waldron
12. Ashwin Ramaswami
13. Pranav Sivakumar
14. Brian Kalathiveetil
15. Hunter Wotruba
Let me know if I left out a
I understand I was mostly irrelevant on the circuit this year, but I would appreciate being included in a freshman ranking (that being said, by no means should I be mentioned in any greater capacity).

By the way, I played regionals and SMT (stats for that are on Neg5).
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by gimmedatguudsuccrose » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:36 pm

An Economic Ignoramus wrote:Matthew Lehmann should at least be in your top 20 if not 15; the Chicago B teams he top-scored generally performed better against us than Chicago A did.
I could tell anecdotes about how Matthew is one of the fastest on the buzzer, how he regularly beats John Lawrence (and the rest of the Chicago club) to Literature and Jason Zhou to history, and how he learns at an astonishing pace, but instead I'll hit you with some numbers. In terms of lit specialty, Matthew is no slouch, having the 7th highest number of powers at It's Lit and the 10th highest Literature PATH at CMST. Matthew had 41 powers at DII ICT, second in the field, while leading his team to victory and playing with Luke Tierney (who notably had 23 powers!). Matthew also led Chicago B to their highest finish in the recent past at ACF Nationals and had 10 powers at CMST (more than 2 of 7 players that played CMST in Will's top 10). Underrating Matthew would be a grave mistake.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:46 pm

I have my opinions I don't care to get into. I'd ask that you don't forget I'm still the best science player ever and my performance against Yale in the 2nd place game cemented that pretty well.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by Knickerbocker glory » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:52 pm

I'd like to bring to the conversation two of my teammates who haven't been mentioned yet.

Justin Nghiem is our literature specialist. He's very quiet and unassuming and he doesn't come into many people's considerations, but after playing with him for three years (and 2015 California NASAT) I can safely vouch for him as a top literature player who can get insane buzzes against even top teams. Notably, Justin locked out Jordan Brownstein in literature in 2016 ACF Nationals en route to an upset of Maryland. Justin also has a strong earth science specialty that comes in handy for unexpected points.

As anyone who has played against him can attest, Michael Coates is one of the best NAQT-specific players. Without his knowledge of current events, pop culture, and the sort of random knowledge that NAQT tends to ask about, we would have suffered many more dead tossups and zeroed bonuses. Michael is also very good at European history and historiography in general, something I feel tends to be overlooked when he's playing on the A team.

As far as I know, these two players haven't been ranked or even discussed so far, so hopefully people can keep them in mind as the conversation continues.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by AGoodMan » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:06 am

An Economic Ignoramus wrote:Because I'm somewhat bored, here's a shorter ranking of just Freshmen/below this year:
1. Me. I know, I know.
2. Matthew Lehmann
3. Clark Smith
4. Rahul Keyal
5. Luke Tierney
6. Tracy Mirkin
7. James Malouf
8. Annabelle Yang
9. Nitin Rao
10. Jonathan Tran
11. Ashwin Ramaswami
12. Pranav Sivakumar
13. Brian Kalathiveetil
14. Hunter Wotruba
15. Colin Cantwell
Let me know if I left out anyone/you
Just looking at stats, John Connor of UVA did extremely well at ICT, outpowering Colin.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by vinteuil » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:32 am

heterodyne wrote:John dominated lit at nationals to such a degree that I was noticeably relieved when lit questions came up, even against top teams. This is not to say that nobody takes lit off him, but in general I had the feeling that he was the noticeable favorite on a given "generic" lit question.
I had this experience at Historature—it was lovely. But I had it to an even greater extent on science questions with Eric at 2016 CO. (This isn't to argue with any of your numbers.)
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by vinteuil » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:35 am

gyre and gimble wrote:The scoring breakdowns for Chicago and Penn are remarkably similar.
This isn't so far off, but all of Chicago's nats players outscored all of their Penn counterparts, despite having far more overlap/shadowing (except Jason).
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by vinteuil » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:46 am

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote: I also think there's a very serious debate of this year about Rafael vs. Chris, whereas in past years Chris was very clearly better than both. In previous years, Rafael was able to rack up a ton of buzzes against middle teams but struggled against top teams (Ben Zhang pointed out that he outscored Rafael in the playoffs of 2016 Nationals). After a couple more years of steady improvement, Rafael has become something of a Chris-like player - he's able to get good buzzes in every category against every team has a few areas where he's definitely one of the best (history for Chris, music/opera/physical science for Rafael). I'm certainly not going to forget him dunking on Wang/Ryu/Joey/myself at CO 2016.

From here, you've got a tough comparison. Rafael and Chris are easier to compare directly. I would collectively rate Rafael's teammates as better than Chris', though not overwhelmingly so. Chris was clearly the better player at ICT, with more powers and about 20 more PPG. Rafael was the better player at ACF, putting up about 5 more PPG. Rafael also had 14 and 21 negs at ICT and ACF compared with Chris's 23 and 30, respectively. Columbia had 1.3 PPB more at ICT and 3.0 PPB more at ACF. Columbia also had more victories over top teams (2-1 vs Penn, 1-1 vs Yale, 0-2 vs Chicago, 0-2 vs Berkeley, 1-0 vs Cambridge, 0-1 vs OSU) as compared to OSU (0-2 vs Yale, 0-2 vs Chicago, 0-1 vs Berkeley, 0-1 vs Penn, 0-1 vs Cambridge, 1-0 vs Columbia). On the flip side, Chris performed much better than Rafael at CMST, where OSU split games with Penn, Jordan's team, and my team.
Not to knock Rafael, but I think Chris has a far better game-sense than Rafael, which gives him a serious edge here—he would have stuck to his Aquinas guns on that bonus, for instance, I think.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by thebluehawk1 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:03 am

The purpose of this post is two fold. The first is to draw your attention to Weijia Cheng and Graham Reid. Weijia is an excellent player who deserves a spot on your ballot. His skills are best showcased on difficult content. He's on when it counts the most. This year he got to showcase that in a post-Jordan era, Maryland would still be a competitive team. His probably best in the game religion knowledge has already been documented, as well as his ability to buzz on social science, but this year he has gotten to showcase his skills as a very capable history player. He lead our team to top bracket finishes at both nationals, totally shattering expectations. I'm glad I got to come along for the ride. Of course as skilled as Weijia is I must also advocate for Graham Reid, who displayed elite physics knowledge throughout the season. Additionally he has a great ability to sweep up a lot of areas outside where you wouldn't necessarily expect: some philosophy, a great deal of painting, and British history were places you could see Graham getting buzzes reliably.

The second thing I want to talk about is a bit of a proposition. I think there should be more than simply a player poll. It is certainly a great thing to recognize the top 25 players of the year, but I think we should recognize more. Some suggestions are modeled off the NBA regular season awards.

MVP is easy, it can just be the top player in the poll (God help me if I've just started a Best player vs Most valuable player debate)

Rookie of the Year, can be the highest rated Freshman, or I suppose a first year player of any grade level. This could be based on DII eligibility. If no first year player appears in the poll conversation will need to happen (this year that shouldn't be a problem)

Now ones that would require more debate:

Most improved player, pretty self explanatory, this could be a great way to showcase a player who has really made great strides form one season to the next. Could be someone who was just a role player before, but is now a star, or someone who was on a B team, and now is a key contributor to a competitive A team.

"Sixth Man of the Year", the analog to this could either be "4th scorer of the year" or "B team player of the year". I would be more supportive of the first, as someone who is a fourth scorer can be overlooked by the community.

Defensive player of the year has no analog so there is nothing to discuss here.

Coach of the year. There aren't really coaches in college quizbowl, but I think this might actually be the most important one here. As much as fourth scorers don't receive praise, people who really don't see any praise are club presidents. They are of course so integral to the maintenance of a great club. I am eternally grateful here for the services of our club president Sarang Yeola, who I would nominate for such an award without a moments hesitation, yet whose name few know. It is these people who work behind the scenes that help to make our community better.

I think quizbowl should do more to honor those who don't have the most impressive ppgs. I realize a potential problem is that people simply don't want to have a million polls, and I understand that, but I think we need to make the effort to salute the efforts of the many that make quizbowl quizbowl.
Last edited by thebluehawk1 on Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:21 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by thebluehawk1 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:03 am

I accidentally double posted. Please laugh at my shame.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by Muriel Axon » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:27 am

Ryan, your chart is a very interesting way to organize this discussion and I think it’s largely correct. I do think that it overranks Isaac (sorry Isaac) for his NAQT ability, at the expense of players like Kenji and Caleb who are much stronger ACF players (remember, ACF is the dominant format, even if ICT is one of the two nationals).
Ignoring the larger point, I find this an odd comment. To me, Kenji seems absolutely lethal at NAQT. Granted, his power numbers aren't super high at ICT this year, but facing Kenji on geography and current events questions is terrifying. (In any case, it's clear that he's continued getting much, much better this year, so -- without commenting on Isaac, who is very good in his own way -- I appreciate this point.)

Since people are plugging their teammates -- I just want to note that a lot of Sam Bailey's buzzes are extremely early. When we struggled to hold onto a thin lead, or when we were working towards a second-half comeback, there was nothing that could bring me more relief than to hear Sam's buzzer go off two lines into a question. At the Minnesota CMST mirror, he was the player with the highest % of first buzzes. I think he should be somewhere on everyone's ballot.

As for Jakob's ranking of freshmen, I would add John Waldron, who was an effective fourth scorer on the Minnesota team, reliably getting 1-3 questions even against the top teams.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by The Stately Rhododendron » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:59 am

gyre and gimble wrote:I do think that it overranks Isaac (sorry Isaac) for his NAQT ability, at the expense of players like Kenji and Caleb who are much stronger ACF players (remember, ACF is the dominant format, even if ICT is one of the two nationals).
It does not overrank me, if anything it underranks me.

I'm probably one of the greatest NAQT players of all time, on one of the greatest ICT teams of all time. I had a game plan coming into the year - neg less, stay calm during games, fit into J, S, and A's gaps, and anthropologically study the writers of ICT. I did this while only playing 2 tournaments during the regular season - of which only one (NOT a NAQT set) was with the whole team. It paid off. I executed my game plan perfectly and calmly, one might even say serenely. Compare my gameplay in ICT to previous performances. I had the lowest negs since 2013, the highest powers of all my times at ICT (despite being much worse at trash than I used to be), I only had more than 1 neg per round once - in the first game when I was still ty-ty. The only player to beat me to a "me" TU was Coates, and he deserves kudos for that, as well as for his fusion of SLC Punk and the California Ideology into a smart and versatile outfit. Everyone else didn't stand a chance.

Conclusion: Quizbowl is a team activity. Players are additions to a team. I am a very good addition to a team at any tournament, but esp ICT due to my strategy. I am a good addition because I know things that almost everyone (excluding Coates - who deserves kudos - and Kenji - who has my number) in quizbowl does not know. I am the fly in other team's ointment. Rank me.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by gyre and gimble » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:20 am

Muriel Axon wrote:
Ryan, your chart is a very interesting way to organize this discussion and I think it’s largely correct. I do think that it overranks Isaac (sorry Isaac) for his NAQT ability, at the expense of players like Kenji and Caleb who are much stronger ACF players (remember, ACF is the dominant format, even if ICT is one of the two nationals).
Ignoring the larger point, I find this an odd comment. To me, Kenji seems absolutely lethal at NAQT. Granted, his power numbers aren't super high at ICT this year, but facing Kenji on geography and current events questions is terrifying. (In any case, it's clear that he's continued getting much, much better this year, so -- without commenting on Isaac, who is very good in his own way -- I appreciate this point.)
It's an odd comment because I wasn't being clear. I meant Kenji, despite being good at NAQT categories, is much stronger at ACF than Isaac is. Their respective scoring dropoff between ICT and ACF Nationals easily shows this. Isaac's obviously top-tier on NAQT questions, but overall I just don't think being good at NAQT can propel you past a lot of the players Ryan has categorized as "very good."
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by wcheng » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:37 am

The purpose of this post is two fold. The first is to draw your attention to Weijia Cheng and Graham Reid. Weijia is an excellent player who deserves a spot on your ballot. His skills are best showcased on difficult content. He's on when it counts the most. This year he got to showcase that in a post-Jordan era, Maryland would still be a competitive team. His probably best in the game religion knowledge has already been documented, as well as his ability to buzz on social science, but this year he has gotten to showcase his skills as a very capable history player. He lead our team to top bracket finishes at both nationals, totally shattering expectations. I'm glad I got to come along for the ride. Of course as skilled as Weijia is I must also advocate for Graham Reid, who displayed elite physics knowledge throughout the season. Additionally he has a great ability to sweep up a lot of areas outside where you wouldn't necessarily expect: some philosophy, a great deal of painting, and British history were places you could see Graham getting buzzes reliably.
Also, to make sure that people don't somehow think that Graham and I were the only ones who carried Maryland to top bracket finishes, I want to recognize Justin Hawkins and Jack Nolan for having improved a lot since the beginning of the year and being really good at what they know, even if they aren't quite top 25 players. Justin has picked up huge amounts of literature knowledge at all levels of difficulty over the course of the year, which is no mean feat in my opinion given that this is his first year playing on a top 25, top-bracket team. He's also a very capable history player, having picked several solid buzzes on history tossups on Nats, including one in our most important game (a tossup on Andropov in our game against Missouri in the Nats prelims). Jack, too, has gotten a lot better on his assigned category (music), but he also has tons of deep knowledge of math and will pick up random lit buzzes (like the tossup on writing in our game against Yale in the Nats playoffs). Jack is also evidently a NAQT trash master, given his overall 6/20/0 statline at ICT and crucial trash buzzes in our games against Berkeley A and Ohio State in that tournament.
Last edited by wcheng on Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by vinteuil » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:18 am

thebluehawk1 wrote:The second thing I want to talk about is a bit of a proposition. I think there should be more than simply a player poll. It is certainly a great thing to recognize the top 25 players of the year, but I think we should recognize more. Some suggestions are modeled off the NBA regular season awards.

MVP is easy, it can just be the top player in the poll (God help me if I've just started a Best player vs Most valuable player debate)

Rookie of the Year, can be the highest rated Freshman, or I suppose a first year player of any grade level. This could be based on DII eligibility. If no first year player appears in the poll conversation will need to happen (this year that shouldn't be a problem)

Now ones that would require more debate:

Most improved player, pretty self explanatory, this could be a great way to showcase a player who has really made great strides form one season to the next. Could be someone who was just a role player before, but is now a star, or someone who was on a B team, and now is a key contributor to a competitive A team.

"Sixth Man of the Year", the analog to this could either be "4th scorer of the year" or "B team player of the year". I would be more supportive of the first, as someone who is a fourth scorer can be overlooked by the community.

Defensive player of the year has no analog so there is nothing to discuss here.

Coach of the year. There aren't really coaches in college quizbowl, but I think this might actually be the most important one here. As much as fourth scorers don't receive praise, people who really don't see any praise are club presidents. They are of course so integral to the maintenance of a great club. I am eternally grateful here for the services of our club president Sarang Yeola, who I would nominate for such an award without a moments hesitation, yet whose name few know. It is these people who work behind the scenes that help to make our community better.

I think quizbowl should do more to honor those who don't have the most impressive ppgs. I realize a potential problem is that people simply don't want to have a million polls, and I understand that, but I think we need to make the effort to salute the efforts of the many that make quizbowl quizbowl.
I like all these ideas, although I think some (rookie of the year goes to Myers) are pretty obvious this year. I'd love to see some discussion about most valuable fourth scorers—Adam Fine, despite some inconsistency, has a reasonable chance, depending on how the packet meshes with his cards, of taking at least one question in science, myth, history, or painting off of just about anyone.

A lot of people have heard me blather on about offensive v. defensive players this year, so I won't theorize too hard, but I do think it's possible to make the distinction, even if there aren't blocks or rebounds to count. Briefly, Jordan would be the stereotypical offensive player (feels better if he's getting his buzzes fewer lines from the top) and Matt Jackson would be the stereotypical defensive player (feels better if he's getting all buzzes more lines from the bottom). I realize that that's just a matter of perspective, but I hope it's obvious how it leads to different play styles and knowledge bases; the best statistical measure would probably be powers vs. PPB within each category (to compensate for generalism v. specialism, which is a different thing). (Again, Aseem is a great offensive player; I'm at my best as a defensive player in every category except music, which I think would be borne out by, e.g. my Jordaens stats.)

EDIT: just to be clear, I think this terminology works because Matt’s strategy (PPB and getting more tossups late) makes it harder for your team to lose, while Jordan’s (powers and getting fewer tossups early) makes it easier for your team to win. Doesn’t mean that, if perfected, either strategy won’t have the other’s effect, but that’s the baseline.
Last edited by vinteuil on Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by ryanrosenberg » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:27 am

gyre and gimble wrote:
Muriel Axon wrote:
Ryan, your chart is a very interesting way to organize this discussion and I think it’s largely correct. I do think that it overranks Isaac (sorry Isaac) for his NAQT ability, at the expense of players like Kenji and Caleb who are much stronger ACF players (remember, ACF is the dominant format, even if ICT is one of the two nationals).
Ignoring the larger point, I find this an odd comment. To me, Kenji seems absolutely lethal at NAQT. Granted, his power numbers aren't super high at ICT this year, but facing Kenji on geography and current events questions is terrifying. (In any case, it's clear that he's continued getting much, much better this year, so -- without commenting on Isaac, who is very good in his own way -- I appreciate this point.)
It's an odd comment because I wasn't being clear. I meant Kenji, despite being good at NAQT categories, is much stronger at ACF than Isaac is. Their respective scoring dropoff between ICT and ACF Nationals easily shows this. Isaac's obviously top-tier on NAQT questions, but overall I just don't think being good at NAQT can propel you past a lot of the players Ryan has categorized as "very good."
I put Isaac in the top specialists grouping because (to my mind) no one else below the elite tier is as dominant on any 2/2 (averaging between NAQT and ACF) as Isaac is on geo/CE/trash. Kenji is excellent and everyone correctly notes just how good he is and how much he's improved; however, the purpose of the specialists ranking is to rank how good players are as specialists, and Isaac is better than Kenji at locking down his categories and letting his teammates do what they do. I would put Kenji in the "very good" tier of specialists were I making a complete ranking, just below Isaac and above Coates in terms of NAQT-category specialties.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by vinteuil » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:48 pm

Geriatric trauma wrote:
gyre and gimble wrote:
Muriel Axon wrote:
Ryan, your chart is a very interesting way to organize this discussion and I think it’s largely correct. I do think that it overranks Isaac (sorry Isaac) for his NAQT ability, at the expense of players like Kenji and Caleb who are much stronger ACF players (remember, ACF is the dominant format, even if ICT is one of the two nationals).
Ignoring the larger point, I find this an odd comment. To me, Kenji seems absolutely lethal at NAQT. Granted, his power numbers aren't super high at ICT this year, but facing Kenji on geography and current events questions is terrifying. (In any case, it's clear that he's continued getting much, much better this year, so -- without commenting on Isaac, who is very good in his own way -- I appreciate this point.)
It's an odd comment because I wasn't being clear. I meant Kenji, despite being good at NAQT categories, is much stronger at ACF than Isaac is. Their respective scoring dropoff between ICT and ACF Nationals easily shows this. Isaac's obviously top-tier on NAQT questions, but overall I just don't think being good at NAQT can propel you past a lot of the players Ryan has categorized as "very good."
I put Isaac in the top specialists grouping because (to my mind) no one else below the elite tier is as dominant on any 2/2 (averaging between NAQT and ACF) as Isaac is on geo/CE/trash. Kenji is excellent and everyone correctly notes just how good he is and how much he's improved; however, the purpose of the specialists ranking is to rank how good players are as specialists, and Isaac is better than Kenji at locking down his categories and letting his teammates do what they do. I would put Kenji in the "very good" tier of specialists were I making a complete ranking, just below Isaac and above Coates in terms of NAQT-category specialties.
Minor correction: geography isn’t one of Isaac’s categories (Stephen and I usually beat him to it).

Looking back at your chart again, I guess I have to question putting Clark a tier below JinAh and Jaimie as well.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by heterodyne » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:51 pm

While Jaimie and JinAh certainly overlap, the stats seem to suggest that Clark is better than either of them individually - even if we award one all of the tossups that the other got, Clark is only about 6 playoff ppg below this chimera (eyeballing it), despite 1) buzzing on around the same swathe of the distribution 2) dealing with Chris sniping more tossups from his categories, presumably.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by a bird » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:58 pm

wcheng wrote:
The purpose of this post is two fold. The first is to draw your attention to Weijia Cheng and Graham Reid. Weijia is an excellent player who deserves a spot on your ballot. His skills are best showcased on difficult content. He's on when it counts the most. This year he got to showcase that in a post-Jordan era, Maryland would still be a competitive team. His probably best in the game religion knowledge has already been documented, as well as his ability to buzz on social science, but this year he has gotten to showcase his skills as a very capable history player. He lead our team to top bracket finishes at both nationals, totally shattering expectations. I'm glad I got to come along for the ride. Of course as skilled as Weijia is I must also advocate for Graham Reid, who displayed elite physics knowledge throughout the season. Additionally he has a great ability to sweep up a lot of areas outside where you wouldn't necessarily expect: some philosophy, a great deal of painting, and British history were places you could see Graham getting buzzes reliably.
Also, to make sure that people don't somehow think that Graham and I were the only ones who carried Maryland to top bracket finishes, I want to recognize Justin Hawkins and Jack Nolan for having improved a lot since the beginning of the year and being really good at what they know, even if they aren't quite top 25 players. Justin has picked up huge amounts of literature knowledge at all levels of difficulty over the course of the year, which is no mean feat in my opinion given that this is his first year playing on a top 25, top-bracket team. He's also a very capable history player, having picked several solid buzzes on history tossups on Nats, including one in our most important game (a tossup on Andropov in our game against Missouri in the Nats prelims). Jack, too, has gotten a lot better on his assigned category (music), but he also has tons of deep knowledge of math and will pick up random lit buzzes (like the tossup on writing in our game against Yale in the Nats playoffs). Jack is also evidently a NAQT trash master, given his overall 6/20/0 statline at ICT and crucial trash buzzes in our games against Berkeley A and Ohio State in that tournament.
Just jumping in to agree that Maryland's success at nationals was really a team effort; we definitely made it as far as we did because we were firing on all cylinders. Justin and Jack improved tremendously over the year and did great at nationals. Watch out for them next year.

That said Weijia was the linchpin for some of our most impressive upsets (e.g. our win over Chicago A at ICT). He deserves a spot on your ballot for his deep specialist knowledge (in religion, social science, and history) and skill on hard questions.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by ryanrosenberg » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:00 pm

Those are good points; looking at the stats again, I'm almost certainly underrating Clark.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by kitakule » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:12 pm

An Economic Ignoramus wrote:Because I'm somewhat bored, here's a shorter ranking of just Freshmen/below this year:
1. Me. I know, I know.
2. Matthew Lehmann
3. Clark Smith
4. Rahul Keyal
5. Luke Tierney
6. Tracy Mirkin
7. James Malouf
8. Annabelle Yang
9. Nitin Rao
10. Jonathan Tran
11. Ashwin Ramaswami
12. Pranav Sivakumar
13. Brian Kalathiveetil
14. Colton Sanden
15. Hunter Wotruba
16. John Waldron
Let me know if I left out anyone/you

I'll put in a word for my teammate, Hasna Karim. She has adapted very quickly to the college game as Yale B's second scorer, nabbing a very respectable 35 PPG at her first tournament (a Penn Bowl said to be relatively harder than previous editions, no less)! I would also take note of her performance in our extremely large DII SCT field, where she was the 2nd highest-scoring freshman during prelims. At the Northeast ACF Regionals site, she was tied with Ben Zhang for fourth-most points in the science category and was the top chemistry player, beating out the likes of Adam Fine and Kevin Wang. Even at ICT, where Yale B admittedly ended up in the bottom bracket, Hasna still put up a very good performance given that she had been pulled up to DI. Her greatest strength is biology (particularly her real and deep medicine-related knowledge), but she is liable to snag early buzzes in literature, Islam, chemistry, social science, and basically anything relating to the Indian subcontinent. I don't how many people you're looking to include in this ranking, but I'd definitely consider putting her in a top 20 freshmen list.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:31 pm

A lot of our conversations within player poll threads tend towards proferring intuitions, and then looking to the stats to find support for them; or end up with everyone providing anecdotal evidence that their teammates are excellent players. I, of course, have neither the standing nor the wish to stifle such contributions. These exchanges are fun, and sometimes informative. But I do think it might useful to take the opposite tact: to begin with stats, note in what way they confirm or defy our impressions, and then decide to what extent we should cede our impressions to the data or (instead) try to explain what we think the data is failing to account for.

To get the ball rolling on this, I have tabulated PATH for the playoff rounds of ACF Nationals 2018, for all players who made the top bracket. The results are attached. I do not believe PATH to be fully authoritative, of course, but I think it's much better than raw stats, and I found these results quite instructive. Looking at them really challenged some of my pre-conceptions (especially about where players cluster tightly and where there is a distinct gap between them), and stopped me from forgetting about people who do deserve consideration.

The greatest limit of this list, of course, is that it doesn't account for the many great players who are surely Top 25 material but did not make the top bracket--such as Itamar, Jakob Myers, Charles Hang, Caleb, and Kenji, to name just the most obvious examples. Even if one were to use PATH lists such as this to construct the core of one's ballot (and I plan to), one still has the task of figuring out where to slot those players in.

Two other sets of data would be really helpful, I think, in taking this further:

One is to run an adjusted version of PATH on the ICT stats. We need both sets of data. It's not clear to me that we'd want to run it on exactly the playoff stats that Jonah has kindly provided for us, because that doesn't actually track stats against the same opponents, the way that ACF playoffs stats do.

The other is to generate some measure of category overlap, to counteract PATH's biggest problem, which is that it treats shadow effect as category-neutral. Of course, we don't have Ophir Stats for either national tournament. But we could perhaps base this on the Regionals or CMST stats (as some people already seem to be doing, at least by eyeballing), under the assumption that category overlap would be roughly commensurate. The best measure I can think of would be to take the ratio of a player's PATH calculated normally to their PATH calculated category-by-category, since this ratio should vary according to category overlap. This statistic would be flawed too, of course. But just as I think PATH is less flawed than raw stats, I think this too would be less flawed than normally-calculated PATH. Of course, if anyone thinks of either a less labor-intensive or more accurate way of doing this given the available stats, I'd be really interested in hearing that.
Attachments
ACF Nats 2018 Top Bracket Playoffs PATH.docx
(111.33 KiB) Downloaded 194 times
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by jonah » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:36 pm

Feel free to send me (detailed, specific) requests for things to look up/calculate from the ICT stats. I can't promise timely responses, especially with the SSNCT coming up this weekend and the MSNCT and HSNCT following soon, but in general I'm happy to try to help and I'll try to be timely.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by Adelaide Glaciarium » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:51 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote: The other is to generate some measure of category overlap, to counteract PATH's biggest problem, which is that it treats shadow effect as category-neutral. Of course, we don't have Ophir Stats for either national tournament. But we could perhaps base this on the Regionals or CMST stats (as some people already seem to be doing, at least by eyeballing), under the assumption that category overlap would be roughly commensurate. The best measure I can think of would be to take the ratio of a player's PATH calculated normally to their PATH calculated category-by-category, since this ratio should vary according to category overlap. This statistic would be flawed too, of course. But just as I think PATH is less flawed than raw stats, I think this too would be less flawed than normally-calculated PATH. Of course, if anyone thinks of either a less labor-intensive or more accurate way of doing this given the available stats, I'd be really interested in hearing that.
Here is a spreadsheet containing the PATH and category-by-category PATH for CMST. Not sure how exactly to interpret the ratio, though.

EDIT: Please see Ryan Rosenberg's post for a corrected spreadsheet.
Last edited by Adelaide Glaciarium on Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by vinteuil » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:02 pm

Did anybody calculate first-buzz percentages and similar stats for CMST? Or are those only available for regionals?

EDIT: I mean across sites.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:05 pm

Adelaide Glaciarium wrote:Here is a spreadsheet containing the PATH and category-by-category PATH for CMST. Not sure how exactly to interpret the ratio, though.
I don't really understand how you generated these numbers, Adam. I just ran some calculations myself, and what we're doing doesn't seem to line up at all. Let me explain what I'm suggesting, and maybe you can tell me what it is that you've done.

Let us take the Chicago A team at CMST, discounting powers to simplify the case. Our raw scores look like this:

JL 60 7 = 47.08 PPG
AB 38 7 = 28.75 PPG
KS 27 8 = 19.17 PPG
JZ 24 7 = 17.08 PPG

Now, I run PATH on these scores. I get the following:

JL = (565 * 20) / (240 - 89 - 11) = 80.71
AB = (345 * 20) / (240 - 111 - 11) = 58.47
KS = (230 * 20) / (240 - 122 - 10.5) = 42.79
JZ = (205 * 20) / (240 - 125 - 11) = 39.43

Like all PATH calculations, this assumes that shadow effect is constant across categories. If I wanted to run PATH for each individual category, I could do so. Let's take History as our example. Our raw scores in History are:

JL 4 1 = 35
AB 2 0 = 20
KS 2 0 = 20
JZ 17 7 = 135

If I run PATH on these History stats, it looks like this, adjusting the constants in the PATH formula to account for the fact that we are now dealing with "packets" of 4 tossups:

JL = (35 * 4) / (48 - 21 - 3.5) = 5.96
AB = (20 * 4) / (48 - 23 - 4) = 3.81
KS = (20 * 4) / (48 - 23 - 4) = 3.81
JZ = (135 * 4) / (48 - 8 - .5) = 13.67

I can do this for every category in CMST and then sum the results. If I do so, I get these "category-adjusted PATH" scores:

JL = 66.94
AB = 47.94
KS = 31.42
JZ = 26.76

Claim #1: This "category-adjusted PATH" more accurately accounts for shadow effect than does regular PATH. If I did this at an even more fine-grained level (breaking Arts into Auditory and Visual, or RMPSS into each of those component letters), it would be even more accurate.

Claim #2: If you wanted to, you could look at the ratios between the "category-adjusted PATH" and the normal PATH to gauge (ordinally) the degree of the inaccuracies PATH produces for any given player by falsely assuming even category spread. Here's what it looks like for our team:

JL = 66.94/80.71 = .83
AB = 47.94/58.47 = .82
KS = 31.42/42.79 = .73
JZ = 26.76/39.43 = .68

These numbers should make intuitive sense. The majority of Alston's points and my points are in categories where there is at least one other player majorly shadowing us (Lit, Arts, RMPSS), and usually an additional player slightly shadowing us. This is true for us to almost equal degrees. However, a large chunk of Kai's buzzes are in Science, in which he is barely shadowed. Therefore, PATH is less accurate for him than it is for Alston and me. PATH inflates Jason the most. Almost all of his buzzes are in History, where he is barely shadowed by us at all.

Claim #3: if you wanted to try to "category-adjust" a tournament for which we don't have Ophir Stats (e.g. this year's ACF Nats), a quick-and-dirty way to do would be to multiply everyone's PATH number by the ratio derived above. This entails a problematic assumption: that the category-specific shadow effect among those teammates at the non-Ophired tournament will be close to what they were at the Ophired-tournament you are using as your model. But I would argue that your team's category-specific shadow effect is always going to more closely resemble what it was at a previous tournament than it is going to resemble the completely category-neutral shadow effect assumed by PATH. Thus, doing this is still going to improve accuracy, despite its flaws.

Given the labor involved in doing this, I suspect that most people will not want to do this for the entire top bracket. And in many cases, it is not useful, if all we care about is ordinal rankings of players, rather than player's cardinal degrees of strength. For example, we don't need to run it to distinguish Jacob and me at Nats. Our score gap is too large to be bridged by this, and it doesn't matter for the purposes of the poll how much better he is than me, so long as it's clear that he is better (which it certainly is). But for head-to-head comparisons among people closely clustered by PATH (e.g. Eric, Jason Golfinos, and Chris Ray at Nats), I think it could be very useful in distinguishing their performances.

If anyone has ways to improve upon these metrics (and I'm sure there are many ways to do so), I'm very happy to hear them.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by Adelaide Glaciarium » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:15 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:
Adelaide Glaciarium wrote:Here is a spreadsheet containing the PATH and category-by-category PATH for CMST. Not sure how exactly to interpret the ratio, though.
I don't really understand how you generated these numbers, Adam. I just ran some calculations myself, and what we're doing doesn't seem to line up at all. Let me explain what I'm suggesting, and maybe you can tell me what it is that you've done.
The numbers themselves (both subject specific and overall PATH) come from a spreadsheet posted by Ryan Rosenberg in the CMST discussion subforum. The subject-specific ones were per tossup heard, while the overall ones were per game. To get the category-by-category PATH, I just used the appropriate number of tossups in each category (from the CMST distribution) as weights.

EDIT: Another look at Ryan's post shows that he weighted the overall PATH by category. So why is his weighted PATH (which I incorrectly identified as being an unweighted overall PATH) different from mine? Some of it is rounding error, but further investigation suggests he only weighted the Science category as having 3 tossups, when it actually has 4. So the data in my spreadsheet is not quite what I think it is. But at least there is a category-weighted PATH out there now for people's use, I guess.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by ryanrosenberg » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:00 am

Adelaide Glaciarium wrote:
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:
Adelaide Glaciarium wrote:Here is a spreadsheet containing the PATH and category-by-category PATH for CMST. Not sure how exactly to interpret the ratio, though.
I don't really understand how you generated these numbers, Adam. I just ran some calculations myself, and what we're doing doesn't seem to line up at all. Let me explain what I'm suggesting, and maybe you can tell me what it is that you've done.
The numbers themselves (both subject specific and overall PATH) come from a spreadsheet posted by Ryan Rosenberg in the CMST discussion subforum. The subject-specific ones were per tossup heard, while the overall ones were per game. To get the category-by-category PATH, I just used the appropriate number of tossups in each category (from the CMST distribution) as weights.

EDIT: Another look at Ryan's post shows that he weighted the overall PATH by category. So why is his weighted PATH (which I incorrectly identified as being an unweighted overall PATH) different from mine? Some of it is rounding error, but further investigation suggests he only weighted the Science category as having 3 tossups, when it actually has 4. So the data in my spreadsheet is not quite what I think it is. But at least there is a category-weighted PATH out there now for people's use, I guess.
Hm, you're right -- not sure how I didn't catch that error before. It should be 4 science and 3 arts. That overall PATH was intended to be weighted by category.

I endorse John's idea of measuring category overlap from CMST and applying it to Nationals performances.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:30 pm

I wrote:The greatest limit of this list, of course, is that it doesn't account for the many great players who are surely Top 25 material but did not make the top bracket--such as Itamar, Jakob Myers, Charles Hang, Caleb, and Kenji, to name just the most obvious examples. Even if one were to use PATH lists such as this to construct the core of one's ballot (and I plan to), one still has the task of figuring out where to slot those players in.
Following up on my first post in this thread: although we cannot rank second-bracket and third-bracket players' PATH scores against those in the first bracket (to see how to slot them in), we can still rank them against each other within the brackets. Here are the PATH scores for the highest scorers within the second and third brackets (basically, those whom I think could plausibly be in the Top 25, based on their numbers):

Second Bracket:
Itamar Naveh-Benjamin = (830 * 20) / (220 - 19 - 3.5) = 84.05
Derek So = (555 * 20) / (220 - 56 - 5.5) = 70.03
Taylor Harvey = (530 * 20) / (220 - 57 - 5.5) = 67.30
Caleb Kendrick = (580 * 20) / (220 - 42 - 4.5) = 66.86
Daoud Jackson = (555 * 20) / (220 - 43 - 3.5) = 63.98
Kenji Shimuzu = (405 * 20) / (220 - 62 - 8.5) = 54.18
Jason Cheng = (465 * 20) / (220 - 24 - 4.5) = 48.56
Robert Chu = (360 * 20) / (220 - 53 - 7) = 45.00

---

Third Bracket:
Eric Xu = (630 * 20) / (220 - 55 - 4.5) = 78.50
Jakob Myers = (710 * 20) / (220 - 25 - 2.5) = 73.77
Charles Hang = (515 * 20) / (220 - 43 - 6) = 60.23
Alec Vulfson = (485 * 20) / (220 - 35 - 9) = 55.11
jonah wrote:Feel free to send me (detailed, specific) requests for things to look up/calculate from the ICT stats. I can't promise timely responses, especially with the SSNCT coming up this weekend and the MSNCT and HSNCT following soon, but in general I'm happy to try to help and I'll try to be timely.
Whether Jonah wants to do this or someone else wants to instead: If we're looking to restrict ourselves to data involving only common opponents, I think the most logical place to start is to run PATH for the five matches when the six superplayoffs top-bracket teams (Yale A, Berkeley A, Chicago A, Penn A, Columbia, and Michigan A) played each other, and then also run PATH for five matches when the six superplayoffs second-bracket teams (Ohio State, Berkeley B, Maryland A, WUSTL A, McGill A, and NYU A) played each other. To be clear, these would be two separate sets of data, which we would not combine. But it allows us to rank within these brackets.
Adelaide Glaciarium wrote: EDIT: Another look at Ryan's post shows that he weighted the overall PATH by category. So why is his weighted PATH (which I incorrectly identified as being an unweighted overall PATH) different from mine? Some of it is rounding error, but further investigation suggests he only weighted the Science category as having 3 tossups, when it actually has 4. So the data in my spreadsheet is not quite what I think it is. But at least there is a category-weighted PATH out there now for people's use, I guess.
Ah, well that explains why those ratios seemed unhelpful. You weren't measuring the difference between unweighted and weighted PATH; you were just measuring the difference between yours and Ryan's calculations of weighted PATH. If we're going to calculate the former, we still have to do unweighted PATH on CMST.
Geriatric trauma wrote:I endorse John's idea of measuring category overlap from CMST and applying it to Nationals performances.
If we're applying it to Nats (which has no powers), we might want to consider calculating weighted PATH with just gets and negs for CMST (i.e. all powers counting as tens), rather than the actual scores, because CMST's powers might create disanalogies. Also, it's worth noting that some major players (such as Eric) played with different teammates at CMST than they did at Nats; so this method will be less accurate for them. (In such cases, we could consider deriving the ratios from their team's Regionals category spread instead, if we think the flaw of gauging this on different difficulty is nonetheless better than the flaw of gauging this with different teammates.)

EDIT: Not sure how I managed to accidentally this, just now...
Last edited by ThisIsMyUsername on Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by theMoMA » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:53 pm

These discussions inevitably tend to conflate the related but distinct concepts of "talent" and "performance." "Talent" takes into account context such as teammate strength and overlap. "Performance" simply takes into account what you did without much caring how you did it.

I personally think that performance is a much more useful measure than talent when considering a year-end player poll. The reason is simple: the year is over, and there is no longer any quizbowl left to play. There has been an entire season of games and individual results. Regardless of who could hypothetically get the most tossups, players actually did get tossups and failed to get others. I think it makes sense to try to make sense of those results to determine which players performed best within those results, rather than attempt to figure out how well the various players would perform on the next hypothetical tournament. There is no next tournament!

Because of that, I'm not entirely convinced that PATH is a good measure to follow. PATH asks something like "if you remove a player's teammates' buzzes, and attempt to isolate that player against the other team, how well does that player perform on the questions available for him or her to buzz on?" This is an interesting question to ask, but I think it gets more to "talent" than "performance," with the specific talent being "how well a player is able to max out his or her niche on a particular team." Obviously, the worse a team is, the larger a player's niche will be, and the worse any individual player on that team will be able to fill the niche, but I don't think this gets directly to the issue of assigning individual credit for a team's performance.

I've previously noted that, to my thinking, the main skill of quizbowl is getting tossups, because the best teams at getting tossups tend to have the best chance to win (and subsequent research, and the results of this year's Nationals, confirm that a team with an elite tossup conversion percentage has a very good chance of winning, even if that team is a few points back in points per bonus; I believe tossup conversion was found to be something like 12 times better correlated to win percentage than bonus conversion).

Because tossup conversion is the main team skill, I think the next step is assigning that team skill to individuals. Someone interested in "talent" over "performance" would argue that this should account for factors such as playing style or whether a player tends toward "offensive" or "defensive" play, etc., but I don't agree with this.

Past Nationals show that contending teams tend to get 10-12 tossups a game in the playoffs, with teams on the upper end of that being historically dominant. Thus, if you're on a team getting 10-12 tossups a game, your tossups are contributing to your team being in contention, regardless of whether you're getting those points on early, "specialist"-style buzzes, or later, "generalist"-style buzzes. Another way to put this is: if your teammates are scoring around 9 tossups per game between them, and you're averaging 2 tossups per game, those tossups are much more valuable in terms of contending than they would be if your teammates were scoring around 7 tossups per game between them.

And if you're averaging 2 tossups per game, and your team does score around 11 tossups a game, your tossups are per se very valuable, regardless of where they come in a question, because they've transformed your team from a top-bracket contender to a championship contender. This also neatly answers the question of team role. If your what your three teammates with 9 tossups per game need is someone to swoop in late and convert a couple of humanities questions as a generalist, and your humanities generalist player has scored about 2 tossups in this manner, then he or she has done what's necessary to get you over the top. If what your three specialist teammates averaging 5 very good early buzzes between them need is a super-generalist to tie everything together, and the team's generalist is scoring about 6 tossups per game, then he or she has done what's necessary to get you over the top. If the team doesn't quite sum to those elite numbers, then none of the players is doing what's necessary to get that team into championship contention, and, at least from a performance-oriented perspective, their numbers should be discounted accordingly.

All this flows into the the quick-and-dirty method I proposed to answer the question of "how good is a team at getting tossups, and how important is a particular player to the team's tossup-scoring prowess."

I ran the numbers for this year's Nationals playoffs, and here are the results: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

This leaves out anyone in a lower bracket because it requires a common schedule for proper comparison.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by vinteuil » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:03 pm

theMoMA wrote:Because tossup conversion is the main team skill, I think the next step is assigning that team skill to individuals. Someone interested in "talent" over "performance" would argue that this should account for factors such as playing style or whether a player tends toward "offensive" or "defensive" play, etc., but I don't agree with this.
Just to be clear, I actually agree with this and don't think one style should be weighted above the other, although I think a team with both kinds of players is far more likely to do better. It's just another useful axis (like specialism v. generalism) along which we can compare players.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by theMoMA » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:09 pm

I agree with all that as well, I just tend to favor backward-looking approaches to player rankings rather than forward-looking (or descriptive) ones in the particular context of a postseason poll. Descriptions of player skills definitely have an interesting place in various discussions, however.
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by ryanrosenberg » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:15 pm

vinteuil wrote:Did anybody calculate first-buzz percentages and similar stats for CMST? Or are those only available for regionals?

EDIT: I mean across sites.
This file has the number of total buzzes, buzzes in the first 5 correct buzzes, buzzes in the first 3 correct buzzes, and first buzzes for each player at CMST.
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first_buzzes_xlsx.xlsx
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Re: Player Poll 2018: Delightfully Devilish

Post by vinteuil » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:16 pm

Can people think of any metrics that would help me rank a few of the ICT-only players? In particular, it seems clear that Nikhil and Nathan both deserve consideration, as well as Aidan.
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