It’s never too early to start talking hoops, especially when the NEC’s reigning Player of the Year is prominently featured in a SI.com story that spotlights the nation’s top returning offensive performers.Based on the work of John Pudner, a political consultant who dabbles in advanced statistics as they relate to sports, Central Connecticut State’s Ken Horton stacks up with such luminaries as Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor, Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs. The metric that Pudner’s work is based on is called “Value Add,” which attempts to quantify the percentage drop-off if a star player’s possessions were all given to a replacement player, explained as a “generic, ninth of tenth man on a Division I bench.” A total of 2,540 players were studied, and the top-10 in the country were cited in the article.
Horton, who led the NEC with 19.5 ppg and ranked in the top-15 in eight statistical categories, ranks eighth in Value Add among returning Division I players. Luke Winn, the author of the article, suggests “the 5.06 percent next to Horton’s name means is that he’d theoretically be able to enhance a major-conference team‘s offense by 5.06 percent.”Horton enters his senior season as the NEC’s active leader with 1,435 points and 592 rebounds. The ultra-versatile 6’6″ forward has the chance to become just the fifth player in NEC history to reach 2,000 career points and will make a push to finish in the top-10 in career rebounding. To see what the hype is all about, catch highlights from one of Horton’s best career performances, a game in which he racked up 23 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and six blocks in a 71-55 win over Bryant in an NEC-televised affair on February 9, 2011. (Posted August 30, 2011)