Value added projection: Could D'Angelo Harrison be Big East's best offensive player?

D'Angelo Harrison showed the world what he's capable of last season. Can he be consistent enough to one of the conference's best?

St. John's fans are excited for the season to begin, as Steve Lavin is once again bringing in one of the nation's top recruiting classes. But the most special contributor for the 2012-13 Red Storm may be a familiar face.

As our friends over at the acclaimed Marquette basketball blog Cracked Sidewalks have pointed out, St. John's sophomore guard D`Angelo Harrison could be the Big East's best offensive player. According to the "value added" calculation conducted for the conference in 2013, such projections aren't all that reaching.

The Johnnies' explosive guard is expected to be the leader of another extremely young team in Queens. And maybe, if you're a believer in the numbers and deeper intricacies of the game, you should expect him to one of the league's most potent offensive weapons.

More, below the fold.

Data analysis known as "sabermetrics" is often used to study the most detailed of statistics in sports. It has become more popular over the years, most notably in baseball and basketball.

According to the predicting calculation for highest offensive "value added" for this upcoming season, Harrison comes in at 6.64. Similar to Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in baseball, value added shows the percentage drop-off in offensive quality if Harrison were to be replaced by a bench player.

Harrison's score places him percentage points better than LaDontae Henton of Providence and Otto Porter of Georgetown. Porter's combination of a high offensive value added along with a strong defensive value added (-2.86) projects him atop the conference overall.

Harrison's defensive value added score is only -0.29, making him fifth in the Big East overall. Gorgui Dieng (Louisville), Jack Cooley (Notre Dame), and Shabazz Napier (Connecticut) are also in the top five.

For instance, Kentucky's Anthony Davis was by far the nation's best player last season according to the value added calculation (6.7 offensive, -5.4 defensive). His importance to the eventual national champion Wildcats on both ends of the floor would have been very difficult to replicate if he had to miss games in the NCAA Tournament.

Harrison will need to step up his game to make up for the lost production of Moe Harkless. As the newcomers develop and become familiar with the system, it will have to be Harrison who the Red Storm turns to early in the season.

But luckily for Steve Lavin, he may have one of the Big East's best players at his disposal.

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