Wake Forest +/- vs. NC State

This is the first post in a series that will look at the plus/minus stat for each Wake Forest ACC game. Read below for my intro to the stat itself and for data from the NC State game.

Let’s talk about the rarely used plus/minus for Wake Forest. I like this stat, but you rarely see it calculated in box score. It has some drawbacks, but it can show us some interesting game trends.


What I am going to attempt to do for the rest of the season is calculate +/- stats for Wake players in ACC games. At the end of the regular season I'll have a cumulative metric for each player.


Let’s first look at the pros and cons for this statistic when analyzing it game by game.



  • Tells us who had a positive impact on the score
  • Captures nearly all contributions made by a player



  • Does not show when the contributions were made (Crunch time, garbage time, etc)
  • Cannot tell us what teammates were on the court or what opponents were on the court, which can skew the data


For an example of a game when +/- data is quite useful for someone who did not watch a game, let's take the Kings-Bulls game from Monday night, when the Kings came back from 35 down in the 3rd quarter to win the game:


Player name +/- stat
Omri Casspi -25
Spencer Hawes -21
Jason Thompson +2
Andres Nocioni -28
Tyreke Evans +6
Kenny Thomas -2
Ime Udoka +13
Beno Udrih +14
Jon Brockman +26
Sergio Rodriguez +16
Donte Greene +19


Is there any doubt as to which players were ready to play and which were not that night? I went to the boxscore of that game before I read the recap and was astonished by the differences in margins for the players, especially when the game ended up so close. After reading what happened in game, I knew exactly who was on the court during the big comeback.


In that same regard, I'm going to track +/- for the Deacs in ACC play this season. I will make several small inferences from single games but will be able to draw some big picture conclusions when I have a bigger sample size.


Here's the chart from the NC State game. For now, I'm not going to make any major assumptions about the data. But if you want to comment on something or have your own ideas, I would be all ears.


Player Name +/- Stat
Al-Farouq Aminu +4
LD Williams +2
Chas McFarland +7
Ishmael Smith +4
CJ Harris +6
Gary Clark +4
Ari Stewart +3
Tony Woods +3
David Weaver +2


This is about what I expected for this game. The game was close most of the way and did not feature many big runs by either team. Nice to see everyone making a positive contribution. As the season rolls on, we will be able to see more trends but I am encouraged by the data from the first game.

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