Behind the stats

Posted: 15th January 2014 by Aaron Hagen in Uncategorized
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I have to admit, as a journalist, people are often times more than willing to help you out.

Now that I work in news, people are more than willing to hand out information. That includes agendas or press releases. I don’t have enough space to thank the city of Worthington for the city council packets. Being able to have that information readily available is a lifesaver for people like journalists.

When I was in sports, it was the same. I couldn’t keep track of all the stats while I was at a game, so I’d have to go and find the stat people following a contest. That was especially helpful at sports I didn’t quite understand. (It took me quite a while to figure out what a kill or a dig was in volleyball.)

And now, the roles are reversed. I’m the guy giving out the information.

This summer, my golf partner and Minnesota West athletic director Justin Heckenlaible approached me about the possibility of doing stats for the college basketball games.

Sure, I know the difference between a 3-pointer and a free throw. But could I do stats?

I told him I could, but if he could find someone else, that would be best.

Well, fast forward a few months, and I was the guy.

I went in for a crash course on how to use the program a few days before the first game.

I felt confident.

I was wrong.

The first half of the first game was awful. The score was wrong. The time was wrong. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

The second half was better. The second game of the doubleheader was a little better.

Now, I don’t want to say I’m a pro at this by any means. I still need the help of a spotter. (Trying to watch the game and click the appropriate places on the computer is really tough). But I’m getting a little more comfortable.

If there is an advantage to doing all this — outside of the Mountain Dew Justin graciously provides me — is that I’m getting my basketball fix.

I love basketball. I love watching it. I love playing it.

I just love it.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t have found an excuse to go to a couple of the games this year, but I have been to nearly every home game thus far.

And if that’s not enough, the teams have been very good this year.

The men (before Wednesday night’s game) are 11-4 overall and 2-0 in the Southern Division.

The women (again before Wednesday) are 12-3 and 2-0 in the division.

Both teams were on the road last night, but return home on Sunday. And they are games I’m looking forward to.

Minnesota West hosts Anoka-Ramsey.

The men are 13-2 and 2-0 in the division. The women are 12-3 overall and 2-0 in the division. In the latest polls, the women are ranked No. 3 in the nation. The MW women are receiving votes. The A-R men are ranked No. 7 in the nation.

I know I’m looking forward to the game, and I hope there’s a big crowd to see the games, which begin at 1 p.m. Sunday.

I’m just hoping I don’t get lost watching the game and not taking stats.