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Player Poll 2019

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:06 pm
by Auroni
I'm running this this year. In an effort to circumvent the incredibly tiresome annual debates about ranking methodology about generalism vs specialism, and in a bid to extend recognition to a wider swathe of players who deserve it, this year I am running a series of polls. There will be one "overall" poll on which you will rate players by their overall "total" knowledge/ability to get questions in many categories/number of hard things heard of/whatever criteria come to mind for generalism. Then there will also be a series of category-specific polls.

In order for your ballot to be considered:

*Vote for 25 (no more, no less) players for the overall poll.
*For at least two of the following categories: literature, history, science, visual arts, auditory arts, religion, thought, "misc" (anything not mentioned in the rest of the sentence), vote for 15 (no more, no less) players for the subject-specific polls
*Send your set of ballots to me at auronigupta@gmail.com
*Don't vote for high schoolers unless they regularly played college tournaments on a college team.
*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.
*Many tournaments this year have used detailed stats, which you may want to consult when devising your category-specific ballots.
*If the amount of effort needed to produce a ballot is prohibitively high, I’m open to allowing multiple people to
collaborate on one. It’ll only count once, though, and not and something multiply-co-signed by the individual people, and I will not allow the same person to submit a ballot more than once whether individually, or as part of a group.
*Ballots are due by May 19th.

For reference, here are last year's results, discounting people who did not play for a college this season:

1. Jacob Reed
2. John Lawrence
3. Rafael Krichevsky
4. Chris Ray
5. Adam Silverman
6. Shan Kothari
7. Jakob Myers
8. Derek So
9. Caleb Kendrick
10. Charles Hang
11. Clark Smith
12. Weijia Cheng
13. Stephen Eltinge
14. Alston Boyd
15. Taylor Harvey
16. Charles Dees
17. Sam Bailey
18. Kai Smith
19. Jaimie Carlson
20. Eric Xu
21. Evan Lynch
22. Matthew Lehmann
23. Rahul Keyal
24. Aidan Mehigan
25. Ben Zhang

The last 9 or so of these names are people who "also received votes" last year, indicating how many players graduated and how many new players have since stepped up, so be mindful of this when voting.

Results are linked in this megapost. Thanks to everyone who put in the effort to vote; I was pretty happy with how everything went in the pilot run of this new style of doing rankings (and to get at least one ballot in every category!)

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:41 pm
by Fuddle Duddle
Besides the above 25 people, here are a few others I think deserve your consideration and have entered play or gotten really good since last year (note that this is by no means an exhaustive list, and some picks are more intended to draw attention to underrated players than to indicate what my ballot preferences will be)
Grant Li- he put up like 7 tossups in one ACF Nationals packet in a Chicago practice with multiple A team members and me in attendance. His stats suggest to me that that's not outside his normal range of game skill.
Geoffrey Chen (overall, but also for science)- One of the best two, if not the best one, science players in the game. Doesn't have much coverage outside that, but that should merit him consideration in your top 25.
Vishwa Shanmugam- Maryland B admittedly had a few issues scaling to Nats difficulty, but Vishwa and Jack are both genuinely excellent generalists, and I'm excited to see what happens when they start adjusting to the difficulty.
Jack Lewis
Jas Singh and Jonathan Tran(for history)- looking over detailed stats for almost every tournament will routinely reveal that these next two people put together some of the nation's best history buzzes (in Jon's case for Penn Bowl, I think he did something ridiculous like powering a majority of history questions). Not a ton of coverage outside their specialties for either, but they still definitely merit inclusion in your subject ballots, if not your overall ones.
Mitch McCullar (for literature)- Despite playing next to Mike Etzkorn, Mitch routinely earns his keep on Illinois A by putting up at least one insane lit buzz or effortless 30, no matter what difficulty the tournament is at, in every game we've played them in (and that's happened a lot). One of the few people I'm genuinely scared of playing on literature questions; that has to count for something.
Wonyoung Jang (for auditory arts)- Wonyoung's Other Auditory knowledge is incredible, and his more general fine arts knowledge isn't far behind. He merits a look.
Eric Chen (For other, overall)- Eric has continued to shine after being elevated to Berkeley A this year, routinely pulling insane shit like that Raft and the Pyramid tossup from Nats. Definitely a "how did he know that?" player.
Tracy Mirkin (for miscellaneous)- You can't help but admire the work ethic of everyone on Florida this year. Tracy especially has elevated himself into an utter demon on history, but especially on Geo and CE and a standout player on a very balanced team. Watch this space, especially for the coming years.
Sameer Apte (for auditory arts)- Sameer kind of suffers from playing on a not very good team, but that shouldn't distract you from the fact that he, by all accounts, destroyed the music at ACF Nationals. The category rankings, in fact, seem expressly set up for players like him.
Justin French-his posting style tends to mask it, but Justin genuinely is really good in a wide variety of categories and seems to have very little difficulty in scaling. At Nationals, he suffered from a lack of teammates, but once that's no longer the case, I could see him leading a pretty good Nats run.
John Stathis- this'll likely be written off as me saltposting after out Nats loss to UNC, but every time I've seen John play, he's gotten at least a couple buzzes that have impressed me. His generalism probably isn't quite there yet, but he can get late buzzes on a ton of things. He probably merits consideration if you're filling out the back half of your top 25.
Evan Suttell (visual fine arts)- even fewer people will likely take me seriously on this one due to my generally continuous Evan-shilling, but look at his power count from ICT. He's quietly built himself up from a background in one very specific area of the FA distribution to an excellent VisArt specialist (and also isn't bad at all at the kind of literature he likes, too!). Another person with one of the more impressive work ethics in QB.
Nitin Rao- Emerged very quickly as a very good history player with some tendencies toward generalism. Deserves to be ranked probably somewhere around his teammate, Jaimie.
Lauren Onel- an underrated generalist; should be on your religion poll
NourEddine Hijazi- really good at literature. Maybe an option for filling out the back half of your top 15. He really shined when given a good teammate to do so with, which should serve as an indication of what he's capable of.
Beverly Fu- Like Sameer, very good at music; on a team where that doesn't really show
A few people who should probably move up:
Matthew Lehmann
Charles Dees
Rahul Keyal

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:49 pm
by vinteuil
Thanks for running this poll, Auroni! I like the new format, even if it means a lot more work.

Curiosity: why are there separate polls for visual and audio arts, but not for any subcategories of the big 3? (I understand that "misc." covers this to a certain extent.)

The rest of this post will concern the overall poll.

Here are some people I'm planning to vote for that, for various reasons, didn't receive many votes in previous years:
  • Natan Holtzmann. Stanford had very solid performances at both nationals, and although Natan had some very good support, he was clearly the leader on this team, putting up some impressive numbers.
  • Kevin Wang. Amherst obviously transformed as a club this year, and that in large part was thanks to Kevin's rapid improvement.
  • Adam Fine. Adam carried us in several of our ICT games (Florida, Ohio State, Penn, Virginia). He put up better ICT numbers than Stephen did last year. All of this despite the fact that he is not so much the victim of a shadow effect as a "total solar eclipse" from multiple sides.
Jakob Myers has, I think, clearly become a top 5 player—and possibly top 4 (his support is, with all my love for Evan, weaker than Chris's).

I think there's a good case for ranking Stephen Eltinge even within the top 10, especially if you consider both NAQT and ACF results. Look at his Lederberg stats, then his near-Isaac-level ICT prowess, then his history knowledge, then his generalism (Yale's nats PPB).

Despite his somewhat uneven performance at Nationals, Matthew Lehmann has clearly improved dramatically this year, and had good ICT numbers on top of his stellar regular season.

Rahul Keyal has also clearly improved. Watch out for him.

Some people have to go down in the rankings. Unfortunately, Charles Hang's play does not seem to have translated to great team success this year, and I will be ranking him accordingly.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:55 pm
by Cheynem
I've only seen him play once and he went 0/0/1, but my gut tells me Jack Mehr should definitely be ranked in the literature poll and probably in the overall poll.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:59 pm
by Auroni
vinteuil wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:49 pm
Curiosity: why are there separate polls for visual and audio arts, but not for any subcategories of the big 3? (I understand that "misc." covers this to a certain extent.)
This was done due to a general sense that most people under consideration are good at all four categories of literature, all four categories of history, and all four categories of science (though maybe to a lesser extent than the other two), and also not to balkanize things too much. Whereas I think a lot of the best visual arts players are not particularly good at auditory arts, or vice versa.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:29 pm
by Milhouse
Cheynem wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:55 pm
I've only seen him play once and he went 0/0/1, but my gut tells me Jack Mehr should definitely be ranked in the literature poll and probably in the overall poll.
I played with Jack at PIANO; can confirm that he is very good both at lit and in general.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:01 pm
by John Ketzkorn
Fuddle Duddle wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:41 pm
Besides the above 25 people, here are a few others I think deserve your consideration and have entered play or gotten really good since last year (note that this is by no means an exhaustive list, and some picks are more intended to draw attention to underrated players than to indicate what my ballot preferences will be)

Mitch McCullar (for literature)- Despite playing next to Mike Etzkorn, Mitch routinely earns his keep on Illinois A by putting up at least one insane lit buzz or effortless 30, no matter what difficulty the tournament is at, in every game we've played them in (and that's happened a lot). One of the few people I'm genuinely scared of playing on literature questions; that has to count for something.

(Then how come I keep beating both you and Mitch to the lit questions :neutral:)

Certainly a top 25 lit player, Mitch is definitely someone to keep an eye on. I appreciate not having to study literature questions or a bunch of authors I'll never get around to reading, and Mitch has no problem going for deep cuts.

From the midwest circuit people I can think of (off the top of my head) who are definitely worth keeping/considering on your list:

Adam Silverman
John Lawrence
Chris Ray
Jakob Meyers
Kai Smith
Cole Timmerwilke
Clark Smith
Matthew Lehmann
Alston Boyd

I'm bad at looking at individual categories, but Mike Hu is an underrated literature player for sure (he whispered me the answer to two lit tossups in the ACF Nats finals before anyone had buzzed)

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:07 pm
by CPiGuy
A few shills:

Ryan Bilger of Gettysburg is an extremely solid generalist who pretty much single-handedly led his team to fourth at Regs and third bracket at Nationals. You should consider voting for him in the overall, history, and visarts polls. You should 100% vote for him in the literature poll; he is consistently the top literature scorer at tournaments using advanced stats.

My teammate Austin Foos is quite good at history and regularly gets very early buzzes, including at high difficulties. At Terrapin his buzzpoint histogram was pretty much flat, showing his depth of knowledge.

Chicago's Samir Khan is a very good science player and probably the best math player in the country.

Hari Parameswaran was dual-enrolled at Wright State this year and is a disgusting history player (he led WSU to within one tossup of beating MSU at Regionals). While we're talking about Wright State, Nour Hijazi should probably earn some votes in religion -- he is very good at this category.

Jay Misuk deserves lots of high votes in the "miscellaneous" category -- he's one of the best geography players in the game.

David Song of Rutgers also has very strong geography and current events knowledge, especially American, and you should vote for him there too!

I don't know whether myth players are going under religion or other, but my teammate Rudra Ranganathan is a very solid myth player who can be counted on to first-clue Indian mythology even at Nationals level, and is quite good at other myth (especially Greco-Roman) as well, getting several solid buzzes at the nationals level on those topics.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:23 pm
by The Billiards Fool
Some folks I'd like to shill for (even though sometimes I assume they're already considered very good and me saying so will do nothing):

(in lit) Jack Mehr should be high on your literature polls
(in lit) Nathaniel Hull is a good literature player with solid generalist chops. I haven't researched well enough to make this claim for sure but he should probably be in your literature player poll.
(in geo/ce) my teammate David Song is very good, especially (and unfortunately heh) at NAQT Twitter clues
(in overall probably, but also in history and religion iirc) Eric Wolfsberg is very good and should probably get your vote in all three of these! His 8/1/1 on Terrapin (lower difficulty, but still) religion was wild, and his results show he scales well. Eric feel free to correct me on what you're best at (I think I got it right) but regardless of where Eric should be on your polls.
(in lit) Nick Collins is also good!
(in history) Doug Simons is, at the least, worth considering for your History poll.
(in history) Boyang is also very good at history
(overall, science) Kevin Wang of Amherst is quite good as well and Amherst's showings at both nats were indicative of the whole Amherst's teams improvment

EDIT: also Dinis of Mizzou seems quite good at history, and it was very unfun watching him first/second clue 3 history ICT TUs against us.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:56 pm
by Sima Guang Hater
Jaimie Carlson should be on your literature poll

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:14 pm
by Kasper Kaijanen
Not only is Caleb Kendrick a really good quizbowl generalist, he's probably the best philosophy player in the country

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:57 pm
by sharkcrossing
Vincent Du, my UNC teammate, is very good at music.

Also, if there is a myth category, Annabelle Yang from Duke is a goddess. Pun intended.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:31 am
by Benin Rebirth Party
Rein Otsason should be in your science polls. Aayush Rajasekaran should be in consideration for your literature polls. Both are outside shots for overall top 25.

Nobody's mentioned this so far but I think Eric Xu should be higher up in your polls than where you're gonna put him.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:20 am
by Milhouse
The Billiards Fool wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:23 pm
Eric Wolfsberg
Vote for Emmett for nicest person, but don’t vote for me in this poll. I can’t scale worth :capybara: .

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:43 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
He wasn't at either Nationals and didn't play PIANO, presumably due to being a very busy JHU med student, but Robert Chu is the best player on Johns Hopkins and deserves a look. He's very good at painting, music, and bio/chem, and can reliably pick up strong generalist buzzes elsewhere. Consult Penn Bowl, Regionals, and SGI for stats.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:56 pm
by UlyssesInvictus
Is it perhaps too late to ask for non-performance polls as well, such as most improved, nicest player, best captaining, etc? I seem to remember something like that happening last year, but that might not have been a ballot thing and just a simple google form instead.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:07 pm
by settlej
When are ballots due by?

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:33 pm
by Red Panda Cub
People worth considering from this side of the pond, some of whom didn't get much exposure in virtue of not playing Nats this year:

Joseph Krol -- strong on lit, fine arts, maths and basically everything else. Extremely conservative on the buzzer, but that doesn't stop him from buzzing a lot (between BSQC, Regionals and PIANO he's 200/6 G/N...). Chicago A can attest that he's got serious knowledge, and he went 7-0 against them at Oxford Open this year -- in fact his OOT performance as a whole was an immense display of generalist ability grinding out wins (http://hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/56 ... /combined/).

Evan Lynch -- extremely good on physical science, strong on lit and auditory fine arts, backed up solid generalism in everything else. That he led his team to over 20ppb at BSQC (on Briticised SCT questions) while putting up 70% of the team's TU points tells you where his generalist skill is at.

Oliver Clarke -- probably the best classicist in QB, and extremely good at history in general. Also an NAQT monster (31-43-8 in 11 rounds at BSQC).

Jacob Roberston -- probably worth a mention on the science poll, since he put up ~20ppg at Nats basically buzzing only on those 4 questions a round, and routinely matches Ewan/Evan on advanced stats in those categories.

BSQC stats in general are probably worth looking at for assessing these and other British players: http://hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/57 ... all_games/

Edit: spelling

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:15 pm
by jasongg17
Red Panda Cub wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:33 pm
People worth considering from this side of the pond, some of whom didn't get much exposure in virtue of not playing Nats this year:

Joseph Krol -- strong on lit, fine arts, maths and basically everything else. Extremely conservative on the buzzer, but that doesn't stop him from buzzing a lot (between BSQC, Regionals and PIANO he's 200/6 G/N...). Chicago A can attest that he's got serious knowledge, and he went 7-0 against them at Oxford Open this year -- in fact his OOT performance as a whole was an immense display of generalist ability grinding out wins (http://hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/56 ... /combined/).

Evan Lynch -- extremely good on physical science, strong on lit and auditory fine arts, backed up solid generalism in everything else. That he led his team to over 20ppb at BSQC (on Briticised SCT questions) while putting up 70% of the team's TU points tells you where his generalist skill is at.

Oliver Clarke -- probably the best classicist in QB, and extremely good at history in general. Also an NAQT monster (31-43-8 in 11 rounds at BSQC).

Jacob Roberston -- probably worth a mention on the science poll, since he put up ~20ppg at Nats basically buzzing only on those 4 questions a round, and routinely matches Ewan/Evan on advanced stats in those categories.

BSQC stats in general are probably worth looking at for assessing these and other British players: http://hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/57 ... all_games/

Edit: spelling
Perhaps, it's understandable if you discount based on not playing nats (though Oli and Jacob out of this list did play ACF Nats, and really every single person on Ox A deserves general or at least category player consideration), but if you don't care about that you really don't have any excuse not to have at least one of the above on your player poll ballot. Evan is the best generalist in the UK (though Krol's giving him a run for his money this year) and is terrifying to play, especially on regular difficulty, as he can single-handedly steal a game from just about any entire team I can imagine. In at least my experience, his generalism doesn't scale above regular reliably (though I'm sure it will by next year), but holy crap does his science, lit, and visual arts (I'm pretty sure only Joey and Krol have above a 50/50 chance of beating him to vis arts in the UK, though the Isaac Brown/George Charlson combination can probably make Evan have to bring his a-game). Evan with the sort of backup Eric Xu or Caleb Kendrick gets would absolutely produce comparable finishes, and it would be a real failure of due diligence not to at least very strongly consider him for your overall player poll

I'm admittedly a tad less objective about the next one, but I've always considered the real value of the player poll threads to be in people dumping praise on their (in some cases ex, :cry: ) teammates. Joseph "The Steamkroller" Krol should also be considered for every player poll ballot and absolutely ought to be on every. single. arts. ballot. I'll reiterate what I posted last year, that on top of getting by my unscientific estimate about 70 percent of all the visual arts content we heard at Nats last year (and Ellie got probably another 20 percent, but I digress), he personally locked ASEEM out of visual arts during our upset of Berkeley last year. As his Cambridge nickname suggests, Krol is one of the most terrifyingly steady players I've ever seen, scales arbitrarily in all of his good categories (vis arts, math, lit, CE, some areas of history) and can steal anything else from anybody at any time. Ask Chicago A about OOT.

Meanwhile, Oxford. Everybody on Oxford A deserves consideration for a general player poll, though Oli and Jacob, as Joey points out, may have the best arguments for inclusion in the general poll. Oli should absolutely be on everybody's history and misc polls, and can easily spearhead a team and turn games around solely with his impossible history and esp. classics knowledge. Jacob meanwhile, is a very worthy successor to the George Corfield 1/1 science lockdown tradition, though Jacob's lockdown is physics (if memory serves, Daoud recorded him as getting something absurd like 10 of the 13 physics tossups they heard at nats last year; no idea about this year but I'd be shocked if it wasn't comparable). If you're not putting them on the general poll, George, Isaac (whom Americans did not see in action, but holy cow is he scary), and Claire definitely merit consideration for various category polls. George will take around 15 ppg worth of thought off of anybody at any level around, and Isaac will get at least that much in lit and arts (especially if they're *shudder* French). Claire can (and as my repeated failed attempts to get her to Nats while we were both at Princeton suggest, always could) take about 20 pg worth of lit, history, and religion/myth off of anyone and while sitting next to anyone a round, to the point of essentially giving her teammates the quiz bowl equivalent of a golf handicap, assuming she doesn't elect to go off and just get all the humanities in a round.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:16 pm
by jasongg17
Milhouse wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:20 am
The Billiards Fool wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:23 pm
Eric Wolfsberg
Vote for Emmett for nicest person, but don’t vote for me in this poll. I can’t scale worth :capybara: .
Leaving aside the Emmett for nicest person comment, this is by far the dumbest thing I've ever heard Eric say. He's definitely very good, and definitely scales. Should definitely be on religion subject ballots and should be considered for history ones.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:47 pm
by nycaqb1999
UlyssesInvictus wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:56 pm
Is it perhaps too late to ask for non-performance polls as well, such as most improved, nicest player, best captaining, etc? I seem to remember something like that happening last year, but that might not have been a ballot thing and just a simple google form instead.
I think that’s the Players Choice Awards, which I think is being run again this year by Victor Prieto

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:03 pm
by UlyssesInvictus
nycaqb1999 wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:47 pm
UlyssesInvictus wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:56 pm
Is it perhaps too late to ask for non-performance polls as well, such as most improved, nicest player, best captaining, etc? I seem to remember something like that happening last year, but that might not have been a ballot thing and just a simple google form instead.
I think that’s the Players Choice Awards, which I think is being run again this year by Victor Prieto
Ah, I missed that thread. Thank you for pointing it out to me, and not rubbing my dumb face into it!

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:12 pm
by Hobbie Klivian
Continuing the trend of shilling for teammates, Nitin Rao should definitely be ranked for history, and quite possibly for generalist.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:26 pm
by Auroni
settlej wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:07 pm
When are ballots due by?
Last year's gave two weeks. Since this year's is a bit more involved, I think a full month is fair, so get these in to me by May 19th. Opening post has been updated accordingly.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:34 pm
by benmillerbenmiller
Some justifiable shilling for my teammates on Chicago B:

James Lasker is an excellent science player with the best and realest astro knowledge in the game. He certainly deserves a spot in your science ranking. Tim Morrison is a top-tier lit (and film) player who can buzz across the canon at any difficulty. Plus, his math knowledge is ungodly (check out his Lederberg stats!!!). And as for Grant Li, what Jakob said is exactly right: Grant is a humanities beast who scales up incredibly well.

These people are good. Vote for them.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:27 pm
by Thiccasso's Guernthicca
It's my turn to shill! (As many have said above, this is by no means an exhaustive list.)

- Ben Miller is a ridiculously amazing history player with iron-clad consistency, incredibly low neg numbers, and the ability to scale (he was also leading scorer on Chicago B at SGI and PIANO!). Grant Li is an insane humanities generalist who is capable of getting some of the wildest literature and visual arts buzzes I've ever seen at any level of difficulty, in addition to a fair amount of history (check the Nats stats - he went 5/0 against both Berkeley B and Texas). Together, they were also leading scorer and leading in powers, respectively, on our second-place D2 ICT team. Both of them should absolutely be on your subject ballots, at the very least.

- It shocks me that Halle Friedman hasn't been mentioned yet for visual arts. She is very capable of getting insane painting buzzes against members of Chicago A in practice, and her tournament stats reflect not just her depth in visual arts, but her lower-level humanities generalism as well (her PIANO team was not incredibly successful, but she was playing on a three person team in a strong field and still led their scoring by a respectful margin).

- Tim Morrison has shown immense improvement through this season and led Chicago B in scoring at both ICT (where he notably dropped a statline of 5/5/1 in one match) and Nats. As Ben said above, he has the ability to buzz across the distribution and has immense depth in film, math, and literature (I recall somebody telling me that he firstlined my Julia Alvarez tossup at PIANO).

- Jack Mehr absolutely should be on your literature player ballot. He almost exclusively specializes in literature and still dropped a 12/32/7 statline at PIANO while playing with incredibly talented teammates.

- Max Shatan is a deadly generalist who came from behind and led his team to third at D2 ICT, showing considerable improvement through the year and an insane work ethic to boot. While he may not scale completely yet, his PIANO stats suggest that he isn't far behind at all (nearly 40 PPG!).

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:42 pm
by touchpack
Science Man here giving my thoughts on Science People:

Geoff is #1, and it's not close. Look at his PIANO and ICT stats if you don't believe me--dude is a monster with high potential to become the GOAT in undergrad.

#2 through #4 are, in some order, Kai Smith, Adam Silverman, and Stephen Eltinge. Kai I think is the most boom-or-bust of the three--if a set's stuff matches what he's studied (Lederberg) he can put up monster numbers; if not, (PIANO) he can put up monster negs. Adam remains an incredibly good science generalist with the ability to get ridiculously good biotechnology buzzes due to his real-life prowess at science. Stephen has, from the little I've seen of him, progressed from "elite physics/math specialist" to someone who can buzz all over the distribution. Lead scorer at Lederberg, although he had much less shadow effect from teammates compared to Adam and Kai.

After that, it gets a bit muddier. Players I know things about: Rein Otsason is incredibly good at physics/engineering stuff--he fought my Lederberg team hard all the way to tossup 24. I've heard his generalism is a bit weak compared to some of the other top players, however. Kevin Wang and James Lasker are both great science generalists who, in my mind, are the next tier down from Kai/Adam/Stephen. Ben Zhang and Rafael Krichesfsky are a strong one-two punch (primarily on bio, and physics, respectively), but neither of them really has great generalism since they've been able to cover for/complement eachother for so long--they might both drop out of the top 10 because of that. Samir Khan is an elite math player with decent generalism who probably cracks a spot somewhere on the list.

Since I'm based in the midwest, there's a bunch of players that I haven't seen enough of to evaluate: Graham Reid, Eric Wolfsberg, Vishwa Shanmugam, several people on Penn and Johns Hopkins, etc. Someone from the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast should give their thoughts.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:01 pm
by rùdrâ
Thiccasso's Guernthicca wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:27 pm

- It shocks me that Halle Friedman hasn't been mentioned yet for visual arts. She is very capable of getting insane painting buzzes against members of Chicago A in practice, and her tournament stats reflect not just her depth in visual arts, but her lower-level humanities generalism as well (her PIANO team was not incredibly successful, but she was playing on a three person team in a strong field and still led their scoring by a respectful margin).
Can confirm Halle was really good at PIANO, and it was great to see her getting points on pretty much all the humanities that we weren't going to get.

Speaking of PIANO teammates, Austin Foos should definitely be in consideration for history, and he performed very well at nats and regs.

I don't think anyone has actually mentioned Mike Etzkorn by name in this thread yet (other than to correctly talk about how good Mitch McCullar is), but he should definitely be on everyone's minds.

Conor Thompson is in my opinion one of the best math/geo/random things players, so even if he perhaps doesn't scale enough in non-math science for you to put him in science, he should be in contention for misc.

I'll reiterate what Conor said about Nour Hijazi being great on religion and myth. It's terrifying to play him at times in those categories.

Emmett Laurie is also very good at history, and he's improved a lot over the past year.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:09 pm
by Banana Stand
Thank you to those who have given me reps! I wouldn’t advise that you vote for me in the overall poll; my performances at both nationals have not warranted inclusion and I don’t think my uncharacteristically good PIANO statline is enough to do it. Instead, vote for my teammate Eric Xu who led us to solid finishes at both nationals while putting up ~50% of our overall points scored and carried on bonuses. Quizbowl is about getting tossups, and Eric is very very good at doing that efficiently, with some great pockets of deep knowledge in the grooves of his large blanket of general knowledge.

As for my teammate Nick Collins, I would urge you to place him in your literature poll(somewhere from 10-15 as there are players with more coverage above him). UVA ranked 2nd or 3rd in literature in every tournament with advanced stats with Nick contributing many early buzzes, and Nick’s fantastic ICT performance was due in large part to his mastery of English-language poetry and drama, of which he is one of the best specialists in the game. You can check his high power counts in literature in all tournaments with detailed stats to confirm this.

Non-teammate shilling:

Rahul Keyal should be very high in your literature poll, and in your general poll as well.

Jaimie Carlson is probably my least favorite person to play lit tossups against(outside of John Lawrence who I unfortunately only got to play once this year). She should be high on your lists.

Derek So hasn’t been talked about much. He’s really really good, especially on ACF. He deserves a spot in your top 10.

Graham Reid will be talked about in the science poll, but he should get a vote in the general poll as well. He performed great at both nationals and knows a lot more than just science.

What I said for Graham also applies to Stephen Eltinge. The guy is an absolute monster(his history knowledge is always shockingly good).

Don’t sleep on Rafael this year, please.

(Also, this is just a general comment, but I’d refrain from talking about playing tossups in practice in this thread and focus on tournament results. There’s definitely a much better sample size at practices, but it’s not an accurate simulation of real competition.)

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:07 pm
by Beevor Feevor
I've got a few non-teammate shills for the thread if my opinion's relevant at all to sway some people:

Robert Chu is a fantastic, deep player who unfortunately didn't get the chance to shine at Nats this year. He consistently obliterated Regs-level questions on the 1st or 2nd line in a pretty wide variety of topics and he deserves a spot on people's lists.

Adam Fine and Stephen Eltinge are both incredible support players on a top team but amazing in their own right outside of Jacob's shadow. I'm all about rewarding able generalists, but these guys are some of the best to play the super-support role.

Eric Wolfsberg constantly puts up massive numbers, which may lead people to think he's a generalist. While good at that, he really shines in specialism roles in history and RMP; underrate him in subject polls at your own peril.

Natan Holtzman is a beast. We obviously got shredded by him twice at Nats, but his knowledge is very deep and intimidating. Great combination of depth and breadth and a deserving top scorer on a top bracket team.

Gotta echo what Jack said about people not underrating Rafael this year. Absolute juggernaut on regular difficulty who somehow doesn't fall off at all at higher levels. Paragon of consistency.

As far as teammate shills go, I couldn't have hoped for a better mix to end my UVA playing career with. Jack Mehr is pretty indisputably a top-3 lit player this year. UVA's leap this year in terms of depth can be almost all attributed to the immense amount of work he's put in to become a top-tier specialist in the game. We wouldn't have made top bracket without his improvement, and he definitely deserves to be recognized. Nick Collins continues to impress with his history/lit depth. He deserves to be in the 10-15 range on the strength of his pockets of knowledge alone: his pockets are more than my entire knowledge bases in many subjects. The fact that our team's 4th scorers this year included the ICT leader in power% (Lawrence Simon) and a sophomore without any high school Quizbowl experience who went 4/0 against Chicago B on ACF Nats (John Connor) shows that UVA, despite my shallowness, has quite a bit of depth.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:25 am
by kitakule
I'll take a break from schoolwork to shill some of my teammates.


Jacob Reed - What can I say except that he's the best player in the country and it's not close. He should absolutely be the #1 pick on every single ballot for the general poll, and should be ranked near the top on several of the category polls as well (literature, visual arts, auditory arts, and thought for starters). Furthermore, he had the audacity to bring Whippets (the snack, not the dog) to ICT, that alone should merit a #1 spot!

Stephen Eltinge - I honestly think Stephen is a strong contender for a top 10 position in the general poll. Since my freshman year, he's gone from a physics specialist to someone capable of breaking the Hoppes-Mikanowski limit with Jacob at Penn Bowl (prelims, but still), outscoring him in multiple games at ICT this year and putting up 60 points in the final next to Jacob's 105. Removal of Isaac's shadow effect did play a part, but it's still worth noting that Stephen almost tripled his 2018 ICT power numbers at this year's edition of the tournament. For the category polls - Stephen should be top 3 minimum for science; you need only to look at his Lederberg stats to see how much of a monster he is. Stephen should also be in strong consideration for a spot in the history and misc (assuming that includes geo and CE) polls; he's an incredible player in his own right in those categories too!

Adam (So) Fine - Like Jacob said, at this year's ICT Adam put up better numbers than Stephen did last year and suffers from more severe shadow effect. His performances at ICT and the prelims of this year's Nats have earned him a spot in the top 25 - he flexed his generalist ability and carried us in some really important games. For category polls, please don't forget to vote for Adam in the science poll. At ICT, when he wasn't powering tossups off speed-running clues, he was pulling sick early buzzes on chemistry too, and that's with noted science player Stephen Eltinge sitting right next to him. I can personally attest to the fact that on many of Stephen's science buzzes, Adam was right behind - so don't be fooled, Chicago A is in very good hands next year as far as science is concerned. He's also an excellent myth player, so consider him for your ballot on the misc (?) poll too.

Michael Kearney - The cross-category nature of his speciality kind of disadvantages him for this sort of poll structure but I will nevertheless shill Michael as the best classics player in the country. According to him he's a bit "rusty" from not having studied for Certamen for a while, but that doesn't preclude him from dropping sick first or second-line buzzes on almost every classics tossup I've heard him play. I think I speak for all of Yale A when I say that we were extremely pleased to have him as Jacob's replacement at Nats this year; not only did he bring his wealth of classics knowledge to the table, he was also handy for clutch buzzes pulled from his ever-expanding trove of European history knowledge. I look forward to watching him continue to improve as a history (and literature!) player next year.

Ben Colon-Emeric - Please consider this guy for the misc poll! I know he's probably unknown to you all, but I've got to plug Ben because he has the deepest film knowledge of anyone I've ever seen. Armed with this and the ability to snag random buzzes across the distribution, he stepped up to the DII team (having previously been the SIXTH-choice player) and led them in scoring at ICT, with only one heartbreaking loss keeping the team from top bracket and a minimum 8th place finish. As an aside, he's also one of very few people to make me nervous when playing against them on Christianity/Bible-related tossups. Watch out for this guy in the years to come!

Hasna Karim - I plugged her last year and I'll do it again. My extremely worthy successor as B-team captain continued to put up excellent numbers on science this year and unlike Adam, her orgo knowledge is real . Furthermore, she’s a serious threat on anything related to the Indian subcontinent. Last time, I neglected to mention her underrated ability as a myth player; I've had the fortune (and in our defeat to Yale B at Sun God, the misfortune) of watching her pull great buzzes on a variety of myth systems from around the world in the past couple of years. Please consider her for the science and misc polls!

Sophie Lai - Last but not least is boba connoisseur Sophie Lai. As a first-year, she established herself as one of the best literature and fine arts players on the Northeast circuit - just check her advanced stats! Please consider her for those category polls. I can’t wait to see how she develops as a player over her next three years at Yale.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:36 am
by Bensonfan23
In the spirit of posting about your teammates, I will post about mine, past and present, since no one played Texas, Duke, or UNC much outside of Nats/ICT this year.

Jas Singh is already the best history player I've ever played next to, and that's in no way a slight to any of my old teammates. Jas' consistency in history is genuinely impressive. Games like our match against Harvard at Nationals (where Jas went 8/0!) show that he can also be dangerous on more than just history, particularly literature. He was UT's top scorer at both ICT and Nats, and was also the top freshman scorer at ICT altogether. Jas should be toward the top of your ballot in the history poll.

I (Ryan Humphrey) was typically just behind Jas in scoring at most tournaments UT played this year. I was much more of a generalist on UT's team than a specialist, and my scoring was typically a balance of thought (ss & phil), science, and arts points. My highlights from Nats include getting all four science in UT's wins against Toronto and Stanford, and playing pretty well overall (5/0) in our wins over McGill and Amherst at ICT.

John Stathis should definitely get credit in this poll as a generalist. He was the largest factor in carrying UNC to a top 20 finish at Nationals, including a win over MSU. His UNC team also put up nearly 20ppb at Regionals, and beat Stanford, Maryland A, and Maryland B at Spartan Housewrite. John's also a great lit and history player on a specialist level.

Some brief comments about Duke's club, its up to you if you consider them active enough this year for votes:

If you do consider Annabelle Yang as an active player this year, then she's easily one of the best myth players in the game and one of the better music players.

Unlike Annabelle, Gabe Guedes actually did play tournaments this year in the fall, and even though Duke didn't make it to Nationals or ICT this year, Gabe deserves credit for being a fantastic lit and arts player (particularly film!) for the past several years. Remember him in subject polls.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:26 am
by Cheynem
I actually thought Gabe had graduated. One of the nice things about these threads is pointing out people who didn't play the nationals, as they often slip through the woodwork.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:49 am
by a bird
Kasper Kaijanen wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:14 pm
Not only is Caleb Kendrick a really good quizbowl generalist, he's probably the best philosophy player in the country
In addition to being a really strong generalist and an elite philosophy player, I want to mention that Caleb is also really good at social science. Many people think of Weijia as our team's social science machine, given his strong econ knowledge (indeed, this would warrant a slot on a social science poll if that existed), but Caleb is very strong in most areas of social science and close behind Weijia on econ. I assume social science and philosophy are combined to form the "thought" poll, so Caleb deserves consideration for the top spot on your "thought" ballot.

Also Weijia is still really, really good at religion.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:23 pm
by Sam
touchpack wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:42 pm
Science Man here giving my thoughts on Science People:

Geoff is #1, and it's not close. Look at his PIANO and ICT stats if you don't believe me--dude is a monster with high potential to become the GOAT in undergrad.
I never see people play enough to have something smart to say in these threads but good lord is Geoffrey good at science. Certainly among the best science players and probably enough to put him somewhere among the top 25 players overall.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:11 pm
by Mnemosyne
Some comments on players I've seen this year:

I don't know much about the science landscape, but the unheralded Rohan Narayan from Delaware impressed me a lot at PIANO. He had 4 science powers, a bunch of solid 10s, plenty of 30s on bonuses, all while playing next to Eric Wolfsberg, who has non-trivial science overlap with him (I think they are both chemistry or Chem Eng majors). I'd be surprised if there are 15 better science players than him.

Graham Reid put up fantastic stats at both nationals. I don't know how the buzzes were distributed across categories, but if they were significantly in science, then he's probably up there in the science ranking.

Caleb Kendrick is just so good at everything now that I don't even know what categories he considers himself good at. He just gets a lot of tossups.

Ryan Bilger routinely gets vis art tossups against us, and those stupid Revolutionary and Civil war tossups that only come up when we play Gettysburg for some reason.

Eric Wolfsberg is a great player. Probably not Top 25 overall, sick at world religions (didn't he power 8 religion questions in one set?), sick at chemistry, but has to play next to Rohan so he'll never be able to fully showcase that.

Robert Chu is really good at regular difficulty, had 6 insane powers to force a final against us at Terrapin, but when you don't play either national its hard to get ranked appropriately.

Eric Xu still has ridiculous ability to get 10s against almost every team. We all know he doesn't power much, but if the other team isn't powering, then Eric will give them the "death by a thousand cuts". He had a 7-tossup game against Maryland earlier this year, a 6-tossup game against Chicago and a 9-tossup game against Penn at ICT. If you respect generalists, then he should probably be near the bottom of your Top 25 overall players.

Jack Mehr had an insane PIANO performance (1 power a game, and he had some really close first-clue negs that were as sick as his first-clue buzzes). In addition to his power count, PIANO showed what happens when Jack isn't playing next to Eric and can showcase his own generalist ability.



Literature rankings:

After PIANO, I really wanted to get out here and talk about how Jack was the #1 lit player, but after ICT I'll have to hold back. He did very well at Nats (didn't get the Jacques the Fatalist tossup, though!) and is certainly a top-3 lit player. I'm guessing John Lawrence is #1, and then Jack and Jaimie are 2/3 in some order. It's hard to know exactly where Jaimie should be because she didn't play any of the tournaments with detailed power numbers this year. I think the 3 Js are probably the 3 best. After that, the Chicago players are all really solid lit players, but they shadow each other so much we'll never really know just how good each of them is.

I haven't gone through everyone else's stats exhaustively yet, but I think I might have a case for the bottom of the top 15. Playing next to Jack I went 7/7/0 at EFT, 7/7/0 at SGI, 6/4/0 at Penn Bowl, 10/0 at Regs, only 3/3/0 at Terrapin yikes, and had I think 3 lit powers at PIANO, 5 lit powers at ICT and some dope buzzes at Nats, and most importantly 2nd place to Jordan in the Discord reading of Rahul and Jack's Links.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:49 pm
by Muriel Axon
Geoffrey nearly out-powered me at ICT, tied Will Nediger and Mike Bentley for most powers at PIANO, and often beats grad students in the sciences (myself included) to questions in their own (broadly-defined) field. The difference between Minnesota coming 15th/8th at ICT/Nats last year and 4th/3rd this year was... mostly Geoffrey.

Of course, if Geoffrey is on your ballot, Sam should also be. They got very similar PPG at both ICT and ACF Nationals. Sam doesn't have as clear a specialty, but he gets some of the most miraculous and baffling buzzes in the game. (I would guess that Sam and I are both about as good this year as we were last year.)

Some non-UMN players whom I care to comment on:
  • Both in their game against us and against our B team (at least based on their testimony), Vishwa Shanmugam showed a scary ability to convert questions on some of ACF Nationals's hardest answer lines
  • The entire Stanford team (Natan, Bryce, Marianna, alternating fourth) struck fear into our hearts at both nationals
  • Matt Mitchell really impressed me at PIANO

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:30 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
Since I don't have any teammates to shill for, I'm going to add one (1) hot take, and one (1) observation:

1) Jakob Myers is the second-best active player in the game right now. I think his main competition in this regard is John Lawrence, and I think Jakob gets the edge on account of the following:
  • Leading MSU to many victories over stronger teams throughout the season, such as two victories against OSU at PIANO and two victories against a shorthanded UChicago at SGI. It's also worth noting that a lot of MSU's losses at ACF Nationals were very narrow - they got nine tossups against each of Maryland, Minnesota, and Chicago, in which Jakob got 8, 8, and 7 tossups, respectively
  • Being far and away the top scorer on a top-six team at ACF Nationals, whereas the rest of the top teams were a lot more balanced
  • Scoring the most powers at ICT by a decent margin, and having a decent case against Jacob Reed for best player on the NAQT distribution
  • Having strong generalist buzzing instincts, augmented by a knowledge base that's been grown by constant writing
2) Jaimie Carlson is being undersold a bit by this discussion as a "lit player" - if you take her as just that, I think it's a bit hard to make a case for her in the top 25 on the basis of being a top-3 lit player, since I don't think her level of lit dominance quite stack up to what elite science players can pull off. I think one reason she deserves a much closer look than similar people with such billing is that she's also able to make really good buzzes in myth and visual art, and has a bunch of science and engineering knowledge to boot

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:36 pm
by vinteuil
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:30 pm
2) Jaimie Carlson is being undersold a bit by this discussion as a "lit player" - if you take her as just that, I think it's a bit hard to make a case for her in the top 25 on the basis of being a top-3 lit player, since I don't think her level of lit dominance quite stack up to what elite science players can pull off. I think one reason she deserves a much closer look than similar people with such billing is that she's also able to make really good buzzes in myth and visual art, and has a bunch of science and engineering knowledge to boot
I agree with this, and will be voting for Jaimie in my overall poll ballot. To add to what Will said: don't forget Jaimie's "quizbowl skills"—buzzer speed, thinking through the clues, collaboration.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:50 pm
by AGoodMan
For auditory arts, Michael Yue and Luke Minton should absolutely be considered.

At EFT, Michael went 4-2-0 and Luke went 4-1-0 on 11 Music tossups, thus getting every Music tossup (and 8 of them in power). Together, they recorded 25.6ppb on 9 bonuses.

At SGI, Michael went 3-4-0 on 9 Music tossups.

At Nats, Michael firstlined Josquin and second-lined phasing and La Marseillaise. That's just the tip of the iceberg of this guy's insanely deep music knowledge. It would be incredibly bad to not include him in your polls.

Luke also had global first buzzes on multiple music tossups on EFT and other sets.

For science, people should consider Kelvin Li in their polls. He can scale quite well, going 5-13-6 in 10 games of PIANO while basically only being a science player.

Consider Ricky Li for literature. He went 8-11-1 on lit at Terrapin.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:51 pm
by Auroni
If the amount of effort needed for one person to produce a ballot is prohibitively high, I’m open to allowing multiple people to
collaborate on one. It’ll only count once, though, and not and something multiply-co-signed by the individual people, and I will not allow the same person to submit a ballot more than once whether individually, or as part of a group.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:02 pm
by connor.mayers
I'm going to invade this thread that I have no position commenting in to say that you should rank Jakob very high because he is very good at quiz bowl!

(also vote for Geoffrey because that kid is a monster)

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:25 pm
by The King's Flight to the Scots
If we're praising teammates here, I'll take up for a former teammate and point out that Aidan played at the level of a top 15 player at Nationals.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:31 pm
by ryanrosenberg
The King's Flight to the Scots wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:25 pm
If we're praising teammates here, I'll take up for a former teammate and point out that Aidan played at the level of a top 15 player at Nationals.
Agreed (as a former open teammate of Aidan's). I'll also offer former teammates Natan Holtzman and Marianna Zhang as players absolutely deserving of your vote. Natan's knowledge base is pretty baffling in how wide-ranging it is, but he's clearly a top 25 player and potentially a top 5 music player (he took music off of Columbia! at Nats). Marianna has tons of deep knowledge in philosophy and social science, especially psych; she should be on any thought ballot, probably in the top half just below the tier of JR/JL/Caleb/Alston.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:58 pm
by Borrowing 100,000 Arrows
Graham Reid should be in your overall top 25. He covers so much outside of science. He even beat Jakob to history at ICT to complete a 200 point comeback against MSU. No one I'd rather have on my team in the top bracket at ACF Nats.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:53 pm
by Smuttynose Island
There are two players from the Pacific Northwest who merit some consideration on the subject polls. The first is Alex van de Poel, a senior at UW. He is easily the best NAQT player who you have never heard of. He has deep pockets of knowledge in history and great coverage of modern world and geography. Alex powered 23 (!) questions over 10 rounds at this year's DI SCT - over half of which were in current events, geography, or other. It is an absolute shame that Alex only began playing competitive collegiate quizbowl last year and never made it to an ICT. You should strongly consider including him on your "Misc" ballot.

At the risk of obnoxious self-promotion, I believe that I (Daniel Hothem) deserve some consideration for a bottom spot on your Visual Fine Arts ballot. I made a concerted effort to improve in that area this year. As a result, I have gone from going 1/4/0 (in 10 games) on the category at the SGI Playtesting mirror to 4/3/0 across 8 games at EFT to finally going 4/3/2 (in 9 games) at UW's Terrapin mirror. The competition in the PNW isn't the greatest nor are these numbers groundbreaking, but they do strike me as good enough to deserve a second look.

Outside of the PNW, Matt Mitchell probably deserves consideration for a spot on your science ballot. Matt is a fantastic physics and math player. He went 5/20/8 on the science over 9 rounds at BSU's EFT mirror. There he was propelled by his 3/3/2 and 2/6/1 stat lines in Physics and Other Sciences respectively. He got roughly half of the available science tossups at his ACF Regionals mirror, finishing 19/4 across 10 rounds. Once again, he had strong showings in Physics (7/0) and Other Sciences (5/1). Lest you think these numbers are a result of weak competition west of the Mississippi, Matt finished in the top 15 in scoring at Lederberg by going 11/14/9 as the second scorer on a team that tied(?) for 1st.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:30 am
by Mike Bentley
Smuttynose Island wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:53 pm
There are two players from the Pacific Northwest who merit some consideration on the subject polls. The first is Alex van de Poel, a senior at UW. He is easily the best NAQT player who you have never heard of. He has deep pockets of knowledge in history and great coverage of modern world and geography. Alex powered 23 (!) questions over 10 rounds at this year's DI SCT - over half of which were in current events, geography, or other. It is an absolute shame that Alex only began playing competitive collegiate quizbowl last year and never made it to an ICT. You should strongly consider including him on your "Misc" ballot.

At the risk of obnoxious self-promotion, I believe that I (Daniel Hothem) deserve some consideration for a bottom spot on your Visual Fine Arts ballot. I made a concerted effort to improve in that area this year. As a result, I have gone from going 1/4/0 (in 10 games) on the category at the SGI Playtesting mirror to 4/3/0 across 8 games at EFT to finally going 4/3/2 (in 9 games) at UW's Terrapin mirror. The competition in the PNW isn't the greatest nor are these numbers groundbreaking, but they do strike me as good enough to deserve a second look.

Outside of the PNW, Matt Mitchell probably deserves consideration for a spot on your science ballot. Matt is a fantastic physics and math player. He went 5/20/8 on the science over 9 rounds at BSU's EFT mirror. There he was propelled by his 3/3/2 and 2/6/1 stat lines in Physics and Other Sciences respectively. He got roughly half of the available science tossups at his ACF Regionals mirror, finishing 19/4 across 10 rounds. Once again, he had strong showings in Physics (7/0) and Other Sciences (5/1). Lest you think these numbers are a result of weak competition west of the Mississippi, Matt finished in the top 15 in scoring at Lederberg by going 11/14/9 as the second scorer on a team that tied(?) for 1st.
Yeah, Alex is very good at current events, geography and general knowledge. He's also a pretty good European History player. And I can confirm Daniel is a very good visual arts player. We didn't keep advance stats for Terrapin, but if we did you would have seen that he had numerous powers in the fine arts categories. And it was great having Matt as a teammate at PIANO where he was regularly doing very well on the science--except in our game against Geoffrey Chen who I think powered all 4 science questions in the game against us.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:59 am
by Aaron's Rod
I don't usually vote in these, I just want to echo/continue to hype up a few people:
Sam wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:23 pm
touchpack wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:42 pm
Science Man here giving my thoughts on Science People:

Geoff is #1, and it's not close. Look at his PIANO and ICT stats if you don't believe me--dude is a monster with high potential to become the GOAT in undergrad.
I never see people play enough to have something smart to say in these threads but good lord is Geoffrey good at science. Certainly among the best science players and probably enough to put him somewhere among the top 25 players overall.
Geoffrey Chen was buzzing before the pronoun/referent at PIANO. He also out-powered Billy. Listen to the Science Man and vote that kid #1 on the science poll. And be afraid, be very afraid.
rùdrâ wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:01 pm
Thiccasso's Guernthicca wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:27 pm

- It shocks me that Halle Friedman hasn't been mentioned yet for visual arts. She is very capable of getting insane painting buzzes against members of Chicago A in practice, and her tournament stats reflect not just her depth in visual arts, but her lower-level humanities generalism as well (her PIANO team was not incredibly successful, but she was playing on a three person team in a strong field and still led their scoring by a respectful margin).
Can confirm Halle was really good at PIANO, and it was great to see her getting points on pretty much all the humanities that we weren't going to get.
RT. Peep some of her early buzzes on art (not just painting!), including against noted scrub teams like "Chicago A" and "Northwestern" and "WUSTL A."

I'm surprised that Rahul Keyal has not gotten more discussion on here. He lead a team to T-7 at ICT, ahead of teams like MSU and Penn, and with a better PPB to boot. I'm bad at remembering categories, but I read for him at both ICT and Nats and he was a force to be reckoned with at both. You should move him way up on your overall list. Also, much as a lot of the super-talented undergrads are now, he's a certifiably Very Good Kid™.

Aidan Mehigan destroyed the Christianity content at Nats--I witnessed at least two first-or-second line buzzes--and merits consideration on your religion poll. Also, he still knows a lot about buildings, so consider him for visual arts, too.
The King's Flight to the Scots wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:25 pm
If we're praising teammates here, I'll take up for a former teammate and point out that Aidan played at the level of a top 15 player at Nationals.
5/1 against OSU, including buzzes on science(!) and geography--the friendly Chris Ray/Penn rivalry is alive and well!

There are some people and teams who don't scale up, and then there's some people and teams who scale up seemingly ad infinitum, Nediger-style, and you never know when they're going to pull a monstrous buzz from thin air. Shan Kothari and Sam Bailey are two such players. I know that the Nats bonus difficulty threw some people for a loop, but look at the stats, they sure didn't faze Minnesota. (Actually, it doesn't hold up for Nats as a whole, but their Regionals PPB was 0.4 points lower than their Nats playoffs PPB; wtf, guys?!)
Muriel Axon wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:49 pm
Of course, if Geoffrey is on your ballot, Sam should also be. They got very similar PPG at both ICT and ACF Nationals. Sam doesn't have as clear a specialty, but he gets some of the most miraculous and baffling buzzes in the game. (I would guess that Sam and I are both about as good this year as we were last year.)
In particular, a word about Sam Bailey. With so many newer people who deserve to be moved up or receive votes this year, he may drop out of the top 25 overall, but you should really put him high on your "misc" list. First of all, econ and social science fall into that category. Second of all, he just brings the out-of-nowhere buzzes on common-links and OAc. He definitely figured out the "bonsai" tossup before you did.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:04 pm
by ryanrosenberg
Aaron's Rod wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:59 am
In particular, a word about Sam Bailey. With so many newer people who deserve to be moved up or receive votes this year, he may drop out of the top 25 overall, but you should really put him high on your "misc" list. First of all, econ and social science fall into that category.
I was assuming most social science fell under "thought" and not "misc", but it seems right to not put econ in thought.

Re: Player Poll 2019

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:14 pm
by John Ketzkorn
Aaron's Rod wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:59 am


Geoffrey Chen was buzzing before the pronoun/referent at PIANO. He also out-powered Billy. Listen to the Science Man and vote that kid #1 on the science poll. And be afraid, be very afraid.
While no one can dispute how nuts Geoffrey's play is, I'd argue this is his biggest weakness. He buzzed before the pronoun of a later clue in my game against him at ICT (with a similar but incorrect answer), and I heard a story about a neg on the chemistry toss-up on forming 5 member rings at ACF Nats (with 8) when they were listing cyclooctynes. I think he should realize that a majority of the time, this kind of rush to buzz isn't necessary; especially given how nuanced science clues can be. Still likely my #1.