For some basketball fans, the phrase “assist-to-turnover ratio” may be an obscure or misunderstood concept.
For Micah Ladd, that statistic perfectly defines his role on the Crown College men’s basketball team.
“Assist-to-turnover ratio measures how many times you get assists in a game, compared to how many times you turn the ball over,” the Cambridge-Isanti graduate explained. “Most teams want to hang onto the ball, and turnovers obviously hurts that.
“And getting open opportunities that an offense can turn into points raises the productivity of your team. So having that stat be high is important.”
The 5-foot-10 guard is one of the statistical leaders for the Storm, averaging 11.5 points per game while dishing out a team-leading 61 assists. Ladd has turned the ball over just 19 times, giving him a 3.21 assist-to-turnover ratio that ranks sixth-best among Division III players around the country.
“I’m honored to be in that spot because that stat is very reliant on teammates,” Ladd said. “You can get them open, but they have to knock the shots down. So I’m honored to be in this conversation – and being ranked sixth in the nation is nothing to turn your head at.
“Every day I go to practice trying to learn how to make that number better.”
Ladd ranks 14th in the Upper Midwest Conference in scoring and leads the league in assists with 5.5 per contest. But his role on the Crown men’s basketball team is much greater than just scoring points.
“One of our main scorers and rebounders is hurt, so recently I took that to heart and tried to score a little more,” he said. “But primarily my role on this team is defense – I bring aggressiveness and intensity to our defense.
“And on offense I’m the primary ball-handler, so the coaches want me to bring the ball up, call plays and facilitate the offense.”
Ladd knows that those defensive responsibilities are a dirty job that someone has to do, and he’s not afraid to do them.
“It definitely isn’t glamorous – it’s a lot of hard work,” he said. “But it’s not a hard job for me to psyche myself up to do, because every time I step onto the court, I think of it as an opportunity to play the game I love, to go out and enjoy playing with my friends.
“In a weird way, I think it’s fun. No one wants to work hard at things like that, so when you do work at it, it sets you apart from everyone else.”
While Ladd is a freshman in terms of eligibility, he already is a junior academically who is majoring in sports management and business. While he could play basketball for three more years after this season, he hopes to graduate in May 2023.
Until he graduates, Ladd wants to help the Storm in one other statistical category: wins.
“I can score zero points or I can score 20 points – I don’t care as long as my team wins,” he said. “I want to see this team succeed, and I’m willing to do whatever I need to do to get that done.”