-Situational Statistics: the 2013 Shooting Guard Crop
-Just By the Numbers: the 2013 Point Guard Crop
-Situational Statistics: the 2013 Point Guard Crop
Though the 2013 draft class is described as relatively weak compared to past years, shooting guards represent one of this draft's more talented groups, including likely lottery picks Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
A key component of the game of basketball, statistics are both exalted for their comprehensiveness and condemned for their ridiculousness. There are an unlimited number of ways to evaluate a player on paper, with each seemingly generating non-stop debate over its value. In recent seasons, Synergy Sports Technology and other companies have brought on a new generation of statistics in basketball, and along with the likes of John Hollinger and Dean Oliver, have changed the way NBA teams evaluate prospects.
Accounting for every jumper missed on a fast break, pick and roll from the top of key, and bad pass in crunch time, the data at the disposal of NBA decision-makers seems to get deeper almost daily. As statistics become more advanced, you can even start to predict what areas a college player may struggle in moving forward based on what their numbers in college or where they may still have upside.
As we get further and further away from the actual season that was played between November and April, we tend to forget at times how productive prospects actually were on their individual teams between all the talk about wingspans and upside and performance in private workouts and such.
With that in mind, we're running a simple analysis of how all the top prospects in this draft compare in all the different facets of the game statistically that matter at their individual position, which should help us identify red-flags, learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of each prospects and evaluate how they compare with each other.
We continue with the shooting guard crop.
Points Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||20|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||18.1|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||16.8|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||14.69|
This stat tells us plainly how often these guards put the ball in the basket, adjusting for minutes played and pace, which levels the playing field as best as we can without taking into account competition level, individual team roles, and teammates into consideration. This is a good place to start with this group of players, as it tells us about their versatility, the range of roles they played last season, and a little bit about each prospect's mentality as a playmaker or scorer. As you can see, there's plenty of prolific offensive talents in this group, nearly all of whom played over 30 minutes per game for their respective teams, but interestingly enough, the top scorers are not considered anywhere near the top draft prospects.
Temple senior Khalif Wyatt tops the list with 24 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted, which also ranks him as the sixth best scorer among our top-100 prospects. At 6'2.5 without shoes and without impressive athleticism, Wyatt is not likely to hear his name called on draft night, but should have plenty of suitors overseas, or may be able to earn a call-up through the D-League if he can improve his defense. Offensively, he's as skilled, crafty and tricky a player as you'll find, and even top defenders like Victor Oladipo had a difficult time shutting him down this season.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ranks second among shooting guards in scoring at 23.1 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Caldwell-Pope took a big leap between his freshmen and sophomore years, distinguishing himself as both a productive scorer and a prolific perimeter shooter, and is a likely lottery pick in June. As we'll see later in this article, he not only puts up lots of points, but also does so in a highly efficient manner as well.
Illinois volume shooter Brandon Paul and combo-guards Seth Curry and B.J. Young round out the top-five most productive shooting guards. Yet, none of them are guaranteed of hearing their names called on draft night. Young is suffering from perceptions about his lack of perimeter shooting ability and character concerns, while Curry has been hurt the entire draft process and may lack an NBA-caliber physical profile. While Paul can put the ball in the net, his inefficiency and maddening inconsistency belies his scoring instincts and athleticism.
Likely top-five picks Ben McLemore and Victor Oladipo rank eighth and ninth on this list. For McLemore, his average standing speaks to scouts' questions about whether he has the mentality to blossom into an elite scoring threat in the NBA, even though his scoring instincts are advanced for a collegiate freshman.
Victor Oladipo, on the other hand, was once a quite limited player offensively, scoring just 16 points per-40 as a sophomore, which would have ranked him last among college shooting guards in this group. With that said, he added scoring polish to his already impressive list of NBA-caliber superlatives as a junior, but NBA scouts will have to ponder how much he can continue to improve offensively as he makes the difficult transition from college to the NBA.
Archie Goodwin, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Alex Abrines - the only international player in this group round out the bottom. Abrines showed flashes of potential as a 19-year-old playing for Barcelona in the prestigious ACB and Euroleague, and Goodwin was one of the youngest players in college basketball last season as an 18-year-old freshman.
Hardaway Jr.'s relative lack of productivity and efficiency as a juniorranking last among college players in this group-- is one of many question marks scouts will consider as they project his transition from the University of Michigan to the NBA, though his role in Michigan's run to the National Championship game is not to be overlooked.
Three Point Attempts Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||7.4|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||6.1|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||6.1|
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||5.5|
In the NBA, shooting guards must be able to take and make perimeter jump shots, and this statistic shows how many three point field goals these prospects attempted, adjusting for minutes played and pace. It also gives us an idea about the roles these prospects played for their respective teams, the confidence they had in their perimeter shooting ability, and the freedom they were given by their former coaches.
Caldwell-Pope finishes towards the top of this, as well, with 8.7 attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted, even if he ranks in the middle of prospects currently projected in the first round at 37.7% 3FG.
Brandon Paul, Khalif Wyatt, and Seth Curry rank 2-3-4 on this list, though they are all longshots to hear their names called on draft night.
Alex Abrines rounds out the top-5 with 7.35 attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted.
At the bottom of the list, by a wide margin sit Victor Oladipo and Archie Goodwin, at 2.6 and 2.4 three point field goals per 40 minutes pace adjusted, respectively. Oladipo, in his defense, has improved considerably as a perimeter shooter, taking nearly as many perimeter jump shots as a junior (68) as he attempted in his first two years combined (74) while making an impressive 44.1%. Given his trajectory thus far and excellent work ethic, scouts hope that he can continue to improve in this regard moving forward, but it does beg the question about how legit his 3-point percentages are given the small sample size.
Goodwin, on the other hand, has never been a particularly prolific perimeter shooter, and did little to dispel that notion as a freshman, making only 17 of 64 perimeter jump shots as a freshman. Though he is very young and has plenty of time to improve, developing a perimeter jump shot is essential to his professional prospects moving forward. His poor shooting performance at the NBA Combine was a major factor in his steady decline down draft boards recently.
Jamaal Franklin, Vander Blue and B.J. Young also rank near the bottom of this group, even if the number of attempts they took this season was nothing to sneer at. Scouts surely would have liked to see the ball go in a little bit more, though.
Three Point Attempts Per Field Goal Attempt
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||0.59|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||0.45|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||0.42|
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||0.37|
This stat examines how heavily a player relied on the 3-ball to score points, which is a good indicator of the role these prospects played last season, but is an indirect gauge of how well each of them got to the rim as well. Players from whom a large proportion of their shots come from beyond the arc may have some deficiencies in terms of size, ball-handling ability, athleticism, aggressiveness, or shot-selection. Or they simply could be outstanding shooters. Every player should be judged individually in this regard.
The results here are hardly surprising, though Alex Abrines's 0.59 ranks first, which represents the centrality of the three point jump shot to his game. He is a streaky perimeter shooter, however, and he will have to improve upon his career high of 32.4% before cracking an NBA rotation.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ranks second, showing off what his main calling card as a NBA prospect is.
Victor Oladipo ranks second to last, as just 22% of his field goal attempts came from beyond the arc, indicating that he may not have had quite as much confidence in his perimeter shooting ability as his terrific percentages from there suggest.
Free Throw Attempts Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||8.2|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||5.3|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||3.3|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||3|
Free throws attempted per-40 minutes is a good statistic to measure the aggressiveness of a player getting to the rim, as well as his athleticism and ball-handling skills. In some ways, it provides an inverse look at the three-point stats we just looked at.
Khalif Wyatt, once again, ranks first in this group at 8.4 free throw attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted, further bolstering his reputation as an elite collegiate scorer. Ranking third in 3-point attempts and first in free throws, Wyatt's shot-selection is solid even if he isn't a great outside shooter and doesn't project as someone who will get to the free throw line at will in the NBA.
Second in this group is likely first round prospect Jamaal Franklin, an athletic slasher who lives around the rim. While his sub-30% perimeter shooting leaves much to be desired, his ability to create his own shot and get to the foul line is his calling card as a NBA prospect.
Archie Goodwin ranks third. Like Franklin, Goodwin struggled with his jump shot, but he compensated with his solid scoring instincts and by earning trips to the foul line. That being said, he makes only 63.7% of his attempts, indicative of his overall shooting woes and something he absolutely must improve upon moving forward.
At the bottom of the list and to no surprise sits Alex Abrines. Playing a minor role for an elite European team, Abrines is not a great ball-handler or athlete and thus rarely is asked to put the ball on the floor alongside the likes of Juan Carlos Navarro and Marcelinho Hurteas.
The fact that Tim Hardaway Jr comes in at second worst is a bit of a surprise. Neither an elite athlete nor a true knock-down perimeter jump shooter, Hardaway Jr. will need to improve his ball-handling skills and sub-70% free throw percentage.
Most notable in the bottom five is Ben McLemore, who, despite shooting 87.9% from the foul line, attempts just 4.5 free throws per 40 minutes pace adjusted. His much-publicized bouts of passivity and occasional tendency to fall in love with his jump shot belied his elite athleticism at the collegiate level, and are among the things giving NBA scouts the biggest room for pause in his evaluation. Looking forward, improving his ball-handling and becoming more aggressive off of the dribble would do wonders for taking his game to the next level.
Finally, it is worth noting that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is both prolific from beyond the arc and above average in getting to the foul line, ranking fifth in this group to the tune of 6.5 free throw attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Known as somewhat of a one-dimensional player, Caldwell-Pope was aggressive with his straight line drives this season in a featured role, even if his per-possession free throw numbers aren't quite as impressive.
Free Throw Attempts Per Possession
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||0.39|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||0.29|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||0.21|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||0.19|
Even though Free Throws Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted tells us how much a player attacks in bulk, it doesn't show how much they attack relative to their usage rate. This stat tells that story, even if there are few surprises here.
Archie Goodwin, Jamaal Franklin, and Khalif Wyatt rank 1-2-3 in this group with Tim Hardaway Jr. now sliding to last. Alex Abrines ranks second worst, with Allen Crabbe, Vander Blue, and Ben McLemore rounding out the bottom five.
Victor Oladipo ranks fifth in this category, right ahead of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
True Shooting Percentage
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||57.2|
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||54.2|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||53.8|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||53.1|
True Shooting Percentage is adjusted to account for what a player adds to their efficiency and team's point total with free throw attempts and 3-pointers. This stat attempts to adjust for all the ways a player can put points on the board. A player who makes 4/10 3-pointers contributes the same amount of points as a player who made 6/10 2-pointers, something that show up in the traditional field goal percentage stat (which would have the 3-point shooter at 40% FG% and the 2-point shooter at 60% FG%). This stat attempts to adjust for that.
Victor Oladipo absolutely shines in this category, as he shot 64% from 2-point range, 44% for 3, and 75% from the line, developing into a proficient perimeter shooter as a junior to complement his prowess finishing around the basket. Even more impressive is the fact that Oladipo ranks as the third most efficient shooter among prospects in our top-100. One significant mitigating factor here is that Oladipo's usage percentage ranked last among collegiate players in this group. Scouts will have to ponder whether he can maintain the same efficiency in a larger role.
After an average showing in previous categories, McLemore ranks as the second most efficient shooter in the group with a true shooting percentage of 63.9%. Similarly to Oladipo, though, he has the second lowest usage rate in this group among college players. Can he maintain the same efficiency in a larger role?
Seth Curry, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Allen Crabbe round out the top-five, proving themselves not only as perimeter shooters, but also as efficient scorers from all over the floor.
Caldwell-Pope not only ranks as the fourth most efficient scorer in this group, his usage rate also ties for fourth highest, which is very impressive and helps emphasize why he's made such a strong run up draft boards the past few months.
Arkansas sophomore B.J. Young ranks as the least efficient scorer in this group, converting a solid 53.3% of his shots from inside of the arc, but connecting on a miserable 22.7% from three and 66.9% from the foul line. He had the second highest usage rate in this group, something he clearly wasn't ready to handle playing for such a bad team. While Young possesses NBA-caliber quickness and athleticism, his struggles from the perimeter have left scouts questioning his potential at the next level.
Goodwin, Hardaway Jr., Abrines, and Jamaal Franklin round out the group's bottom, hardly surprising given their struggles as jump shooters.
Assists Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||3.9|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||3|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||2.9|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||0.9|
Unsurprisingly, the combo-guards in the group finished atop this list. Khalif Wyatt was an incredibly versatile player for Temple, playing both on and off of the ball as the team's top scorer and facilitator. NBA teams may have to ponder if he's deserving of another look considering how strong his statistical profile is, despite his shortcomings defensively.
While Wyatt lacks NBA-caliber athleticism, B.J. Young has an ideal physical and athletic profile for the NBA point guard position. Scouts are skeptical about his ability to shoot the ball, but he improved his assist numbers substantially jumping from 3.4 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted to 4.8 as a sophomore, and also didn't turn the ball over too often.
Jamal Franklin and Archie Goodwin also stood out for their willingness to pass the ball joining Brandon Paul in rounding out the top-5 even though, as will be mentioned in the next section, they were also very turnover prone.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ranks third to last here, as he's not a prolific distributor, but also didn't really have many competent options around him to pass the ball to playing for a talent-stricken Georgia squad.
Ben McLemore posted just .2 assists per-40 minutes better than Caldwell-Pope, but that has more to do with how infrequently he put the ball on the floor than anything.
Turnovers Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||4.1|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||3.4|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||2.2|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||2|
This group is also particularly turnover prone, beginning with Jamaal Franklin. At 4.1 turnovers per 40 minutes pace adjusted, Franklin ranks as second in our top-100 while taking the top spot on this list. He has always been a high turnover player (and, as we will see, a very high usage player), but rather than improving, he has become more turnover prone with each season. Scouts will have to wonder how much the very loose, unstructured system he played had to do with this, and whether he can become more efficient on a team with more discipline.
Archie Goodwin and Khalif Wyatt find themselves second and third, respectively. Wyatt sees 29.4% of Temple's overall possessions, but Goodwin saw nearly 10% less, signaling that his struggles may be more concerning in the long run. He is young and wore a variety of hats on the offensive end of the floor for the Wildcats, but nevertheless was fairly turnover prone.
Michael Snaer and Brandon Paul round out the top-5 with 3.4 turnovers per 40 minutes pace adjusted each.
Seth Curry turned the ball over just 1.4 times per-40 minutes, which is an extremely impressive rate. Even when accounting for usage, Curry turned the ball over on just 9% of his total possessions, which speaks to his basketball IQ and discipline.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is also worthy of a mention, as he only coughed the ball up on 12% of his total possessions, which is an impressive rate considering his usage.
Pure Point Rating
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||-0.71|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||-3.35|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||-3.55|
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||-3.65|
Accounting for pace, and the fact that turnovers are statistically a bigger negative than assists are a positive, Jon Hollinger's pure point rating builds on the A/TO ratio that many of us use to gauge the efficiency of points guards.
Only one player in this group posted a positive pure point ratingB.J. Young, which indicates he may have some potential as a point guard down the road. Seth Curry ranks second, thanks to how infrequently he turned the ball over, and his generally strong feel for the game. Tim Hardaway's maturity and high basketball IQ helped him finish third here.
Neither Archie Goodwin or Jamaal Franklin look very good in this metric, which does not favor players who turn the ball over at a high rate.
Assist to Turnover Ratio
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||1.3|
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||1|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||0.9|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||0.5|
With the aforementioned analyses in mind, it comes as no surprise that B.J. Young tops this list by a considerable margin, boasting a 1.64/1 assist/turnover ratio. Following Young, few prospects even warrant a mention, with only five players Tim Hardaway Jr., Seth Curry, Khalif Wyatt, Allen Crabbe, and Brandon Paul - registering a ratio above one.
Jamal Franklin, who ranked third among shooting guards in assists and first in turnovers, turns in an unsurprising 0.96. More surprising, however, are the appearances of likely top-5 picks Ben McLemore and Victor Oladipo.
McLemore is known neither as a distributor nor as particularly turnover prone, but will be expected to create looks for himself and for others at the next level. His placement near the bottom of this list, then might be cause for slight pause in projecting him in this capacity.
Oladipo has averaged 3.1 turnovers pr 40 minutes pace adjusted in each of his collegiate seasons, less damning because of his increased usage throughout his career. That being said, if he ever hopes to live up to lofty (and, frankly, unrealistic) Dwyane Wade comparisons, then he will have to improve considerably in this regard.
Vander Blue who was touted as a combo-guard out of high school, though failed to live up to these expectations in college and Archie Goodwin round out the bottom of this list.
Rebounds Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||11.3|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||5.4|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||5.3|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||3.87|
Rebounding is an important aspect of the game, and while some shooting guards are a presence on the glass, some are not. Regardless, rebounding speaks to a guard's tenacity, aggressiveness, and how well they use their size and athleticism against smaller and less athletic players, thus providing a good look into how they'll fare at the next level.
With this in mind, Jamaal Franklin's outstanding 11.1 rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted stands out in a good way. While Franklin played far more minutes at power forward and small forward than others on this list, his ability to translate his size and athletic advantages into rebounds speaks to how he will be able to help an NBA team on day one with his aggressiveness and versatility, regardless of how long it takes his offensive skill set to pan out.
Victor Oladipo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope rank second and third on this list. Oladipo comes as no surprise given his athleticism, high energy level, and ability to play multiple positions at the collegiate level. Like Franklin, there is no doubt that he'll be able to carve out a role, regardless of his inconsistency on the offensive end.
Caldwell-Pope, on the other hand, is a bit of a surprise given his reputation as a shooting specialist. Though he is a non-factor on the offensive boards, his excellent rebounding numbers on the defensive end of the floor bolsters our earlier assessment of his defensive potential.
Allen Crabbe and Ben McLemore round out the top-five, and looking down the list, there are few surprises.
Seth Curry, Khalif Wyatt and Alex Abrines are three of the less impressive prospects in this group physically, and they grade out fairly poorly in this metric.
Defense by the Numbers
We have a long ways to go before we'll be able to effectively quantify a player's defensive prowess statistically, especially using just box-score numbers. There are too many variables involved in whether a team comes up with a stop on any given possession to effectively isolate a single player out using such simple metrics.
When studying the results of blocks and steals per 40 minutes pace adjusted (below), Defensive Win Shares (DWS) and Defensive Rating (DRtg), however, it is possible to at least start to glean some insights into a prospect's defensive ability.
Blocks Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||0.9|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||0.7|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||0.6|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||0.5|
Steals Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||2|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||1.26|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||1.2|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||0.8|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||105.3|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||103|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||100.6|
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||86.7|
Defensive Win Shares
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||3.8|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||2|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||0.9|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||0.6|
As one would expect, Victor Oladipo ranks first in both steals (3.0) and blocks (1.1) per 40 minutes pace adjusted, and by large margin in both categories, while being tied for first in defensive rating (86.7) and a close-second in defensive win shares (3.7). At 6'4, he does not have standout size for the shooting guard position, but his combination of fundamentals, athleticism, and a 6'9 wingspan will allow him to seamlessly translate his elite defensive ability to the NBA.
Jamaal Franklin, unsurprisingly, also does quite well by the defensive numbers, ranking third in steals per 40 minutes pace adjusted (2.0), third in blocks (0.8), first in defensive win shares (3.8), and first in defensive rating (86.7). With excellent athleticism and a 6'11+ wingspan, Franklin has the physical tools to be a defensive terror on the perimeter at the next level, especially since he will not be the focal point of his team's offensive plan in the NBA.
Other statistical standouts include Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Ben McLemore, and to a lesser extent, Allen Crabbe. Caldwell-Pope, for the reasons listed above and his good physical and athletic profiles situate, allow him to place second in steals per 40 minutes pace adjusted (2.5), sixth in blocks (0.6), third in defensive rating (90.7) and defensive win shares (3.4). While he will have work on his frame and fundamentals, his professional ceiling could be even higher should he bank on his potential to emerge as a standout perimeter defender in the NBA.
McLemore also measures out well cumulatively, ranking third in blocked shots per 40 minutes pace adjusted (0.8), fourth in defensive rating (93.4) and defensive win share (3.1), which balances out his ninth place finish in steals (1.2). McLemore's excellent athleticism and above average physical profile (6'5 with a 6'8 wingspan) should allow him to develop his fundamental weaknesses at the next level, though only with increased intensity and focus.
Not known as a standout defender and likely lacking the strength to immediately contribute on this end of the floor at the next level, it is good to see Crabbe rank so highly on this list, placing third in blocks per 40 minutes pace adjusted (0.8), fifth in defensive rating (97.4) and defensive win shares (2.4), and ninth in steals (1.2). Crabbe is not going to set the world on fire as a defender in the NBA, but, at 6'6, his outstanding length (6'11 wingspan) and solid athletic profile should allow him to compete, if he puts his mind to it.
Moving down the list, players without great physical (Seth Curry) or athletic profiles (Khalif Wyatt) do not measure out particularly. In this regard, there seems to be a positive correlation between physical and athletic characteristics (wingspan and vertical jump, for example) and blocks and steals. Additionally, Alex Abrines played against NBA-caliber professionals as a 19-year-old, which contextualizes his poor performance by the numbers, but still raises some question marks when evaluating his average lateral quickness.
More surprising, however, is the fact that players vaunted for their defense at the collegiate level such as Vander Blue and Michael Snaer rank so poorly, perhaps justifying their current standing in our top-100 and their tenuous overall draft prospects.
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||29.4|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||25.5|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||23.7|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||19.4|
One reason why we compare prospects using statistics adjusted over 40 minutes and for pace is twofold. For one, teams in the NCAA and abroad, alike, play at a variety of different paces, which tends to inflate player statistics in faster-paced systems. Secondly, players play a variety of roles at the collegiate and international level, and usage rate as measured by a player's percentage of a team's total possessions, speaks to the size of their role at the collegiate or international level, as well as their productivity given this role.
With this in mind, it is hardly surprising to see Khalif Wyatt take the top spot at 32.1% of Temple's overall possessions when he was on the court. Wyatt was an extremely high usage player, in part, because he was asked to do a little bit of everything, from scoring to distributing. While he likely won't play a similar role at the NBA level, his versatility and productivity are extremely intriguing.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ranks fourth in this metric, using 29.3% of Georgia's possessions while he was on the court. This makes his efficiency particularly intriguing, as he was very productive in a substantial role for Georgia.
While those in the middle of the list will have to learn how to play a much smaller role if they hope to crack an NBA rotation, those on the tail end of this list are more intriguing.
Ben McLemore ranks third-to-last on this list, using just 23% of Kansas's possessions while on the floor, sharing touches with veterans Jeff Withey and Elijah Johnson.
Below McLemore is fellow projected top-5 pick Victor Oladipo, using just 22% of Indiana's possessions. Expected to contribute immediately as a defensive specialist and energy player on the offensive end of the floor, Oladipo was a role-player for Indiana as a junior.
Finally and in last place by a large margin, Alex Abrines used just 19.4% of Barcelona's possessions this season in his time on the court.
Player Efficiency Rating
|Jamaal Franklin||NCAA||San Diego State||24.7|
|Michael Snaer||NCAA||Florida State||18.9|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||NCAA||Michigan||17.1|
|Alex Abrines||Euroleague, ACB||Barcelona||11.05|
Created by Memphis Grizzlies executive John Hollinger, PER is a total measure of what a player does on the floor based on more than a dozen weighted calculations. It isn't wise to compare players across different leagues, though, since an average score of 15 (the median) in the NBA would be a totally different figure in another league, with its own averages. The NCAA is especially tricky considering the varying levels of competition we find in the different conferences.
Oladipo unsurprisingly sits atop this list, as he is extremely productive per possession, extremely efficient as a scorer, and performs well in nearly every statistical category. While it is difficult to know exactly how much Oladipo can provide a team on the offensive end of the floor, his production suggests that he will find a way. His work ethic, likewise, suggests that he will only continue to improve. Simply put, though he is still raw, Oladipo's ceiling is very high, but one he is capable of reaching.
Caldwell-Pope ranks second, once again bolstering his reputation as an effective scorer and quantifying just how much better he was as a sophomore (28.2) than as a freshman (20.3).
Wyatt and Franklin unsurprisingly rank third and fourth due to their productivity and versatility, and Ben McLemore rounds out the top-five with a solid 23.5. McLemore does not stand out as a can't-miss prospect by the numbers, but his savvy as a scorer and outstanding physical and athletic profiles suggest that, more than most, he will be able to translate and improve upon his collegiate numbers at the next level.
At the bottom is Alex Abrines, whose 11.05 PER stacks up about as well among prospects in the Spanish ACB league as it does on this list. It must be noted, however, that Abrines already plays in one of the best leagues in the world and, while his numbers are below average, it is important to realize that he already plays against professionals on a nightly basis.
Tim Hardaway Jr., Archie Goodwin, Vander Blue, and Michael Snaer round out the bottom-five. While Goodwin is an extremely young player and showed flashes of turning into a dominant scorer down the road, Hardaway Jr.'s mediocre standing by the numbers as a veteran among his fellow shooting guards suggests that his meteoric rise up draft boards due to strong workouts may not be entirely deserving.