"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Most early NBA Summer League Performances matching up with our projections

Rob Lowe and I sent out advisories on NBA prospects prior to the draft, and then revealed the guidance pick-by-pick as selections were made on draft night (see 1st Round here and 2nd Round here).

Granted there have only been a few NBA Summer League games, but if you review the rankings of all summer league players (click here), and compare it to our 1st Round and 2nd Round guidance above, you will see that the projection model has a pretty high hit rate for forecasting where players SHOULD have been drafted based on their initial performances.  The shorter list below is a reference for this piece, which highlights of the performances to date of our; 1, initial misses; 2, initial hits; and 3, Marquette performances to date.

Misses: It's probably no coincidences that one of the four "misses" we see in initial games was a Kentucky player.  I noted in a February 26 post on Cracked Sidewalks, "The only players who get 'cheated' by value add are players with four or more potential NBA-level players, and this year that means anyone who plays for UNC or Kentucky."  We had Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as one of the best five players in the draft, but the calculations showed Bradley Beal and Thomas Robinson were clearly above him and should have gone 2nd and 3rd.  While Beal and Robinson are playing fine early on - as two of only nine 2012 draftees to rank in the top 33 - Kidd-Gilchrist backed up Charlotte's confidence in making him the 2nd pick with a phenomenal 18 point, 8 rebound, 5 assist, 4 steal game - WOW!  That gives him the 2nd best Efficiency Rating of the 359 players to play as of this writing.

The only player to top him (31 to 30 in NBA Efficiency) so far is Tony Wroten, with 19, 8, 6 and 2 in those same categories in his opening game for Memphis, and we weren't sure he was a first round pick.  However, once you get past these top 2, the only misses we see are our underestimation of Robert Sacre, who does rank in the top 3rd of all Summer League players at 117th after we really questioned him as the final pick of the draft, and point guard Tyshawn Taylor, who we thought was overdrafted at 41st, but has so far been the 65th best player in Summer League and actually the 16th best of all 2012 draftees.  Point guard is the toughest position to pick purely on stats - as Derrick Rose actually rated above Michael Beasley in our model in their draft.

However, the successful statistical projections are much more numerous, as the statistical measurements appear on course to be a very good indicator of where players should be drafted as they have been since 2006.  Six players we viewed as huge steals after urging teams to pick them higher have performed well above their draft position and in the top 100 overall Summer League players in Meyers Leonard, Tyler Zeller, Terrence Jones, Jared Sullinger, Draymond Green and Kyle O'Quinn.

On the flip side, many players we advised against picking so high have put up stats well below their draft position including; Harrison Barnes (7th pick, 48th best performance), Andre Drummond (9th, 94th), Terrence Ross (8th, 103rd), John Jenkins (23rd, 114th), Austin Rivers (10th, 132nd), Dion Waiters (4th, 174th), Kevin Murphy (47th, 175th), Darius Miller (46th, 199th), Khris Middleton (39th, 236th).  Some of these players have played only two games, and some five, so certainly any or all could turn out to be great, but the statistical indicators show that in most cases they will be unlikely to live up to how high they were drafted.

Can Marquette break the top 10 of all colleges with 8 NBA players for only the 3rd time in history?

Obviously Dwyane Wade and Steve Novak don't have to play Summer League, and Jimmy Butler and Wesley Matthews will also be in the NBA next year to give MU four definite players.  That leaves four Marquette alums whose performances may determine how many MU players are in the NBA next year.

Lazar Hayward is the best performer so far, with an average NBA Efficiency of 15 after averaging 16 points and 6 rebounds to rank 67th of 359 Summer League Players.  Jae Crowder has likewise put up a solid 12, 5 average through two games, though both are shooting well under 50% to hold them down a bit (Crowder ranks 102nd).  Dwight Buycks had one phenomenial 20+ scoring game with assists, though overall he ranks only 172nd and I don't know if his chances are as good with OKC as they might have been with the Spurs.  DJO had really tough shooting out of the gates, but with a couple of assists a game, hopefully he will be a Laker and be able to learn from Steve Nash.

In a dream case, if all four could make it, then MU would have 8 NBA players for only the third season ever (1978-79 and 1979-80 being the other two) and that would put Marquette in the Top 10 of all colleges.

1Tony Wroten (MEM)1LV251959862031
2Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)1LV2218712854030
4Meyers Leonard (POR)1LV3214341100327
14Tyler Zeller (CLE)2LV26.516.558.5601222
27Terrence Jones (HOU)3LV22.316.7611.37.3100.320
30Bradley Beal (WAS)3LV3118.75.3133.72.31119
37Jared Sullinger (BOS)4Or28.313.84.511.28.310.8118.2
38Doron Lamb (MIL)1LV3420612400018
48Harrison Barnes (GSW)2LV30186.5154.50.52.5017
65Tyshawn Taylor (BKN)4Or29.815.55.512.
67Lazar Hayward (OKC)4Or29.815.84.813.
73Draymond Green (GSW)2LV23.
94Andre Drummond (DET)5Or24.
95Kyle O' Quinn (ORL)5Or21.48.847.
102Jae Crowder (DAL)2LV31.5124.5124.5210.512.5
103Terrence Ross (TOR)3LV3115.35.71541.31012.3
114John Jenkins (ATL)3LV27.714.7613.721.70.7011.4
117Robert Sacre (LAL)3LV31836.75.3100.711.3
132Austin Rivers (NOH)2LV321029.52.53.52010.5
172Dwight Buycks (OKC)5Or13.88.63.870.
174Dion Waiters (CLE)2LV30.510.53.512.
175Kevin Murphy (UTA)5Or22.68.63.482.410.20.48
181Wesley Matthews (POR)1LV1573620118
199Darius Miller (NOH)2LV2172.57.520.520.57
214Darius Johnson-Odom (LAL)3LV20.35.71.784210.36.7
236Khris Middleton (DET)5Or23.


JP said...

Lazar is guaranteed another year...

JP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.