For the first time I am releasing Value Add Rankings for the 2003 season due to Ken Pomeroy (please subscribe at www.kenpom.com!) calculating tempo free stats for three additional years (2003-2005). As the Final Four tips off this let me run the program on all players from 2003 to 2014 to finally see just how good Dwyane Wade ranked during the last MU Final Four run.
Below for the first time are the top 25 Value Add players of 2003 and all of the MU players who added value in the Final Four season.
Of the almost 50,000 player seasons during the 12 seasons now going into www.valueaddbasketball.com, Wade's 2003 campaign ranks as the 7th most valuable performance. He did it in a very special year - of the 30 best seasons during that span SEVEN occurred during the 2003 campaign - more than double any other season. Chris Bosh had the 25th best season, Carmelo Anthony surged even more than the Kentucky freshman have this year to get up to seventh.
Unfortunately two Kansas players I would like to forget made it into the top 20, but going a little further down the list we see Travis Diener already at 39th (remember that is close to the top 1% of all players), Robert Jackson almost gave MU the rare trio of Top 100 players, and Scott Merritt gave us an even more rare four top 200 players.
Steve Novak was already in the top 10% of players, and he and Diener would take it to new heights.
The fact that Novak and Diener joined Wade with NBA careers is a truly rare feat, as many great players cannot get to the next level. The two players ahead of Wade in helping their team slightly more than Wade over the course of the season barely played in the NBA. Troy Bell was a dominant Consensus All-American among the top few players in scoring and assists, and Mike Sweetney dominated inside at Georgetown, but it was Dave West of Xavier who finished just behind Wade and is now more of a factor in whether or not Wade takes another NBA title.
I know it has been a down year - so getting an unexpected chance to look back at 2003 and what an incredible year and team it was was quite a treat for me as the Final Four tips off.
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