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2012 Draft Study Results

Fri, 06/22/2012 - 10:24am
Royce White, a statistical anomaly

Royce WhiteRoyce WhiteRoyce White is a truly fascinating prospect. Not every potential draft pick who comes along has taught himself to play the piano. Very few, if any, college students have turned their 21st birthday party into a non-alcoholic event to help fundraise for a group that serves children with mental health and behavioral disorders. White has spoken openly of past problems at Minnesota, interests beyond basketball, wanting to visit Tibet, and admitted to not like flying. For all of the off the court elements of White that make him interesting, it is what he did on the court that takes the cake. Not only was he the only player in college basketball to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, and blocked shots, but he had the most remarkable split in how he functioned in a given game based off his team's need. In Iowa State’s 18 games against teams that did not finish the season in the RPI Top 100, White averaged 10.1 points on 51.9 percent shooting, 8.7 rebounds, 2.1 offensive rebounds, 5.6 assists. 1.0 steals, and 0.9 blocked shots in 29.3 minutes per game. He often served as Iowa State’s point guard, and a 10.1 point and 5.6 assist average is not dissimilar from the lines put forth by Scoop Jardine and Marquis Teague across all splits. In and of itself, that particular statistical split is rather impressive for someone who is 6’ 8” and 261 lbs, but only part of what speaks to the unique nature of his season.

Royce White, Iowa State, RS So.

6' 8"

261 lbs.

FG

3PT

2PT

FT

Rebounds

G

Min

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

2011-12 Total (23-11)

34

31.5

5.1

9.6

53.4

0.1

0.4

33.3

5.0

9.3

54.1

3.0

6.0

49.8

2.5

6.8

9.3

5.0

3.8

1.2

0.9

2.6

13.4

2011-12 Non-Conference Reg (10-3)

13

29.9

4.8

8.7

54.9

0.0

0.0

4.8

8.7

54.9

3.5

6.0

59.0

2.8

6.1

8.9

3.9

3.7

1.2

1.3

2.2

13.1

2011-12 Big Twelve (12-7)

19

32.2

5.2

10.2

50.5

0.2

0.6

33.3

4.9

9.6

51.6

2.5

6.0

42.1

2.4

6.9

9.4

5.9

4.1

1.2

0.7

2.8

13.1

2011-12 RPI 100 (7-9)

16

34.0

6.8

12.4

54.3

0.2

0.6

33.3

6.6

11.9

55.3

3.4

7.1

48.2

2.9

7.0

9.9

4.4

4.1

1.4

1.0

3.1

17.1

2011-12 Outside RPI 100 (16-2)

18

29.3

3.7

7.2

51.9

0.1

0.2

33.3

3.7

7.0

52.4

2.6

5.1

51.6

2.1

6.6

8.7

5.6

3.6

1.0

0.9

2.2

10.1

In the 16 games in which the Cyclones faced RPI 100 opponents, his averages jumped to 17.1 points on 54.3 percent shooting, 9.9 rebounds, 2.9 offensive rebounds, 4.4 assists. 1.4 steals, and 1.0 blocked shots in 34 minutes per game. Depending on his opposition, he effectively went from an oversized point guard who could get all his teammates involved to quite possibly the most dynamic offensive prospect among the forwards in this draft class. When comparing the performances against teams in the RPI Top 100 of the fifteen forwards projected in NBADraft.net’s June 20th mock to go in the first round when, White ranked first in assists and free throws attempted, third in field goal percentage and steals, fourth in scoring and offensive rebounds, fifth in defensive rebounds, and seventh in blocked shots. His advantages also go into the more subjective where it can easily be argued that is the best ball handler of the group as well as the player who was the most successful finishing inside with both hands. Where he ranked poorly was in free throw percentage and turnovers, last in each category. The turnover statistic when assessed as part of his overall usage and otherwise overall effectiveness is much less of a concern than the free throw percentage. If his free throw shooting remains at around 50 percent, it could lessen the value of his ability to get to the rim off the dribble, score in the low post, and offensive rebound.

FG

3PT

2PT

FT

Rebounds

Player

G

Min

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

Anthony Davis, Kentucky, Fr.

23

33.5

5.0

8.6

58.6

0.1

0.7

13.3

5.0

8.0

62.3

4.3

5.9

72.1

2.7

7.5

10.2

1.4

1.2

1.5

4.3

2.1

14.4

Thomas Robinson, Kansas, Jr.

24

33.3

6.9

14.0

49.0

0.1

0.2

50.0

6.8

13.9

48.9

4.0

6.3

64.7

2.8

8.9

11.7

1.4

2.8

1.0

0.8

2.9

17.9

Mike Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky, Fr.

23

32.3

4.2

8.2

50.8

0.2

1.0

21.7

4.0

7.2

54.8

3.9

5.3

73.0

2.8

5.5

8.3

1.7

1.9

1.0

0.7

2.7

12.4

Harrison Barnes, North Carolina, So.

27

30.1

5.8

13.6

42.8

2.0

5.6

36.2

3.8

8.0

47.4

2.7

3.7

74.7

2.2

3.9

6.1

1.4

2.1

0.8

0.4

2.1

16.4

Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, So.

25

33.2

6.1

12.7

48.3

0.5

1.2

40.0

5.6

11.5

49.1

4.8

6.4

75.2

3.4

5.7

9.1

1.5

2.1

1.1

1.1

3.3

17.6

Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State, RS Jr.

15

37.3

6.1

11.4

53.8

0.3

0.7

36.4

5.9

10.7

55.0

3.9

5.5

71.1

3.3

7.4

10.7

0.9

2.8

0.9

0.8

2.3

16.5

Terrence Jones, Kentucky, So.

22

30.5

4.6

9.5

48.6

0.3

1.3

25.0

4.3

8.3

52.2

2.3

4.0

58.6

3.0

4.5

7.5

1.1

1.6

1.5

1.8

2.6

11.9

John Henson, North Carolina, Jr.

18

31.9

5.3

11.5

46.4

0.0

0.0

0.0

5.3

11.5

46.4

1.8

3.5

50.8

2.6

7.4

10.1

1.2

1.6

0.6

2.9

1.8

12.4

Moe Harkless, St. John's, Fr.

18

35.4

6.3

13.2

47.7

0.5

2.3

22.0

5.8

10.9

53.1

3.4

4.6

73.5

2.7

5.7

8.4

1.0

2.3

1.2

1.2

2.4

16.4

Perry Jones, Baylor, So.

22

31.5

5.3

11.3

46.8

0.4

1.0

40.9

4.9

10.3

47.3

2.1

3.0

68.7

2.5

4.9

7.4

1.3

1.7

0.9

0.5

2.7

13.0

Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure, Sr.

16

31.9

7.5

13.6

55.3

1.0

2.1

47.1

6.5

11.4

56.8

4.6

5.8

79.3

2.5

5.7

8.2

0.9

3.1

0.8

2.4

2.8

20.6

Jeff Taylor, Vanderbilt, Sr.

23

33.5

6.1

12.3

49.8

2.1

4.5

46.2

4.0

7.8

52.0

2.7

4.3

61.6

2.2

3.7

6.0

1.7

2.2

1.3

0.3

2.0

17.0

Royce White, Iowa State, RS So.

16

34.0

6.8

12.4

54.3

0.2

0.6

33.3

6.6

11.9

55.3

3.4

7.1

48.2

2.9

7.0

9.9

4.4

4.1

1.4

1.0

3.1

17.1

Khris Middleton, Texas A&M, Jr.

10

31.3

5.0

13.0

38.5

1.4

4.6

30.4

3.6

8.4

42.9

2.5

3.2

78.1

1.4

3.8

5.2

2.5

2.5

1.3

0.1

2.1

13.9

Quincy Miller, Baylor, Fr.

23

24.0

4.0

8.3

48.2

0.4

1.5

29.4

3.6

6.8

52.2

2.1

2.5

84.5

1.5

2.7

4.2

1.2

1.9

0.7

0.6

1.9

10.6

White’s split by opposition would be even more stark if one considers the performances in losses to Drake (RPI rank: 133) and Oklahoma State (RPI rank: 120). In those two games, he attempted his most (19) and third most (16) field goal attempts on the season and averaged 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. Regardless, when looking upon him both statistically and stylistically, he appears to be the most unique an NBA prospect to come along in some time. After accounting for the difference in minutes played, which typically accounts for most statistical increases for star players against better competition, White took 60.1 percent more field goal and free throw attempts when he faced RPI 100 teams than he did against all others. In the net, he took 5 more field goal attempts, 2 more free throw attempts, and averaged 7 more points per game. This extreme alteration in style has not been seen before. Statistically, such deviances happen from time to time, but usually can be explained. For example, this season, Purdue’s Lewis Jackson, Temple’s Micheal Eric, and Festus Ezeli had far more active stat lines in games in RPI 100 games than in others, however the explanations for those splits are related to their injuries. Eric and Ezeli missed a number of games due to knee problems. It just so happened that the majority of the games in which they worked themselves back into their typical form were against weaker opposition. Lewis Jackson spent much of his season bothered by foot and back problems, the latter of which limited him from practice all season long and forced him to pick his spots in which games he would be aggressive. Beyond injuries, there are occasions where there is one improbably outlier game that greatly a season output. Dion Waiters had a career game against Cincinnati in the Big East tournament where he had 28 points on 7-10 from behind the arc. More than one-sixth of all the three pointers he made on the year came in that one game, and as a result has his end of the year numbers look like he is a much more developed perimeter shooter than the rest of his two-year body of work would have a person believe. Neither injury nor outlier is the case with White, which makes the splits so interesting.

The importance of the splits when looking at White as an NBA prospect is that one of the larger on-court questions put forth about him is whether or not he can succeed if the team that drafts him does not play him in the same way Fred Hoiberg did at Iowa State. While it is always prudent to consider how a player’s strengths and weaknesses would fit the role he would be asked to play, in this case it understates the revealed versatility of his play as well as embedded on court understanding to know what his team needs of him to best help them in a given game. His performance this season was much more complex than simply him playing the LeBron-role in the Big Twelve. If a team needed a power forward who could get on the offensive glass, White pulled down 2.4 offensive rebounds in Big Twelve games and 2.9 in games against the RPI Top 100, which is not all that different from the 2.7 offensive rebounds Thomas Robinson did in the Big Twelve and 2.8 against the RPI Top 100 for whom his ability to get a team an extra possession is viewed as a major strength. White can operate effectively on both ends of the pick and roll as either point or screener. As effective as he was working dribble handoffs that rolled into screens at Iowa State, it is hard believe he would not also be a quality and willing screener if he was also off the ball.

Other Players Displaying Significant Splits

Andre Drummond decided to enter college a year early last August, and the massive hype surrounding him placed huge weight on his shoulders. While much of the focus was on his low motor, it was not the lack of effort plays that were the low marks his freshman season. If one assumes that rebounding is an “effort” statistic, then it makes sense for when DeJuan Blair averaged 3.8 offensive rebounds per game in Big East games as a freshman, he gets tagged as being someone who has “a motor that never stops.” Andre Drummond averaged 3.6 offensive rebounds per game in the Big East games, and has been widely criticized for not giving effort. For the most part, Drummond’s performances against the RPI Top 100 are minimally different from what he did against everyone else. While he had games where he got into foul trouble at times, it was not a regular enough occurrence to raise red flags. He did not have issues catching the ball or holding onto it against better competition as is the case with many young big men. The exception is that he shot only 51.6 percent from inside the arc in 22 RPI Top 100 games as opposed to 58.6 percent in the 12 games against everyone else. Considering how overwhelmingly reliant he was on put backs, lobs, and dump offs at the rim, it is really concerning that his field goal percentage was that low. When combined with his abysmal free throw shooting across all splits, it should certainly raise concerns over how raw his offensive skills are entering the league, but the skill level has nothing to do with supposed low motor. The results are not diminished if his “effort” production comes without appearing to give effort.

Additionally, since the Big East expanded to its current form, freshmen big men have been largely ineffective once they get into league play. When looking at Big East stats for freshman players who played in the NBA, been drafted, or are prospects in this or next year’s draft, the results have not been overwhelming even for the best and most hyped prep prospects. The other big conferences have had big men find wild success right away in college, but the Big East has been able to neutralize them. Greg Monroe and DeJuan Blair can be looked at as freshman success stories, relatively speaking. Monroe averaged 12.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.9 turnovers, 2.0 steals, 1.2 blocks, and 2.6 fouls per Big East game in 2008-09. DeJuan Blair averaged 11.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 2.3 turnovers, 1.2 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 3.3 fouls the year before. Statistically, Drummond’s much maligned freshman season is in their company with 10.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 1.6 turnovers, 0.8 steals, 2.6 blocks, and 2.0 fouls.

The Struggles of NBA-bound Freshmen PFs and Cs in the Big East

FG

3PT

2PT

FT

Rebounds

Misc

Player

College

Season

G

Min

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

Dante Cunningham

Villanova

2005-06

18

18.2

0.8

1.9

44.1

0.0

0.0

0.8

1.9

44.1

0.2

0.7

30.8

1.8

1.6

3.4

0.8

1.1

0.7

0.6

2.6

1.9

Hasheem Thabeet

Connecticut

2006-07

17

24.6

1.9

3.6

51.6

0.0

0.0

1.9

3.6

51.6

1.5

3.0

51.0

2.6

3.4

5.9

0.3

1.4

0.1

3.6

3.1

5.3

Earl Clark

Louisville

2006-07

17

18.8

2.7

5.4

50.0

0.4

1.0

35.3

2.4

4.4

53.3

1.3

2.6

50.0

1.6

2.9

4.5

0.4

0.6

0.5

0.5

1.1

7.1

Derrick Caracter

Louisville

2006-07

10

14.7

4.0

6.6

60.6

0.0

0.0

4.0

6.6

60.6

1.5

3.0

50.0

2.2

1.5

3.7

0.4

1.9

0.4

0.4

2.6

9.5

Luke Harangody

Notre Dame

2006-07

18

22.7

4.0

9.5

42.1

0.0

0.0

4.0

9.5

42.1

2.8

3.6

78.1

2.9

3.7

6.6

0.9

1.4

0.7

0.5

2.9

10.8

Hamady N'diaye

Rutgers

2006-07

16

12.8

0.9

2.2

40.0

0.0

0.0

0.9

2.2

40.0

0.4

0.9

42.9

0.8

1.7

2.4

0.3

0.4

0.3

1.7

1.4

2.1

DeJuan Blair

Pittsburgh

2007-08

22

27.7

4.5

8.6

52.9

0.0

0.0

4.5

8.6

52.9

2.7

4.5

60.0

3.8

5.3

9.1

1.1

2.3

1.2

0.7

3.3

11.8

Donte Greene

Syracuse

2007-08

19

36.0

5.8

15.4

38.0

2.3

7.8

29.5

3.5

7.5

46.9

2.6

3.7

71.4

1.5

5.3

6.7

1.9

2.7

1.0

1.4

3.3

16.6

Yancy Gates

Cincinnati

2008-09

19

24.6

4.5

10.3

43.6

0.0

0.2

0.0

4.5

10.1

44.3

1.8

3.0

59.6

2.5

3.4

5.8

0.5

1.1

0.5

0.9

2.3

10.7

Greg Monroe

Georgetown

2008-09

19

32.6

4.9

9.0

55.0

0.1

0.2

50.0

4.8

8.8

55.1

2.9

4.3

67.1

2.2

5.1

7.3

2.8

2.9

2.0

1.2

2.6

12.9

Henry Sims

Georgetown

2008-09

17

9.8

0.8

1.7

48.3

0.0

0.1

0.0

0.8

1.6

51.9

0.4

0.8

53.8

0.6

1.1

1.7

0.4

0.4

0.3

0.4

1.1

2.1

Samardo Samuels

Louisville

2008-09

21

23.4

4.3

7.0

61.9

0.0

0.0

0.0

4.3

7.0

62.3

2.2

3.6

61.3

1.9

1.7

3.6

0.9

2.0

0.5

1.1

2.9

10.9

Augustus Gilchrist

South Florida

2008-09

19

24.7

4.2

10.2

41.5

0.7

1.8

38.2

3.5

8.4

42.1

1.7

3.1

56.9

1.7

2.5

4.2

0.5

1.6

0.3

1.0

2.3

10.8

Kevin Jones

West Virginia

2008-09

21

20.2

3.1

5.8

54.1

0.0

0.1

50.0

3.1

5.7

54.2

0.5

0.8

64.7

1.9

3.2

5.1

0.8

0.6

0.7

0.7

1.5

6.9

Ater Majok

Connecticut

2009-10

19

14.1

0.9

2.1

45.0

0.0

0.0

0.9

2.1

45.0

0.2

0.5

40.0

1.0

1.7

2.7

0.2

0.9

0.2

1.6

2.1

2.1

Alex Oriakhi

Connecticut

2009-10

19

21.8

1.7

3.7

45.7

0.0

0.0

1.7

3.7

45.7

1.4

2.4

57.8

2.3

3.2

5.5

0.3

0.9

0.3

1.3

2.4

4.7

Dante Taylor

Pittsburgh

2009-10

19

12.2

1.5

2.4

64.4

0.0

0.0

1.5

2.4

64.4

0.5

0.9

52.9

1.5

1.0

2.5

0.1

0.6

0.5

0.4

1.8

3.5

Mouphtaou Yarou

Villanova

2009-10

17

13.8

1.5

2.5

60.5

0.0

0.0

1.5

2.5

60.5

0.6

1.1

57.9

1.5

1.9

3.4

0.5

1.1

0.2

0.9

2.1

3.7

Deniz Kilicli

West Virginia

2009-10

11

6.8

1.5

2.7

53.3

0.0

0.0

1.5

2.7

53.3

0.7

1.5

50.0

0.4

0.4

0.7

0.1

1.0

0.0

0.0

1.4

3.6

Gorgui Dieng

Louisville

2010-11

16

16.7

2.3

4.1

56.9

0.0

0.0

2.3

4.1

56.9

1.0

1.8

55.2

1.7

2.6

4.3

0.8

0.8

0.6

1.7

2.3

5.6

Fab Melo

Syracuse

2010-11

18

8.4

1.1

1.7

64.5

0.0

0.0

1.1

1.7

64.5

0.2

0.4

37.5

0.6

1.3

1.9

0.2

0.9

0.3

0.6

1.7

2.4

Andre Drummond

Connecticut

2011-12

21

30.5

5.0

9.6

51.7

0.0

0.1

0.0

5.0

9.5

52.3

0.7

2.6

25.9

3.6

4.7

8.3

0.6

1.6

0.8

2.6

2.0

10.6

Rakeem Christmas

Syracuse

2011-12

20

8.6

0.7

1.6

45.2

0.0

0.0

0.7

1.6

45.2

0.3

0.5

60.0

0.7

1.7

2.3

0.3

0.4

0.2

0.8

1.4

1.7

Khris Middleton burst on the scene as a draft prospect with a strong Big Twelve campaign as a freshman in 2009-10. His strong play down the stretch combined with prototypical scoring wing length and athleticism was seen as a staging point for a player who could have played himself into a lottery pick after another year in a more feature role. While his role grew, he was less efficient as a scorer in it. As a sophomore, he shot 39.3 percent from the field against teams in the RPI Top 100 as opposed to 52.5 percent against everyone else. While battling through knee problems this past year, his numbers suffered again as he shot 38.5 percent against RPI 100 teams and only 44.8 percent against everyone else. He also had a major drop off in his three-point shooting. After two years of shooting 36.2 and 35.0 from three against RPI Top 100, he fell off to 30.4 percent as a junior.

Marquis Teague’s strong Combine performance has him on the rise in recent mock drafts, but for as athletic as he tested he did not score at the most efficient rates in RPI Top 100 games. On balance, he was down across all his shooting numbers from his overall averages as he shot 39.6 percent from the field, 41.9 on 2-point attempts, and 30.0 percent on three-pointers. His assist:turnover rate of just under 1.7:1 in games against RPI Top 100 teams is good for a freshman for a freshman point guard, though a good portion of those assists came as part of the onslaught of open court points that Kentucky was able to amass.

Big Men Finishing Inside the Arc

Following a poor Final Four game against Jeff Withey and Kansas, Jared Sullinger became widely viewed as someone who will struggle to finish against length in the NBA. As a freshman, Sullinger made 51.7 percent of his 2-point field goals against RPI 100 teams. His percentage dropped slightly to 49.1 as a sophomore, though that largely reflective of the awful Kansas game and three bad games against Michigan State where he was a combined 15-46 on 2-point field goals. To be fair, he only played the Spartans once as a freshman. When he tried to carve out space with his big body, he sometimes gets too low by lowering his shoulder, bending his back and making himself smaller than he measured. Michigan State successfully had its wings dig on him whenever he put the ball on the floor from the post exacerbating the problem of him getting too small in a crowd and then having minimal space with which to work on Derrick Nix and Adreian Paine. On both seasons, he would on occasion get in trouble off offensive rebounds when he would bring the ball low. These realities combined with his body type have made it easy for some to argue that he will struggle with the length of NBA frontcourts. His percentages in both years are not ideal for a post scorer, but are not terrible. Other power forwards who also struggled against bigger and better college frontcourts have not faced similar scrutiny. Thomas Robinson only made 48.9 percent of 2-point field goals in his only season as a primary scoring threat against the RPI Top 100. John Henson, who is widely praised for having exceptional length for an NBA power forward, struggled to finish throughout his North Carolina career against RPI Top 100 teams. In his freshman and sophomore seasons, he made 50.4 and 50.5 percent respectively on 2-point field goals. His percentage dropped to 46.4 percent this past season. Terrence Jones only made 42.6 percent of his 2-point field goals as a freshman, and increased that number to 52.2 percent as a sophomore though he was less reliant upon for scoring in the half court offense. Granted, Robinson, Henson, and Jones have a greater margin of error as scorers because their length and athleticism can and should translate to value elsewhere on the court. That said, the struggle to finish against length and bulk is not just an issue for players with Sullinger’s body type.

When looking back at power forwards and centers who have entered the NBA since 2006: Jermareo Davidson (39.1 percent in his final college season against RPI Top 100, 40.8 percent as a rookie), Craig Brackins (41.1 percent, 36.4 percent in 3 total games), Chris Singleton (42.1 percent, 38.9 percent), Chris Wright (42.2 percent, 51.1 percent), Lavoy Allen (42.3 percent, 47.3 percent), Daniel Orton (43.2 percent, DNP), Earl Clark (44.8 percent, 37.0 percent), Brook Lopez (45.6 percent, 53.2 percent), Ekpe Udoh (45.7 percent, 43.7 percent), Hassan Whiteside (46.7 percent, No shots taken in 1 game), Keith Benson (47.1 percent, 0-1 in 3 games), Glen Davis (47.7 percent, 48.4 percent), Greg Smith (47.7 percent, 63.6 percent in 8 games), Solomon Alabi (47.7 percent, 20.0 percent over only 12 games), Tyler Hansbrough (48.4 percent, 36.7 percent), Luke Harangody (49.0 percent, 45.0 percent), JaVale McGee (44.7 percent, 49.4 percent), and Kosta Koufos (49.2 percent, 50.8 percent) were below 50 percent in their final collegiate season. The players who struggle to finish come in all shapes and sizes. Other 4s and 5 from this year’s draft class to be under 50 percent: Reeves Nelson 26.7 percent, Al'Lonzo Coleman 31.4 percent, Ivan Aska 32.7 percent, Paul Crosby 32.8 percent, William Mosley 40.7 percent, Shane Walker 40.9 percent, Chris Cooper 41.1 percent, Alexis Wangmene 41.2 percent, Darrius Garrett 42.6 percent, Will Bell 43.0 percent, Robert Nwankwo 43.1 percent, Herb Pope 43.1 percent, Andre Walker 43.3 percent, Draymond Green 43.8 percent, David Loubeau 44.1 percent, Jamar Samuels 44.3 percent, Angelo Caloiaro 44.4 percent, Steve Tchiengang 44.4 percent, Ron Anderson Jr. 45.0 percent, Eric Buckner 45.2 percent, Nikola Cvetinovic 46.3 percent, Greg Mangano 46.4 percent, Cameron Moore 46.8 percent, Perry Jones III 47.3, percent, Storm Warren 47.8 percent, Keith Wright 47.9 percent, Darrius Morrow 48.0 percent, Austin Dufault 48.4 percent, Tim Shelton 48.6 percent, Brian Conklin 49.1 percent, Darnell Gant 49.2, Dario Hunt 49.4 percent, Peter Roberson 18.2 percent, Eloy Vargas 20.0 percent, Jon Kreft 39.1 percent, Augustus Gilchrist 39.7 percent, Derek Selvig 40.0 percent, Ty Walker 40.6 percent, LaMarcus Lowe 40.7 percent, Adam Waddell 41.4 percent, Henry Sims 42.2 percent, Ralph Sampson III 42.9 percent, Robert Lewandowski 43.4 percent, Assane Sene 44.0 percent, Scott Saunders 45.6 percent, Yancy Gates 45.9 percent, Luka Mirkovic 46.7 percent, Garrett Stutz 46.7 percent, Ryan Olander 46.9 percent, Robert Sacre 47.8 percent, Xavier Gibson 48.1 percent, Renardo Sidney 48.5 percent, and Krys Faber 48.6 percent.

Big Sky Schedules

In Damian Lillard’s four years at Weber State, he played twenty-two games against teams who finished the season in the RPI Top 100 and twelve of those games were against teams in the RPI Top 50. Prospects from Louisville, Ohio State, Kansas, Michigan State, Baylor, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Connecticut, Syraucse, and Xavier played either same number of games or more against RPI Top 100 teams in the 2011-12 season. Louisville played twenty-one games against RPI Top 50 teams this past season. No one can deny that Damian Lillard was a great college player, but he existed in a different college basketball world than the majority of prospects with whom he is in company with on the nbadraft.net draft board. The lack of games against the highest levels of competition does not mean he cannot succeed in the NBA. Rodney Stuckey came from the same Big Sky Conference as Lillard, and Stuckey was able to step into the Piston rotation that eventually played in the Eastern Conference Finals. The schedule he played does mean, however, that it is unfair to look at the numbers Lillard amassed and efficiency with which he played and think that it is proper to compare it to the production of players from the bigger conferences of the NCAA.

Overvaluing Shot blockers

Two of the reoccurring themes in every draft are the sense that every poor defensive team needs a shot blocker or “rim protector” to fix their problems, and the parallel narrative in which every high volume shot blocker coming out of the NCAA or elsewhere gets tagged as being someone who can help a team defensively right away. In looking at points in the paint and free throws made data going back to 2004-05 and draft prospects going back to the first year of the one-and-done rule in 2006, the results have not met expectations.

The first point about bad defensive teams needing a shot blocker is not completely without any basis. Dwight Howard impacts games and alters the behavior of opposing players more than anyone in the NBA. Kevin Garnett helped transform the Celtics into a defensive juggernaut when dealt there in 2007. Before them, players like Ben Wallace, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning, David Robinson, and Hakeem Olajuwon controlled the paint in dominating fashion. All of them won Defensive Player of the Year awards as a reward for their work. Where the problem lies is that while many teams and players try to imitate and replicate that model, the blocked shot numbers can be replicated but not the total defensive impact led by but not wholly encapsulated within a single player.

The table above charts blocked shots accumulated by teams against the sum of points in the paint the team gives up and the number of free throws the other team made from the 2004-05 season through 2011-12 using the opponent points in the paint statistic on teamrankings.com. The growth of the Jerry Sloan-style “no layups” defensive strategy as well as the league having more wild young shot blockers flying about fouling shooters in the paint regardless of team strategy makes it so that looking at both numbers gives a better picture of whether blocking shots truly alters behavior. Team to team variance on opposing free throw percentage is minimal, which makes using the free throws made variable less worrisome a variable despite defenses having no control over the rate at which opponents make free throws. The range in 2011-12 went from a league low 72.5 percent to a best of 77.2 percent with an average of 75.2 percent. Taken as a whole, there is no statistical correlation between teams that more block shots and giving up fewer points in the paint or free throws. The correlative impact of blocked shots on the combination of points in the paint and free throws allowed yields an r2 coefficient of 0.0008.

Starting with the 2006 Draft, nineteen players who have averaged more than 2.5 blocked shots per 40 in games against the RPI Top 100, or in the case of European prospects their domestic league competition, went in the Top 15 of the draft and another nine went in the first round. Their rate of success as NBA players and as difference makers on the defensive end is at best middling. From the 2006 Draft, none of the five top fifteen picks reached a second contract with the team that drafted him, and only Tyrus Thomas so much as made it through the life of slotted rookie deal. Thomas and Shelden Williams are the only two who are still in the NBA. In 2007, Greg Oden’s battles with injuries have been well-chronicled. Sean Williams did not complete the full four seasons of his rookie contract, though he did return to the NBA this season. From the 2008 Draft, only Alexis Ajinca failed to stay in the league for the duration of his rookie deal, though only three players (Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez, and Justin Thompson) have just finished their fourth seasons with the teams that drafted them. Brook Lopez, despite being the most accomplished offensive player of the group, has not impacted the Nets interior defense. Setting aside his injury-plagued 2011-12 season, the Nets gave up 59.6, 63.3, and 60.4 PITP+FTM per game in his three seasons, which is greater than the league average of 58.9 for the period of 2004-05 through 2011-12. Robin Lopez has not offered the offensive exploits of his twin, but like Brook has not been helped the Suns with their interior defense as they have allowed 59.3, 62.7, 61.9, and 60.1 PITP+FTM per game. Jason Thompson has been with a Sacramento team that has never allowed fewer than 65.0 PITP+FTM and never ranking better than 27th in the league in his four seasons. JaVale McGee has been highly regarded, and may soon be highly paid, for his volume shot blocking. He even received a vote for Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, but when weighed against the 64.5 PITM+FTM given up to opposing teams that year, it was not helping the rebuilding Wizards get out of the cellar. It was not even an improvement upon the 58.1 and 61.0 Washington gave up in his first two seasons. Anthony Randolph has been a similar mix of maddening and intriguing, but has ended up lining the roster of three teams in four years, never establishing consistent minutes for himself on any team. Kosta Koufos has spent the duration of his rookie contract as a journey man lining the roster of three teams. 2011-12 was the only season where he was regular part of a rotation where he played 16.5 minutes per game. Denver did make signs of progress decreasing their PITP+FTM going from 59.4 to 55.5.

RPI 100 Stats/ European Domestic League

Outside RPI 100

Player

School, Club

Draft Pick

Draft Class

G

Min

Blk

PF

Blks Per 40

PF Per 40

G

Min

Blk

PF

Blks Per 40

PF Per 40

Greg Oden

Ohio State

1

2007

21

29.0

3.4

3.3

4.7

4.6

11

28.6

3.1

1.5

4.3

2.2

Hasheem Thabeet

Connecticut

2

2009

22

32.6

4.5

2.8

5.5

3.4

14

30.5

3.9

2.1

5.1

2.7

Derrick Favors

Georgia Tech

3

2010

23

28.3

2.0

2.8

2.8

3.9

13

25.9

2.2

2.3

3.4

3.6

Tyrus Thomas

LSU

4

2006

19

26.1

3.4

2.8

5.2

4.3

13

25.7

2.7

2.2

4.2

3.5

Tristan Thompson

Texas

4

2011

21

33.1

2.7

3.1

3.2

3.8

15

27.9

2.0

2.3

2.9

3.2

Shelden Williams

Duke

5

2006

27

33.8

4.3

3.3

5.0

3.9

9

31.8

2.4

2.9

3.1

3.6

Ekpe Udoh

Baylor

6

2010

21

36.1

2.6

2.6

2.8

2.8

15

33.7

5.3

2.2

6.3

2.6

Bismack Biyombo

Fuenlabrada

7

2011

14

16.6

2.3

2.0

5.5

4.8

Brook Lopez

Stanford

10

2008

21

30.8

2.2

2.3

2.8

3.0

6

30.7

1.7

2.8

2.2

3.7

Mouhamed Sene

Verviers-Pepinster

10

2006

25

12.3

1.0

2.0

3.3

6.6

Cole Aldrich

Kansas

11

2010

20

27.7

3.4

2.9

4.8

4.1

16

25.6

3.6

2.2

5.7

3.4

Hilton Armstrong

Connecticut

12

2006

22

29.3

3.6

3.0

4.9

4.2

12

24.9

2.3

2.3

3.7

3.6

Jason Thompson

Rider

12

2008

5

39.0

3.0

2.2

3.1

2.3

29

33.9

2.6

3.1

3.1

3.6

Ed Davis

North Carolina

13

2010

16

26.3

2.7

1.7

4.1

2.6

8

24.6

2.6

1.5

4.3

2.4

Anthony Randolph

LSU

14

2008

16

33.9

2.1

3.2

2.5

3.8

15

31.5

2.4

2.3

3.0

2.9

Cedric Simmons

NC State

15

2006

21

29.1

2.7

3.3

3.7

4.5

11

24.4

2.2

2.6

3.6

4.3

Larry Sanders

VCU

15

2010

13

28.1

2.5

2.8

3.6

3.9

22

26.2

2.6

3.0

4.0

4.7

Austin Daye

Gonzaga

15

2009

15

26.9

2.2

3.3

3.3

4.9

19

25.9

1.9

2.5

3.0

3.9

Robin Lopez

Stanford

15

2008

23

26.0

2.1

2.7

3.2

4.2

13

22.0

2.7

2.5

4.9

4.5

Sean Williams

Boston College

17

2007

7

33.3

5.7

3.6

6.9

4.3

8

31.3

4.4

2.9

5.6

3.7

JaVale McGee

Nevada

18

2008

10

28.4

2.8

2.8

3.9

3.9

23

26.9

2.8

2.3

4.1

3.5

Alexis Ajinca

Hyeres-Toulon

20

2008

27

11.1

1.2

2.3

4.3

8.3

Kosta Koufos

Ohio State

23

2008

18

27.1

2.1

2.3

3.0

3.4

19

27.2

1.6

2.1

2.3

3.0

Byron Mullens

Ohio State

24

2009

22

21.3

1.4

2.2

2.6

4.2

11

18.4

0.6

1.7

1.4

3.8

Serge Ibaka

Ricoh Manresa

24

2009

31

16.1

1.0

1.6

2.5

4.1

Taj Gibson

USC

26

2009

19

34.0

2.4

3.2

2.8

3.8

16

33.3

3.4

2.6

4.1

3.2

Daniel Orton

Kentucky

29

2010

20

12.6

1.5

2.6

4.6

8.1

18

13.9

1.3

2.1

3.7

5.9

The 2009 Draft featured a mixed bag. Hasheem Thabeet was never able to earn regular minutes with an emerging Memphis team and was dealt before the end of his second season to Houston, and then again as an expiring contract to Portland this past February. Austin Daye has bounced back and forth from the rotation throughout his three years in Detroit and has not been consistently impactful on either end to this point of his career. Byron Mullens was never able to get on the floor in Oklahoma City and was dealt to Charlotte. In addition to having the worst record in the NBA, the Bobcats also allowed a league worst 65.2 PITP+FTM a number only 21.8 points per game fewer than the Bobcats scored in total per game. Serge Ibaka has emerged in a very visible way on the Thunder and led the league in blocked shots and blocked shots per minute. Despite the presence of him and now Kendrick Perkins, the Thunder have been above the league norm in allowing 62.6, 63.1, and 59.4 PITP+FTM per game during Ibaka’s career. Taj Gibson has been incredibly impactful as a defensive player, though not necessarily as a shot blocker in the commonly used sense. Each season that Gibson has been in the league, the Bulls have given up fewer PITP+FTM. In the 2008-09 season prior to his arrival, Chicago allowed 62.3 PITP+FTM per game. In the past three seasons, those numbers have dropped to 57.4, 54.0, and 51.9. While Taj Gibson is not the only reason for the Bulls rise to being an elite defensive team, he certainly has had the impact the Bulls drafted for and a major part of the team’s ascent defensively. The impact, however, cannot be wholly quantified by his blocked shots as he has never in his three years ranked better than 18th in blocked shots or better than 11th in blocked shots per minute among qualified players.

2010’s shot blocking class has been largely nondescript through two years. Derrick Favors was dealt in the middle of his rookie season to Utah, and was able to get into the rotation behind Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap in his second year. His presence, however, has not yet helped the Jazz prevent easy points as they went from 62.0 PITP+FTM in 2010-11 to 62.5 this past season. Ekpe Udoh is someone who in his year and a half in Golden State was noted as being a player whose presence on the court correlated highly with the Warriors giving up fewer points, but the combination of his inability to finish inside and his propensity for fouling left those minutes as being few and far between. He ended up being dealt as a piece in the Monta Ellis for an injured Andrew Bogut trade this past February. Cole Aldrich, much like Byron Mullens, has been unable to crack the rotation in Oklahoma City through two seasons. Ed Davis showed promise as a rookie as a rebounder and finisher around the hoop, but not as a shot blocker or defender. When the defensive-minded Dwane Casey this past season, Davis saw his role lessened until the final month of the season. In Milwaukee, Larry Sanders has been a high volume shot blocker but an even high volume fouler in the NBA, a combination that has prevented him from having significant impact or achieve major minutes. Daniel Orton failed to log an NBA minute as a rookie in Orlando and did not have his third year option picked up. Last year’s draft class was much the same way. Bismack Biyombo was part of the same historically bad Bobcat team as Byron Mullens. While Biyombo blocked shots at a high rate, the impact was lessened because of the league worst allowance of PITP+FTM. Tristan Thompson blocked shots at a much lower rate than he did in college, and did not impact Cleveland’s interior defense as the team went from allowing 59.7 PITP+FTM in 2010-11 to 60.2 PITP+FTM last year.

It is difficult to look at recent history and see the return on highly drafting shot blockers, particularly when that is their best trait. Quality team defense is not an individual job, and in some instances the attempt to address the problem by drafting a shot blocker only elongates it. It is interesting, however, to see the impact of hiring head coaches with a defensive reputation has some impact on reducing the number of PITP+FTM even when rosters remain largely the same. Larry Drew took over the Atlanta Hawks before the 2010-11 season and with minimal roster turnover in the first season saw PITM+FTM drop from 59.2 to 56.8. The bench had turnover between his first and second year and the team was also without Al Horford for much of the season, and once again saw the PITM+FTM drop to 55.0 per game. In 2011-12, Lawrence Frank had mostly the same roster as John Kuester had the year before. In one season, the Pistons reduced PITM+FTM from 62.3 to 57.7. Frank Vogel took over for Jim O’Brien in the middle of 2010-11 and brought with him a greater emphasis on defense. With much of the core from a team that for several years struggled to keep teams from scoring in the paint and at the line. They reduced their PITM+FTM from 58.3 to 55.7. Dwane Casey took over for a Toronto team that allowed the most PITP+FTM per game the year prior, and in one year with the rotation largely the same (Sonny Weems left to play in Lithuania and Barbosa was dealt to Indiana in mid-season) saw their PITM+FTM drop to 57.8 per game, a 14.7 percent drop. Coaches set the agenda, establish priorities, handle minutes, and communicate the complexities of defending world class talent and exploit matchups so that individuals are not left on an island to fend for themselves. They create the infrastructure. In as much as it would be wrong to think that coaching alone can overcome overmatched defensive players, it is just as wrong to think that individual shot blockers can overcome a lack of organizational defensive infrastructure.

Coach, Team, First Full Season

PITP +FTM, Year Prior to Hiring

PITP + FTM, 1st Year

PITP + FTM, 2nd Year

Two Year Change

Larry Drew, Atlanta, 2010-11

59.2

56.8

55.0

-7.1%

Larry Brown, Charlotte, 2008-09

63.0

54.7

54.5

-13.5%

Tom Thibodeau, Chicago 2010-11

57.4

54.0

51.9

-9.5%

Byron Scott, Cleveland, 2010-11

54.8

59.7

60.2

Lawrence Frank, Detroit, 2011-12

62.3

57.7

N/A

-7.4%*

Frank Vogel, Indiana, 2011-12

58.3

55.7

N/A

-4.6%*

Mike Brown, LA Lakers, 2011-12

54.6

55.2

N/A

1.0%*

Lionel Hollins, Memphis, 2009-10

59.8

64.8

58.5

-2.2%

Scott Skiles, Milwaukee, 2008-09

61.2

60.1

55.9

-7.1%

Avery Johnson, New Jersey, 2010-11

63.3

60.4

61.0

-3.7%

Monty Williams, New Orleans, 2010-11

62.1

55.4

58.0

-6.5%

Larry Brown, New York, 2005-06

60.9

59.8

N/A

-1.8%

Stan Van Gundy, Orlando, 2007-08

55.3

54.9

53.0

-4.0%

Doug Collins, Philadelphia, 2010-11

61.0

59.1

51.1

-16.2%

Dwane Casey, Toronto, 2011-12

67.8

57.8

N/A

-14.7%*

Ty Corbin, Utah, 2011-12

62.0

62.5

N/A

0.9%*

*= One Year Change

2004-05 through 2011-12 Opponent PITP League Average = 58.9, League Median = 58.8

Points in the Paint statistics gathered from www.teamrankings.com

The 2012 Draft class has several high profile shot blockers, none more so than Anthony Davis who is going to be headed to New Orleans to play for Monty Williams. While the 2011-12 season for New Orleans was a disaster, one of the saving graces was that despite incredible roster turnover, including fifteen players seeing the floor who had not been with the team the year prior, the team played a respectable level of defense. They were 8th in points allowed, 11th in field goal percentage, 15th in points allowed per 100 possessions, and 17th in PITM+FTM It is a tribute to Monty Williams that he was able to his players to commit to defense. They did not have enough offensive threats to win regularly, but they did not lay down. Last season can lead one to believe that if Monty Williams can teach NBDL call ups and players who have operated on the fringe of the NBA to defend that he will be able to teach Davis to utilize the length and athleticism that made him a historically great collegiate shot blocker and become a high impact NBA defender. The task in front of Davis and Williams is not going to be easy. The trade of Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza this past week and pending free agency of Chris Kaman, Carl Landry, Marco Belinelli, and restricted free agency of Eric Gordon only makes it more likely that he will be surrounded by young players learning the same lessons as him. There is absolutely no arguing how remarkable Anthony Davis was as a defensive player in college, but college defense is not NBA defense and the failure of so many highly thought of shot blocking prospects to make that transition highlights the difference.

As for other members of the shot blocking class, the level of concern is greater. Fab Melo had an impact for Syracuse defensively that was comparable to Davis at Kentucky. The big concern, though, is that NBA teams cannot play the Syracuse zone. To be fair, Anthony Davis often zoned off a non-offensive threat when at Kentucky, but the difference is that Melo rarely left the lane. In the NBA, defenders have to get out of the paint and move their feet effectively to move to cut off penetration and cutters to be successful. The rules regarding zone defense in just about every league other than the NBA allow big shot blockers to have a short cut. Starting under the basket is not an option that will be available to him next season. With his lack of polish offensively, it will be difficult for Melo to find early success in the NBA unless he is able to quickly adjust to the far more complicated world of NBA defense.

In the cases of other potential first round picks Festus Ezeli, and [Player: Kyle O'Quinn], despite the duo being prototypically sized centers as well as not being incredibly athletic, they each had problems staying out of foul trouble. Both players averaged considerably more fouls than blocked shots in games against RPI Top 100 teams, and high rates of fouls per 40 minute. O’Quinn averaged 5.5 fouls per 40 in his 7 RPI Top 100 games and consistent with his rate for the previous two seasons. Ezeli had similar 5.3 fouls per 40 in his 7 RPI Top 100 games. As the table below shows, high foul rates against RPI Top 100 teams have been highly correlated, r2=0.4063, to high foul rates as NBA rookies who played in at least 15 games.

Rafter
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A really rewarding read.

A really rewarding read.

I agree on White, for me, he's the most interesting prospect in years, his game is unique, the fact that there isn't a completely accurate NBA comparison for White which is pretty remarkable considering how many kinds of players we've seen enter the league, and then, his intrigue is heightened further by his personality, that was considered as a red flag which turned out to be unfairly overblown. As a person White is even more unique, you brought up that he taught himself to play the piano and he had an event fundraiser for children that have mental disorders on his brithday, he's also involved in entrepreneurship, showing interest in that area by creating multiple businesses that'll undoubtably grow when White signs an NBA contract.

It all really highlights how much he has matured over the years, maybe he lost his way a couple of years ago but he's learned from his mistakes and has become a better person as a result, that is highly admirable and demonstrates a high character along with resilience.

I also agree that teams who are poor defensively try to select shot blockers in attempt to improve as a defensive team but a team doesn't just suddenly become a better defensive team by simply adding a shotblocker, also, there is this belief that a shot blocker has other defensive qualities that actually don't exist which leads to a team reaching on a player, Saer Sene springs to mind, he was a shot blocker that was drafted to block shots and to eventually grow into a defensive presence for the then, Sonics, but his post defense was poor due to the fact that he couldn't hold his position in the paint due to an absence of of strength, understanding and his overall basketball level was highly poor. This was all picked up on early by Seattle, early but not early enough to take that draft pick back.

It's alarming how many of those top shotblockers have became busts or haven't panned out as expected, i don't want to be condemning Henson's, Melo's or potenially, Noel's chances of success at the next level but there's going to be a flops in a draft, previous shot blockers haven't succeded, will there be more? Probably, their identity is unknown at this stage but they'll be more guys who are going to overvalued and won't be able to live up to the expectations.

TheDagger40
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Great Read

Great Read. Royce White is a ver talented prospect. With his tool and gifts this guy is a top 10 talent. But his anxiety disorder hold him back in the eyes of scouts and GMs everywhere. I wouldn't be too surprised if the Spurs make a play for Royce White.

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A key problem with drafting

A key problem with drafting shot blockers is that most big men take years to fully learn the nuances of NBA pick-and-roll and help defense. Even elite shot blockers can take time to become elite defenders; Serge Ibaka blocks a lot of shots, but, as the article mentioned, the Thunder's interior defense is only decent.

Adding shot blockers and interior defenders can change a team; look at how every team Tyson Chandler has joined and how its defense has improved. When Chandler was a member of the Bobcats, they led the league in defensive efficiency one year. He then went to the Mavs, who saw a big improvement on the defensive end. Meanwhile, the Bobcats floundered. Then, he left for the Knicks, previously an atrocious defensive team, and the Knicks showed some very solid defense late in the year. Of course, they also had a coaching change, which certainly could have had an impact.

Kevin Garnett is a similar example, helping transform the Celtics from one of the worst defensive teams in the league into one of the best in recent memory. Tom Thibodeau also had a major influence, but the improvement wouldn't have been nearly as dramatic without Garnett. The coachins staff instituted the Celtics scheme of packing the strong side and aggressively hedging pick and rolls, while Garnett patroled the paint to prevent easy buckets, take away driving lanes, as well as ensuring that the back line of the defense communicated and was in sync.

The problem for teams drafting bigs is whether a big can end up translating the tools that allowed them to block shots at the college level into the skills necessary to become an outstanding NBA defender. In this draft, I expect Anthony Davis, with his high B-ball IQ, outstanding mobility, ability to avoid fouls, and tendency to keep blocked shots inbounds, to meet expectations and develop into an elite defender. His defensive ability stretches beyond mearly blocking shots. I am less sure about Fab Melo and Meyers Leonard, given their mediocre overall court awareness and overall skill. Melo in particular, as the article mentions, benefitted from playing in a zone defense.

thparadox
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Thanks for the great

Thanks for the great analysis.

I think shotblocking is a particularly nuanced debate. I think this is a key point:

"Where the problem lies is that while many teams and players try to imitate and replicate that model, the blocked shot numbers can be replicated but not the total defensive impact led by but not wholly encapsulated within a single player".

I think the analysis goes wrong when we look at correlation of blocked shots with other metrics. The problem is that there are very few elite shot blockers currently in the league. Actually, the only true shot blocker who is getting minutes is Serge Ibaka, and he is clearly flawed in the positional aspect of defense. So it makes sense that shot blocking would not be statistically relevant this season. But if you look at some of the great defensive teams I'd expect some sort of statistical relevance.

Also, there is an inherent flaw in the shot block statistic because it doesn't account for high quality blocks (tipping it to your teammates) vs. low quality blocks (smashing it to the 14th row).

Most important: You can't look blindly at shot blocking statistics. I think you need to actually watch video of the player blocking shots. More than anything, you need to decide whether the player is talented enough to play assuming they're not getting any blocks. For Hasheem Thabeet, I think the obvious answer was no.

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good article

I love white....but he's an awful FT shooter. It remains to be seen just what role he will play in the NBA. And for whom. As for shot blockers.......Ive said for years its an over-rated talent. Or rather, you first have to learn defensive positioning and have the strength to be in position to make those blocks. Larry Sanders is the perfect example (and john henson is likely exactly like sanders).......sanders can block shots for sure, but he fouls because he is pushed around in the paint. This draft, one might argue a player like Tyler Zeller, of average strength, but great fundamentals, will end up a more effective defensive player than Fab Melo, who is is still learning how to play the game. Melo is a candidate to foul all the time. Ezeli is better, perhaps. Miles Plumlee is probably the best bet if you want a defensive big man.

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Subpar: "I agree on White,

Subpar: "I agree on White, for me, he's the most interesting prospect in years, his game is unique, the fact that there isn't a completely accurate NBA comparison for White which is pretty remarkable"

............. Anthony Mason

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Two of the tables apparently

Two of the tables apparently did not upload properly.

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The data for the 2012 Draft

The data for the 2012 Draft is also posted. I would recommend downloading as opposed to trying to view it in google docs.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BzTxVgeH4fRtN05XdFNsbGxmM2M

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https://docs.google.com/open?


https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BzTxVgeH4fRtSHNPSk85UDNCTmc

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BzTxVgeH4fRta1VsT3FSbUtBUGM

kaanyrvhok
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Could Mason ever do this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_4AU_uEWdk
White is a more fluid athlete than Mason.

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