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NBA Draft, Prospect Analysis: By the Numbers

Tue, 06/25/2013 - 2:01am

When freshmen play like freshmen, and big men are not that big, there is a good chance the perception of a draft is going to be weak. The perceived weakness does not mean that the draft lacks NBA caliber players, or even players with star potential, but it does mean that the draft lacks young players who showed themselves to be on an accelerated developmental track as well as the valuable, rare, and elusive talented true center. This is the backdrop of the 2013 Draft. Six Division I freshmen and one redshirt freshman declared for this draft, and relative to previous freshmen draft classes this one is not the most accomplished. The appeal of freshmen prospects is not just age, after all Anthony Bennett and Shabazz Muhammad were born before Otto Porter, but also the ability to handle the challenges of the college level in their first try. The college game pits them against bigger, older, more experienced, and talented opposition. Most games, but especially conference and post-season tournament games are well scouted and game planned. They also face what has famously been referred to as the toughest sight on a schedule “@” in the form of road games. If players can excel though those challenges, then it is generally accepted that a player is ready, if he so chooses, to try his hand at the next level. Unfortunately, this year’s class, while flashing promise, often struggled with them.

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FG

3PT

2PT

FT

Rebounds

Misc

Player

G

Min

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

Steven Adams

Total

32

23.4

3.1

5.5

57.1

0.0

0.0

3.1

5.5

57.1

1.0

2.2

44.3

2.8

3.5

6.3

0.6

1.1

0.7

2.0

1.6

7.2

Conference

18

24.7

2.9

5.5

52.5

0.0

0.0

2.9

5.5

52.5

1.1

2.2

47.5

2.6

3.6

6.2

0.6

1.2

0.6

2.1

1.7

6.8

vs RPI 100 Opponents

16

23.3

2.6

4.9

53.8

0.0

0.0

2.6

4.9

53.8

1.0

2.5

40.0

2.3

2.9

5.2

0.5

1.4

0.5

1.8

1.9

6.3

Road/Neutral Court Games

14

24.7

3.5

6.4

55.1

0.0

0.0

3.5

6.4

55.1

1.0

2.4

42.4

2.5

2.5

5.0

0.6

0.6

0.7

1.6

1.5

8.0

Anthony Bennett

Total

35

27.1

5.8

10.8

53.3

1.0

2.7

37.5

4.7

8.1

58.7

3.5

5.1

70.1

2.5

5.7

8.1

1.0

1.9

0.7

1.2

2.3

16.1

Conference

19

25.5

5.1

9.9

51.6

1.0

2.7

37.3

4.1

7.2

56.9

1.9

3.2

60.7

2.1

5.2

7.3

0.7

2.1

0.5

1.1

2.5

13.2

vs RPI 100 Opponents

22

28.3

5.7

11.0

51.9

1.1

3.0

36.4

4.6

8.0

57.6

3.1

4.5

69.7

2.3

5.9

8.2

0.9

1.8

0.7

1.2

2.5

15.7

Road/Neutral Court Games

13

26.2

4.4

10.2

43.2

0.5

2.4

19.4

3.9

7.8

50.5

3.2

4.8

66.7

1.8

5.2

6.9

0.8

1.9

1.0

0.4

2.5

12.5

Archie Goodwin

Total

33

31.8

4.8

10.8

44.0

0.5

1.9

26.6

4.2

8.9

47.8

4.1

6.4

63.7

1.5

3.2

4.6

2.7

3.1

1.1

0.5

2.9

14.1

Conference

19

31.7

4.5

10.8

41.3

0.4

2.1

17.9

4.1

8.8

46.7

3.4

6.1

56.5

1.5

2.6

4.1

1.9

3.0

1.1

0.3

3.1

12.7

vs RPI 100 Opponents

14

34.8

4.3

10.6

40.3

0.5

1.7

29.2

3.8

8.9

42.4

4.6

7.3

62.7

1.1

3.2

4.4

2.9

3.6

1.2

0.4

3.1

13.6

Road/Neutral Court Games

15

33.5

4.5

10.3

43.2

0.5

1.9

27.6

3.9

8.4

46.8

3.9

5.9

65.9

1.3

3.6

4.9

2.3

3.0

1.1

0.3

2.9

13.3

Grant Jerrett

Total

34

17.8

1.9

4.5

40.9

0.9

2.3

40.5

0.9

2.2

41.3

0.5

0.6

81.8

1.1

2.5

3.6

0.5

0.6

0.5

1.0

1.3

5.2

Conference

19

18.7

1.8

4.6

39.1

1.1

2.7

41.2

0.7

1.9

36.1

0.3

0.4

85.7

1.2

2.2

3.4

0.6

0.5

0.4

1.3

1.4

5.0

vs RPI 100 Opponents

20

17.5

1.6

3.9

39.7

0.8

2.1

38.1

0.8

1.8

41.7

0.6

0.8

73.3

1.3

2.4

3.7

0.4

0.7

0.3

0.7

1.4

4.5

Road/Neutral Court Games

19

17.7

1.8

4.4

42.2

1.0

2.6

38.8

0.8

1.8

47.1

0.8

0.9

88.2

1.0

2.5

3.5

0.5

0.7

0.5

1.3

1.3

5.5

Ben McLemore

Total

37

32.2

5.4

10.8

49.5

2.0

4.7

42.0

3.4

6.1

55.3

3.2

3.7

87.0

1.3

3.9

5.2

2.0

2.1

1.0

0.7

1.9

15.9

Conference

21

33.7

5.7

10.9

52.2

2.2

4.9

45.6

3.4

6.0

57.6

3.2

3.8

86.1

1.3

3.9

5.1

1.9

2.2

1.0

0.7

1.8

16.8

vs RPI 100 Opponents

21

34.0

5.6

10.9

51.1

2.3

4.8

49.0

3.2

6.1

52.7

2.5

2.7

93.0

1.1

3.8

5.0

1.7

2.2

0.9

0.6

1.6

16.0

Road/Neutral Court Games

20

32.6

4.7

9.9

47.2

1.6

4.3

37.6

3.1

5.6

54.5

2.5

3.0

84.7

1.2

3.3

4.5

1.8

2.5

0.8

0.7

2.1

13.4

Shabazz Muhammad

Total

32

30.8

6.3

14.3

44.3

1.3

3.3

37.7

5.1

10.9

46.3

4.0

5.6

71.1

2.7

2.5

5.2

0.8

1.6

0.7

0.1

1.7

17.9

Conference

21

31.7

6.1

14.4

42.4

1.2

3.4

36.6

4.9

11.0

44.2

3.5

5.2

67.9

2.7

2.9

5.6

0.8

1.4

0.9

0.2

1.8

17.0

vs RPI 100 Opponents

19

31.4

6.6

14.5

45.3

1.1

2.8

37.0

5.5

11.7

47.3

3.8

5.6

68.9

2.6

2.8

5.4

0.8

1.4

0.6

0.2

2.0

18.1

Road/Neutral Court Games

17

30.9

5.8

13.8

41.9

0.7

2.8

25.0

5.1

10.9

46.2

3.9

5.8

67.3

2.5

2.0

4.5

0.8

1.4

0.5

0.1

2.0

16.1

Nerlens Noel

Total

24

31.9

4.1

6.9

59.0

0.0

0.0

4.1

6.9

59.0

2.3

4.3

52.9

2.7

6.8

9.5

1.6

1.9

2.1

4.4

2.6

10.5

Conference

11

34.1

4.0

6.3

63.8

0.0

0.0

4.0

6.3

63.8

2.6

5.1

51.8

2.5

7.2

9.6

1.5

2.1

1.5

5.5

2.1

10.6

vs RPI 100 Opponents

10

33.2

3.4

7.3

46.6

0.0

0.0

3.4

7.3

46.6

1.8

3.9

46.2

2.7

6.4

9.1

1.1

1.8

2.4

4.5

2.8

8.6

Road/Neutral Court Games

10

32.5

4.0

7.3

54.8

0.0

0.0

4.0

7.3

54.8

1.8

4.0

45.0

2.3

6.5

8.8

0.8

1.5

1.6

4.4

3.0

9.8

Anthony Bennett got off to the fastest start of the freshmen in this draft class, and arguably the fastest since Michael Beasley in 2007-08. He was a dominant player in UNLV’s non-conference games by scoring often with 19.9 points in 28.6 minutes and efficiently by going 56.1 percent from the field and 38.6 from behind the arc. His rebounding numbers were also impressive at 9.1 per game and 2.9 offensive rebounds. While the early season schedule was lined with a number of formidable opponents, ten of the fifteen games were played at the Thomas & Mack Center, one home game with Division III La Verne was bumped by a rodeo to the Orleans Arena down the street, and only four were road games. It is not uncommon for teams to stay close to home early in the season. Still, it was a way to ease a young team into a season. |

FG

3PT

2PT

FT

Rebounds

Misc

Player

G

Min

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

Michael Beasley

2007-08 Non-Conference Reg (10-4)

14

30.1

9.0

16.1

56.0

0.9

2.4

35.3

8.1

13.6

59.7

5.4

7.6

71.0

4.4

8.9

13.3

1.4

3.0

1.1

2.0

2.6

24.3

2007-08 Non Conference Per 40

14

40.0

12.0

21.4

56.0

1.1

3.2

35.3

10.8

18.1

59.7

7.2

10.2

71.0

5.9

11.8

17.7

1.8

4.0

1.5

2.7

3.5

32.3

Anthony Bennett

2012-13 Non-Conference Reg (13-2)

15

28.6

6.7

12.0

56.1

1.1

2.9

38.6

5.6

9.1

61.8

5.3

7.1

75.5

2.9

6.1

9.1

1.3

1.6

0.9

1.5

1.9

19.9

2012-13 Non-Conference Per 40

15

40.0

9.4

16.8

56.1

1.6

4.1

38.6

7.8

12.7

61.8

7.5

9.9

75.5

4.1

8.6

12.7

1.8

2.2

1.2

2.1

2.6

27.9

Bennett’s incredible pace began to slow when Mountain West play started, but the struggles were most precipitous in the road games. Due in part to UNLV hosting an in-season tournament as well as the Mountain West Conference Tournament, UNLV only played 13 of its 35 games away from Las Vegas. In those games, Bennett looked less like an All-American and more of a freshman. While 13.5 points, on 43.2 percent shooting and 19.4 percent from three, and 6.9 rebounds are not weak numbers, it was a far cry from his performance in other games. When the road games started to amass with greater frequency, the doubts began to appear about him being somewhat undersized and not being the greatest defender, though the perception of him being a lottery pick never seemed to wane.

Shabazz Muhammad was the most heralded of the freshmen going into the season, and was the highest scoring freshmen in the class. It seems odd that a freshman wing that averaged 17.9 points per game on 44.3 percent shooting with slightly better numbers against RPI 100 opponents would leave his freshman season with more questions than he entered. For much of the season, Muhammad looked very much the part of an incredibly gifted scorer, and one who did so rather efficiently for a wing. When conference play got into full swing and UCLA started playing on the road with regularity, Muhammad’s shooting percentages began to drop. While he was a 44.3 percent shooter from the field overall and 46.8 percent shooter at home, he was only 41.9 percent on the road. His 25 percent from three and 67.3 percent from the free throw line were also declines. The decline in his shooting as the season went on opened up criticism of his style of play, particularly his passing and lack of assists. He was without an assist in 14 of his 32 games, and had more than a single assist only six times all year. Gorgui Dieng had more than double his assists (66 to 27) while only playing one more game. Some context needs to be added as the assist totals do not paint the entire picture. UCLA did not have a great number of scoring threats once they got into their halfcourt offense. Fellow freshmen Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson struggled with their perimeter shooting once Pac Twelve play began. David Wear shot poorly in conference play as well. Larry Drew had his best season, but was still looking to pass more than score. The team relied on Muhammad and Travis Wear to score, and one offshoot of that reliance was that Muhammad finished the year with a total of 27 assists and Travis Wear finished it with 17 while UCLA led the Pac Twelve in assists as a team and was second in assisted field goal percentage in the conference at 58.2 percent. Whether or not that matters, the perception of Muhammad playing a “me-first” style was crystallized when he famously looked disappointed following Larry Drew taking, and making, a game winning shot against Washington. Muhammad’s reputation has not recovered.

The Kentucky freshmen class, led by Archie Goodwin and Nerlens Noel, had the difficult task of not only following in the footsteps a national championship team led by Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist but also the legacy of instant impact freshmen who have played under John Calipari. The young team never came together, and their flaws could not be hidden. Archie Goodwin is an explosive and powerful athlete, but his inability to make shots away from the rim and unpolished skills as a creator for others left him exposed as the season went on. He made only 1 of his first 21 three point shots in SEC games, and finished the SEC season 7-39, 17.9 percent. His mid-range shooting was not much better. Also, while Goodwin started out the season with a respectable 3.8 assists per game versus 3.2 turnovers during the non-conference slate, his assist numbers dropped in half to 1.9 per game and his turnovers stayed on the high end at 3.0 per in SEC games. Nerlens Noel was billed as someone who despite being raw on offense could have an Anthony Davis-like impact defensively. As a shot blocker, he more or less matched the production of Davis, but not in overall defensive impact. Even before his injury, Kentucky was less consistent defensively, and that included falling victim to a number of huge games from opposing big men. Alex Len started the season with a 23 point performance with 7 offensive rebounds. Mason Plumlee had 18 points and 3 assists. Jack Cooley had 13 points and 6 offensive rebounds. Johnny O’Bryant had 22 points and 8 offensive rebounds. Offensively, it was expected that he would be limited to what he could finish at the rim, but even then he was inconsistent making only 46.6 percent of his attempts in games against teams that finished the year in the RPI Top 100. For a player who needs to be at the rim offensively, he needs to gain the strength necessary to get there and operate efficiently. While bigger post players who play below the rim have their ability to finish inside against length are now often questioned, a similar doubt has to be cast about slightly built frontcourt players and whether they have the strength to both consistently get into position to score and then successfully finish.

Ben McLemore did not quite have the same burden as the newcomers at Kentucky, but the redshirt freshmen stepped into a team that saw Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor exit for the NBA. The advantage McLemore had over them was that redshirt seniors Travis Releford, Jeff Withey, and Kevin Young as well as true senior Elijah Johnson were still in Lawrence. The group did not have any problem coming together, and McLemore was a brilliant scorer. He lined Big Twelve leaderboards during regular season conference play for points (3rd at 17.4), field goal percentage (5th at 51.5 percent), free throw percentage (2nd at 85.3 percent), three point field goal percentage (3rd at 45.5 percent), and three point field goals made (4th at 2.2 per game). His shooting percentages against RPI Top 100 teams exceeded his overall percentages, making 51.1 percent from the field, 43 percent from three, and 93 percent from the free throw line. The lingering criticism of McLemore was that for as good as he was not as dominant or aggressive as some think he could have been. To that end, he did average two fewer shots per game in road and neutral court games as opposed to those at home, which accounts for the drop of 1 per game over his season average. His shooting percentage, while still incredibly good, was more human at 47.2 percent from the field and 37.6 from three. The combination of fewer shots and lower percentages are why he averaged 13.4 points per road/neutral court game as opposed to his seasonal average of 15.9. Embedded in those numbers, however, is the fact that Travis Releford was great on the road this past season. Even when factoring in his poor play in losses at TCU and at Baylor, Releford still averaged 12.4 points on 59.1 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from three away from home. Allowing the fifth year senior to help carry the load on the road was not necessarily a bad decision.

Steven Adams was a freshmen center in the Big East, which for as long as the überBig East existed was the greatest challenge to freshmen big men. Adams showed himself to be raw and not overly impactful, but competent. His numbers declined a bit in conference games as well as those against RPI Top 100 opponents: from 7.2 in points to 6.3 against RPI 100 teams, his rebounding dropped from 6.3 to 5.2, his field goal percentage was only 53.8 percent, and free throw percentage was at 40 percent. Given his inexperience, Adams did an admirable job of balancing staying out of constant foul trouble with not getting pushed around inside. For a freshman in the Big East, it was a year worth building off had he chosen to return to Pittsburgh. The problem lies in that he will be on an NBA roster next fall. The concerns are greater on the offensive end. Adams shot only 52.5 percent from the field in Big East games and 53.8 against teams in the RPI Top 100, and the overwhelming majority of his shots were layups, dunks, or short put backs/dump offs. For a 7-footer, it is a troubling percentage. Andre Drummond had a similar field goal percentage coming out of Connecticut last year, but the problem for him was that Connecticut tried to get him touches in the post. Drummond was an ineffective post scorer, but there was nothing wrong with his hands or ability to finish at the rim. A good part of the reason Drummond fared well in Detroit was that they avoided exposing Drummond’s limitations on offense and utilized him as a massive athlete who could catch-and-finish. The free throw shooting for Adams was problematic as well, though some optimism can be drawn from him making 17 of his final 27 from the line on the year.

Grant Jerrett was a highly regarded prep player who enrolled at Arizona after being McDonald's All-American, but was the lowest performing freshmen to enter the draft a year later. He started just two games for the Wildcats, never saw more than 28 minutes in a single game, and only averaged 17.8 minutes per game. As a 6’ 10.25” stretch 4, he shot the ball from behind the arc well finishing the year at 40.5 percent with little fluctuation in it going 41.2 percent in Pac Twelve games and 38.1 percent against RPI Top 100 opponents. His play inside the arc was less impressive. He only shot 41.3 percent from inside the arc, and attempted only 1.5 free throws per 40 minutes played. Part of the difficulty in judging Jerrett is that he and his other highly touted freshmen at Arizona, Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley, were afforded less burdensome offensive roles due to the presence of seniors Solomon Hill, Mark Lyons, and Kevin Parrom as well as returning sophomore Nick Johnson. Those four took 65 percent of the team’s shots and recorded 78 percent of the team’s assists. They were the work horses for the team on offense, and the freshmen were there to be big, athletic, and help on the glass. It was a role that suited Ashley and Tarczewski better than Jerrett.

The unknown aspect of where another year of development would take these players is the most painstaking part of freshmen entering the draft after less than dominant years. Players like Otto Porter, Shane Larkin, and Kentavious Caldwell Pope made incredible leaps forward in their game from year one to two. Victor Oladipo took a step forward after his freshman year, but made his leap as a junior. Gorgui Dieng took a big leap first from year one to two, and then another from two to three. Kelly Olynyk had a bust out season as a redshirt junior. The problem is that for every player who uses the time to grow, there is another whose development stagnates.

Are the big men big enough?

One of the notable takeaways from the 2013 NBA playoffs has been the reminder of how important big men are to contenders. While much has been written about the league getting smaller and more guard-oriented, three of the final four teams featured Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter, Roy Hibbert, and David West along their front lines. The other team has LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and quite possibly the best small ball team the league has ever seen. Of course, calling Miami a small ball team would require one to fit the 6’ 8” 270 lbs. LeBron James into the definition of small, but it seems to be generally accepted to do so. It makes for interesting planning. Teams that are taking advantage of the increase in quality guard and perimeter play and sacrificing traditional size up front fare well when facing one another. When neither team has a true center, then the lack of size for either team is a moot point. Traditionally defined positions become less important. In those games, there is no harm to the teams being without a center, and often time the result is a more exciting brand of basketball. The problem is two-fold. First, teams still have big men, especially those out West, and devaluing quality size will allow those with it to overwhelm them. Second, there appears to be a glass ceiling for teams wanting to mimic the style of Miami and Oklahoma City. High quality big men are hard to find, but Kevin Durant is a once-in-a-generation talent and LeBron might be even rarer than that, and neither are exiting the league anytime soon. Capable centers with the ability to take advantage of smaller opposition certainly come into the league with greater frequency. If a rebuilding club wants to build a small team, the problem they face is that, even if they avoid or withstand the teams with size, will still likely face LeBron James in the East or Kevin Durant in the West. While both the Heat and Thunder have shown themselves to be vulnerable when teams can expose their post defense as well as attack the offensive glass, there is no blue print for beating Miami 4 out of 7 when teams allow them to dictate style and tempo, and only the Heat proved they can beat the Thunder when operating in their comfort zone. If a team has the ability to go inside and attack the offensive glass as part of a team with sound defense and a passing attack that allows for offensive opportinuties beyond simply one-on-one matchups, they stand a better chance. Such a state in the league should, theoretically, elevate the status of the prominent big men in this coming draft, but the measurements in Chicago and Treviso left me wondering, are the big men really big?

Cholet’s Rudy Gobert was measured as standing 7’ 2” with a 7’ 8.5” wingspan and 9’ 7” standing reach to rank as the second-longest ever measured at the draft combine. He also weighed only 238 lbs. Nerlens Noel and Jeff Withey weighed in at 206 lbs and 222 lbs respectively. Lucas Nogueira was measured at 7’ 0” and 220 lbs. in Treviso. Gorgui Dieng came in at just under 6’ 11”, Mike Muscala at 6’ 11.5” and Cody Zeller just over 7’ 0” but all weighed in at 230 lbs.7-foot Kelly Olynyk came in only slightly heavier at 234 lbs. Dewayne Dedmon stood 6’ 11.5” and 239 lbs while Mason Plumlee was an inch taller and a pound lighter. Alex Len did not have a recorded weight but was listed by Maryland at 7’ 1” and 255 lbs. Steven Adams stood 7’ 0” and weighed 255 lbs. Relative to the class, Colton Iverson came off as huge when he measured 7’ 0” and 263 lbs, but not in NBA terms. Last year, the slightly built Meyers Leonard stood 7’ 1.25” and weighed in at 250 lbs. His limited minutes were largely due to his lack of core strength or the ability and toughness to play stronger than his weight. Tyler Zeller came in at 7’ 0.5” and weighed 247 lbs. He spent much of his rookie season on the perimeter for Cleveland. While part of that was due to the poor outside shooting of Dion Waiters, Alonzo Gee, and other perimeter players, his lack of strength also played a role in him being used to space the floor. It is incredibly concerning that only Iverson and Adams outweighed Tyler Zeller and Meyers Leonard, and more so that the majority of the prospects are 10-40 lbs. lighter. Going beyond just that relatively low bar, it is hard to compare them in size the big men on display in May.

Cody Zeller is an especially interesting player. For his two years at Indiana, he was an incredibly gifted player. When he was able to get the ball with his feet in the paint, he was incredibly difficult to defend. For a collegiate center entering after either his freshman or sophomore season, he is statistically in stellar company. When looking at his games against RPI Top 100 teams with the play of college centers, not necessarily NBA centers, who left after their freshman or sophomore years since 2006, he stacks up well as a scorer. He ranks fourth in points per game behind only Blake Griffin, Brook Lopez, and Kevin Love. His field goal percentage of 53.6 percent is generally in line with others who were primary scoring options, and he ranks fourth in free throw percentage at 76.1 percent.

FG

3PT

FT

Rebounds

Misc

Player

School

Year

Draft Class

G

Min

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

Blake Griffin

Oklahoma

So.

2009

24

33.9

8.1

13.3

61.3

0.0

0.2

20.0

6.0

9.6

61.9

3.9

10.5

14.3

2.2

3.5

0.9

0.9

2.9

22.3

Brook Lopez

Stanford

So.

2008

21

30.8

6.9

15.3

45.0

0.0

0.2

0.0

5.4

7.0

77.6

3.0

5.1

8.0

1.3

1.6

0.7

2.2

2.3

19.2

Kevin Love

UCLA

Fr.

2008

25

30.9

6.2

11.2

55.4

0.9

2.4

36.1

5.1

6.7

75.6

3.8

7.0

10.8

1.9

2.0

0.8

1.4

2.2

18.4

Cody Zeller

Indiana

So.

2013

20

33.1

6.0

11.1

53.6

0.0

0.0

5.9

7.8

76.1

2.6

5.5

8.1

1.3

2.3

0.8

1.3

2.2

17.8

Jared Sullinger

Ohio State

So.

2012

25

33.2

6.1

12.7

48.3

0.5

1.2

40.0

4.8

6.4

75.2

3.4

5.7

9.1

1.5

2.1

1.1

1.1

3.3

17.6

Jordan Williams

Maryland

So.

2011

17

34.1

6.7

12.4

54.0

0.0

0.0

3.7

7.2

51.6

3.5

8.5

12.1

0.4

1.7

0.9

0.9

3.1

17.1

Greg Monroe

Georgetown

So.

2010

25

35.2

6.0

11.4

52.1

0.2

0.7

22.2

4.5

7.0

64.9

2.0

7.8

9.8

3.3

3.2

1.5

1.4

2.9

16.6

Greg Oden

Ohio State

Fr.

2007

21

29.0

5.9

10.0

59.0

0.0

0.0

3.9

5.8

66.4

3.3

5.7

9.0

0.6

2.5

0.6

3.4

3.3

15.7

Spencer Hawes

Washington

Fr.

2007

18

31.4

6.4

12.8

49.8

0.1

0.2

33.3

2.7

3.4

79.0

2.1

4.9

7.1

1.9

2.8

0.4

1.4

2.2

15.6

DeMarcus Cousins

Kentucky

Fr.

2010

20

26.0

5.6

10.2

54.4

0.0

0.1

0.0

4.4

7.9

56.1

4.5

6.0

10.4

0.7

2.2

1.0

1.3

3.4

15.5

Anthony Randolph

LSU

Fr.

2008

16

33.9

6.1

13.4

45.1

0.0

0.7

0.0

3.4

5.3

63.5

3.4

5.4

8.8

0.9

3.4

0.8

2.1

3.2

15.5

Brandan Wright

North Carolina

Fr.

2007

26

28.2

6.3

10.0

63.5

0.0

0.0

2.2

4.1

54.7

2.1

4.0

6.1

0.7

1.5

0.8

1.5

1.7

14.9

DeJuan Blair

Pittsburgh

So.

2009

23

28.4

6.0

10.3

57.8

0.0

0.0

2.7

4.6

58.1

5.0

7.2

12.2

1.2

1.5

1.6

1.3

3.0

14.6

Marreese Speights

Florida

So.

2008

18

26.4

5.8

9.7

60.0

0.0

0.0

2.9

4.3

67.5

2.2

5.6

7.7

0.8

1.6

0.3

1.4

2.3

14.6

Anthony Davis

Kentucky

Fr.

2012

23

33.5

5.0

8.6

58.6

0.1

0.7

13.3

4.3

5.9

72.1

2.7

7.5

10.2

1.4

1.2

1.5

4.3

2.1

14.4

Samardo Samuels

Louisville

So.

2010

20

31.2

5.3

10.4

50.7

0.0

0.0

3.9

5.5

70.6

3.0

3.2

6.1

1.1

2.9

0.7

1.3

2.8

14.4

Kosta Koufos

Ohio State

Fr.

2008

18

27.1

5.9

12.4

47.3

0.7

1.8

36.4

1.8

2.7

66.7

2.6

4.1

6.7

0.5

1.6

0.6

2.1

2.3

14.2

LaMarcus Aldridge

Texas

So.

2006

22

35.5

5.3

10.0

52.7

0.0

0.0

3.3

4.9

67.6

3.1

5.4

8.5

0.5

1.8

1.5

2.1

2.7

13.9

J.J. Hickson

NC State

Fr.

2008

18

29.7

4.9

9.4

52.7

0.0

0.1

0.0

3.8

5.8

64.8

2.7

6.4

9.2

1.1

2.6

0.7

1.5

2.2

13.7

Josh McRoberts

Duke

So.

2007

24

36.4

5.3

10.6

49.4

0.1

0.7

17.6

3.0

4.6

64.0

2.3

5.7

8.0

3.0

2.5

1.3

2.3

2.6

13.6

Hassan Whiteside

Marshall

Fr.

2010

11

28.5

5.2

11.2

46.3

0.1

0.3

33.3

2.9

4.6

62.7

2.6

6.0

8.6

0.0

1.8

0.5

4.7

2.8

13.4

Meyers Leonard

Illinois

So.

2012

19

34.0

5.1

9.3

54.5

0.0

0.4

0.0

3.1

4.4

69.0

2.4

6.2

8.6

1.2

2.3

0.5

1.5

3.3

13.2

JaVale McGee

Nevada

So.

2008

10

28.4

5.5

11.7

47.0

0.2

0.9

22.2

1.7

3.8

44.7

3.3

3.9

7.2

0.9

2.2

1.0

2.8

2.8

12.9

Patrick O'Bryant

Bradley

So.

2006

16

27.1

5.3

9.8

53.5

0.0

0.0

2.4

3.9

60.3

2.6

5.6

8.2

0.6

1.9

0.8

2.3

2.9

12.9

Alex Len

Maryland

So.

2013

17

28.8

4.7

9.1

51.6

0.0

0.2

0.0

3.4

4.9

67.9

3.0

5.0

8.0

0.7

1.8

0.2

2.1

3.0

12.8

Derrick Favors

Georgia Tech

Fr.

2010

23

28.3

5.0

8.0

62.8

0.0

0.0

0.0

2.4

3.9

61.8

3.0

5.6

8.5

0.9

2.8

0.7

2.0

2.8

12.4

Ed Davis

North Carolina

So.

2010

16

26.3

4.3

7.8

55.6

0.0

0.0

3.5

5.3

65.9

2.6

5.8

8.3

0.9

1.8

0.4

2.7

1.7

12.1

Solomon Alabi

Florida State

So.

2010

19

26.6

3.8

8.1

47.7

0.0

0.0

3.6

4.7

77.5

2.7

3.8

6.6

0.5

2.1

0.7

1.6

2.5

11.3

Robin Lopez

Stanford

So.

2008

23

26.0

4.0

7.6

53.1

0.0

0.0

2.4

3.8

64.4

3.0

3.0

6.0

0.6

1.5

0.7

2.1

2.7

10.5

Keith Gallon

Oklahoma

Fr.

2010

18

23.1

3.9

7.1

55.5

0.1

0.3

16.7

2.0

2.9

67.9

2.4

4.4

6.8

0.6

2.4

0.6

0.6

2.6

9.9

Byron Mullens

Ohio State

Fr.

2009

22

21.3

4.0

6.2

63.5

0.0

0.0

0.0

1.6

3.2

50.0

1.8

3.5

5.3

0.2

1.5

0.6

1.4

2.2

9.5

Andre Drummond

Connecticut

Fr.

2012

22

29.5

4.4

8.5

51.3

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.7

2.2

33.3

3.3

4.2

7.5

0.3

1.5

0.9

2.9

2.3

9.5

Renardo Sidney

Mississippi State

RS So.

2012

15

22.6

3.8

8.3

46.0

0.5

1.4

33.3

1.3

2.1

61.3

1.1

3.1

4.2

0.5

1.5

0.7

0.4

3.3

9.3

Nerlens Noel

Kentucky

Fr.

2013

10

33.2

3.4

7.3

46.6

0.0

0.0

1.8

3.9

46.2

2.7

6.4

9.1

1.1

1.8

2.4

4.5

2.8

8.6

Fab Melo

Syracuse

So.

2012

16

29.4

3.6

6.4

55.9

0.0

0.0

1.1

1.8

60.7

2.9

3.9

6.9

0.8

1.6

0.7

3.2

2.7

8.2

Greg Smith

Fresno State

So.

2011

5

29.6

2.2

4.6

47.8

0.0

0.0

2.4

5.8

41.4

1.8

5.2

7.0

1.0

2.8

0.4

1.6

2.6

6.8

Steven Adams

Pittsburgh

Fr.

2013

16

23.3

2.6

4.9

53.8

0.0

0.0

1.0

2.5

40.0

2.3

2.9

5.2

0.5

1.4

0.5

1.8

1.9

6.3

DeAndre Jordan

Texas A&M

Fr.

2008

21

18.2

2.2

4.2

51.7

0.0

0.0

1.4

2.7

50.9

1.4

3.4

4.9

0.5

1.7

0.1

1.2

2.0

5.8

Daniel Orton

Kentucky

Fr.

2010

20

12.6

0.8

1.9

42.1

0.0

0.1

0.0

0.6

1.4

44.4

1.2

1.8

3.0

0.2

0.8

0.6

1.5

2.6

2.2

While the numbers appear to be promising, a fair question to ask is whether a 7’ 0” 230 lbs. player with that style can transition that style of play into the NBA. Zeller is much closer in build to Ed Davis or Anthony Davis than to Griffin, Lopez, Love, Sullinger, Monroe, Oden, Hawes, or Cousins. The big question with Cody Zeller is whether the team that drafts him gets the player who was so successful inside in college, or are they getting an athletic 7’ 0” 230 lbs. player whose use in the NBA will be so different from what he did at Indiana that his play and statistics there are almost irrelevant? This is often seen from undersized college power forwards who have to play on the wing in the NBA. Regardless as to how significant perimeter defending and shooting was to their collegiate success, it is pivotal to their NBA career. The polish of their post game and rebounding prowess become secondary assets. Part of the answer for which route Zeller goes will be decided by the team. Will the team that drafts him hope that 4 or 5 years down the line that Zeller add the necessary core strength and overall weight, possibly at the expense of his athleticism, to ultimately be an NBA center to utilize the skills he put on display the past two years, or will they see enough in his athleticism, length, and shooting displays in workouts to be content with a significant stylistic change? The value of a 7’ 0” center with the ability to score in the post is vastly greater than that of an athletic stretch 4, but there is also the issue that the majority of Zeller’s draft resume was built playing on the inside. To what degree should it be an asset for him when the job description on the next level for him is closer to that of a stretch 4?

The issue facing the shot blockers, most notably Nerlens Noel and Jeff Withey, is not that their role in the NBA does not appear as though it will change what it was in college, but rather whether they can to replicate the impact in the NBA. It is more or less the same question posed in depth last year about Feb Melo and Anthony Davis. The rules regarding zone defenses and zoning off in just about every league other than the NBA allow big shot blockers to have a short cut to protecting the rim. Starting under the basket is not an option that is available to shot blockers in the NBA. While they still might be able to get the blocked shot numbers, the impact on the defense as a whole comes into question. No significant correlation exists between teams that block shots at a high rate and limiting points in the paint or free throws. Having a shot blocker or multiple shot blockers does not compensate for a well-developed defensive infrastructure, and not all shot blockers have the same impact on deterring opponents from going at them or attacking the basket. When questions about their strength and overall offensive skillsets are so prominent, it is worth wondering how highly their greatest skill should be valued.

Alex Len appears to be rising late despite the fact he was a rather inconsistent and middling player at Maryland, is not particularly strong or athletic, and is currently injured so as not to be able to win over people in workouts. While much of the talk around why Len’s numbers were so pedestrian center around a slow-paced team with poor guard play that failed to get him touches, it needs to be pointed out that 8.5 shots per game, and 9.1 in games against RPI Top 100 teams is not especially low for college big men. It is far from rare to find college frontcourt players who were NBA prospects operating with between 7 and 9.5 shots per game, many of whom yielded better results. Since the 2006, forty such players fell into that category and went on to play in the NBA. Len, Jeff Withey, and Nerlens Noel would be the most likely from the 2013 Draft Class to be added to that list. The concern with Len is that among those forty, only nine had a lower field goal percentage than Len’s 51.6 percent. In as much as Len could have been better aided by his teammates, he did not help his cause by shooting the percentage he did against RPI Top 100 opponent s as well as only 50.6 percent from the field in ACC games. Also, only twelve of the forty players with similar shot numbers committed more fouls per minute. Len found himself in foul trouble on a fairly regular basis, and his inability to stay on the floor was not the fault of his teammates.

Draft

Record

FG

3PT

FT

Rebounds

Misc

Player

School

Class

vs RPI 100

G

Min

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

Terrence Jones

Kentucky

2012

20-2

22

30.5

4.6

9.5

48.6

0.3

1.3

25.0

2.3

4.0

58.6

3.0

4.5

7.5

1.1

1.6

1.5

1.8

2.6

11.9

Darrell Arthur

Kansas

2008

21-3

24

26.3

5.5

9.5

57.5

0.0

0.3

0.0

2.0

2.8

71.6

2.5

4.3

6.8

0.8

2.3

0.4

1.3

3.1

12.9

J.J. Hickson

NC State

2008

6-12

18

29.7

4.9

9.4

52.7

0.0

0.1

0.0

3.8

5.8

64.8

2.7

6.4

9.2

1.1

2.6

0.7

1.5

2.2

13.7

Patrick Patterson

Kentucky

2010

17-3

20

34.6

5.3

9.4

56.1

0.8

1.9

39.5

2.0

2.7

72.2

2.9

4.6

7.5

0.7

1.4

1.0

1.6

1.6

13.2

Stephane Lasme

Massachusetts

2007

5-6

11

33.7

5.3

9.3

56.9

0.0

0.0

4.2

5.9

70.8

4.3

5.6

9.9

1.0

2.3

0.7

4.5

4.0

14.7

Meyers Leonard

Illinois

2012

7-12

19

34.0

5.1

9.3

54.5

0.0

0.4

0.0

3.1

4.4

69.0

2.4

6.2

8.6

1.2

2.3

0.5

1.5

3.3

13.2

Gani Lawal

Georgia Tech

2010

12-11

23

25.7

4.7

9.1

51.0

0.0

0.0

3.1

6.0

52.2

2.9

5.5

8.3

0.3

2.2

0.5

1.3

2.1

12.4

Alex Len

Maryland

2013

6-11

17

28.8

4.7

9.1

51.6

0.0

0.2

0.0

3.4

4.9

67.9

3.0

5.0

8.0

0.7

1.8

0.2

2.1

3.0

12.8

Roy Hibbert

Georgetown

2008

10-6

16

27.9

5.3

9.0

59.0

0.1

0.1

100.0

2.8

3.9

71.4

2.3

4.1

6.4

2.0

1.9

0.4

1.6

3.1

13.6

Markieff Morris

Kansas

2011

23-3

26

25.6

5.2

9.0

58.1

0.7

1.7

43.2

2.5

3.7

68.8

2.7

5.2

7.8

1.3

2.3

0.8

1.2

3.1

13.7

Lavoy Allen

Temple

2011

5-7

12

34.5

3.8

9.0

41.7

0.3

0.9

36.4

2.2

2.8

76.5

2.2

5.8

8.0

2.2

1.6

0.8

1.7

2.9

10.0

Aaron Gray

Pittsburgh

2007

15-8

23

27.0

5.0

8.9

56.6

0.0

0.0

2.4

4.9

50.0

3.0

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