-By the Numbers: The 2012 Forward Crop
-By the Numbers: The 2012 Big Man Crop
-By the Numbers: The 2012 Guard Crop
To gain a better understanding of the statistics used, visit the glossary by Noah Libby-Haines. Interested in making your own statistical comparisons? You can do so here.
Point Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Orlando Johnson||UC Santa Barbara||NCAA||23.2|
|Kevin Murphy||Tennessee Tech||NCAA||23.1|
|Harrison Barnes||North Carolina||NCAA||21.2|
|William Buford||Ohio State||NCAA||17|
This stat tells us plainly how often these wings put the ball in the basket, adjusting for minutes played and pace, which levels the playing field as best as we can without taking competition-level, individual team roles, and teammates into consideration. This is a good place to start with this group of players, as there's plenty of prolific offensive talents in this group.
John Jenkins joins small conference superstars Orlando Johnson and Kevin Murphy as the class of this group as scorers. Jenkins is an elite shooter with great range and a quick trigger who is almost as accurate off the dribble as he is off the catch and should help stretch the floor and be a threat running off of screens early in his career. 57% of his overall points come from beyond the arc right now, but he was obviously not just a shooter as this chart indicates.
Johnson and Murphy were among the most prolific scorers in the country and have shown the ability to create their own offense and score in a variety of ways from the outside.
For those not familiar with Evan Fournier, this stat puts the role he played for his team in perspective. Poitiers relied heavily on the young wing. Seldom do we see international prospects anywhere near the top of the rankings, but Fournier is an exception here. Harrison Barnes rounds out the top-5 and while he did not take a huge step forward as a sophomore, his jump shot and overall scoring instincts still made him one of the most effective offensive players in college basketball.
Terrence Ross and Jeremy Lamb are two of the most intriguing long-term prospects in this group, and sit just above average in terms of their contributions in the scoring column.
At the bottom of our list we found Kostas Papanikolaou, who was a key role-player for Euroleague champion Olimpiacos. He is joined by Darius Miller and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who like Papanikolaou, also won championships. Miller wasn't asked to carry the load offensively most nights and played a mostly complementary role while Kidd-Gilchrist is still developing the perimeter skills to be a more reliable scorer from the outside. William Buford and Kris Joseph round out the bottom five, and both prospects had some good and bad offensive showings as role-players on excellent teams. Joseph never developed into the go-to scorer for the Orange some envisioned for him early on in his career, while Buford struggled for long stretches as a senior, which certainly damaged his draft stock.
Three Point Attempts Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Kevin Murphy||Tennessee Tech||NCAA||6.4|
|Orlando Johnson||UC Santa Barbara||NCAA||6.2|
|William Buford||Ohio State||NCAA||5.2|
|Harrison Barnes||North Carolina||NCAA||4.5|
This stat tells us a lot about the role these prospects played for their team, as well as the confidence they had in their perimeter shooting ability.
Few prospects in the country shot as many threes per-game as John Jenkins did last season, and he's the top player in this metric by a wide margin, which should come as no surprise given his pristine shooting stroke. Evan Fournier takes the second spot, which is interesting considering this is clearly the weakest part of his profile as a draft prospect. Jeremy Lamb and Terrence Ross are both potential lottery picks who are potential contributors early in their careers as spot-up threats.
Sitting near the back of the back we find Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who clearly has plenty of room to continue growing as a perimeter shooter. If he can develop his scoring range, he could open up his offensive game significantly. Will Barton attempted more threes than both players, but is still improving as a shooter after making clear strides last season.
Three Point Attempts Per Field Goal Attempt
|Orlando Johnson||UC Santa Barbara||NCAA||0.36|
|Kevin Murphy||Tennessee Tech||NCAA||0.35|
|William Buford||Ohio State||NCAA||0.35|
|Harrison Barnes||North Carolina||NCAA||0.26|
This stat examines how heavily a player relied on the 3-ball to score points, which is a good indicator of the role these prospects played last season, but is an indirect gauge of how well each of them got to the rim as well. Players from whom a large proportion of their shots come from beyond the arc may have some deficiencies in terms of size, ball-handling ability, athleticism, aggressiveness, or shot-selection. Or they simply could be outstanding shooters.
John Jenkins fits both descriptions. He's not quite the pure shooting specialist Jon Diebler was last season (79% of his attempts were 3-pointers), as he has also shown the ability to use one or two dribbles to create his own shot from the midrange as well.
Kim English and Darius Miller were both valuable shooters for their respective teams. Both players will be looking to carve out a role in the NBA based heavily around their spot-up shooting ability. Jeremy Lamb rounds out the top-5 with just under half of his shot attempts coming from beyond the arc.
Harrison Barnes ranks near the bottom of this list and the number of 3-pointers he attempted this season relative to his overall field goal attempts dropped is 13% lower than the mark he posted as a freshman. It will be interesting to see how this part of his game develops in time.
Will Barton had a breakthrough year shooting the ball, showing significant improvement from his freshman season. Despite that, he falls in the bottom-5 relative to the number of shots he was taking from beyond the arc, being joined by the aggressive Bosnian scorer Nihad Djedovic.
The 3-ball played a minor role in the arsenal of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist last season, which makes sense when considering his unorthodox mechanics.
Free Throw Attempts Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Orlando Johnson||UC Santa Barbara||NCAA||6.9|
|Harrison Barnes||North Carolina||NCAA||6.4|
|Kevin Murphy||Tennessee Tech||NCAA||5.8|
|William Buford||Ohio State||NCAA||3.4|
Free throws attempted per-40 minutes is a good statistic to measure the aggressiveness of a player getting to the rim, as well as his athleticism and ball-handling skills. In some ways, it provides an inverse look at the three-point stats we just looked at.
Orlando Johnson takes the top spot here, but doesn't stand too far ahead of his peers. Built like a football player, Johnson spends quite a bit of time seeking shots on the perimeter, but throws his weight around when he does attack the rim. Not considered an incredible athlete or ball-handler, he was able to take advantage of his strength advantage on a regular basis regardles in the Big West conference.
Harrison Barnes and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist both make an appearance in the top-5 despite seeing different levels of usage and possessing very different strengths, which we'll look at in more detail in the FTA/Pos statistic.
That trio is joined by two European players among prospects shooting more than 6 free throws per-full tempo neutral game. Evan Fournier and Nihad Djedovic may not be elite athletes by NBA standards, but are among the more aggressive slashers to looking to make the leap across the pond that we've seen in some time. Their shot-creating ability is one of their biggest selling points as prospects.
Seniors Kris Joseph and Jeffery Taylor sit right in the middle of this list. Both players showed prolific shooting ability and the ability to draw contact when attacking the rim, but don't finish higher here due to their low usage relative to some of the others players on this list
Darius Miller is the low man in this group. A terrific jump shooter, Miller was as much as role-player for Kentucky as Papanikolaou was for Olympiacos, seldom overstepping what he was asked to do on the floor. Neither player was asked to score in bunches for their respective teams, which should ease their transition to playing a complementary role in the NBA.
William Buford and Hollis Thompson share an affinity for perimeter jump shots and lack of degree of creativity with the dribble.
Terrence Ross has the required athleticism to create his own shot, but his assertiveness from beyond the arc and still developing ball-handling ability place him near the bottom of this list.
Free Throw Attempts Per Possession
|Orlando Johnson||UC Santa Barbara||NCAA||0.34|
|Harrison Barnes||North Carolina||NCAA||0.34|
|Kevin Murphy||Tennessee Tech||NCAA||0.28|
|William Buford||Ohio State||NCAA||0.22|
Even though Free Throws Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted tells us how much a player attacks in bulk, it doesn't show how much they attack relative to their usage rate. This stat tells that story.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist overtakes Harrison Barnes in this metric, and while they may not have gotten to the line in bulk than the former Tar Heel, he got to the line at a higher rate than any other wing in this group. Kostas Papanikolaou makes a significant jump here as well, and while he doesn't have great ball-handling ability or explosiveness, few players in this group show the disregard for contact and toughness the Greek forward does when he ventures inside.
Orlando Johnson drops significantly here, his proclivity for taking shots from the perimeter playing against him.
Nihad Djedovic is simultaneously in the top and bottom fives, having gotten to the line at a much higher rate after his mid-season transfer to Galatasary, indicating a significant role change.
The bottom-5 remains mostly unchanged here, with Kevin Murphy facing the biggest drop from the lower tier of prospects. Murphy is among the most creative and dynamic midrange scorers in this class, often finding space for a midrange jumper rather than bullying his way to the rim.
True Shooting Percentage
|Orlando Johnson||UC Santa Barbara||NCAA||57%|
|Kevin Murphy||Tennessee Tech||NCAA||55%|
|Harrison Barnes||North Carolina||NCAA||53%|
|William Buford||Ohio State||NCAA||53%|
True Shooting Percentage is adjusted to account for what a player adds to their efficiency and team's point total with free throw attempts and 3-pointers. A player who makes 4/10 3-pointers obviously contributes the same amount of points as a player who made 6/10 2-pointerswhich doesn't show up in the traditional field goal percentage stat. This stat attempts to adjust for that.
Kim English takes the top spot here, and his prolific shooting behind the arc, coupled with his simple, but effective play in transition and driving the lane was a big reason he Tigers found so much success for stretches last season. John Jenkins and Darius Miller continue the trend of the NCAA's best spot-up shooters faring well here, while Will Barton and Kostas Papanikolaou make surprise appearances.
Barton's improvement was a significant development for Memphis, especially in the latter half of the season, while Papanikolaou got the job done in some of the best competitions outside of the NBA.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist sits just behind the first tier of players here, and while he may not be a finished product from the perimeter, he managed to finish ahead of Harrison Barnes.
Ranking in the bottom-5 here, Barnes struggled with his consistency for stretches this season. After lighting up the postseason as a freshman, the UNC small forward did not take the leap forward some expected him to on the offensive end this season.
William Buford and Kris Joseph both had bouts of inconsistency amidst tremendously productive showings as their team's on-again off-again go-to scorers on the perimeter. Evan Fournier ranks low here as his shot selection from beyond the arc hurts him.
Assists Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Orlando Johnson||UC Santa Barbara||NCAA||3.5|
|William Buford||Ohio State||NCAA||3.1|
|Kevin Murphy||Tennessee Tech||NCAA||2.6|
|Harrison Barnes||North Carolina||NCAA||1.4|
Nihad Djedovic and Evan Fournier take two of the top three spots here. Djedovic did a nice job moving the ball in leading his team to the Turkish League Semifinals while Fournier showed good vision on the pick and roll helping his team avoid relegation in France. The fact that they are capable of creating shots for themselves as well as for others is intriguing when taking their size into consideration.
No player this season would have ranked as even an above average distributor last season, and there simply aren't many point-forwards in this group. Will Barton and William Buford rank well here despite usually looking for their own shot, both players show a degree of unselfishness on the perimeter.
It shouldn't be surprising to find Harrison Barnes or John Jenkins near the bottom of this list as each was the top-offensive option for their respective teams. Barnes' passing ability is something even he agrees he must work on down the road. Kostas Papanikolaou gets a pass here, as we'll see later that his low assist total is reflective of his highly specialized role.
Turnovers Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Kevin Murphy||Tennessee Tech||NCAA||3.7|
|Orlando Johnson||UC Santa Barbara||NCAA||2.9|
|William Buford||Ohio State||NCAA||2.5|
|Harrison Barnes||North Carolina||NCAA||2.4|
Nihad Djedovic leads this table with his time in Italy, versus his time in Turkey which took first in the assist rankings and a distant 3rd here. Kevin Murphy jumps up the list, as his isolation heavy usage didn't come without a downside.
William Buford, Will Barton, and Darius Miller all jump down this list, passing the ball at a more prolific rate than they turn it over.
The top prospects in this class are scattered throughout the middle of our list, with Harrison Barnes, Jeremy Lamb, and John Jenkins ranking less turnover prone that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Assist to Turnover Ratio
|William Buford||Ohio State||NCAA||1.24|
|Orlando Johnson||UC Santa Barbara||NCAA||1.2|
|Kevin Murphy||Tennessee Tech||NCAA||0.7|
|Harrison Barnes||North Carolina||NCAA||0.58|
Combining the last two tables, Darius Miller, Will Barton and William Buford take the top spots here. All three offer nice role-player potential on the wing, particularly Miller with his ability to defend multiple positions and knock down perimeter jumpers.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jeremy Lamb and Terrence Ross rank closer to the bottom of this last, while Harrison Barnes does in fact rank last. Barnes was seldom looking to create for his teammates when putting the ball on the floor, and it will be interesting to see how he moves the ball at the NBA level.
Rebounds Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Orlando Johnson||UC Santa Barbara||NCAA||6.9|
|Harrison Barnes||North Carolina||NCAA||6.5|
|William Buford||Ohio State||NCAA||5.8|
|Kevin Murphy||Tennessee Tech||NCAA||5.8|
Rebounding is an important aspect of the game, and while some wings are a presence on the glass, some do not. With that said, it's important to recognize that some of this stat is systematic.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist paces this group, as his length and athleticism clearly helped him on the boards. His 3.3 offensive rebounds per-40 minute pace adjusted is especially impressive for a wing. Will Barton and Terrence Ross both rank well here too. Though both have some things to work on offensively, and are among the skinniest players in this group, both players rebounded the ball at a high rate.
Hollis Thompson makes an appearance in the top-5 here, and though he is not a terrific athlete, Thompson showed a nice motor on the defensive end.
Harrison Barnes sits right in the middle of this list, and like many of the players on this list, might have fared a bit better on the boards if he weren't playing alongside a pair of high quality big men.
Evan Fournier and Nihad Djedovic land in the bottom-5 here, again highlighting the differences between NCAA and European basketball, where they are competing against physically developed men. John Jenkins takes the bottom spot here, and is as close to being a guard as any player in this group, and is somewhat one-dimensional outside of his scoring ability.
Steals Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Orlando Johnson||UC Santa Barbara||NCAA||1.3|
|Harrison Barnes||North Carolina||NCAA||1.3|
|William Buford||Ohio State||NCAA||1|
|Kevin Murphy||Tennessee Tech||NCAA||0.9|
A wing's ability to get in the passing lanes often helps his team quicken the pace of the game and generate easy shots without forcing the issue. Though there's a million ways to create a turnover, this stat paints a broad picture of what a prospect brings to the table both physically in terms of quickness and length and mentally in terms of intensity and anticipation.
Andrew Albicy led our guard rankings in this metric, and Evan Fournier makes it a clean sweep for the French League in the backcourt. Our three European prospects take the top spots here, followed by Kris Joseph and Will Barton.
No player on this list ranks especially well compared to the others, and unlike last season, there is very little spread. With the bottom NCAA player in this metric sitting less than a full assist behind the top player, there isn't a huge different between worst and first.
Blocks Per-40 Pace Adjusted
|Orlando Johnson||UC Santa Barbara||NCAA||0.9|
|Harrison Barnes||North Carolina||NCAA||0.4|
|William Buford||Ohio State||NCAA||0.3|
|Kevin Murphy||Tennessee Tech||NCAA||0.2|
This is yet another stat that can provide some insight into the physical traits that these wings use defensively, particularly their length and athleticism.
Unlike the last list, there are a few clear standouts in this group. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Terrence Ross have terrific athleticism for the NBA game, and swatted their fair share of shots last season. Orlando Johnson and Kostas Papanikolaou rank well here despite playing radically different roles for their respective teams.
Harrison Barnes and John Jenkins rank right in the middle of the pack. Barnes had an excellent showing at the NBA Combine, but his athleticism didn't translate into many blocked shots last season.
The bottom tier of this list is comprised of two of our European prospects along with Kevin Murphy and William Buford. Neither player is a freak athlete, offering much of their value with their skill levels offensively.
|Harrison Barnes||North Carolina||NCAA||72.9|
|Kevin Murphy||Tennessee Tech||NCAA||68.7|
|William Buford||Ohio State||NCAA||66.9|
|Orlando Johnson||UC Santa Barbara||NCAA||65.4|
Much like we noted in our by the numbers guard article, Washington plays at the same pace as many international teams. One of the biggest adjustments college players have to make in transitioning to the pro game is to the significantly shorter shot clock (35 to 24), which significantly quickens the tempo of the game. This list here does a good job emphasizing that.
Player Efficiency Rating
|Orlando Johnson||UC Santa Barbara||NCAA||25.9|
|Harrison Barnes||North Carolina||NCAA||21|
|Kevin Murphy||Tennessee Tech||NCAA||20.7|
|William Buford||Ohio State||NCAA||17|
Another one of John Hollinger's gems, PER is a total measure of what a player does on the floor based on more than a dozen weighted calculations. It isn't wise to compare players across different leagues, though, since an average score of 15 (the median) would be a totally different figure in another league, with its own averages. The NCAA is especially tricky considering the varying levels of competition we find in the different conferences.
Will Barton makes a surprise appearance at the top of this list. His development both before and during this season are notable. He might not be the strongest wing prospect, but that didn't stop him from having an extremely productive year for Memphis.
Orlando Johnson makes an appearance here thanks in large part to his toughness and the versatile role he played for his team, having to do a bit of everything. Jeffery Taylor and John Jenkins represent well for Vanderbilt. The pair had outstanding seasons in terms of efficiency, which boosts them here.
Terrence Ross, Jeremy Lamb, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Harrison Barnes find themselves in a clump in the back and just outside of the top-5. None of those four quite live up to the numbers posted by the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Alec Burks, and MarShoon Brooks last year, though all had solid seasons in their own right.
Nihad Djedovic and Kostas Papanikolaou take the bottom spots, highlighting how different PER looks across leagues.
Jun 21, 2017, 02:52 pmIn a draft class lauded for its guards, three exceptionally talented, and wildly different, forward prospects sit in the top six of our mock draft, each taking a very different path to the top, and demonstrating wildly contrasting strengths and weaknesses. So who is the best prospect among the three?
Jun 21, 2017, 10:49 amVideo from the De'Aaron Fox Catalyst Sports Pro Day Workout in Los Angeles. Video produced by Matt McGann.