This is group features an obvious headliner in Derrick Williams, but has a clump of players vying for position against one another in the mid-to-late part of the first round. Unlike the 2011 wing crop, this list features a handful of smaller school players and a international talents including Jan Vesely of Partizan and Pere Tomas of DKV Joventut. We also find the only D-League product in our rankings this season in Jamine Peterson. This group is deep in experience for the most part, but there's plenty of variety in this sample to make some timely observations about these players.
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
|Gary Flowers||Southern Miss||NCAA||24.4|
|Jamine Peterson||New Mexico T-Birds||DLEAGUE||22.5|
|Chris Wright (Dayton)||Dayton||NCAA||18.3|
|Chris Singleton||Florida State||NCAA||17.3|
|Malcolm Thomas||San Diego State||NCAA||15.6|
|Pere Tomas||DKV Joventut||ACB||12.5|
This stat tells us plainly how often these forwards put points on the board, 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 we immediately see the cream rise to the top.
Derrick Williams is the best NBA prospect in this group. He's also the most prolific scorer. Anyone who watched his play late in the season knows that he has all the tools to score at a high level. The rest of the top-5 is an eclectic bunch, featuring a stretch four in Jon Leuer, a long, lanky combo forward in Gary Flowers, a jump shooter with a NBA body in Justin Harper, and a stocky volume scorer in Jamine Peterson.
Tobias Harris and Kyle Singler fall just outside of the top-5, while Chris Singleton fallers a bit closer to the back of the pack amongst first round prospects. Harris enjoyed considerable freedom at Tennessee, while it seems probable the Singler would have been more prolific had he not been playing amongst a litter of future NBA talents.
The bottom five players in this metric include two international players. Pere Tomas played the smallest role amongst that group, with Jan Vesely facing stiff competition in the EuroLeague. Damian Saunders and Chandler Parsons are both prospects because of what they offer apart from the scoring, with Saunders ranking amongst the top defensive players in this group and Parsons touting impressive versatility.
Three Point Attempts Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Gary Flowers||Southern Miss||NCAA||5.2|
|Jamine Peterson||New Mexico T-Birds||DLEAGUE||4.7|
|Pere Tomas||DKV Joventut||ACB||4.7|
|Chris Singleton||Florida State||NCAA||4.5|
|Chris Wright (Dayton)||Dayton||NCAA||0.8|
|Malcolm Thomas||San Diego State||NCAA||0.4|
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.
Justin Harper has terrific size and a lean, athletic frame, but he was the most aggressive shooter in this group. He emerged as a draft prospect out of the A-10 because of what the development of his jump shooting consistency can add to a team at the next level. It is not at all shocking to see Jon Leuer and Kyle Singler in the top-3 considering how many jump shots they attempt, but it is a bit surprising to see Gary Flowers here. He made huge strides from the college three point line this season, and wasn't shy about showing it. Jamine Peterson was adjusting to the deeper three-point line in the pro game, but that didn't stop him from taking as many threes as almost any player in this group.
Tobias Harris and Derrick Williams both rank just below the mean here. Williams was lights out from beyond the arc last season, mostly because he only took shots when he was open and in rhythm.
Amongst players in the bottom-5, Matthew Bryan-Amaning is easily the least perimeter oriented, while Malcolm Thomas and Chris Wright are still developing as shooters. Jimmy Butler was a timely shooter, and like Williams, never forced the issue from beyond the arc. He's continued to work on his range to maximize his role-player potential. Jan Vesely's biggest weakness is his long range shooting, but not because he will take and miss a lot of shots in total.
Three Point Attempts Per Field Goal Attempt
|Pere Tomas||DKV Joventut||ACB||0.44|
|Chris Singleton||Florida State||NCAA||0.33|
|Gary Flowers||Southern Miss||NCAA||0.27|
|Jamine Peterson||New Mexico T-Birds||DLEAGUE||0.25|
|Chris Wright (Dayton)||Dayton||NCAA||0.06|
|Malcolm Thomas||San Diego State||NCAA||0.04|
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 also an indirect gauge of how efficiently each of them got to the rim as well. Players that attempt a large proportion of their shots 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.
Pere Tomas is not a terribly efficient shooter, but he attempts quite a few shots from beyond. Kyle Singler's lack of great foot-speed made him refocus his game around scoring off the catch, while Justin Harper and Chandler Parsons were not overly aggressive from the midrange, preferring to just shoot a three versus taking a one-dribble pull-up.
Chris Singleton is a terrific athlete, but he attempted quite a few threes since he is not yet adept at create his percentage shots off the bounce without a lane to the rim. We see Jon Leuer, Gary Flowers, and Jamine Peterson drop considerably here, mostly because of the sheer number of shots they attempted on the whole.
Tobias Harris and Derrick Williams drop back towards the bottom five, since they didn't attempt too many threes to begin with and were just as likely to see the ball in the post as the perimeter. The three non-three point shooters in this group, Chris Wright, Malcolm Thomas, and Matthew Bryan-Amaning, are clear by this metric. Wright and Thomas both have budding perimeter skills, and would benefit immensely from adding consistent range to their respective arsenals.
Free Throw Attempts Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Chris Wright (Dayton)||Dayton||NCAA||7.1|
|Chris Singleton||Florida State||NCAA||6|
|Malcolm Thomas||San Diego State||NCAA||6|
|Gary Flowers||Southern Miss||NCAA||5.4|
|Jamine Peterson||New Mexico T-Birds||DLEAGUE||5.2|
|Pere Tomas||DKV Joventut||ACB||3.3|
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.
Derrick Williams stands a head above any other forward in this class in terms of his ability to get to the charity stripe. He attempted more the 4 free throws per-40 minutes pace adjusted than the second ranked player on this list. Jimmy Butler is very savvy around the basket, while Chris Wright rounds out the top-three and has as much natural athleticism and strength as almost any forward in this class. Jan Vesely and Tobias Harris make appearances in the Top-5, despite glaringly different physical profiles.
Chris Singleton and Kyle Singler are on opposite sides of the spectrum despite both attempting quite a few jump shots. Clearly, Singleton's athleticism around the rim allows him to draw contact more consistently.
At the bottom of our ranks we see many of the forwards who we saw at the top of our three-point metrics. Chandler Parsons, Pere Tomas, and Justin Harper all relied on their jumpers far more than their ability to get to the rack.
Free Throw Attempts Per Possession
|Malcolm Thomas||San Diego State||NCAA||0.41|
|Chris Wright (Dayton)||Dayton||NCAA||0.37|
|Chris Singleton||Florida State||NCAA||0.36|
|Pere Tomas||DKV Joventut||ACB||0.26|
|Gary Flowers||Southern Miss||NCAA||0.25|
|Jamine Peterson||New Mexico T-Birds||DLEAGUE||0.24|
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.
Derrick Williams and Jimmy Butler got to the line on more than half of their possessions last season, which is extremely impressive. Jan Vesely joined them not once, but twice, in the top-5, and his rangy strides and willingness to mix it up inside despite his lack of physical strength is a notable characteristic of his game as he tries to make the transition to the NBA level. Malcolm Thomas rises to the top for the first time, and he's among the longer, more athletic players on this list as we saw on countless occasions at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.
Chris Singleton and Tobias Harris place right around average here, which is interesting considering the disparity between their athletic profiles and floor games. Harris is not a great athlete, but he uses his body well around the rim and can using straight-line dribble drives to take what the defense gives him.
At the bottom of our list we find Jamine Peterson, who was a bit erratic at the rim this season and was fairly efficient from the perimeter in catch and shoot situations. He's joined by Justin Harper, Chandler Parsons and Gary Flowers. We've already identified Parsons and Harper as shooter, and while Flowers takes quite a few jump shots, he has the explosiveness to get to the rim too. His high usage clearly hurts him here.
True Shooting Percentage
|Malcolm Thomas||San Diego State||NCAA||58%|
|Gary Flowers||Southern Miss||NCAA||56%|
|Chris Singleton||Florida State||NCAA||54%|
|Jamine Peterson||New Mexico T-Birds||DLEAGUE||53%|
|Pere Tomas||DKV Joventut||ACB||51%|
|Chris Wright (Dayton)||Dayton||NCAA||50%|
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.
Derrick Williams had an absurdly efficient season. His true shooting is almost as high as Jon Diebler's (73%), and Diebler plays a role almost perfectly suited to maximize this statistic and had a terrific season in his own right. Williams' ability to get to the rim at will, score in the post, take and make three-point shots, and generally score a point seemingly every time he touched the ball is a big reason why he's a consensus top-2 pick.
Justin Harper sits in the second slot thanks to his prolific three point shooting, while Jan Vesely takes the third spot, and is simply too athletic to not finish at a high level in the Adriatic League. Jimmy Butler and Malcolm Thomas are two of the more intriguing long-term roleplayers at this position in the senior class, and their offensive efficiency certainly plays a role in that.
Tobias Harris and Chris Singleton rank just below average here, mostly because neither was terribly prolific and knocking down threes or getting to the line. Apart from top-5, this could is concentrated in a range of just 6 or 7%.
It is interesting to see Kyle Singler sand Jamine Peterson right next to one another considering the enormous gap inbetween their roles and situations Chris Wright and Pere Tomas share the same problem in terms of true shooting, neither makes enough threes to propel them into the middle of the pack in this metric.
Assists Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Pere Tomas||DKV Joventut||ACB||4.5|
|Chris Singleton||Florida State||NCAA||2.3|
|Malcolm Thomas||San Diego State||NCAA||1.6|
|Gary Flowers||Southern Miss||NCAA||1.6|
|Chris Wright (Dayton)||Dayton||NCAA||1.5|
|Jamine Peterson||New Mexico T-Birds||DLEAGUE||1.4|
This metric tells us a bit about the versatility and court vision of this group of prospects. There aren't any try point-forwards in this group, but there are a few competent passers. Surprisingly, Pere Tomas takes the top spot in this metric. He is not a great athlete, but he's aggressive and shows very solid court vision. Jimmy Butler is the top college playmaker amongst forward prospects, only furthering his resume as a terrific role-player at the next level. Jon Leuer and Justin Harper may be prolific jump shooters, but are heady passers as well.
Tobias Harris and Derrick Williams fall towards the back of the pack here, mostly because when they had the ball in their hands, they were looking to score. Harris and Williams both have very solid feels for the game, but knew what they needed to do to help their teams win. Jan Vesely falls on different sides of the spectrum, as his passing in the EuroLeague was not nearly as productive as his passing in the Adriatic League.
Jamine Petersonranks low here, and isn't much of a passer despite his high usage. Matthew Bryan-Amaning is a catch-and-finish threat. When we gets the ball down low, he's looking to score, not pass, which is represented here.
Turnovers Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Jamine Peterson||New Mexico T-Birds||DLEAGUE||3.2|
|Gary Flowers||Southern Miss||NCAA||2.9|
|Pere Tomas||DKV Joventut||ACB||2.7|
|Chris Singleton||Florida State||NCAA||2.2|
|Malcolm Thomas||San Diego State||NCAA||2.2|
|Chris Wright (Dayton)||Dayton||NCAA||2|
Despite ranking amongst the most prolific passers in this group, Jon Leuer and Justin Harper turned the ball over less than the rest of the forwards in this draft. Matthew Bryan-Amaning wasn't amongst the least prolific passers in this group, but didn't turn the ball over at a high rate either. Damian Sunaders and Chris Wright lack perimeter polish, but weren't prone to coughing up the ball either.
Derrick Williams is one of the more turnover prone players in this class. His usage was far higher than that of Jamine Peterson, who sits right behind him.
Amongst potential first rounds, we see Kyle Singler, Chris Singleton, and Tobias Harris all within a similar range. Despite being the youngest of the three, Harris was actually the least turnover prone. He plays a remarkably sound offensive game for a player at his experience level.
Assist to Turnover Ratio
|Pere Tomas||DKV Joventut||ACB||1.68|
|Chris Singleton||Florida State||NCAA||1.04|
|Chris Wright (Dayton)||Dayton||NCAA||0.77|
|Malcolm Thomas||San Diego State||NCAA||0.71|
|Gary Flowers||Southern Miss||NCAA||0.54|
|Jamine Peterson||New Mexico T-Birds||DLEAGUE||0.43|
Putting the last two tables together, Pere Tomas tops our ranks, with Harper and Leuer sitting just behind him. After a significant drop off, two of the more savvy senior forwards in the country in Jimmy Butler and Kyle Singler check in.
Amongst first round prospects, Chris Singleton, Jan Vesely, and Tobias Harris all check in above average. Not of them are distributors in the mold of a Lamar Odom, but are willing to give up the ball when the situation calls for it.
Derrick Williams finishes in the bottom-5, but it is hard to knock a player scoring at the level he was scoring at for not deferring. In contrast, Jamine Peterson was not an efficient scorer, and posted a low assist to turnover ratio too. Matthew Bryan-Amaning is the purest power forward on this list, and his floor game doesn't include much passing.
Rebounds Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Chris Wright (Dayton)||Dayton||NCAA||11.6|
|Malcolm Thomas||San Diego State||NCAA||11.1|
|Gary Flowers||Southern Miss||NCAA||10.1|
|Jamine Peterson||New Mexico T-Birds||DLEAGUE||9.9|
|Chris Singleton||Florida State||NCAA||9|
|Pere Tomas||DKV Joventut||ACB||6.1|
Rebounding is an important skill for forwards. Their ability to support their bigmen helps win the possession battle and put their team in better position to win the game.
Chris Wright and Malcolm Thomas may not be the best shooters in that class, but they may be the best rebounders. For his size, Wright is an exceptionally active player on the glass, and Thomas uses his length and leaping ability very effectively. Derrick Williams joins them in the top-5, continuing his run at or near the top of many of the significant statistics we're looking at. Matthew Bryan-Amaning compensates for his lack of passing ability with his presence on the glass, and Gary Flowers is a very good rebounder in his own right despite have some wing skills.
Tobias Harris ranks well here, as does Justin Harper. There is not a significant drop off in the numbers here until the bottom-5, where Kyle Singler and Jimmer Butler rebound at a lower rate than many of their peers on this list. Unsurprisingly, both played the small forward position for significant stretches at the college level, moving them away from the rim on both ends. Jan Vesely has terrific length and athleticism, but like Butler and Singler, player small forward for Partizan and lacks significant physical strength.
Steals Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
|Chris Singleton||Florida State||NCAA||2.6|
|Gary Flowers||Southern Miss||NCAA||1.4|
|Chris Wright (Dayton)||Dayton||NCAA||1.1|
|Jamine Peterson||New Mexico T-Birds||DLEAGUE||1|
|Pere Tomas||DKV Joventut||ACB||0.9|
|Malcolm Thomas||San Diego State||NCAA||0.7|
A forwards'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.
Chris Singleton and Damian Saunders are arguably the top two college defenders in this group along with Jimmer Butler, who ranks just outside of the top-5. They are joined by Jan Vesely, who is still improving as a one-on-one defender, but is able to use his wingspan to deflect some passes and plays with good effort.
Amongst first round prospects, Derrick Williams and Tobias Harris rank right around average. Both players have solid wingspans, but neither is terribly aggressive on the defensive end, especially on the perimeter. Both are just as likely to defend a power forward in the post than step out and defend a three.
We find Kyle Singler and Jon Leuer in the bottom five, which isn't surprising considering their lack of great foot speed. Malcolm Thomas and Justin Harper are the more surprisingly low ranked prospects, and neither forced too many tunovers for their respective teams last season.
Blocks Per-40 Pace Adjusted
|Malcolm Thomas||San Diego State||NCAA||2.8|
|Chris Wright (Dayton)||Dayton||NCAA||2|
|Chris Singleton||Florida State||NCAA||1.9|
|Gary Flowers||Southern Miss||NCAA||1.8|
|Jamine Peterson||New Mexico T-Birds||DLEAGUE||0.5|
|Pere Tomas||DKV Joventut||ACB||0|
This is yet another stat that can provide some insight into the physical traits that these forward use defensively.
Damian Saunders and Malcolm Thomas take the top two spots again, and while neither played in a BCS conference, both had some terrific defensive outings against good teams and provided a weakside presence for their teams. Matthew Bryan-Amanings size and quick leaping ability helped him make an impact in the Pac-10, while Chris Singleton and Chris Wright utilized their impressive NBA-caliber physical tools to make an impact around the basket on the defensive end as well.
Justin Harper rises quite a bit on this list, while Tobias Harris ranks just average. Derrick Williams ranks below average, but anyone who watched him late in the year knows that he came up with some absolutely emphatic blocks when his team needed them. Near the bottom of our list we find our two perimeter oriented forwards Jimmy Butler and Kyle Singler. Butler is an especially good perimeter defender, and he'd sooner draw a charge than go for a block on the few occasions he had to make a rotation inside.
Pere Tomas isn't an explosive leaper and didn't defend the interior two often, rendering him the least imposing shot-blocker amongst this group of players.
|Jamine Peterson||New Mexico T-Birds||DLEAGUE||100.2|
|Pere Tomas||DKV Joventut||ACB||76.4|
|Chris Singleton||Florida State||NCAA||69.5|
|Chris Wright (Dayton)||Dayton||NCAA||66.7|
|Gary Flowers||Southern Miss||NCAA||66.1|
|Malcolm Thomas||San Diego State||NCAA||64.3|
Finally, we get to make our annual observation about the pace of NBADLa 48 minute league compared with 40 for all other prospects here. Some 24 possessions per-game faster than the next closest team represented by a prospect on this list, Jamine Peterson and the New Mexico T-Birds run away with the show here. Considering the pace his team played at, it wasn't surprising to see Peterson ranked in the bottom-5 in a number of categories. Being a young player on a team of pros, he would have probably fared better in some metrics if he were still competing in the NCAA.
Washington makes its third straight top-5 appearance in these ranks, and it is worth noting that the team had prospects at a few positions, with Isaiah Thomas, Justin Holiday, and Matthew Bryan-Amaning making it worth Lorenzo Romar having his guards push tempo. Chalon and DKV Joventut represent the international contingent from France and Spain respectively, while Duquesne is the top small school on our list.
Duke ranks exactly average, while Florida State, Tennessee, and Arizona all fall within the same range. Clearly, pace is only a factor insofar as it caters to the role of the players competing at it. The major outlier on this list is Wisconsin, who runs one of the notably slower offenses in the NCAA. Focusing on execution, Bo Ryan runs one of the most disciplined offensive systems in all of college basketball.
Player Efficiency Rating
|Gary Flowers||Southern Miss||NCAA||28|
|Malcolm Thomas||San Diego State||NCAA||23.8|
|Chris Singleton||Florida State||NCAA||22|
|Chris Wright (Dayton)||Dayton||NCAA||19.7|
|Jamine Peterson||New Mexico T-Birds||DLEAGUE||18.4|
|Pere Tomas||DKV Joventut||ACB||12.5|
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.
Derrick Williams posted one of the highest PER's in the NCAA, and it isn't hard to see why. He was efficient, productive on multiple levels, and incredibly consistent over the course of the year. Interestingly, Williams and fellow top-two prospect Kyrie Irving had the same PER last season. We'll see the highest PER in the college game in our article covering big men, but Williams had a downright ridiculous year.
Joining him in the top-5 are Justin Harper and Jon Leuer. Though both are stretch fours at the next level, they produced in other areas as well and made very few mistakes with the ball last season. Gary Flowers and Matthew Bryan-Amaning make surprise appearances here, benefitting from their terrific efforts on the glass.
Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, Chris Singleton, and Kyle Singler all post a PER above 20, with Jan Vesely joining them above that mark in Adriatic League play, but not in Euroleague competition. The bottom of our rankings is littered with players from the D-League and the various international leagues we keep stats on, highlighting again that this stat must be viewed league-by-league to make ideal sense.