Just By the Numbers: the 2014 Power Forward Crop

Just By the Numbers: the 2014 Power Forward Crop
Jun 16, 2014, 09:02 am
In our fourth analysis of basic statistics, we take a look at the top 22 power forwards eligible for the 2014 NBA draft.

A key component of the game of basketball, statistics are both exalted for their comprehensiveness and condemned for their ridiculousness. There are an unlimited number of ways to evaluate a player on paper, with each seemingly generating non-stop debate over its value. In recent seasons, Synergy Sports Technology and other companies have brought on a new generation of statistics in basketball, and along with the likes of John Hollinger and Dean Oliver, have changed the way NBA teams evaluate prospects.

Accounting for every jumper missed on a fast break, pick and roll from the top of key, and bad pass in crunch time, the data at the disposal of NBA decision-makers seems to get deeper almost daily. As statistics become more advanced, you can even start to predict what areas a college player may struggle in moving forward based on what their numbers in college or where they may still have upside.

As we get further and further away from the actual season that was played between November and April, we tend to forget at times how productive prospects actually were on their individual teams between all the talk about wingspans and upside and performance in private workouts and such.

With that in mind, we're running a simple analysis of how all the top prospects in this draft compare in all the different facets of the game statistically that matter at their individual position.

Points Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
Cameron BairstowNew MexicoNCAA25.3
Adreian PayneMichigan StateNCAA23.6
Nikola JokicMega VizuraADR, SERBIA21.1
Dario SaricCibona ZagrebECUP, ADR, CROATIA20.3
Shayne WhittingtonWestern MichiganNCAA19.9
Julius RandleKentuckyNCAA19.6
Johnny O'BryantLSUNCAA19.5
Cory JeffersonBaylorNCAA19.3
Joonas CavenPratLEB SILVER18.7
Kristaps PorzingisSevillaACB18.2
Mike MoserOregonNCAA17.9
James McAdooNorth CarolinaNCAA17.9
Clint CapelaChalonECUP, FRANCE17.8
Dwight PowellStanfordNCAA17.2
Noah VonlehIndianaNCAA16.5
Aaron GordonArizonaNCAA16.5
Juvonte ReddicVCUNCAA16
Maximilian KleberWuerzburgGERMANY15.9
Khem BirchUNLVNCAA14.7
Rasmus LarsenManresaACB12.3
Eric MorelandOregon StateNCAA11.8
Akil MitchellVirginiaNCAA11.6

This stat tells us plainly how often these power forwards put the ball in the basket, adjusting for minutes played and pace, which levels the playing field as best as we can without taking into account competition level, individual team roles, and teammates into consideration. This is a good place to start with this group of players, as it tells us about their versatility, the range of roles they played last season, and a little bit about each prospect's mentality as a playmaker or scorer.

Cameron Bairstow is the top per-minute scorer in this group. Developing into a reliable midrange shooter and post threat, Bairstow had a terrific senior year. Adreian Payne takes the second spot here, showing significant improvement from the previous season, just like Bairstow.

Nikola Jokic finishes a somewhat surprising third. As much as Jokic boosted his stock with his performance at the Hoop Summit, he was having a terrific year in the Adriatic League, his first seeing extensive playing time at the age of 19. While he hadn't shot the ball as well in league play as he did in Portland, his highly efficient scoring inside the arc made him a prolific weapon nonetheless. Dario Saric and Shayne Whittington round out the top-5, though Julius Randle, among others, ranks just behind them. Saric bounced back from an average season in the Adriatic league last year a big way with Cibona, while Whittington put himself on the draft radar with a strong Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.

Aaron Gordon and Noah Vonleh rank just below average, as neither player has an overly refined offensive game at this point in their respective careers. That's not all that surprising considering both players are still only 18 years old, but it's something to keep in mind for the team that drafts them.

Two international prospects highlight the bottom-5. Losing much of the previous two season to injury, both Maximilian Kleber and Rasmus Larsen scored at a low rate, with Larsen eventually pulling out of the draft. Akil Mitchell and Eric Moreland take the bottom two spots. Both players are more rebounding roleplayers than high level scorers. Khem Birch rounds out the bottom-5, making his best contributions offensive not scoring, but creating additional possessions.

Free Throw Attempts Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
Cameron BairstowNew MexicoNCAA10.9
James McAdooNorth CarolinaNCAA9.5
Julius RandleKentuckyNCAA9.5
Cory JeffersonBaylorNCAA7.8
Khem BirchUNLVNCAA7.3
Dwight PowellStanfordNCAA7.2
Johnny O'BryantLSUNCAA6.9
Noah VonlehIndianaNCAA6.6
Adreian PayneMichigan StateNCAA6.4
Aaron GordonArizonaNCAA6.3
Dario SaricCibona ZagrebECUP, ADR, CROATIA6.1
Shayne WhittingtonWestern MichiganNCAA6.1
Juvonte ReddicVCUNCAA5.7
Eric MorelandOregon StateNCAA5.4
Joonas CavenPratLEB SILVER4.6
Akil MitchellVirginiaNCAA4.4
Clint CapelaChalonECUP, FRANCE4.2
Rasmus LarsenManresaACB3.7
Maximilian KleberWuerzburgGERMANY3.4
Nikola JokicMega VizuraADR, SERBIA3.2
Mike MoserOregonNCAA2.9
Kristaps PorzingisSevillaACB2.4

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.

Cameron Bairstow once again claims the top spot, while consensus top-5 recruits James McAdoo and Julius Randle fill out of the rest of the first tier of players before a drop off. While McAdoo never lived up to his advanced billing, he was aggressive attacking the rim this year. Unfortunately, he only shot 54% from the line, a far cry from the 71% Randle made and Bairstow's 74% clip.

The second tier in the top-5 consists of Cory Jefferson and Khem Birch, both of whom used their length and athleticism to make players around the rim inside, doing a nice job getting to the line in the process.

Noah Vonleh, Aaron Gordon, and Daris Saric all rank right around average here among top prospects.

Kristaps Porzingis is the low man on this list, in part because of the extremely small role he played this year, but also because of his propensity to step away from the rim and take jump shots. This is something he will likely work on next year in the ACB as he's already elected to withdraw from the draft. His frame still has a long ways from fully maturing. Every player in the bottom-5 attempted over 4 3-pointers per-40 minutes pace adjusted. Mike Moser became something of a stretch four to wrap up his senior year at Oregon while Nikola Jokic, Maximilian Kleber, and Rasmus Larsen continue the trend of European players finishing near the bottom of this list.

Clint Capela also finds himself relatively low here, as he does not possess the ball-handling skills, strength, or back to the basket game to draw a ton of fouls yet at this stage of his development. Like we'll see elsewhere, he still found ways to produce in other facets.

Free Throw Attempts Per Possession
Khem BirchUNLVNCAA0.59
James McAdooNorth CarolinaNCAA0.58
Cameron BairstowNew MexicoNCAA0.53
Julius RandleKentuckyNCAA0.53
Cory JeffersonBaylorNCAA0.47
Noah VonlehIndianaNCAA0.43
Eric MorelandOregon StateNCAA0.42
Dwight PowellStanfordNCAA0.41
Aaron GordonArizonaNCAA0.41
Juvonte ReddicVCUNCAA0.39
Akil MitchellVirginiaNCAA0.38
Johnny O'BryantLSUNCAA0.36
Shayne WhittingtonWestern MichiganNCAA0.34
Adreian PayneMichigan StateNCAA0.31
Dario SaricCibona ZagrebECUP, ADR, CROATIA0.31
Clint CapelaChalonECUP, FRANCE0.29
Joonas CavenPratLEB SILVER0.28
Rasmus LarsenManresaACB0.28
Nikola JokicMega VizuraADR, SERBIA0.22
Maximilian KleberWuerzburgGERMANY0.21
Mike MoserOregonNCAA0.18
Kristaps PorzingisSevillaACB0.15

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.

A few players shift around some here, again indicating the differences in usage among this group. Khem Birch rises to the top of our list, while Eric Moreland jumps to just outside of the top-5. Akil Mitchell jumps significantly as well while Dwight Powell and Johnny O'Bryant both sink back toward the group average.

Dario Saric and Adreian Payne rank below average here, as their ability to get to the line at a high rate was more due to their usage than their ability to draw contact prolifically.

The bottom-5 doesn't change much, as the perimeter shooting fours in this group didn't draw many free throws on a per-possession basis either.

Three Point Attempts Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
Joonas CavenPratLEB SILVER10.5
Maximilian KleberWuerzburgGERMANY6.2
Mike MoserOregonNCAA5.9
Nikola JokicMega VizuraADR, SERBIA5.1
Adreian PayneMichigan StateNCAA4.8
Rasmus LarsenManresaACB4.1
Kristaps PorzingisSevillaACB4.1
Dario SaricCibona ZagrebECUP, ADR, CROATIA3.7
Noah VonlehIndianaNCAA1.6
Aaron GordonArizonaNCAA1.6
Cory JeffersonBaylorNCAA1.5
Dwight PowellStanfordNCAA1.3
Shayne WhittingtonWestern MichiganNCAA1.3
Julius RandleKentuckyNCAA0.6
Juvonte ReddicVCUNCAA0.3
James McAdooNorth CarolinaNCAA0.3
Eric MorelandOregon StateNCAA0.1
Cameron BairstowNew MexicoNCAA0.1
Johnny O'BryantLSUNCAA0.1
Akil MitchellVirginiaNCAA0
Clint CapelaChalonECUP, FRANCE0

This stat tells us a lot about the roles these prospects played for their respective teams, the confidence they had in their perimeter shooting ability, and the freedom they were given by their former coaches.

There's a pair of significant drop offs here, the obvious one being right after top shooter Joonas Caven. A Finnish power forward, Caven's ability to shoot the ball earned him some minutes in the ACB, but he spent most of the season as the top option for their second team in the LEB Silver, which is reflected here. Caven recently elected to withdraw his name from the draft. Maximilian Kleber and Nikola Jokic round out of the European representatives in the top-5 while Mike Moser and Adreian Payne were the top shooters among college players. Moser has impressed with his shooting consistency in workouts while Payne's skill level grew tremendously over his four years at Michigan State.

There's an obvious drop off after Dario Saric, as Noah Vonleh, who ranks just below him in our list, attempted less than half as many three-pointers per-40 minutes pace adjusted. Aaron Gordon attempted slightly fewer than Vonleh, but more than Julius Randle, who is the top player in the bottom tier of shooters here.

It will be interesting to see how Vonleh's role changes at the NBA level, as being able to stretch the floor with a consistent perimeter jumper would give him a great deal of value at the power forward position. The 16-33 he shot as a freshman is encouraging, but somewhat inconclusive due to the small sample size.

Khem Birch didn't attempt a single 3-pointer this season, while Clint Capela and Akil Mitchell don't show much range at this stage either. Johnny O'Bryant had some hot shooting games form the midrange, but didn't step out beyond the arc all that often offensively. Cameron Bairstow rounds out to the top-5 sharing O'Bryant's tendency to operate almost exclusively from 16 feet and in, something that will certainly have to change if he's to make it at the NBA level.

The 3-point attempt per field goal attempt table looks almost identical to this one, as each of these players attempts per-minute pace adjusted are an accurate reflection of the number of shots they attempted from deep relative to their total usage.

True Shooting Percentage
Nikola JokicMega VizuraADR, SERBIA0.71
Clint CapelaChalonECUP, FRANCE0.65
Cameron BairstowNew MexicoNCAA0.62
Noah VonlehIndianaNCAA0.61
Adreian PayneMichigan StateNCAA0.61
Dario SaricCibona ZagrebECUP, ADR, CROATIA0.58
Shayne WhittingtonWestern MichiganNCAA0.58
Khem BirchUNLVNCAA0.58
Julius RandleKentuckyNCAA0.58
Mike MoserOregonNCAA0.56
Joonas CavenPratLEB SILVER0.56
Cory JeffersonBaylorNCAA0.56
Akil MitchellVirginiaNCAA0.55
Eric MorelandOregon StateNCAA0.54
Dwight PowellStanfordNCAA0.54
Johnny O'BryantLSUNCAA0.53
Juvonte ReddicVCUNCAA0.53
Kristaps PorzingisSevillaACB0.53
Maximilian KleberWuerzburgGERMANY0.53
Aaron GordonArizonaNCAA0.51
Rasmus LarsenManresaACB0.51
James McAdooNorth CarolinaNCAA0.49

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. This stat attempts to adjust for all the ways a player can put points on the board.

This is one of the more interesting categories to look at, especially combined with scoring rate overall, to see those who is both using a large number of possessions and scoring at a very high efficiency. Its bit of a shock to see two European players at the top of our list here, but Nikola Jokic's outrageous 80% shooting from 2-point range and Capela's ability to play within his catch-and-finish based role set both up for success in this metric.

Cameron Bairstow is unsurprisingly the top college player, followed by Noah Vonleh and Adreian Payne. Playing in the best conference in college basketball a year ago, both players did a nice job scoring against quality defenses.

Dario Saric sits right outside the top-5, which is notable given he shot better this year in a larger role than the one he played last season. Julius Randle sits right above average among top prospects, at a respectable 58%, while Kristaps Porzingis and Aaron Gordon find spots in the bottom-5. Both players are early in their development curves offensively, and will be drafted by teams hoping they can put their intriguing tools to better use on that end of the floor in time. James McAdoo takes the bottom spot here due to his poor efficiency at the line and from 2-point range. Rasmus Larsen and Maximilian Kleber follow the trend of fairly low-usage European players typically ranking poorly in this stat.

Offensive Rebounds Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
Juvonte ReddicVCUNCAA4.9
Julius RandleKentuckyNCAA4.6
Clint CapelaChalonECUP, FRANCE4.2
Nikola JokicMega VizuraADR, SERBIA4
Cory JeffersonBaylorNCAA4
Johnny O'BryantLSUNCAA3.8
Aaron GordonArizonaNCAA3.6
Noah VonlehIndianaNCAA3.5
James McAdooNorth CarolinaNCAA3.3
Akil MitchellVirginiaNCAA3.3
Eric MorelandOregon StateNCAA3
Shayne WhittingtonWestern MichiganNCAA3
Dario SaricCibona ZagrebECUP, ADR, CROATIA2.9
Maximilian KleberWuerzburgGERMANY2.8
Cameron BairstowNew MexicoNCAA2.8
Kristaps PorzingisSevillaACB2.7
Rasmus LarsenManresaACB2.6
Mike MoserOregonNCAA2.5
Dwight PowellStanfordNCAA2.4
Adreian PayneMichigan StateNCAA2.2
Joonas CavenPratLEB SILVER1.6

Moving away from the scoring categories, some players who didn't stand out in any of the previous categories immediately jump to the top of the list, indicating the rather noticeable schism the scoring big men and those who bring other tools to the table.

Khem Birch, Juvonte Reddic, and Julius Randle take the top-3 spots in terms of offensive rebounding. All three did a tremendous job creating extra possessions for their teams with their physical tools and aggressiveness. Out of curiosity, we looked up how many points each of these players scored on tip in this season. Randle led the group scoring 114 points on put backs, Reddic scored 104, and Birch scored 88. While each player made solid contributions on the glass, it is worth noting that not all offensive rebounds are created equal.

Clint Capela and Nikola Jokic round out the top-5, as the pair of European big men have rated fairly well in a number of categories relative to their NCAA counterparts.

Aaron Gordon and Noah Vonleh land just above average, while the less athletic Dario Saric finished below average.

Joonas Caven takes the last spot, which should surprise no one considering nearly 75% of his shot attempts are threes. He's very rarely in position to be a factor on the offensive boards. Adreian Payne finishes surprisingly poorly here given his length and athletic ability, but his role as a stretch power forward also contributed to his placement here. Mike Moser spent enough time on the perimeter to limit his contributions on the offensive glass to some degree, as he's a solid defensive rebounder. The same is not true for Dwight Powell or Rasmus Larsen, who were among the least prolific rebounders overall and round out the bottom-5 offensively.

Defensive Rebounds Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
Eric MorelandOregon StateNCAA10.5355
Noah VonlehIndianaNCAA9.6795
Julius RandleKentuckyNCAA9.0806
Akil MitchellVirginiaNCAA8.6343
Dario SaricCibona ZagrebECUP, ADR, CROATIA8.48061153846154
Adreian PayneMichigan StateNCAA8.2148
Shayne WhittingtonWestern MichiganNCAA8.1651
Clint CapelaChalonECUP, FRANCE8.10648837209302
Mike MoserOregonNCAA7.9763
Khem BirchUNLVNCAA7.9261
Maximilian KleberWuerzburgGERMANY7.9066
Nikola JokicMega VizuraADR, SERBIA7.69871538461538
Cory JeffersonBaylorNCAA7.63
Aaron GordonArizonaNCAA7.0354
Juvonte ReddicVCUNCAA6.5081
Cameron BairstowNew MexicoNCAA6.3734
Dwight PowellStanfordNCAA6.03
Johnny O'BryantLSUNCAA5.9424
Rasmus LarsenManresaACB5.3233
James McAdooNorth CarolinaNCAA5.1902
Joonas CavenPratLEB SILVER4.938
Kristaps PorzingisSevillaACB4.6584

Looking at these power forwards as rebounders on the other side of the floor is an interesting exercise, as a number of average offensive rebounders rank among the very best defensive rebounders.

Oregon State's Eric Moreland is in a tier by himself in terms of defensive rebounding on a per-minute pace-adjusted basis, ranking first among all players in college basketball regardless of position. Moreland measured 6'10.25 in shoes with a 7'3.5 wingspan and massive hands at the Clippers Mini-Combine, improved as a defensive rebounder in each of his seasons at Oregon State, and put his physical tools to good use last year rebounding the ball outside of his area at a high level.

Top prospects Noah Vonleh and Julius Randle rank in the second and third spots. Unlike some freshman big men, both players were very active on the defensive boards. Akil Mitchell and Dario Saric round out the top-5. Saric may lack a degree of length and explosiveness, but his tremendous competitiveness and anticipation skills have made him a terrific rebounder at the junior level, which began to translate to the pros this year. He in fact ranked as the second best defensive rebounder in the Adriatic league this past season, which is no small feat considering his age.

Among top prospects, Adreian Payne sits just outside the top-5 and slightly ahead of Clint Capela while Aaron Gordon ranks slightly below average.

Kristaps Porzingis and Joonas Caven rank as the two worst rebounders here. Both players need to get stronger to help themselves compete on the glass at the NBA level, which is likely part of the reason both players elected to withdraw from the draft. James McAdoo is the low-man among college players, as his rebounding rate per-minute pace adjusted declined every year he was at North Carolina. Johnny O'Bryant is the other college player in the bottom-5, as an infusion of size at LSU led to a sharp decrease in his numbers on the boards this year.

Steals Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
Juvonte ReddicVCUNCAA1.8
James McAdooNorth CarolinaNCAA1.7
Kristaps PorzingisSevillaACB1.6
Dwight PowellStanfordNCAA1.6
Mike MoserOregonNCAA1.6
Joonas CavenPratLEB SILVER1.4
Nikola JokicMega VizuraADR, SERBIA1.4
Akil MitchellVirginiaNCAA1.3
Dario SaricCibona ZagrebECUP, ADR, CROATIA1.3
Clint CapelaChalonECUP, FRANCE1.3
Noah VonlehIndianaNCAA1.3
Aaron GordonArizonaNCAA1.2
Shayne WhittingtonWestern MichiganNCAA1
Maximilian KleberWuerzburgGERMANY1
Eric MorelandOregon StateNCAA0.9
Rasmus LarsenManresaACB0.8
Khem BirchUNLVNCAA0.8
Adreian PayneMichigan StateNCAA0.7
Cameron BairstowNew MexicoNCAA0.7
Julius RandleKentuckyNCAA0.7
Johnny O'BryantLSUNCAA0.6
Cory JeffersonBaylorNCAA0.5

A power forward's ability to strip opposing big men and play corral loose balls can help a team win the battle for 50/50 balls. Though there's a million ways to create a turnover, and while power forwards in general don't force a lot of mistakes themselves, 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.

Juvonte Reddic takes the top spot as the beneficiary of Shaka Smart's relentlessly aggressive defense. James McAdoo makes a top-5 appearance here, as while he's limited in some areas, he has a knack for getting in the passing lanes when he steps out to defend the perimeter. He didn't go coast-to-coast as often as he did early in his career, but he nonetheless created some easy baskets for himself with his defense. Kristaps Porzingis is the top surprise of the top-5, as Mike Moser and Dwight Powell both showed the ability to step out and defend away from the basket effectively. Known as a shot blocker at the junior level, Porzingis's ridiculous length, combined with how intently he finishes plays allow him to get a hand on and then corral passes that other players simply aren't able to get to.

Among top prospects, Dario Saric, Clint Capela, Noah Vonleh, and Aaron Gordon can be found in a clump right in the middle of the pack, while Adreian Payne and Julius Randle take spots in the bottom-5.

Cory Jefferson ranks last among college players, as no internationals finish in the bottom-6. Jefferson, playing in the back of Baylor's zone, left the turnover creation to the guards at the top of the key, while Johnny O'Bryant and Cameron Bairstow are more likely to effectively deny position in the post than beat anyone to a loose ball.

Blocks Per-40 Pace Adjusted
Khem BirchUNLVNCAA4.8
Eric MorelandOregon StateNCAA2.6
Clint CapelaChalonECUP, FRANCE2.5
Kristaps PorzingisSevillaACB2.5
Noah VonlehIndianaNCAA2
Shayne WhittingtonWestern MichiganNCAA1.9
Cameron BairstowNew MexicoNCAA1.9
Cory JeffersonBaylorNCAA1.8
Nikola JokicMega VizuraADR, SERBIA1.7
Juvonte ReddicVCUNCAA1.6
Aaron GordonArizonaNCAA1.4
Adreian PayneMichigan StateNCAA1.3
Maximilian KleberWuerzburgGERMANY1.2
Dario SaricCibona ZagrebECUP, ADR, CROATIA1.2
Johnny O'BryantLSUNCAA1.2
James McAdooNorth CarolinaNCAA1.1
Dwight PowellStanfordNCAA1
Julius RandleKentuckyNCAA1
Mike MoserOregonNCAA1
Akil MitchellVirginiaNCAA1
Joonas CavenPratLEB SILVER0.7
Rasmus LarsenManresaACB0.7

Khem Birch takes the top spot here by a huge margin. His length and athleticism made him a playmaker on the glass and challenging shots defensively. As with many shot blockers, his desire to chase blocks limited him impact as a defensive rebounder to some degree, but earn him the top spot here.

Eric Moreland, Clint Capela, and Kristaps Porzingis are very different players physically, but comprise the second tier here. Capela and Porzinigis' ability to block shots at a high rate despite playing against extremely high level competition in France and Spain gives us some nice insight into why they are such highly touted prospects. Noah Vonleh rounds out the top-5, which features plenty of length and athleticism. Moreland and Vonleh are the interesting cases here, as they rank as the top-2 defensive rebounders in this group as well.

Aaron Gordon, Adreian Payne, and Dario Saric all finish average or slightly below average here. Gordon and Payne both came up with some highlight reel blocks this year, but neither challenged scorers as consistently as the top group.

Julius Randle makes another appearance in the bottom-5 in a defensive statistic. While Randle doesn't have outstanding length, a number of players who finish above him here don't have tremendous wingspans either. For example, Khem Birch's wingspan is 7'1 to Randle's 7'0. The presence of Willie Cauley-Stein certain plays a role here, but regardless, Randle is much more likely to be a positional defender thanks to his lateral quickness and strength in time than a productive shot blocker.

Rasmus Larsen and Joonas Caven have great size, but neither player is a particularly impactful rim protector at this stage in their respective careers. Akil Mitchell and Mike Moser produced steals at a strong rate, but don't have the imposing size and length to be productive shot blockers.

Assists Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
Nikola JokicMega VizuraADR, SERBIA4.2
Dario SaricCibona ZagrebECUP, ADR, CROATIA4.1
Dwight PowellStanfordNCAA3.8
Aaron GordonArizonaNCAA2.6
Mike MoserOregonNCAA2.2
James McAdooNorth CarolinaNCAA2.2
Johnny O'BryantLSUNCAA2
Akil MitchellVirginiaNCAA2
Cameron BairstowNew MexicoNCAA1.9
Adreian PayneMichigan StateNCAA1.9
Julius RandleKentuckyNCAA1.9
Eric MorelandOregon StateNCAA1.9
Clint CapelaChalonECUP, FRANCE1.8
Maximilian KleberWuerzburgGERMANY1.7
Khem BirchUNLVNCAA1.5
Cory JeffersonBaylorNCAA1.4
Shayne WhittingtonWestern MichiganNCAA1.4
Juvonte ReddicVCUNCAA0.9
Noah VonlehIndianaNCAA0.9
Kristaps PorzingisSevillaACB0.8
Rasmus LarsenManresaACB0.5
Joonas CavenPratLEB SILVER0.4

Power forwards aren't usually known for their passing, but there's a number of standouts in this group of players.

Nikola Jokic ranking ahead of Dario Saric here is a surprise. Saric spends a lot of time with the ball in his hands, while Jokic has a knack for making savvy, sometimes spectacular catches right off the catch when rolling to the rim or posting up. Both players add something to their team's half-court offense with their unique court vision. Dwight Powell is the top collegiate passer. While there's a drop off between Powell, Aaron Gordon, and Mike Moser, each of the three Pac-12 forwards showed a solid feel for finding the open man this season.

Julius Randle and Clint Capela rank just average here, while Noah Vonleh ranks well-below average. He has some developing skills, but isn't a natural facilitator on the offensive end, which may limit his ability to play facing the basket early on in his career.

Shooting big men Joonas Caven, Rasmus Larsen, and Kristaps Porzingis take the bottom spots here, thanks in some degree to the fact that they don't touch the ball all that frequently to begin with.

Turnovers Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted
Dario SaricCibona ZagrebECUP, ADR, CROATIA4.1
Johnny O'BryantLSUNCAA4
Dwight PowellStanfordNCAA3.5
Julius RandleKentuckyNCAA3.3
Noah VonlehIndianaNCAA3.1
Rasmus LarsenManresaACB3.1
Eric MorelandOregon StateNCAA3
Adreian PayneMichigan StateNCAA2.9
Nikola JokicMega VizuraADR, SERBIA2.8
Clint CapelaChalonECUP, FRANCE2.7
Maximilian KleberWuerzburgGERMANY2.7
Cameron BairstowNew MexicoNCAA2.5
Mike MoserOregonNCAA2.4
Juvonte ReddicVCUNCAA2.4
Shayne WhittingtonWestern MichiganNCAA2.4
Akil MitchellVirginiaNCAA2.3
Kristaps PorzingisSevillaACB2.2
Cory JeffersonBaylorNCAA2
Aaron GordonArizonaNCAA1.9
James McAdooNorth CarolinaNCAA1.8
Khem BirchUNLVNCAA1.7
Joonas CavenPratLEB SILVER1.6

Dario Saric and Johnny O'Bryant rank as the two most turnover prone players in this group. Along with Dwight Powell, both of those players shouldered considerable shot creating responsibilities, Saric from all over the floor, Powell from isolation and post-up situations, and O'Bryant mostly from the low block.

Julius Randle and Noah Vonleh round out the top-5, as their youth showed at times. Randle could cut down on his turnovers by default if he improves his right hand to prevent teams from packing the paint waiting for him to go left. Vonleh and 6th ranked Rasmus Larsen both turn the ball over at a high rate but seldom find a teammate for an assist, which is somewhat concerning.

Nikola Jokic turns the ball over at a fairly low rate given his assist numbers, and is the only player in this group close to posting a positive pure point rating, a statistic that combines the prior two categories combined and then adjusts for the significant negative value of the turnover.

Aaron Gordon was among the least turnover prone players in this group, as he does a nice job taking care of the ball in the half court, seldom trying to do too much. Joonas Caven is the least turnover prone player here, which is no surprise given he's more likely to take a catch and shoot three than try and put the ball on the floor and create in the lane. Khem Birch and Cory Jefferson are low-mistake players who know their roles, while James McAdoo shares Gordon's focus an decisiveness with the ball in his hands.

Player Efficiency Rating
Cameron BairstowNew MexicoNCAA29.4
Khem BirchUNLVNCAA26.7
Shayne WhittingtonWestern MichiganNCAA25.6
Adreian PayneMichigan StateNCAA25.6
Julius RandleKentuckyNCAA25
Clint CapelaChalonECUP, FRANCE24.5
Cory JeffersonBaylorNCAA23.6
Noah VonlehIndianaNCAA22.8
Dario SaricCibona ZagrebECUP, ADR, CROATIA22.5
Juvonte ReddicVCUNCAA22
Mike MoserOregonNCAA22
Nikola JokicMega VizuraADR, SERBIA21.2
Aaron GordonArizonaNCAA20.8
James McAdooNorth CarolinaNCAA20.6
Dwight PowellStanfordNCAA20.1
Joonas CavenPratLEB SILVER19.3
Johnny O'BryantLSUNCAA19
Eric MorelandOregon StateNCAA18.1
Akil MitchellVirginiaNCAA17.6
Kristaps PorzingisSevillaACB17.3
Maximilian KleberWuerzburgGERMANY16
Rasmus LarsenManresaACB9.3

Created by John Hollinger, PER is a total measure of what a player does on the floor based on more than a dozen weighted calculations. It isn't always wise to compare players across different leagues given how different the style of play is internationally and at the college level. The NCAA is especially tricky considering the varying levels of competition we find in the different conferences. As maligned as the countless catch-all statistics out there are, PER specifically provides an interesting glimpse into how all of the statistics we've looked at thus far piece together.

Cameron Bairstow and Adreian Payne land in the top-5 thanks to their prolific scoring ability, while Khem Birch lands the 2nd spot due to his outstanding offensive rebounding and shot blocking numbers. Shayne Whittington is the surprise of the top-5. While he isn't outstanding in any one area, he's solid across the board, never appearing in the bottom-5 of any metric we've covered.

Julius Randle rounds out the top-5 despite his lack of great defensive numbers with Clint Capela, Noah Vonleh, and Dario Saric don't fall too far behind.

Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon finish just below average among their peers, but still well above the built in average of 15. Jokic's placement here is highly misleading since he actually finished in the top-10 in the Adriatic league in this category among players seeing more than 20 minutes per game. It makes little sense to compare players from different leagues in this stat, as we discover here.

Akil Mitchell and Eric Moreland are the low men among college players due almost exclusively to their lack of scoring production. Rasmus Larsen is the only player posting a mark below 15, which is not a shock given he's one of the least experienced players in Europe seeing minutes at a level of competition as high as the ACB. Kristaps Porzingis and Maximilian Kleber give the bottom-3 a distinct European feel, as none of the young players were charged with a role that lends itself to success in this statistic. Kleber and especially Porzingis having above average (read=PER above 15) is much more impressive than a college player (with 350+ NCAA teams) doing the same, which reminds us again of the limitations of comparing players across different leagues.

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