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Small Forward Statistics Against Top-100 RPI Teams

I thought it might be useful to extend my top-100 RPI analysis to other positions. Today it's small forwards. (You can read my review of shooting guards here, which also has links to the data sources.) I'll continue to reference benchmarks established by Ed Weiland, augmented by other measures.

Weiland described some SF benchmarks during his preview of last year's draft here. He notes that "SF is the most difficult position to assess by far", largely because the role can vary. Here are his benchmarks:

1. Score at least 18 points per 40 minutes (P40);

2. Have an eFG% of at least 50 percent;

3. Rebounding "doesn't hurt" (REB40);

4. Combined assists, steals, and blocks per 40 minutes of at least 5.0 (ASB40); and

5. Assists to turnover ratio of at least 0.5 (A/TO).

I present these statistics in the table below, all calculated using only games against top-100 RPI teams. In addition, I show the MDSD (explained here) and WS48 scores (calculated over all games). "MIN" is the minutes played against top-100 teams, and "Avg Rank" is the average ranking of the top-100 opponents. "# Criteria" is the number of Weiland's criteria the player meets, using 9 REB40 as the threshold for the rebounding criterion.

Some players are tough to peg in terms of position. I've included Terrence Jones and Perry Jones III because there's a chance they'll play SF, though they're also listed as PF prospects.

Player Team Class MIN Avg Rank TS% P40 eFG% REB40 ASB40 A/TO # Criteria MDSD WS48
Crowder Marquette Sr 735 40.1 0.579 20.2 0.530 10.0 6.4 1.59 5 8.19 0.337
T. Jones Kentucky So 673 35.5 0.528 15.6 0.502 9.8 5.8 0.71 4 3.89 0.267
MKG Kentucky Fr 744 37.3 0.589 15.4 0.521 10.3 4.1 0.86 3 1.36 0.243
Taylor Vanderbilt Sr 770 47.2 0.599 20.3 0.583 7.1 4.1 0.78 3 1.92 0.216
Q. Miller Baylor Fr 551 34.9 0.561 17.6 0.508 7.0 4.3 0.65 2 0.74 0.175
Barnes UNC So 624 30.6 0.499 21.4 0.449 6.5 2.6 0.50 2 -0.66 0.207
Harkless St. John's Fr 638 41.8 0.541 18.6 0.496 9.5 3.8 0.44 2 2.12 0.137
D. Miller Kentucky Sr 607 37.3 0.561 14.0 0.520 3.7 4.3 1.06 2 0.10 0.212
P. Jones Baylor So 694 35.3 0.517 16.5 0.486 9.4 3.4 0.76 2 1.28 0.175

This is a pretty sorry bunch. Teams basically must pick from a group of young, relatively unproductive players who look the part or Jae Crowder. Taylor doesn't look terrible, but he's not much good outside of the scoring metrics. Barnes is hugely overrated, combining inefficient scoring with little activity off the ball. Terrence Jones looks OK, but he's probably more of a power forward. For all of the talk of Kidd-Gilchrist being a great role player, his ASB40 is pretty low.

TimAllen can make his own case for Quincy Miller. Here's my best shot at it: first, Miller is a freshman, so he shouldn't be expected to perform as well as Crowder. Miller performed above or close to most of the thresholds, so he's shown a little bit on the court. Second, he's been recovering from a knee injury. If it affected his performance AND he gets better (despite a reported aversion to rehabbing), he can be expected to exceed his numbers shown here. That's my attempt to stick up for him. That said, I wouldn't touch him.

Crowder measured out at 6'3.75" (without shoes) and he played PF at Marquette. He is not an obvious savior at SF. Even so, he looks like the only SF who will provide decent value in the draft (especially since DX has him going 17 picks later than Taylor).

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