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2011 Draft Board, pt iii

It's time once again for Wolves fans to bury their noses in what really matters: the draft.  Before I put up the latest draft board update, let's take a quick look-see at the last list:

  1. Kemba Walker PG UConn 43.0255946843854
  2. Derrick Williams PF Arizona 38.6137479261269
  3. Kyrie Irving PG Duke 37.4715615758874
  4. Jared Sullinger PF OSU 37.3929952890247
  5. Demetri McCamey PG Illinois 35.3351535677768
  6. Alec Burks SG/SF Colorado 34.7312605168383
  7. Jordan Hamilton SF Texas 33.9128890196843
  8. Nolan Smith Combo Guard Duke 33.7156540913888
  9. Marcus Morris PF Kansas 33.6063649222065
  10. Markeiff Morris PF Kansas 33.2354296221378
  11. David Lighty SG OSU 31.3851153042638
  12. Kawhi Leonard Combo Forward San Diego State 30.497142452241
  13. Joshua Smith PF/C UCLA 29.8792681096681
  14. Terrence Jones Combo Forward Kentucky 29.6836390415071
  15. Blake Hoffarber SG Minnesota 28.7896681873428
  16. Keith Benson C Oakland 28.4514970014791
  17. Deshaun Thomas SF OSU 28.2982662100232
  18. Cris Singleton PF Florida State 28.2378700159472
  19. Trey Thompkins PF Georgia 27.8135254636046
  20. Tobias Harris Combo Forward Tennessee 26.3865809303536
  21. Travis Leslie Combo Forward Georgia 26.3521380468282
  22. Trevor Mbwake PF Minnesota 26.1247190966477
  23. Tyler Zeller C North Carolina 26.0747762456226
  24. Jeff Taylor SF Vanderbilt 26.0688777937191
  25. Josh Selby Combo Guard Kansas 25.6164965032253
  26. Elias Harris SF Gonzaga 25.2398976833977
  27. Aaric Murray C La Salle 25.2331324253839
  28. Kalin Lucas PG MSU 24.3035371226524
  29. Kyle Singer SF Duke 23.8549973717039
  30. Brandon Knight Combo Guard Kentucky 22.3521841432225
  31. Chandler Parsons SF Florida 22.2191709317291
  32. Tyler Honeycutt Combo Forward UCLA 22.0171482466272
  33. Perry Jones PF Baylor 21.8049801238951
  34. Scotty Hopson SG/SF Tennessee 21.2731070179534
  35. Malcolm Lee Combo Guard UCLA 20.6417233774503
  36. Harrison Barnes SG/SF North Carolina 20.5205418105359
  37. CJ Leslie Combo Forward NC State 20.4703013708514
  38. John Henson PF North Carolina 20.2657887296043
  39. Rodney Williams SF Minnesota 19.2199462542987
  40. Mason Plumlee PF Duke 18.999841160523
  41. Durrell Summers SG MSU 18.2974629817337
  42. Patric Young PF/C Florida 16.0094124488824


Below the fold we'll take a look at the updated list and make a few notes about players to keep an eye on. 

First, the Hoopus Score is an ongoing attempt to provide a general efficiency-based score to rank how well I think players will be able to replicate their college success in the pros.  It is simply a single tool in the toolbox of how I like to evaluate the professional prospects of college players.  It is not an attempt at a be-all/end-all system.  I have tinkered with it over the years to focus on numbers that I believe are strong indicators of future pro success.  I use a series of per-possession numbers that are weighted for things like position (point, wing, big), usage, and percentage of team minutes.  I'm looking for players who make the most of their time on the court while having correctable negatives.  Above all, I am searching for "most likely" instead of "most potential".  

The raw Hoopus Score is then weighted for things like age, strength of schedule, long stretches of dominant play, and incremental improvement. We'll add those things in a future post after we have a complete idea of who is in and who is out of the draft.  

Here are the raw scores for the 2011 Draft:

  1. Kyrie Irving, PG Duke- 46.720
  2. Norris Cole, PG Cleveland State- 38.769
  3. Kemba Walker, PG UConn- 36.583
  4. Alec Burks, wing Colorado- 35.020
  5. Marcus Morris, big Kansas- 33.967
  6. Darius Morris, PG Michigan- 33.883
  7. Tu Holloway, PG Xavier- 33.089
  8. Jimmer Fredette, PG BYU- 32.787
  9. Nikola Vucavic, big USC- 32.787
  10. Travis Leslie, wing Georgia- 31.684
  11. Derrick Williams, big Arizona- 31.454
  12. Nolan Smith, PG Duke- 31.208
  13. Jared Sullinger, big OSU- 31.086
  14. David Lighty, wing OSU- 30.520
  15. Markeiff Morris, big Kansas- 29.677
  16. Thomas Robinson, big Kansas- 29.196
  17. Jon Diebler, wing OSU- 29.024
  18. Robert Sacre, big Gonzaga- 28.954
  19. Tristan Thompson, big Texas- 28.928
  20. Marshon Brooks, wing Providence- 28.897
  21. Demetri McCamey, PG Illinois- 28.670
  22. Tobias Harris, big Tennessee- 28.288
  23. Josh Smith, big UCLA- 27.622
  24. Kawhi Leonard, big San Diego State- 27.563
  25. Keith Benson, big Oakland- 26.941
  26. Jordan Hamilton, wing Texas 26.586
  27. Deshaun Thomas, wing OSU- 26.572
  28. Jeff Taylor, wing Vanderbilt- 26.153
  29. Justin Harper, big Richmond- 26.094
  30. Chandler Parsons, wing Florida- 25.954
  31. Terrence Jones, big Kentucky- 25.910
  32. Tyler Zeller, big UNC- 25.909
  33. Ashton Gibbs, PG Pitt- 25.832
  34. Austin Freeman, wing 25.656
  35. Kalin Lucas, PG MSU- 25.341
  36. Aaric Murray, big La Salle- 25.104
  37. Kennety Faried, big Moorhead State- 24.520
  38. Elias Harris, wing Gonzaga- 24.360
  39. Trey Thompkins, big Georgia- 24.360
  40. Chris Singleton, big FSU- 24.119
  41. Brandon Knight, PG Kentucky- 23.679
  42. Reeves Nelson, big UCLA- 23.633
  43. Perry Jones, big Baylor- 23.159
  44. Malcom Lee, wing UCLA- 22.424
  45. Kyle Singler- wing Duke- 22.327
  46. CJ Leslie, big NC State- 21.481
  47. Gary McGhee, big Pitt- 20.718
  48. Harrison Barnes, wing UNC- 20.254
  49. Tyler Honeycutt, wing UCLA- 19.747
  50. Scotty Hopson, wing Tenn- 19.744
  51. John Henson, big UNC- 19.447
  52. Josh Selby, wing- 19.067
  53. Patric Young, big Florida- 18.540
  54. Durrell Summers, wing MSU- 14.901
If there is anyone else I'm missing let me know in the comments and I'll add them to the list.  A few random notes about the scores:
  1. Kyrie Irving (+9.24), Travis Leslie (+5.33), Alec Burks (4.33), Brandon Knight (2.44), Nolan Smith (1.86), and Harrison Barnes (0.878) were the only players to increase their scores from the start of the season to the end. 
  2. Biggest drops: Kemba Walker (-11.54), Demetri McCamey (-7.488), Derrick Williams (-7.44), Jordan Hamilton (-7.32), and Josh Smith (-6.80).  What is really interesting about this list is that there are two ways to look at it: first, they tailed off in spectacular fashion; second: they performed as well as Leslie and Burks did late, early.  It will take a few more years of data, but from a quick look at the 3 years of numbers I have for the Hoopus Score, precipitous drops seem to be, more often than not, related to very good players.  I think the bottom line here is something I call the Rose Rule: look for dominant play that lasts at least 1/3 of the season.  Big drops are examples of players who had their Rose Rule time early on.  This is as close as I get to advocating for "potential".  If you want players with a high "ceiling" you should be looking for examples of extended high-level play in college.  Guys like Harrison Barnes and Perry Jones were remarkably stagnant throughout the year...and yes, this includes what most people think to be a stretch of above average play from Barnes that simply did not show itself anywhere in his per-possession averages.  If anything, you can tie his slightly better play to having a competent point guard.  
  3. Top 5 offensive ratings: Diebler, Irving, Gibbs, Williams, Marcus Morris.  
  4. Best overall productivity to team minutes ratios: Diebler, Parsons, Lee, Lighty, Young, Perry Jones (his best showing)
  5. Best shooters for their position: Diebler (wing), Williams (big), Irving (PG).  BTW, are you beginning to see why this is a 1 man draft? 
  6. Best with the ball award: Cole, D. Morris, Walker, Vucavic, Fredette, Burks
  7. Rebound monsters: D. Thomas (wing), Smith (big), Walker (PG)
  8. Free throw masters: Williams (big), Holloway (PG), Burks (wing)
  9. Off the ball production: John Henson (big), Brooks (wing), Irving (PG)
Kyrie Irving is really, really good at basketball.  He is the clear top pick in this draft and would be a complete deliverance to this franchise.  No matter what you think about Kurt Rambis or David Kahn, if there is one thing we have learned from Kevin Love, it is that talent matters more than bad coaching or terrible general managing. Irving would immediately plug up one of the Wolves'worst positions with a massively competent and efficient player. 

I haven't developed the score to be useful across multiple seasons (due to each college season featuring different averages for pace of play, strength of schedule, etc), but I think it is somewhat instructive to view the difference between the top players in any single year and their immediate competition.  In this sense, Irving is a much clearer top prospect than anyone in last year's draft.  My sense is that he is a far superior talent than John Wall.  

Short of Irving, the Wolves could certainly do a lot worse than Kemba Walker.  If you are of the opinion that the team absolutely needs to walk away with a starting point guard (and if you can wipe out the memory of the 2009 Draft), Walker is the clear #2 pick in this draft.  Speed, rebounding, good with the ball, and relatively efficient scoring.  Everything David Kahn thought he saw in Jonny Flynn actually exists in Kemba Walker.  If the Wolves Have the 3rd or 4th pick, I'm fairly certain Walker will be on the board and it will be very interesting to see if Kahn has the balls to pull the trigger on a player like Walker.  

Derrick Williams is a very good player.  He is also another iteration of Mike Beasley.  I'm not sure how you square the circle by drafting him with B-Easy still on the roster.  Combo forwards who might be better at the 4 are not exactly needed on this roster right now. That being said, he's damn good. 

Brandon Knight is in no-man's land.   He almost played at a high level for a Rose Rule period of time but....well, there's just something kind of wrong there.  

Josh Selby is the one player I'm not sure is accurately reflected by the stat sheet.  I think he's a lot better than what was shown during the season. He has a very short period of very good play.  Not quite Rose Rule long, but I can't shake the idea that he's much, much better than his score.  

If I had to put money down on who I thought the Wolves would end up picking (with the 3rd or 4th pick, of course), and if it wasn't going to be a Euro player I've never seen, I'm going with Alec Burks.  They could definitely do worse.  Perry Jones worse. 

Well folks, that about does it for the raw score post.  I'll update the list as soon as we find out who is definitely in or out.  

Until later.