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2012 Initial Draft Board

Ok folks, with the Jazz looking like they could be a playoff threat and their protected first round pick being in play, I thought I’d roll out the ol’ draft board for another spin.

We’ll take a look at the initial rankings below the fold.

For those of you who haven’t seen one of our draft boards before, you can click on past Final Boards in the Hoopus Features tab in the left sidebar.

The Hoopus Score has evolved over the years but the basic thought behind the ranking system is that a two-part score based on net production and efficiency is the best way to create a bar upon which college production can be measured against potential pro success.

The score gives us three ways to look at a player. First, I measure raw production and weigh it against age and fit. Here is what I measure (all in pace-adjusted per 40 min stats from Draft Express):

=((pts + reb + ast + blocks + steals)-((fta - ftm)- to))/games)/ (weighted age) + (weighted position)/4

I weigh age on a sliding 20 point scale that takes into account the player’s age and class. For instance, a 18 year old freshman gets a score of 20 while a 19 year old freshman gets a 17.5.

"Fit" is also measured on a 20 point scale and it is based on 2 main concepts: Does a player have a NBA position and can he recreate his role? This is the Evan Turner rule. 6’7" guys with massive usg% are amazing in college, but what will a 6’7" wing player with a so-so NBA handle and no outside shooting do in the pros? This is one of the areas where, I believe, lots of pro projections get lost in the mix. You can be the best so-and-so in the world, but if you can’t do such-and-such in the pros....well, you get the picture.

I make a number of assumptions about what correlates with a solid transfer of production from college to the pros. I assume that the best players get to the NBA as quickly as possible and that is why I give a lot of stock to 18 year olds putting up good raw numbers. I assume that it is possible for an especially physically gifted player to beast on college kids on bad teams or in bad conferences so I give a lot of stock to position and role.

I also assume that there is something of an unquantified bonus to "doing s**t". I know that each individual statistic correlates to NBA success at different rates, but I think that one of the best indicators of pro basketball success is a simple question of how much a player does while on the court, not just score. "Doing s**t" suggests a high BBIQ and movement. It suggests drive and effort and coachability, and I believe it does so on a level that is much more reliable than the good ol’ eye test or post-workout dinner at Manny’s. This is one area where I think the wrong question is being asked of the data. Instead of looking for correlation of individual stats, I think the key is to look for the correct relationship between overall activity on the court and to then weigh it against efficiency, which is the 2nd part of the Hoopus Score.

The efficiency score isn’t that much different from the raw score except that I use per possession stats from Kenpom and weigh for position (i.e. bigs’ rebounds aren’t worth as much as guard ones, and so on and so forth). This is the 2nd way to look at a player with the score. How efficiently do they do their job and how much are they called upon by their team to do it?

The 3rd way of using the score to look at a player is to add both scores together and to look for red flags like a 7 footer with a very low block% or a point guard who turns the ball over on more than a quarter of his possessions.

I think that’s about it. Oh, one more thing: I am of the firm belief that all high-level basketball is on its way to a three position game, with lead guards, wings, and bigs being the three positions on the court. The ½ and ⅔ and ⅘ have become so blended that I figured players should start to be judged as such.

Anywho....let’s get to the scores. We’ll start with the raw scores.

Top 10 raw bigs:

1- Thomas Robinson, Kansas (51.65)
2- Tony Mitchell, North Texas (51.55)
3- Doug McDermott, Creighton (50.77)
4- Jared Sullinger, OSU (50.675)
5- Mike Scott, Virginia (49.95)
6- Mike Moser, UNLV (49.125)
7- Anthony Davis, Kentucky (48.7)
8- Herb Pope, Seton Hall (47.725)
9- Royce White, ISU (47.725)
10- Draymond Green, MSU (46.275)

Top 10 raw lead guards:

1- Damien Lillard, Weber State (51.15)
2- J’Covan Brown, Texas (41.25)
3- Scott Machado, Iona (41)
4- Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas (40.325)
5- Tu Holloway, Xavier (37.775)
6- Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin (37.075)
7- Kendall Marshall, UNC (33.75)
8- Myck Kabongo, Texas (29.85)
9- uhhhhhh...this is a terrible year for lead guards. That’s pretty much it.

Top 10 raw wings:

1- Tony Wroten, Washington (45.03)
2- Dion Waiters, Syracuse (44)
3- Will Barton, Memphis (43.8)
4- Harrison Barnes, UNC (43.8)
5- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky (43.2)
6- Quincy Miller, Baylor (42.975)
7- Branden Dawson, MSU (41.5)
8- Marcus Denmon, Missouri (41.2)
9- Orlando Johnson, UCSB (41.175)
10- Jeremy Lamb, UCONN (41.175)

Here are the top 10 Hoopus Score bigs:

1- John Shurna, Northwestern (39.6)
2- Royce White, ISU (38.1)
3- Mike Scott, Virginia (37.3)
4- Tony Mitchell, North Texas (33.1)
5- Rodney Williams, Minnesota (32.7)
6- Anthony Davis, Kentucky (32.44)
7- Draymond Green, MSU (31.6)
8- Mason Plumlee, Duke (31.57)
9- Cody Zeller, Indiana (30.77)
10- Patric Young, Florida (30.03)

Top 10 Hoopus Score lead guards:

1- Damian Lillard, Weber State (40.92)
2- Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin (34.56)
3- Scott Machado, Iona (32.72)
4- Tu Holloway, Xavier (32.10)
5- J’Covan Brown, Texas (30.37)
6- Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas (27.69)
7- Myck Kabongo, Texas (27.55)
8- Kendall Marshall, UNC (24.14)
9- Yeah....about this lead guard class

OK, on to the combined top 10s. Here are the bigs:

1- Mike Scott, Virginia
2- Royce White, ISU
3- Tony Mitchell, North Texas
4- John Shurna, Northwestern
5- Thomas Robinson, Kansas
6- Anthony Davis, Kentucky
7- Jared Sullinger, OSU
8- Draymond Green, MSU
9- Doug McDermott, Creighton
10- Mike Moser, UNLV

Lead Guards:

1- Damian Lilliard, Weber State
2- Scott Machado, Iona
3- Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin
4- J’Covan Brown, Texas
5- Tu Holloway, Xavier
6- Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas
7- Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
8- Myck Kabongo, Texas
9- ummmmm....


1- Dion Waiters, Syracuse
2- Marcus Denmon, Missouri
3- Will Barton, Memphis
4- Tony Wroten, Washington
5- Orlando Johnson, UCSB
6- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
7- Quincy Miller, Baylor
8- Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette
9- Jeff Taylor, Vanderbilt
10- Harrison Barnes, UNC

OK, a few things before we move on. Please remember what questions we’re hoping to answer with this score. We’re not trying to say who is the best player. We’re trying to figure out which players can do what they did in the pros. There is no way on god’s green earth that John Shurna is better than Anthony Davis. What there is is a possibility that John Shurna can be a decent bench player who can pass the ball well and make some spot up shots in the pros. Again, this is just a different way of looking at players (players we can’t possibly see every minute of action of, btw) in a way that gives us a way of replacing (and hopefully beating) the eye test. Think of it like NBA Braille.

Now that we have that taken care of, let’s look for some red flags and/or points of interest. We’ll start by taking a look at who does a bunch of stuff off the ball.

Top 10 blocks %+ steals%

1- John Henson, 12.5
2- Andre Drummond, 11.2
3- Festus Ezeli, 10.9
4- Bernard James, 10.9
5- Tony Mitchell, 10.8
6- CJ Leslie, 9.4
7- Terrence Jones, 9.2
8- Rodney Williams, 8.8
9- Meyers Leonard, 8.8
10- Herb Pope, 8.4

The first wing to make an appearance on the list is Branden Dawson, with 8.3. Dion Waiters also comes in above 7 with a 7.9 score. After that, you have to go allllllll the way down to Michael Kidd Gilchrist with 5.9 to see a wing put up a lot of blocks and steals.

As for bigs, this is where you start to worry about guys like Perry Jones (4.4), Patric Young (5.4), and Mike Scott (3), who is near the top of our score board. Ditto for Doug McDermott, who is the lowest rated player (not just big) in this category, with an astounding .4 score in this category. If you want to draft Doug McDermott to shoot the ball and not do a lot else, have at it. If you want to draft Doug McDermott to be a big time rotation player, well....this is a gigantic red flag.

Now let’s take a look at offensive rebounding. I give extra credit to guards and wings on the offensive boards. In order to keep the score somewhat balanced, wings get their oreb% multiplied by 1.4 while the lead guards get doubled. Here are the top 10 offensive rebounders:

1- Branden Dawson, 19.32
2- Tyler Zeller, 15.8
3- Andre Drummond, 14.8
4- Ricardo Ratliffe, 14.4
5- Andre Roberson, 14.3
6- Michael Kidd Gilchrist, 14.14
7- Bernard James, 14
8- Arnett Moultrie, 13.7
9- Kevin Jones, 13.6
10- Herb Pope, 13

Other wings that made the 10+ mark: Jeff Taylor (12.6), Will Barton (12.32), Quincy Miller (11.48), and....ok, I’ll give Harrison Barnes an honorary spot with (9.94).

Sub 10 bigs of note: Perry Jones (9.9--seriously, do not draft this guy), John Henson (9.6), John Shurna (5.3), and Rodney Williams (8.5).

The best rebounding lead guard is Scott Machado of Iona. Have I mentioned that this isn’t the draft you want to use to look at lead guards? I think you can make a very good case that not a single lead guard should go in the first round.

OK, now let’s take a look at who can put the rock in the hole. Here are the top 10 efg performers:

1- Ricardo Ratliffe, 75.1!
2- Tony Mitchell, 70.2
3- Doug McDermott, 68.1 (40-77 on 3s---this is D-Will territory)
4- Cody Zeller, 65.2
5- Patric Young, 63.3
6- John Jenkins, 62.4 (82-186 on 3s and 56-101 from 2)
7- Mason Plumlee, 61.8
8- Rodney Williams, 60.8
9- Jared Sullinger, 60.7
10- Hollis Thompson, 60.6

Other players of note: Jeff Taylor has finally learned how to hit the 3 (.463) and is +11 with 60.1. Jordan Taylor, Tu Holloway, Myck Kabongo, J’Covan Brown, and Kendall Marshall are all shooting an efg below 50%. So is Herb Pope (49.3). James McAdoo has an efg of...wait for it...39.8%. He is a 6-9 power forward. Run away.

One thing I like to keep track of is finding guys who play a large chunk of their team’s minutes without using a lot of possessions. If these guys also happen to "do s**t", then we bump them up the list. Here are the top performers who had a high ratio of % min/%poss:

1- Kendall Marshall, 4.98
2- Elijah Johnson, 4.5
3- Anthony Davis, 4.1
4- Rodney Williams, 4.1
5- Doron Lamb, 4.1
6- Jeremy Lamb, 4.0
7- Kevin Jones, 3.95
8- Hollis Thompson, 3.75
9- Bradley Beal, 3.75
10- Scott Machado, 3.71

OK, this is where you should start to get geeked about Anthony Davis. He has a top 10 raw score, Hoopus Score, he does stuff off the ball (7.3 blocks/steals, 12.1 oreb), he shoots well (65% efg), and I have a fairly decent feeling that he will be able to do what he is doing in Kentucky in the pros. Another thing that makes me very optimistic about Davis is that he was a 6’1" guard before experiencing a huge growth spurt in HS. He isn’t the type of guy who was able to beast on opponents because of his size and size alone. He actually had to develop some skills as a HS guard before becoming...well, huge.

Let’s start to put all of this together. Here’s how I’m breaking things down by position.


1A- Anthony Davis
1B- Thomas Robinson
3- Jared Sullinger
4- Royce White
5- Tony Mitchell
6- Mike Moser
7- Draymond Green
8- Tyler Zeller
9- John Henson
10- Mike Scott

Bigs to keep an eye on: Mike Scott, Doug McDermott, JaMychal Green, Herb Pope, Ricardo Ratliffe, Mason Plumlee, and Arnett Moultrie.

Bigs to be weary of: Perry Jones, Patric Young, Kevin Jones, Andre Drummond, Alex Oriakhi, James McAdoo, Festus Ezeli, Cody Zeller and Terrence Jones


1- Quincy Miller
2- Will Barton
3- Michael Kidd Gilchrist
4- Tony Wroten
5- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
6- Marcus Denmon
7- Jeremy Lamb
8- Jeffery Taylor
9- Harrison Barnes
10- Orlando Johnson

Wings to keep an eye on: Doron Lamb, Terrence Ross, Hollis Thompson, Kris Joseph, Branden Dawson, and Darius Johnson-Odom.

Wings to be weary of: Adonis Thomas, Austin Rivers, CJ Wilcox, LeBryan Nash, Bradley Beal, and John Jenkins.

Lead guards: Do not draft a lead guard in the first round of this draft. We’ll just cut these guys out altogether as the Wolves clearly don’t need a PG.

Soooooooo...where does this leave us?

If all of these guys come out this year, and if the Wolves can get the Utah pick, they should have a crack at a decent player, probably somewhere in between Ty Lawson and James Anderson (for those of you keeping track with "should have" teen picks in the past few years).

Maybe someone like Will Barton, KCP, or Jeremy Lamb will slip down. The Wolves don’t need a lead guard and they probably won’t have a crack at one of the top bigs, so we’ll probably either be looking at them drafting the best available wing or, if my worst current fear about the draft comes true, the most long and athletic looking big man on the board.

We’ll see what happens and I’ll update the board at the end of the year.

Is there anyone you think I need to add to the list?

What say you?