Power Forward Statistics Against Top-100 RPI Teams

This is the final installment in my series of posts examining how draft prospects performed against top-100 RPI teams. (PGs here; SGs here; SFs here; Cs here.) Power forward is regarded as the strongest position in the draft, with Anthony Davis leading the group. He's the best prospect in the draft by far, which is reinforced by what I present below. We'll see how the others look after the jump.

As usual, I'll start things off with a table summarizing the MDSD (explained here) and WS48 scores across all games for each player. I've included some players who I showed at other positions as well (P. Jones and T. Jones at SF; Moultrie and Nicholson at C). Davis has scores that are about as high as you'll ever see on both metrics. A lot of other players look good as well. Perry Jones is not a good player. This will be a recurring theme.

Player Class Team MDSD WS48
Davis Fr Kentucky 10.62 0.442
Robinson Jr Kansas 4.91 0.290
Sullinger So Ohio State 5.10 0.398
P. Jones So Baylor 1.28 0.175
T. Jones So Kentucky 3.89 0.267
Henson Jr North Carolina 4.18 0.311
White So Iowa State 6.20 0.215
Moultrie Jr Mississippi St 1.89 0.237
K. Jones Sr West Virginia 3.07 0.281
Scott Sr Virginia 3.45 0.380
Nicholson Sr St. Bonaventure 4.96 0.359
Gordon Sr New Mexico 4.59 0.334
Green Sr Michigan State 6.96 0.293

On to the statistics against top-100 teams. Ed Weiland's criteria for PFs (described here) are as follows:

1. Two-point field goal percentage above 0.570 (2PT%);

2. Scores at least 18 points per 40 minutes (P40);

3. Gets at least 10 rebounds per 40 minutes. Closer to 12 is better. (R40);

4. Combined steals + blocks per 40 minutes of at least 3.5 (SB40); and

5. Assist to turnover ratio of at least 0.40 (A/TO).

To the table! "MIN" is the number of minutes played against top-100 teams; "Avg Rank" is the average RPI rank of the player's top-100 opponents; and "# Criteria" is the number of Weiland's five criteria that the player meets.

Player Team MIN Avg Rank TS% P40 2PT% R40 SB40 A/TO # Criteria
Davis Kentucky 771 37.3 0.644 17.2 0.623 12.2 6.95 1.19 4
Robinson Kansas 767 25.8 0.529 21.6 0.483 14.1 2.14 0.48 3
Sullinger Ohio State 829 36.5 0.566 21.2 0.491 11.0 2.65 0.73 3
P. Jones Baylor 694 35.3 0.517 16.5 0.473 9.4 1.73 0.76 1
T. Jones Kentucky 673 35.5 0.528 15.6 0.522 9.8 4.28 0.71 2
Henson North Carolina 574 30.6 0.477 15.6 0.464 12.6 4.32 0.76 3
White Iowa State 544 31.6 0.550 20.1 0.553 11.7 2.79 1.08 3
Moultrie Mississippi St 560 51.5 0.595 17.6 0.550 11.5 1.79 0.31 1
K. Jones West Virginia 824 42.9 0.578 19.8 0.575 10.4 1.41 1.08 4
Scott Virginia 445 37.9 0.580 22.4 0.524 10.5 1.62 0.48 3
Nicholson St. Bonaventure 511 61.8 0.639 25.8 0.568 10.3 3.99 0.28 3
Gordon New Mexico 482 36.9 0.587 18.8 0.542 15.2 2.49 0.82 3
Green Michigan State 836 35.2 0.533 18.4 0.438 12.5 2.92 1.14 3

Davis looks great, despite the fact that he comes up just short of the P40 criterion. (He meets it across all games.) Digging deeper for him, I found that his stats hold up against top-20 teams as well (against which he played 11 games, which is kind of a lot). He's the real deal and an easy first overall pick to make.

There's a really big drop-off after Davis. As I've commented elsewhere, this is not a good draft to have the second through tenth (or so) pick. Robinson is a very good rebounder, but his 2PT% is not good against top-100 teams (it wasn't that great against over-100 teams, either, at 0.544). People's worst fears about Sullinger (i.e., being undersized) seem to be borne out by looking at how his performance changes as the competition improves. His 2PT% is 0.634 against over-100 teams, but 0.491 against top-100 teams and 0.460 against top-20 teams (like Davis, he played 11 games against top-20 teams). His rebounding also takes a big hit, dropping from 15.2 R40 against over-100 teams to 11.0 R40 against top-100 teams. I'd do a lot of homework before spending a high pick on him.

Perry Jones is terrible. He only hit one benchmark (A/TO), and all but two of the players met that criterion. Terrence Jones doesn't look so good here, either, excelling only at steals + blocks. Henson doesn't look good on the scoring metrics, but he does well on rebounding and steals + blocks. Royce White is close to average at most metrics, excelling only on A/TO (which makes sense, given his reputation as a playmaker). Moultrie doesn't look like anything special here.

Draymond Green is another player who saw a big decline in his 2PT% as the competition improved. He shot 0.545 against over-100 teams but only 0.438 against top-100 teams. His non-scoring stats held up better. It's a similar story for Mike Scott in terms of drop-off, but his 2PT% were much better than Green's overall (0.624 against over-100; 0.524 against top-100). He doesn't look like much on the non-scoring metrics, though.

Kevin Jones does a good job of hitting the benchmarks, but he doesn't really excel at anything except 2PT%. Still, he could provide good value given his draft stock. Nicholson looks good at PF (as he did at center), despite mediocre rebounding and an atrocious A/TO.

Drew Gordon is the pleasant surprise of the group. He comes in close to average (for the group) at everything except rebounding, at which he absolutely dominates (except Robinson) with over 15 rebounds per 40 minutes. Most of his numbers against top-100 teams are better than they are against over-100 teams. He didn't play the strongest schedule in the world, but he did have 14 rebounds (9 offensive) and 21 points (TS%=0.610) against Louisville, which was a very good defensive team.

To conclude, the Hornets are in a great position. The next few teams, not so much. And there are a few players in the late first or second rounds who could be pretty good.