Projecting College Players Based on Activity

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Projecting College Players Based on Activity

Postby Raz » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:42 pm

Hi all,

This is my first post here at APBR. Ray. thanks for welcoming me in!

I was having an argument with Celtics fans on RealGM about JaJuan Johnson's potential, and his outlook as an NBA player. They all seemed to think he is destined for greatness (watch that change now that he's a Rocket), and I started looking into college numbers for successful bigs that were similar in physique and skill-set to Johnson. The trend I noticed was that players that became starters to stars all seemed to register statistics all over the court at the college level. I always remember reading scouts say that a high turnover rate isn't always a bad thing for a guard in college - however, I don't think forwards and centers should be registering high turnover rates - that's a sign you probably have hands like Joel Anthony. However if you're fouling a lot, that shows that you're either active, or lazy. Defensive fundamentals can be taught - look at a foul magnet in college like Greg Stiemsma, he managed to average more minutes per game in his first NBA season than he ever did in college.

Anyway, some positive stats I found that seemed to relate very well to NBA success as a bigman were:
-FTA
-Blocks
-Steals
-OREB
-DREB
-Fouls
I then took the liberty of averaging these stats over 36 minutes, and added them together. For a player playing less than 20 minutes per game, I probably wouldn't average his stats over 36 minutes, or maybe he would get an asterisk beside his per/36 stats.

A players situation also needs to be taken into consideration as well: strength of teammates, team winning percentage, role, strength of opponent, age etc.

What I found was that if a player doesn't hustle at the college level, they won't at the NBA. If they don't have an elite skill (man to man defense, shooting, rebounding) then they won't be long-term NBA players. JaJuan Johnson was compared to Marcus Camby, a LOT. Camby was a hustler, as well as being a star in college. He didn't have any elite scoring skills to transfer over to the NBA, and he never made significant improvements offensively, however, he did keep hustling at the NBA level, and his shot-blocking and rebounding skills were directly transferable. Johnson had low numbers for a college senior, and didn't show that extra gear to hustle 100% of his time on the court. I decided to look at Anthony Davis as well, and his freshman numbers were on par with Camby's junior numbers. So when we project Anthony Davis as an NBA player, Marcus Camby should be his absolute base - where the room for growth is, would be that he was on a loaded team, with some-what limited room for his offense.

I know we have a good idea of what these three players are, but it's nice to have some evidence to back it up.

Here were my first results below:
http://www.celtic-nation.com/blog/2012/ ... inny-bigs/

I plan on doing this on a far larger scale over the next few months, any advice about the validity of this basic formula would be much appreciated. I am not currently using any advanced metrics such as on court/ off court, PER, WS, REB%, BLK% etc.

Has anyone ever used a formula like this?
Raz
 
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Location: Toronto


Re: Projecting College Players Based on Activity

Postby Raz » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:31 pm



It's very interesting that we don't have a differentiation in formulas for guards and bigs yet. A lot of the drafter raters out there seem to focus on the incoming rookies as one whole group, yet we want different qualities from different positions.

It looks like more work is needed - I'm planning a couple of interesting formulas for projecting bigs and smalls - I just need to run them on a large database of players.
Raz
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:02 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: Projecting College Players Based on Activity

Postby Mike Goodman » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:39 pm

Per 36 minutes, JaJuan Johnson averaged 6.25 FTA his senior year at Purdue.
For Boston last season, he averaged 1.1 FTA/36 . That's a dramatic dropoff, and it accounts for much of his reduced scoring rate in his 298 NBA minutes.
Did he really become "less active" in the pros? Or was it just how he was used in Boston?
`
36% of all statistics are wrong
Mike Goodman
 
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Re: Projecting College Players Based on Activity

Postby Raz » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:09 pm

Mike Goodman wrote:Per 36 minutes, JaJuan Johnson averaged 6.25 FTA his senior year at Purdue.
For Boston last season, he averaged 1.1 FTA/36 . That's a dramatic dropoff, and it accounts for much of his reduced scoring rate in his 298 NBA minutes.
Did he really become "less active" in the pros? Or was it just how he was used in Boston?


I think it's a combination of factors. Johnson was the top dog on that Purdue team. I find his FTAs to be low. Of course he played a lot of garbage time, and fouls are called sparingly in garbage time. Offensively, he obviously is a strong shooter, and he has some post moves. What I can deduce is that Johnson was not talented enough to be a go-to-scorer in the NBA, and he has not shown the intangibles to be a role player. Robert Horry, Antonio McDyess, and Derrick McKey (3 Alabama boys) all had low FTA in college, but all of them excelled in another area. Horry (shooting/ versatility), McDyess (rebounding/athleticism), McKey (defense/ versatility).

Johnson was not all that active in college for a college senior, if he were some sort of steal he would have been dominating college - however he just had good stats, not great.

Johnson scores higher for having solid teammates in Moore and Hummel, but he has no discernible skills to keep him on the court in the pros. It's either hustle, or an elite skill, otherwise you're bouncing between the NBDL, Europe, and 10 day contracts.

Just to note, when Johnson was given a larger role in Boston, he failed. He even had the benefit of playing large minutes with the key group of Celtics (Allen, Pierce, Rondo, Wilcox, Garnett).
Raz
 
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Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:02 pm
Location: Toronto


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