Florida Gators

October 16, 2014 Basketball # , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NBA Draft Comparables: 2007 Edition

Since I mentioned Kevin Durant in the first post, it makes sense to start with the 2007 NBA draft, made famous by the Durant/Oden debate and Yi Jianlian’s workout against a folding chair. I probably won’t touch on everyone, but there are usually a few highly ranked comps that I find interesting and/or comical so who knows. Again, all of this information comes from Layne Vashro’s Prospect Comparison Tool.

I wish Greg Oden’s list was more interesting. Bryant Reeves, Greg Ostertag and Shelden Williams all show up three times each in Oden’s Top 50. The problem here is there just aren’t many basketball players like Greg Oden. 7’0″ freshman who put up amazing numbers just exist in the college landscape all that often. Oden’s comps list is basically just 39 guys that were good centers in college.

Al Horford, however, starts off his comp list perfectly. His top two comps, at the time, were two fellow Gators. #1 was Joakim Noah from the same season. #2 (technically, #3, but I’m avoiding looking into the future unless it tells a good story) was David Lee’s 2005 season. The Noah comp is amazing. Only 229 minutes separate Horford and Noah in the NBA. Total separation by Win Shares: 4.6. It’s no wonder Florida was amazing.

2007 NBA Draft: Al Horford vs. Joakim Noah

#4 pick Mike Conley has Ty Lawson twice in his first four comps, plus Tyus Edney showing up at #6 AND #7, but the most interesting part of Conley’s comp list is Aaron Craft showing up four times. The VAL number for Craft is -0.49. VAL goes from -1 to +1. Anything negative means the person in question was better, statistically, than the comp. Positive means the opposite. Vashro’s tool explains it as a “rich man/poor man” comparison. In this case, Mike Conley is the Mark Cuban version of Aaron Craft.

Jeff Green is the first guy to land on the list of “Guys That Might Not Have Been Drafted So High If This Tool Existed In 2007.” Besides Richard Jefferson at #10, there is a lot of crap on that list, including the O’Bannon brothers. Surprisingly, Jeff Green is #10 in Win Shares in this draft class, so maybe he wasn’t such a gigantic overdraft after all.

2007 NBA Draft Comps: Jeff Green

Corey Brewer had a pretty interesting comp list, with Todd Day showing up three times in the top 17, with fellow Gator Mike Miller coming up twice. The Todd Day comp has been pretty accurate, with similar numbers across the board through their first 7 seasons. Mike Miller represented Brewer’s “upside” heading into the draft.

2007 NBA Draft Comps: Corey Brewer/Todd Day/Mike Miller

#8 pick Brandan Wright might be the most fascinating person of all. His top 10 comps contain a lot of NBA talent. Rasheed Wallace, Antawn Jamison, Nick Collison, David Lee, LaMarcus Aldridge. Wright’s per minute numbers in the NBA have been amazing. His WS/48 is well above average. He’s efficient from the field, has great rebounding numbers and is an excellent shot blocker. The problem is, he has only played 4,460 minutes in coming into the league. To give you a frame of reference, Kevin Durant played just short of 4,000 minutes between the regular season and playoffs LAST SEASON. Injuries have derailed most of his early career, but the past two seasons have been incredibly productive while playing 18 minutes per game over 60 games for the Mavs. For someone who played in all 37 games of his freshman season at UNC while averaging 27 mpg, Wright becomes another datapoint in the unpredictable nature of the draft.

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January 24, 2014 Basketball # , , , , , , , ,

EPW: College Basketball Rankings through January 24

The college basketball landscape was pretty tame last night, with the majority of tournament teams performing as expected. There were a few small shake-ups, though. Florida jumped four spots to #9 by way of a 62-58 victory at Alabama. While games like this typically go unnoticed, this ranks as Florida’s 5th best victory to date. Part of that stems from the fact that they have played a fairly weak schedule, but the fact of the matter is, beating above average conference foes on the road is a tough task.

The other team to take a step forward was UCLA, who thumped Stanford by 17. Similar to Florida, UCLA’s schedule to this point has been fairly pedestrian, but this game is the 3rd best win on their resume. In fact, their three best wins have all come in the past 12 days. Lunardi has the Bruins as a 7 seed, which lines up with the EPW. If that seed holds, I wouldn’t want to be the 2 seed in their region.

If I had done posts like this over the past month, this next entry would start to seem repetitive. Oregon dropped their 5th straight game, losing to Washington in Seattle. After starting 13-0, and picking up their biggest win of the season at Utah, the wheels have come completely off. In his most recent bracket, Lunardi had Oregon as a 10 seed. This loss likely puts them on the bubble. My ratings have Oregon at #45, which means they need to right the ship fast to lower their anxiety levels come Selection Sunday.

Like yesterday, here is today’s snapshot of the projected Top 40 rankings at the end of the regular season.

2014Jan24 - Top 40

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