Category Archives: College Basketball

Projecting NBPA Top 100 Camp Performance to College

Projecting NBPA Top 100 Camp Performance to College

We believe the best scouting is done with a thoughtful mixture of in-person viewings and statistical analysis.

Our proprietary statistical analysis continues to evolve, but over the years our testing has proven it to be of great value with regard to projecting future performance of prep players.

However, analysis of the numbers is complementary to live viewing. Ideally, we would see players multiple times in various settings (spring/summer travel, high school, camps, international competition, etc.).

Undoubtedly, when we are able to view players and perform rigorous statistical analysis, we are able to project at a high level.

The NBPA Top 100 Camp is a bit unique for a few reasons, including a usage and offensive efficiency mix that tends to be noticeably strong for the older kids.

There are many metrics of interest, but for today we are sharing a simple look at certain high-performing kids at the 2014 camp and how they did in their first year of college.

There were eight players (seven 2015’s and one 2016) who (a) played at least 30% of their team’s available minutes, (b) posted an ORtg of 105.0% or better, and (c) had a usage of at least 24.0%.

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Hindsight review: 2014-15 Minnesota Predictions

Hindsight review: 2014-15 Minnesota  Predictions
We had nailed Minnesota’s Big Ten finish for the first few years we made predictions, but failed this past season. They underachieved. We’ll have more prior to the start of the 2015-16 season, but the reality is the defense failed. From a turnover and steal perspective, Minnesota was elite. However, we knew that wouldn’t be enough and it wasn’t even close. The opportunity for young kids to make their mark has never been greater for this program – and there are many new faces. 2015-16, if nothing else, will be entertaining.

Bold: Our preseason comments 

The Gophers have a veteran core. Their offensive efficiency can be similar to last year and their defense can improve substantially, but they’ve got a ways to go to compete for a Big Ten title.

Minnesota’s kenpom adjusted offensive efficiency was ranked #43 in 2014-15, which was similar to the previous year’s ranking of #40.

However, the Gophers saw their adjusted defensive efficiency ranking fall from 82 to 106. We talked about it before, during and after the season: Stealing was not the answer. Indeed, Minnesota’s steal rate of 13.6% and defensive turnover % of 24.7% were both elite and far above the previous year (11.5% and 18.7%, respectively), but their defense had bad issues that offset the good.

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Ask LNH: Doesn’t kenpom treat all games equally?

Ask LNH: Doesn’t kenpom treat all games equally?

This question came in response to our article regarding Wisconsin’s adjusted offensive efficiency. The Badgers now have a positive points-per-100 possessions adjustment of 7.0, or 5.8%, given to their actual per game average offensive efficiency. Both of these adjustments are larger than those given to any other team in the nation.

The answer to the question is “no.” When thinking about kenpom’s ranking system, always keep in mind that it’s a predictive system. Giving more weigh to recent games when predicting the immediate future doesn’t seem odd at all.

Let’s do some quick math to see if treating the Kentucky equally to all others would cause a different answer. Coming into the Final Four, Wisconsin’s AdjOE was 127.5. They had played 38 games. 127.5 * 38 = 4,845. After the Kentucky game, Wisconsin’s AdjOE is 128.5. An AdjOE of 128.5 * 39 games = 5,011.5.

If all games were treated equally, you’d expect Wisconsin’s AdjOE against Kentucky to be 166.5 (5,011.5 – 4,845). The Badgers scored 123.3 pp100p on a neutral court against Kentucky and their 86.5 AdjDE.

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Fact Check: CBS Claims Badgers Scoring 1.28 PPP

Fact Check: CBS Claims Badgers Scoring 1.28 PPP

The growing usage of by fans and media can be a great thing. However, quite often the commentary from folks regarding KenPom’s predictive system is flawed and illogical.

Just another example is Matt Norlander of, who this week wrote, “The Badgers have an offensive rating of 127.5, meaning they are dousing foes at a blazing rate. UW’s scoring nearly 128 points per 100 possessions. Unheard of at the college level… hat UW is flirting with 1.3 PPP on a per-game basis is flatly freaky.”

The truth is that Wisconsin’s offense isn’t producing anywhere near 1.3 points per possession.  Let’s take a further look…

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Additional Insight on Tom Crean and His Contract With Indiana

Additional Insight on Tom Crean and His Contract With Indiana

It reminded me a lot of the political theater I used to be part of

— Indiana Athletic Director Fred Glass on announcing Crean’s extension to a packed Assembly Hall

The media is again struggling to get the specifics of the buyout provisions correct, so we’ll step in. In this article we’ll also discuss a few other angles of interest related to this topic.

What is the amount of Tom Crean’s buyout?

His buyout depends on the timing of termination. If he were to be terminated at the end of this month (March 2015), the buyout would be a minimum of $11.1MM and could be as high as $12.0MM.

From now through June 30, 2015, the buyout is the lesser of $12MM and the remaining “outside, marketing and promotion income” payable under his contract. $11.1MM represents the buyout total if there have been no annual merit increases. However, such merit increases are allowable under the employment agreement and just a 5% increase would push the buyout figure as of the end of this month to $11.6M.

On July 1 of this year the buyout drops to $7.5MM.

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Minnesota’s Mo Walker: Stealing The Show

Minnesota’s Mo Walker: Stealing The Show

Known for his offensive prowess, Gophers’ fifth-year senior Maurice Walker has made a statistically remarkable impact on the other side of the court in 2014-15.

The Gophers have the nation’s second-highest steal rate and their style of play has helped Walker to register a high steal percent, but as the team’s last game at Iowa reminded us, a lot of it is square on him.

Walker’s steal from Iowa guard Mike Gesell late in the game helped to seal Minnesota’s important 64-59 road win on Thursday. Earlier in the game – as he has many times this season – Mo stepped around his man to get his arm into the passing lane and deflect an attempted delivery to the low block, resulting in a turnover.

The figures below are from and include only players who have been on the court for at least 40% of their team’s minutes. To put into context, there are 88 Big Ten players who meet that minimum through games of February 13, 2015.

The Gophers have the top four thieves in the conference (all games, including nonconference):

Rank Player Team Ht Wt Yr %Stls
1 Nate Mason Minnesota 6-1 180 Fr 4.82
2 Deandre Mathieu Minnesota 5-9 165 Sr 4.36
3 Carlos Morris Minnesota 6-5 180 Jr 4.35
4 Maurice Walker Minnesota 6-10 250 Sr 4.17

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Big Ten: Current KenPom vs. Preseason Predictions

Big Ten: Current KenPom vs. Preseason Predictions

Prior to the season’s first tip we offered our 2014-15 Big Ten Predictions. Now a week into February, we take a look at how those predictions compare with the current KenPom ratings through February 8, 2015. In addition to looking at our own predictions vs. KenPom, we’ll look at how the various Big Ten beat writers did as well.

Big Ten teams ordered by their KenPom Rating as of February 8, 2015 are as follows:

# Team
1 Wisconsin
2 Ohio St.
3 Iowa
4 Michigan St.
5 Maryland
6 Minnesota
7 Indiana
8 Purdue
9 Illinois
10 Penn St.
11 Michigan
12 Nebraska
13 Northwestern
14 Rutgers

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Top Freshmen Rebounders; Seton Hall Visits Marquette

Top Freshmen Rebounders; Seton Hall Visits Marquette

Last May, ESPN’s Reggie Rankin put together his Class of 2014 Best Rebounders. Missing from the list was 6’9” Seton Hall freshman Angel Delgado who will visit Milwaukee on Wednesday. To his credit, when asked about Delgado after releasing his top 5 rebounders, Rankin indicated that Delgado belonged in the conversation.


With Marquette’s next opponent being Seton Hall, today we take a look at top freshman rebounders including the impressive figures Delgado has produced this season. For purposes of this article, data is through January 24, 2015 and comes from

D-I’s top 5 freshmen (minimum of 225 minutes played) in total rebounding percentage this season are as follows:

Rk Player School MP ORB% DRB% TRB%
1 Josh Ibarra Houston Baptist 261 17.4 30.4 24.1
2 Rokas Gustys Hofstra 236 20.1 23.9 22.0
3 Angel Delgado Seton Hall 469 16.9 24 20.5
4 Jakob Poeltl Utah 402 16.9 23.2 20.4
5 Domantas Sabonis Gonzaga 449 11.5 24.1 18.6

Based on what we saw in travel and international play we expected Rokas Gustys to do well rebounding the ball from day one, but he’s been even better than expected. Gustys has missed time due to injury, but still has maintained a 20-20 OR-DR combo over 236 minutes of play.

Top 5 Offensive Rebounding Percentages

Rk Player School MP ORB%
1 Rokas Gustys Hofstra 236 20.1
2 DeSean Murray Presbyterian 291 17.5
3 Josh Ibarra Houston Baptist 261 17.4
4 Angel Delgado Seton Hall 469 16.9
5 Jakob Poeltl Utah 402 16.9

Top 5 Defensive Rebounding Percentages

Rk Player School MP DRB%
1 Josh Ibarra Houston Baptist 261 30.4
2 Leron Black Illinois 314 25.0
3 Tyler Rawson Southern Utah 288 24.8
4 Domantas Sabonis Gonzaga 449 24.1
5 Angel Delgado Seton Hall 469 24.0

ESPN’s May ’14 Picks – Top 5 Rebounders – Current Rank

Jahlil Okafor – #12 TR%, #6 OR%, #41 DR%
Cliff Alexander – #11, #14, #13
Goodluck Okonoboh – #75, #103, #180
Reid Travis – #31, #40, #41
Abdul-Malik Abu – #60, #78, #55

Other Seton Hall Notes:

  • The Pirates provide another fine example of a team that can be great on one side of the glass, but not the other. Their OR% is #34 in the nation per, but their DR% is #303.
  • 6’2″ guard Sterling Gibbs has been terrific scoring and distributing the ball, but he’s allergic to rebounds (1.7% OR and 3.9% DR). His DR% is easily the worst among all Big East regulars (next worst is at 5.7%).
  • 6’6″ freshman Desi Rodriguez doesn’t get the minutes that Delgado does, but he’s also been very strong on the boards (8.8% OR; 20.3% DR).
  • True, Marquette allows a lot of offensive rebounds for opponents, but in Big East play the Warriors have a 35.1% Def OR%, a fair amount better than Seton Hall’s Def OR% of 38.7%.
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