Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The 2007 Draft, By the Numbers

Dave Berri (Mr. Winscore) and John Hollinger (Mr. PER) have each taken a stab at a statistically analyzing the 2007 draft prospects. While Berri applies a similar formula that he uses for the NBA, Hollinger uses more of an ad hoc rating system that he calibrated by using the past five drafts.

Hollinger's system uses a combination of factors to give a final point rating that shows Kevin Durant head and shoulders above his Class of '07 peers. Sleeper surprises are Thad Young at 4th, Nick Fazekas at 7th, Josh McRoberts 8th and Jared Dudley 10th. Surprises the other way were Jeff Green 14th, Julian Wright 19th, Corey Brewer 24th, Acie Law 27th, and Nick Young outside the top 30. Meanwhile, Berri picks UMass shot-blocking extraordinaire Stephane Lasme and Nick Fazekas among his "boom" picks and Corey Brewer, Acie Law, and Spencer Hawes among his "bust" picks.

I can't speak for the historical accuracy of Berri's system, but Hollinger's methodology certainly has its fair share of misses: Mike Sweetney ranking second ahead of Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in 2003 and Deron Williams ranking 11th in 2005, behind Rashad McCants, Chris Taft and Nate Robinson, to name a couple. Still, it could be a useful way to reality check the conventional wisdom. The two obvious names standing out in both lists are Corey Brewer and Acie Law. It seems to be assumed that Brewer will be a defensive stopper, which might not be the most statistically quantifiable skill (hello, Bruce Bowen) but as Hollinger points out it's odd that a player with Brewer's defensive rep and height would be so poor at blocking shots (.4 bpg) and not a standout at stealing the ball on the college level.

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