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Author Topic: For those concerned only with player rankings  (Read 10625 times)

bma725

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For those concerned only with player rankings
« on: April 01, 2009, 02:57:38 AM »
Lot of talk recently, and admittedly I've participated in it too, about how MU need to be recruiting a certain quality of player, or how MU needs to be able to beat the big boys and pull in top 100 recruits all the time, or how the staff should limit themselves to only 4 or 5 star recruits.  So I though I'd take a look at some of the recent recruits of that caliber in college basketball and how they turned out.  We all know that the rankings aren't the final story when it comes to a player's talent, but sometimes it's good to see just how far off they can be. 

For example, one of the most successful programs at pulling top 100 recruits for the last several years has been Florida State.  Leonard Hamilton has signed at least 2 consensus top 100 players every year since taking the job.  Yet despite all that supposed talent, FSU didn't make it to the post season until this year, and they've still not won an NCAA game.  Take a look:

Here's their list since Leonard Hamilton became coach according to the RSCI:

2008:
#14 Chris Singleton (starter, averaged less than 9PPG)
#55 Xavier Gibson(garbage time player, 2PPG, 1RPG)
Derwin Kitchen(#63 in class of 2005, stops at a prep school, St. Johns and a JUCO)…less than 8PPG

2007
#28 Soloman Alabi(bench player and not a good one as a freshman, 8PPG and 5RPG as a starter this year)
#66 Julian Vaughn(bench player as a freshman, less than 4PG.  Transferred to GTown, got a waiver and averaged under 2PPG and 2RPG as a 6’10 center.

2006
#51 Jonathan Kreft (scholarship pulled because he was arrested on drug charges before playing a game)
#85 Josue Soto(9 total points in his FSU career, totally overmatched at the ACC level, transferred to Florida International)

2005
#42 Uche Echefu(less than 7PG for his career, only averaged in double figures one year)
#80 Cassan Breeden(barely more than a garbage time player his first two years, left FSU after 10 games last year and is now at the College of Charleston).
Toney Douglas(RSCI #100 in 2004, transferred after a year at Auburn….NBA quality player)

2004
#27 Jason Rich(good player, double figure scorer his entire career, but not what you expect from #27)
#40 Isaiah Swann(decent player, developed into a double figure scorer, again not what you expect from someone ranked that high)

2003
#11 Von Wafer(averaged under 8PPG as a freshman just over 12 as a sophomore.  Got suspended, then benched before declaring for the NBA draft.  2nd round pick of the Pistons in 2005, up until this year he’d played a total of 46 games in the NBA).
#49 Alexander Johnson(underwhelming his first two years, he had a good junior year and declared for the draft.  2nd round pick of Portland, he’s now in Europe.

Also keep in mind he had the following players that made at least one other top 100 list but weren't consensus:

2004
Jerome Habel(#61 Rivals, #27 Hoopscoop 5th year ranking)  Didn’t qualify academically, went the JUCO route, then to San Diego State.  Averaged 10PPG before being kicked of the team as a senior.  Complete headcase.

2005
Ryan Reid(#93 Rivals) – hasn’t turned in to anything more than a bench player, less that 5PPG in 20 minutes for his career.

2006
Aaron Holmes(#67 HoopScoop) – was to redshirt as a freshman but transferred to South Florida at the end of the first semester.  Before even playing a game for USF he decided he didn’t want to play for Stan Heath and transferred to a JUCO.  He’ll play his first collegiate games for Tulane next year.

2008
Luke Loucks(#86 Rivals) – Bench player as a freshman, didn’t really do anything of note on the court.
Deividas Dulks(#67 Rivals) – see Loucks

bma725

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2009, 03:06:19 AM »
The reason I post this now is that someone on Cat's Pause did a breakdown awhile back showing how poorly the top recruit have turned out at Duke.  I've added some comments and updated their information since they used only one services rankings, and in actuality the results are even more striking using the RSCI.  Take a look:

2008
#15 - Elliott Williams(was barely playing until the transfer rumors started, looks good for the future)
#65 - Olek Czyz (played a grand total of 13 games this year and didn't average a point)
#81 - Miles Plumlee(played in 24 games, mostly garbage time, under 2PPG)

2007
#5 - Kyle Singler(good player, but not better than guys like Derrick Rose, Jerryd Bayless, Tyler Griffin, or James Harden all of whom were ranked behind him)
#19 – Nolan Smith (benched twice this year, decent player, not top 20 material for sure)
#24 - Taylor King (Transferred to Villanova after averaging under 10MPG)

2006
#10 - Gerald Henderson (no complaints)
#20 - Lance Thomas(Yet to average over 20MPG or 6PPG, not what you want from #20)
#25 – Brian Zoubek(even bigger bust than Thomas.  Spot player at best even after 3 years)
#28 - John Sheyer-(good player, top 50 for sure, 28 might be a stretch)
 
2005
#1 Josh McRoberts – (huge disappointment. Never lived up to that billing and left after his sophomore year)
#13 Greg Paulus – (benched twice this year, Duke’s play improved when he was not on the court.  Top 100 maybe, top 15 no way)
#39  Eric Boateng- (epic bust at Duke, transferred to Arizona State where he continues to prove the scouts wrong)
#53 Martynas Pocius- (if it weren’t for Boateng, Pocius might be the biggest bust in Duke history.  Scored in double figure twice in his Duke career)

That’s an entire roster of top 100 players that were ranked no lower than 81st in the consensus rankings, yet they've failed to advance past the Sweet Sixteen with this group.  We all know that Coach K can get talent to the promised land when he has it.  So that means either he failed to develop these guys, which doesn't seem likely, or the ranking services were way off and these players aren't as talented as they were portrayed to be by the recruiting services.

bma725

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2009, 03:41:22 AM »
One more…Kentucky.  If you read their boards or blogs there’s all sorts of comments about how these players just aren’t ready for the big time and SEC basketball.  But back when the recruiting was happening, pretty much everyone thought differently.

2008
#34 - Deandre Liggins (talented, but attitude issues. Refused to enter a game earlier this year.  Less than 20MPG on a team in desperate need of a PG)
#35 - Darius Miller(decent player, but not top 35 so far.  20MPG, 5PPG.  Underwhelming)

2007
#9 - Patrick Patterson(very good player, looks like they got it right)
#36 – Alex Legion(transferred after the first semester to UofI.  Hasn’t performed at either institution)

2006
#52 – Derrick Jasper(transferred to UNLV after two disappointing but admittedly injury plagued seasons)
#57 – Perry Stevenson(mediocre at best.  Still hasn’t developed a scoring touch…overrated)
#58 – Jodie Meeks(finally developed into what everyone thought he could this year after two disappointing years)

2005
#99 – Jared Carter(one word, bust.  Total of 40 points for his career)

Additionally, UK had the following players that either made at least one top 100 list or were four star JUCO transfers:

2008
Kevin Galloway(4 Star JUCO on Scout).   Less than 2PPG, less than 2RPG in 10MPG.

2007
Mike Williams(#94 on ESPN)…complete bust doesn’t even begin to describe him.  He got ranked despite ESPN not having actually sent anyone to evaluate him.  Transferred to Duquesne after playing a total of 30 minutes as a freshman.

2005
Rekalin Sims(4 Star JUCO on Scout)  Averaged 4.4 PPG.  Transferred to Fresno State after last year and was dismissed from their team.





Niv Berkowitz

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2009, 07:20:12 AM »
Excellent summaries. The one thing I'd say, however, is that programs are built on having great talent. Sure there are top 100 kids that never lived up to expectations. But programs definitely increase their chances of success by getting them. Yeah, not everyone will be a four year, double-digit scorer like Jerel McNeal, but I like my changes more and more with them.

MU fans need to be realistic in knowing that we aren't ever going to be a UNC, KU, Duke or whatever. But we are in the big east, we must have talented kids, and that means pressure - fair or not - on the head coach. And, it's also supposedly the big reason that Buzz is here.

So we shouldn't necessarily take the player rankings as the gospel, but the people that do that know how to judge talent. And if they are right about 80, and wrong about 20 of the top 100, that's still an 80% success rate. We need to be pulling in players from that pool to give ourselves the best chance to succeed.

MarquetteDano

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2009, 07:46:20 AM »
BMA,

  Really interesting analysis.  Thanks.  Looking at this list, Marquette has been quite lucky (or good).  If we did a similar analysis for Top 100 RSCI guys since 2000, I would have to think that we fared quite well, with maybe the exception of Merritt, who still was a decent player.

  To me this proves how important evaluating talent is, especially for small schools.  I hear what Niv is saying regarding getting Top 100 guys is critical, but Marquette is not going to have classes where we get 4 Top 50 guys in one class.  Thus, we really have to be right about the guys we do select.

  Sounds obvious regarding selecting the right recruits but imagine the meltdown around here if we brought in two Top 50 guys for one class and BOTH were duds.  Yet, Duke and Kentucky have done it on a relatively consistent basis.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 07:47:52 AM by MarquetteDano »

romey

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2009, 07:47:20 AM »
I wouldn't know how to compile the data, but it would be interesting to look at the recruting rankings of the All-American teams (1st-3rd and honorable mentions(?)) to get a handle on how many of them were NOT highly recruited out of HS.  

lab_warrior

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2009, 07:52:53 AM »
I would like to see that All America list as well.  I'd be that from 20-100, there's not that much of a difference, it's just if all the good or bad variables fall into place in terms of coaching, player attitude, offense and defense system of the team, off-court stuff, etc...
That being said, I'd be that the %age of players from 20 and up, if you get one, more likely than not, they're going to be great players for you, so you have to keep going after them.


bma725

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2009, 08:19:03 AM »
I wouldn't know how to compile the data, but it would be interesting to look at the recruting rankings of the All-American teams (1st-3rd and honorable mentions(?)) to get a handle on how many of them were NOT highly recruited out of HS.  

Can't seem to find an honorable mention list, but here's the first three teams:

First Team
DeJuan Blair - #40 in 2007
Blake Griffin - #13 in 2007
Tyler Hansbrough - #4 in 2005
James Harden - #17 in 2007
Stephen Curry  - Not ranked

Second Team
Jerel McNeal - #57 in 2005
Hasheem Thabeet – #64 in 2006
Luke Harangody - #83 in 2006
Ty Lawson - #5 in 2006
Jodie Meeks - #58 in 2006

Third Team
Terrence Williams  - #44 in 2005
Sam Young - #58 in 2005
Toney Douglas - #100 in 2004
Sherron Collins - #14 in 2006
Gerald Henderson - #10 in 2006

HoopsMalone

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2009, 08:50:11 AM »

#13 Greg Paulus – (benched twice this year, Duke’s play improved when he was not on the court.  Top 100 maybe, top 15 no way)


I think MU found some better guards in 2005.  I can't see showing up at a high school gym and thinking Greg Paulus would do damage at the next level.  He is the ultimate, "If I was in shape I bet I could beat this guy 1 on 1" player in the game right now. 

bma725

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2009, 09:07:30 AM »
So we shouldn't necessarily take the player rankings as the gospel, but the people that do that know how to judge talent. And if they are right about 80, and wrong about 20 of the top 100, that's still an 80% success rate. We need to be pulling in players from that pool to give ourselves the best chance to succeed.

I'm willing to bet it's not even close to an 80% success rate throughout the years.  I think you look at the actual rankings and then the results for those players you'll find a much different story.  I don't have time to look at all the available years, but for example, if you look at the top 100 for 2006, you'll find 38 players that range from disappointment to complete and utter bust:

Vernon Macklin
Derrick Caracter
Lance Thomas
Brian Zoubek
Ramar Smith
Duke Crews
Curtis Kelly
Willie Kemp
James Keefe
Mike Jones
Brian Carlwell
Tom Herzog
Jamie Skeen
Jonathan Kreft
Doug Wiggins
Perry Stevenson
Edgar Sosa
Anthony Gurley
Jamil Tucker
Isaih Dahlman
Keith Clark
Nigel Munson
Phil Nelson
Pierre Niles
Mamadou Diarra
Antonio Pena
Leon Freeman
William Graves
Josue Soto
Donneal Mack
Jonathan Mitchell
Taylor Harrison
Soloman Tat
Dan Werner
Jeremy Mayfield
Cameron Tatum
Daniel Deane
Hamady N'Diaye
Adrian Graves

And it's not as if we are evaluating them too quickly.  These guys are juniors now, it would take a miracle for most of them to finally live up to the hype as seniors.  Further, we're not just talking about mildly disappointing.  We're talking about guys that averaged under 1PPG or 1RPG per game, or guys that couldn't get anything more than spot duty.

That's 38 out of 100 that they were wrong on, and that's just the obvious failures, I was pretty lenient calling some of the players successful when they've had maybe one good year out of the three.  Further, I bet if you looked at the other 62, you'd find that they were wrong about plenty of them as well but not to this degree.

Frenns Liquor Depot

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2009, 09:26:05 AM »
Is the success rate higher for those not ranked?

MR.HAYWARD

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2009, 09:32:59 AM »
I think those lists are great and they do a decent job of showing that top 100 guys are not guarantees.  But let's not miss the forest due to the trees.  Uconn, MSU, UNC and Villanova...throw in Memphis etc, have the best collection of top 100 players out there and look where it took them.  Do some top 100 guys fail...sure.  But for every stephon Curry simply look at the other 14 guys on the AP all american lists.

 You need great talent.  My saying over the years as a coach is "great coaching is 90% talent" and i truly beleive that.  i have had some of my best coaching years with .500 clubs other years with great talent it is actually pretty easy, sure you can do more stuff and have a quicker learning curve and more ability but give the kids the ball and the talent will take over, players make plays.

Lets take a look at Mu over the last 10 years or so ad evaluate the best players.  Starting 10 years or so ago Mu had Brian wardle as a top 100 or borderline kid he scored 1000+ points  the following is the list of 100 point scorers since then, please point out any ommisions and which of these players were not top 100 kids, I beleive they all were.  also if anyone can name a 1000 point scorer that was not a top 100 I cannot think of any.

Wardle
Henry
Wade
Merritt
Diener
Novak
James
Matthews
mcneal
LAzar

Now we signed a coaupl other top 100 kids in ODB and and MAson.  ODB never scored 100 at Mu but far more than that during his entire career.  MAson was more than well on his way before transferring and medical issues derailed him.  Bottom line is sure there are unharalded kids that really end up doing well but if you intend to run your program that way you might as well be a mid-major.  You need top 100 or at least top 150 type talent 8-9-10 deep to compete in the BE, will some of them not pan out yes, but as MU represent as great majority of them are going to end up being big time producers.  

One thing that has been left out of all the lsit produced by other people is the character issue.  Many kids might be incredible players but will ultimately fail when they face diveristy if they do not have great character.  I beleive Mu over the years with oneil, Deane, Crean, and now Buzz has mandated the coaches bring in hight character kids... couple good character with great talent and you results are going to be along the lines of MU's in regards to the kids meeting their potential.  Sned a low character kid to a bsketball factory with a poor support staff and are not held to certain standards on and off the court and you will have alot of underachievers and washouts.

Henry Sugar

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2009, 09:50:57 AM »
I agree 100% with Hayward. 

Also, in interviews, I've heard Buzz say that the number one thing he looks for when he is recruiting is character.  Of course, Buzz tosses the word character around, but it's still reassuring that he is focusing on both talent and character.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 10:14:23 AM by Henry Sugar »
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MarquetteDano

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2009, 09:56:41 AM »
It seems to me some are missing the point here.  To me the point is not don't go after Top 100 kids.  The point is that of the Top 100 kids, maybe 40% do not pan out.  THAT IS HUGE!  Since we do not have the pick of the litter, we really have to be careful who we bring into the fold.

And, again, based on the 60% of so success rate, we must recognize how well we have done with the Top 100 kids we have brought in (probably 90% success rate).

bma725

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2009, 10:54:27 AM »
Hayward,

Wade, Blankson and Hayward were not Top 100 players in the true sense.  They all made at least one list(in Blankson's only one) but none of them were consensus top 100 like the other guys. 

GGGG

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2009, 11:02:01 AM »
bma...regarding the Duke rankings.  How much of this is the scouting services overating kids that they know Duke is interested in? 

bma725

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2009, 11:31:17 AM »
bma...regarding the Duke rankings.  How much of this is the scouting services overating kids that they know Duke is interested in? 

That's a part of it.  Miles Plumlee for example was a decent prospect when committed to Stanford.  Four stars maybe, definitely not a part of the top 100.  He switches to Duke and immediately jumps in the top 100, for some services he jumps as high as 40th.

SCdem@MU

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2009, 11:31:25 AM »
Is the success rate higher for those not ranked?

Doubtful. Id guess that less 10% of the unranked players go on to have a major impact in College Basketball. And I'd guess that an even lower percentage go on to play in the NBA, like maybe 1-2%.  





Chili

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2009, 11:32:48 AM »
Doubtful. Id guess that less 10% of the unranked players go on to have a major impact in College Basketball. And I'd guess that an even lower percentage go on to play in the NBA, like maybe 1-2%.  

well when only about 25-30 college kids a year make it to the NBA that is understandable.
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MR.HAYWARD

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2009, 11:32:55 AM »
Please get off the Wade was not a top 100 recruit.  He was top 50 in a number of different rating, Bullseye had him as the #2 rated player in Illinois.  Show me a kid that is top 50 in more than 1 publication and #2 in the state of illinois and he is a top 100 kid.  ODB again as you say was borderline as were Henry and Wardle.   Hayward too as a Prep player gets left off many lists the lists that rated him had him generally pretty high.  

Botom line is we have had a dozen or so 1000 point scorers the last decade, everyone of them was a top 100 kid, we can argue whetehr they were top 100 or top 110.  Also name the top 100 kids we have signed that did not score 1000 points?  Name the 1000 point scorers that were not top 100 recruits?  

Bottom line rankings do matter.  

I will say that rankings are not to be trusted all that much in the sophomore and even junior years until the kids have been widely seen in numerous situations and by multiple services.  and that is what you typically have with Sophs and juniors, but typically by the winter of their senior years the rankings becoame pretty darn accurate and ultimately do matter.  

Uconn going to Kemba Walker a Md's AA when Dyson went down was huge.  Nova bringing in Corey fisher a McD's all american as a guard off the bench is huge.  In Mu's case we were bringing in Cubi and Acker, Big time difference their...they did not miss a beat we stumbled.  

bma725

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2009, 11:57:56 AM »
Please get off the Wade was not a top 100 recruit.  He was top 50 in a number of different rating, Bullseye had him as the #2 rated player in Illinois.  Show me a kid that is top 50 in more than 1 publication and #2 in the state of illinois and he is a top 100 kid.  ODB again as you say was borderline as were Henry and Wardle.   Hayward too as a Prep player gets left off many lists the lists that rated him had him generally pretty high.  

Botom line is we have had a dozen or so 1000 point scorers the last decade, everyone of them was a top 100 kid, we can argue whetehr they were top 100 or top 110.  Also name the top 100 kids we have signed that did not score 1000 points?  Name the 1000 point scorers that were not top 100 recruits?  

Bottom line rankings do matter.  

I will say that rankings are not to be trusted all that much in the sophomore and even junior years until the kids have been widely seen in numerous situations and by multiple services.  and that is what you typically have with Sophs and juniors, but typically by the winter of their senior years the rankings becoame pretty darn accurate and ultimately do matter.  

Uconn going to Kemba Walker a Md's AA when Dyson went down was huge.  Nova bringing in Corey fisher a McD's all american as a guard off the bench is huge.  In Mu's case we were bringing in Cubi and Acker, Big time difference their...they did not miss a beat we stumbled.  

No, actually being a top 100 player makes you a top 100 player.  Getting mentioned in two lists(Gibbons and FoxSports) while being left out of HoopScoop, Scout, PrepStars, and HoopMasters means that you aren't a consensus top 100 player no matter what the Bullseye brothers think.

As for the accuracy claim, you are once again way off.  Look at the list above from 2006.  That's using the post summer rankings from those players senior year.  38 out of 100 turned out to be busts.  That's not pretty darn accurate, that's pretty awful.

dwaderoy2004

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2009, 12:11:38 PM »
i think the point isn't how many top 100 recruits turn out to be busts, but how many unranked players turn out to be stars?  the odds are still on your side that a top 100 player is your best bet to get a quality player.

spartan3186

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2009, 12:24:55 PM »
I would argue that 3, maybe 4, of those players from 2006 are not complete busts. Maybe didn't live up to the hype but still servicable players.

Edgar sosa
Antonio pena
Grave
And mabye n'diaye

I don't know the other leagues as well but those players at least contribute some, and as much as I hate sosa he contributes significantly (at times)

bma725

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2009, 01:16:43 PM »
I would argue that 3, maybe 4, of those players from 2006 are not complete busts. Maybe didn't live up to the hype but still servicable players.

Edgar sosa
Antonio pena
Grave
And mabye n'diaye

I don't know the other leagues as well but those players at least contribute some, and as much as I hate sosa he contributes significantly (at times)

Pena was a consensus top 75 player, and through two years he still doesn't start full time and plays under 20 minutes a game.  He's got career averages of around 6PPG and 4RPG, which may make him servicable but means the rating was either way too high, or he's a bust.

Will Graves has scored in double figures three times in his UNC career and has a total of 160 points.  He's never started a game, never played more than 21 minutes in a game and was suspended for the remainder of this season back in January for "failing to maintain the standards we expect of a Carolina basketball player".  That's not only not what you expect from the #79 player in the country, that's pretty much the definition of a bust.

As for N'Diaye, the guy is a junior and has career averages of under 5PPG and 5RPG.  He scored in double figures twice this year, and one of those came against Delaware.  We're talking about a guy that was ranked #97 overall in the country, not a 2 star prospect that had never played the game.  You would expect that kind of line from someone like Liam McMorrow...not a top 100 prospect.

Being just servicable when you are someone ranked as high as these players were is pretty much the same thing as being a bust.  Not a terrible one on the Eric Boateng level, but when a guy was a top 55 recruit like Sosa and he can't beat out a guy like Andre McGee there's a serious problems.  Top 100 players are not supposed to just be servicable, especially after a few years in college.

Henry Sugar

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Re: For those concerned only with player rankings
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2009, 02:33:00 PM »
bma, please help me out.  What's the key point you're trying to make here? 

If I'm interpreting it right, your key point is that a significant percentage of top 100 recruits do not pan out. 

I was particularly struck by a comment you just made.  "Top 100 players are not supposed to just be servicable, especially after a few years in college."
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