With the Sloan Sports Analytic Conference reaching a mainstream following, the need to understand statistics and data is at a premium. Despite many complicated numbers and formulas to uncover gems and underrated players, one truth exists: Teams value players that create extra possessions. In a given playoff game, each team may have 80 possessions. With defenses locking down, scoring efficiency is a significant value.
Before Sloan, points per game mattered. Now, teams care more about efficiency. For instance, if a player scores 20 points, does he need to take 18 shots to do it? Or can he get that many points on 14 shots?
Here is a look at the top scorers in college basketball and a breakdown of their pro prospects. A complete list of the top-100 NBA prospects can be seen here.
Erick Green, 6-4 SG, Virginia Tech
The Hokies’ senior is the nation’s top scorer, averaging 25.0 points. Green’s scoring average has skyrocketed nearly 10.0 ppg this season. More impressive is Green’s increased scoring efficiency boasting a field-goal percentage of 48.1, 3-point percentage of 38.5, free-throw percentage of 81.8, and true shooting percentage – which factors all three together – of 59.6.
Green is fairly athletic and has the ability to blow by defenders. One of the biggest knocks on him from scouts is whether he has a true position. The majority of scouts I have spoken with, feel he is more of a combo guard and more comfortable looking for his own points rather than setting up teammates.
Green looks like a likely second round pick because he will be 22 at the time of the draft and has played four years at Virginia Tech, which will decrease his draft stock.
Doug McDermott, 6-8 SF, Creighton
McDermott (23.3 ppg) is one of my favorite players in the country and a name to watch during March Madness. The Blue Jays’ forward has been excellent, highlighted by his 41-point performance against Wichita State in which he went 15-of-18 from the field and 5-of-8 from the arc.
McDermott’s scoring is the result of efficiency and skills, combining his ability to score all over the court and high IQ to beat opponents. With a true shooting percentage of 67.7, McDermott is among the national leaders in that category.
The talk in NBA circles is that McDermott is a definite pick if he declares this season and likely would be drafted in the latter part of the first round. Quality scorers with offensively versatility and efficiency are very hard to come by, and NBA teams with championship aspirations need them in their rotation.