Computers vs. Scouts, Updated
Erich Doerr and John Hollinger have each published new analyses, looking at the 2008 draft from a purely statistical standpoint. Doerr’s piece at DraftExpress nicely summarizes some of his previous work, for a new audience. He’s extremely cautious. The article is not, strictly speaking, a ranking system. Doerr uses his ratings to give essentially a thumbs up/thumbs down (or at least a caution) for each of the high-profile players.
Of note: Don’t get too excited about any of the guards… don’t sleep on Mareese Speights.
Hollinger, unlike Doerr, thinks he has it nailed. He’s also totally revamped his method since last year. He’s now done – he says – a regression analysis, rather than an ad-hoc mix-and-match method. He’s devised two different systems, one for bigs and one for other players. Today he writes about the Big Men (Insider is free this week). For bigs,
“The formula considers 16 variables: height, age, schedule strength, team strength, and the usual individual stats (assist ratio, turnover ratio, usage rate, pure point rating, defensive rebound rate, FTA/FGA, 3A/FGA, PER, blocks per minute, steals per minute, field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage). Note that two variables — offensive rebound rate and free-throw percentage — didn’t make the cut as they were found to be almost completely irrelevant in determining pro success for big men. Also, testing showed that looking at multiple seasons improved accuracy quite a bit. As a result, all of a player’s seasons count on his record.”
Of note: Michael Beasley rates as the best big-man prospect since he started calculating in 2002. (Personally, I think there’s a good chance anyone taking Rose at #1 feels silly in a few years)… Mama Lopez will be disappointed…. Mareese Speights looks good here, too…. and Anthony Randolph — wow. I think this might be a little harsh, since he’s so young and so skinny he has a lot of room for improvement, but this is as damning a projection as you can find.
And here’s the smackdown: Hollinger’s numbers suggest that Joey Dorsey will struggle to have an NBA career at all. Doerr thinks Dorsey looks like a big-time player.