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Re: underclassmen and the draft

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  • Mike Goodman
    ... My guess is that a player develops by getting minutes in competition. A player good enough to make an NBA team should get at least 30 minutes a game in
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 22, 2001
      --- In APBR_analysis@y..., harlanzo@y... wrote:
      > This subject has been touched on to some extent but not explicitly
      > addressed. I was wondering whether or to what extent these
      > underclassmen hurt their development as pros.

      My guess is that a player develops by getting minutes in
      competition. A player good enough to make an NBA team should get at
      least 30 minutes a game in college, which is close to 1000 minutes in
      a season.
      A lot of "early-entries" are not getting anything like 1000
      minutes in the NBA. In 4 seasons in Portland, Jermaine O'Neal
      averaged 625 minutes, including playoffs. Surely he could have
      gotten more PT than that in college, not to mention the thrill of
      being a star on a team striving for championships.
      "Robbing the cradle" is now the norm; NBA teams snap up prospects
      so that their rivals cannot.

      Without any detailed
      > study (my resources are in storage as I prepare for a move of
      > apartments), I would guess that leaving early does not have much
      > effect on player development as a pro. If you just look at those
      > players that came straight out of high school since GArnett, they
      > have turned out pretty good for the most part. GArnett, Kobe,
      > Jermaine O'neal, Mcgrady, Rashard Lewis all have been good
      players.
      > The jury is out on Bender, Al HArrington, and all these new guys
      from
      > this last draft. THe only out and out failure has been Korleone
      > Young (and the 2 or 3 kids from high school who had no realistical
      > shot being drafted). THese are pretty good percentage success
      > rates. However, one might argue that the sample size is somewhat
      > distorted because only the really good players who are so good that
      > college is not really necessary come out (a la kobe) that of course
      > the success rate would be higher.
      >
      > I think that there are fewer players who benefitted from a full 4
      > years of college than it is to find those who were hurt by coming
      out
      > really early. indeed Omar Cook or William Avery do not seem ready
      > for the NBA now but I am not sure that their coming out early will
      > take away from their developing to his full NBA potential unless he
      > gets buried on the bench and never gets a chance. But this didn't
      > hurt Jermaine O'neal. A few college programs are so good that its
      > players might benefit from a four year tenure before going pro and
      > even those cases have huge exceptions. For example, at UNC (which
      is
      > a great program), underclassmen like JOrdan, Worthy, and even Jeff
      > Mcinnis (whom I hear was a jerk) turned out to be strong pros while
      > some of their good four year players really didn't develop into
      very
      > good pros like Montross, Zwikker, Henry Williams etc. IT would be
      > interesting to do a percentage success of college players in the
      pros
      > based upon pre-NBA experience levels.
    • Charles Steinhardt
      ... Though the level of competition in college is lower. I d also point out that the level of practice is higher, though perhaps at an elite program this is
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 22, 2001
        On Mon, 23 Jul 2001, Mike Goodman wrote:

        > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., harlanzo@y... wrote:
        > > This subject has been touched on to some extent but not explicitly
        > > addressed. I was wondering whether or to what extent these
        > > underclassmen hurt their development as pros.
        >
        > My guess is that a player develops by getting minutes in
        > competition. A player good enough to make an NBA team should get at
        > least 30 minutes a game in college, which is close to 1000 minutes in
        > a season.
        > A lot of "early-entries" are not getting anything like 1000
        > minutes in the NBA. In 4 seasons in Portland, Jermaine O'Neal
        > averaged 625 minutes, including playoffs. Surely he could have
        > gotten more PT than that in college, not to mention the thrill of
        > being a star on a team striving for championships.

        Though the level of competition in college is lower. I'd also point out
        that the level of practice is higher, though perhaps at an elite program
        this is not as true. But consider a player at Duke, playing one of the
        toughest schedules in the nation. They get 16 ACC games, about 10 of
        which are a high level of competition (300 minutes). The non-conference
        schedule will provide generally 3-4 tests against Top 25 opposition (90
        minutes). And the tournament, at most, is 6 games (180 minutes) but no
        player should expect more than 3-4 tournament games, and the first one
        will not be a high level of competition for an elite program. So let's
        say another 100 minutes MAX there.

        Meaning that at most 500 quality minutes per year will occur in college.
        Do players get taught better? A different question, but if you think that
        purely playing in competition is the driving force, the NBA may well be
        the better choice.

        As for player development, there's a different question of course...


        > "Robbing the cradle" is now the norm; NBA teams snap up prospects
        > so that their rivals cannot.
        >
        > Without any detailed
        > > study (my resources are in storage as I prepare for a move of
        > > apartments), I would guess that leaving early does not have much
        > > effect on player development as a pro. If you just look at those
        > > players that came straight out of high school since GArnett, they
        > > have turned out pretty good for the most part. GArnett, Kobe,
        > > Jermaine O'neal, Mcgrady, Rashard Lewis all have been good
        > players.
        > > The jury is out on Bender, Al HArrington, and all these new guys
        > from
        > > this last draft. THe only out and out failure has been Korleone
        > > Young (and the 2 or 3 kids from high school who had no realistical
        > > shot being drafted). THese are pretty good percentage success
        > > rates. However, one might argue that the sample size is somewhat
        > > distorted because only the really good players who are so good that
        > > college is not really necessary come out (a la kobe) that of course
        > > the success rate would be higher.
        > >
        > > I think that there are fewer players who benefitted from a full 4
        > > years of college than it is to find those who were hurt by coming
        > out
        > > really early. indeed Omar Cook or William Avery do not seem ready
        > > for the NBA now but I am not sure that their coming out early will
        > > take away from their developing to his full NBA potential unless he
        > > gets buried on the bench and never gets a chance. But this didn't
        > > hurt Jermaine O'neal. A few college programs are so good that its
        > > players might benefit from a four year tenure before going pro and
        > > even those cases have huge exceptions. For example, at UNC (which
        > is
        > > a great program), underclassmen like JOrdan, Worthy, and even Jeff
        > > Mcinnis (whom I hear was a jerk) turned out to be strong pros while
        > > some of their good four year players really didn't develop into
        > very
        > > good pros like Montross, Zwikker, Henry Williams etc. IT would be
        > > interesting to do a percentage success of college players in the
        > pros
        > > based upon pre-NBA experience levels.
        >
        >
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        >
        >
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        >
        >
        >
      • Mike Goodman
        ... point out ... program ... the ... of ... conference ... (90 ... but no ... one ... let s ... college. ... think that ... well be ... This is a good
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 22, 2001
          --- In APBR_analysis@y..., Charles Steinhardt <charles@p...> wrote:
          > Though the level of competition in college is lower. I'd also
          point out
          > that the level of practice is higher, though perhaps at an elite
          program
          > this is not as true. But consider a player at Duke, playing one of
          the
          > toughest schedules in the nation. They get 16 ACC games, about 10
          of
          > which are a high level of competition (300 minutes). The non-
          conference
          > schedule will provide generally 3-4 tests against Top 25 opposition
          (90
          > minutes). And the tournament, at most, is 6 games (180 minutes)
          but no
          > player should expect more than 3-4 tournament games, and the first
          one
          > will not be a high level of competition for an elite program. So
          let's
          > say another 100 minutes MAX there.
          >
          > Meaning that at most 500 quality minutes per year will occur in
          college.
          > Do players get taught better? A different question, but if you
          think that
          > purely playing in competition is the driving force, the NBA may
          well be
          > the better choice.
          >
          > As for player development, there's a different question of course...
          >
          >
          This is a good breakdown, Charles. It prompts me to suggest that
          a 1000-minute pro is getting about 500 "quality" minutes and another
          500 "garbage" minutes; while a 500-minute pro is getting
          basically "garbage" time.
          Placing oneself in competitive situations, at important times,
          does much for developing those qualities that cannot be aquired in
          practice situations. Nor in garbage time.
          A 1000-minute pro is playing some 10-15 minutes a game, and thus
          is a key contributor and playing quality minutes.
          Maybe NBA teams should be obligated to play an early-entry player
          1000 minutes. Then, rather than being taken just to develop him, he
          might be considered undraftable, and be consigned to college, and
          actually get some playing time.

          > >
        • Charles Steinhardt
          ... Injury problems... But more likely, they could be required to give a player 1000 minutes of playing time if a minor league system were in place. While I
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 22, 2001
            On Mon, 23 Jul 2001, Mike Goodman wrote:

            > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., Charles Steinhardt <charles@p...> wrote:
            > > Though the level of competition in college is lower. I'd also
            > point out
            > > that the level of practice is higher, though perhaps at an elite
            > program
            > > this is not as true. But consider a player at Duke, playing one of
            > the
            > > toughest schedules in the nation. They get 16 ACC games, about 10
            > of
            > > which are a high level of competition (300 minutes). The non-
            > conference
            > > schedule will provide generally 3-4 tests against Top 25 opposition
            > (90
            > > minutes). And the tournament, at most, is 6 games (180 minutes)
            > but no
            > > player should expect more than 3-4 tournament games, and the first
            > one
            > > will not be a high level of competition for an elite program. So
            > let's
            > > say another 100 minutes MAX there.
            > >
            > > Meaning that at most 500 quality minutes per year will occur in
            > college.
            > > Do players get taught better? A different question, but if you
            > think that
            > > purely playing in competition is the driving force, the NBA may
            > well be
            > > the better choice.
            > >
            > > As for player development, there's a different question of course...
            > >
            > >
            > This is a good breakdown, Charles. It prompts me to suggest that
            > a 1000-minute pro is getting about 500 "quality" minutes and another
            > 500 "garbage" minutes; while a 500-minute pro is getting
            > basically "garbage" time.
            > Placing oneself in competitive situations, at important times,
            > does much for developing those qualities that cannot be aquired in
            > practice situations. Nor in garbage time.
            > A 1000-minute pro is playing some 10-15 minutes a game, and thus
            > is a key contributor and playing quality minutes.
            > Maybe NBA teams should be obligated to play an early-entry player
            > 1000 minutes. Then, rather than being taken just to develop him, he
            > might be considered undraftable, and be consigned to college, and
            > actually get some playing time.
            >

            Injury problems...

            But more likely, they could be required to give a player 1000 minutes of
            playing time if a minor league system were in place.

            While I like the idea of players going to college from the point of view
            of letting them get a good education, I also realize that some player feel
            the classes are a waste of time. And honestly, I don't think that it
            benefits anybody to have players not taking classes seriously - not the
            players, their professors, their classmates, or the ADs who get caught up
            in scandals trying to get them to pass when they don't really care to. I
            feel that college is a privilege, and while basketball skills may allow
            one to gain entry and scholarship to someplace that otherwise would be
            difficult, if a player does not want to take advantage that too should be
            his choice.

            A minor league system would be ideal, in that a player who did not care
            for college would not be in the system, and players who wanted to go to
            college would be. To me this seems better than a system that IMO fails
            everybody, and perhaps the minor league would actually be developmental.

            Further one could institute a couple more rounds back in the draft to make
            the system work, allow deserving seniors their shot in the minor, and
            perhaps the requirement should be that 1st round picks get 1000 minutes of
            playing time SOMEPLACE. Or perhaps that's just something for people to
            negotiate in their contracts.

            Either way, this system seems better...

            > > >
            >
            >
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            >
            >
            >
          • Dean LaVergne
            This subject has been touched on to some extent but not explicitly addressed. I was wondering whether or to what extent these underclassmen hurt their
            Message 5 of 10 , Jul 23, 2001
              This subject has been touched on to some extent but not explicitly
              addressed.  I was wondering whether or to what extent these
              underclassmen hurt their development as pros. 
              [Dean LaVergne] 
              Actually, I'm working with some economists at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York who is testing that theory (among others).  I'll let you know the results when their results are in.
               
               
              Dean L.
            • harlanzo@yahoo.com
              ... Bank in ... know the ... Some of you have mentioned the need for playing time to develop skills of younger players. This is true to some extent. But I
              Message 6 of 10 , Jul 23, 2001
                --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Dean LaVergne" <deanlav@y...> wrote:
                > This subject has been touched on to some extent but not explicitly
                > addressed. I was wondering whether or to what extent these
                > underclassmen hurt their development as pros.
                > [Dean LaVergne]
                > Actually, I'm working with some economists at the Federal Reserve
                Bank in
                > New York who is testing that theory (among others). I'll let you
                know the
                > results when their results are in.
                >
                >
                > Dean L.

                Some of you have mentioned the need for playing time to develop
                skills of younger players. This is true to some extent. But I
                wonder if certain players, as a result of physical development, just
                get better because of the maturation process and that it would not
                matter if the player spent 4 years with Dean Smith or 2 years with
                Kevin Mackey he is still going to great because of his god-given
                abilities. Obivously, you need some polish but I wonder if that is
                only 10% of the puzzle whereas the physical/mental maturation process
                is a much larger piece.
              • Michael K. Tamada
                ... Yes, I ll be interested to see what those Fed economists come up with. They undoubtedly know the econometric techniques that ll be needed and I m presuming
                Message 7 of 10 , Jul 23, 2001
                  On Mon, 23 Jul 2001 harlanzo@... wrote:

                  > --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Dean LaVergne" <deanlav@y...> wrote:
                  > > Actually, I'm working with some economists at the Federal Reserve
                  > Bank in
                  > > New York who is testing that theory (among others). I'll let you
                  > know the
                  > > results when their results are in.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Dean L.
                  >
                  > Some of you have mentioned the need for playing time to develop
                  > skills of younger players. This is true to some extent. But I
                  > wonder if certain players, as a result of physical development, just
                  > get better because of the maturation process and that it would not
                  > matter if the player spent 4 years with Dean Smith or 2 years with
                  > Kevin Mackey he is still going to great because of his god-given
                  > abilities. Obivously, you need some polish but I wonder if that is
                  > only 10% of the puzzle whereas the physical/mental maturation process
                  > is a much larger piece.

                  Yes, I'll be interested to see what those Fed economists come up with.
                  They undoubtedly know the econometric techniques that'll be needed and I'm
                  presuming that they have the basketball knowledge necessary to
                  successfully apply them.

                  In particular, people here have come up with several hypotheses for player
                  development:

                  1. simple age (a 24 year old will play better than an 18 year old)
                  2. receiving training (including practice time, perhaps this is best
                  measured by practice minutes, or number of practices, or months of
                  practice -- though that'll be practically identical with using simple age)
                  3. minutes (or games, or seasons) of actual playing time
                  4. minutes (or games, or seasons) of non-garbage playing time

                  For explanations 2, 3, and 4 there are further some qualitative
                  differences to investigate: are all minutes the same, or does it make a
                  difference if they're experienced in the NBA, NCAA, (or NAIA, or the
                  now-defunct CBA, or Europe, or ???). Also even within those categories,
                  there are differences: would four years at UNC be the same as four years
                  at, say, UHouston? Would a season of NBA experience be the same at, say,
                  Phoenix (which always seems to be able to come up with little heralded
                  players who end up making good contributions) or under George Karl (who at
                  least in Seattle was notorious for burying rookies and never letting them
                  produce or develop, Eric Snow being the most notorious example).

                  Probably, player development is aided by all four of the factors listed,
                  but the question is which factors are more important than others, and
                  which ones would lead to the fastest development of a player (And is
                  fastest best? Most people think that it would be a mistake to rush even a
                  20-year old pitcher to the major leagues, ditto for most 18-year old
                  position players; on the other hand some 20-year old position players
                  such as Ken Griffey Jr and Alex Rodriguez were ready to play).

                  To make matters even more complex, there are undoubtedly players for whom
                  college coaching is the way to go, and others who would do better in the
                  NBA developmental league or on the bench in the NBA. Depending on
                  personality, ability to live on one's own, coachability, level of coaching
                  already received in high school, etc. etc. I don't think any study can
                  definitively provide an answer for individual players, but the Fed might
                  be able to provide an overall average.


                  --MKT
                • Dean Oliver
                  ... player ... best ... simple age) ... I don t know if there is enough data to do the kinds of studies being proposed. I hope so. My concept is that you
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jul 24, 2001
                    --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > In particular, people here have come up with several hypotheses for
                    player
                    > development:
                    >
                    > 1. simple age (a 24 year old will play better than an 18 year old)
                    > 2. receiving training (including practice time, perhaps this is
                    best
                    > measured by practice minutes, or number of practices, or months of
                    > practice -- though that'll be practically identical with using
                    simple age)
                    > 3. minutes (or games, or seasons) of actual playing time
                    > 4. minutes (or games, or seasons) of non-garbage playing time
                    >

                    I don't know if there is enough data to do the kinds of studies being
                    proposed. I hope so.

                    My concept is that you somehow want to control for the quality of
                    high school prospect you've got. A relative ranking may be all we
                    can do -- look at the top 100 and their average ranking by the
                    different services -- and track those guys through college/pros. (An
                    absolute ranking would be better since there is some sense of
                    better/worse high school classes.)

                    What you don't want to do is what we have already done -- match Kobe
                    Bryant with Shane Battier (maybe that was the other group). Kobe was
                    considered easily the best player in the nation that year (by my
                    faulty memory), whereas Battier was an "ordinary" McDonalds
                    All-American. Basically, Battier would not have been drafted then.
                    Kobe has few peers, except for Kevin Garnett, by being the only
                    highly drafted high school kid in his year (am I forgetting
                    someone?).

                    But how does Rashard Lewis compare? Does he have a match who stayed
                    in college at least a year or two?

                    What about finding matches for these guys? Do people have old HS
                    evaluations that we could use as a start for matching up appropriate
                    guys?

                    Tim Thomas? Jumaine Jones? Steve Francis with Larry Johnson? Dion
                    Glover? Jonathan Bender? Ron Artest? Elton Brand? Glenn Robinson?
                    Rodney Rogers?

                    Dean Oliver
                    Journal of Basketball Studies
                  • Mike Goodman
                    ... best ... simple age) ... What about championship minutes? What of that frozen moment when the shot has been released, the shot that will either secure
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jul 24, 2001
                      --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      ....people here have come up with several hypotheses for player
                      > development:
                      >
                      > 1. simple age (a 24 year old will play better than an 18 year old)
                      > 2. receiving training (including practice time, perhaps this is
                      best
                      > measured by practice minutes, or number of practices, or months of
                      > practice -- though that'll be practically identical with using
                      simple age)
                      > 3. minutes (or games, or seasons) of actual playing time
                      > 4. minutes (or games, or seasons) of non-garbage playing time
                      >
                      What about championship minutes? What of that frozen moment when
                      the shot has been released, the shot that will either secure one's
                      legacy as an amateur player, or tarnish it?
                      Michael Jordan hit a championship shot in college. Did this whet
                      his appetite for more, and sustain him thru the lean years in Chicago?
                      Hakeem never won a college title. Did coming-so-close allow him
                      to focus on doing even more to ensure that future opportunities would
                      not slip away?
                      A very-good college-age player, it seems, faces the choice of
                      vying for a national collegiate championship, or putting in time on
                      an NBA bench (or on the floor for a bad team).
                      If money is everything, and sooner is better, then you don't like
                      the possibility of an injury in college, carving out of your earning
                      and achievment potential. If there is anything to the notion that
                      certain vital personality traits are learned at certain ages, then
                      you have an argument: that anyone who likes the idea of college
                      competition may well do better by going to school, having that
                      youthful experience, and letting the pro career happen later.
                      How many NBA players have expressed regret at staying in school
                      longer than was economically expedient? Has Jordan publicly lamented
                      his time "wasted"? Has anyone?
                      I like Kevin Garnett, even his expletives. Presumably, a college
                      career would have purged him of his habit. But for every KG, there
                      are probably a dozen or more guys who could develop, as people, more
                      beneficially, by an amateur career, walking through the seasons, from
                      dorm to class to gym, learning some life; and then going pro.
                      Just my opinion.
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