If the RPI ratings are not accurate, then we create the NET.
But what about the KenPom? Prefer the eyeball test?
There are so many ways to measure teams and players that sometimes we outthink ourselves when trying to assess the value of a team or individual.
Kevin Pelton of ESPN recently did just that in calculating the first five years of NBA projections based on a variety of measurements. There are a lot of surprises in his list, which only includes the top 30 players according to his formula.
None of those players come from the University of Kentucky.
Statistical Top 30
- Zion Williamson, Duke Blue Devils
- Ja Morant, Murray State Racers
- Cam Reddish, Duke Blue Devils
- RJ Barrett, Duke Blue Devils
- Bol Bol, Oregon Ducks
- Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State Hawkeyes
- Darius Garland, Vanderbilt Commodores
- Dedric Lawson, Kansas Jayhawks
- Talen Horton-Tucker, Iowa State Hawkeyes
- Shamorie Ponds, St. Johns Red Storm
- Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech Red Raiders
- Chuma Okeke, Auburn Tigers
- Jaxson Hayes, Texas Longhorns
- De’Andre Hunter, Virginia Cavaliers
- Matisse Thybulle, Washington Huskies
- Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga Bulldogs
- John Konchar, Purdue-Fort Wayne Mastodons
- Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech Hokies
- Markus Howard, Marquette Golden Eagles
- Sam Hauser, Marquette Golden Eagles
- Coby White, North Carolina Tar Heels
- Romeo Langford, Indiana Hoosiers
- Nassir Little, North Carolina Tar Heels
- Dylan Windler, Belmont Bruins
- Jontay Porter, Missouri Tigers
- Kevin Porter Jr., USC Trojans
- Ty Jerome, Virginia Cavaliers
- Cassius Winston, Michigan State Spartans
- Grant Williams, Tennessee Volunteers
- Tre Jones, Duke Blue Devils
Peltner uses NCAA performance to predict rookie NBA performance, and then projects that out for five years of NBA performance. He also adds in performance in the Nike EYBL and incorporates an adjustment for wins above replacement projection (WARP) to consider player position.
I am no statistician, but it sounds like he put these projections together in the same way my grandmother used to make stew. A pinch of this, a little of that, and then a cup of that if we have any in the fridge.
The top four picks are actually possible, if you flip Barrett with Reddish. But after that, things seem to get out of hand. You are telling me two Ohio State players project better to the NBA than anyone on Kentucky’s roster? John Konchar of Purdue-Fort Wayne is a better prospect than PJ Washington? Belmont’s Dylan Windler will have a better NBA career than Keldon Johnson?
I am all for statistics. I have a degree in mathematics. But if the result of your analysis makes no sense logically, then your process is flawed.
Check out commentary on these flawed projections here.