Reading through Truehoop’s First Cup today, something caught my eye:
Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle: “According to Daryl Morey’s evaluations, Kevin Martin has been one of the NBA’s most efficient scorers in the last 30 years. He’s the only player who has shot 40 percent from the beyond 3-point line and averaged eight free-throw attempts a game in the course of an entire season. And he has done it in two of his six NBA seasons.
I think Kevin Martin is terrific, and every public statement by Daryl Morey piques my intellectual curiousity. Keeping with my theme of repressing thoughts of the Pacers atrocious season and preparing for the 2010 draft; I wondered if those numbers (3PT% and FTA/G) would show any standouts in this year’s draft class. Examining the numbers showed only one college player who had reached that threshold this year, Marquez Haynes. I broadened the list to any college players with a 3PT% above 40% who are averaging more than 5 FTA’s/G. Remarkably, that list is still only 10 players.
|Jimmer Fredette||PG||BYU||48.2%||6.4||2nd Rd, #9 2011|
|Elias Harris||SF/PF||Gonzaga||45.2%||5.4||1st Rd, #14 2011|
|Mark Payne||SG/SF||UC Davis||43.9%||6.3||2nd Rd, #29 2011|
|Adrian Oliver||PG/SG||San Jose State||41.7%||7.0||Undrafted|
|Jon Scheyer||PG/SG||Duke||40.9%||5.5||2nd Rd, #29 2010|
|Luke Babbitt||PF/SF||Nevada||40.8%||5.8||2nd Rd, #5 2011|
|Sylven Landesberg||SG||Virginia||40.7%||5.2||2nd Rd, #1 2011|
|Damion James||PF/SF||Texas||40.5%||6.6||1st Rd, # 25 2010|
* I left off Keith Benson from Oakland, and Gus Gilchrist from South Florida because they are both Power Forwards with fewer than 20 3PT attempts on the season.
There are some guys on this list that have been getting a lot of attention like Elias Harris, Scottie Reynolds and Damion James. There are some others playing really well, but getting no attention, like Jimmer Fredette, Mark Payne and Luke Babbitt. I was glad to see Jon Scheyer on this list (my recent recommendation for the player the Pacers should select with the 2nd Rd). pick they receive from Dallas this year. The most interesting thing to me is that, other than Elias Harris, there are no players on this list likely to get drafted in the lottery. It goes without saying that players reaching these two statistical benchmarks are very efficient scoring the ball. Most of the players on this list also have some obvious flaws, especially in the size and atheleticism departments, which is impacting their draft status. Still, maybe some of these guys deserve a closer look?
To put the examination of these players into context, I assembled a similar table for all college players since the 01/02 season who had a 3PT% better than 40% and averaged over 5 FTA/G.
|Sasa Cuic||Oregon St.||05/06||49.3%||5.6|
|Chris Paul||Wake Forest||04/05||47.4%||5.8|
|Nick George||Virginia Commonwealth||05/06||46.8%||5.1|
|Chris Paul||Wake Forest||03/04||46.5%||5.7|
|Acie Law||Texas A+M||06/07||45.8%||5.4|
|Reuben Douglas||New Mexico||01/02||44.9%||5.6|
|Jarrius Jackson||Texas Tech||05/06||44.8%||5.8|
|Al Thornton||Florida State||06/07||44.4%||6.0|
|Jared Dudley||Boston College||06/07||44.3%||6.4|
|Trey Johnson||Jackson State||05/06||44.1%||7.3|
|Jeff Teague||Wake Forest||08/09||44.1%||7.1|
|Jarrius Jackson||Texas Tech||06/07||43.6%||5.6|
|Ryan Toolson||Utah Valley St.||07/08||43.6%||5.7|
|Danny Granger||New Mexico||04/05||43.3%||6.8|
|Dior Lowhorn||San Fransisco||08/09||43.2%||5.1|
|Cartier Martin||Kansas State||05/06||42.7%||5.6|
|Ben Woodside||N. Dakota St.||08/09||42.7%||8.3|
|Henry Domercant||E. Illinois||02/03||42.4%||9.1|
|Will Daniels||Rhode Island||06/07||41.8%||6.5|
|Keith McLeod||Bowling Green||01/02||41.2%||8.2|
|Ben Woodside||N. Dakota St.||05/06||40.9%||7.2|
|James Harden||Arizona St.||07/08||40.7%||6.6|
|Bo McCalebb||New Orleans||07/08||40.5%||7.0|
|Troy Bell||Boston College||02/03||40.2%||8.6|
|Pat Calathes||St. Joseph’s||07/08||40.0%||5.1|
Green – Current NBA Players
* To pare down this list to legitimate qualifiers I only included players who attempted at least two 3p FGs per game.
** If you reduce the 3PT% threshold to 38% then the list would include current NBA players Deron Williams, Stephon Curry and Courtney Lee
This list breaks down into some pretty distinct categories. You have the players from small and mid-major schools who put up ridiculous numbers against 2nd tier competition (Trey Johnson, Andrew Wisniewski, Ryan Toolson). There are the busts, the wash-outs, and the not quites (Reece Gaines, Luke Jackson, Quincy Douby, Chris Lofton). There are also some legitimatly useful NBA players, guys making meaningful contributions (James Jones, J.J. Redick, Jerryd Bayless, James Harden, Ryan Anderson, etc.). Finally there are some stars on this list (Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Brandon Roy, Danny Granger). Granger would be the exception, but Durant, Roy and Paul would appear on any list of the 10 most efficient offensive players in the NBA.
There is certainly not a direct correlation between excelling in these categories at the college level, and being succesful in the NBA. I do think it is an interesting way to look at scoring efficency. Excelling in these categories seems to indicate not just skill level, but the awareness of when to use those skills to make the most of your time on the floor. Knowing when to use your jump shot and when to attack the basket to maximize efficiency is a skill that is sorely lacking in a lot of NBA backcourt players. If Daryl Morey is using this as a tool to analyze players than it is good enough for me . . . . . . . and hopefully the Pacers.