Big East Player Ranking: Gray is #1

    
December 14th, 2006

There are numerous ways to evaluate college basketball players’ level of productivity. A few years ago, I devised what I call the P-5 system (Potential Point Production & Prevention Profile). It’s extremely straightforward. The present listing includes conference players who have averaged 24 mpg or higher (60% of available playing time).

Simply add number of points, rebounds, assists (times two), steals, and blocks, then subtract the number of turnovers. Then divide the total by number of minutes played, and you end up with a decimal.

Example: – David Cubillan ( Marquette ): 62 points + 18 rebounds = 80 + (23 assists x 2) = 126 + 9 steals = 135 + 3 blocks = 138 - 8 turnovers = 130 points divided by 217 minutes = .599

An alternate, and slightly quicker, approach is to add (and subtract) the averages for each category, then divide by the average number of minutes.
Example: - David Cubillan (Marquette): 5.6 ppg + 1.6 rpg = 7.2 + (2.1 apg x 2) = 11.4 + .8 spg = 12.2 + .3 bpg = 12.5 - .7 tpg = 11.8 divided by 19.7 mpg = .599.

Sometimes there is a slight discrepancy (usually between .01 and .03) between the two methods. For this article, I've used the second approach.
Any score of .900 or higher is exceptional. A score of 1.000 or higher over the course of a season is almost unheard of. Anything in the .800 - .899 range is very, very good.

For the 69 players included in this ranking, the median score is .721 (Eugene Lawrence and Kyle McAlarney). However, by the end of the season, the median score among starters should be considerably lower.

These non-conference P-5 scores are not necessarily indicative of what will happen once the conference season begins. Quite a few stellar individual performances have come against extremely weak opponents. Plus, coaches are often experimenting with lineups and rotations early in the season. As the season progresses, coaches tend to shorten their bench, so some players will end up with more minutes while others will end up with less. Finally, some of the younger players, as they gain experience, will become more comfortable, and their productivity will increase.

Still, this listing gives a pretty objective overview of how teams’ most prominent players have done the first third of the season. Here are the P-5 scores as of December 14. (An * represents a freshman.)

01. Gray (Pittsburgh) - 1.107
02. Kurz (Notre Dame) - 1.039
03. Price (Connecticut) - 1.015
04. Hill (Providence) - .963
05. Harvey* (Seton Hall) - .931
06. Hibbert (Georgetown) - .924
07. Carter (Notre Dame) - .919
08. Williamson (Cincinnati) - .903
09. Vaughn (Cincinnati) - .902
10. Sumpter (Villanova) - .879
11. James (Marquette) - .878
12. Nichols (Syracuse) - .878
13. McDermott (Providence) - .874
14. Williams (Louisville) - .866
15. Mattis - (South Florida) .864
16. McNeal (Marquette) - .860
17. Nardi (Villanova) - .840
18. Harris* (Syracuse) - .827
19. Alexander (West Virginia) - .816
20. Adrien (Connecticut) - .814
21. Dyson* (Connecticut) - .797
22. Bozeman* (South Florida) - .792
23. Nichols (West Virginia) - .783
24. Ruoff (West Virginia) - .780
25. Palacios (Louisville) - .775
26. Chandler (DePaul) - .773
27. Efejuku (Providence) - .770
28. Green (Georgetown) - .770
29. Curry (Providence) - .768
30. Mejia (DePaul) - .757
31. Fields (Pittsburgh) - .754
32. Sosa* (Louisville) - .751
33. Laing (Seton Hall) - .744
34. Mason (St. John’s) - .732
35. Lawrence (St. John’s) - .721
36. McAlarney (Notre Dame) - .721
37. Roberts (Syracuse) - .719
38. Patterson (St. John’s) - .705
39. Hamilton (St. John’s)- .699
40. Buckley (South Florida) - .697
41. Matthews (Marquette) - .696
42. Hill (St. John’s) - .694
43. Graves (Pittsburgh) - .677
44. Wright (Syracuse) - .677
45. Young (West Virginia) - .674
46. Thabeet* (Connecticut) - .668
47. Kendall (Pittsburgh) - .664
48. Clark (Villanova) - .660
49. Nutter (Seton Hall) - .655
50. Falls (Notre Dame) - .650
51. Sapp (Georgetown) - .648
52. Sikes (Cincinnati) - .640
53. Inman (Rutgers) - .628
54. McGowan (Cincinnati) - .617
55. Warren (Cincinnati) - .615
56. Devendorf (Syracuse) - .610
57. Sheridan (Villanova) - .597
58. Gaines (Seton Hall) - .588
59. Wallace (Georgetown) - .588
60. Clarke (DePaul) - .574
61. Barro (Marquette) - .568
62. Summers (West Virginia) - .552
63. Cunningham (Villanova) - .544
64. Egerson (Georgetown) - .511
65. Griffin (Rutgers) - .504
66. Farmer (Rutgers) - .465
67. Gentry (Cincinnati) - .423
68. Capko (South Florida) - .418
69. Webb (Rutgers) - .329

There are certainly some surprises. I never would have anticipated that veterans Rob Kurz of Notre Dame or Herbert Hill of Providence would be ranked in the Top 10, that McHugh Mattis of South Florida or Joe Alexander of West Virginia would be in the Top 20 or that Alexander’s teammate, Alex Ruoff, would be in the Top 25. Similarly, I would not have predicted that relatively unheralded freshman Deonte Vaughn of Cincinnati would be in the Top 10 or that fellow freshman Solomon Bozeman would be in the Top 25.

Conversely, Wilson Chandler (#26), Jeff Green (#27), Sammy Mejia (#30), Colin Falls (#50), JR Inman (#53), Eric Devendorf (#56), and Marquis Webb (#69) are viewed as some of the better players in the league. In fact, Green, Chandler , Mejia, Falls, and Devendorf have all been included on one or more pre-season all-conference teams.

It will be interesting to see whether the level of production of various players increases, decreases, or remains basically the same once the conference season begins. It will also be interesting to watch as some players increase their playing time dramatically while others lose minutes. For example, among players who did not qualify for this ranking because they have not averaged at least 24 mpg, one might look for freshman Luke Harangody of Notre Dame (P-5 score of 1.213 in 17.8 mpg) or Paul Gause of Seton Hall (P-5 score of .917 in 22.9 mpg) to see considerably more playing time.

I'll check P-5 scores again at the end of the non-conference portion of the season as well as at the mid-point and the end of the regular season to see which players have been productive over the long haul. I expect there will be substantial changes from today's P-5 scores.