College Prospect Rating (CPR) Version 3

By Steve Shea, Ph.D. (@SteveShea33)

March 10, 2017

[There is a sortable table with CPR scores for 325 players, including all college players drafted in the last 6 drafts, at the end of the article.]

College Prospect Rating (CPR) is a formula based on college box score production that attempts to approximate prospects’ future NBA potential.  It works from several foundational assumptions.

First, college players are inconsistent.  In particular, freshman are inconsistent, and this is often the only year of production CPR has to evaluate.  More than that, this inconsistency shouldn’t be held against players and using season averages has the potential to do that since particularly poor games on a small sample set can significantly alter season averages.  (We wrote about this inconsistency in depth here, but note that the CPR scores produced there are from a very early version and not compatible with those presented in this article.)

To weed out the influence of inconsistency, CPR uses averages of top 10 performances in each stat. Unfortunately, this requires game log data, which is hard to come by for seasons even as recent as 8 years ago.

CPR’s second assumption is that the NBA game is evolving rapidly. The skills needed to compose a competitive NBA roster in 2017 are different from those in 2007 and very different from those in 1997.  For example, today’s teams rarely depend on post up offense and instead, heavily depend on 3-point shooting.

So that CPR is more predictive of future success in the NBA than indicative of what would have been successful in the past, it does not use regressions. Instead, CPR weights skills according to what modern basketball analytics studies suggest are important today and predict will be vital in the future.  In addition, these weights in CPR should be recalibrated regularly to reflect the most modern research.  This year, we’ve decided to do just that, but before we go into the details, there’s one more very important assumption to discuss.

CPR cannot account for everything. CPR uses box score statistics, and these statistics tell an incomplete story of a player’s production. In addition, we can only measure qualities like athleticism and quickness indirectly as they translate to production in the box score.  Finally, there is no jerk factor in CPR.  Some prospects are jerks. 19-year-olds never come out of college ready to be superstars in the NBA.  All of them must continue to work exceptionally hard and respect their coaches’ advice. Jerkitude tends to obstruct development.

What’s New in CPR V3

Previous versions of CPR weighted production by year in college. For example, a sophomore needed to out-perform a freshman in order to have an equal rating.  This new version of CPR uses age. This was done for two reasons. First, previous versions seemed to be fooled by older freshman.  18-year-old production is different than 20-year-old freshman production, and in the old system, they weren’t considered as such. We’ve decided to go to age also because it eases the addition of foreign players, which we plan to include in the near future.

As CPR evolved two small-sample issues developed.  First, some players didn’t play that many games (e.g. Kyrie Irving).  To accommodate this, previous versions made case-by-case adjustments.  For example, Irving might be judged on only his top 5 performances as opposed to his top 10 since he missed more than half of the season. We standardized this in the new model. Any player that played less than 20 games is judged on his top 7 performances.

In addition, we’ve added strict minimums for 3-point attempts in order to consider 3-point percentage. Players that take 20 or fewer 3s are considered to have a 10% 3P%. Players with between 21 and 40 are considered 20% shooters. We use actual 3P% for players with more than 40 attempts.

The most significant change to the model and the one we’re most excited about is that we’ve introduced stat groups built upon complimentary statistics. For example, we have a shooting stat that combines 3P% with FT% in a way that excellent production in both compounds more so than simply summing the two stats’ contributions. The data suggests that isolated stats can be misleading. For example, a player can shoot over 40% on 3s in 45 attempts while not really having the type of 3-point shot we’d expect to translate to the pro ranks.  Instead of discounting that 3-point production altogether, we look at FT% as an indicator of the player’s shooting touch and consistency of mechanics. If the player was a 62% free-throw shooter, the new model suspects that his 3P% is inflated. If the player is an 85% free-throw shooter, the new model suspects the high 3P% is legit.

This grouping also allows players to not completely bottom out in a stat simply because they weren’t used in that capacity in college. For example, the previous model saw Karl-Anthony Towns as a weak 3-point shooter since he only had 8 attempts in college. The new version sees Karl Anthony-Towns as a respectable shooter because he shot 81% from the line.

In total, there are 6 stat groups—shooting, defense, versatility, scoring, playmaking, and interior production. (Playmaking is a group of one—assists—since the box score doesn’t provide any complimentary statistics in this category.)

In previous versions of CPR, player production was weighted by year in grade. In other words, a senior had to significantly out-produce a freshman to have the same rating. We’ve already mentioned that we’ve converted from year in school to age. There’s more modifications here.

In the past, the weight was the same across all stats. That never seemed appropriate, and in this new version, we address it. The collective weight (or the sum of the coefficients) of the stat groups drops as the players get older, but the rate at which each one drops varies.  Scoring starts with the bulk of the weight for the youngest players coming out. Young players can often lack the strength to post admirable interior numbers and the consistency of shot selection to shoot efficiently. Playmaking, defense and the ability to produce in a variety of areas (versatility) are also qualities that tend to take longer for players to develop. At this young age, scoring tends to be the biggest indicator of future potential. If an 18 or 19-year-old has put up a few 30+ scoring nights, that suggest two things. First, it shows that this young kid has the ability and confidence to take over a game. Second, it shows that the coach has the confidence and trust in him to allow the player to do so.

From 19-year-olds to 20-year-olds there is a significant drop in the weight on scoring and a shift in focus to interior production, playmaking and defense.  For a 20-year-old to have the same contribution to his CPR from scoring as a 19-year-old, he will have to significantly out-perform the younger player. But the 20-year-old has more opportunities to contribute to his CPR in other areas.  If a prospect is going to be a scorer in the pros, it’s expected that he will be scoring by his sophomore season in college. It’s expected, not extraordinary.  To feel confident about projecting this player forward, we need to see excellent production in at least 1 other stat group.

As the players get older, the emphasis shifts to shooting and versatility.  The reality is that each draft has very few star players.  In Basketball Analytics (2013), we found that outside of the lottery, each 1st-round pick yields a star about once every 30 drafts.  It’s not easy to land even a good role player. We found that picks 15-20 produce a good role player (weakest starter or 6th man) about a third of the time.  But if teams can aim for the right player types, they can increase their odds of a successful draft.

With the direction the NBA is trending, teams need players that can space off the ball on offense, in other words, players that can shoot 3s. Teams also need defenders, and in particular, players with some positional versatility on the wings. By positional versatility, we mean the ability to guard multiple positions, which allows defenses to more easily switch screens.  Arguably, the most important role player in today’s NBA is the guy who can space on offense and defend on D, the so-called “3 and D” players. (Think Shane Battier.)

For an older prospect to rate highly in CPR, he must either put up truly extraordinary numbers all around or he must profile as a 3 and D.  We’ve found that our stat groups of shooting and versatility do this well.

Finally, the last major change to our model is that it’s been recalibrated to college players drafted in the last 6 drafts. After we average the top 10 performances in each stat for each player, we convert each average to standard deviations from a mean.  In this case, the mean is the average over all NCAA players drafted in the last 6 drafts.

User’s Guide

Sometime, analyzing basketball through statistics can feel like judging a movie by reading the script. When we’re limited to box score stats, it’s like reading a script where 4 out of every 5 words have been removed.

CPR is not a list to draft off of.  It’s a perspective that is best used in collaboration with other means of assessing talent. Suppose a team’s scout presents his ranking of available college prospects prior to the 2011 draft, and let’s assume that order is the actual order in which these prospects were drafted.  The following table presents the first 20 college players taken in that year (the top 20 in our hypothetical scout’s rankings).

In the table, we’ve also included each player’s CPR.  The first thing we notice is that two picks in the teens rate well in regards to CPR. Those players are Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard. (Kenneth Faried looks pretty good too.)


In this instance, the comparison of the scout’s rankings and CPR should spark a conversation.  The analyst should explain why CPR likes Klay and Kawhi. The scout should explain why he likes Tristan Thompson and Brandon Knight more.  Neither the model nor the scout will always be right. Hopefully, the conversation enlightens all involved and leads to a collective decision that works best for the organization.

Here is another example. Suppose a team is drafting somewhere between pick 22 and 44 in the 2012 draft. The team has mapped out who they believe will go in the top 21 and their staring and the following scout’s rankings of the next 20 or so picks. (Again, we’ll use the actual order the players were drafted as our hypothetical scout’s rankings.)


Again, we see a couple players stand out in CPR. And again, this should start a conversation.  In this case, Draymond Green and Jae Crowder rate well because they are older prospects, are particularly versatile, and CPR rates versatility highly in older prospects.  In fact, Crowder and Green are the top two in versatility in this class.  Here, the analyst would explain that CPR projects Crowder and Green to be good 3 and D forwards.  (The high ratings for Crowder and Green are consistent with the previous versions of CPR.)

Let’s look at one more example. Suppose a scout presents the following top 10 college prospects from the 2014 draft.


Notice how CPR really likes Marcus Smart and doesn’t care for Aaron Gordon.  It’s not hard to figure out why the model feels this way.  Smart averaged 5.5 steals and 25.5 points per game in his top 10 performances in the respective stats. He was also a good rebounder for a guard, grabbing 9.3 a game in his top 10.  The model’s biggest issue with Gordon is his shooting.  He shot 42% from the free-throw line in college.

In an NBA that’s heavily invested in perimeter shooting, it is very hard for a wing player to be great without a decent 3-point shot. In this example, the discussion should begin with Gordon’s shooting.  What is broken and can it be fixed?

This season, Gordon’s third year in the league, he is shooting 27% from 3 and 67% from the free-throw line.  (Smart hasn’t been much better from 3, but he is shooting 79% on free-throws.)

What do the Numbers Mean?

We’ve already seen some sample outputs of the new CPR. The output is not in basketball terms. To interpret CPR, we need some loose guidelines.

A CPR ≥ 15 suggests a superstar, the kind of player that doesn’t come even once a draft.  A CPR between 12 and 15 is still stellar and suggests an NBA All-Star. Those that fall between 9 and 11 are a mixed bag. A player in this range that checks all the other boxes (size, athleticism, character, smarts, and health) is a fantastic prospect and should be a top 3 pick. But in this group there are also players with bodies better suited to dominant the college game.

A score between 6 and 8 suggests either an older prospect that has one translatable skill (e.g. Buddy Hield and shooting) or a younger player that didn’t do anything extraordinary statistically at the college level (e.g. Harrison Barnes or Jaylen Brown).  In the former case, we could be talking about a very good contributor off the bench.  In the latter, there is potential, but plenty of work to be done.

A score of 5 or below says your drafting this player for reasons other than his statistical production.  An example would be Trey Lyles, who played on such a loaded Kentucky team, that he didn’t get many touches (and arguably played out of position).  It could also be DeAndre Jordan or Zach Lavine, a highly-touted player coming into college who didn’t quiet mesh with his college coach and system.

There are certainly some now very good NBA players that rated below 6 in CPR.  However, more often than not, taking a player rated this low early in the draft turns out to be a regrettable decision. For example, Marcus Morris (CPR=4) was taken just before Kawhi Leonard (CPR=10) in 2011. In the same draft, Nolan Smith (CPR=3) was taken just before Kenneth Faried (CPR=10).  In 2012, Dion Waiters (CPR=4) and Thomas Robinson (CPR=4) both went just before Damian Lillard (CPR=8).

2017 Class

The 2017 class is loaded with talent on the perimeter.  There’s no Durant, Paul or Steph, but Malik Monk, Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and Dennis Smith all project to be All-Star caliber NBA guards.  (These scores are also included in the table at the end of the article.)


Forwards Jayson Tatum and Josh Jackson both rated well and should be in consideration for top 5 picks.

The most interesting rating belongs to Caleb Swanigan, the sophomore from Purdue.  Swanigan scored a 13 in CPR thanks to some other-worldly rebounding and shooting 45% from 3.  He stands about 6’8 with a 7’3 wingspan which suggests power forward.  However, he’s not an agile defender and could struggle to guard smaller 4s.  The NBA is trending smaller at the PF, which means Caleb should prepare himself to play a fair amount of center.

The worst case scenario for Caleb is he can’t handle defending NBA centers on the interior.  In that case, he could go the way of Jared Sullinger, who is struggling to find a role (and a team) these days.  He’ll be a solid rebounder at the 4 with some ability to stretch on offense, but will only see the court in situations when the opposing team plays a slower forward he can defend.

The best case scenario is that Caleb can play a small-ball 5. It’s a lot of work to bang with the likes of Andre Drummond and DeAndre Jordan when you are only 6’8.  So, Caleb may be limited to 20 minutes a night in that role.  Toss in another 8-10 minutes a night as the 4.

If Caleb can handle the defensive duties of center, and he continues to shoot a decent percentage from 3, then he can be a real weapon for offenses.  He can draw the opposing big out of the lane, perhaps to the corner and clear space for his teammates. As a pick and pop threat, he’ll get extra attention as the screener.

Right now, Caleb is projected to be a late first rounder.  At that point, he could be a steal. And you have to root for a kid with this backstory.

The Ratings

The following table contains the CPR scores for every college player taken in the last 6 drafts.  It also contains 25 of the top 2017 prospects including those mentioned above.  Finally, we added 22 players from years prior to 2011 as reference points.

CPR has always been built to accentuate differences at the extremes. For example, Hassan Whiteside scores so well because in his top 10 performances, he averaged 8.4 blocks a game.  (He was also a good rebounder.)

While Whiteside was exceptional in 1 or 2 categories, Durant was exceptional in almost everything.  In his top 10 performances in the respective stats, he averaged 34.2 points, 15.7 rebounds, 3.6 steals, and 4.1 blocks.  He did this with a FT% of 82% and a 3P% of 40%. And he was just a young freshman.  All of this production compounds to produce a CPR rating so far above and beyond anything else we’ve seen (and may ever see again).

[All Stats on 2017 prospects are current through March 8th games.]

RnkPlayerYearPkCPR V3
1Kevin Durant2007284
2Chris Paul2004430
3Anthony Davis2012123
4Stephen Curry2009721
5Malik Monk2017-19
6Kevin Love2008517
7Hassan Whiteside20103317
8Blake Griffin2009116
9Joel Embiid2014315
10Jabari Parker2014215
11Karl-Anthony Towns2015114
12Markelle Fultz2017-14
13Lonzo Ball2017-14
14Andrew Wiggins2014114
15Brandon Ingram2016214
16D'Angelo Russell2015214
17Nerlens Noel2013614
18Marcus Smart2014614
19Kyrie Irving2011113
20Paul George20101013
21Ben Simmons2016113
22Otto Porter2013313
23Myles Turner20151113
24Jamal Murray2016713
25Caleb Swanigan2017-13
26John Wall2010112
27Klay Thompson20111112
28Jayson Tatum2017-12
29Tyus Jones20152412
30Kevon Looney20153012
31DeMarcus Cousins2010511
32Dennis Smith2017-11
33Derrick Williams2011211
34Jae Crowder20123411
35Justise Winslow20151011
36Kentavious Caldwell-Pope2013811
37Elfrid Payton20141011
38Henry Ellenson20161811
39Meyers Leonard20121111
40Kyle Anderson20143011
41Jordan Adams20142211
42K.J. McDaniels20143211
43Kawhi Leonard20111510
44Draymond Green20123510
45Mike Conley2007410
46Victor Oladipo2013210
47Kenneth Faried20112210
48Maurice Harkless20121510
49Domantas Sabonis20161110
50Patrick McCaw20163810
51Tyler Ulis20163410
52Kay Felder20165410
53Chinanu Onuaku20163710
54James Harden200939
55Josh Jackson2017-9
56Bradley Beal201239
57Kris Dunn201659
58Stanley Johnson201589
59Alex Len201359
60Anthony Bennett201319
61Tyler Ennis2014189
62Jared Sullinger2012219
63Damian Lillard201268
64Gordon Hayward201098
65C.J. McCollum2013108
66Kemba Walker201198
67Greg Oden200718
68Derrick Rose200818
69Jonathan Isaac2017-8
70Tobias Harris2011198
71Miles Bridges2017-8
72Will Barton2012408
73Tristan Thompson201148
74Ben McLemore201378
75Iman Shumpert2011178
76Terrence Jones2012188
77Andre Roberson2013268
78Wade Baldwin2016178
79Robert Williams2017-8
80Darius Morris2011418
81Tyler Lydon2017-8
82Dejounte Murray2016298
83Gary Harris2014198
84Bobby Portis2015228
85R.J. Hunter2015288
86Jimmer Fredette2011108
87Donovan Mitchell2017-8
88T.J. Leaf2017-8
89Jarnell Stokes2014358
90Cameron Payne2015148
91Alec Peters2017-8
92Russell Westbrook200847
93Kyle Lowry2006247
94Jrue Holiday2009177
95Michael Kidd-Gilchrist201227
96Terrence Ross201287
97Brandon Knight201187
98Marquesse Chriss201687
99Steven Adams2013127
100Lauri Markkanen2017-7
101Kyle O'Quinn2012497
102Frank Kaminsky201597
103Charles Jenkins2011447
104De'Aaron Fox2017-7
105Joel Bolomboy2016527
106Jordan Mickey2015337
107Jared Cunningham2012247
108Alec Burks2011127
109Stephen Zimmerman2016417
110Marcus Denmon2012597
111Chris Singleton2011187
112Ivan Rabb2017-7
113Deyonta Davis2016317
114John Collins2017-7
115Reggie Bullock2013257
116Luke Kennard2017-7
117Daniel Hamilton2016567
118Jeremy Lamb2012127
119Chris McCullough2015297
120Harrison Barnes201276
121Devin Booker2015136
122Jaylen Brown201636
123Buddy Hield201666
124John Jenkins2012236
125Nate Wolters2013386
126Trey Burke201396
127MarShon Brooks2011256
128Tyler Honeycutt2011356
129Justin Harper2011326
130Julius Randle201476
131JaJuan Johnson2011276
132Doug McDermott2014116
133Shane Larkin2013186
134Jahlil Okafor201536
135Aaron Gordon201446
136Nikola Vucevic2011166
137Noah Vonleh201496
138Jamaal Franklin2013416
139Terry Rozier2015166
140Spencer Dinwiddie2014386
141Isaiah Whitehead2016426
142Tyler Harvey2015516
143Rondae Hollis-Jefferson2015236
144Ben Bentil2016516
145Richaun Holmes2015376
146Allen Crabbe2013316
147Michael Carter-Williams2013116
148Jordan Hamilton2011266
149Josh Richardson2015406
150Reggie Jackson2011246
151Pat Connaughton2015416
152Rashad Vaughn2015176
153Tony Wroten2012256
154Cory Joseph2011296
155Quincy Miller2012386
156Malachi Richardson2016226
157Pascal Siakam2016276
158Skal Labissiere2016286
159DeAndre Daniels2014376
160Taurean Prince2016126
161Malik Beasley2016196
162Markieff Morris2011136
163Jimmy Butler2011305
164Al Horford200735
165Andre Drummond201295
166Rodney Hood2014235
167Nik Stauskas201485
168Jake Layman2016475
169Kelly Oubre2015155
170Shabazz Napier2014245
171Markel Brown2014445
172Justin Patton2017-5
173Larry Nance Jr.2015275
174Tony Mitchell2013375
175OG Anunoby2017-5
176Bam Adebayo2017-5
177T.J. Warren2014145
178Alec Brown2014505
179Darrun Hilliard2015385
180James Young2014175
181Jon Leuer2011405
182Norris Cole2011285
183Solomon Hill2013235
184James Ennis2013505
185Grant Jerrett2013405
186Ryan Kelly2013485
187Doron Lamb2012425
188Mike Muscala2013445
189Denzel Valentine2016145
190P.J. Hairston2014265
191Ray McCallum2013365
192Travis Leslie2011475
193Trey Thompkins2011375
194Jarell Martin2015255
195Caris LeVert2016205
196Isaiah Canaan2013345
197Brice Johnson2016255
198Erick Green2013465
199Norman Powell2015465
200Archie Goodwin2013295
201Pierre Jackson2013425
202Glenn Robinson III2014405
203John Henson2012145
204Nick Johnson2014425
205Andrew Nicholson2012195
206Jerami Grant2014395
207E'Twaun Moore2011555
208LaMarcus Aldridge200624
209DeAndre Jordan2008354
210DeMar DeRozan200994
211DeAndre Bembry2016214
212Zach LaVine2014134
213Thomas Robinson201254
214Marcus Morris2011144
215Marquis Teague2012294
216Dakari Johnson2015484
217Demetrius Jackson2016454
218Tony Snell2013204
219Austin Rivers2012104
220Jakob Poeltl201694
221Dion Waiters201244
222Delon Wright2015204
223Joseph Young2015434
224Kevin Murphy2012474
225Diamond Stone2016404
226Josh Selby2011494
227Jon Diebler2011514
228Justin Anderson2015214
229Trey Lyles2015124
230Marcus Thornton2015454
231Aaron White2015494
232Roy Devyn Marble2014564
233Deshaun Thomas2013584
234Andrew Harrison2015444
235Olivier Hanlan2015424
236Sir'Dominic Pointer2015534
237Anthony Brown2015344
238Carrick Felix2013334
239Tyler Zeller2012174
240Montrezl Harrell2015324
241Isaiah Cousins2016594
242Arsalan Kazemi2013544
243Keith Benson2011484
244Darius Miller2012464
245Shelvin Mack2011344
246Jordan Clarkson2014464
247Robbie Hummel2012584
248Jordan Williams2011364
249Erik Murphy2013493
250Tim Hardaway2013243
251Shabazz Muhammad2013143
252Georges Niang2016503
253Xavier Thames2014593
254Orlando Johnson2012363
255Cleanthony Early2014343
256Adreian Payne2014153
257Jeff Withey2013393
258Tyshawn Taylor2012413
259Justin Jackson2017-3
260Cody Zeller201343
261Isaiah Thomas2011603
262Sam Dekker2015183
263Peyton Siva2013563
264Andrew Goudelock2011463
265Royce White2012163
266Semaj Christon2014553
267Lamar Patterson2014483
268Branden Dawson2015563
269Nolan Smith2011213
270Perry Jones2012283
271Arnett Moultrie2012273
272Kendall Marshall2012133
273Quincy Acy2012373
274Kelly Olynyk2013133
275Lavoy Allen2011503
276Russ Smith2014473
277Jeff Taylor2012313
278Kyle Singler2011333
279Malcolm Lee2011433
280Johnathan Motley2017-3
281Josh Harrellson2011453
282Abdel Nader2016583
283Cheick Diallo2016333
284Josh Huestis2014293
285Glen Rice2013353
286Jerian Grant2015193
287J.P. Tokoto2015583
288Khris Middleton2012393
289Willie Cauley-Stein201563
290Fab Melo2012222
291Justin Hamilton2012452
292Darius Johnson-Odom2012552
293Jordan McRae2014582
294Gorgui Dieng2013212
295Chandler Parsons2011382
296Malcolm Brogdon2016362
297DeAndre Liggins2011532
298Marcus Paige2016552
299C.J. Wilcox2014282
300Lorenzo Brown2013522
301Johnny O'Bryant III2014362
302Damian Jones2016302
303Tyrone Wallace2016602
304Mason Plumlee2013222
305Joe Harris2014332
306Dwight Powell2014452
307Kim English2012442
308Michael Gbinije2016492
309Kris Joseph2012511
310Rakeem Christmas2015361
311Alex Oriakhi2013571
312Cady Lalanne2015551
313Mitch McGary2014211
314A.J. Hammons2016461
315Romero Osby2013511
316Robert Sacre2012601
317Harry Giles2017-1
318Festus Ezeli2012301
319Cory Jefferson2014601
320Bernard James2012331
321Mike Scott2012431
322Cameron Bairstow2014491
323Colton Iverson2013531
324Miles Plumlee2012261
325Vernon Macklin2011520
Leave a comment


  1. Evan Javel

     /  March 10, 2017

    Thanks for posting this. You stated that your last chart covers the last 6 drafts. Is this a typo? (since CP3 was drafted 13 years ago)

    • Nope. The last table includes all college players drafted in the last 6 drafts and more. It also has 25 prospects from 2017 and 22 players pulled from earlier seasons as examples for comparison.

  2. Dan

     /  March 10, 2017

    Great work Steve. Thank you publishing. What stats go into each of the categories?

  3. Erik

     /  March 14, 2017

    You have used the success of past players to determine the weights that should be used for their box scores. I am wondering how the weights and results change if you exclude the last two drafts and then try to use this model to evaluate them.

    Right now it looks like this model has done very well the past few drafts, but that is also because it has used the success or failure of those players to adjust the weights used in the model.

  4. Erik

     /  March 14, 2017

    You have used the success of past players to determine the weights that should be used for their box scores. I am wondering how the weights and results change if you exclude the last two drafts and then try to use this model to evaluate them.

    Right now it looks like this model has done very well the past few drafts, but that is also because it has used the success or failure of those players to adjust the weights used in the model.

    • Erik

       /  March 14, 2017

      When I look back at posts before the last two drafts it looks like this model does pretty good, but not great. I am wondering how improved the predictions might have been if you had used aged and had grouped stats together as you did this year.

  5. Ben

     /  March 16, 2017


    I read about your model in your book, and I appreciate the update. I think the idea of eschewing averages is really smart.

    In regards to those averages, was there ever a single archetype case where you thought a player was severely underrated because of a focus on his averages? A player that CPR highlighted but was missed by NBA teams?

  6. Stefan

     /  March 28, 2017

    Do you use top 10 games only from the season before draft or does it somehow include previous seasons?

    • only the season before draft

      • Stefan

         /  April 1, 2017

        Thanks for the answer. You don’t use previous seasons because they don’t give valuable info about player’s potential or just because best draft prospects are usually one-and-done’s?

        • In some cases, the previous seasons have a lot of value. Off the top of my head, I recall Khris Middleton rating very poorly in CPR in his final college season, but that season he dealt with a serious injury. He rated much better the previous year. I guess one way to use prior information is to look at CPR scores for previous seasons (when not 1 and done).

  7. Jj

     /  March 31, 2017

    Thanks for posting this.

    For 2017 specifically, how did you decide which 25 prospects to feature in the chart? Are these the 25 best prospects in the model? I’d be surprised if someone like Josh Hart, for example, didn’t score better than some others listed here.

  8. I’m wondering why Jamal Murray is not closer (actually higher) than Malik Monk. Even looking at per 40 mins, he seems to better Monk in most categories.

    I guess the same argument would be for D’Angelo Russell, who also is better than Monk in most categories (has a more complete game) and as a shooter…other than gross 3pm. His per100, per40, seems to be about as close as you get can with Monk on shooting.

    The other question I would have is Steph Curry also seems to show a more complete game than Monk, and also beats him in the 3pt shooting, but he does stay 3 years. Must be a penalty or sorts for staying in school longer? Versus say weight an average of seasons. I think that could keep Doug McDermott lower than say Monk (if he were to have stayed 4 years, but had similar production). Not a perfect match as McDermott has historically bad defensive numbers — maybe if Markkanen stayed 4 years, although he’s a 7 months older (so comp would be to McDermott’s soph year — and McDermott handles that matchup very well).

  9. Wayne Crimi

     /  April 13, 2017

    I have a problem with rating Monk so highly. He doesn’t do too much very well other than score. Plus, at only 6’3″, he may have trouble guarding a lot of SGs in the league.

    I don’t like that undersized “combo” guard profile at all unless they bring a lot of other things to the table.

  10. Andrew

     /  May 15, 2017


    Where do you pull your data from? Do you have access to private NBA databases, or do you pull everything from sites like basketball reference? Thank you and awesome article

  11. Edwin

     /  May 27, 2017

    Any idea what CPR Ben Simmons projected under in his one year in LSU?

  12. boo

     /  June 7, 2017

    Can you please show what Monk was averaging in his best 10 games?

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