Commentary

How top prospects stack up in PER

UK's Davis, OSU's Sullinger rank among nation's most efficient players

Updated: January 6, 2012, 2:55 PM ET
By Matt Giles | ESPN Insider
KentuckyMark L. Baer/US PresswireAnthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist have been very efficient so far this season.

Ever want a way to compare every player in college basketball? John Hollinger has your answer. With his college player efficiency ratings (PER), we can evaluate the productivity of Division I hoopsters from Arizona to Youngstown State to see who's really helping his team the most.

Thanks to the efforts of Ken Pomeroy, John Gasaway and all the others who preach the gospel of tempo-free statistics, the college ranks seem to have cornered the market on statistical analysis. However, not so fast! Advanced metrics have been gaining ground in NBA front offices for some time, and various stats have been creeping into discussions of where players are selected in the draft.

Since all of Division I is finally in the midst of conference play, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at how the top 10 players on Chad Ford's Top 100 big board stack up from a statistical perspective.

Leading the way is Kentucky Wildcats freshman Anthony Davis. The center ranks fifth in Hollinger's database (33.24), and while Davis continues to defer offensively to his fellow Wildcats (his usage rate of 14.6 percent is too low for a player whose 2-point field goal percentage is 67 percent), his rebounding numbers are impressive. Davis' defensive rebounding rate of 24.7 percent indicates a big that is not only a threat to block a shot but can also recover quickly enough to snuff out any second-chance opportunities. Per Pomeroy, the Wildcats are one of the SEC's two best teams (the other being Mississippi State) at limiting opponents' offensive rebounds.


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