What to expect from 5* wing players in college basketball

Submitted by taistreetsmyhero on April 8th, 2015 at 3:05 PM

Since there have been a couple of board posts discussing the [unnecessary] dichotomy of choosing Jaylen Brown or Caris LeVert, I thought I'd look at the stats of past 5 star wings to see what you could reasonably expect from Brown.

I used ESPN recruit rankings. I first looked at the stats of 5* freshmen who were labeled as SGs or SFs (i.e. Russel was listed as a SG on ESPN) from the 2014 class. Next, I went from 2014 to 2007 and picked out SGs or SFs who were ranked as a top 5 recruit in that class (because Jaylen Brown is a top 5 recruit), because I think that you can reasonably expect more from the #2 ranked player than the #20 ranked player. I know top 5 is arbitrary, and maybe next time I'd look at all players given the same ranking that Brown received (96)...although I'm sure those grades are also relatively arbitrary.

Charts:

5*Wings            
ESPN 2014 Rankings School Points Rebounds Assists Minutes Proj. Draft #
Stanley Johnson Arizona 13.8 6.5 1.7 28.4 8
Justin Jackson UNC 10.7 3.7 2.3 26.7 N/A
Theo Pinson UNC 2.8 3 1.5 12.5 N/A
Kelly Oubre Kansas 9.3 5 0.8 21 11
D'Angelo Russell OSU 19.3 5.7 5 33.9 3
Isaiah Whitehead Seton Hall 12 3.9 3.5 27.8 N/A
Justise Winslow Duke 12.6 6.5 2.1 29.1 5
Devin Booker Kentucky 10 2 1.1 21.5 18
Rashad Vaughn UNLV 17.8 4.8 1.6 32.2 33
James Blackmon Jr. Indiana 15.7 5.3 1.5 30 N/A
Grayson Allen Duke 4.4 1 0.4 9.2 N/A
Keita Bates-Diop OSU 3.8 2.1 0.5 9.9 N/A
Devin Robinson Florida 6.4 2.8 0.7 19 N/A
Jae'Sean Tate OSU 8.8 5 0.3 22 N/A
Melo Trimble Maryland 16.2 3.9 3 33.5 N/A
  Average: 10.9 4.1 1.7 23.8 13
 
 
Top 5 Wings            
2014-2007 School Points Rebounds Assists Minutes Draft #
Andrew Wiggins Kansas 17.1 5.9 1.5 32.8 1
Jabari Parker Duke 19.1 8.7 1.2 30.7 2
Shabazz Muhammad UCLA 17.9 5.2 0.8 30.8 14
Kyle Anderson UCLA 12.2 8.7 5 31.6 30
Austin Rivers Duke 15.5 3.4 2.1 33.2 10
Michael Gilchrist Kentucky 11.9 7.4 1.9 31.1 2
Bradley Beal Florida 14.8 6.7 2.2 34.2 3
Harrison Barnes UNC 16.3 5.5 1.3 29.3 7
Avery Bradley Texas 11.6 2.9 2.1 29.5 19
Xavier Henry Kansas 13.4 4.4 1.5 27.5 12
Eric Gordon Indiana 20.9 3.3 2.4 34.7 7
O.J. Mayo USC 20.7 4.5 3.3 36.8 3
Kyle Singler Duke 16.2 6.9 2 33 33
  Average: 16.0 5.7 2.1 31.9 11
Caris Levert (Jr yr) Michigan 14.9 4.9 3.7 35.8  

 

Stats compared to LeVert:

2014 5* Wings  
More points 4/14
More points + reb 2/14
> 30 minutes 4/14

 

Top 5 Wings  
More points 8/13
More points + reb 5/13
> 30 minutes 10/13
Stayed > 1 year 3/13

 

Some interesting take-aways:

There is, unsurprisingly, a wide range of productivity from 5* freshmen. If you are taking any 5* player, the chances that they can produce at LeVert's level is very low.

That being said, when you look at 5* wings that were ranked in the top 5 of their recruiting class (none of the current freshmen SG's or SF's were top 5), the variability drastically decreases, and productivity goes way up.

I don't know if Brown has the same hype as a Wiggins or Parker, but based on past recruits' performances, it seems likely that he could step in and be extremely productive.

Something that I guess I never truly appreciated enough about LeVert is his assist numbers. While I took LeVert's abbreviated stats from this season, which heavily samples games against scrubs, it is still impressive to see how many assists he had a game compard to other great wings. Losing LeVert would not only mean loss of a lot of experience, but also the loss of a great floor general.

One (somewhat unsurprising) thing is that almost every single top 5-rated wing went pro after their freshmen year. It leads me to believe that we'd either get one good-great year out of Brown, or a year where he didn't perform at the same level as a LeVert and then came back and tried to improve his game. I think it definitely removes the advantage of saying "well you might get multiple years out of Brown," because the only way that happens is if he doesn't play that well. In other words, I'm saying that I'd go with past precedent over the (well-intentioned) words of a high school senior when it comes to staying for more than one year.

All of this may very well be moot, as we have no clue of either Brown's or LeVert's intentions. It also doesn't give any clear answer to the pointless game of "pick one." However, it does show that...getting Brown would be awesome!

 

Comments

Stringer Bell

April 8th, 2015 at 3:10 PM ^

He definitely doesn't have the same hype as Wiggins or Parker.  But Wiggins was widely viewed as a disappointment in college, so to expect Brown to put up Wiggins-esque college numbers isn't ridiculous.