Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Value Add Group 2: Top Returning Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors

The 2017-18 Projected Value Add of 3,291 players is based on the following process. Returning sophomores make the biggest jump from their freshman season, generally worth about 1 point more per game than their sophomore season. A player generally continues to improve his junior and senior season, but not as much as that first off season.

The following are the top three returning sophomores, juniors and seniors based on projected Value Add:

Top 3 Sophomores; 1, Shamorie Ponds, St. John's 8.13 points per game; 2, Bruce Brown, Miami FL 8.02; 3, Mike Watkins, Penn St. 7.78.

Top 3 Juniors; 1. Ethan Happ, Wisconsin   10.65; 2, Mike Daum, South Dakota St. 9.36; 3, Jalen Brunson, Villanova 9.16.

Top 3 Seniors; 1, Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame 11.33; 2, Jock Landale, St. Mary's 10.38; 3, Ben Lammers, Georgia Tech 10.3.

The values of 313 players who will sit out the coming season after transferring but can take the court again will also be listed at, but you can type "2018" to narrow and only look at the players on the court next season.

A new study of the 61,000+ Value Add rankings from the 2001-02 to present season yielded the following year-by-year averages among all players who played four seasons at the same college:

Freshman Value Add RangeFreshmanSophomoreJuniorSenior
up to 1.000.591.181.571.90
up to 2.001.312.242.783.31
up to
3.01 or higher3.994.054.555.23
4 year players, same school0.981.662.092.48

All such players with a 0.01 to 1.00 Value Add their freshman year averaged improving to 1.18 their sophomore season, 1.57 their junior season and 1.90 their senor season. Based purely on this table it would appear that players with a strong freshman year actually do not improve as much as freshman who do not do as well. However, this is actually because players who already have freshman Value Add ratings of around 3.00 or higher and improve often go directly to the NBA, meaning their jumps each year are not reflected in the table.

In comparing result of NBA-bound players with these four-year players, we find that a standard improvement from season to season is actually better after any season in which the player tops 1.00. The standard projection is calculated for each player based on the following:
  • A freshman with a rating of 1.01 or higher projects to improve by 1.00 his sophomore year, while others project to improve by 0.7.
  • A sophomore with a rating of 1.01 or higher projects to improve 0.8 his junior year, while others improve 0.4. 
  • A junior with a rating of 1.01 or higher projects to improve 06 his senior year, while others improve 0.3.
Alternated minimum projects replace these projections for some select players:
  • A player ranked as one of the top 50 or so NBA prospects in their place have a minimum Value Add ranking based on exactly where they rank that will take the place of a lower projected Value Add using the system above.
  • A player who was highly rated as a recruit who has a bad year (often the result of injury or a lack of playing time) gets at least a rating equal to one point below the average number of stars he received as a recruit (e.g. a 5-star recruit who has a bad first year, still gets at least a 4.0 Value Add based on a history of such players improvement much more dramatically than others).

Based on running this math, and spending a couple of weeks trying to get players sorted and onto their correct teams, the following are the players projected to have the top Value Add impact on their teams next season.

1Bonzie Colson 35Notre DameACC11.33
2Ethan Happ 22WisconsinB1010.65
3Jock Landale 34St. Mary'sWCC10.38
4Ben Lammers 44Georgia TechACC10.3
5Jevon Carter 2West VirginiaB129.96
6Kenrich Williams 34Texas ChristianB129.93
7Peyton Aldridge 23DavidsonA109.73
8Jeffrey Carroll 30Oklahoma St.B129.61
9Mike Daum 24South Dakota St.Sum9.36
10Joe Chealey 13College of CharlestonCAA9.29
11Jalen Brunson 1VillanovaBE9.16
12Dedric Lawson 1MemphisAmer9.12
13Michael PorterMissouriSEC9
14Vladimir Brodziansky 10Texas ChristianB128.82
15Mikal Bridges 25VillanovaBE8.78
16Devontae Cacok 15UNC WilmingtonCAA8.75
17Jacob Evans 1CincinnatiAmer8.72
18Brandon Clarke 15San Jose St.MWC8.71
19Gary Clark 11CincinnatiAmer8.68
20Jaylen Adams 10St. BonaventureA108.55
21Rob Gray 32HoustonAmer8.54
22Mohamed BambaTexasB128.5
23Yante Maten 1GeorgiaSEC8.4
24Shake Milton 1Southern MethodistAmer8.38
25Khyri Thomas 2CreightonBE8.21

When we tally all players we find in the system, and add the team cumulative team ratings, the follow would be the "way too early" field of 68 teams - including all conference winners and the top at-large:

I wouldn't put any credibility on the team totals, I finally got to a point I could at least run it but would be pretty shocked to see the Alabama-Auburn basketball game be this big, haha.  I do have a starting point now though with the data in the system and calculated.

Teams like defending national champion North Carolina lost most of their big Value Add players, but will restock and move up this list, though they did drop from 1st to 61st at after the 2009 title.

Tournament FieldConfProjected
Wichita St.MVC47.84
Southern CaliforniaP1244.08
Michigan St.B1041.64
Texas A&MSEC41.32
West VirginiaB1240.44
Seton HallBE40.36
Miami FLACC40.11
Texas ChristianB1239.55
St. Mary'sWCC36.26
St. John'sBE33.16
Notre DameACC32.25
Oklahoma St.B1231.93
Wake ForestACC31.89
Mississippi St.SEC31.64
Western KentuckyCUSA30.65
Rhode IslandA1030.09
College of CharlestonCAA28.26
Fresno St.MWC28.19
Louisiana LafayetteSB26.43
Boise St.WAC26.19
Western MichiganMAC25.77
Montana St.BSky20.53
UC IrvineBW19.86
Fairleigh DickinsonNEC18.64
North Carolina A&TMEAC17.03
Alcorn St.SWAC15.23

Please advice us of any and all corrections to who is on which team.


  1. John, I believe that Dedric Lawson and his brother transferred to Kansas.

  2. Thank you! I will update, though it takes a few days sometimes when I am on the road.