Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Best Point Guards in College Basketball This Year

Note: While and analytics flagging Chattanooga's Malachi Smith as the 2nd best small forward in the country, we have been informed that in fact he plays point guard - where he would also rank as the 2nd best player at the country barely behind Villanova's Collin Gillespie. We will update for his next post, but we would still consider Smith a 2nd Team All-American at this point - just at a different position. (The analytics are thrown off because he grabs so many defensive rebounds that he appears to be a small forward rather than a point guard statistically).

In Value Add Basketball we consider the team's "point guard" the player who typically has the most  assists, and typically is the shortest player on the floor and with fewer defensive rebounds, blocked shots and less height. A point guard has the toughest job because he is the player who needs to handle it all the way down the court and create his own shots or create shots for others by working the ball inside to a center or power forward, who will thus typically have even better raw numbers than a great point guard. (for a summary of the top players at each position, click here).

Because calculates how many points per game a player improves his team compared to if a typical replacement player took his place, the raw value add is adjusted by position since the replacement player would be at the same position. Therefore, once the formulas are run, and power guard's raw value add is increased by multiplying it by 1.05 to get the result you see below and at

In general, freshmen guards in particular make so many mistakes (turnovers, bad shots etc.) the first half of the season that they do not rank nearly as high as more experienced guards. Nowhere is this more true than at point guard.

However, they tend to improve more at the end of the season, so we watch for breakout freshmen first when looking at brackets. Therefore we start with the 10 most valuable freshmen pointing guards in college basketball, and perhaps the most incredible finding in these systems is that the top two freshman point guard in all of college basketball both play for Tennessee. Zakai Zeigler plays the point whenever he is in the game based on analytics - and when he sits Kennedy Chandler moves from shooting guard to point guard and is even better. 

Chandler was unbelievable in the recent double digit win against Kentucky, scoring 17 points despite taking only 9 shots, and dishing out 6 assists without a single turnover. Zeigler has four steals in that game, and scored 14 points only taking eight shots. With the importance of guards able to handle the ball in March Madness, this duo could be scary good in the tournament.

RnkTop 10 Freshman PGTeamVA5ConfHtTextCl
23Kennedy Chandler #1Tennessee6.08SEC6'0Fr
52Zakai Zeigler #5Tennessee4.92SEC5'9"Fr
58Malachi Smith #11Dayton4.71A106'0Fr
60Jalen Cook #3Tulane4.54Amer6'0Fr
66Jao Ituka #10Marist4.22MAAC6'1"Fr
94Kino Lilly #10Brown3.57Ivy6'0Fr
113Kerr Kriisa #25Arizona3.19P126'3"Fr
116Ajay Mitchell #13UC Santa Barbara3.14BW6'4"Fr
134Jeremiah Williams #25Temple2.81Amer6'5"Fr
136Walter Clayton #13Iona2.77MAAC6'2"Fr

If anyone had any doubts about Collin Gillespie being the top point guard in the country, they should watch how he has brought Villanova surging back into the top 10 - and the difference it made last year when he was injured for March Madness. It is a very close battle for 2nd Team All-American Point Guard between Mississippi State's Iverson Molinar and SMU's Kendric Davis. 

It may look strange to have Wyoming's super star Hunter Maldonado listed at point guard despite standing 6-foot-7, but he is in the top half percent of all players in assist rate - dishing and making everyone else score for a team that appears to be heading to March Madness.

RnkTop Point Guards (1)TeamVA5ConfHtTextCl
1Collin Gillespie #2Villanova9.33BE6'3"Sr
2Iverson Molinar #1Mississippi St.8.68SEC6'3"Jr
3Kendric Davis #3SMU8.54Amer6'0Sr
4Hunter Maldonado #24Wyoming8.08MWC6'7"Sr
5Jamaree Bouyea #1San Francisco8.06WCC6'2"Sr
6Payton Willis #0Minnesota7.92B106'4"Sr
7Tylor Perry #5North Texas7.77CUSA5'11"Jr
8Trent Frazier #1Illinois7.77B106'2"Sr
9Baylor Scheierman #3South Dakota St.7.45Sum6'6"So
10Will Richardson #0Oregon7.44P126'5"Sr
11RJ Cole #2Connecticut7.35BE6'1"Sr
12Mark Sears #1Ohio6.99MAC6'1"So
13Tyger Campbell #10UCLA6.92P125'11"Jr
14Jacob Gilyard #0Richmond6.71A105'9"Sr
15Isaiah Stevens #4Colorado St.6.69MWC6'0Jr
16Jalen Williams #24Santa Clara6.59WCC6'6"Jr
17Foster Loyer #0Davidson6.55A106'0Jr
18Jamari Wheeler #55Ohio St.6.53B106'1"Sr
19Andrew Nembhard #3Gonzaga6.49WCC6'5"Sr
20Michael Flowers #12Washington St.6.41P126'1"Sr
21Sincere Carry #3Kent St.6.3MAC6'1"Jr
22Jordan Goldwire #0Oklahoma6.19B126'3"Sr
23Kennedy Chandler #1Tennessee6.08SEC6'0Fr
24Jovan Blacksher #10Grand Canyon6.07WAC5'11"Jr
25Javon Freeman-Liberty #4DePaul6.06BE6'4"Sr
26RJ Davis #4North Carolina5.93ACC6'0So
27Wendell Green #1Auburn5.83SEC5'11"So
28Scotty Pippen #2Vanderbilt5.74SEC6'3"Jr
29Ben Shungu #24Vermont5.74AE6'2"Sr
30Michael Devoe #0Georgia Tech5.65ACC6'5"Sr
31Markquis Nowell #1Kansas St.5.61B125'8"Jr
32Jordan Walker #10UAB5.57CUSA5'11"Jr
33Kevion Nolan #3Jacksonville5.55ASun6'2"Jr
34Darius McGhee #2Liberty5.5ASun5'9"Sr
35Souley Boum #0UTEP5.49CUSA6'3"Jr
36Jamal Shead #1Houston5.41Amer6'1"So
37James Akinjo #11Baylor5.41B126'1"Sr
38Marcus Domask #1Southern Illinois5.38MVC6'6"Jr
39Tristen Newton #2East Carolina5.27Amer6'5"So
40Marcus Shaver #10Boise St.5.2MWC6'2"Sr
41Justice Hill #14Murray St.5.18OVC6'0So
42Bryce Aiken #1Seton Hall5.12BE6'0Sr
43Max Abmas #3Oral Roberts5.09Sum6'0Jr
44Jared Bynum #4Providence5.06BE5'10"Jr
45Darrion Trammell #2Seattle5.05WAC5'10"So
46Noah Kirkwood #10Harvard5.01Ivy6'7"Sr
47Braden Norris #4Loyola Chicago4.99MVC6'0Jr
48AJ Green #4Northern Iowa4.98MVC6'4"Jr
49KD Johnson #0Auburn4.97SEC6'0So
50Jahmir Young #1Charlotte4.96CUSA6'1"Jr

No comments:

Post a Comment