Continuing his strong play with the USA U-18 team, incoming Duke freshman Rasheed Sulaimon scored nine points on 4-of-7 shooting as the United States beat the host squad Brazil 83-64.
In the USA’s three victories he’s averaging 9.3 points per game on 53.3-percent shooting.
Sulaimon and forward Amile Jefferson are the two incoming recruits for head coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils this season. In a post for KenPom.com, a statistically inclined college basketball website, Drew Cannon made advanced stat projections for the top college basketball recruits in the country.
Included among those are predictions for Sulaimon and Jefferson:
ORtg %Pos OR/DR% A% TO% B/S% FC/40 FTR FT% 2P% 3P% 3PA% A Jefferson, Duke 102 20 11/16 8 19 4/2 4.5 43 64% 50% 25% 12% R Sulaimon, Duke 106 23 4/11 15 17 1/2 2.8 34 71% 49% 34% 41%
For those unfamiliar with essentially the equivalent of college basketball sabermetrics, Ken Pomeroy explains them all on his website. Here is a quick look at a few of those numbers, explaining what they mean in terms of Sulaimon and Jefferson:
- ORtg–offensive rating. An individual version of offensive efficiency, which is points scored per 100 possessions. Anything above 110 is considered good, while 120 is quite good. Ryan Kelly led Duke last year with 119.7. It’s not surprising that Sulaimon’s is higher than Jefferson’s–he projects to be much closer to being a college-ready scorer than Jefferson.
- %Pos–percentage of possessions used while a player is on the floor. It’s the percentage of the time a player ends a possession with the ball in his hands. So, 20% is average, while a number higher/lower than that indicates a player is more/less involved with the offense. Offensive rating and %pos need to be looked at together because offensive rating is a measure of efficiency while %pos looks at how often they actually finish with the ball. In theory, the best players would have high ORtgs and high %Pos, meaning they score efficiently and often. Sulaimon’s predicted %pos is 23 while Jefferson’s is 20. It’ll be interesting to see if they are actually that involved as freshmen, especially Jefferson who may not look to shoot as often as Sulaimon might in their freshman seasons.For perspective, Austin Rivers led Duke in %pos last year with 24.1, while maintaining an offensive rating of 104.7. Seth Curry used 21.9 percent of possessions while he was on the floor last year, with a 112.9 offensive rating. Defensive specialist Tyler Thornton used the fewest percentage of possesions last year at 11.9 and had an offensive rating of 111.4. Josh Hairston, with an offensive rating of 98.1, was the lowest on the team last year in that category, but he only finished with the ball in his hands 19.4 percent of the time.
- OR/DR%–offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. These two statistics are the percent of offensive and defensive rebounds a player could possibly get, respectively. Anything above 10% is good for offensive rebounds while anything over 20% is good for defensive rebounds. According to Cannon’s projections, Jefferson projects to be an above-average offensive rebounder as a freshman, something I think any Blue Devil fan would be thrilled with.
- A%–assist rate. This measures assists divided by teammates’ field goals. Quinn Cook led Duke at 31.5 last year; Sulaimon’s 15 percent would have been fourth best on last year’s team.
- TO%–turnover percentage. An easy statistic–turnovers divided by possessions. A good TO rate depends on position–point guards will naturally have higher ones because they handle the ball better. Thornton had the highest on last year’s team at 23.2 percent while Quinn Cook had the lowest at 12.9–a very strong mark.
- Some of the stats toward the end are self-explanatory, like FT%, 2P%, 3P% are rates of made free throws, 2-pointers and three-pointers. 3PA% is percentage of field goals taken that are 3-pointers. Predictably, a large percentage of Sulaimon’s shots will be from downtown, according to Cannon, saying it will be 41 percent.
- FC/40 is fouls committed per 40 minutes.
- B/S% are block and steal percentages, respectively. B% is blocks/opponent 2-pointers while S% is steals/defensive possessions.
Notably, Cannon wrote a caveat on Twitter, “Remember that the freshman projections from earlier aren’t very nuanced.”
For more explanations on these stats, KenPom has good explanations.
All stats in this post are found on KenPom.com.