Welcome to Is This Just Fantasy. I hope to write this column weekly. Rather than looking at which players are highly regarded by scouts and NBA personnel, this will look more at the raw numbers players are putting up at the college level, and what it may say about their potential NBA future.
The numbers in this column will be based off of RBFBL scoring. What is that jumble of letters? It stands for Ron's Basement Fantasy Basketball League. This is the fantasy college basketball league I play it, and it is like no other. The website for the league can be found at home.comcast.net/~rbfbl, and the rules for the league can be opened by clicking the banner. A simple rundown of the scoring:
One fantasy point (FP) for a point scored
One FP for a rebound
Two FP for an assist
Three FP for a steal
Three FP for a block
Two FP lost for a turnover
The league is also split in to Majors, Mid-Majors, and Low Majors. The level of competition matters. In the future, I'll keep this mainly to players currently in college. However, it's too early in the season to draw any useful conclusions from the limited data set. Therefore, this week and next week will look at notable players who played in college last year and have now gone pro.
In this week's edition, we're covering...
The Sixers ended up holding the rights of six different players over the course of draft day: Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams, Glen Rice, Jr., Nate Wolters, Richard Ledo, and Arsalan Kazemi. Another rookie, Brandon Davies, made the roster. Rice and Ledo did not play in college last year, so I don't have anything to say about them. However, the other five...
Nerlens Noel put up 38.8 FP/game last season, the most of any player in a major or mid-major conference and third most overall. How? Everybody knows that he was an amazing rim protector, averaging 4.4 blocks per game. But did you know he also averaged over 2 steals per game? He passed the eye test, but the stats back it up: Noel was the best player in college basketball last year. The only majors within four FP/g of Noel were Trey Burke (expect him to be good whenever he plays), Erick Green (in Europe for a year), and
With a cool 35 FP/g, MCW clocked in 4th among all majors. Fourth among majors in minutes played, first in steals, first in assists, and even 13th among major guards in rebounds. Quite simply, he was an extremely productive player. On one hand, the raw totals are certainly helped by playing so many minutes. On the other hand, he was able to play that many minutes and remain productive. If you notice, this system does not take shooting in to account. It certainly helped MCW, but if shooting is one of the more teachable skills, it makes sense to not factor it highly in to draft decisions if the player is otherwise extremely productive.
It's easy to understand why Kazemi would be a late second round pick. His athleticism leaves much to be desired. He's stuck between the forward positions. His offensive game is limited. But look at the stats, and it's easy to understand why Kazemi ended up in the Sixers' system. Despite playing less than 30 minutes per game, he was top ten among majors in both rebounds and steals. He will probably never be anything more than a role player, but he's a role player with identifiable skills.
A top 10 mid-major last season, Davies put up a lot of FP in not a lot of playing time. In fact, only two players in the top 30 mid-majors played less than 30 minutes per game last season: Davies and lottery pick Kelly Olynyk. Davies likely fell out of the draft entirely because
he had sex in college , showing bad character he doesn't really have a stand-out skill like Kazemi. His best skill was his scoring, but he did not show any long-distance range in college. He could be a productive player at this level, but expect him to chip in a little bit everywhere rather than making a big impact in a few box score categories.
I know he's no longer a Sixer, but the most exciting moment of the draft for some members of the fantasy league was not trading for Noel, but trading for Nate Wolters, a man so beloved there's now a rule designed because of and named after him. And naturally, the worst was finding out he was traded. The number one overall player in all of college basketball last year was a true stud. He poured in the points, dished the ball to his team only, racked up steals, and even hit the glass. Nate was simply the most productive player in college basketball. It should come as no surprise that his game has translated to the NBA level. He may never be the superstar he was in college, but he should be a productive player for years.
Thus ends the first installment of "Is This Just Fantasy". Once we get in to December, I'll start covering this year's college players, but for next week, I'm going to stick with other rookies who aren't with the Sixers (spoiler: Anthony Bennett and Steven Adams will be covered). If you want a certain player covered or just have a general question, leave it in the comments and I'll take it in to consideration for next week.