Calculated Reactions: 2013's top CCAA men's basketball prospects

This is part 2 of the 2013 version of this project. See part 1, the women's version, for a full explanation of the methodology, and also last year's top men's prospects.

This was a good year for CCAA prospects: we identified nine women's players, and now seven men's players, as potential candidates to play up a level based on their stats. Consequently, we had to cut some players from this piece who would otherwise be included, for the sake of keeping this at a readable length. For the record, they are: Kadeem Willis (Lakeland), OCAA player of the year Felix Adjei (Seneca), and Garnet Blais (Algonquin). All of them have, I believe, two years of eligibility left, and so in other years they would make the list.

Of the seven players below, three have already committed to a CIS team.

(* denotes minutes played that have been adjusted at the team level to reflect a more realistic number.)

**

Chase Bowden
6-6 forward, 2nd year, Holland College
Season
Conf/Lg
Year
Minutes
Per Game
Per 40
eFG%UsagePER
PTSREBASTBLKSTLPTSREB
2012-13
ACAA
1st
573
16.2
9.1
1.3
1.1
1.3
23.7
13.4
63.7%
20.9%
33.3
2013-14
CIS
2nd
470
11.9
6.8
1.0
0.7
0.9
20.3
11.6
58.6%
18.2%
25.0
Most similar: Paul Gareau, Derek Waldner, Kevin McCleery

Apparently you can shoot 63.7%, but not be named an All-Canadian.

Bowden, whom I believe has used just one year of eligibility (he took some time off basketball), led the ACAA in whatever version of field-goal percentage you wish to use (except three-pointers) as well as defensive rebounding and offensive rating. He was one board short of averaging a double-double at nationals, where Holland took home silver and, en route, they also got some attention for a what-just-happened?! win in the conference semifinal.

Holland, as best as I can tell, are a share-the-ball team: of the eight players in the Hurricanes' regular rotation last year, all had personal usage rates of between 16% and 23% of the team's possessions, the most equal such distribution of any ACAA team. Bowden's 21% is low for a big scorer, but CIS players with an eFG% around 64% (which Bowden is, of course, not projected to hit) are typically using even fewer possessions than that. It was an impressive season and while he was named ACAA rookie of the year, I'm not sure what else he had to do to pick up another award.

The projected PER and minutes played, 25.0 and 470, would have put Bowden in the top 60 or 70 players in CIS last year, roughly equivalent to Boris Hadzimuratovic, who isn't a bad comp for him either.

His offensive rating of 128 is not just the highest in the ACAA, but would also lead the ACAC and OCAA as well.



Jordon Fray
6-2 guard, 2nd year, Medicine Hat College
Season
Conf/Lg
Year
Minutes
Per Game
Per 40
eFG%UsagePER
PTSREBASTBLKSTLPTSREB
2012-13
ACAC
1st
666*
16.3
8.1
3.6
0.5
2.2
20.6
10.3
46.2%
25.7%
24.8
2013-14
CIS
2nd
546
12.0
6.1
2.6
0.3
1.5
17.6
8.9
42.2%
22.3%
14.9
Most similar: Evens Laroche, Keenan Jeppesen

The first player we've profiled from the Medicine Hat Sans Frontiers, Fray's inclusion here depends a little bit more on his remaining years of eligibility than with Chase Bowden above, who'd be here even if he just had two years left. Fray, it is fair to say, had a less impressive season, but still a very solid one. Especially when you consider he played for a below-.500 team that didn't advance in the conference playoffs (another way in which his season differs from Bowden's).

His profile is kind of all over the place, but in a good way: he led his team in points, assists, and rebounds to make up for shooting just 47% on twos and 8 of 31 on threes.

Note: the school website has at least three first names for Fray: Jordan, Jordon, and Jason. He's Jordan in the stats, and the team did not respond to a request for clarification on the matter, so I will assume that's his name. (UPDATE: 5:38pm - word from the coach is that his name is "Jordon" and it has been corrected above.)



Rob Olsen
6-1 guard, 3rd year, Lethbridge College
Season
Conf/Lg
Year
Minutes
Per Game
Per 40
eFG%UsagePER
PTSREBASTBLKSTLPTSREB
2009-10
ACAC
1st
346
10.3
4.3
2.2
0.2
1.4
22.5
9.4
47.5%
21.1%
24.7
2012-13
ACAC
2nd
736
19.0
6.0
2.4
0.2
2.0
23.8
7.6
56.7%
22.2%
24.8
2013-14
CIS
3rd
604
14.9
4.9
1.9
0.2
1.6
19.8
6.6
50.4%
19.3%
18.7
Most similar: Sam Freeman, Paul Kovacs, Terrance Brown

Jared Baker
6-2 guard, 3rd year, Lethbridge College
Season
Conf/Lg
Year
Minutes
Per Game
Per 40
eFG%UsagePER
PTSREBASTBLKSTLPTSREB
2009-10
ACAC
1st
443
5.7
4.9
2.8
0.0
1.1
11.7
10.2
37.8%
16.8%
13.6
2012-13
ACAC
2nd
696
15.0
5.8
3.1
0.0
3.0
19.8
7.7
52.4%
19.7%
23.3
2013-14
CIS
3rd
571
11.6
4.8
2.5
0.0
2.3
16.3
6.7
45.9%
17.2%
17.0
Most similar: Sam Freeman, Isiah Pasquale, Tremaine Fraser

I can't promise that I haven't mixed up the stats for these guys. Their names are generic enough to confuse, they both spent 2010-11 and 2011-12 on missionary work, and they were even named Southern Alberta 4A Boys League MVP in consecutive years. And, of course, they've both already committed to the other Lethbridge for next year. Half of the players on that Lethbridge's roster come from this Lethbridge.

Sam Freeman's presence atop both their comp lists is no coincidence, but I like how they're also matched to different Laurentian shooters.

Together these two players comprised most of the run-and-bomb Lethbridge offence, finishing third and six in the ACAC in number of threes made. Olsen had a marginally better season, shooting better and fouling less, but there is not much to separate them. It's a good package for the 'Horns to add, especially with their two leading scorers, Derek Waldner and Julian Spear Chief-Morris, having exhausted their eligibility.



Marako Lundy
6-4 forward, 3rd year, Niagara College
Season

Conf/Lg
Year
Minutes
Per Game
Per 40
eFG%UsagePER
PTSREBASTBLKSTLPTSREB
2011-12
OCAA
1st
193
12.5
3.2
1.5
0.1
0.6
28.6
7.3
53.7%
30.5%
29.0
2012-13
OCAA
2nd
559
14.6
5.5
2.3
1.0
1.9
22.0
8.3
51.9%
22.9%
27.3
2013-14
CIS
3rd
458
10.4
4.1
1.6
0.6
1.3
18.1
7.2
45.5%
19.9%
17.1
Most similar: Tyler Fidler, Jeff Friesen, Tommy Nixon

Lundy came to Niagara through the Noble Preparatory Academy in Nassau — the name of which would cause me to raise an eyebrow, if the school were located in Nevada or North Carolina (and if it had 50 students and twice as many basketball coaches as teachers).

He wasn't on our radar after 2011-12 because he missed half the season. Good when he did play, though. The Knights managed to get two players on this list, partially because of their above-average offence (first in Ontario in points, but third when adjusted for pace) built around solid ball movement and outside shooting. Lundy is that type of player. His PER was fourth-highest in Ontario, his true shooting percentage fifth.

No relation to former Always OUA hack and current Ottawa Senators flack Chris Lund.



Thomas Watson
6-2 guard, 3rd year, University of King's College
Season
Conf/Lg
Year
Minutes
Per Game
Per 40
eFG%UsagePER
PTSREBASTBLKSTLPTSREB
2011-12
ACAA
1st
324
6.5
1.4
0.6
0.0
0.6
16.8
3.6
45.7%
21.4%
24.0
2012-13
ACAA
2nd
603
20.2
4.9
1.4
0.1
2.1
25.4
6.2
52.1%
26.8%
26.9
2013-14
CIS
3rd
494
13.1
3.3
0.9
0.1
1.3
21.2
5.4
46.1%
23.3%
16.5
Most similar: Joseph Jones, Casey Fox, Jonathan Cooper

Not to be confused with his U of A near-namesake, this Watson was first in scoring in the Atlantic league and third in possessions used on a middling King's team. His role was significantly expanded from his first year, and he was considerably more valuable as a result. (His projected CIS line a year ago included a 4.9 PER, which is about all I need to say.)

It's a little difficult to find comparisons for Watson. Essentially, he combined two distinct roles: a high-volume shooter outside and a physical presence inside. He accounted for almost a third of his team's free throw attempts. I tried to find a CIS player who has done this to the same extent, gaining both lots of threes and lots of whistles, and the only one who came up was Phil Scrubb. Anyone know who that is?

Take the regular method we use to find comparable players, but without matching on the player's FTM/FGA rate, and you get a set of top 25 comparisons for Watson, who average 0.21 FTM per FGA. But his rate was double that. So when you try to look for players who have similar stats in all those other categories, then add this outlier to the mix, you get some odd matches. Jones is similar along most dimensions, but with a much lower PER. Cooper was more of a distributor than Watson, and so on.

Which is to say, Watson may not do this at the next level, if he were given the opportunity. The rate at which a player gets to the line is not something that's currently baked into our projection system, but is probably something we should consider adding.



Alex Campbell
6-2 guard, 3rd year, Niagara College
Season
Conf/Lg
Year
Minutes
Per Game
Per 40
eFG%UsagePER
PTSREBASTBLKSTLPTSREB
2011-12
OCAA
1st
552
18.1
5.2
2.2
0.3
1.6
23.6
6.7
49.6%
24.7%
26.5
2012-13
OCAA
2nd
692
16.2
6.2
3.5
0.6
1.9
19.7
7.6
47.3%
21.1%
24.8
2013-14
CIS
3rd
567
11.7
4.7
2.5
0.4
1.3
16.4
6.6
42.1%
18.4%
16.3
Most similar: Kale Harrison, Kyle Grewal, Éric Côté-Kougnima

And here's our other shooter from Niagara, except he's moving on to Windsor. Campbell appears to be a less flashy version of teammate Lundy, which is not meant to be a disparaging comment; he may in fact be the superior athlete and player.

Campbell probably should have been on last year's list, too, and I'm not sure why he wasn't. In some ways it was a better season, and obviously he was a year younger then.

Interestingly, also joining the Lancers this fall (after a year off) is Khalid Abdel-Gabar, whom we identified as a prospect in this space last year. As noted then, he has experience defeating Guelph and Waterloo, so playing for Windsor should be no different for him, really.
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