Kyle Anderson and the Downfall of the Eye Test

This is Part I of my 2014 draft preview, where I will attempt to project the NBA careers of today’s college stars by comparing them to past players based on Per 40 Minute statistics, position, height and weight profile, and career trajectory.

UCLA sophomore Kyle Anderson might be the most interesting prospect in the 2014 draft class. Anderson, a lanky 6’9” point forward, is a unique player with a nearly unprecedented statistical profile. In the table below, I am using Anderson’s “Pace Adjusted” stats (courtesy of RealGM) to account for UCLA’s stat-padding, up-tempo offense.

Player

2P%

3P%

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PTS

Kyle Anderson

.489

.480

9.9

7.5

2.0

0.8

3.6

16.9

Jalen Rose (soph.)

.483

.320

4.9

4.5

1.4

0.5

3.7

18.0

Lamar Odom (fresh.)

.530

.330

10.8

4.4

1.0

1.8

3.9

20.2

Magic Johnson (soph.)

.468

8.1

9.3

18.9

Tayshaun Prince (soph.)

.505

.307

7.1

2.1

1.0

1.5

2.4

15.7

The high 3P% is flukey because he shot 21% as a freshman and takes threes at such a low volume, but those AST, REB, and STL numbers are insane. Anderson is currently slotted at #24 overall on DraftExpress.com’s latest mock draft, even though he was a former five-star recruit who has gone on to post numbers consistent with a top tier NBA prospect. This begs the question, why is he so underrated?


I think much of it has to do with the aesthetics of Anderson’s game. Kyle is a long, gangly player who sometimes sports an ugly afro and patchy facial hair. He plays with a distinctly deliberate style that has earned him the nickname “SloMo”, and chances are you won’t catch SloMo on SportsCenter, because he rarely ever dunks the ball.  Accusing the scouts of docking a player for his appearance may seem far-fetched, but I suspect that it has happened before.

Joakim Noah, who is ugly as sin and has awful shooting mechanics, was a statistically dominant two-way Center with elite intangibles that led his team to consecutive national championships. In the 2007 draft, Noah was selected at #9 overall behind Yi Jianlian and Brandon Wright, among others.

Zach Randolph, who beasted as a freshman but is a doughy, ground-bound lefty, was the 13th big man (#18 overall) taken off the board in 2001, after the likes of Kwame Brown, Desagana Diop, Vladimir Radmonovic, Kirk Haston, Michael Bradley, and Jason Collins. Oops.

Tayshaun Prince, a funky jump shooter who perhaps most resembles Anderson physically, was a coup for the Pistons at #23 overall in ’02. Prince, who would later play a key role is Detroit’s 2004 title run, was taken right after swingmen Ryan Humphrey, Kareem Rush, Qyntel Woods, and Casey Jacobson. How did this happen? Who was running NBA teams in the early 2000’s?? WHO THE FUCK is Kirk Haston???

Maybe I am way off and SloMo is just a statistical anomaly, but I think he could be the next Jalen Rose. He should be heavily considered by any team drafting in the in the 8-15 range.

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