‘Value Add’ stat projects Utah’s Delon Wright as having a historic season

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A couple of years ago, John Pudner, a full-time political advisor and part-time college hoops blogger, developed a new statistic to measure how good every player in the country is.

He called the stat ‘Value Add’. For the baseball fans out there, it’s the college basketball answer to WARP. Essentially, Pudner stuffs a bunch of possession-based stats — efficiency rate, usage rate, minutes played, etc. — into an excel spreadsheet which spits out a value that he says will tell you how many more points that specific player created than if all of his possessions were given to an average bench player.

In other words, Value Add is a stat that quantifies how much better a player is than the average sub.

And the numbers he produces are fairly accurate. Last season, UConn’s Shabazz Napier was ranked as the most valuable player in the country with Utah’s Delon Wright not that far behind. UCLA’s Jordan Adams, Sean Kilpatrick of Cincinnati and N.C. State forward T.J. Warren rounded out the top five, while names like Doug McDermott (7th), Russ Smith (13th), Frank Kaminsky (14th), Fred Van Vleet (15th) and Jabari Parker (21st) were ranked high as well.

Pudner has released his preseason projections for the 2014-2015 season — you can browse through them all right here — and Wright is projected as far and away the most valuable player in the country. In fact, Pudner projects Wright to have the highest Value Add rating in the 11 years that he’s been keeping track of the stat.

Wright’s a stud — he averaged 15.3 points, 6.8 boards, 5.3 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks in 36.4 minutes last season — and while I expect him to be in the conversation for Preseason First Team All-America, it’s important to remember that Utah is going to be much better this season. He’ll have more support which means that the Utes will not be relying on his as heavily as they did last season. His numbers may dip a bit this year.

Van Vleet, Kaminsky and Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell are behind Wright, with Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter and VCU’s Briante Weber also in the top six. Michael Frazier (Florida), Perry Ellis (Kansas), Marcus Paige (North Carolina) and, the most surprising player at the top of these rankings, Jalan West (Northwestern State) round out the top ten.

With stats like this, it’s always interesting to browse through some of the players ranked lower than expected. According to Value Add, Michigan’s Caris LeVert (65th), Iowa State’s Georges Niang (78th), Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield (86th) and Stanford’s Chasson Randle (93rd) are being overrated when in the conversation for preseason all-america teams.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.


N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

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A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.