Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Leading Senior Perimeter Players

I have added a split to my senior data to look at posts and perimeters separately...which included different weightings for shooting and rebounding. That is my first step towards improving the prospect ratings. I still need to add some individual stats to the mix like steals and blocks and track this years rookies as well as run the system over the best rookies of the past few years.

Here is how the current batch of senior perimeter players looks by my new ranking system:

  1. Dewanna Bonner: 6'4" Auburn small forward. Bonner is tall and lean...with the lean being her current biggest knock. Her height and length will make her a tough defender and tough to defend at the three in the pros. On the other side of the coin, she was simply pushed off the block by much shorter players who had greater strength and bulk. If it is tough for her to post in college it will be even harder for her to post in the pros.
  2. Marissa Coleman: 6'1" Maryland small forward. Coleman had a rough start to the season but has really come on strong as part of a senior tandem with Kristi Toliver. I think her numbers could be even better if Toliver learned to recognize mismatches even when the game is on the line.
  3. Kristi Toliver: 5'8" Maryland point guard. Toliver has a solid WNBA body, she is a great ball handler and has nice court vision, especially on the break. She has an amazingly quick release and a gorgeous fadeaway three she uses against bigger defenders when they switch on picks. She is not afraid to penetrate and take a hit in the lane. My biggest concern is that once she decides to take over a game, she drives with her blinders on and forgets that she has Coleman there to help. If her shot is on, they win, if her shot is off they lose. She needs to learn to lead by making the right choice rather than simply lead by keeping the ball in her own hands.
  4. Kristi Cirone: 5'8" Illinois State point guard. I haven't seen Cirone play yet this season (heading to the DVR to look for games shortly), but she shoots and scores even more effectively than Toliver. Her Floor Percentage is much higher than her Maryland counterpart and she offers slightly better shooting percentages as well. Essentially her numbers are all around better than Toliver's but her team has had less success with a lighter schedule. How much of that is due to the presence of Coleman on Maryland is not something I am prepare to vote on until I see Illinois State play.
  5. Danielle Gant: 5'11" Texas A&M small forward. Gant is a player that might be the Storm's pick at number 12 this Spring. She plays hard at both ends of the floor, and when they beat #2 Oklahoma this week she guarded much larger players like Courtney and Ashley Paris. In the second half she started a 17-0 A&M run with six points in less than a minute. By the end of the run, she was vomitting on the bench and had to miss the final seconds after sustaining a blow to the head in a previous game. On the court she never missed a beat, playing with fire and verve against a superior opponent. At that timeout she virtually collapsed having truly left it all out on the floor.
  6. Angel McCoughtry: 6'1" Louisville small forward. Angel offers physical gifts that could make her the number one pick in the draft. She has great length and athleticism which she uses to be perhaps the best wing defender in draft. If I could do a better job getting defense into my scoring system, she would likely be my number one as well. She rebounds well, blocks shots and leads the NCAA in steals. She needs to improve her shooting and learn how to use that length and athleticism to get higher percentage baskets. I struggled with a WNBA comparison for her leaving her somewhere between Sheryl Swoopes and Swin Cash which is not a bad place to be. I see her becoming a star in this league within a few years.
  7. Whitney Boddie: 5'9" Auburn shooting guard. I have to admit, I was so interested in watching Bonner play that I virtually ignored her team mate. I am hard pressed to find a particular thing at which Boddie excels, yet she does pretty well in every area I track pushing her near the top of the list. Playing with Bonner and lacking a standout attribute will hurt Boddie more in an 11 roster limit draft year than it would in past years.
  8. Shalee Lehning: 5'9" Kansas State point guard. Lehning is one of my favorite players this season. She has been either first or second in the NCAA all season in assists despite lacking real scorers to support her. She rebounds better than any point guard I have ever seen, particularly at the offensive end. She is always in the right spot for the rebound, and if the opponent corrals it and brings it down, she will rip it right out of their hands. She can get in the lane anytime she wants against every team she has played this season. The two biggest knocks against Lehning are her utter lack of 3 point shooting and concerns about her individual defense and poor lateral speed.
  9. Renee Montgomery: 5'7" Connecticut point guard. People love her or hate her. I think she will make a perfect complimentary player and could make a team like Phoenix or LA really shine. She has never been the star but has stepped up each year as her role has shifted under Geno's system. She knows when to get the superstar the ball and when to score it herself. She gets knocked for shot selection, but all I ever see is her coach telling her to shoot those open threes. She is small and could struggle against some of the taller, stronger guards in the pros.
  10. Amber Guffey: 5'7" Murray State point guard. Amber reminds me of Lindsay Whalen. She has the same build and the same fearless willingness to drive right into the trees and try to score or draw the foul. She is not a prober, when she heads to the paint she is going to get to the basket by you or through you. She is a strong shooter and a solid defender. My biggest concern is that a player from a small school will likely not get enough focus without a combine.

Honorable Mentions: Mandy Morales (Montana), Rachel Porath (UW Green Bay), Amber Bland (NC A&T), Briann January (ASU), Porchia Green (Ball State), Shavonte Zellous (Pittsburgh, another Agler watch list member)

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