First, i'm firm believer that measurables lie. Here's a couple thoughts:
What is the value of measuring height from heal to top of head. What value does a head and long neck serve?
I understand measuring height without shoes eliminates the shoe variable but honestly how much of a purpose does it serve considering its a game normally played with shoes.
SCOUTING PERCEPTIONS MYTHS
The labels scouts, announcers, writers, and coaches put on players stick. The image that you conjure up of a player that is "long & athletic" is considerably different than the image u get when a player has "good size & hustles".
There is a big difference when you get an athlete that's labeled a 7-footer and an athlete that is 6'9.
MATCH UP THE MEASURABLES
An interesting way to evaluate this years players is to match the measurables to the athlete. The following 6 athletes and their measurements are randomly scattered below:
|PROSPECT NUMBER||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes|| ||Wingspan||Standing Reach|| ||Max Vert||Bench Press||Lane Agility||3/4 Court Sprint|| || |
|PROSPECT 1||6' 9.25"||6' 10.25"||6' 10.5"||30.5||35.5||14 ||11.32||3.17|
|PROSPECT 2||6' 6.25"||6' 7.25"||7' 1.75"||27.5||33.0||19 ||11.84||3.20|
|PROSPECT 3||6' 7"||6' 8.25"||7' 0.25"||30.0||35.0||19 ||11.06||3.24|
|PROSPECT 4||6' 7.75"||6' 9.5"||6' 11.25"||29.5||35.0||18 ||11.17||3.22|
|PROSPECT 5||6' 7.5"||6' 8.5"||6' 10.75"||28.5||30.0||12||12.18||3.14|
|PROSPECT 6||6' 9"||6' 10.75"||7' 6"|| 29.0||32.0||13||12.06||3.20|
SO WHO & WHAT IS "LONG"?
I would surmise that "long" would perhaps equate to wingspan and standing reach. By the numbers then, I'd say Prospect 6 is longest and Prospect 2 is 2nd. If you argue that "long" includes height then I'd say Prospect 3 & 4 gain value.
RANKINGS: LONG = WINGSPAN + STANDING REACH
1.PROSPECT 6 200 combined inches
2.PROSPECT 2 192.75
3.PROSPECT 3 191.25
4.PROSPECT 5 189.75
5.PROSPECT 4 189.25
6.PROSPECT 1 188
By this definition of "Long", Sasha Kaun is longest by far with Joey Dorsey second longest. Michael Beasley and Kevin Love are within 1 percentile of each other in length followed by Darrell Arthur and lastly, Trent Plaisted. Interestingly, Shan Foster is 188 combined and Pat Calathes is a combined 187.75.
If height deserves to be mentioned as part of this attractive "Long" characteristic then the rankings look like this:
RANKINGS: LONG = WINGSPAN + STANDING REACH + HEIGHT
1.PROSPECT 6 281 combined inches
2.PROSPECT 2 271
3.PROSPECT 3 270.25
4.PROSPECT 5 269.25
5.PROSPECT 4 269
6.PROSPECT 1 269.25
By this definition there is practically no difference in "length" between Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Trent Plaisted, Darell Arthur, and Joey Dorsey but if you picture each of these athletes you would see distinctly different body types. On the other hand, Kansas Russian big man Sasha Kaun (PROSPECT) is very long which only translated to 7.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.
WHO & WHAT IS ATHLETIC?
The best place to find athletes is probably at a track meet so falling in love with runners and leapers doesn't seem functional for building a basketball team. Consistantly guys are raved about being "a big time athlete". For instance, NBADraft.net described Darrell Arthur as having "tremendous athleticism", "bigtime hops and laterall quickness" and having a "quick, explosive vertical leap". But if leaping ability, agility, and speed are the most common indicators of athleticism it is interesting who is labeled those appealing athletic traits and who is not.
MAX VERTICAL LEAP RANKINGS
1.TRENT PLAISTED 35.5'
2.KEVIN LOVE 35'
2.MICHAEL BEASLEY 35'
4.JOEY DORSEY 33'
5.SASHA KAUN 32'
6.DARELL ARTHUR 30'
LANE AGILITY RANKINGS
1.MICHAEL BEASLEY 11.06
2.KEVIN LOVE 11.17
2.TRENT PLAISTED 11.32
4.JOEY DORSEY 11.84
5.SASHA KAUN 12.06
6.DARELL ARTHUR 12.18
3/4 COURT SPRINT RANKINGS
1.DARELL ARTHUR 3.14
2.TRENT PLAISTED 3.17
4.JOEY DORSEY 3.20
5.SASHA KAUN 3.20
5.KEVIN LOVE 3.22
6.MICHAEL BEASLEY 3.24
Of these 6 players, Trent Plaisted seems to be the big time athlete that is the most athletic and explosive. Kevin Love is faster in the 3/4 court than Beasley, has the same vertical, and is a tenth of a second slower in the lane agility drill. Teammates Sasha Kaun and Darell Arthur are an interesting comparison. Kaun has 2 inches on the vertical, .12 seconds in the lane drill, but is .06 of second slower in the 3/4 court sprint. Kaun is 6'9 and 247 lbs., while Arthur is 6'7.5 and 216 lbs. No where in Kaun's description is he explosive, athletic, or a "big time" athlete. He is described as having "good hustle", "solid agility for a big man", and a "level of energy".
BENEFITS OF MEASUREMENTS
While I think measurements bring little value to the table, I do believe you can gather information about a prospect from some of the numbers. For instance, I think that a player's body fat percentage can tell u how serious a player is about taking care of his body or it can tell you a little bit about the schools strength & conditioning program he comes from. In some instances I'd be excited to see the potential if a player got in elite shape but in other cases I'd see red flags that a player isn't committed to putting himself in the best position to succeed. An example of this is Jason Maxiell who was a very productive college player that was only 6'5 without shoes but had the 4th largest wingspan of those in the 2005 draft. More importantly, he had plenty of production. The fact that he produced as a 258lb. wide body made the intrigue of his potential when he changed his body that much more enticing.
In addition, measurements provide another tool of analysis but should be kept in perspective. Measuring production and those things you cannot put a number on such as effort and desire may be the best indicators of success.