The Position Based Bell Curve of 2012
On Friday the New England Recruiting Report released our updated rankings in the class of 2012. By studying these rankings, and the players that comprise them, we are able to identify certain trends that exist within this year’s crop of players, specifically as they relate to positions.
No matter how you slice it, there is almost no denying New England has three of the premier big men in the national class of 2012 with Andre Drummond, Mitch McGary, and Kaleb Tarczewski. So while those three create the impression that the region is loaded with big men, the reality is that there isn’t nearly as much depth as there is star power.
For college programs in search of true bigs, they’ll only find one other in the top 25 and that’s Cedric Kuakumensah. Georges Niang and Zach Auguste are much more accurately described as skilled four-men while Timajh Parker-Rivera, Evan Cummins, and Ethan ODay are also much more four than five.
It’s a similar story in the backcourt where Olivier Hanlon may be the only pure point guard on the entire list. Even Kris Dunn, who currently sits as the second highest point guard in the entire country, is probably best described as a playmaking combo, as are guys like Clyde Smith and Sam Cassell Jr. Behind Hanlon the guy who may make the second best case is Alex Furness, who although unorthodox for the position at six-foot-six, has proven himself capable of running the show and distributing the ball.
Collectively, New England’s top talent creates a perfect bell curve, slim at both ends of the spectrum and scattered in the middle at the two, three, and four positions. In other words, college coaches have a lot of options when they’re looking for combo-guards, swingmen, or forwards but when it comes to point guards and big men there is still a void left to be filled.
This trend isn’t limited to New England alone. In fact, it’s very much consistent with the entire country as true post players and pure point guards are becoming harder and harder to find. The implication is a basic application of the rules of supply and demand and a good lesson for players hoping to attract attention from college coaches.
Big men hoping to standout to college coaches are best able to differentiate themselves by proving their prowess inside, while guards are able to distinguish themselves as much for their ability to run a team as much they are their ability to score points themselves.