Delon Wright gave Utah the biggest Christmas gift this season. In the Utes’ three toughest games (BYU, Boise St. and Fresno St.) his average line has been an incredible 6-7 (2-pointers), 1-2 (3-pointers), 5-6 (FT), 9 assists, 8 rebounds and 2 steals PER GAME. Value Add calculates he has been the most valuable player in the country, and that the 10-1 Utes have been the 34th best team in the country with him and would be only the 160th best without him. (see top 100 players below)
Jordan Adams (UCLA), Sean Kilpatrick (Cincy) and Shabazz Napier (UConn) are chasing him for Player of the Year. The ratings of all 3500 or so players appear on www.valueaddbasketball.com after leaders are released by Breitbart Sports.
The Deseret News’ prediction early this year that Wright might be a top player this year could not have been more accurate. At the time the 6-foot-5 Wright who was not recruited after high school was playing for the City College of San Francisco. He told the newspaper he was a “last bloomer,” unlike his brother who is in his 10th year in the NBA in a career that started when he was 19.
“I’m really excited about coming down and playing for coach K,” Wright told the newspaper as he greeted Ute players after his signing. “I’m really looking forward to it.”
It turns out it was Coach K (Larry Krystowiak) who should have been looking forward to it even more.
Wright will now have to prove he can keep improving against a much-improved Pac-12, including games against six teams that would go to the NCAA tournament based on the ratings at www.kenpom.com (Arizona, Oregon, Cal, UCLA, Arizona State and Stanford). Utah was the 297th best team two years ago when they joined the Pac12, but the Utes and the conference are much better today.
The change in the way basketball games are called seems to have resulted in lower overall ratings for the top players (see separate post).