Sunday it was revealed that UConn’s Kemba Walker (left) and Shabazz Napier (right) have produced the 15th and 16th best Value Add seasons since tempo free era started in 2003 with Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, David West, and another UConn great in Emeka Okafor. Breitbart Sports unveils the top 100 all-time Value Add seasons in the table below, with all 38,896 player seasons becoming available for search by team, name or season at www.valueaddbasketball.com later Sunday.
Ben Gordon and Okafor had the 113th and 114th best seasons of all-time in 2004 and combined for 45 points to give UConn the national title against Georgia Tech for the sweep of the men’s and women’s titles that they hope to repeat in the coming days. In 2011, Walker culminated the 15th best Value Add season in history with a run that took UConn from the bottom half of the Big East standings to a Big East and NCAA tournament titles. Napier was part of that team, and last year Breitbart Sports shocked virtually everyone by naming Napier the 2nd team All-American point guard behind Trey Burke for what we now know was the 65th best Value Add season of all-time. Most lost sight of Napier in 2013 since UConn was on probation. Breitbart Sports was one of the only outlets to note their win over eventual Final Four Syracuse in the February 2013 story, “Napier Wins UConn’s ‘Title’ Game for 2013 Over Syracuse 66-58.” However, the comparison’s with Walker’s 2011 run started as Napier led the stunning run through the tournament that will make UConn the first 7-seed ever to make the championship game when they take the court against Kentucky Monday.
Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky and Louisville’s Russ Smith were two other tournament stars this season that had all-time Top 100 seasons. UCLA’s Jordan Adams, NC State’s TJ Warren, Creighton’s Doug McDermott, San Diego State’s Xavier Thames and Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes are the other players who won at least one tournament game this year after turning in an all-time Top 100 season on the table below.
The “Offensive” number indicates the number of points per game each player added to his team’s scoring. Doug McDermott was in the top 40 all-time in Offensive Value Add each of the past three seasons to make him by far the greatest OFFENSIVE Value Add player of all time over a career. The only other players to even be in the 100 Offensive Season TWICE were Duke’s JJ Redick, UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough, BYU’s Jimmer Fredette, Nevada’s Nick Fazekas, Marquette’s Travis Diener, Providence’s Bryce Cotton, Utah State’s Jaycee Carroll. The OVERALL Value Add figure also measures defense, the position played, and the season (For example, defensive ratings were much worse in 2014 due to the new “freedom of movement” rules, so to average raw Overall Value Add in 2012 was 33% higher than in 2014, so all Value Add calculations for 2014 are multiplied by 1.33. The 2003-2005 Value Adds are multiplied by 1.09, 2006-2011 by between 0.92 and 0.98 and 2013 by 1.02 in the ratings below and the updated www.valueaddbasketball.com database being updated today).
Of the players listed above who have had two top 100 OFFENSIVE seasons, only Redick and Diener also have two top 100 overall seasons once accounting for defensive contributions. Okafor just missed hitting the all-time Top 100 twice (102nd in 2003, 114th in the 2004 title run). The only other players to have more than one all-time OVERALL Value Top 100 seasons on the table below are Davidson’s Stephen Curry, Boston College’s Jared Dudley, Providence’s Ryan Gomes, NC State’s Julius Hodge, Napier, Wake Forest’s Chris Paul, Russ Smith, Duke’s Shelden Williams and Indiana’s Cody Zeller.
Tempo free stats started in 2003 with Dean Oliver’s revolutionary book Basketball on Paper, and was then made understandable to all fans by Ken Pomeroy who produced ratings of how well each player scores, rebounds, steals the ball, draws fouls, etc. with the www.kenpom.com database of all players. I built on that work with a study of how many points each steal, missed shot, foul drawn, etc. impacts a team in every game, and from there calculating the Value Add of each player in the country based on how many points his team would be hurt if he was replaced (see Sports Illustrated summary of Cracked Sidewalks articles).
Pomeroy recently went back and calculated his stats back through the watershed 2003 season, enabling Value Add data to now extend back through that great season. All 38,896 player seasons can be sorted by going to the “See all seasons from 2003-2014” link in the bottom right corner of the www.valueaddbasketball.com site, which defaults to just the 2014 season. Here are the best 100 seasons played since 2003:
|All-time||season||Fname||Lname||Year||College||Offense||Ovr Value Add|
|37||5||Julius||Hodge||2004||North Carolina St.||6.05||9.57|
|40||5||TJ||Warren||2014||North Carolina St.||5.59||9.53|
|55||9||Xavier||Thames||2014||San Diego St.||5.37||9.18|
|89||13||Julius||Hodge||2005||North Carolina St.||5.25||8.63|
|92||10||Nate||Wolters||2013||South Dakota St.||7.13||8.57|