Several College Basketball Teams Hit by FBI Probe, Players Value Add

AP Keith Srakocic
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

ESPN reports FBI wiretaps recorded Arizona coach Sean Miller discussing an $100,000 payment to secure Deandre Ayton, now the fourth most valuable player in the country according to Value Add Basketball.

The following table includes players CBS Sports listed earlier Friday, their Value Add, and how fare their teams would drop in ratings:

Rnk Player Team Value Add New Kenpom Drop in Rank
4 Deandre Ayton Arizona 10.6 8.98 23rd to 88th
21 Wendell Carter Duke 8.54 22.25 3rd to 11th
64 Miles Bridges Michigan St. 7.26 22.63 4th to 10th
115 Collin Sexton Alabama 6.56 10.18 43rd to 76th
174 Kevin Knox Kentucky 5.99 14.74 25th to 46th
183 Chimezie Metu USC 5.94 6.16 52nd to 102nd
569 Bennie Boatwright USC 3.59 6.18 52nd to 102nd
748 Eric Davis Texas 2.94 13.55 41st to 54th

The most widely read computer ranking occurs at, where each team is rated for how many points above or below the average team would be in a given game. For example, Arizona has the 23rd best rating of 351 teams wtih an 18.71 rating, but subtracting Ayton’s Value Add rating of 8.98 lowers them to 9.72, and then the addition of a teams 7th best player (0.87 for Arizona) accounts for extra opportunities for replacement players. Thus if Ayton could not play anymore, Arizona would be particularly hard hit and drop to an 8.98 – only the 88th best team rating.

The alleged payments to other players on the table above are much lower – and their benches are deeper than Arizona’s meaning the impact is much less, except for USC who has two players in the report.  Duke and Michigan State have much deeper benches and stronger seventh/replacement players, so even if Wendell Carter and Miles Bridges could not play due to the report Duke would only drop from 3rd to 11th and Michigan State would only drop from 4th to 10th.

However, Alabama, Kentucky and Texas would drop from NCAA teams to bubble teams if the NCAA were to account for their three players potentially not playing.

The alleged payments for past players ranged from $73,000 down to meals. The following is the list of the most valuable players in the report, and where they were ranked in their best year in the all-time Value Add list.

Year Player Team Rank Value Add
2015 Fred VanVleet Wichita State 8 9.64
2016 Jaron Blossomgame Clemson 29 7.9
2017 Josh Jackson Kansas 28 7.78
2017 Bam Adebayo Kentucky 58 7.31
2017 Dennis Smith NC State 98 6.62
2015 Jarell Martin LSU 96 6.59
2017 Markelle Fultz Washington 116 6.36
2017 Kyle Kuzma Utah 124 6.27
2016 Isaiah Whitehead Seton Hall 118 6.13
2015 Tim Quarterman LSU 213 5.04
2017 P.J. Dozier S.Carolina 287 4.84
2016 Diamond Stone Maryland 300 4.73
2017 Edmond Sumner  Xavier 414 4.09



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