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Tuesday, March 29, 2005
 
Going Pro
With perhaps the best weekend of college basketball having just past, the biggest news Monday was created by two guys whose seasons are already over. Andrew Bogut of Utah and Ike Diogu of Arizona State each announced that they are eligible for this summer's NBA Draft. Diogu hasn't hired an agent and could return to ASU if he withdraws by June 21st. Bogut did hire an agent, so his NCAA days are definitely over.

What do these two guys do well that might interest NBA teams this summer? As always, I'll try to illustrate with data what I struggle to put into words.


Player________Age____Height____Weight
Andrew Bogut207' 0"245
Ike Diogu216' 8"250


Bogut is already one of the best post players in the country, and he won't be able to legally drink in this country until after Thanksgiving. That leaves plenty of years to improve and have a productive career. Diogu is slightly more than a year older.

***EDITOR'S NOTE - I don't know what I did to irritate Blogger now, but the table that fit here earlier now feels the need to force its way down the page. Please scroll down for the rest of the post. ***



Andrew Bogut, Utah

Season

%Min

PPG

RPG

O Rt

%Poss

TS%

FT/FG

FT%

Reb%

Pass

TO/p

B/40

Stl

03-04

0.76

12.5

9.9

113

25.1%

60.5

0.38

64.0

21.1%

11.8

0.23

1.8

0.9%

04-05

0.87

20.4

12.2

126

29.4%

65.7

0.46

69.2

24.2%

9.4

0.18

2.1

1.9%









Bogut is being talked about as the possible #1 overall pick in the draft, and he just might be the best rebounder in the country. So far, Sean May is the only player I've seen whose defensive and overall rebound rate are anywhere near Bogut's 31% and 24%. You probably have to downgrade his performance a little due to Utah's low strength of schedule (115th according to Mr. Pomeroy), but his numbers are still eye-catching.

Bogut started all 68 of Utah's games the past two seasons, and has shown solid improvement from his freshman year to now. He was already the focal point of Utah's offense last year, but every possession seemed to run through the big guy this year, as his 29% of team possessions rate makes evident. Even with the large jump in possessions, Bogut's offensive rating jumped from a solid 113 to a stellar 126. Getting to the free throw line more often, shooting better there, and grabbing more offensive rebounds were all big reasons for the improved rating.

My only knocks on Bogut might be his low FTA/FGA and blocks/40 rates. The free throw rate seems fairly pedestrian for a big-time post scorer, and I'd expect more blocks from a long-armed 7-footer in the NCAA.

Bogut has a reputation as a good passer, and his pass rating looks pretty solid for a center.


Ike Diogu, Arizona State

Season

%Min

PPG

RPG

Off Rtg

%Poss

TS%

FT/FG

FT%

Reb%

Pass

TO/p

B/40

Stl%

02-03

0.80

19.0

7.8

121

25.2%

0.672

0.71

0.735

14.2%

3.2

0.20

1.2

0.5%

03-04

0.91

22.8

8.9

120

27.4%

0.655

0.88

0.815

13.0%

5.0

0.21

1.9

0.8%

04-05

0.91

22.6

9.8

122

26.8%

0.677

0.78

0.797

15.3%

4.6

0.21

2.6

0.9%















Diogu also started every game of his career, and saw significant playing time from the get-go. He's been a great scorer his entire career, as he posted a points/40 rate of 23.6 as a freshman. Ike continues to be an excellent scorer, but he has hardly shown any development in three years of college ball. His scoring efficiency has been level, his passing and rebounding rates are both only slightly higher than his freshman year, and his (somewhat high) turnover rate remains the same.

As Ken Pomeroy often pointed out during the season, a major part of Diogu's scoring is his propensity for drawing fouls and making free throws. His high FTA/FGA and FT% numbers will be an asset to his future team.

A quick scan of the traditional numbers and traditional "experts" might suggest Diogu is a solid rebounder. His Reb/Game averages of 7.8, 8.9, and 9.8 suggest rebounding competence, as well as year-to-year improvement. One draft site had the following to say in its profile of Diogu-
He is a simply a beast on the glass, using his excellent combination of strength
(both upper and lower body), a terrific wingspan, fantastic anticipation
skills
and athletic ability to predict where the ball is headed and then
devour any
rebound that comes his way, on both the offensive and defensive
glass.
The numbers are misleading because he played a ton of minutes for a team whose pace ranked in the top 1/5 of NCAA teams. Take a look at the rebound % column - Diogu's rate would've had a hard time cracking the top ten in this year's Big Ten (yes, I realize I'm comparing his season totals to the other guys's conference totals). Given his size, Diogu would be expected to play PF in the NBA, so he needs to improve his board work to avoid being a one-dimensional player.
Comments:
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