FanPost

Cody Zeller Comparable Analysis

Timmay I used Excel to put this together because it worked much better last time, but it still has a lot of garbage syntax stuff. So if you would be so kind as to work you magic and clean up all the garbage I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you in advance, ziggy.

Some of you may recall my earlier fan posts regarding a comparables analysis of Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard, Will Barton, Victor Claver, and some of the other 2012 draft class. I have continued to work on my model, and have made a large number of enhancements, and improvements since my last post. A quick recap of what I have done;

1.) Expanded the database of college and European league players, and I now have a database of about 4,000 player seasons. This is basically every college season for every NBA player since 1990, and all the seasons from the best European leagues since 2000 for all NBA players. This provides a more complete list of Best Comps.
2.) I have added to the process to include age, college class, and also player league or conference. One example of how this played out is that for Damian Lillard as an example, Steve Nash became a comp for Lillard, and Jeremy Lin moved way up the comparable list.
3.) I am now including multiple seasons in the player’s comparables analysis. This is important in evaluating how players progress, regress, or maintain consistent levels of overall production.
4.) I have increased the number of comps from 10 to 20, and instead of looking only at comparable players, I am using comparable seasons, so you will occasionally see multiple seasons for a specific comp. An example of the effects of this is in the case of Damian Lillard, where multiple Steph Curry seasons appeared in his top 20 comp seasons. Curry became in essence a “better comp” and influenced the Lillard projections to a greater extent.
5.) The results of the first 3 year projected stat lines have been generally pretty accurate, though obviously not perfect. I would say that they have been directionally very accurate, highly accurate for some categories, good for other, all the way down to marginally/reasonably accurate on a few stat categories. Some players were extremely accurate, other players very accurate, some accurate, and a few would be described as marginally accurate. The marginally accurate were generally due to very low minutes played. I have had a number of iterations to this predicted stat line, and I have continually improved the tool, but it is certainly a work in progress, and I have a number of ideas to make it more accurate.
This is still a work in progress, and I am continually looking at ways to improve the tool, but I thought I would publish the results for a number of players in this draft, specifically, but not limited to players linked to the Blazers at #10. I will start with Cody Zeller.

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Name Height Inches no Shoes Height Inches w/shoes Weight Body Fat Hand Length Hand Width Wingspan Inches Reach in Inches No Step Vert Reach in Inches Max Vert Reach in inches No Step Vert Max Vert Bench Agility Sprint
Cody Zeller 83 84.25 230 4.8% 8.5 10.5 83 106 141.5 143.5 35.5 37.5 10.82 3.15

Name Weight > than standard (in lbs) Body Fat < than Standard (as a % of BF) Reach > than standard (in inches) Wingspan > than standard (in inches) Vertical > than standard (in inches) Speed > than standard (in sec) Agility > than standard (in sec) # additional bench reps than expected
Cody Zeller -10 -3.15% -4.24 -4.16 9.53 0.12 0.84

Cody Zeller’s weight relative to his height means he weighs 10 lbs less than an average player of his height. His reach is 4.24" less than "average", his wingspan is 4.16" less than average, but his no step vertical is 9.53" greater than "average", he did the ¾ court sprint 0.12 seconds faster than "average", and did the agility drill 0.84 faster than average.
In short for a player of his general size Cody Zeller has poor to very poor length, but he is very good to exceptional athletically. I have been wanting to do a detailed study on this, but I will go ahead and address it here in cursory manner, regarding "LENGTH". I have read all over the web how important length is, and I believe it is far to simplistic to view "LENGTH" only as a "GOOD THING". There is a generally strong POSTIVE correlation between length and a players defensive prowess. This correlation is not completely linear, but generally "LONGER" players are better defenders. At the same time there is a generally strong NEGATIVE correlation between a players length and his shooting ability. Players whose wingspan is shorter than average for players of his general size, are generally better shooters. So the fixation on "LENGTH IS GOOD", must be understood in a much larger context.

So to place this concept of length into the case of Cody Zeller. Based soley upon his physical attributes, Cody Zeller will struggle in the NBA defensively, because he is not "LONG". Based soley upon his physical attributes, Cody Zeller will be an effective to a very effective NBA player offensively, because his lack of length will translate into better shooting rates.

Below are the top 20 Comp seasons to Cody Zeller at age 20, and also at age 19. The 4 column is only statistical similarity.
Cody Zeller Sophomore season Age 20
Player Age Conference Statistical Similarity
Donald Hodge 20 Atlantic 10 94.7%
Cherokee Parks 21 Atlantic Coast 94.8%
Dale Davis 20 Atlantic Coast 93.5%
Lorenzen Wright 19 Conference USA 94.8%
Lorenzen Wright 20 Conference USA 94.1%
Christian Laettner 20 Atlantic Coast 93.4%
Alec Kessler 22 Southeastern 93.5%
Clifford Rozier 20 Big East 94.5%
Calvin Booth 22 Big Ten 93.7%
Othella Harrington 19 Big East 96.5%
Adam Keefe 19 Pacific 12 95.4%
Anthony Avent 21 Big East 96.1%
Terry Mills 22 Big Ten 93.6%
Dale Davis 19 Atlantic Coast 92.6%
Cherokee Parks 20 Atlantic Coast 92.2%
Derrick Coleman 20 Big East 92.9%
Othella Harrington 20 Big East 95.6%
Raef LaFrentz 20 Big-12 93.3%
Derrick Coleman 19 Big East 93.2%
Donald Hodge 21 Atlantic 10 91.0%

Cody Zeller Freshman season Age 19
Player Age Conference Statistical Similarity
Donald Hodge 20 Atlantic 10 94.1%
Dale Davis 19 Atlantic Coast 93.7%
Dale Davis 20 Atlantic Coast 93.8%
Derrick Coleman 19 Big East 93.5%
Cherokee Parks 20 Atlantic Coast 93.4%
Lorenzen Wright 19 Conference USA 93.5%
Adam Keefe 19 Pacific 12 94.3%
Cherokee Parks 21 Atlantic Coast 94.0%
Donald Hodge 21 Atlantic 10 92.0%
Paul Davis 19 Big Ten 95.2%
Alaa Abdelnaby 21 Atlantic Coast 96.3%
Othella Harrington 19 Big East 95.0%
Terry Mills 20 Big Ten 92.7%
Matt Geiger 22 Atlantic Coast 93.8%
Lorenzen Wright 20 Conference USA 93.0%
D.J. White 19 Big Ten 93.8%
Derrick Alston 19 Atlantic 10 92.8%
Terry Mills 22 Big Ten 93.0%
Derrick Coleman 20 Big East 92.5%
Calvin Booth 19 Big Ten 89.7%

Season Shooting Statistics Totals
FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TS% eFG%
Cody Zeller 1 268 560 48.0% 264 546 48.5% 4 13 30.0% 165 232 70.9% 52.8% 48.4%
Cody Zeller 2 270 562 48.2% 263 539 48.9% 7 23 29.5% 161 222 72.6% 53.2% 48.8%
Cody Zeller 3 314 653 48.2% 307 623 49.2% 8 29 26.2% 209 277 75.5% 54.0% 48.8%
3 Year Average 285 594 48.1% 279 571 48.9% 6 22 28.5% 179 245 73.1% 53.4% 48.7%
Season Accumulation Stats Totals
ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV A/TO PF PTS
Cody Zeller 1 163 250 406 73 47 56 109 0.67 183 705
Cody Zeller 2 175 304 474 91 45 71 108 0.85 208 708
Cody Zeller 3 176 305 473 107 48 77 120 0.89 213 845
3 Year Average 172 288 452 91 47 68 113 0.81 202 756
Season Shooting Statistics per 36 Minutes
FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TS% eFG%
Cody Zeller 1 5.86 12.20 48.0% 5.77 11.91 48.5% 0.09 0.29 29.7% 3.58 5.05 70.9% 52.8% 48.4%
Cody Zeller 2 5.51 11.45 48.2% 5.38 10.98 49.0% 0.14 0.46 30.0% 3.28 4.51 72.6% 53.2% 48.8%
Cody Zeller 3 6.02 12.50 48.2% 5.87 11.94 49.2% 0.15 0.56 26.2% 4.00 5.30 75.5% 54.0% 48.8%
3 Year Average 5.8 12.1 48.1% 5.7 11.6 48.9% 0.1 0.4 28.6% 3.6 5.0 73.1% 53.4% 48.7%
Season Accumulation Stats per 36 Minutes
ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV A/TO PF PTS
Cody Zeller 1 3.56 5.43 8.83 1.60 1.02 1.22 2.37 0.67 4.00 15.39
Cody Zeller 2 3.58 6.19 9.66 1.86 0.92 1.44 2.20 0.85 4.26 14.44
Cody Zeller 3 3.37 5.84 9.06 2.05 0.93 1.47 2.29 0.89 4.08 16.19
3 Year Average 3.5 5.8 9.2 1.8 1.0 1.4 2.3 0.81 4.1 15.4
Season Usage Stats
ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG%
Cody Zeller 1 10.8% 16.8% 13.5% 6.4% 1.4% 2.1% 14.5% 18.2%
Cody Zeller 2 10.2% 17.3% 13.5% 7.7% 1.4% 2.6% 14.0% 18.0%
Cody Zeller 3 10.6% 18.0% 14.1% 8.4% 1.3% 2.7% 13.6% 19.6%
3 Year Average 10.5% 17.4% 13.7% 7.5% 1.4% 2.5% 14.0% 18.6%
Season Advanced Measurements
PER ORtg DRtg OWS DWS WS WS/48
Cody Zeller 1 14.20 110.5 112.2 1.13 1.62 2.95 0.083
Cody Zeller 2 14.77 112.0 111.5 1.70 1.59 3.42 0.088
Cody Zeller 3 16.43 114.3 109.5 2.54 2.24 4.95 0.117
3 Year Average 15.18 112.3 111.0 5.4 5.4 11.32 0.097
Overall Cody Zeller will be about a league average player for his first 3 NBA seasons. He will be a highly efficient offensive player, producing 112.3 points per 100 possessions, averaging 15.4 points per 36 minutes, with a 53.4% true shooting %. He will get to the FT line a lot, and will be a better than average FT shooter for a big man, and will be average to a little below average as a passer. He projects to be a very poor defensive player, allowing 111 points per 100 possessions. He will be a below average rebounding big man, and will have a below average number of blocks, but will not be overly foul prone.
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