FanPost

Draft Talk: Jared Cunningham (Oregon State); Updated w/ Interesting Stat Comparison


Jared Cunningham's a guy the Bulls recently worked out and who said he felt that he could really help the Bulls. After looking into the numbers and watching some of Cunningham's highlights, I'm inclined to agree with the former Oregon State guard.

Why do I think that Cunningham can help? Well, first let's begin by determining what are the best markers for future success at the NBA level among Shooting Guards. Ed Weiland at Hoops Analyst has done a great job of figuring these benchmarks out. If you don't read his stuff, start. He's great. Here's what he has to say regarding shooting guard prospects:

For shooting guards I look at 6 benchmarks. These have historically been numbers that SGs who made any significant impact on the NBA have hit as college players.

  • Hitting over 50% on 2 pointers or at least very close to it. This higher the better, as usually is the case.
  • Scoring 20.0 points per 40 minutes. This one seems almost set in stone. There have been very few successful SGs who didn’t score 20 P40 regardless of how impressive their other numbers were.
  • A combined rebounds, steals and blocks of at least 7.0.
  • At the very minimum, 1.3 steals per 40 minutes.
  • An assist/turnover ratio of no lower than 0.8. This one isn’t a higher the better situation like the other benchmarks are. I mean I’m sure it’s better to have more assists and fewer TOs, but there’s no correlation to the success of players with higher A/TOs. It just seems to be important that they’re over 0.8.
  • An ability to hit 3-pointers at the NBA level. This hasn’t always been the case, but an outside shot has become so much more important in recent years that I decided to add this.

So now that we've established what a SG needs to do at the college level to have a high likelihood of having any sort of impact in the NBA, let's look at the relevant numbers for Jared Cunningham.
Per pace adjusted 40 minutes, Cunningham scores 18.9 points. Now, given how set in stone Ed's words were re: the 20 point marker, you might conclude that this is the end of the analysis, but I think Cunningham's other stats (especially those relating to his athleticism) are good enough that he's probably close enough. Cunningham's RSB40 is 7.1, with an astounding 2.7 steals per 40. He scores on 50.7% of his 2 point shots and shoots the three solidly enough at 33.8% that he should be able to improve with further practice to be an outside shooting threat. His AST:TO ratio is exactly 1.
Cunningham's scoring numbers might be too weak to indicate an NBA level SG, but his other numbers are pretty eye popping. He also gets to the line for 7.9 attempts per pace adjusted 40, which is very solid.
Here's a highlight video:

Jared Cunningham Highlight Mix (via swishscout)

Update: I found an interesting statistical comparison for Cunningham, and one very relevant to the Bulls looking to cheaply replace some of their non-guaranteed contracts. Here are the numbers for Ronnie Brewer as a junior at Arkansas versus Cunningham as a junior at Oregon State.

Year

League

Team

GP

Min

Pts

FG

FGA

FG%

2Pt

2PtA

2P%

3Pt

3PtA

3P%

FTM

FTA

FT%

Off

Def

TOT

Asts

Stls

Blks

TOs

PFs

2005/06

NCAA

Arkansas

32

34.8

18.4

6.2

14.0

44.1

4.6

9.3

49.3

1.6

4.7

33.8

4.5

6.0

75.0

1.2

3.6

4.8

3.3

2.6

0.5

2.2

1.4

2011/12

NCAA

Oregon State

36

34.6

18.9

5.8

12.9

45.0

4.3

8.5

50.7

1.5

4.3

33.8

5.8

7.9

73.7

1.1

3.0

4.0

3.0

2.7

0.4

3.0

2.5

The numbers are pretty astonishingly similar, to be honest. Cunningham was a marginally better finisher (2P%) and got to the line more frequently, whereas Brewer was the better rebounder by nearly a full board per 40 minutes. Otherwise, they look like nearly the exact same player at the same age. Now, Ronnie is a bigger guy than Cunningham, but production matters and this is certainly encouraging, given how valuable Ronnie has become in the league. In addition, Cunningham seems like he has better potential for fixing his jumper than Ronnie did, because of Ronnie's physical limitation (broken arm) which prevented him from changing his form. Cunningham has solid form, he just needs more consistency.

For giggles, here are the relevant size measurements for Ronnie and Cunningham:

Height w/o Shoes

Height w/shoes

Weight

Wingspan

Standing Reach

Body Fat

6' 5.75"

6' 6.75"

223

6' 11.25"

8' 7.5"

5.0

6' 3.5"

6' 5"

188

6' 6.5"

8' 2"

3.6

Again, Ronnie a much, much bigger guy than Cunningham, but the fact that Cunningham was able to produce an almost identical stat line as someone who has been as productive and useful as Ronnie Brewer is encouraging.

FanPosts are user-created posts from the BlogABull community, and are to be treated as the opinions and views of that particular user, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

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