Player development under Tony Bennett

STLouHoo posted an article {1} on HOOS Place entitled “Hoos Getting Drafted” (see the link below) in which he compares players’ high school ranking (“HS”, column 1, below) with where they were drafted in NBA draft (“Draft”, column 2, below), which is one way to show player development under Tony Bennett. I created a table from his data that divides the players into three tiers based on their high school rank – top 50; 50-100; and 100+:

HS_Draft = Player
35 _ 21 = Justin Anderson
43 _ 55 = Kyle Guy
_ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _
53 _ 24 = Ty Jerome
60 __ 4 = De’Andre Hunter
_ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _
104 _ 36 = Malcolm Brogdon
115 _ 43 = Mike Scott
119 _ 33 = Joe Harris
122 _ 53 = Devon Hall

The development shows up especially well in the 2nd and 3rd tiers. Amazing! Way to go, guys!

STLouHoo’s article:


Incredible. How much of this is just misinformed evaluation early on?

or What is valued at UVA and the NBA vs what those analysts value is probably the difference…

Either way. Pretty cool!


Great data, but wonder what the data would say for Wright, K, Williams, Self?

I think NBA scouts are downright lazy when it comes to the draft. How the heck did the NBA think Kyle Guy was 1-dimensional? So, Duke gets the top kids and they get drafted at the top. However, I can think of several that seem to under perform in the NBA.

I would love to see that data for the players after their first 5 years in the NBA. Rank them by salary - imperfect I know. Compare that to their high school rankings. I firmly believe Tony does a better job preparing them for life (and NBA is their life) than anyone else and the NBA is only now starting to figure that out.


You can download the complete data for Rivals-150 and NBA draft for 2005-2019 here:

Warning – it’s 100 pages long! In it there are usually two entries per top player: Rival’s high school ranking is given first, followed by the NBA draft info. Here’s the basic format using the first few players from Arizona:

Aaron Gordon = 2013 Rivals = 03 _ N/A _ PF _ San Jose, CA _ (etc)
Aaron Gordon = 2014 NBA draft (Fr.) = 1 _ 4 _ _ PF _ (etc)
Alex Barcello = 2017 Rivals = 118 _ N/A _ SG _ Tempe, AZ _ (etc)
Allonzo Trier = 2015 Rivals = 12 _ N/A _ SG _ Henderson, NV _ (etc)
Allonzo Trier = 2018 Notable undrafted players (Jr.) = SG _ (etc)

To explain things a little bit, the first two entries are for Aaron Gordon. The first line shows his Rivals ranking for 2013 (#3 on the list); the second line shows his NBA draft numbers: Rd 1 _ #4 selection. Similarly, Allonzo Trier was #12 Rivals out of high school in 2015, but was undrafted in 2018.


So Kyle getting drafted below his HS ranking is just a function of height? Or was HS ranking too high?

1 Like

I think his rating coming out of high school was appropriate. The ratings aren’t expressly designed to be ratings for pro potential, although it correlates well in many cases.


tough being a 6-2 off guard in the nba…Sacramento is good place to focus on basketball… not a ton of pressure and no city life.


I don’t know if NBA execs are lazy, per se, but they do seem to overvalue potential. See Dasagna Diop, Eddie Curry, Kwame Brown, Greg Oden etc etc etc.

I don’t know if NBA types thought Guy was one-dimensional, it’s just that guys who are going to survive by shooting have to be able to separate. Joe Harris, who had a phenomenal year, disappeared pretty much in the playoffs when everybody plays tighter. Guy’s career will depend on his ability to separate.


If there’s anyone who can overcome obstacles - even physical ones - it’s Kyle (Ty is another one). Those kids just don’t take “not possible” as an option or an identity. They will prove they are far more than their physicals. Kyle stands out for his quickness in multiple respects & Ty for his IQ, passing skills & reading the scene better than anyone. They will both be great. As will Dre. Can’t wait to see them in action proving the naysayers wrong…again.


Great analysis – wait until Kihei Clark shows up!

1 Like

Has anybody done this for Duke / UNC / Kansas / Kentucky over the past few years? If I were recruiting, I would do this analysis to have the data on how the coach develops players (or not). Of course, if I were Duke, I would say that there isn’t much room to move if you are #1 or #2 coming out of high school.

1 Like

I started off to do something similar last year when Devon was drafted. But I abandoned it after charting I think 5 drafts. What became apparent is that if you remove one-n-dones there’s almost no correlation between high school ranking and draft position or even odds of being drafted. UVA does an outstanding job of player development. No one would deny that. But I think the real key is in their ability to evaluate recruits. Joe, Malcolm, etc might not have been so highly ranked to Rivals but they were to Tony Bennett.


Thanks for this insight! Very helpful and I agree with you on the recruiting. Tony’s ability to find a Kihei Clark, find a leader like Salt (will never forget his pointing at his head from the sidelines as Guy/Kyle/etc. walked off the court in the first half of Gardner-Webb – essentially saying this is in your heads), etc. is special. I’m especially a fan of finding talent that doesn’t pass the “eye test”. Tired of things like wingspan, eyebrow bushiness, toe length when there aren’t measures for decision making, determination, ability to positively impact team culture, ability to not melt down when the going gets tough, etc. I played a college sport and the best player is often not the one with the gifted athletic ability. Also, look at the Celtics this last year. Great talent that is toxic for a team dynamic can be detrimental.