This week on SI.com, we've been releasing data from a college basketball statistical projection system developed by economist Dan Hanner with assistance from SI's Luke Winn. Part I featured our projected top 100 scorers, top 20 rebounders and top 20 in assists, and it contains a more in-depth description of the statistical model. Part II featured the projected top 50 freshmen scorers. Today, we unveil our forecast of the top 50 breakout scorers according to their projected increase in raw points per game.
One of the best uses of our projection system is in identifying breakout opportunities -- situations where minutes and shots become available to players who've performed well in reserve roles, or whose talent level suggests they'll put up bigger numbers. While it's impossible to predict exactly how overhauled teams such as Florida, UNLV, Oregon State or Marquette will play in 2014-15, we can at least identify the players who are most likely to fill vacated scoring roles.
Our pool of individual player projections is limited to the top 11 conferences -- the football power five plus the Atlantic 10, Big East, AAC, Missouri Valley, Mountain West and West Coast. The system forecasts advanced statistics -- such as offensive efficiency, usage rates, and rebound and assist rates -- for each player and then fits them within the context of their team's rotation to yield raw stats. The breakout list is limited to players projected to score at least 8.0 points per game.
Five who just missed the top 50: Nick King, Memphis; Kendall Stephens, Purdue; Johnathan Williams, Missouri; Jordan Mathews, Cal, Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse.