The goal of the Value Add formula, developed by John Pudner and explained on the blog Cracked Sidewalks, is to assess how much more a player contributes (percentage-wise) to his team than a ninth or 10th man off a major-conference bench would, if given the same amount of minutes and possessions. It takes into account a player's offensive efficiency, usage rate and percent of minutes played, as well as the strength of defenses faced. Anyone who adds more than seven percent to his team's offense should be considered super-elite, as just 14 shooting guards or wings in the past nine years have been that valuable, and only two have broken the nine-percent mark. Both of those players did it in 2005-06.
It turns out that the season of "RedMo," as Grant Wahl called it in a March 2006 SI story ("Just as Hollywood has given us TomKat and Brangelina, college hoops has produced RedMo"), was deserving of all the media hype, even if its stars sputtered in the NBA. In my countdown of the top Value Add seasons for shooting guards and wings, Duke's J.J. Redick and Gonzaga's Adam Morrison, who went head-to-head for the '05-06 scoring title, are featured prominently, as are two other two-guards from that same season. When Zags coach Mark Few said, in Wahl's story, that RedMo was "nothing short of what Bird and Magic did for college basketball [in 1979]," he may not have been too far out of line.
Herewith, the top 10:
(116.9 ORating, 84.8% mins. played, 30.9% poss. used, vs. 0.968 PPP defense)
Anderson won Big 12 Player of the Year for this campaign, after which he jumped to the NBA, but I don't think I properly appreciated how good he was in college. Had he not been on a middling team that lost (as a No. 7 seed) in the first round of the NCAA tournament, his brilliance might have resonated more among the national press. The Spurs made an excellent value pick by grabbing him late in the 2010 first round, even if his rookie season was derailed by a broken foot.
(116.5 ORating, 87.2% mins. played, 31.6% poss. used, vs. 0.973 PPP defense)
Durant provided the must-watch regular season of the decade, as the game's most unstoppable scorer and the only freshman to make this list. (Carmelo Anthony's 2002-03 was the next-highest Value Add by a freshman; at 6.77 percent, it ranked 18th.) It's amazing to think that Durant was barely 18 at the time; after the first college game I witnessed him play in person, at Villanova, his mom walked him to the news conference holding his hand. So young, so amazing.
(121.2 ORating, 82.8% mins. played, 31.8% poss. used, vs. 0.997 PPP defense)
This was Curry's final season as a shooting guard, as he played alongside point-man Jason Richards and led the Wildcats to the Elite Eight. After one of the most memorable NCAA tournament performances of alltime, Curry came back to school and moved to point, posting a Value Add of 6.02 percent as a junior. He was a more-than-competent floor general, but he was at his best when playing off the ball.
(121.8 ORating, 83.8% mins played, 27.3% poss. used, vs. 0.968 PPP defense)
SI put Jameer Nelson on its St. Joe's cover in 2004, but West actually added more value, at 7.63 percent to Nelson's 7.09, which ranked him 14th on the list of efficiency-era point guards. West has since become more famous for other things, like an epic KFC drive-thru freestyle, and a much-rumored liaison with someone's mother.
(115.0 ORating, 90.7% mins. played, 32.8% poss. used, vs. 0.969 PPP defense)
Douby's junior season may go down as the most irrelevant/for-naught great campaign by a two-guard. He had a subpar supporting cast on the Scarlet Knights, who went 19-14 and lost in the second round of the NIT. He has since taken his talents the hinterlands of China, where he starred for the CBA runner-up Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers this past season, scoring a league-record 53 points in a playoff victory.
(125.3 ORating, 78.1% mins. played, 27.5% poss. used, vs. 0.974 PPP defense)
Roy didn't get Redick/Morrison-level attention for his phenomenal senior season, which foreshadowed an NBA Rookie of the Year campaign in '06-07. With former stars Nate Robinson and Will Conroy gone from the program, Roy took on the main scoring and playmaking duties, and led the Huskies to a second-place finish in the Pac-10.
(121.1 ORating, 92.9% mins. played, 24.8% poss. used, vs. 0.957 PPP defense)
This is Redick's junior year, when he won the first of his two ACC Player of the Year awards, and Duke was upset in the Sweet 16 by Michigan State. Part of his immense value lied in the fact that Coach K rarely needed to take him off the floor, due to much-improved conditioning from his freshman and sophomore seasons.
(120.9 ORating, 85.4% mins. played, 28.5% poss. used, vs. 0.967 PPP defense)
Jackson, who was picked 10th by the Cavs following this season, has gone down as an NBA bust, only appearing in 76 total games before falling out of the league. But there was a reason he was drafted so high: He was one of the greatest college wing players of his decade, and he closed out his senior season by scoring 29 straight points for the Ducks during one stretch of an NIT victory.
(120.0 ORating, 89.9% mins. played, 32.4% poss. used, vs. 0.971 PPP defense)
Morrison was willing to shoot from anywhere, but he wasn't a wasteful gunner. Only three other players in my database posted seasons in which they used more than 30 percent of their team's possessions and still had an offensive rating of at least 120: Morehead State's Ricky Minard, in '02-03; Davidson's Curry, in '07-08; and Utah State's Ryan Toolson, in '08-09.
(120.2 ORating, 92.5% mins. played, 29.2% poss. used, vs. 0.947 PPP defense)
Redick was the most hated player in college hoops, but he wasn't overrated. He posted his Wooden-and-Naismith worthy numbers going against the second-toughest slate of defenses (average efficiency: 94.7) in the database, and took his game to the next level by adding a slashing element to his already lethal long-range shooting. His senior year goes down as the gold standard for modern-era shooting guards.
The wildest thing here: Steve Novak's final season at Marquette actually had more Value Add than did Dwyane Wade's. Also, the formula makes Josh Howard look like far less of an NBA Draft sleeper than was the general consensus in the media.
11. 7.33%: Jaycee Carroll, Utah State, 2007-08
12. 7.27%: Steve Novak, Marquette, 2005-06
13. 7.15%: Dwyane Wade, Marquette, 2002-03
14. 7.00%: Mike Gansey, West Virginia, 2005-06
15. 6.98%: Jaycee Carroll, Utah State, 2006-07
16. 6.90%: David Hawkins, Temple, 2003-04
17. 6.90%: Henry Domercant, Eastern Illinois, 2002-03
18. 6.77%: Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse, 2002-03
19. 6.64%: Josh Howard, Wake Forest, 2002-03
20. 6.62%: James Harden, Arizona State, 2008-09
1. 6.29%: Jon Diebler, Ohio State
2. 6.25%: Marshon Brooks, Providence
3. 6.18%: John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
4. 6.17%: Nolan Smith, Duke
5. 5.95%: Devon Beitzel, Northern Colorado
6. 5.84%: Alec Burks, Colorado
7. 5.79%: Jimmy Butler, Marquette
8. 5.55%: Marcus Denmon, Missouri
9. 5.06%: Ken Horton, Central Connecticut State
10. 5.04%: Andrew Goudelock, College of Charleston