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The Best Early Season Bucket Getting Draft Prospects

Who has the Cerebro PSP metric pegged as the best scoring prospects so far this year.
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While defense and rebounding are vital parts to success in the game of basketball, you can’t win if you don’t put the ball in the basket. has put together a metric that:

  • Blends the two major components of scoring - volume and efficiency - to create a role-neutral representation of scoring ability.
  • If priority were given to per game scoring at high usage, skills like cutting or spot up shooting would be undervalued. If efficiency were the more weighted element, players who are not primary creators & benefit from advantage created by others would be overrepresented.
  • Put plainly, we believe that a 70th percentile high volume scorer & a 70th percentile low usage creator grade out more similarly than was previously possible with a comprehensive metric.

Each skill score is graded on the same 100+ point scale – 60+ is good, 80+ is great, and 100+ is elite.

It is still very early in the season but it is never too early to identify some of the prospects that have really been scoring the ball well and impressing scouts.

Not only are players who have not been tracked for at least four games and average 20 minutes per game filtered out, players who are not consistently looked at as 2023 NBA Draft prospects have been filtered as well.

Kris Murray (Forward | Iowa) - 106 PSP

The 6-foot-8 twin of 2022 No. 5 overall pick, Keegan Murray, is picking up where his brother left off. Kris is averaging 21 points per game on over 50% from the field, 39% from the 3-point line and has missed just one free throw this season.

The most impressive part of Murray’s scoring efficiency early in the season is that he is doing it on an increased volume as his field goal and 3-point attempts have almost doubled in his junior season.

The metrics also score the Cedar Rapids product as great in 3-point efficiency and around the rim, as well as good in the defensive stats impact.

Fair or not, some of Kris’ draft stock may be tied to the success of Keegan in his rookie season with Sacramento Kings where he has a solid, but not spectacular, start to his career.

Trayce Jackson-Davis (Forward | Indiana) - 104 PSP

The 6-foot-9 forward is putting up big time numbers for the undefeated Indiana Hoosiers through the first six games of the season. Even after modest scoring outputs of 17 and 11 points in the past two games, Jackson-Davis is still averaging 18.8 points per game on 76% from the field.

In complete opposition to Murray, the Indiana native is actually getting less shot attempts per game so far this season for the Hoosiers but has been so efficient that the production has not changed from his sophomore and junior seasons.

Jackson-Davis provides does not provide anything in terms of 3-point shooting but greats out at an almost elite level around the rim and does hit the elite marks for the defensive stats impact.

It will be very interesting to monitor his draft stock throughout the season as his game has not shown a ton of box score growth from his sophomore to senior season but his overall impact on the court has.

Oumar Ball (Center | Arizona) - 101 PSP

Coming in as the most surprising name to show up on this list is the 7-foot center for Arizona, Oumar Ballo. He is the second leading scorer for the undefeated Wildcats averaging right at 19 points per contest.

Similar to Jackson-Davis, Ballo is getting his production on relatively low volume but insane efficiency at 77% from the field. However, contrary to Jackson-Davis, Ballo has doubled his field goal attempts from his sophomore season and almost tripled his free throw attempts per game.

The Koulikoro, Mali native provides most of his value through his scoring as he does not extend his game outside of the 3-point line and even his defensive stats impact comes in below a score of 80.

As the NBA game continues to change and evolve it will be interesting to see what value teams will put on a prospect like Ballo.

Tucker DeVries (Guard | Drake) - 99 PSP

At 6-foot-7, Tucker DeVries continues a trend as he is the leading scorer on his undefeated team through six games, the Drake Bulldogs. He is scoring just under 22 points per game on insane efficiency that currently has him in the 50-40-90 club.

DeVries had an impressive freshman season for the Bulldogs but has seen his field goal percentage jump 17% and 3-point percentage jump 12% on similar volume. His free throw percentage has also risen 12 percentage points but he has found himself at the line more than double the amount of times per game compared to a year ago.

DeVries name is already starting to show up on multiple NBA Draft big boards and continued scoring efficiency like this, along with a run to the NCAA tournament from his team, could really make him a name to watch

Terrence Shannon Jr. (Guard | Illinois) - 96 PSP

The only player to show up on the top five lists for 3-point efficiency and point scoring prowess is Terrence Shannon Jr, an exciting Illinois guard. He is averaging over 20 points per game on 54% from the field and of course, an impressive 47% from behind the 3-point line.

The fact the 6-foot-6 Texas Tech transfer shows up in the top five of both of these metrics and scores above 70 in all five tells you all you need to know about his start to his senior season. He is actually one of four division one players to score >70 on all five of the Cerebro metrics and is the only one to be above 90 in both 3-point shooting and point scoring prowess.

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