Kansas State's Michael Beasley Is A Better College Player Than Kevin Durant Was

2/14/08 in NCAABB   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect


Last year I pretty much watched every Texas basketball game I could, even though I don't really care that much about college basketball until tournament time starts. The reason why I watched was simple: Kevin Durant.

This year, I'm back to my old ways. Sort of randomly checking out games every now and then, but not really following any specific player.

Well, I should be. Kansas State's Michael Beasley is a better freshman than Durant was last year, and before you go nuts, there's actual data to prove this. Let's take a look at straight raw numbers, courtesy of AccuScore.

  Minutes Points Rebounds Blocks Steals TO FG % 3P%
  Beasley 30.5 25.2 12.3 1.7 1.5 3.1 .562 .436
  Durant (2007) 35.9 25.8 11.1 1.9 1.9 2.8 .473 .404
Just from a simple glance here, you should immediately be able to tell that Beasley is the more efficient player. He has more rebounds, higher field goal percentages, and nearly as many average points, blocks and steals despite playing fewer minutes.

And here's what AccuScore has to say about it:

Kansas State plays at a slightly faster pace than Texas did last season (73.2 vs. 69.7 possessions/40 min) so that mitigates some of the discrepancy in minutes, but not completely.  Kansas State also has played a more difficult schedule so far than Texas in 2007 as the Wildcats currently have the 34th rated schedule in the nation.  The Longhorns last season finished with the 55 rated schedule.  Considering the less time Beasley spends on the floor than Durant did, and against a more difficult schedule no less, makes his numbers all the more impressive.

If that data isn't enough for you, there's more. Thanks to a basketball stats site called Kenpom, we can compare Beasley and Durant on an even greater level. So let's do that. Kenpom compares both players' offensive ratings in a number of ways. %Poss = percent of the teams possessions that go through the player. %Shots = percent of the teams shots taken. eFG% = same as regular field goal percentage, except that made three-pointers are appropriately given 50% more credit. OR% = offensive rebounding percentage of the teams totals. DR% = defensive rebounding percentage of the teams totals. TORate = turnover percentage.

  ORtg %Poss %Shots eFG% OR% DR% TORate
  Beasley 118.4 32.7 34.6 59.1 14.9 28.6 16.9
  Durant (2007) 116.5 31.6 34.3 53.6 9.0 24.1 14.2

Their detailed analysis is that when everything is considered, Beasley is simply a better player than Durant was. Beasley's more crucial to his team's offense, is a better all-around shooter, and a better rebounder.

Now I realize Beasley and Durant play different positions, and Durant shot a lot more threes, but go over to Kenpom and check out their numbers (which include more than just what I have here). Beasley's offensive rating is higher no matter how you break it down.

The real question is why hasn't Beasley gotten the same ridiculous hype? Well, that's probably because Beasley is playing for a program that isn't quite as well known to people and the fact that there are a number of incredible freshmen in college basketball this year - whereas last year it was basically Oden and Durant.

But all I know is this. I better start turning my TV on to watch this kid play.
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6/21/11   |   nicholemyres

My brother loves to watch an NBA game with a Jet Master on. It makes him feel the hotness of the game. Why don't you try to experience the game of your life.

6/21/11   |   hannagrace023

 I am currently enrolled in my bachelor of dance education course where I met new friends who are also a big fan of NBA sports. We always have fun together sharing about NBA and which team we're on.

2/18/08   |   MitchWilkinson

CHansen wrote:
I have had the pleasure of watching a ton of both Beasley and Durant in college, and just from the "looks test", I still give the edge to Durant.  He was a better defender, caused more matchup problems, and took over games more naturally.  Beasley's rebounding numbers are a bit inflated by having no other inside presence on that team worth a lick, while Durant was competing for rebounds with Atchley and James, while Durant was on the perimeter.

Don't get me wrong. Beasley is fantastic and should be this year's NPOY and #1 pick in the draft, IMO.  But, if I had to pick between the two players, I would still take Durant.

Beasley has much stiffer competition for points and rebounds in the paint with Bill Walker on the team.  In conference play Walker is averaging more points and rebounds than anyone Durant played with, and Beasley Walker are both used in the post by KSU.

 

That and the fact that Beasley is at least double teamed, and very often triple teamed during non-transition offense.  Durant got tons of shots coming open off a screen, while Beasley is fighting through 2-3 defenders to make a bucket.  HUGE difference.

 

And then there's the fact that Beasley has proven to be much more consistent, with his 20 double doubles so far this year.  Absolutely amazing consistency.

2/14/08   |   CalBoomer   |   43 respect

The really crucial test is: can Beasley bench press more than George Bush?

2/14/08   |   CHansen

(Edited by CHansen)

Edit:  just checked again and found it;  3rd time was a charm, apparently.

I do still think that the efficiency stats are more geared towards "more valuable" than "who is better."  I don't think you would get much of an argument that Beasley is more valuable.

2/14/08   |   CriticalFanatic

Kevin Durant's "stats" could have been better if it weren't for DJ Augustin hogging the ball so much. Durant was aided by the fact he had more capable scorers around him, and when I say aided, I mean he didn't have to put up as many stats.

The fact they play different positions, play in a different offense, and had different roles makes this tough to compare. It's pick your poison. If you a post player, Beasley is your guy. If you want a wing, Durant's your guy.

Given the choice of having to pick only one, I'll go Durant

2/14/08   |   CHansen

I have had the pleasure of watching a ton of both Beasley and Durant in college, and just from the "looks test", I still give the edge to Durant.  He was a better defender, caused more matchup problems, and took over games more naturally.  Beasley's rebounding numbers are a bit inflated by having no other inside presence on that team worth a lick, while Durant was competing for rebounds with Atchley and James, while Durant was on the perimeter.

Don't get me wrong. Beasley is fantastic and should be this year's NPOY and #1 pick in the draft, IMO.  But, if I had to pick between the two players, I would still take Durant.

2/14/08   |   Eric   |   239 respect

(Edited by Eric)

Before I read your blog, I would have disagreed. With me being a Longhorn fan and all. But, you have directed me towards the bright-glowing light at the end of the tunnel. It takes a lot to sway me sometimes, but you have done it. Congrats!

I just hope you can't change this to "in the NBA" next year or a few years from now.