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Utah Jazz Preview: Five more crazy things about this year's roster

Some of these really are crazy

"Veteran leadership? Playoff performance? Uh . . . me no speaka the English."
"Veteran leadership? Playoff performance? Uh . . . me no speaka the English."
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

So . . . in the five days since I posted "Five crazy things about this year's roster" the Utah Jazz went out and made four moves:

  1. Brock Motum was waived
  2. Carrick Felix was waived
  3. Jordan Hamilton was claimed
  4. and Joe Ingles was claimed

As a result, a number of things changed. From the mundane (like the average age increasing from 24.12 years to 24.31) to the trivial (the Jazz now have a player from the West Coast, and no longer have one from the Mountain region) . . . and possibly even some changes are bordering on the important (one of the new guys may actually be a rotation player)!

Because the readers at SLC Dunk deserve the best, most up-to-date, and in general, the most content -- I am staying up to write about five more crazy things about this year's roster.

1. If you group the team by draft class . . . you notice that . . .

. . . that 14 out of the 15 players on the roster were drafted between the 2010 and 2014 NBA Drafts.

2014 2015 Utah Jazz Roster by Draft Class

N.B. I used the code "Round 3, pick #61" for an undrafted player.

In the last post we did talk about how this is the youngest Jazz team ever, and possibly the most inexperienced. But if you play around with the data and look at it in different ways you can learn things. This entire team is a product of post- Deron Williams / Carlos Boozer / Mehmet Okur / Andrei Kirilenko moves. Sure, Gordon Hayward actually played his rookie season with Deron and AK47, and Memo retired after all the craziness of being traded to the Nets . . . but if you started following the team in the year we got the realized unprotected New York Knicks pick (aka The Precious) then you'd be right in line with the vast majority of the players on this team.

Of course, the next obvious thing is to try to figure out which draft class is the best haul. Or, even more of course, if you are an insane person . . . you would rather spend your time finding out that more than half the team were born in Q4.

2014 2015 Utah Jazz Roster by Financial Quarter

So, now you know this too.


2. Some of these guys weren't the best player to ever come out of their own High School

No really. Even someone who went to Meridian in the middle of nowhere wasn't the best dude. Check it.

Player High School Location Top Three Players
1 Jeremy Evans Crossett High School Crossett AR Jeremy Evans -- --
2 Dante Exum Australian Institute of Sport Canberra AUS Andrew Bogut Patrick Mills Matthew Dellavedova
3 Joe Ingles Australian Institute of Sport Canberra AUS Andrew Bogut Patty Mills Matt Dellavedova
4 Jordan Hamilton Dominquez High School Compton CA Dennis Johnson Tayshaun Prince Tyson Chandler
5 Enes Kanter Stoneridge Prep Simi Valley CA Nikola Vucevic Enes Kanter Hamady Ndiaye
6 Rudy Gobert "Cholet Basket" Cholet FRA -- -- --
7 Derrick Favors South Atlanta High School Atlanta GA Derrick Favors Kudus Ogbara Sylvania Watkins
8 Gordon Hayward Brownsburg High School Brownsburg IN Gordon Hayward Julian Mavunga Mark Titus
9 Alec Burks Grandview High School Grandview MO Alec Burks JaVon McGee Ronnie Boggs
10 Rodney Hood> Meridian High School Meridian MS Derrick McKey Rodney Hood Devin Cherry
11 Trey Burke Northland High School Columbus OH Trey Burke Jared Sullinger TBD
12 Trevor Booker Union High School Union SC Trevor Booker Devin Booker Darrion Booker
13 Ian Clark Germantown High School Germantown TN Ian Clark James Harvey Jr. Chris Pollard
14 Toure' Murry Klein Forest High School Houston TX Toure' Murry Charles Gaines Gabe Rogers
15 Steve Novak Brown Deer High School Brown Deer WI Steve Novak Kierre Ogbonna Trayvon Palmer

Of course, most of these guys are in the Top 3 of their schools, and a number of them are the best. But I found this crazy . . . . specifically that Hamilton's HS boasts three guys with NBA championship rings on their fingers. Also, Kanter's charter school seems to be where rich people with tall kids in foreign lands send their children for an education.


3. Anthropometric tests are crazy, in themselves

Who is the fastest guy on this team? If you let NBA2K answer that question it's either Trey Burke or Dante Exum (depending if you are looking at north-south speed, or east-west). If you look at the NBA Draft combine information you get upset at science. Who is the fastest north-south runner on this team (as seen from the combine data)? Trevor Booker has the fastest 3/4 court sprint time of 3.10 seconds. And out of ALL of the players data I have, which extends back to Calbert Cheaney, that's the second fastest score EVER by a Jazzman. (Fastest was Josh Howard at 3.09 seconds). The next three fastest cats who are currently on the roster are Trey Burke (3.16), Alec Burks (3.17), and Dante Exum (3.18). [For those at home, yes, Raul Neto clocks in at 3.16 as well.] If the Jazz do want to run this year, it's obvious that they can do it -- especially with Booker as the trailer. (If you had access to Synergy Sports, watching him in transition was a delight.)

What about quickness, or lateral speed? The lane agility test from the combine is something else. And the fastest player on the team right now, in this drill, is . . . Joe Ingles. No, really. Dude completed his circuit in 10.61 seconds, ahead of Dante Exum (10.66), Raul Neto (10.96), Alec Burks (10.96), and . . . Steve Novak (11.11). So, I guess, props to the white guys who are routinely not called athletes.

For those who want to know, the guy who was tested who has the worst scores here is Rudy Gobert. His 3/4 sprint was measured in as "Glacier" and his lane agility time was recorded as "Continental drift". And yes, I know that these scores for Gobert's speed are meaningless -- because he competed in the combine with an injured foot that no one knew about, a foot that would require post-draft surgery to fix. (And yes, it was an ingrown toenail).


4. Your draft spot is a funny mix of potential winning out over production

Grouping these players by their draft position, and then adding in their final NCAA year stats you get the feeling that . . . sometimes potential is way more alluring that actually showing up to work and getting the job done. No, I mean it.

2014 2015 Utah Jazz Roster by Draft Potential Production

The top five highest draft picks on the team are all Top 10 picks, with three being Top 5 picks. And 40% of those guys have no NCAA resume at all. And in both cases the best competition they faced were high school kids. Of course, Trey Burke's college career was almost good enough for three players . . . but the sentiment stands. You don't see any Seniors taken in the Top picks anymore. It's an underclassmen's game.

Five Seniors make up the Jazz current roster, and the highest pick was Booker at #32. But if you look at Booker's senior year he really brought a lot to the table (not shown was his three point proficiency). He was efficient, and he was someone who killed in in advanced stats (PER, USG%, TRB% *and* AST% -- from a BIGMAN!). The next highest picked senior was . . . Steve Novak, early in the 2nd round. After him the wheels fall off. The last two seniors go undrafted.

The other thing of note here is . . . where the heck did Hayward's rebounds go? Did Kolbi get that when they broke up? Were they hers?

Anyway, for this squad which is such a mix of draft spots it's going to be interesting to see which players normalize towards their final NCAA year player roles. Alec is a pure scorer. Hayward is a glue guy. Favors is a defender. Trey appears to be an Alpha dog. I usually look at cumulative college numbers, so looking at their final year numbers was fun for me.

Who knew that Jeremy Evan's best college year had him establish himself as super efficient ... yet very low use? (Was it everybody?)


5. It's 3:25 in the morning right now . . . so this is going to be a cop-out . . .

2014 2015 Utah Jazz Roster by Playoff Experience


Sure, some of these guys went far in college, or have a lot of international experience with their respective national clubs . . . but we're talking about the playoffs here. Playoffs. Playoffs? Pa-pa-playoffs? These guys are young, will improve, and are hungry to prove people wrong. But this team doesn't have a lot of experience in the NBA playoffs. Steve Novak has the most minutes, as bench fodder. In fact, Enes Kanter sees more minutes per playoffs than Novak does, and Kanter was 19 years old when he made the playoffs. What's Steve's excuse?

I guess the good news is that they'll learn together. And in this season that's the least crazy thing about this team.