Drew Cannon has been a busy man this past month.
First he gave us freshman player projects, ones that showed the Memphis recruits to be the best of the mid-major bunch.
Now he is back with a new set of projections, these based on a new formula for established player projection that Cannon developed himself.
The new list of projections is comprised of the best returning players, based on all-conference lists, player of the year winners, and a few guys who just put up huge numbers and didn't make the cut in their own conferences last year.
We have some interesting outputs.
One of the players that Cannon calls out specifically is Creighton's Doug McDermott, who should be in the running for the MVC Player of the Year, and probably on his way to be a first round draft pick if he doesn't return for his senior year.
Two of the guys projected for the most regression are Doug McDermott and Isaiah Canaan, and it's quickly clear what those three have in common: They all had fantastic, likely unsustainable shooting seasons in 2012.
McDermott falls back to 38 percent shooting in the new projections, and both of the players still are projected to have some great seasons.
The Creighton star is supposed to score a rating of 119 (100 is average). That is tied for the best on the list with Indiana's Cody Zeller and Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas. That is a pretty good mark even with the regression from his huge season last year.
Canaan's season is projected to yield a 112 rating which definitely drops him out of the first tier of mid-major players. He is still among the best on the list, just not as high as his season last year would have you believe.
If we are looking for the stars that will lead the way this coming year, we have a few contenders from the mid-major ranks: South Dakota State's Nate Wolters, St. Mary's Matthew Dellavedova and Valpo's Ryan Broekhoff. Not really a surprising set of characters there, but interesting some of the names that are missing.
It won't be Lehigh's C.J. McCollum. It won't be Gonzaga's Elias Harris.
As far as how this matches up with HOOPWAR, it is difficult to say. I looked briefly at what the average score for each class of player is. The best fit for that has players making strong strides between freshman and sophomore year, and junior and senior year.
The sophomore to junior season advancement is pretty small. That would seem to fall in line with what is projected for McDermott this year.
This is just a rough estimate based on the data available, but I have McDermott grading out to a 7.532 HW/30, up from a 7.168 this season. Following that on to his senior season, he would finish his career with an 8.52 HW/30. That would still put him among the best players in the league, but not the best as is shown by Cannon's numbers.
Again, my estimations are rough, and I am not working with the full database that Cannon has at his disposal.
Based on what I have seen of McDermott, he definitely is among the best players based on the eye test. The numbers don't always agree with that -- just look at some of the WAR numbers put up in baseball and how they may not exactly match up with an eye test.
These are just rough projections -- Cannon says the same of his own numbers -- but it will be something to watch this upcoming season.