I ran my draft model against the latest Draft Express data, which includes the first weekend of the tournament, so only a few players will have more than more one or two games of data added (though most likely that will include all of the prospects on Kentucky).
Before I get to the inevitable list I wanted to both look at the relationship between the model out put and Draft Express Top 100 prospects as well as a couple of visualizations of the stats in the models.
Using the rank given by the model and the DX rank I plotted them and ran some correlations based on position and a split between top and bottom 50.
So basically the model and Draft Express ratings agree much more at the top of the rankings than at the bottom, where there is no agreement. There's some logic to that given that the history of the draft indicates that there is more consistent differentiation at the top of the draft order than the bottom, which gives us the famous logarithmic shape of draft value.
Point Guard Island
The relationship by position is interesting. It is tempting to see the higher correlation for centers and power forwards as something indicative of the PAWS model being more in tune with scouting for bigs than guards. But last year the model and the consensus had Marcus Smart, for example, in the same neighborhood, with the disagreement the greatest with a couple wings and power forward/center in Clint Capela.
In any case, right now there is basically no agreement between my model and the DX rating of point guards, but a decent relationship with centers, power forwards, and shooting guards.
Below we can see a picture of what no correlation looks like, along with my little (literally) point guard island on the left side of the graph.
The diminutive trio of Tyus Jones, Fred VanVleet and Tyler Ulis are ranked 2nd, 5th and 19th by the PAWS model, while they're 28th, 86th and 89th respectively by Draft Express. Any analytics draft model is at a disadvantage on the defensive end, and it's clear that is a concern with these three. The defensive measures we do have, blocks and steals are below average for both of the freshmen, Jones and Ulis, but VanVleet is competitive with the other higher ranked point guards.
Below the statistics used to inform the draft model are graphed in standardized ratings for scoring, rebounds, blocks plus steals, distribution (assists and turnovers) and a rating combining age, consensus high school recruiting rank, and competition level. The weights mimic the model, so offensive rebounds are more valuable than defensive, steals are more valuable than blocks and age is the dominant factor in the Age and Competition rating.
Jones, VanVleet and Delon Wright form the models' first tier. Jones gets there in significant part due to his age and high consensus recruiting rank and his distribution numbers. Wright essentially does everything well, but is on the older side. VanVleet is younger than Wright, but has been a below average scorer. We'll see how VanVleet's tournament performance affects his draft stock, a good game against Duke could make him a fair amount of money.
Here's the same stacked visualization for the top ranked shooting guards:
D'Angelo Russell is the clear leader, with something of a second tier in Jerian Grant and R.J. Hunter. Mario Hezonja does not grade out as well as his scouting, but he is playing on a high level professional team in Spain, where he has struggled to get playing time consistently.
Here are the small forwards:
The model has Stanley Johnson and Aleksandar Vezenkov as a first tier of sorts, with Justice Winslow, Kelly Oubre, Sam Dekker and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson bunched behind. The big IF with Vezenkov is his defense, his scoring in the Greek leage has been efficient at a high volume. The model does not rate Jake Layman as a top prospect.
Here are the power forwards:
Frank Kaminsky, Bobby Portis and Kevon Looney top the power forwards. Kristaps Porzingis rates less highly than he did last year, after failing to make much progress in a chaotic season for his club in Spain, though his scouting stock hasn't yet suffered.
Finally, the centers:
There is a clear first tier with Jahlil Okafor and Karl Towns, and then a very talented second tier. Willie Cauley-Stein is somewhat lower in the model estimate than his DX rank, in part due to the limitations valuing defense, but also Cauley-Stein's age and relative lack of scoring.