This year I added the high school consensus recruiting index rating to my draft model, which I discussed here. The prmary benefit of adding the rating is to add prior information to college performance especially for the highest rated prospects.
As mentioned in the introductory post, the RSCI rating is most closely related to the age that players enter the draft, as that's a self selection based on the player's expected draft position. Therefore the biggest effect on the model, other than to boost highly rated recruits, is to reduce the relative power of the age variable.
So, while I consider the version including RSCI to be the best estimate and plan to use it going forward, it is sometimes useful to compare different versions of a model in order to better understand how variables are being weighed and to take a closer look at any instances where there is a particular divergence between the versions.
First here is the top twenty or so players based on recent Draft Express rankings (may not be completely up to date with current rankings).
The top of the order of the two models is slightly different. Jahlil Okafor is rated as the top prospect when including the information about his recruiting rank, but switches places with Karl Towns when that info is dropped. D'Angelo Russell moves into a very close third without the recruiting information, but is a more distant fourth when the RSCI rating is included.
Further down Justise Winslow and Stanley Johnson also swap places in the eight and twelve spots, with Johnson rising to eighth when the recruiting info is included.
In terms of the bigger list, I wanted to pull out the biggest risers and fallers between model. As above the 'Diff' column shows how much the player was helped, or hurt, by the recruiting information. First the biggest risers:
Andrew Harrison goes from completely undraftable at 78, to almost draftable at 62, which is not a great place for a former top 5 recruit out of high school to be. Sam Dekker also goes up given that he is relatively old for a former 13th rated recruit to enter the draft. Cliff Alexander is another beneficiary.
Then there is those lowered in the model by adding the additional rating:
Devin Booker falls despite being a well regarded recruit, simply because he is such a young prospect getting less boost from his borderline out of sample age.
If you are interested in the entire list it's linked here on Google docs.