How do the Rookies Stack Up?

How are this season’s rookies stacking up to rookies from the past several seasons? To examine this question, we created an average for rookie performance using data from 05-06 to 10-11 seasons (we dropped players with less than 40 games). We then created a second average using the statistics from every player who won the Rookie of the Year award during that time period. These two averages give us a useful context to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of this year’s rookie class. Check out the charts below to see where they shine.


All averages are derived from 2006-2011 rookie seasons (excluding players with less than 40 games). Current rookie averages as of 01/20/12. All stats are per game.

To begin, Rubio (2.3 spg) and Shumpert’s (2.6 spg) steals per game averages really impress us, as both are currently higher than any other rookies over the last six seasons. We also have two highly skilled passers this year in Rubio (8.1 apg) and Irving (5.1 apg), both of whom are above the Rookie of the Year average for assists per game. Interestingly, none of this year’s rookies matched the Rookie of the Year average for points per game (18.7 ppg), although that could change as the rookies earn more minutes throughout the season.

Shout out to Joey Cienian for the awesome illustration which inspired this article. Be sure to check out Joey’s site for more of his great basketball illustrations. Also, big thanks to Sam Laird for including Hoopism in his “10 Must-Follow Twitter Accounts for Sports Fans” at Mashable, and Stefen Fatsis for his recent mention of Hoopism on NPR. If you don’t follow those guys you should start now. As always, reach out to us if you have a great idea for a post or collaboration.