FIBA U19 WC: MVP and All-Tournament Team

Posted on August 17, 2011 by


Devin Dignam (of NBeh? “fame”) is the Toronto Raptors writer for the Wages of Wins Network. His background with the Raptors gives him unique insight into many areas including the draft, overpaid players and overrated players.

The FIBA U19 World Championships took place from June 30th to July 10th, but it has taken me until now to compile all 62 box scores and calculate the Estimated Wins Produced numbers. Over the next week or two, I’ll be writing several posts about this tournament that focus on familiar Wages of Wins themes.

MVP and All-Tournament Team

At the close of the FIBA U19 tournament, five players were selected – although the method used is unknown to me – to the All-Tournament team. Furthermore, the Raptors’ 2011 draft choice, Lithuanian Jonas Valanciunas, was awarded the Tournament MVP. My immediate questions upon learning these facts were: did these players actually deserve to make it onto the All-Tournament team? And was Jonas Valanciunas really the most productive player in the entire tournament?

Raptors' fans, meet your future starting centre

Table 1: Top 15 Players in FIBA u19 2011 Tournament by EWP*

Player Country Position EWP40 Estimated Wins
J. Valanciunas Lithuania C 0.527 3.66
E. Dukulis Latvia** F 0.366 2.30
A. Drmic Australia F 0.324 2.08
D. McDermott USA F 0.303 1.80
T. Mitchell Jr. USA F/C 0.506 1.80
D. Pierre Canada** F 0.313 1.74
D. Kulagin Russia G/F 0.247 1.68
C. Felicio Brazil** F/C 0.344 1.64
G. Grochowski Poland** G 0.331 1.59
T. Katic Croatia** G 0.311 1.55
L. Nogueira Brazil** C 0.315 1.52
H. Greenwood Australia G 0.245 1.51
V. Cizauskas Lithuania G 0.309 1.50
A. Cvetkovic Serbia G 0.237 1.49
P. Lambic Serbia G 0.264 1.47
  • Note: players selected for the All-Tournament Team in bold
  • **Team did not make top 6.

Good news Raptors’ fans! Valanciunas was indeed the tournament MVP, and it wasn’t even close; Valanciunas produced more than one and a half times more wins than the next player on the list. This bodes very well for the future of a franchise whose starting centre was the least productive player in the league last season.

All-Tournament Team

But what about the rest of the All-Tournament team? As you can see above, only four of the five players on the All-Tournament team finished in the top 15 in Estimated Wins. Is there another table I could put up that would contain all five? Of course there is!

Table 2: Top Players in 2011 FIBA U19 Tournament by Points Scored

Player Country Team EWS Rank Pos Total Points
J. Valanciunas Lithuania 1 C 207
B. Barac Croatia** 8 F 168
M. Michalak Poland** 7 F 157
A. Ahmed Egypt** 12 C 148
J. Lamb USA 5 G/F 146
D. Saric Croatia** 8 C 145
D. Kulagin Russia 3 G/F 143
A. Drmic Australia 1 F 139
S. Karasev Russia 3 F 138
H. Greenwood Australia 6 G 137
D. Pierre Canada** 11 F 135
A. Cvetkovic Serbia 2 G 130
M. Creek Australia 6 F 130
E. Dukulis Latvia** 10 F 127
D. Bertrans Latvia** 10 C 122
  • Note: players selected for the All-Tournament Team in bold
  • **Team did not make top 6.

On this list, the fifth and final member of the All-Tournament team, American Jeremy Lamb, makes an appearance. It seems that, whether the five members of the All-Tournament team were determined by vote or simply appointed by FIBA, the method that was used was to look at the top scorers at each position and to ignore players on teams that finished below the top six. Following this logic, the top scoring centre was Valanciunas, the top scoring forwards that played on top six teams were Lamb and Russian Dmitry Kulagin, and the top scoring guards that played on top six teams were Australian Hugh Greenwood and Serbian Aleksandar Cvetkovic. Of course, because Lamb and Kulagin also spent time at shooting guard, by these rules the best option would’ve been to pick them as guards and stick Drmic and Karasev on as the forwards, but hey, who’s keeping score?

The WoW 2011 FIBA U19 WC All-Stars

Devin's Motive: Get a Canadian on the All-Tournament Team!

Turning back to Estimated Wins Produced, here are the players who I think should belong on the All-Tournament team:

Player Country Position EWP40 Estimated Wins
J. Valanciunas Lithuania C 0.527 3.66
E. Dukulis Latvia PF 0.366 2.30
A. Drmic Australia SF 0.324 2.08
D. Kulagin Russia SG 0.247 1.68
G. Grochowski Poland PG 0.331 1.59
T. Mitchell Jr. USA PF/C 0.506 1.80
D. Pierre Canada F 0.313 1.74
T. Katic Croatia G 0.311 1.55

Note: players selected for the All-Tournament Team in bold

On my list, I have cheated somewhat and included eight players – five starters and three backups who can play more than one position. The starters are the top players at their respective positions; the backups are second at their positions, with the exception of Canadian Dyshawn Piere, who finished third behind American Doug McDermott. I elected to go with Pierre over McDermott for several reasons:

  • Pierre was the better overall player. Although he didn’t make any threes, Pierre was the more efficient shooter, scored more, drew significantly more free-throw attempts, rebounded more, had more assists and blocks, and fouled less. McDermott had more steals and was excellent at taking care of the ball, but given that these two players are so close in total wins, I’d rather have Pierre, who had the better EWP40.
  • Since Tony Mitchell Jr. is already on my team, if I pick Pierre over McDermott, each player on my team will be from a different country.
  • Pierre played for the 11th ranked team – it’s always nice to see good players on bad teams get their due (see Love, Kevin).
  • Pierre is Canadian, rendering all previous points superfluous.

Comparing my team to the actual All-Tournament team, we can see that only two of the players are on both lists. If it’s any consolation though, Greenwood and Cvetkovic were very close to making my team as well.

Summing Up

At the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championships, the five players on the All-Tournament team were determined by total points scored by players on teams that finished in the top six. Unsurprisingly, these five were not necessarily the players who were the most productive players in the tournament.


*Author’s note: You’ve probably noticed that I refer to “Estimated Wins Produced” in this article. Estimated Wins Produced are slightly less accurate, but easier to calculate than “regular” Wins Produced. To calculate Estimated Wins Produced, take a player’s Win Score per minute and adjust it for position played. From there, PAWSmin is plugged into a formula to determine Estimated WP40.