Editor’s note: Kyle O’Quinn Gets a Boost with No Big Baby is a guess post from Ricky Sanders of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com. You can follow the Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ Page, and for more information on Orlando Magic stats, news and rumors visit Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues
Remember watching the surprising Norfolk State Spartans take down the two seed Missouri Tigers in the 2012 NCAA tournament? It was only the fifth time a 15 seed defeated a two seed. Why do I bring that up? That Norfolk State team was led by a young center named Kyle O’Quinn. Have you heard of him? O’Quinn’s beastly per-minute numbers have transferred to the pro’s but, until recently, he didn’t have a clear path to playing time. Between Nikola Vucevic, Big Baby and Tobias Harris, there were plenty of big guys to suck up the minutes for Orlando. Then something important happened for his fantasy prospects: Orlando bought out Glen “Big Baby” Davis’ contract. I’d like to introduce you to one another: Fantasy world, Kyle O’Quinn, Kyle O’Quinn, fantasy world.
Despite not averaging over 15 minutes per game in either of his NBA seasons so far, O’Quinn has made an impact. Disregard his career 4.4 PPG and 4.1 REB numbers. Instead, take a look at his per-36:
2012-13: 13.1 PTS on 51.3% FG, 11.8 REB, 2.9 AST, 0.6 STL and 1.5 BLK
2013-14: 11.8 PTS on 49.5% FG, 11.3 REB, 2.5 AST, 1.2 STL and 2.4 BLK
Those numbers look eerily similar to someone you may know. Think for a second. Can’t put a name to it? How about none other than the team’s starting center Nikola Vucevic. Yes, O’Quinn was more productive than starter Big Baby even though he was stashed on the bench. I always put in the disclaimer that per-36 numbers can be skewed due to a low number of minutes. You could say the same for O’Quinn if his college numbers weren’t also insane. College bases their per-minute averages on a per-40 minute scale. Instead of giving you the per-40, I’ll just give you his raw numbers.
2010-11: 32.8 MPG, 16.4 PPG, 55.6% FG, 11.1 REB, 1.0 AST, 0.6 STL and 3.4 BLK
2011-12: 31.3 MPG, 15.9 PPG, 57.3% FG, 10.3 REB, 1.4 AST, 0.7 STL and 2.7 BLK
Sure the MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) can make one’s numbers look inflated. Obviously, that’s the first argument against looking at his college numbers. However, let me counter with the fact that O’Quinn dropped 26 PTS, 14 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL and 2 BLK against Missouri in their historic victory. By now we’ve seen O’Quinn can compete even against top opposing talent.
Recently we’ve seen the subtraction of Big Baby has resulted in addition of fantasy production for O’Quinn. I absolutely expect this to continue. Like plenty of young players, they need minutes in order to develop. When it comes to players like Kyle O’Quinn or similar guys like Drummond/Gortat/Asik, they just need minutes to produce double-doubles. These guys are physical beasts and dominant presences that will produce any time they step on the court. Team management/coaches need to learn that getting these guys on the court can help a team win a ballgame. Any of these types of players can register top 10 type rebounding percentage numbers in the league. Dominant rebounding percentage leads to second chance opportunities on offense and a lack thereof on defense. Not saying O’Quinn is quite there yet with those guys, but he fits the bill. Anyways, over the past 15 days, O’Quinn’s minutes have risen to 20.8 per game. At about six minutes more per game, O’Quinn’s PTS and REB have almost doubled. In the last eight games (which is that same 15 day time span), O’Quinn has produced 7.5 PPG, 7.5 REB, 2.3 AST, 0.9 STL and 1.3 BLK. O’Quinn had a monster 14/15 game against the defending champions/seventh best defense in basketball during that stretch (Miami). If you limit the sample to just the past few games, O’Quinn has averaged 11.0 and 11.5 with plenty of goodies. At age 23, we haven’t even tapped into his potential. Enjoy the minutes he is going to be playing from a fantasy perspective because he really is special.
Speaking to the level of special he actually is, he is actually one of the best defenders in the league. How can that be? Basketball reference supplies a statistic called “defensive rating.” If you’re wondering, DRtg is defined as an estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions. Of all players in the NBA, the Magic center ranks 30th. Only 29 players are estimated to allow less points per possession. Like I said, Andre Drummond is not a bad comparison at all to what O’Quinn can be. Orlando is a bottom half defense and could use all the help they can get. Vucevic is a solid center but the Magic certainly aren’t getting much help from the power forward spot. If the Magic could find a way to use twin towers like the old school Lakers or the new school Pistons, they would be a better team in my opinion. They certainly would be a better fantasy team because O’Quinn and Vucevic are both All-Star caliber centers in fantasy. Long live Big Baby Davis on this team because O’Quinn’s value is here to stay!
Big Baby and Kyle O’Quinn pulled the old switcheroo: Davis is now buried on the Clippers’ bench and it is O’Quinn’s time to shine. I recommend O’Quinn as a low end C2 or high end C3 for the rest of the season. Most likely, he will be maddeningly inconsistent due to fluctuating minutes. Still, he will produce his fair share of near double-doubles and will have a bright outlook going into next season. Whether you get the chance to scoop him up or not, remember the name Kyle O’Quinn. As talented as almost any young center in the league, he has a future in the mid-to-early rounds of fantasy drafts.
Do you think Kyle O’Quinn will continue to improve without Glen Davis? Let us know in the comments section below! Want more Magic? Sign up for our newsletter!