"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Friday, April 24, 2015

Shoot, MU Projects 78th after not getting either Senior Guard, but remember 2010

Well shoot. Damion Lee to Louisville and Shonn Miller to UConn leaves Marquette ranked 78th at www.valueaddbasketball.com, where we now have all JUCOs projected as well. I am just going to hope this is way off, and the NBC Sports Top 25 released recently is correct with Marquette at 21st.


It seemed to me one of the two senior guards were crucial not only because their impact 8.13 and 5.6 respectively - enough that either theoretically gets MU in the tournament. But also with Steve Taylor gone it would be very nice to have a senior step on the court.

Projections just measure the typical improvement of each player, so certainly NBC Sports could be correct. This team looks about as good as the 2010 team did before the season with the Three Amigos gone and seemingly only Lazar Hayward left.

That team was one of the most surprising March Madness teams for us ever I believe. Who would have known the Mr. Jimmy F. Butler would turn into the monster, or that Dwight Buycks and DJO were actually players who would see an NBA floor, or that Mo Acker would come back and have such a great year.

Let's hope all the hard work takes some of our guys way beyond their projection.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Best/Worst Case For Each Big East Team Based on leaving for NBA, graduate signings


Following up on some good feedback from MUScoop on where teams rank if players turn go NBA, here is the updated best and worst case based on Value Add projections for each team. The database will start to be updated with all 4000 players projections soon and you will be able to click here, but I am working through a programming issue.

Big East Best/Worst Case Nat'l Rank
  1. Villanova              1st at 46.75
  2. Xavier   26th at 32.2
  3. Georgetown      31st (31.59) with Smith-Rivera back, up to 21st (35.49) if add Anthony Collins
  4. Seton Hall            50th at 27.88
  5. Providence         66th (24.87) to NR at 15.27 if Dunn leaves
  6. Marquette          75th (23.62) to 17th with 37.35 if added Damion Lee and Shonn Miller
  7. DePaul  91st (20.45)
  8. Butler    just miss top 100 (18.94)
  9. Creighton            just miss top 100 (17.09)
  10. St. John's          NR at 6.93 or even if 10.83 for adding Anthony Collins
The players referenced below were all among the 20 players who still making final decisions on which school to attend or whether to go NBA. Smith-Rivera selected to stay with Georgetown and now projects as the 5th best player in the country, and Kris Dunn is still deciding if he will leave Providence for the NBA, and if he stays the Big East projects to have two of the top six players in the league.

Marquette is in the running for Damion Smith, who would project to be the 25th best player in the country and move MU all the way to 26th. Shonn Miller projects to be the 140th best player of 4000, and would project Marquette barely into the tournament at 45th. Both together would make Marquette 17th - neither would leave MU at 75th.

20 Biggest Decisions (Smith-Rivera already staying)


RnkPlayerTeamHtYrValue Add
5Smith-Rivera, D'Vauntes 4Georgetown6'34 Sr9.68
6Dunn, Kris 3Providence/NBA6'33 Jr9.6
10Wiltjer, Kyle 33Gonzaga/NBA6'104 Sr9.02
18Hield, Buddy 24Oklahoma/NBA6'44 Sr8.52
23Johnson, Stanley 5Arizona/NBA6'62 So8.43
25Lee, Damion 14AZ,Lville,Gonz,Marq,MD6'64 Sr8.13
36Yogi Ferrell, Kevin 11Indiana/NBA6'04 Sr7.65
59Poeltl, Jakob 42Utah/NBA7'02 So6.97
104Auguste, Zach 30Notre Dame/NBA6'104 Sr5.96
140Miller, ShonnCT,IL,BC,Mich,Marq,Cal6'73 Jr5.6
147Tollefsen, Mark 23AZ,CA,SDSt.,WA,NV,TN6'94 Sr5.5
152Thorne, Mike 12Pitt,Ill,KS,KY6'114 Sr5.4
194Hammons, A.J. 20Purdue/NBA7'04 Sr4.99
218Harris, Tyler 25Available6'94 Sr4.8
254Smith, Sterling 24WF, Pitt, Rutg, Lville6'44 Sr4.53
259Smith, Adam 3Available6'14 Sr4.5
328Gordon, Derrick 2ORSt.,UtahSt,UNLV6'34 Sr4.1
367Collins, Anthony 11CA,TN,Bay,Gtown,St.Johns,Pur6'14 Sr3.9
404LeVert, Caris 23Michigan/NBA6'74 Sr3.72
412Wallace, Tyrone 3California/NBA6'54 Sr3.68

I am waiting on adding any JUCOs until Brad Winton finishes his update. I traded emails with him this week, and he is close.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lee & Miller Would Improve MU from 72nd to 14th Best in Country

Last year the Value Add projections painted a pretty bleak picture for Marquette that unfortunately played out. I did make reference pre-season to the first losing season since the early 1990s. The good news is Marquette seems to stack up pretty well in the Big East now that I’ve run the projections for all 4000+ players for next year except JUCO players:

Big East Projected Value Add 2016
  1. Villanova, 46.76
  2. Xavier, 32.20
  3. Seton Hall, 27.87
  4. Marquette, 23.61
  5. Georgetown, 21.91
  6. DePaul, 20.46
  7. Butler, 18.94
  8. Creighton, 17.08
  9. Providence, 15.27
  10. St. John's, 13.63

The bad news is that the MU is partly higher because the Big East does not have nearly the Projected Value Add it did going into last season. In fact, if Damion Lee were to come to make our dreams come true and come to Marquette, I actually have him projected as the best player in the conference.

If we really wanted to dream big, Shonn Miller would rank as the 12th best player in the conference based on projected Value Add. If we somehow landed them both, MU would come in at 37 points in projected Value Add, moving MU from 72nd to 14th in the country. Obviously the chance of landing two top seniors who could take the court immediately – when at this stage we are still up against four or five other teams on their final list – is long.

I know it may sound hard to believe that Damion Lee could really be a top 50 player last year at Value Add when the team almost matched Marquette’s record. But to give you a sense, the Drexel team is the only team I can find who has ever had a top 50 player and NO OTHER PLAYER IN THE TOP 1500 PLAYERS IN THE COUNTRY.

The following shows the projected national rank of each Big East player, and the two incredible wish list senior transfers who could take the court right away if they come to Marquette. And YES, your corrections are welcome, I had to run 4100 players so sorry for any mistakes that need cleanup!

Top Big East Players – With two possible MU transfers included
22 - Lee, Damion 14 - AZ,Lville,Gonz,Marq,MD - 8.13
30 - Ochefu, Daniel 23 - Villanova - 7.82
31 - Hart, Josh 3 - Villanova - 7.78
59 - Diallo, Cheick - St. John's? - 6.93
68 - Delgado, Angel 31 - Seton Hall - 6.69
90 - Gibbs, Sterling 4 - Seton Hall - 6.20
109 - Arcidiacono, Ryan 15 - Villanova - 5.91
113 - Bluiett, Trevon 5 - Xavier - 5.88
115 - Booth, Phil 5 - Villanova - 5.86
116 - Reynolds, Jalen 1 - Xavier - 5.84
137 - Dunham, Kellen 24 - Butler - 5.64
138 - Miller, Shonn - CT,IL,BC,Mich,Marq,Cal - 5.60
161 - Wilson, Duane 1 - Marquette - 5.27
166 - Brunson, Jalen - Villanova - 5.22
173 - Ennis, Dylan 31 - Villanova - 5.14
175 - Davis, Myles 15 - Xavier - 5.14
187 - Ellenson, Henry - Marquette - 5.04
220 - Rodriguez, Desi 20 - Seton Hall - 4.79
261 - Garrett, Billy 5 - DePaul - 4.48
265 - Jenkins, Kris 2 - Villanova - 4.47
312 - Whitehead, Isaiah 15 - Seton Hall - 4.20
318 - Copeland, Isaac 11 - Georgetown - 4.16
341 - Campbell, Tre 1 - Georgetown - 4.02
347 - White, Paul 13 - Georgetown - 3.98
357 - Hegner, Toby 32 - Creighton - 3.94
361 - Carrington, Khadeen 0 - Seton Hall - 3.92
423 - Chrabascz, Andrew 45 - Butler - 3.63
433 - Fischer, Luke 40 - Marquette - 3.56
504 - Abell, Remy 10 - Xavier - 3.29
506 - Zierden, Isaiah 21 - Creighton - 3.29
571 - Macura, J.P. 55 - Xavier - 3.05
581 - Peak, L.J. 0 - Georgetown - 3.01
593 - Jones, Roosevelt 21 - Butler - 2.97
630 - Henry, Myke 4 - DePaul - 2.90
637 - Johnson, JaJuan 23 - Marquette - 2.87
670 - Govan, Jessie - Georgetown - 2.77
697 - Patton, Justin - Creighton - 2.69
707 - Lindsey, Jalen 21 - Providence - 2.67
721 - Milliken, James 23 - Creighton - 2.63
765 - McDonald, Durrell 25 - DePaul - 2.55
774 - Cohen, Sandy 5 - Marquette - 2.53
779 - Chukwu, Paschal 13 - Providence - 2.50
819 - Hamilton, Tommy 2 - DePaul - 2.42
850 - Bentil, Ben 0 - Providence - 2.36
860 - Cheatham, Haanif - Marquette - 2.35
918 - Cartwright, Kyron 24 - Providence - 2.22
1000 - Derrickson, Marcus - Georgetown - 2.10
1067 - Walton, K.J. - Xavier - 1.98
1088 - Owens, Alex - Providence - 1.95
1118 - Divincenzo, Donte - Villanova - 1.89
1141 - Gates, Kaiser - Xavier - 1.86
1148 - Farr, James 2 - Xavier - 1.85
1315 - Austin, Larry 0 - Xavier - 1.64
1448 - Sumner, Edmond 4 - Xavier - 1.47
1515 - Wideman, Tyler 4 - Butler - 1.37
1571 - Groselle, Geoffrey 41 - Creighton - 1.30
1578 - Hanel, Joe 33 - DePaul - 1.29
1596 - Martin, Kelan 30 - Butler - 1.27
1615 - Alibegovic, Amar 14 - St. John's - 1.25
1648 - Simpson, Aaron 15 - DePaul - 1.20
1652 - Bennett, Steven 25 - Butler - 1.19
1662 - Stimage, Rashaun 3 - DePaul - 1.19
1834 - Lowe, Henry 0 - Villanova - 1.00
1921 - McDermott, Sean - Butler - 1.00
1922 - Fowler, Nate - Butler - 1.00
1932 - Thomas, Khyri - Creighton - 1.00
1933 - Stewart, Marlon - Creighton - 1.00
1934 - Krampelj, Martin - Creighton - 1.00
1939 - Phillips, Develle - DePaul - 1.00
1940 - Doby, Raymond - DePaul - 1.00
1941 - Cain, Elijah - DePaul - 1.00
1949 - Johnson, Kaleb - Georgetown - 1.00
1984 - Heldt, Matt - Marquette - 1.00
1985 - Anim, Sacar - Marquette - 1.00
2029 - Fazekas, Ryan - Providence - 1.00
2030 - Edwards, Drew - Providence - 1.00
2031 - Council, Ricky - Providence - 1.00
2042 - Singh, Amarveer - Seton Hall - 1.00
2043 - Carter, Myles - Seton Hall - 1.00
2052 - Williams, Darien - St. John's - 1.00
2053 - Sima, Yankuba - St. John's - 1.00
2054 - Doughty, Samir - St. John's - 1.00
2055 - Barnes-Thompkins, Sammy - St. John's - 1.00
2089 - Delaney, Tim - Villanova - 1.00
2184 - Curington, R.J. 0 - DePaul - 0.92
2235 - Davis, Jackson 13 - Butler - 0.87
2400 - Allen, David 12 - Georgetown - 0.66
2411 - Balamou, Felix 24 - St. John's - 0.65
2468 - Fortune, Josh - Providence - 0.57
2532 - Barry, Oumar - DePaul - 0.50
2552 - Reynolds, Darryl 14 - Villanova - 0.48
2652 - Stewart, Myles 2 - St. John's - 0.32
2720 - Hanson, Zach 40 - Creighton - 0.24
2729 - Jones, Christian 4 - St. John's - 0.22
2738 - Hayes, Bradley 42 - Georgetown - 0.21
2752 - O'Mara, Sean 54 - Xavier - 0.20
2777 - Farrell, Patrick 20 - Villanova - 0.18
2800 - DeLa Rosa, Joey 34 - St. John's - 0.15
2849 - DeLa Rosa, Adonis 31 - St. John's - 0.10
2865 - Sanogo, Ismael 14 - Seton Hall - 0.08

 - Savage, Kethan 11 - Butler 2017 - 3.95 (red shirt transfer)
 - Owens, Tariq 11 - St. John's 2017 - 0.06 (red shirt transfer)
 - Brown, Elijah - Butler - 0.00
 - Oginni, Mogboluwaga 50 - Creighton - 0.00
 - Connealy, Gabriel 2 - Creighton - 0.00
 - Clement, Tyler 11 - Creighton - 0.00
 - Wood, Darrick 1 - DePaul - 0.00
 - Cameron, Reggie 5 - Georgetown - 0.00
 - Agau, Akoy - Georgetown - 0.00
 - Ellenson, Wally - Marquette - 0.00
 - Carter, Traci - Marquette - 0.00
 - Lomomba, Junior 32 - Providence - 0.00
 - Anthony, Rashed 25 - Seton Hall - 0.00
 - Ajou, Chier 42 - Seton Hall - 0.00

 - De La Rosa, Joey 34 - St. John's - 0.00

Friday, April 10, 2015

Giving a National Audience a Glimpse of Marotta via Breitbart Story

While many of you who live in Milwaukee knew him better than me, I wanted to give the rest of the nation a glimpse of the treasure we lost in Marc Marotta. Here is the piece I wrote for Breitbart Sports on a couple of stories from personal encounters with Marc. RIP.




Thursday, March 26, 2015

Final Top 100 Big East Players; Notes on MU Needing the Big 3 Stars

I know many want to just turn the page on last season and look forward to the big class. But with the concerns about the Big East TV ratings and only having one team in the Sweet 16, I wanted to make a couple of notes on the Top 100 Big East players in Value Add

Obviously one issue is that the conference does not have much NBA talent. I was sitting in press row at the Big East tournament while Villanova beating Xavier, and the reporter next to me asked how many of Nova's players would make the NBA. He seemed shocked when I answered that I did not think any of them were NBA-level players and that Kris Dunn was the only guy I thought had a decent chance though there would probably be a surprise or two.

One other note is that when you look at the good players we had, there really were a ton of Seniors. In that way, the Big East really looked like an incredible mid-major. I don't mean that we were not a Power Conference, because a No. 2 RPI clearly puts us there, but the conference may need the breakthrough to be with a senior laiden team beating some younger teams from the ACC, Pac-12 and Big Ten in the future to make the big run.

Finally, I do want to once again thank the seniors. I know even our fans were critical when I was calculating Derrick Wilson so high this year, but I don't know what else the kid could have done. That assist explosion in the Big East tournament helped his finish as the 17th best assist to turnover guy in the country at 150/51. When you consider how little scoring we had, that is even more impressive. The kid was worth more than twice as much this year (3.31 points per game for the 33rd best player in the Big East) than he was in his other three seasons COMBINED. 

Matt Carlino had just broken the top 100 before the injury, and I still wonder if we might have put together a .500 season and a bid somewhere without the disruption of losing him. When a player is out he gets a zero for each game, which is why he dropped to 154th by the end, but certainly appreciate him coming here for his final season.

Ironically Juan Anderson ranked one spot behind Wilson at 34th in the conference, and Duane Wilson was next at 35th. So we had only one of the top 32 players, but the others contributed. Value Add had Juan as a very solid player the last two seasons who I thought Buzz should have played more.

As much as I hate not having a good senior night coming next year, the good news is that means we will be betting better and better if Wojo holds his recruits together.

The stuff I wrote on Breitbart leading up to the tournament laid out how you really do need three legit stars (as Al McGuire always said) and in that piece I picked Utah and Michigan State as the two teams with the biggest potential to make surprise runs, and also noted in the same piece that Villanova was the most unlikely to do so of the 1- and 2-seeds based on not having three big stars.

Obviously, Wilson, Anderson and Carlino did not give MU a trio with a chance to be a championship team, but I believe they kept the torch alive by playing true Marquette hustle basketball that probably showed enough to the incoming kids to keep them wanting to play for Wojo.

It looks like between Duane and the incoming class we could easily be building toward the three stars we need.

Big East Rank, National Rank, Last-First Name, Jersey, Team, Class, Value Add
1, 12, Pointer, Sir'Dominic 15, St. John's, 4 Sr, 8.32
2, 14, Smith-Rivera, D'Vauntes 4, Georgetown, 3 Jr, 8.2
3, 34, Hilliard, Darrun 4, Villanova, 4 Sr, 7.36
4, 36, Dunn, Kris 3, Providence, 2 So, 7.33
5, 60, Ochefu, Daniel 23, Villanova, 3 Jr, 6.63
6, 70, Henton, LaDontae 23, Providence, 4 Sr, 6.45
7, 91, Woods, Kameron 31, Butler, 4 Sr, 6.08
8, 92, Stainbrook, Matt 40, Xavier, 4 Sr, 6.06
9, 102, Hart, Josh 3, Villanova, 2 So, 5.94
10, 114, Harrison, D'Angelo 11, St. John's, 4 Sr, 5.68
11, 127, Barlow, Alex 3, Butler, 4 Sr, 5.39
12, 138, Gibbs, Sterling 4, Seton Hall, 3 Jr, 5.25
13, 154, Carlino, Matt 13, Marquette, 4 Sr, 5.1
14, 166, Arcidiacono, Ryan 15, Villanova, 3 Jr, 5.01
15, 193, Dunham, Kellen 24, Butler, 3 Jr, 4.78
16, 202, Smith, Joshua 24, Georgetown, 4 Sr, 4.68
17, 235, Reynolds, Jalen 1, Xavier, 2 So, 4.43
18, 243, Ennis, Dylan 31, Villanova, 3 Jr, 4.36
19, 249, Pinkston, JayVaughn 22, Villanova, 4 Sr, 4.34
20, 268, Delgado, Angel 31, Seton Hall, 1 Fr, 4.19
21, 329, Davis, Myles 15, Xavier, 2 So, 3.84
22, 348, Trawick, Jabril 55, Georgetown, 4 Sr, 3.7
23, 352, Jordan, Rysheed 23, St. John's, 2 So, 3.68
24, 366, Bluiett, Trevon 5, Xavier, 1 Fr, 3.62
25, 390, Obekpa, Chris 12, St. John's, 3 Jr, 3.54
26, 397, Mobley, Brandon 2, Seton Hall, 4 Sr, 3.52
27, 415, Crockett, Jamee 21, DePaul, 4 Sr, 3.44
28, 421, Garrett, Billy 5, DePaul, 2 So, 3.42
29, 424, Jenkins, Kris 2, Villanova, 2 So, 3.41
30, 429, Davis, Dee 11, Xavier, 4 Sr, 3.37
31, 432, Booth, Phil 5, Villanova, 1 Fr, 3.36
32, 439, Greene, Phil 1, St. John's, 4 Sr, 3.33
33, 449, Wilson, Derrick 12, Marquette, 4 Sr, 3.31
34, 588, Anderson, Juan 10, Marquette, 4 Sr, 2.79
35, 590, Wilson, Duane 1, Marquette, 1 Fr, 2.77
36, 592, Chrabascz, Andrew 45, Butler, 2 So, 2.77
37, 599, Abell, Remy 10, Xavier, 3 Jr, 2.74
38, 614, Fischer, Luke 40, Marquette, 2 So, 2.72
39, 640, Harris, Tyler 25, Providence, 3 Jr, 2.64
40, 644, Desrosiers, Carson 33, Providence, 4 Sr, 2.63
41, 689, Jones, Roosevelt 21, Butler, 3 Jr, 2.52
42, 695, Zierden, Isaiah 21, Creighton, 2 So, 2.51
43, 719, Hopkins, Mikael 3, Georgetown, 4 Sr, 2.47
44, 722, Henry, Myke 4, DePaul, 3 Jr, 2.46
45, 760, Rodriguez, Desi 20, Seton Hall, 1 Fr, 2.37
46, 792, Artino, Will 31, Creighton, 4 Sr, 2.29
47, 822, Milliken, James 23, Creighton, 3 Jr, 2.23
48, 847, Johnson, JaJuan 23, Marquette, 2 So, 2.19
49, 856, Chatman, Austin 1, Creighton, 4 Sr, 2.17
50, 871, McDonald, Durrell 25, DePaul, 3 Jr, 2.16
51, 917, Whitehead, Isaiah 15, Seton Hall, 1 Fr, 2.08
52, 918, Branch, Jamal 0, St. John's, 4 Sr, 2.08
53, 924, Copeland, Isaac 11, Georgetown, 1 Fr, 2.06
54, 965, Campbell, Tre 1, Georgetown, 1 Fr, 1.99
55, 973, White, Paul 13, Georgetown, 1 Fr, 1.97
56, 994, Hegner, Toby 32, Creighton, 1 Fr, 1.95
57, 1002, Carrington, Khadeen 0, Seton Hall, 1 Fr, 1.94
58, 1039, Kreklow, Ricky 15, Creighton, 4 Sr, 1.87
59, 1052, Bowen, Aaron 23, Georgetown, 4 Sr, 1.85
60, 1055, Hamilton, Tommy 2, DePaul, 2 So, 1.85
61, 1064, Brooks, Devin 5, Creighton, 4 Sr, 1.83
62, 1176, Taylor, Steve 25, Marquette, 3 Jr, 1.67
63, 1204, Farr, James 2, Xavier, 3 Jr, 1.64
64, 1239, Robinson, Forrest 11, DePaul, 4 Sr, 1.59
65, 1248, Macura, J.P. 55, Xavier, 1 Fr, 1.58
66, 1326, Peak, L.J. 0, Georgetown, 1 Fr, 1.49
67, 1472, Lindsey, Jalen 21, Providence, 1 Fr, 1.32
68, 1545, Cohen, Sandy 5, Marquette, 1 Fr, 1.25
69, 1551, Chukwu, Paschal 13, Providence, 1 Fr, 1.24
70, 1652, Bentil, Ben 0, Providence, 1 Fr, 1.17
71, 1705, Randolph, Brandon 3, Xavier, 2 So, 1.13
72, 1740, Groselle, Geoffrey 41, Creighton, 3 Jr, 1.1
73, 1742, Cartwright, Kyron 24, Providence, 1 Fr, 1.1
74, 1835, Simpson, Aaron 15, DePaul, 3 Jr, 1.02
75, 1846, Stimage, Rashaun 3, DePaul, 3 Jr, 1.01
76, 1957, Etherington, Austin 0, Butler, 4 Sr, 0.94
77, 2018, Bennett, Steven 25, Butler, 2 So, 0.91
78, 2111, Lowe, Henry 0, Villanova, 3 Jr, 0.85
79, 2157, Austin, Larry 0, Xavier, 1 Fr, 0.82
80, 2218, Sina, Jaren 30, Seton Hall, 2 So, 0.78
81, 2319, Sumner, Edmond 4, Xavier, 1 Fr, 0.73
82, 2385, Curington, R.J. 0, DePaul, 2 So, 0.7
83, 2394, 10 Pettus, Trey, Butler, 2 So, 0.7
84, 2413, Wideman, Tyler 4, Butler, 1 Fr, 0.68
85, 2415, Manga, Stephane 45, Seton Hall, 4 Sr, 0.68
86, 2458, Hanel, Joe 33, DePaul, 1 Fr, 0.64
87, 2475, Martin, Kelan 30, Butler, 1 Fr, 0.63
88, 2489, Alibegovic, Amar 14, St. John's, 1 Fr, 0.62
89, 2571, Allen, David 12, Georgetown, 3 Jr, 0.56
90, 2580, Balamou, Felix 24, St. John's, 3 Jr, 0.55
91, 2594, Dingman, Avery 22, Creighton, 4 Sr, 0.54
92, 2626, Karlis, Haralds 13, Seton Hall, 4 Sr, 0.52
93, 2631, Burton, Deonte 30, Marquette, 2 So, 0.52
94, 2784, Davis, Jackson 13, Butler, 1 Fr, 0.43
95, 2823, 12 Allen, David, Georgetown, 3 Jr, 0.41
96, 2837, Gilmore, Leon 0, Creighton, 1 Fr, 0.4
97, 2876, Reynolds, Darryl 14, Villanova, 2 So, 0.37
98, 2892, Bancroft, Ted 22, Providence, 4 Sr, 0.35
99, 3069, Hanson, Zach 40, Creighton, 2 So, 0.18

100, 3070, Hayes, Bradley 42, Georgetown, 3 Jr, 0.18

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The season has ended and winter seems to be on the way out....so there's that

The season has been a grind to say the least, but the first in the Wojo era is now over and we need to talk about. We spend a little time talking about the Big East tournament, but not too much because there wasn't a lot new there. We then talk relatively surprising news, the transfer of Steve Taylor Jr to parts unknown. Since the season is over we have to talk about how this news impacts next year's team and vent a little disappointment. Speaking of disappointment, we talk about the Big East performance in March Madness. We try to put it in perspective for Marquette short and long term and why we should all be Musketeer fans. Lastly, we close out with a few odds and ends like Marquette in Italy this summer. Cleanse yourself of the season and give a listen while we are hopefully celebrating a Badger loss. Download this episode (right click and save)

9 Quintillion to 1 for a perfect bracket. By the second game of the second round, no one was left.

DePaul University mathematics professor Jeff Bergen figured out the odds for a perfect NCAA bracket.  A mind boggling 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 1.  That's 9 quintillion, basically a digit with 18 zeros after it.  After only 3 games on Thursday,  CBS had only 0.27% of their brackets from users remained perfect.  ESPN was down .4%.  By night's end on Friday night, only one person in the U.S. out of 11 million brackets still had a perfect bracket.  That was undone when Ohio State lost in the second game on Saturday.

If you wish to watch Dr. Bergen explain how the odds are calculated, please check out this video.




There's nothing like the madness of the NCAA tournament and the crapshoot that it is.  Or is it?   Well, that depends.  We had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Bergen on Monday morning about the NCAA tournament and pose the question if the tournament is a crapshoot or not.




To no one's surprise...it depends.  What is the definition of a crapshoot?  Is it used in context to compare other sports playoff scenarios or literally in terms of equal odds for everyone to win?  

So I asked him...

"It depends upon what you mean by "crapshoot".  There is no team that has a better than 50% of winning (although Kentucky might be pretty close).  For an analogy, think about golf about 15 years ago.  In a major tournament, no player had a better than 50% chance of winning.  But Tiger Woods had a much, much better chance of winning than anyone else. "

"When we (fans) say crapshoot we probably mean that there is no clear favorite and many teams have chance to win.  But it is far, far, far from the case that all teams have an equal shot.  It depends how you define it, there is nothing wrong with either definition."  

I agreed with him.  Certainly a 16 seed, 15 seed, 14 seed are likely to never win the tournament.  By the very nature of the seedings, better seeded teams are supposed to do better unless the committee completely screwed up the seeds.  It is not a random tournament where a 1 could play a 1 in the first round, it is designed to have the top 4 seeds make the Final Four.  Which begs the question why it doesn't happen very often.  As a follow-up question I asked does the one-and-done format lower the odds of the favorites and give more teams a chance to win then say the NBA or other sports playoff formats, sometimes resulting in the best teams not winning the NCAA tournament.  After all, even in years where a #1 wins the tournament, three #1's do not.  There are those years when none of the four #1s even make the Final Four and only one time have all four #1's made the Final Four as their seeding suggested they should.

"I think you nailed it.  There is a huge difference between a  "best 4 of 7"  series and a one-and-done.  For example, there is no way, anybody beats Kentucky in a best 4 of 7.  To do a little math ...Suppose Team A has a 70% of beating Team B in a single games.  So there is a 30% chance of an upset.  But if the same teams played a best 4 out of 7, then Team A now has a better than 87% chance of winning the series.  So the chance of an upset drops from 30% to less than 13% - a significant drop."

I appreciate Dr. Bergen taking the time to answer our questions.  Enjoying the Madness, or as I like to call it...the crapshoot.    Feel free to disagree.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Closing out the season on a DePaul win

Marquette got that win they needed to feel less bad about themselves and against DePaul no less, so we talked about the DePaul game. We also spend some time discussing Steve Taylor and whether his last two games are indicative of his senior year or a match-up thing. From there, we move to the up coming conference tournament in NYC and Marquette's chance to win at least one game and what it would take to beat Villanova approximately 6 hours after beating Seton Hall. We close out the podcast with some house cleaning topics: Congratulating Duane Wilson and Matt Carlino on their All Big East awards. Talking about Traci Carter at least partially fill the gap hole at point guard for next years team and whether he will become the newest player to commit to Marquette basketball. Wishing Wesley Matthews a speedy recovery from what was a very unfortunate achilles injury. Regular season has come to a merciful close, but enjoy conference tournament time....we won't see Marquette play again until November. Download this episode (right click and save)