"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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Season has started, let's spend some time over analyzing it

The first game of the season is in the books so we should spend some time talking about it before we turn our attention to the big early season match up against Purdue. So for the first regular season podcsast, we spend time talking about Marquette beating up on "The Mount" and what is anything we can extropolate from it. After we spend a lot of time on the first game we transition to talk about the match up with Purdue and how we think that will go. Turning from the season we currently have, we discuss a recent survey that Marquette sent out about ticket pricing at the new stadium that was...curious. We close out the podcast by discussing where MU stands with Quentin Grimes and whether we feel good about it or not. Enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Buckle up kids, we've got a long Scrambled Eggs pre-season pod for you

It is still the preseason but the last couple of weeks have been action packed for #mubb so we ended up having a mega-Scrambled Eggs pod. First line of discussion, what we've actually seen from the team thanks to two events: Hurricane Relief fundraiser/exhibition against UW-Milwaukee and an open practice for season ticket holders. We talk about key take-aways from this team so far, are we more or less worried than when we had no observable facts, and who among the new comers will be key to this season. We then transition to early talk of the 2018 season, in the form of an on-campus visit for 2018 PG target Quentin Grimes. We talk about what to expect from the visit and afterwards, what Grimes committment or non-committment means to the team, and how to treat the whole thing with dignity (unlike fans/alumni of a certain university 80 miles west of Marquette). We then turn to the full schedule and do a game by game prediction with light analysis of how we see the season going (spoiler alert, Phil is way too optimistic as always and Joe is probably right). Go for a long run or take a road trip, because there is some material to dig through, but after this podcast you should be ready to go and excited for #mubb to start. Enjoy! Download this episode (right click and save)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Big East Preview Extended to all 32 D1 Conferences - 32 links

For anyone who liked the preview of the Big East yesterday, and was curious about any other conference, here is my link to the rest:

As millions of college students settle on campus, they join alums in watching fellow students compete from the football stadiums to cross country courses such as those my twin Division 1 athletes run. Now www.valueaddbasketball.com rates more than 3,500 basketball players who can start practice in 12 days at Midnight Madness. Pick your conference from the 32 links below for a quick rundown of the top basketball players and teams with a comparison on how each football team ranks.

  1. ACC: Duke Joins Louisville as National Contender with Bagley Signing
  2. American Athletic: Ex-Football Big East Schools Add Basketball-only Wichita State
  3. American East: Albany Chasing Vermont Again
  4. Atlantic 10: St. Bonaventure Duo Could Challenge Dayton, Rhode Island and VCU
  5. Atlantic Sun: Florida Gulf Coast Shoots for More Upsets If they can Hold Off Lipscomb
  6. Big 12: TCU's Bursts into Football Title Hunt, Then Could Challenge in Toughest Hoops Conference
  7. Big East - St. John's Most Likely to Replace MU to Give Big East 7 Bids Again, Unless MU Defense Improves
  8. Big Sky: Top 100 Player Hall Leads Balanced Hoops Season after E. Washington Football Dominates
  9. Big South: Asheville's Top 100 Duo One of Best, But Liberty a Balanced Threat
  10. Big Ten: Purdue and Michigan State Ready to Seek Hoops Title After Other Big Ten Teams Shoot for Football Title
  11. Big West Teams All Get to Visit Hawaii While Settling Balanced Hoops Season
  12. Colonial Athletic Association: After JMU Football, Charleston and Elon Should Battle for March Madness Bid
  13. Conference USA: UAB Returns to Football Field While Future NBA Star Leads Middle Tennessee
  14. Horizon League: Hayes Leads 4 Oakland Stars to Potential Title
  15. Ivy League: Princeton Builds on 23-7 Season to try to hold off Harvard and Yale for Title
  16. MAAC: Iona Once Again Team to Beat with Edogi Transferring to Join McGill
  17. Mid-American: Western Michigan Battles for Top Football and Basketball Teams and Top Hoops Player
  18. Mid-Eastern Athletic's Morgan State Favorite to Dethrone NC Central Behind POY Kendley
  19. Missouri Valley Teams Battle for Title with Wichita State's Departure, Valpo's Arrival
  20. Mountain West: UNLV Edges Nevada in Tough Hoops Conference, While San Diego State Football Power
  21. Northeast: 5-foot-5 Star Shoots for Player of Year, Repeat Title for Mt. St. Mary's
  22. Ohio Valley:Jacksonville St. Football Dominance Builds on Hoops Upset of Belmont
  23. Pac-12: USC Hoops Could Surpass Arizona Hoops and Even USC Football
  24. Patriot - Bucknell Dominance of Patriot League Hoops Should Follow Army-Navy Classic
  25. SEC: Auburn, Florida, Texas A&M and Mizzou Join Kentucky As 'Basketball' Schools This Year
  26. Southern - Darryl Strawberry's Son Gives Mercer All-Southern Conference Duo, After Football Team Almost Shocks Auburn
  27. Southland - Jalan West Given 7th Year for Quest for All-American Status and 1st Southland Title Over Stephen F. Austin
  28. Summit League: Analytics See Denver Hoops Challenge to Dakota Schools That Dominate Football
  29. Sun Belt: Lafayette or Georgia Southern Could Deny Troy and Arlington Repeat Hoops Titles
  30. SWAC: Jerry Rice and Grambling NFL Greats Yield to March Madness Hopes
  31. WAC - 33 Years After Football National Title, WAC Hosts 1st For-Profit Basketball School
  32. West Coast: After Football BYU Will Challenge Basketball-only St. Mary's & Gonzaga

Corrections are welcome. Simply email pudnerjohn@takeback.org or call or text 404.606.3163. You are welcome to use links or site top players on any list as “Value Add All-Conference Players.” The first five players on each list are 1st team All-Conference players, the sixth through 10th are 2nd team, and the 11th through 15th are third team based on the actual additional points they add to their team. In most cases, this ranking is similar to what sports writers or sports information directors would perceive, but players can come off the bench with incredibly efficient three-point shooting or dominance around the basket that makes them more valuable than starters who are not as efficient. You can always run your own search of projections for current players or ratings for all players since the 2001-02 season by going to www.valueaddbasketball.com.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

St. John's Most Likely to Replace MU to Give Big East 7 Bids Again, Unless MU Defense Improves

This is one of 32 conference previews based on projections of Value Add for each player in www.valueaddbasketball.com. The other 31 projections appear at www.pudnersports.com so that readers only interested in the Big East need not review.

Each piece follows the same format, listing the Massey football ratings alongside the Value Add basketball projections. In the case of the Big East, Villanova's strong FCS team ranks ahead of a number of the 129 FBS teams as the 111th best overall football program. Butler and Georgetown also play football, and are ranked 363rd and 312th of all college teams.

Of the seven Big East teams that made the tournament last year, Value Add projects all but Marquette to return to the tournament, while St. John's is likely to replace Marquette as the seventh team (currently misses by only a couple of spots as the projected 52nd best team). Only nine of Villanova's players have projected values now, so their projections should rise to a Top 10 level, but right now they are edged out by Providence.

Here is where Value Add ranks each Big East team for the season, and the Massey Rankings rank the football teams against all other schools. Updates will be provided here as well as the previews of the other 31 conferences.

Big East/2017 SeedValueAddFootball
Providence 1119
Villanova 120111
Seton Hall 922
Xavier 1127
Butler 436363
Creighton 647
Saint John's52
Marquette 1072

Marquette's trio of Markus Howard (171st), Andrew Rowsey (207th) and Sam Hauser (256th) all rank in the top 7 percent of all players. Value Add assigns some of the blame for the horrid defense last year to all players, so any improvement in team defense will lift all players, but if the team continues to try to trade good three-point shooting with uncontested dunks on the other end the defensive ratings will continue to hold down player ratings.

More important of course, is that the high powered only needs an adequate defense to push Marquette back into the tournament.

Here are the top 15 projected players in the conference in order, and the other Marquette players in the top 20 percent of all players. As always, corrections are welcome to pudnerjohn@gmail.com or 404.606.3163.

Nat'l RnkTop 15 Big East PlayersValue AddSchoolHt
15Jalen Brunson 19.16Villanova`6-02
23Mikal Bridges 258.78Villanova`6-07
36Khyri Thomas 28.21Creighton`6-03
39Trevon Bluiett 58.17Xavier`6-06
41Shamorie Ponds 28.13St. John's`6-01
49Angel Delgado7.80Seton Hall`6-10
64JP Macura 557.38Xavier`6-05
67Marcus Foster 07.30Creighton`6-03
95Khadeen Carrington 06.90Seton Hall`6-04
129Kelan Martin 306.51Butler`6-07
134Jalen Lindsey 216.49Providence`6-07
143Emmitt Holt 156.35Providence`6-07
171Markus Howard 06.10Marquette`5-11
197Desi Rodriguez 205.85Seton Hall`6-06
203Jessie Govan 155.82Georgetown`6-10
Nat'l RnkOther MU in top 20%Value AddSchoolHt
207Andrew Rowsey 305.80Marquette`5-10
256Sam Hauser 105.43Marquette`6-06
705Haanif Cheatham 253.32Marquette`6-05

Ken Pomeroy ranked the Big East 3rd of 32 Division 1 basketball conferences, which will all be previewed at www.pudnersports.com with notes on which schools are now "basketball" or "football" schools based on which program is stronger this season. Football revenue is much higher, but programs are much more expensive between equipment and the requirement of matching enough women's scholarships in other sports. Therefore some programs forgo FBS football programs to focus on low cost basketball programs as their biggest revenue sport.

Sports IllustratedFox Sports and ESPN have lauded Value Add Basketball for estimating the number of points each college basketball players is worth to his team above a replacement player - similar to baseball WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Massey Ratings is used for the football rankings above.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

We break into your regularly scheduled football weekend to talk #MUBB schedule and recruits

It's fall so we're starting to shake off our summer vacation and more importantly, there is #MUBB news to report and comment on. First we lightly touch on the momentary freakout around Haanif's sling thanks to Instagram. Moving on from that silliness we get to the heart of the podcast, Marquette's newly released schedule. While we don't go game by game we do review the schedule overall and what it might mean for the team this season. We discuss what the non-conference schedule does for a young front court, how we owe apologizes to Mike Broeker after having seen Georgetown's non-con, and what the conference schedule looks like in terms of potential post season. We also send a lot of time talking about the intensifying recruitment of Quentin Grimes by #MUBB, mostly around what his recruitment means for Marquette's roster in 2018, coaching staff as recruiters and level setting expectations for actually landing Mr. Grimes. Enjoy the pod, we're only 4 weeks away from Marquette Madness. Download this episode (right click and save)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Mid-summer #mubb check-in

Hope everyone is having a great summer. We wanted to have a quick check in to see where Marquette basketball stands during the summer lull. First we spend some time analyzing the almost fully released non-conference schedule. We're not picking wins and losses (way too early for that even for us) but do want to reflect on what the schedule could set-up for MU and how it compares to previous seasons. The next fun item from this summer was the Centennial Hoops Celebration, and we talk about what we heard from that event. We then transition to recruiting news, including yet more talk about Joey Hauser. Finally we talk about the summer fun that isn't Battle of the Network Stars, Marquette alumni competing in The Tournament. Enjoy the pod and enjoy the rest of the summer, hoops will be upon us before you know it! Download this episode (right click and save)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

No NBA-ready Players Yet, but 3 MU Players stayed after being NBA-ready

Sam Hauser and Markus Howard both project to be worth 5.00-5.99 runs to Marquette this year. The good news is that is in that nice spot for college fans where it is an elite level but not enough to start the "they will not consider leaving early for the NBA are they?" Not that there is an NBA talk about these two great rising sophmores, but having just finished crunching the numbers they are about two points short of where a player needs to get to have a better than 50/50 chance of making the NBA.

I crunched the numbers for 20,767 players in the www.valueaddbasketball.com database, and found the Value Add at which a player has better than a 50/50 chance to make the NBA is 7.60. Here is the breakdown of a player's chance of making the NBA once they hit a certain range:

Best Value Add     Players   Made NBA% made it
0 to 0.9910,640100.1%
1 to 1.994142200.5%
2 to 2.992010311.5%
3 to 3.991353483.5%
4 to 4.9998210010.2%
5 to 5.9966412919.4%
6 to 6.9942812429.0%
7 to 7.9926812446.3%
8 to 8.9915711673.9%
9 or higher12310787.0%
All Players20,7678093.9%

When you dig deeper, freshmen can come in above 6.00 and be one-and-dones because NBA clubs know they have more upside at their young age.

Certainly several Marquette players made the NBA without ever hitting the 7.60 mark, and there are many other factors I cover in this study. However, the four players who have exceeded that mark at Marquette all made it and three of the four actually could have made the NBA a year earlier.

Jae Crowder's junior season he was still about a point short of NBA-level with a 6.54 Value Add. He easily passed the mark his final season at 12.43.

However, Dwyane Wade (11.59), Travis Diener (10.32) and Jimmy Butler (8.96) were all well beyond the Value Add that indicates a player is ready for the NBA in the year BEFORE they actually left.

The fact that I had Butler ranked well ahead of the great Lazar Hayward in Butler's JUNIOR year was was first compelled the Chicago Bulls to call and meet about Value Add, but how wonderful he was already adding his senior season in which he went  into UConn and beat Kemba Walker!

Fresh Run Gives MU 3 of Top 18 Big East Players; Ranks All Since 2001-02 Season

We did a pretty massive update of www.valueaddbasketball.com that entailed rating all players going back to 2001-02, but also fine tuning the projection adjustments for how much players should improve between seasons, and if they get on NBA prospect lists. If you are into the actual calculations, I have other links below this list, but for those of you who just want a quick look at where our players rank against the best of the Big East - here are the projected conference leaders.

Please don't hesitate to make any corrections. Tracking thousands of players through transfers, NBA declarations and returns to college etc., this was a massive run. We also ran over 61,000 players seasons, so correct away by calling me at 404.606.3163 or emailing pudnerjohn@gmail.com with any corrections. Here is the best of the Big East based on projections:

NatlBig East PlayerTeamValue Add
11Jalen Brunson 1Villanova9.16
15Mikal Bridges 25Villanova8.78
25Khyri Thomas 2Creighton8.21
27Trevon Bluiett 5Xavier8.17
28Shamorie Ponds 2St. John's8.13
44JP Macura 55Xavier7.38
67Khadeen Carrington 0Seton Hall6.9
78Angel DelgadoSeton Hall6.77
101Jalen Lindsey 21Providence6.49
108Emmitt Holt 15Providence6.35
109Kelan Martin 30Butler6.34
148Desi Rodriguez 20Seton Hall5.85
156Andrew Rowsey 30Marquette5.8
161Kamar Baldwin 3Butler5.75
162Rodney Bullock 5Providence5.75
189Donte DiVincenzo 10Villanova5.47
194Sam Hauser 10Marquette5.43
200Markus Howard 0Marquette5.36
228Marcus LoVett 15St. John's5.17
234Kyron Cartwright 24Providence5.13

After our massive update, the website now includes the projections for 3,291 players for the 2017-18 season (click here and type 2018 for year, or type 2019 to look at the 313 players who will next play in 2018-19). It also includes a total of 61,019 past player seasons (click here for all of those seasons going back to 2001-02, then search notes for "nba" to limit to only the 2,195 played by players who went onto the NBA).

If you are curious about how we project player values or likelihood of NBA stardom, you can check any of the following posts:

Value Add Group 1: Top 2017-18 Freshmen and How Many Points Each is Worth
Value Add Group 2: Top Returning 
Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors
Value Add Group 3: Top-ranked 
Value Add Group 4: Top 
JUCO Transfers: Projected Value for 2018, and Best Since 2011
Value Add Group 5: 
NBA Prospects for Thursday's Draft

Now I would challenge everyone to look at the blind test of Pomeroy stats of two All-American players and tell me which is better:

ORtg   eFG%OR%  DR%  ARate  TORate Blk%Stl%FT2-Pt3-PtTeam Defense  52%  32%101st


I believe most would agree that the second player was better statistically. Pomeroy says the 2nd player gets his team about seven points more per 100 possessions, so statistically he is a better offensive player. Defense is tougher in a blind test, but the bottom player was part of a much better defense (the 14th best in the country compared to a very mediocre 101st best), and the second player is better at steals and defensive rebounds, while the first is better at blocked shots. 

Let me add that the second player faced much tougher competition up until the NCAA tournament.

I go through all this to avoid the pain of the next graph. Yes, the bottom line is Jae Crowder's final season and statistically he was slightly better than Dwyane Wade, the top line. I wanted to show these stats before listing Marquette's all-time Value Add leaders below because Crowder has a slight edge after all the fine tuning as we ran through the 60,000+ seasons.

It doesn't mean I would rank him higher subjectively. When I wrote The Ultimate Hoops Guide: Marquette Basketball, I ranked Wade first and I still would based on his tournament run to the Final Four, what he has done in the NBA etc. But from a pure statistical perspective over the entire season Crowder was slightly more valuable. If I updated the book today, I would nudge Crowder ahead of the great Bo Ellis as the No. 2 player.

Wade beating two of the top three teams in the country to take Marquette to the Final Four gets him the No. 1 all-time nod subjectively, but statistically over the course of the season Crowder was slightly better at the college level and that is reflected in the all-time Value Add ratings in which they both made Marquette about 12 points better per game than if they were replaced by a mediocre replacement player. 

With all that defense in place, the 2018 projections give three current Marquette players a spot among the Top 30 players to play at Marquette since Wade's two seasons. Click here for all 61,019 player seasons, and which 2,195 made the NBA.

RnkPlayerVA Pts/GameYearConfHtClass
1Jae Crowder12.432012BE6'64 Sr
2Dwyane Wade11.592003CUSA   6'42 So
3Travis Diener10.322004    BE6'13 Jr
4Travis Diener9.742005BE6'14 Sr
5Jimmy Butler8.962010BE6'63 Jr
6Dwyane Wade8.532002CUSA6'41 Fr
7Steve Novak8.272006BE6'104 Sr
8Lazar Hayward7.462010BE6'64 Sr
9Jimmy Butler7.152011BE6'74 Sr
10Wesley Matthews6.852009BE6'54 Sr
11Davante Gardner6.72013BE6'83 Jr
12Jae Crowder6.542011BE6'63 Jr
13Travis Diener6.42003CUSA6'12 So
14Robert Jackson6.322003CUSA6'10   4 Sr
15Dominic James6.312006BE5'111 Fr
16Cordell Henry6.272002CUSA5'104 Sr
17Jerel McNeal6.262009BE6'34 Sr
18Jerel McNeal6.212008BE6'33 Jr
19Dominic James6.112008BE5'113 Jr
20Lazar Hayward6.112009BE6'63 Jr
21Darius Johnson-Odom5.882012BE6'24 Sr
22Maurice Acker5.842010BE5'84 Sr
23Andrew Rowsey 305.82018BE5'104 Sr
24Travis Diener5.72002CUSA6'11 Fr
25Lazar Hayward5.622008BE6'62 So
26Matt Carlino 135.62015BE6'24 Sr
27Luke Fischer 405.52017BE6'114 Sr
28Davante Gardner5.462014BE6'84 Sr
29Sam Hauser 105.432018BE6'62 So
30Markus Howard 05.362018BE5'112 So
31Steve Novak5.082005BE6'103 Jr
32Dominic James4.852007BE5'112 So
33Andrew Rowsey 304.82017BE5'103 Jr
34Henry Ellenson 134.82016BE6'111 Fr
35Jamil Wilson4.592013BE6'73 Jr
36Wesley Matthews4.442007BE6'52 So
37Sam Hauser 104.432017BE6'61 Fr
38Scott Merritt4.422003CUSA6'103 Jr
39Wesley Matthews4.412008BE6'53 Jr
40Vander Blue4.42013BE6'43 Jr
41Markus Howard 04.362017BE5'111 Fr
42Luke Fischer 404.362016BE6'113 Jr
43Dominic James4.122009BE5'114 Sr
44JaJuan Johnson 234.12017BE6'54 Sr
45Joe Chapman4.12006BE6'71 Fr
46Jerel McNeal3.972007BE6'32 So
47Davante Gardner3.962012BE6'82 So
48David Cubillan3.92007BE6'11 Fr
49Darius Johnson-Odom3.882011BE6'23 Jr
50Steve Novak3.872004BE6'102 So