After our roundtable discussion about the upcoming season, we wanted to make sure we shared our predictions for the 2008-2009 campaign. If you recall, we did this last year too (with varying degrees of success).
What are your predictions? Jump into the MUScoop thread and weigh in.
|28-Nov||Northern Iowa||Hoffman Estates||W||W||W||W||W|
|26-Jan||Notre Dame||NotreDame, IN||L||L||L||W||L|
Explanation of Predictions
25-6? Wasn’t I the guy who was the most pessimistic (and spot on) last year at 22-8? Now I’m the most optimistic of the bunch. Here’s why: MU will run the table at the Bradley Center. DJ, Wes, and Jerel will not let Marquette lose at home during their senior year. We will not lose to any lower-half BE teams at home. Nor will we lose to upper-half BE teams, Syracuse, Georgetown, nor Nova at home. That’s 8. UW and UConn are the two Superbowls at the BC. We aren’t losing them. Not this year. That’s 18 wins. Pick up road wins vs. Northern Iowa, Dayton, NCState, Rutgers, UProv, DePaul, USF, all of which are lower-half of the BE, teams we should beat. That’s 25.
This is the year, we’re not losing to teams we shouldn’t lose to. DJ, Wes, and Jerel won’t let that happen. This whole season is their sudden death overtime.
Despite concerns over a poorly constructed roster and how well Buzz Williams will handle the pressure of his new job, I'm going with 23-8 this season. With a veteran backcourt and a head coach who will let his players sense and respond to the action, I expect this bunch will gain in confidence as the year wears on. My gut says 21 wins is the proper 'over/under line' for this upcoming season -- so I'm counting on senior leadership to put MU over the top.
I think the loss of Barro and Mbakwe is bigger then we'd like to admit. The seniors will play great, but they're fragile. Nagging injuries the last few years have kept them out of games and nothing indicates to me they won't happen again. The Big East may be the toughest league ever this year from 1 to 12. A lot of MU's success will come off how Hayward and Fulce do. The other big factor for me is Buzz Williams. This is a total unknown so it's hard for me to say what he will deliver. The team could win as few as 20 and as many as 26 in my opinion. I'm settling at 20 wins and 9-9 in the BIG EAST due to the strength of the conference, lack of an experienced big and a head coach who is under the microscope like never before.
I see an upset by either UNI or Dayton in Hoffman Estates--given the history of the programs, I'm going with Dayton to do so. Meanwhile, I think MU will make up for it and be ready to take the game against Tennessee. I'll go on a limb and predict the win at Notre Dame, but based on past history we'll follow it up with a letdown versus Georgetown. I don't see us taking the game at Pitt this year.
My picks are an experiment. I created a prediction model based on last year's stats and ran some simulations. The most likely scenario was finishing 11-2 in non-conference and 10-8 in conference play. However, I'm an optimist so I guessed up. Want some pessimism on top of your injury news? My model only gave us a 10% chance of getting more than 12 wins. (PS - Tim is cheating. He used my model to set the over/under line. "gut"... ha!).