"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

Monday, July 06, 2009

Star System Predicts MU 5th to 9th in BE

The 5-star system for rating new recruits has become very familiar to even the casual college basketball fan since William Gates went to a 5-star camp in “Hoop Dreams” before landing at Marquette in 1992.

With Buzz Williams landing three 4-star recruits (6-foot-6 Jeronne Maymon and Erik Williams, 6-1 Junior Cadougan), as well as three 3-star recruits (7-2 Youssoupha Mbao, 6-2 Dwight Buycks and Darius Johnson-Odom) and a potential steal in 6-10 Brett Roseboro, the question is how this incredible class will do next year.

I have worked on a system to equate the 5-star system with what returning players have accomplished, to try to give more of an apples-to-apples between new recruits and returning players. The system basically factors in rankings of returning players from www.nbadraft.net and www.kenpom.com to rank each player coming back for another season from 1 to 6 stars in a ratio consistent with how “star” recruits typically progress. I added the “6-star” rating only for players that are projected to go in the NBA draft after next season on www.nbadraft.net. The ratings of 5, 4, 3.5, 3, 2 or no stars are determined for returning players by a formula using ratings in www.kenpom.com. New 3-star recruits who are ranked among the top 150 recruits in www.rivals.com are given 3.5 stars.

Lazar one of eight 6-star players in Conference as projected #29 NBA pick

Lazar Hayward is now one of eight returning Big East players projected to go in next year’s NBA Draft (as the #29 pick), so those are the only players to get a 6-star rating. The formula gives Jimmy Butler 3.5 stars. With the aforementioned three 4-star recruits and three 3-star recruits, that gives Marquette a total of 30.5 stars from it’s top 8 players, which is as deep as the system goes.

The system isn’t perfect. Obviously, we all see potential upside in David Cubillan, and a lot of muscle underneath in Joe Fulce at 6-7 and hopefully healthy, as well as 6-10 players Chris Otule and Brett Roseboro. But for comparison purposes, we compare the top 8 players on each roster based on their stars.

While Marquette is the only team in the Big East with newcomers making up six of its top eight players in this system, the league is much less experience this year – giving MU a shot to do well. Providence is the only other team in the Big East with five of it’s top eight players as newcomers, but UConn, Pitt, Nova and Notre Dame all have four newcomers among their top eight players.

30.5 stars puts MU in 2nd tier – 5th to 9th place in Big East

Even assuming Ater Majok never puts on a uniform for UConn after the recruiting controversy, UConn still tops Nova as the top team in the Big East looking forward to next year, by a total of 36 stars to 33.5 stars. Syracuse and West Virginia are close behind, to seemingly set up a favorite four that comprise the top-tier.

Marquette seems to be in a pretty tight group from 5th place to 9th place, within one star either way of Georgetown and Cincinnati (31 stars), then Marquette (30.5 stars), followed by Pitt (30) and Louisville (29.5).

This is just a raw measure of overall talent, and it does not make any attempt to break down teams’ strengths and weaknesses by position. For example, while Syracuse is just behind Nova in third place, they did lose their backcourt and it appears all their top line talent is on the front line. It’s easy to see why a return of Johnny Flynn might have made them a favorite to go all the way this year – but without him it appears 3.5 star recruit Brandon Triche, a shooting guard, may be the closest thing they have to a new point guard.

Height no longer a disadvantage

The other thing you may notice below is the average height of each team, which is based only on its top 8 players. At 6-foot-5 1/4, the only three teams with more than a half inch advantage on MU during the upcoming year are Georgetown, West Virginia and Cincinnati. This also does not take into account either Otule or Roseboro, who if they excel and are part of an 8-man rotation, would make MU taller than every team but those three after being the 295th tallent team in the country last year.

The ability to match up with height and add another tenacious 6-6 rebounder in addition to Lazar, certianly means MU will no longer go into “David v. Goliath” battles every time out.

Rankings of the teams – and listing of the top 8 players for each

Please do not any corrections you see. Obviously anyone who was a senior or was drafted was taken off a team’s roster, and any new recruits added, but let me know if you see someone listed who has transferred out for any reason. The order of finish in the Big East for the 2009-2010 season based on the Star system outlined above is as follows, with stars, height, and class listed for each of the team’s top 8 players:

1, UConn (36-stars, 6-5.75), Jerome Dyson (6-stars, 6-4, Sr), Kemba Walker (6-stars, 6-1, So), Stanley Robinson (5-stars, 6-9, Sr), Alex Oriakhi (5-stars, 6-9, New), Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (4-stars, 6-7, New), Darius Smith (4-stars, 6-2, New), Gavin Edwards (3-stars, 6-9, Sr), Jamaal Trice (3-stars, 6-5, New).
2, Villanova (33.5-stars, 6-4.75), Mouphtaou Yarou (5-stars, 6-9, New), Scottie Reynolds (5-stars, 6-2, Sr), Isaiah Armwood (4-stars, 6-7, New), Reggie Redding (4-stars, 6-5, Sr), Dominic Cheek (4-stars, 6-5, New), Corey Fisher (4-stars, 6-1, Jr), Maalik Wayns (4-stars, 6-1, New), Antonio Pena (3.5-stars, 6-8, Jr),
3, Syracuse (33-stars, 6-6.75), Arinze Onuaku (6-stars, 6-9, Sr), Rick Jackson (5-stars, 6-9, Jr), Paul Harris (5-stars, 6-4, Sr), Andy Rautins (4-stars, 6-5, Sr), DaShonte Riley (3.5-stars, 6-11, New), Brandon Triche (3.5-stars, 6-3, New), Kris Joseph (3-stars, 6-7, So), James Southerland (3-stars, 6-6, New),
4, West Virginia (32.5-stars, 6-6.875), Devin Ebanks (6-stars, 6-9, So), Da'Sean Butler (6-stars, 6-7, Sr), Darryl Bryant (4-stars, 6-2, So), Kevin Jones (3.5-stars, 6-8, So), Wellington Smith (3.5-stars, 6-7, Sr), Dalton Pepper (3.5-stars, 6-5, New), Deniz Kilicli (3-stars, 6-9, New), Dan Jennings (3-stars, 6-8, New),
5, Georgetown (31-stars, 6-6.75), Greg Monroe (6-stars, 6-11, So), Chris Wright (5-stars, 6-1, Jr), Hollis Thompson (4-stars, 6-6, New), Austin Freeman (4-stars, 6-4, Jr), Henry Sims (3-stars, 6-10, So), Julian Vaughn (3-stars, 6-9, Jr), Nikita Mescheriakov (3-stars, 6-8, Jr), Omar Wattad (3-stars, 6-5, Jr)
6, Cincinnati (31-stars, 6-6.75), Yancy Gates (5-stars, 6-9, So), Lance Stephenson (5-stars, 6-6, New), Deonta Vaughn (5-stars, 6-1, Sr), Rashad Bishop (3.5-stars, 6-6, Jr), Alvin Mitchell (3.5-stars, 6-5, Jr), Anthony McClain (3-stars, 6-12, Jr), Steve Toyloy (3-stars, 6-8, Sr), Darnell Wilks (3-stars, 6-7, Jr)

7, Marquette (30.5-stars, 6-foot-5.25-inches average), Lazar Hayward (6-stars, 6-6, Sr), Jeronne Maymon (4-stars, 6-6, New), Erik Williams (4-stars, 6-6, New), Junior Cadougan (4-stars, 6-1, New), Jimmy Butler (3.5-stars, 6-6, Jr), Youssoupha Mbao (3-stars, 7-2, New), Dwight Buycks (3-stars, 6-2, New), Darius Johnson-Odom (3-stars, 6-2, New) – not factored, but with great upside, Dave Cubillan (2-stars, 6-0), Chris Otule (6-10), Brett Roseboro (6-10) and Joe Fulce (6-7).

8, Pittsburgh (30-stars, 6-5.5, Jr), Dante Taylor (5-stars, 6-8, New), Gilbert Brown (5-stars, 6-6, Jr), Jermaine Dixon (4-stars, 6-3, Sr), Lamar Patterson (3.5-stars, 6-5, New), Brad Wanamaker (3.5-stars, 6-4, Jr), Talib Zanna (3-stars, 6-9, New), J.J. Richardson (3-stars, 6-7, New), Ashton Gibbs (3-stars, 6-2, So),
9, Louisville (29.5-stars, 6-5.75), Samardo Samuels (5-stars, 6-9, So), Rakeem Buckles (4-stars, 6-8, New), Peyton Siva (4-stars, 6-0, New), Terrence Jennings (3.5-stars, 6-9, So), Edgar Sosa (3.5-stars, 6-2, Sr), Preston Knowles (3.5-stars, 6-1, Jr), Stephan Van Treese (3-stars, 6-9, New), Jared Swopshire (3-stars, 6-8, So)
10, Seton Hall (29-stars, 6-5.875), Robert Mitchell (5-stars, 6-6, Sr), Jeremy Hazell (5-stars, 6-5, Jr), John Garcia (4-stars, 6-9, Sr), Eugene Harvey (4-stars, 6-0, Sr), Mike Davis (3-stars, 6-11, Jr), Ferrakohn Hall (3-stars, 6-7, New), Jordan Theodore (3-stars, 6-0, So), Brandon Walters (2-stars, 6-9, Jr)
11, St. John's (29-stars, 6-5.375), Sean Evans (4-stars, 6-8, Jr), Justin Burrell (4-stars, 6-8, Jr), D.J. Kennedy (4-stars, 6-6, Jr), Paris Horne (4-stars, 6-3, Jr), Rob Thomas (3.5-stars, 6-6, Jr), Malik Boothe (3.5-stars, 5-9, Jr), Dele Coker (3-stars, 6-10, Jr), Quincy Roberts (3-stars, 6-5, So)
12, Notre Dame (28-stars, 6-5.875), Luke Harangody (6-stars, 6-8, Sr), Tory Jackson (4-stars, 5-11, Sr), Tyrone Nash (3-stars, 6-8, Jr), Mike Broghammer (3-stars, 6-8, New), Jack Cooley (3-stars, 6-8, New), Tom Knight (3-stars, 6-8, New), Joey Brooks (3-stars, 6-5, New), Jonathan Peoples (3-stars, 6-3, Sr)
13, Rutgers (28-stars, 6-5.25), Gregory Echenique (4-stars, 6-9, So), Dane Miller (4-stars, 6-5, New), Mike Rosario (4-stars, 6-3, So), Hamady N'Diaye (3.5-stars, 6-11, Sr), Corey Chandler (3.5-stars, 6-2, Jr), Austin Johnson (3-stars, 6-7, New), Earl Pettis (3-stars, 6-5, Jr), Mike Coburn (3-stars, 6-0, Jr)
14, DePaul (26.5-stars, 6-5.75), Mac Koshwal (5-stars, 6-10, Jr), Dar Tucker (4-stars, 6-5, Jr), Will Walker (3.5-stars, 6-0, Sr), Devin Hill (3-stars, 6-9, So), Tony Freeland (3-stars, 6-5, New), Mike Stovall (3-stars, 6-5, New), Jeremiah Kelly (3-stars, 6-1, So), Krys Faber (2-stars, 6-11, So)
15, Providence (25-stars, 6-3.125), Marshon Brooks (4-stars, 6-5, Jr), Sharaud Curry (3.5-stars, 5-10, Sr), Johnnie Lacy (3.5-stars, 5-10, New), James Still (3-stars, 6-8, New), Kadeem Batts (3-stars, 6-8, New), Brian McKenzie (3-stars, 6-4, Sr), Vincent Council (3-stars, 6-1, New), Duke Mondy (2-stars, 6-3, New)
16, South Florida (25-stars, 6-6.125), Dominique Jones (5-stars, 6-4, Jr), Augustus Gilchrist (3.5-stars, 6-10, So), Chris Howard (3.5-stars, 6-3, Sr), Alex Rivas Sanchez (3-stars, 6-10, Sr), Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (3-stars, 6-7, New), Shaun Noriega (3-stars, 6-4, New), Eladio Espinosa (2-stars, 6-7, So), Mike Mercer (2-stars, 6-4, Sr)


TomW1365 said...

This is a cool analysis. Have you done this before or have other sites used this method?
By the way, I noticed DePaul's Dar Tucker was included in the analysis but isn't returning as he went undrafted.

TomW1365 said...

Here's a nice story on Jerel McNeal in the Chicago Tribune:


Oliver said...

"We all see upside with David Cubillan"

Really, we do? I see an occassional three-pointer and a lot of clapping while his man drives past him.

I give him credit for staying and a good attitude, but I don't see much upside.

JohnPudner said...

I have played with this breakdown, but it's the first time I've put in print the results in preseason, so I am sure there will be tweaks. Thanks for the article on Jerel - I thought Wes was working out with Utah but then I saw he was down as one of Jerel's teammates on the Kings summer team.

On Cube, I guess the upside I hope for is that the double shoulder surgery really held him back. I do think we again have great thrashers to the basket, and need to have someone come in and sink a few 3-pointers at times. Also, I sat through the miserable Michigan State NCAA game a few years ago, and when we still had ZERO points with 11 minutes left in the first half, I thanked God for him coming in to bury a trey to avoid the shutout.

JohnPudner said...

Two departures have been noted. Paul Harris is gone so he is replaced in the top 8 Syracuse players by Brandon Reese (0 stars), thus lowering Syracuse to 31 total, and in the 2nd tier. Dar Tucker is gone from DePaul, so he is replaced by Michael Bizoukas (2 stars) in DePaul's top 8, pushing them to last place by half a point. That leaves it:

Tier 1: UConn 36, Nova 33.5, WVU 32.5

Tier 2: Syracuse 31, Gtown 31, Cincy 31, MU 30.5, Pitt 30, Lville 29.5.

Tier 3: SH 29, St. Johns 29, ND 28, Rutgers 28.

Tier 4: Providence 25, S. Flor 25, DePaul 24.5.

Trick Shot said...

Walters is gone from Seton Hall too. ND has two transfers in that you missed, including Ty Hansbrough bro.

Championships Matter said...

Well, we'll see.

Who out there remembers Tony Reeder? He was a "hot" star commodity too, but he didn't do anything at Marquette.

There are as many flops as successes and the difference between the two often is coaching (ahem, Buzz) and attitude. Good coaches get great work from journeymen recruits and not-so-good coaches get nothing from stars.

Here's hoping there's a real buzz around Buzz this fall.

The Nose said...


The Nose said...


You may know a thing or two about marquette basketball, but i dont think you know too much about the rest of the Big East. Brandon Reese is replacing Paul Harris??? Really? He is a walk-on. You failed to list the best player on both last year's and this year's Syracuse team, Wes Johnson (according to both Jonny Flynn and Boeheim). Wes is an early favorite for BE POY (he's a junior transfer).

Also, even though Flynn left, their PG (Scoop Jardine) is back after missing last season with an injury. He's pretty good if you remember. And Brandon Triche is supposedly VERY good...he was MVP of the Regional Jordan Classic and lit up Flynn when they were both in high school despite the fact that he's two years younger.

As you can tell, I'm nervous (again) about playing Cuse AT the Dome. They're my sleeper BE team. Also, Mookie Jones was injured last year but is back this year...