"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

Thursday, June 16, 2011

With JUCO updates, on paper Marquette looks like 6th in BE

Thanks to a lot of updates from bloggers and athletic departments across the country, I’ve been able to update the team-by-team list of Value Add for the top 3000+ players who will be playing Division I next year, and have created an open-access link at Real-time updated 2011-12 rosters for all teams so that anyone who wants can access it at any time and add their own updates or check on what has been added.

A special thanks to Villanova by the Numbers for some great follow-up pieces and confirming the defensive ratings seemed to match what they’ve seen, and to JUCO Recruiting for being on top of the JUCO world so I could project out all the JUCO signees.

The top two players from last year’s JUCO class were Florida State’s Bernard James (+8.3%, improved team's points score/allowed by 8.3%) and our own Jae Crowder (+5.6%), but scroll down for the top JUCOs this year at the bottom of this post. I projected out this year’s JUCO signees, and it looks like West Virginia has the inside track on by far the best player left in the much travelled JUCO Karron Johnson. If they get him, it appears to creates an absolute logjam for 6th place in the Big East if the Value Add players out.

Here is a breakdown of the three tiers the Big East seems to break into with the cumulative projected Expected Value Add of each player for the 2011-12 season. In parenthesis, I listed each team’s best player and any other player they have expected to be one of the best 30 in the conference, and where Value Add calculates they should rank in value next year.

Top Tier: Can Marquette make the huge leap into this group?
Last year USA Today’s basketball preview asked why every preseason Marquette is an also ran, and by the end of every season they are in the Big East discussion. Based on Value Add, there are five teams that seem head and shoulders above the rest of the Big East, but if Jamil Wilson is the top flight player we believe he is, and Junior Cadougan and DJO play like they did down the stretch, and Davante Gardner picks up where he left off against UNC, then all four will be MUCH higher than their season Value Add would indicate, and we could be in this mix.

1. Louisville +56.3% (Kuric 2nd, Smith 10th, Siva 11th, Dieng 25th)
2. Syracuse +52.5% (Joseph 5th, Jardin 13th, Triche 16th, Fair 28th)
3. UConn +44.5% (Lamb 3rd, Oriakhi 4th, Napier 18th, Smith 21st)
4. Pitt +41.5% (Gibbs 1st, Taylor 24th)
5. Cincy +39.5% (Gates 9th, Dixon 12th, Kilpatrick 15th, Wright 17th)

2nd tier: Marquette atop log jam for 6th through 12th
With MUs potential upside mentioned above, I believe they could pull away from this group. However, St. John’s is the dangerous variable to take over late again as they have the best JUCO catch in the country between #2 Nurideen Lindsey and God’s Gift Achiuwa to add to one of the top couple of freshmen recruiting classes in the country with Harrison, Harkless, Pointer, Sampson and Garrett all with the potential. If the JUCOs and Freshman can gel by mid-season, I really hope MU gets St. John’s early in the schedule. I would have put Seton Hall in the lower tier with Hazel gone, but their returning defense is so strong that they could compete for the middle with any scoring. Obviously DJOs weak early season held his rating down as he was a top 10 player once conference play started.

6. Marquette +23.4% (Crowder 7th, DJO 22nd)
7. Georgetown +23.4% (Thompson 14th, Clark 20th)
8. West Virginia +23.1% if sign +5% Karron Johnson (Jones 9th)
9. St. John’s +22.6% (JUCO Lindsay 30th, many FR could be)
10. Notre Dame +21.0% (Abromaitis 6th)
11. Nova +20.2% (Wayns 26th)
12. Seton Hall +19.8% (Theodore 19th, Edwin 27th, all defense)

3rd tier: TCU would be in the mix if joined this year
Obviously jumping to the Big East is a huge test for TCU, but they could follow the Virginia Tech example of using the conference switch to start hauling in better recruits. With 6-foot-7 Carlon Garlon already a top 500 player and scheduled to still be playing in 2012-13 and three JUCO top 100 players in Adrick McKinney (6-9), Nathaniel Butler (6-6) and Connell Crossland (6-7) they have a year of MWC play to gel and could be respectable with a good recruiting class before their first BE season. South Florida has the 9th best JUCO class, and while the top-rated JUCO is ANOTHER 6-foot-10 player in Andre Jackson, the guy to watch will be JUCO point guard Blake Nash. He was a top 50 JUCO player, and if he is even average at the point, their front line could carry them out of the lower tier.

13. TCU +11.2% (Cabot 23rd)
14. Providence +10.9% (Batts 51st)
15. S. Florida +10.1% (Noriega 52nd)
16. Rutgers +8.6% (Biruta 29th)
17. DePaul +8.4% (Melvin 52nd)

Here are three lists of Top JUCOs. First, here are the JUCO players ranked in the top 100 that already have signed with a Big East team:

JUCO rankTop BE JUCOs by school Value addSchool
#2Nurideen Lindsey6-foot-45.00%St. John's
#8Cheikh Mbodji6-foot-92.77%Cincinnati
#24God's Gift Achiuwa6-foot-80.92%St. John's
#26Dominic Rutledge6-foot-80.88%West Virginia
#34Andre Jackson6-foot-100.28%South Florida
#49Adrick McKinney6-foot-80.10%TCU
#41Blake Nash6-foot-00.10%South Florida
#84Nathaniel Butler6-foot-6 TCU
#98Connell Crossland6-foot-7 TCU

That leaves only four JUCO players available in JUCO Recruitings top 100. JUCO Recruiting does not actually rank Karron Johnson, presumably because he left his JUCO team before signing with Oklahoma and decommitting, but he is at the top of other ratings and the report is he is 75% committed to WVU. Bryant Crowder says he is on track academically, but his suitors seem to be Hofstra, UTEP and Florida International. I'm not sure about where the other three are looking, though I saw a debate on the Missouri State page about whether they should sign former MU recruit Monterale Clark.

JUCO rankTop Available JUCOsHeightValue addPossible
left teamKarron Johnson6-foot-85.00%WVU, IA St.
#32Bryant Crowder6-foot-100.28%Hofs, UTEP, Fl Int
#38Monterale Clark6-foot-100.19%Missouri St.
#57Richard Anderson6-foot-8 undecided
#81Josh Mason6-foot-4 Iowa?

The 45 JUCOs who added value this year
And finally, as a complete byproduct, I flagged the 2010 JUCOs to see how they did last year, and 45 played at a BCS Value Add-level. Only Bernard James of Florida State was more valuable than Jae Crowder, and noone else was close.

FnameLName ORtgDRtgValue Add
BernardJamesFlorida St.107.986.38.27%
ScottBamforthWeber St.119.1108.13.21%
BenSmithWichita St.129.498.52.97%
J.R.CadotTexas Christian123.7103.12.95%
MarquiseCarterGonzaga 11696.42.84%
JoeRaglandWichita St.116.597.82.77%
DesmondHollowayCoastal Carolina112.4102.02.22%
LazericJonesUCLA 100.497.22.21%
DeJuanWrightFlorida International109.8113.22.14%
KennyMooreTennessee St.106.4108.41.94%
DarrellWilliamsOklahoma St.103.696.21.80%
FaisalAdenWashington St.
EloyVargasKentucky 105.592.61.59%
ShayShineHigh Point105.3112.61.42%
HughRobertsonSouth Florida99.6101.91.06%
MamadouSeckSouthern Illinois101.9101.31.01%
BrianBryantMississippi St.105.1104.70.91%
FreddyAsprillaKansas St. 90.594.20.88%
DwightMcCombsCentral Florida111.5100.50.65%
TimTolerNorthern Illinois100.6110.50.52%
BoIngramTexas Arlington101.3106.90.38%
MylesWalkerIndiana St.
RyanAllenWisconsin Milwaukee99101.70.28%
BrandonMcGeeGeorgia St.100.1101.10.28%
SammyYeagerTexas Christian98.2102.90.28%
EricFrederickFlorida International99.6113.60.26%
EricBucknerGeorgia St.99.3100.00.22%
TobyVealVirginia Commonwealth 100.3100.30.21%
DanielKingTexas Southern101.2106.60.19%
BennieRhodesFresno St.99.1105.50.14%
RayshawnGoinsJames Madison96.5104.20.07%
NickMcFarlinEastern Illinois100.2111.00.05%
RodSingletonMontana St.97.6111.20.05%

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