As excited as I am about the start of Deonte Burton's CAREER at Marquette for the 2013-14 season, as far as the SEASON itself the commitment of 6-foot-8 power forward Jameel McKay is what makes MU a potential Final Four team. In fact, plugging in his projected Value Add takes Marquette from 7th to 3rd in the "Way Too Early Top 50 Teams for 2014" that I first ran a couple of weeks ago.
McKay coming in as a junior after two years of JUCO play will put him way ahead of where Burton should be coming in as one of the top freshman to come to Marquette - the same point I made before the 2010-11 season when predicting that Jae Crowder would likely be a much more valuable player than Vander Blue that first year. In the www.valueaddbasketball.com database you can pull it up and type "Marquette" in the search box on top and then "2014" under year to see the entire projected roster in 2014 and their projected Value Add.
Thanks to Brad Winton for his incredible work in updating the top 100 JUCOs in the country, which enabled me to update the estimated values of JUCOs in the database. While he won't list a top 100 of this year's freshman JUCOs until next year, based on his comments on several key players I had penciled McKay in as No. 1 on the list based on his comments on several JUCO freshman stars - at the time assuming McKay would end up at Indiana or maybe Florida. Even if we assume McKay turns out to be only the 5th or 10th best JUCO next year, MU would only slip one spot to behind Kentucky to still project as a Final Four team.
While freshman ranked as high as Burton average producing 2.88% Value Add (their impact on their teams score each night), the top incoming JUCO typically has a Value Add of about 6.0%. Two years ago Jae Crowder was the top JUCO transfer with a 5.95%, then this year Pierre Jackson was even better with a 6.09% for Baylor. So Value Add estimates that this year Geron Johnson will produce about 6% for Memphis and next year McKay will produce about 6% for Marquette. As you can see from the table below, that gives Marquette a potential 49.04% Value Add (every teams will be a bit lower than the projections that far off), which puts them in a theoretical Final Four with Kentucky, Arizona and Texas.
Some of the big "IFs"
Obviously there will be many changes between now and then, but McKay's commitment at this stage makes MU a team with the potential to make a Final Four run.
What would make MU drop? Obviously transfers, injuries, etc., but the other factor to understand this far off is that these projections assume that players projected to go in the 2013 draft do leave their teams. MU is almost in a perfect position because the roster is so loaded and yet right now noone is projected to be taken early in the draft (sorrowful memory of Jim Chones inserted here).
See the "Assume gone to NBA" column below, and you can see the players that are assumed to go to the NBA for 2014. Even if the roster stays in tact at MU and noone rises to the NBA-level before their senior year, there are 10 teams who would project ahead of Marquette if all of their players stuck around for 2014 to win a title rather than get the big bucks - Texas, Arizona (both already ahead), Kentucky, Memphis, UNC, Michigan State, Ohio State, Indiana, UCLA and Michigan.
Sorry to Creighton for not explaining why I didn't show them ranked
Also want to apologize to Creighton fans for missing a question that was posed after my May 20 post about how they could not be ranked since Doug McDermott would be a senior in 2014. For some reason I've always received a following from Creighton on my work, so I hate to slight them, but if you pull up www.valueaddbasketball.com and search for "Creighton"and under year "2013," you will see that I rank them 21st in 2013.
They were listed in 2014 simply under the assumption that McDermott would go to the pros as projected, but I have inserted them "with McDermott" on the table below to show that they would be projected to be 26th place in 2014 if he stays.
|Rnk||2014 Team||Proj VA||Ave. Fr||Total||Assume gone to NBA|
|1||Texas||45.25||9.3||54.55||Kabongo, Myck 6.43|
|2||Arizona||47.03||5||52.03||No projected 2013 draftees|
|3||Marquette||45.64||3.4||49.04||No projected 2013 draftees|
|4||Kentucky||36.74||12.1||48.84||Noel, Nerlens 10/Goodwin, Archie 7.34|
|5||Maryland||42.66||3.4||46.06||Len, Alex 2.11|
|6||Memphis||39.35||5.3||44.65||Thomas, Adonis 5.37|
|7||North Carolina||36.53||7.4||43.93||McAdoo, James 6.44/Hairston, PJ 5.86|
|8||Providence||39.77||3.7||43.47||No projected 2013 draftees|
|9||Iowa||39.18||3.6||42.78||No projected 2013 draftees|
|10||Connecticut||36.39||6.3||42.69||No projected 2013 draftees|
|11||Michigan St.||37.37||3.8||41.17||Dawson, Branden 8.48|
|12||Ohio St.||32.05||8.4||40.45||Thomas, Deshaun 9.56|
|13||Indiana||34.9||5.4||40.3||Zeller, Cody 14.5/Oladipo, Victor 6.65|
|14||UCLA||34.16||5.2||39.36||Muhammad, Shabazz 10.5|
|15||California||34.8||3.5||38.3||No projected 2013 draftees|
|16||Kansas||31.24||5.1||36.34||No projected 2013 draftees|
|17||Georgetown||30.5||5||35.5||Porter, Otto 12.08|
|18||Michigan||30.71||4.4||35.11||Burke, Trey 10.72/Hardaway, Tim 5.1|
|19||Alabama||30.72||4.1||34.82||No projected 2013 draftees|
|20||Stanford||34.68||0||34.68||No projected 2013 draftees|
|21||Arkansas||30.72||3.9||34.62||Young, BJ 11.67|
|22||Notre Dame||33.9||0||33.9||No projected 2013 draftees|
|23||Duke||25.24||7.4||32.64||No projected 2013 draftees|
|24||Baylor||28.56||3.9||32.46||Austin, Isaiah 9.08|
|25||Virginia||32.09||0||32.09||No projected 2013 draftees|
|26||Creighton (w/ McDermott)||25.74||6.3||32.04||McDermott, Doug 11.56|
|26||Nevada Las Vegas||31.74||0||31.74||Moser, Mike 7.39|
|27||Florida||26.68||5||31.68||Young, Patric 6.53|
|28||Houston||31.48||0||31.48||No projected 2013 draftees|
|29||Louisville||25.42||5.1||30.52||Dieng, Gorgui 9/Blackshear, Wayne 4.1|
|30||Pittsburgh||26.53||3.5||30.03||Adams, Steven 9.28|
|31||Colorado||26.71||3.1||29.81||Roberson, Andre 9.77|
|32||Villanova||25.36||3.7||29.06||No projected 2013 draftees|
|33||North Carolina St.||25.16||3.8||28.96||Brown, Lorenzo 7.48/Leslie CJ 5.33|
|34||Syracuse||23.59||5.2||28.79||Carter-Williams, Michael 4.31|
|35||St. John's||28.69||0||28.69||No projected 2013 draftees|
|36||Texas Tech||28.52||0||28.52||No projected 2013 draftees|
|37||Oklahoma St.||27.95||0||27.95||Nash, Le'Bryan 6.93|
|38||Mississippi||24.41||3.1||27.51||No projected 2013 draftees|
|39||New Mexico||27.1||0||27.1||No projected 2013 draftees|
|40||Rutgers||22.49||4.3||26.79||No projected 2013 draftees|
|41||Tennessee||26.56||0||26.56||No projected 2013 draftees|
|42||West Virginia||26.52||0||26.52||No projected 2013 draftees|
|43||Xavier||26.44||0||26.44||No projected 2013 draftees|
|44||Texas A&M||26.03||0||26.03||No projected 2013 draftees|
|45||Oregon State||25.52||0||25.52||No projected 2013 draftees|
|46||Iowa State||21.66||3.8||25.46||No projected 2013 draftees|
|47||Seton Hall||24.6||0||24.6||No projected 2013 draftees|
|48||Harvard||24.59||0||24.59||No projected 2013 draftees|
|49||South Florida||20.81||0||20.81||No projected 2013 draftees|
|50||Virginia Tech||20.24||0||20.24||No projected 2013 draftees|