"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

Friday, September 28, 2012

Welcome John Dawson! Did Buzz mention you might be playing some point for an Elite 8 team in 2014?

Buzz Williams continued to find unexpected talent this week when point guard John Dawson – the 2nd best player in New Mexico, signed for next season.  Granted it’s not a big basketball state, but Buzz seems to like finding players not under the spotlight.  Two years removed from having Dwight Buycks have to move from shooting guard to point guard, Williams seems to want to take no chances on being without options at the point after Junior Cadougan graduates this year.  If the description on future150.com is at all accurate, Dawson could be a great addition at the point.

"Dawson has elite court vision and the ability to make all his teammates better. He can score on all 3 levels. He loves getting out in transition where he is pretty much unstoppable when attacking the rim. He has excellent ball handling skills and can knock down the open 3-point shot with consistency. His length and athleticism and being 6'4" is what sets him apart from other point guards in the class."

Welcome to Marquette Mr. Dawson – and your timing may be perfect.

While the Value Add database currently pegs Marquette as a respectable 25th best team in the country heading into the upcoming 2013 season, the new roster with Dawson now shows Marquette as the 4th best team in the country in 2014 with a legit shot at an Elite 8 if it stays in place and no one gets TOO good this year and makes it to the NBA.

The following is the projected 2014 Value Add roster by class and then name.

PlayerHtClassOffDefPG PerValue Add
Burton, Deonte6'5"1 Fr2.04-0.910.002.95
Dawson, John6'2"1 Fr0.64-0.290.501.43
Wilson, Duane6'3"1 Fr1.81-0.810.503.12
Ferguson, Jamal6'3"2 So2.44-0.510.002.95
Taylor, Steve6'7"2 So2.85-0.600.003.46
Anderson, Juan6'6"3 Jr2.35-0.840.003.19
Mayo, Todd6'3"3 Jr3.29-0.710.003.99
McKay, Jameel6'8"3 Jr3.401.600.005.00
Wilson, Derrick6'0"3 Jr0.38-0.820.001.20
Blue, Vander6'4"4 Sr2.75-
Gardner, Davante6'8"4 Sr4.23-1.310.005.54
Otule, Chris6'11"4 Sr0.01-2.410.002.42
Thomas, Jake6'3"4 Sr1.730.000.001.73
Wilson, Jamil6'7"4 Sr2.17-1.900.004.07
Total Value Add45.06

This is a roster without super stars, as no player projects to have anywhere near the 9.0% Value Add that notes an All-American, but EIGHT players project to be above 3.0%, which is the level at which a player is a good BCS starter.  Deonte Burton barely misses that mark at 2.95%, so MU literally could have a roster of nine players who should be starting at the BCS level, and everyone should be good enough to contribute.  Of course there will always be those who excel or fall off the pace, but with these kind of odds it seems MU will have one of the strongest benches in the country and Dawson and his highly recruited teammate point guard Duane Wilson may have a choice of weapons to set up when they are on the court.

Back in May, I put out the rankings for the top 50 teams of 2014, and MU actually fell back several spots at one point.  However, after Dawson signed I updated all signings to date (the dump is not yet complete at www.valueaddbasketball.com but will be shortly), and the following are the new rankings.  Kentucky and UNC are always undervalued to some degree because they have so many NBA-bound players that it is tricky to project who will still be around in two years and if the players moving up from the bench are as good as advertised when they were recruited.  However, even assuming both will move to the top by next season, Marquette is on course for a team good enough to be in the Elite 8 for the first time since 2003.  I stretched the list to the traditional top 64 number for the tournament, mainly because a couple of Big East teams are creeping onto the list.

This is based on the projected Value Add of every player currently scheduled to be on the roster in 2014.  If a team is projected to lose more than one player to the NBA, we assume they will lose half of the potential draftees overall value (so Kentucky is assumed to lose two of their current four prospects, but not all four).  As outlined in the earlier piece, if a team averages getting at least 3.0% of Value Add each year from their new freshman recruiting class, but they do not have that much freshman talent signed yet, then we add a figure to assume they get to that level.  For example, Calipari averages getting 12.1% of Value Add out of each freshman class, and has only signed 1.3% so far for 2014 because he has the luxury of waiting to pick the top few that emerge.  Therefore we add 10.8% to Kentucky’s total after we assume they lose two of their four potential NBA draft picks.  Marquette has already exceeded it’s typical 3.1% with the excellent signing class, so we do not assume any more for them – though of course that can happen with late signings.

2014 rankTeamRosterFreshman est.Total
5Michigan St.40.63.844.4
11North Carolina St.40.0240.02
13North Carolina39.7839.78
16Notre Dame39.2139.21
18Ohio St.
28Nevada Las Vegas31.8231.82
31Georgia Tech30.1930.19
33West Virginia29.4329.43
36Oklahoma St.29.0729.07
37Texas Tech28.9828.98
39New Mexico28.1128.11
41Iowa St.27.2427.24
45Texas A&M26.1326.13
47Oregon St.25.625.6
48South Carolina24.3924.39
49South Carolina Upstate24.0724.07
52Virginia Commonwealth23.9923.99
53Louisiana St.23.9223.92
54Seton Hall23.8923.89
55La Salle23.4323.43
59Virginia Tech22.1822.18
61South Florida22.1722.17
64Wake Forest20.7420.74

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