"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, October 05, 2012

MU prepares for final run at title in old BE in 2013, and possibly an equally competitive new BE in 2014

With Midnight Madness just one week away, Marquette certainly looks like a team that can finish in the top half of the Big East this year.  Based on www.valueaddbasketball.com, Marquette remains the 25th best team heading into the conference.  While six Big East teams rank even higher, they are very bunched together and MU probably has fewer questions than any team in front of them.

2013 Big East StandingsNatl
4Notre Dame17
10St. John's59
11South Florida66
13Seton Hall86
Conference Average47

Sure, MU has to replace an incredible duo, but with so much talent moving up MU looks like a top 25 team.  Louisville is the prohibitive favorite, but just had a tough injury, and despite the lofty projections for Providence and Pitt based on Value Add, even it's author has to question if either of those teams can really skyrocket that far ahead of where they were last year.  With the questions on those three, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Georgetown all project BARELY ahead of MU - all within 8 spots - so it is certainly much easier to see MU passing any and all of the six teams in front of them than falling behind many teams behind them.  On paper, this is a seven team race for the final Big East title in the conference we have grown to know - with the single absence of West Virginia.

Will Memphis and Houston keep the Big East among the Elite in 2014?

However, I have to admit with the national potential for MU in 2014, I will be keeping one eye on Memphis, Houston, Central Florida, Temple and SMU.  No greater a number-cruncher than Luke Winn has calculated that the Big East after this year could drop to the 6th best basketball conference, but I was surprised when running the numbers to see that the Value Add projections for next year - even assuming all planned moves happen in time for the 2014 season - actually shows the conference staying just as strong in 2014 as in 2013 based on the average national rankings of all members in Value Add projections.

I ran the longer post below on the ranking of the top 150 teams in the country, and have just updated it based the new signings for Kentucky, South Florida and others this week.  When you look at the Rnk2 number - the most realistic expectation of what the 2014 roster will look like (your projected NBA players go to the draft, but you get the calculated average of the recruits to fill your remaining spots), the Big East actually stays exactly the same with an average national ranking of 47th.

Of course projections are not precise like measuring past performance, and certainly projections a year out are even less so, but here is where the future Big East teams project to rank nationally in 2014 compared to this year.

2014 Big East Standings2013 Natl2014 NatlHypothetical with all NBA players staying
1Memphisna2(drops to 4th if Thomas stays but top 3 keep theirs too)
2Marquette254drop to 19th
3Providence117drop to 26th
4Georgetown249(up to 8th if Porter stays)
5Louisville616(up to 13th if Dieng and Blackshear stay)
6Connecticut3818(up to 17th if Napier stays)
7Houstonna28drop to 36th
8Villanova6937drop to 43rd
9Rutgers5345drop to 53rd
10South Florida6650drop to 58th
11Seton Hall8651drop to 59th
12DePaul11958drop to 65th
13St. John's5959(up to 34th if Harrison stays)
14Central Floridana86drop to 98th
15Cincinnati9096drop to 105th
16Templena112drop to 121st
17Southern Methodistna115drop to 124th
Conference Average4747

The two big questions on this chart are whether or not Memphis has really collected enough talent to burst into the top 10 this year, and if Houston is really on course to move all the way into the top 30 by next year.  However, by the same token one has to wonder if Temple will really fall as far as projected after being able to tell recruits they are back in the Big East.

For this reason I will have one eye on the Big East standings and another on Memphis, Houston and the rest this year.  If the Big East once again emerges strong in basketball after realignment, as happened after the last ACC raid, then it's possible recruiting could stay right on course throughout the conference.

MU 2014 could drop from 2nd to 5th in BE if UConn, Lville & Gtown keep NBA players

In fairness, one item I do need to note is that the new Big East is only projected to produce five likely NBA draftees after this coming season.  A lot of these teams are in the same boat as Marquette, benefiting from strong classes moving forward to 2014 but without many players who will be so good they will leave.  The great news is that Marquette now projects to finish 2nd to Memphis in the Big East in 2014.  However, as you can see from the notes, if the NBA prospects for UConn, Louisville and Georgetown do not enter the 2013 draft after this season, then all three teams would be projected to pass Marquette to push us back to 5th in the conference in 2014.

Either way, the future is looking bright for Marquette and Big East basketball.

The following are the updates on the post below of all teams.

South Florida breaks into 2014 Top 50 with recruit

While the Harrison twins going to Kentucky was obviously the big recruiting news this week, the nice pick up in the Big East was by South Florida. Picking up Chris Perry moved the Bulls from a projected 61st in 2014 to 50th, so they are getting back in position for another potential surprise NCAA run. I am mainly focusing on Rnk2 - which is your current 2014 roster minus anyone expected to go to the draft plus the average recruits you would expect based on the guys you have a chance to get. The following are the five teams who made changes since the initial post below.
Team2014 rosterRnk1R1R2R3R4R5R6likely recrRnk2Add NBA if stayIf stayRnk3
Kentucky28.33072.52.42.434.7324Noel, Goodwin, Poythress, Harrow71.61
North Carolina St.32.74152.50.900036.1420Brown. Leslie48.9514
South Carolina26.65381.628.254028.2545
South Florida244910.20.20.226502658

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