"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

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Gtown, Xavier and Seton Hall Freshmen Dominant; Carlino Leads MU Newcomers

Freshman from Seton Hall, Xavier and Georgetown are among the most valuable in the country - with each class likely to improve their team's scoring margin by 8 points or more per game. Marquette's Sandy Cohen projects as a strong contributor, and if he was combined with Luke Fischer, Duane Wilson and Matt Carlino then MU's "newcomers" would project to be almost as valuable as the big three classes.

Even before Todd Mayo left, Value Add projected sophomore Deonte Burton (3.35 projected Value Add) and senior transfer Carlino (3.10) to easily be Marquette's best two players this season.

The table of all Big East freshman appears at the end of this post.

Value Add, the system that measures the overall impact each player has on his team's scoring margin on an average night, projects that Isaiah Whitehead will be the most valuable freshman in the league by increasing Seton Hall's scoring margin by 5.00 points per game. Five other freshman combine with Whitehead to give their freshman class an overall rating of 8.71 for the best mark in the conference.

Isaac Copeland projects as the second best Big East freshman with a projected Value Add of 4.30, and the four other freshman Hoyas also rank Georgetown in second as a team - just behind Seton Hall at 8.47.

Trevon Bluiett is the third best freshman at 3.20, and five other freshman combine to give Xavier a very strong 8.00.

None of the other seven Big East freshman classes are anywhere close, with a solid trio at Providence giving the Friars a fourth best 4.36, but nowhere near the three dominant leaders.

The class after a coach leaves is normally decimated, but Sandy Cohen gives Marquette one freshman likely to contribute the first year with a 1.13 Value Add. Historically 3-star and better recruits make at least a small contribution (about 0.3 for the average 3-star). While one player cannot make a class, other players who will get on the court for the first time this season make for what would be a very solid class if they were all freshman.

Matt Carlino will take the court immediately after transferring from BYU. An exhaustive study of the entire Value Add database from Dwyane Wade's last season through last year shows that a player improves an average of 18% between his junior and senior season. That would point to a very strong Value Add of 3.1 for Carlino this season. Here is the chart of the average improvement from class to class based on 2629 players in the Value Add database who played all four seasons at the same school.

Study of 2629 playersAve Value AddProjected improvement

So the average freshman more than doubles his value before his sophomore season, but the improvement is much smaller during the next two offseasons.

Duane Wilson missed all of last season with an injury, but was projected to have a 1.6 Value Add out of high school, and Luke Fischer will join after the first semester and projected to have a 1.2 Value Add. If we cheat and include these three along with Cohen, we get a Marquette class just one point behind the three big freshman classes with a 7.03 Value Add.

Obviously others could do the same. Darrick Wood was supposed to have a 1.1 Value Add when he committed to St. John's in 2012, and now should be much better as he comes to DePaul with two JUCO seasons under his belt. Here are all the freshman with at least three stars, and how many points they are expected to improve their team on an average night.

FreshmanHtTeamProj Value add
Kelan Martin6'5"Butler0.72
Tyler Wideman6'6"Butler0.30
Jackson Davis6'8"Butler0.20
Ronnie Harrell6'8"Creighton1.26
Leon Gilmore6'7"Creighton0.77
Raymond Doby6'7"DePaul0.35
Rashaun Stimage6'8"DePaul0.30
Isaac Copeland6'9"Georgetown4.30
Paul White6'8"Georgetown1.60
L.J. Peak6'4"Georgetown1.42
Tre Campbell6'1"Georgetown0.85
Trey Mourning6'9"Georgetown0.30
Matt Carlino (Sr.-Tran)6'2"Marquette3.10
Sandy Cohen6'5"Marquette1.13
Duane Wilson (2013-RS)6'3"Marquette1.60
Luke Fischer (2013-RS-Sem)6'10"Marquette1.20
Paschal Chukwu7'2"Providence1.49
Jalen Lindsey6'6"Providence1.41
Ben Bentil6'8"Providence1.21
Kyron Cartwright5'10"Providence0.25
Isaiah Whitehead6'4"Seton Hall5.00
Angel Delgado6'8"Seton Hall1.57
Khadeen Carrington6'3"Seton Hall0.84
Desi Rodriguez6'5"Seton Hall0.60
Ismael Sanogo6'6"Seton Hall0.40
Obinna Oleka6'8"Seton Hall0.30
Adonis DelaRosa6'11"St. John's0.15
Phil Booth6'3"Villanova1.25
Mikal Bridges6'6"Villanova1.15
Trevon Bluiett6'5"Xavier3.20
Makinde London6'8"Xavier1.27
J.P. Macura6'4"Xavier1.06
Larry Austin6'1"Xavier0.94
Edmond Sumner6'3"Xavier0.80
Sean O'Mara6'9"Xavier0.73

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