"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

Monday, July 18, 2016

Schedule is finally out and Marquette(alumni) are going deep in The Tournament(not the tournament)

The off season has been long and drawn out, much like the non-conference schedule...hey OH! All teasing aside we roll through the non-conference schedule and discuss want an improvement it is over the previous year and how it may impact the team this year. The discussion even includes a sad Pitt bear reference. We transition to a brief discussion around the MU BBQ and some recruiting news. Talk then turns to red hot incoming freshman Marcus Howard and what his impact may or may not be on the season this season based on his USA team performance. Then we get to the exciting topic, THE TOURNAMENT (capitalization is a marketing ploy I guess) which features a very compelling Marquette Alumni team. We discuss all sorts of thing regarding this fun off season glorified pick up game tournament including a mic'd Wesley Matthews, Joe Chapman sightings and the rarest of unicorns, a Derrick Wilson 3 pointer.Very exciting stuff for off season entertainment and all games going forward should be on an ESPN platform so if you haven't watched yet, you should start. We wrap up the latest off-season pod with a quick discussion of Fred Hoiberg's Marquette NBA roster down in Chicago and possible MU players to earn NBA contracts this summer. Enjoy and stay cool. Download this episode (right click and save)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Team of Marquette NBA Alums 6th Best in Country - Projected 52-30 Record

I realize this will be viewed as a "homer" post, particularly as I head to Milwaukee Thursday for an 11:30 presentation (yes, those of you in Milwaukee please RSVP here and come!).

However, I ran the estimated wins created by all NBA players as calculated by ESPN's Estimated Wins Added formula and Value Add Basketball Rankings of incoming players (see details in post here). Then I broke down all 728 players who are on NBA rosters, D-League Rosters or Free Agents by their college. In a stroke of luck, the 36 colleges here are the only teams with at least five players each.

Those 36 teams breakdown nicely into six divisions similar to the NBA's actual divisional footprint. (Keep in mind, Davidson doesn't have five NBA players, to Seth Curry would not be on a team, and James went straight from high school to the NBA, so Russell Westbrook of UCLA and Kevin Durant of Texas would be the top two players from these 36 schools). Eastern Conference (NBA Alums).

While I will post a Breitbart Sports story later on all six divisions here, and you can look at standings and players in each division here, let me just focus on the six Midwestern Schools who could field a starting five:

East - Central W-L GB
Marquette 52-30 0
Michigan State 49-33 -3
Ohio State 41-41 -11
Indiana 34-48 -18
Michigan 28-54 -24
Wisconsin 26-56 -26

Based on ESPN's Estimated Wins Added, Jimmy Butler (worth 13.3 extra wins) and Dwyane Wade (11.1) both edge out Michigan State's Draymond Green (10.9) as top players in this hypothetical Division of schools whose NBA alums would make up the "Eastern Conference, Central Division."

Even though Wesley Matthews was not at the same level post-injury, Value Add doesn't rank Henry Ellenson as a huge producer yet, and we don't know if the Bucks will bring Steve Novak back, the addition of Jae Crowder (6.1) gives MU a trio that ranks overall slightly ahead of Michigan State's balanced alumns (Denzel Valentine, Zach Randolph).  Ohio State's Mike Conley and Indiana's Victor Olidipo rank in a distant tie for fourth behind the big three.

While they do not calculate as adding wins, Marquette is one of the few teams that could fill an entire roster with Vander Blue, Dwight Buycks, Matt Carlino and Lazar Hayward available in the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th spots.

If the entire projection played out in a hypothetical season, MU would go into the tourament as the No. 3 seed in the East to draw No. 6 Florida, then No. 2 UConn and No. 1 Duke. At that point a prohibitive overall No. 1 Kentucky from the West would be the prohibitive favorite - actually projects and an unrealistic 80-2 on the season - but we all know what happens when a Dwyane Wade MU team plays a Kentucky team ranked No. 1.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Bulls' hit jackpot with Wade, Crowder's Celtics score even better offseason

Outside of Golden State's signing of Kevin Durant, Marquette's returning NBA players are  on the teams that could improve the most based on offseason moves to date. I rank the 30 team's offseasons in a Thursday Breitbart piece.

Click here for a more detailed analysis of the 148 best players by team. Here are the Bulls and Celtics players worth at least four extra wins based on last year's NBA Estimated Wins and the college Value Add basketball rankings

Player20162017Extra Wins
Robin LopezNYCHI7.8
Jimmy ButlerCHICHI13.3
Dwyane WadeMIACHI11.1
Rajon RondoSACCHI7.5
Denzel ValentineMichigan St.CHI7.2
Taj GibsonCHICHI4.0
Isaiah ThomasBOSBOS13.9
Al HorfordATLBOS11.6
Jae CrowderBOSBOS6.1
Jared SullingerBOSBOS5.9
Ben BentilProvidenceBOS5.7
Amir JohnsonBOSBOS4.1
Ante ZizicCroatiaBOS4.0
Guerschon YabuseleFranceBOS4.0
Jaylen BrownCaliforniaBOS4.0
Kelly OlynykBOSBOS4.0

To walk through the math, Wade was worth an additional 11.1 wins last season, while the acquisition of Robin Lopez (+7.8) and Rajon Rondo (+7.5) and the draft of Denzel Valentine (+7.2) improve the team. Next we subtract -12.7 for the loss of Pau Gasol and the normal -6.0 atrophy for each team – the Bulls project a 15-game improvement.

Whether or not Wade can repeat his level of play at 35 years old, and whether adding a whole bunch of good players to a Celtics team that really just needs one great one is also in question, but the pick up of Al Horford seems to give the Celtics a shot to go to the next level in the East.

As for Detroit, we have Michael Gbinije having a bigger first year impact, with Henry Ellenson the bigger star over his career once he stops twisting his body and hand on his shot.

It has been a great offseason for the former MU players - let's see if it plays out next year.