"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, November 25, 2016

Value Add Rankings, Projected NCAA Bids and Impact Players Returning in December

Value Add ranks UNC No. 1, while remaining more skeptical of the AP No. 1 Kentucky. A UNC-Nova (#3) rematch for the national title is possible, but the Value Add dark horse is Utah. The Utes would rank 16th based on their players' Value Add to date, but Value Add projects that big man transfer David Collette in the coming weeks makes them the fifth best team in the country.

On the downside, Virginia's 50.77 is actually No. 1, but that includes 1.9 from Memphis transfer Austin Nichols, who has been kicked off the team. After subtracting out his value UVa falls three spots to No. 4 at 48.87.

ValueAddBasketball.com calculates Marquette with just enough talent to sneak into the last NCAA tournament spot, giving the Big East six teams. That ranks behind only the ACC (12), Big 12 (8) and Big Ten (7), and with a better ratio than the Big Ten. Value Add gives the Pac 12 five teams, but for some reason is particularly unkind to the SEC while giving only Kentucky and Florida a bid. However, a half dozen SEC teams are in the top 66, so that number could grow. The A10, American Athletic and West Coast Conference all have three bids. The other 23 conferences only get one bid.

Marquette will face Fresno State while Value Add calculates they have the 189th best team in the country. The week after that game Karachi Edo will take final exams to try to become eligible at which point Value Add calculates his impact (+5.0 Value Add) moves them up 89 spots to make them the 100th best team. Last year he went 7 of 9 shooting to keep close to Utah in the NCAA.

Here is the ranking of teams that either project to make the tournament, be in the last four out, or to have a player returning in the next few weeks (mid-season transfers or early season injuries) to give a significant Value Add boost in the second number - or in the case of UVa and UConn a big loss.

RnkTeamConBid?Value AddTrans/InjKey Transfers/Injuries changing 2nd number
1North CarolinaACCauto49.9849.98We don't project return value for long-term injuries like Theo Pinson - the players listed below should be back within a couple of weeks.
4VirginiaACCbid50.7748.87Austin Nichols -1.9 Memphis transfer dismissed after strong opener.
David Collette +8.0 Value Add's 18th best freshman in 2015 before Utah St. tried for months to block his transfer to Utah, where ex-NBA center Larry Krystkowiak could make him another NBA center.
8Wichita St.MVCauto46.6046.60
10KentuckySECauto46.5746.57AP No. 1
15Miami FLACCbid41.8641.86
16ClemsonACCbid39.4741.47Elijah Thomas +2.0 former top 50 prospect transferred from Texas A&M to play in December.
19Saint Mary'sWCCbid40.7140.71
20Iowa St.B12bid40.7040.70
21ArizonaP12bid40.1940.19AP No. 8
24West VirginiaB12bid39.4439.44
26OklahomaB12bid38.0039.00Dante Buford +1.0 coming off suspension after some action as a freshman.
29East Tennessee St.SCauto38.8138.81
32Seton HallBEbid38.3438.34
34Ohio St.B10bid37.9937.99
36Texas TechB12bid37.7137.71
37Notre DameACCbid37.6637.66
38Michigan St.B10bid37.4837.48
39Rhode IslandA10bid37.3437.34
40Virginia TechACCbid37.2337.23
41Kansas St.B12bid36.9136.91
42Florida St.ACCbid36.5236.52
43TCUB12bid32.3736.37Alex Robinson +4.0 a number of double digit outings at Texas A&M before transfer, enough to take them from 67th to 43rd and make the tournament.
45Wake ForestACCbid36.0836.08
48MarquetteBEbid35.2135.21 Yes the last bid, and no I did not fudge - just ran the numbers.
51North Carolina St.ACClast434.9634.96
54UNC WilmingtonCAAauto32.6634.16Names in italics below would make the tournament by winning their conference
Ambrose Mosley +2.5 at UNCW for senior year after being leading 3-point shooter for 27-8 ODU team.
57Cal St. FullertonBWauto26.3333.83Khalil Ahmad +7.0 conference freshman of the year missing semester for academics, Riley Dearring +1 hit a couple of shots for Wisconsin's tourney team two years ago.
60St. BonaventureA10gain32.4833.48Nelson Kaputo +1.0 some action as freshman and needs to pass exams to return Dec 17.
72San Diego St.MWCauto31.3631.36
78Incarnate WordSlndinelig30.5730.57new D1 not eligible yet, but otherwise could make tournament at-large or as conf champ
80North Dakota St.Sumauto29.9429.94
84CharlotteCUSAauto28.0929.59Austin Ajukwa +1.5 two seasons at Clemson and should contribute at Charlotte.
89Georgia TechACCgain27.8529.05Josh Heath +1.2 takes the court against Tulane Saturday after 4-game suspension.
100Fresno St.MWCgain23.2128.21Karachi Edo +5.0 capped 3 strong first years with 7 of 9 shooting to keep close to Utah in the NCAA, but must pass exams in mid-December.
103Stephen F. AustinSlndauto28.0628.06
107MissouriSECgain25.8427.84Jordan Barnett +2.0 returns to Missouri from Texas - former top 100 recruit.
116UT ArlingtonSBauto27.2027.20
118Florida Gulf CoastASunauto27.1027.10
126Texas SouthernSWACauto22.7426.24Tevon Saddler +3.5 led UNCG in scoring and assists before transfer.
128Boston UniversityPatauto26.1626.16
158New Mexico St.WACauto24.3624.36
167Cal St. BakersfieldWACgain23.6424.04
Following teams have significant player changes to their current Value Add
Fallou Ndoye +0.4 played in 30 games as a freshman at Mississippi St. then six more last year before transfer.
184DePaulBEgain22.4223.42Austin Grandstaff +0.2 hit some 3-pointers for Ohio State.
191Western KentuckyCUSAgain21.5023.00Jabari McGhee +1.5 hit 62% of his shots (23-37) at Tennessee.
192ConnecticutAmerlost27.4622.96Terry Larrier -4.5 off to a great start but season ending knee injury crushing for Uconn.
224Kent St.MACgain19.0821.08Taishaun Johnson +2.0 after averaging 12.5 points as a freshman at South Alabama, a nice addition.
235Norfolk St.MEACauto20.3420.34
236Tennessee TechOVCgain19.8020.30Curtis Phillips +0.5 eight points a game at Campbell.
239South FloridaAmergain14.6320.13Jahmal McMurray +4.5 all-freshman team hopes to return from suspension, Isaiah Manderson 1.0 Texas Tech transfer 4.4 ppg as freshman.
257Alabama St.SWACgain15.9518.95Demetrius Houston +3.0 returns home to Montgomery after showing promise his freshman year at Mississippi St.
263Florida AtlanticCUSAgain15.4218.42Justin Massey +3.0 solid player at Florida Atlantic as a freshman, then transferred to Brown for 9 games before coming back.
280PepperdineWCCgain16.8517.85Kameron Edwards +1.0 after scoring 7 points/gm as a freshman he will return from a jaw injury.
294HowardMEACgain13.1517.15James Daniel +4.0 quest for 2000 points resumes after early season ankle injury.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

JJJ 1st Team All-Big East Defense; Cheatham & Fischer 3rd Team All-Big East

Haanif Cheatham and Luke Fischer earn All-Big East 3rd Team Honors in the early going, based on Value Add Calculations. Cheatham improves MU by 6.94 points per 100 offensive trips, and takes 1.21 points off the opponents scoreboard during those trips for a total Version 3 Value Add of 6.94 points.

Version 4.0 (introduced this week) calculates that the average shooting guard is averaging almost 10% less value than other players, so between that adjustment and the calculation of how much value Cheatham could have with 16% of MU's possessions instead of his current 14%, Cheatham calculates to a  potential overall value of 9.48 if MU can get him the ball more.

Only three sophomores (Bridges, Thomas and Cain) and one freshman (LoVett) are more valuable than Cheatham.

Luke Fischer is just behind Cheatham at 9.38 and could definitely use more than 12% of all possessions as he hits over 70 percent of his shots. Both are in the 94th percentile of all players at 265th and 271st nationally of over 4000 players that can be pulled up at www.valueaddbasketball.com.

JuJuan Johnson's -2.76 defensive rating is the fourth best in the Big East, meaning he takes away three points per 100 trips away from opponents over a replacement player. Duane Wilson and Sam Hauser have been very valuable while having the ball 8 percent of the time for MU, indicating  they would both join Johnson as very valuable if they were given the ball a lot more often (16% instead of their current 8%).

These rankings are based on how valuable players would be if given the opportunity to be a major contributor for their team, so players like Baldwin and O'Mara have not truly been worth enough points to make the first two teams, but in theory are playing at that level while on the court and getting the ball.

Nat'l1st Team All-Big EastTeamValue4.0V3.0PossOffDef
23JP Macura #55Xavier14.7112.2519%11.42-0.83
24Mikal Bridges #25Villanova14.6711.1912%9.14-2.04
55Josh Hart #3Villanova12.9511.7820%9.41-2.36
56Kamar Baldwin #3Butler12.957.429%3.86-3.56
95Khyri Thomas #2Creighton11.888.1512%7.05-1.1
Nat'l2nd Team All-Big EastTeamValue4.0V3.0PossOffDef
111Rodney Pryor #23Georgetown11.5711.5717%9.69-1.88
175LJ Peak #0Georgetown10.649.6720%8.36-1.31
198Eli Cain #11DePaul10.3210.3221%10.770.44
219Marcus LoVett #15St. John's10.028.3524%8.410.06
235Sean O'Mara #54Xavier9.795.668%5.08-0.58
Nat'l3rd Team All-Big EastTeamValue4.0V3.0PossOffDef
243Tyler Lewis #1Butler9.75.039%4.99-0.05
265Haanif Cheatham #25Marquette9.488.1514%6.94-1.21
270Khadeen Carrington #0Seton Hall9.398.5319%8.24-0.29
271Luke Fischer #40Marquette9.387.1412%6.13-1.02
283Darrick Wood #1DePaul9.264.828%5.770.95
Nat'lOther High MU PlayersTeamValue4.0V3.0PossOffDef
499Duane Wilson #1Marquette7.644.28%3.36-0.84
666JaJuan Johnson #23Marquette6.676.4415%3.68-2.76
669Sam Hauser #10Marquette6.653.878%3.17-0.7

A piece in Breitbart Sports indicated former MU recruit
Marial Shayok was one of the top 10 Value Add players through Saturday, but he has dropped to 84th as of Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Maybe we got a little ahead of ourselves

Well, the tone of this podcast has changed rapidly, much like Marquette's performance on the court. No sugar coating it, we got a little over our skis after the first two games of the season with Michigan and Pitt bringing us all back to Earth. We spend time talking about the 2K Classic results and what it means for Marquette. We try to breakdown what went wrong and how it might be corrected. We also have a discussion around the coaching staff and whether or not there is reason to be concerned early in year 3 of the Wojo era. After finishing our moping about the NYC results we turn to some surprising news in the transfer of Sandy Cohen. We discuss what the news means, and how it may have come to this. Then, wrapping up the Eeyore episode of Scrambled Eggs, we look ahead to the rest of the non-conference schedule and look at how it may play out with the new, less rose colored viewpoint. Download this episode (right click and save)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Value Add 4.0 Process and Rankings; High Ranking MU Trio

One year ago Value Add 3.0 provided the most precise value of all 4000 players in D1 basketball, and now Value Add 4.0 finally provides a measurement of how valuable each player would be if they were a Major Contributor for their team. This answers the lingering criticism of how we measure the value of a superstar stuck down the bench at Kentucky.

First we will reveal the top few players, the players from Major Conferences in the Top 1% of all players (top 40), the Big East players in the top 5% of all players (top 200) and the Marquette trio in the top 15% of all players, then we will cover the new math. While we are just updating the tables, you can find the ranking for all 3,898 players by clicking on www.valueaddbasketball.com.

No. 13 on the early list is a painful one for MU, as Brewtown Andy wrote two years ago.

RnkPlayerTeamv4.0 if MajorConfv3.0 Pts/G%usagePosGoTo Adj
1Jacob Van #15Air Force16.48MWC13.7316%PG*1.21.00
2Jeremy Morgan #20Northern Iowa16.19MVC16.1921%PF*11.00
3David DiLeo #14Central Michigan15.84MAC14.1414%PF*11.12
4Marquis Wright #1Siena12.30MAAC10.2526%PG*1.21.00
5Brandon Parrish #11TCU12.17B127.028%PF*11.73
8Markelle Fultz #20Washington12.03P1210.0331%PG*1.21.00
12Charles Cooke #4Dayton11.02A1011.0223%PF*11.00
13Marial Shayok #4Virginia10.93ACC6.7210%SG*1.11.48
17Devin Davis #15Houston10.73Amer10.7316%C*11.00
19Josh Hart #3Villanova10.51BE9.5520%SG*1.11.00
20DJ Johnson #4Kansas St.10.42B127.3611%C*11.42
22Devin Robinson #1Florida10.41SEC8.1412%SF*11.28
24Malcolm Hill #21Illinois10.36B1010.3625%SF*11.00
29ShawnDre' Jones #3Richmond9.97A108.3129%PG*1.21.00
31Tyus Battle #25Syracuse9.86ACC5.158%SG*1.11.74
32Mikal Bridges #25Villanova9.76BE7.5612%SF*11.29
33Joel Berry #2North Carolina9.76ACC7.9615%PG*1.21.02
35Anton Beard #31Arkansas9.70SEC5.139%PG*1.21.58
36Manu Lecomte #20Baylor9.61B128.0119%PG*1.21.00
63Khyri Thomas #2Creighton8.81BE6.0112%SG*1.11.33
68Kamar Baldwin #3Butler8.68BE5.1610%SG*1.11.53
107Darryl Reynolds #45Villanova7.55BE4.026%C*11.88
120Shamorie Ponds #2St. John's7.30BE6.4115%SG*1.11.03
171JP Macura #55Xavier6.63BE5.5321%PG*1.21.00
182Justin Patton #23Creighton6.49BE4.2410%C*11.53
190Jalen Brunson #1Villanova6.41BE5.3515%PG*1.21.00
222Luke Fischer #40Marquette6.09BE4.6812%C*11.30
371Haanif Cheatham #25Marquette5.00BE4.2314%SG*1.11.08
544JaJuan Johnson #23Marquette3.95BE3.9516%SF*11.00

Based on Value Add 3.0 we know that Luke Fischer improves Marquette's points per 100 trips by 4.68 (almost all on offense right now). He is worth an outstanding 130 points per 100 trips down the court. However, Fischer is only getting 12% of Marquette's overall possessions (on the court for 68% of minutes multiplied by 18% of possessions when on the court equals 12%). Based on Dean Oliver's charts in "Basketball on Paper," we can estimate that Fischer would could impact Marquette's scores by 1.3 times as many points (far right factor) if he could get the ball a solid 16% of all possessions in a game, which calculates to a potential Value of 6.09 points - the 222nd best rating in all of basketball.

We do also monitor the average performance by possession each season. While we list the five traditional positions (Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Small Forward, Power Forward and Center) this position is calculated for each player based on four factors. First, a players assist rate is divided by his defensive rebound percentage, which gives an indication on if he plays more on the perimeter or underneath. The players height is also factored, and finally these factors are compared to all of his teammates so that each team has a pretty even distribution of minutes played at each of the five positions. If a team plays a four guard set, the player who spends the most time inside and/or is tallest is going to be considered a power forward for purposes of comparison to the other "No. 4" players on other teams.

So far this season the teams' three "forward/centers" are averaging about the same value over the 351 teams. Shooting guards rank almost 10% lower in the calculations than the front line players, and point guards rank almost 20% lower, so these players have their rankings further multiplied by 1.1 and 1.2 respectively to show how much they improve their team over a replacement player at the same possession.

The initial Value Add 3.0 Calculation is thus multiplied by the position factor and then the usage factor. If a player already has at least 16% of his team's possessions then he is considered to already be performing at his maximum level.
Therefore JuJuan Johnson's 3.95 ranking is not adjusted upward because he is already possession the ball 16% of the time Marquette has it (partly by coming up with his own steals). That is good enough for 544th in the country, placing him in the top 15% of all players.

Haanif Cheatham's 4.23 is increased slightly (*1.08) based on how much more he could contribute if he had the ball 16% of the time instead of 14%, but he also has that factor multiplied by 1.1 to account for his numbers being even more impressive as a shooting guard.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Now THAT was some fun basketball to watch!

The season is underway with a big opening season win against Vanderbilt and so we react (and in some cases overreact) to the results of the first game of the season. Does the starting line-up tell us anything? Is Sam Hauser for real? Will we ever lose again? All questions we ask ourselves and then answer. We also talk about whether this game gives any signal as to how Wojo has progressed as a coach. Once we soak up every ounce of enjoyment from the Vanderbilt result, we turn to the week ahead including the home opener against Howard, and match-ups against Michigan and Pitt/SMU in NYC. Even the resident podcast pessimist sees reason to believe a 4-0 start is possible. Then we get a little over our skis and mention the word ranking before finding sanity and closing out the podcast. Also, wish Joe (@joemccann3) a very happy birthday today! Enjoy the show. Download this episode (right click and save)

Sunday, November 06, 2016

The season is nearly upon us, time to predict it

Marquette basketball is on the cusp of starting the 2016-17 so we're here to talk about it. First stop is to discuss and overreact to what we saw of the exhibition game against Rockhurst. As we talk about the game we also reference back to the "secret" scrimmage against Dayton from two weeks ago. We then talk about the first real game on the schedule, The Veteran's Classic at the US Naval Academy against Vanderbilt. We talk about what the game will look like and if we think Marquette prevails. With the first game prediction out of the way, we then prognosticate the entire season and compare it to the KenPom projections. While one of us is more optimistic than the other, we are both definitely on the positive side of the ledger for the season over all. To close out the projections and the episode we talk about who we think will be the MVP, Newcomer of the Year, and Breakout players this season. Let's get ready for some real basketball! Download this episode (right click and save)