"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, September 23, 2017

St. John's Most Likely to Replace MU to Give Big East 7 Bids Again, Unless MU Defense Improves

This is one of 32 conference previews based on projections of Value Add for each player in www.valueaddbasketball.com. The other 31 projections appear at www.pudnersports.com so that readers only interested in the Big East need not review.

Each piece follows the same format, listing the Massey football ratings alongside the Value Add basketball projections. In the case of the Big East, Villanova's strong FCS team ranks ahead of a number of the 129 FBS teams as the 111th best overall football program. Butler and Georgetown also play football, and are ranked 363rd and 312th of all college teams.

Of the seven Big East teams that made the tournament last year, Value Add projects all but Marquette to return to the tournament, while St. John's is likely to replace Marquette as the seventh team (currently misses by only a couple of spots as the projected 52nd best team). Only nine of Villanova's players have projected values now, so their projections should rise to a Top 10 level, but right now they are edged out by Providence.

Here is where Value Add ranks each Big East team for the season, and the Massey Rankings rank the football teams against all other schools. Updates will be provided here as well as the previews of the other 31 conferences.

Big East/2017 SeedValueAddFootball
Providence 1119
Villanova 120111
Seton Hall 922
Xavier 1127
Butler 436363
Creighton 647
Saint John's52
Marquette 1072

Marquette's trio of Markus Howard (171st), Andrew Rowsey (207th) and Sam Hauser (256th) all rank in the top 7 percent of all players. Value Add assigns some of the blame for the horrid defense last year to all players, so any improvement in team defense will lift all players, but if the team continues to try to trade good three-point shooting with uncontested dunks on the other end the defensive ratings will continue to hold down player ratings.

More important of course, is that the high powered only needs an adequate defense to push Marquette back into the tournament.

Here are the top 15 projected players in the conference in order, and the other Marquette players in the top 20 percent of all players. As always, corrections are welcome to pudnerjohn@gmail.com or 404.606.3163.

Nat'l RnkTop 15 Big East PlayersValue AddSchoolHt
15Jalen Brunson 19.16Villanova`6-02
23Mikal Bridges 258.78Villanova`6-07
36Khyri Thomas 28.21Creighton`6-03
39Trevon Bluiett 58.17Xavier`6-06
41Shamorie Ponds 28.13St. John's`6-01
49Angel Delgado7.80Seton Hall`6-10
64JP Macura 557.38Xavier`6-05
67Marcus Foster 07.30Creighton`6-03
95Khadeen Carrington 06.90Seton Hall`6-04
129Kelan Martin 306.51Butler`6-07
134Jalen Lindsey 216.49Providence`6-07
143Emmitt Holt 156.35Providence`6-07
171Markus Howard 06.10Marquette`5-11
197Desi Rodriguez 205.85Seton Hall`6-06
203Jessie Govan 155.82Georgetown`6-10
Nat'l RnkOther MU in top 20%Value AddSchoolHt
207Andrew Rowsey 305.80Marquette`5-10
256Sam Hauser 105.43Marquette`6-06
705Haanif Cheatham 253.32Marquette`6-05

Ken Pomeroy ranked the Big East 3rd of 32 Division 1 basketball conferences, which will all be previewed at www.pudnersports.com with notes on which schools are now "basketball" or "football" schools based on which program is stronger this season. Football revenue is much higher, but programs are much more expensive between equipment and the requirement of matching enough women's scholarships in other sports. Therefore some programs forgo FBS football programs to focus on low cost basketball programs as their biggest revenue sport.

Sports IllustratedFox Sports and ESPN have lauded Value Add Basketball for estimating the number of points each college basketball players is worth to his team above a replacement player - similar to baseball WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Massey Ratings is used for the football rankings above.

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