"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, November 12, 2018

Warm-ups are over, It's Indiana, It's Indiana

#mubb looked good but not great in the opening two games of the season so we're here to break it down. The defense is better, fact or fiction, is up for debate in the first half of the podcast. We close out the podcast with an analysis of the early season ranked match up and whether MU has a shot at the W. Quick podcast for this week, just getting into our regular season grove. Enjoy! https://scrambledeggs.podbean.com/mf/play/u9bwha/ScrambledEggs_editted_111218.mp3

Monday, October 29, 2018

Season kick-off pod for what we insist will be a good season for #MUBB

We're back for a new season of #mubb....the leaves are on the ground, all of our baseball teams have faded out of the post season and it is highly likely that your football team is disappointing you, which means we've pumped to talk about Marquette basketball. It's been a minute since our last pod so we catch up on the most important news, like Greg Elliott being out for 8-12 weeks and Big East media day. We then jump into our annual schedule review shenanigans where at least one of us tries to find a way MU will go undefeated. Bit of a spoiler, for once both of us are bullish on the Marquette schedule results. We wrap up the pod with a new "game" inspired by 10 Things I Hate About You, which players will leave us underwhelmed, overwhelmed, and just plain whelmed. Get ready the season is upon us and the next time you hear from us will be to review the results of the first two games of the season. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Southern Preview

Southern Jaguars
December 28, fiserv.forum

Coach: Sean Woods (0-0 at Southern, 127-150 overall)
3-Year RPI Average: 277.3
3-Year kenpom Average: 293.7
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 350
Projected Starters: PG Eddie Reese (6'1" Sr), SG Cam Horton (6'1" So), SF Aaron Ray (6'3" Sr), PF Bryan Assie (6'7" Jr), C Hassan Hussein (6'9" Sr)

According to T-Rank, Southern is the worst team on the schedule & one of only two sub-300 teams Marquette will face this year. Southern lost a lot; their leading scorer & rebounder graduated, their third leading scorer transferred, & 4 other players graduated. Reese is the only returning player that averaged over 16 mpg. This is a roster of mostly backups & JUCO players.

If there is any reason for optimism at Southern, it is Sean Woods. This is his second tour through the SWAC, having taken Mississippi Valley State from 7 wins in his 2009 debut season to a 17-1 conference record & NCAA berth in 2012. Woods followed that up with four successful seasons at Morehead State in which his team was top-half of the league each year & made the CBI twice (including losing the championship-deciding game in overtime in 2016). The next season, Woods was accused of assaulting two of his players & resigned. After a season as an assistant at Stetson, Woods is back in a head chair. While his character may have some question marks, his coaching results do not. He improved win totals every year at MVSU & had 15+ wins every year at Morehead State. Since his arrival at Southern, he moved quickly to secure commitments from productive JUCO players like Horton, Assie, Osa Wilson, & Miles Gibson. Woods also added grad transfer Hassan Hussein from Florida International.

It's hard to know what to expect from this year's Southern team. Woods loved to press the pace for years, but had his most successful season at Morehead State with a slow-down system. One thing that his teams always do is crash the glass hard on both ends, & with three JUCO additions that averaged 5.9+ rpg as well as big-body Hussein, that will likely be Woods' calling card again. Defensively, Woods stresses turnovers. His Morehead State teams were top-50 in steal percentage all four years he was there. The downside to that is their physical style leads to a lot of fouls. Expect a very physical game from Southern.

It's hard to know how good this mishmash of players will be, but Marquette is the far more talented & experienced team. If Southern finds success, it likely will be later in the season once they get into conference play & the players have had time to come together. This should be a comfortable win for Marquette.

Marquette Connection: This isn't Sean Woods' first road trip to play Marquette. He brought his Mississippi Valley State team here on December 21, 2010. Jae Crowder led Marquette with 22 points in a 102-77 rout of the Delta Devils. At the time, it dropped MVSU to 1-10 on the season, but from there Woods turned the season & his coaching career around. His team went 12-6 in conference play and finished the season 13-19. The next year he brought MVSU to the NCAA Tournament.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

It's an offseason pod, but basketball is definitely in the air

The audio quality might not be the best because of some technical glitches but we think the pod turned out pretty good away. We got together to catch up on the latest offseason news and highlights, starting with recruiting news. We discuss the Derrik Akanno commitment and our feelings about Nico Mannion picking from MU and Arizona as his final two. We then transition to a review of the new home from #MUBB basketball, the Fiserv Forum and what kind of advantage it will provide in the years to come. We close out the pod with a quick tour of notable non-conference games now that it has been fully announced, including the showdown with probable Number 1 team in the country, Kansas. As always, enjoy!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Monday, September 10, 2018

Buffalo Preview

Buffalo Bulls
December 21, fiserv.forum

Coach: Nate Oats (64-39 at Buffalo)
3-Year RPI Average: 87.3
3-Year kenpom Average: 109.0
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 91
Projected Starters: PG Davonta Jordan (6'2" Jr), SG Dontay Caruthers (6'1" Sr), SF C.J. Massinburg (6'3" Sr), PF Jeremy Harris (6'7" Sr), C Nick Perkins (6'8" Sr)

Buffalo stunned the college basketball world last March when they defeated Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. While some picked the 13-seed to advance, few expected the 89-68 drubbing the Bulls put on the Wildcats. Nate Oats' squad returns 3 players that averaged 15+ ppg & 4 starters from that team.

Massinburg was the biggest star last year, averaging 17.0 ppg/7.3 rpg, but he wasn't the only stud. Perkins (16.2/6.0) & Harris (15.5/5.9) complete an undersized but exciting frontcourt. Not only that, all three are threats to step outside as they combined for 212 made three-pointers. Depth isn't a problem as they have two 6'10" seniors on the bench. The backcourt must replace Wes Clark (15.5 ppg/5.4 apg) but Jordan, Caruthers, & Jayvon Graves played major minutes last season & freshman Jeenathan Williams provides size & athleticism.

The mindset for Buffalo going into this will be that speed can equalize size. They play very fast & more often than not all five players on the floor will be capable of handling the ball. Buffalo can score efficiently inside or outside & they don't turn the ball over often. On defense, they play tight man that can lead to fouls but they excel at chasing opponents off the three point line & make teams work for every shot. Buffalo had an average defensive possession length of 18.0 seconds, which was 291st in the nation & by far the best of any team in the top-20 in tempo (Marshall was next, ranked 208th at 17.5 seconds). What that means is that while Buffalo will strike fast on offense, they will dog you to the end of the shot clock on defense.

After a NCAA win last year & returning everyone but one player, I think Buffalo might be underrated coming into the season, at least by T-Rank. They comfortably won the MAC at 15-3 last year (12/15 wins by double-digits, all 3 losses by 3 points or less) & the gap between them & the rest of the league will likely be wider this year. They also are challenging themselves in the non-conference; along with Marquette, they play at 2018 NCAA Tourney teams West Virginia, Syracuse, & St. Bonaventure. This team would be a great scalp for NET & resume purposes, but will also be a tremendous challenge.

Marquette Connection: This trip will likely be a special one for Buffalo Associate Head Coach Jim Whitesell. After working his way up to a D1 coaching job at Loyola-Chicago, Whitesell was shocked when he was fired by a new AD in 2011 & replaced by then-St. Louis assistant Porter Moser. Fortunately for Whitesell, Marquette alum Rick Majerus quickly hired him at St. Louis into the same position Moser had just vacated. Alongside Majerus, Whitesell earned the Associate Head Coach title & helped guide the Billikens back to the NCAA Tournament. He stayed at SLU after Majerus' death to help new coach Jim Crews & they returned to the NCAA Tournament the next year.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

North Dakota Preview

North Dakota Fighting Hawks
December 18, fiserv.forum

Coach: Brian Jones (178-197 at North Dakota)
3-Year RPI Average: 195.3
3-Year kenpom Average: 202.0
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 253
Projected Starters: PG Marlon Stewart (6'3" Jr), SG Billy Brown (6'3" Jr), SF Cortez Seales (6'4" Sr), PF Kienan Walter (6'9" Jr), C Conner Avants (6'7" Sr)

The Fighting Hawks suffered a big blow when star guard Geno Crandall grad transferred to Gonzaga. They do return three double-digit scorers in Stewart, Seales, & Avants, but while they have an experienced starting five, it will be mostly freshmen providing the depth as starting center Dale Jones graduated & two other bench players -- Jafar Kinsey & Garrett Franken -- transferred in the offseason.

The other big move for UND is stepping up to the Summit League. Jones' Fighting Hawks were successful in the big Sky, winning double-digit league games 4 times & earning a NCAA bid in 2017. In their new league, T-Rank picks UND 6th out of 9 Summit League teams. Last year, UND suffered significantly due to poor scheduling fortune in the Big Sky. Included in the 7 teams they played twice were the top-5 teams in the league & they went 1-9 in those games. Playing a balanced schedule in the Summit should help them as while they will have fewer games (16) it will be an even balance of top and bottom teams.

As far as what to expect from North Dakota, Jones' teams play at a blistering pace. They have finished top-40 in tempo for the past 4 years. Offensively, this is a team that thrives on driving. They'll take some threes, but even when they have had their better shooting teams they still focus on getting the ball inside. On defense, they limit opponent rebounds, generate turnovers, & use that to get the ball back up the floor fast

Marquette Connection: Cortez Seales was a standout on the Iowa Barnstormers AAU travel team before earning his scholarship to North Dakota. Not only was that the same travel team Joey Hauser would eventually play for, one of Joey's teammates on that Barnstormer team was Seales' younger brother, Corvon. Corvon Seales enrolls this year at Division II Minnesota State.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

UW-Madison Preview

UW-Madison Badgers
December 8, fiserv.forum

Coach: Greg Gard (57-36 at UW-Madison)
3-Year RPI Average: 61.7
3-Year kenpom Average: 43.0
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 22
Projected Starters: PG D'Mitrik Trice (6'0" Jr), SG Brad Davison (6'3" So), SF Brevin Pritzl (6'3" Jr), PF Khalil Iverson (6'5" Sr), C Ethan Happ (6'10" Sr)

Pundits are believing in this UW-Madison team that returns nearly everyone. Trice & Kobe King return from injury, transfer Trevor Anderson will be eligible, & sophomores Nate Reuvers & Aleem Ford earned valuable experience last year. That said, this team did have a losing record when Trice & King were injured & finished with a losing record at the end of the year. While Gard has a likely preseason All-American in Happ & a wealth of options, no one else has yet proven they can be the Robin to Happ's Batman on a winning team.

Stylistically, little has changed for this team since Bo Ryan retired. Play the game at a painfully slow pace & stick rigidly to man-to-man defense. The Badgers averaged 20.6 seconds per offensive possession last year; only Virginia spent more time on the ball on offense. Offensively, they had their second worst team of the advanced stats era, largely because they didn't have many reliable shooters; only Aleem Ford shot over 36% from deep. They also had their worst defensive team in Pomeroy's rankings because they couldn't stop anyone inside. Last year's Badgers were the first UW-Madison team since 2002 to allow over 50% on 2PFGs.

While many expect this team to bounce right back to being the reliable tournament team they were to start the century, I'm not convinced. The Big 10 will be better this year, with both Michigan State looking like a top-tier team & a plethora of other teams that feel they can legitimately contend for a tournament berth. Even when UW-Madison was healthy last year, they weren't good & benefited heavily from a soft conference schedule that saw them go 5-5 against sub-50 kenpom teams but only 2-6 against top-50 teams.

The idea that a year of experience will take a team from not sniffing the NIT to top-25 & safely in the NCAA Tournament seems like a stretch. As mentioned in the Indiana preview, after Michigan State there are 11 Big 10 teams projected from 20-52 in T-Rank. The league will likely beat up on itself & shouldn't expect more than 7 bids, which leaves most likely 5 of those teams in the top-52 on the outside of the NCAA field looking in. Expect UW-Madison to be fighting a battle to the bubble all year long. It's a coin flip if they get in & not nearly the guarantee most experts seem to think it is.

Marquette Connection: UW-Madison is Marquette's most common opponent, & with rare exception the teams have played every season since the late 1920s. The most notable exception was a period from 1954-1957 when they didn't meet at all. Before then, UW-Madison had handily controlled the series, leading 36-18. The reason for the break in the series was because after one week of school in 1951, UW-Madison freshmen Rube Schulz & Doug Gill left campus, drove to Milwaukee, & flipped their commitments by transferring to Marquette. UW-Madison coach Bud Foster was so upset that he took Marquette off the schedule. The transfers paid off big for Marquette. In 1952, Marquette won the National Catholic Tournament. 3 years later, Schulz helped lead MU to their first ever NCAA Tournament, knocking off Miami (OH) & Kentucky en route to the Elite 8. Since the series was renewed in 1958, Marquette holds a 40-31 advantage.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

UTEP Preview

UTEP Miners
December 4, fiserv.forum

Coach: Rodney Terry (First season at UTEP, 126-108 overall)
3-Year RPI Average: 243.3
3-Year kenpom Average: 218.3
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 280
Projected Starters: PG Evan Gilyard (5'10" So), SG Kobe Magee (6'1" So), SF Jordan Lathon (6'4" Fr), PF Paul Thomas (6'8" Sr), C Teddy Ochieng (6'8" Fr)

The deeper the Miners get into Rodney Terry's first year, the more disappointing they look on the schedule. The top-two scorers & top rebounder graduated. Then a pair of freshmen & a grad student transferred out. When four-star freshman Lathon committed, it looked like things were turning around, but the same day leading returning scorer Isiah Osborne transferred as well. What's left is a pair of supplementary scorers in Gilyard & Thomas surrounded by mostly freshmen. Terry has a number of quality transfers on the roster, to the point that the scout team might beat the first team, but they won't be eligible until next season.

Under Tim Floyd, the Miners were a solid buy game, posting winning records in 5/7 seasons. Last season they started 0-5 under Floyd, who departed leaving interim coach Phil Johnson to guide UTEP to their lowest kenpom ranking since 2003 at #240. With all the turnover that trend will likely continue.

Terry is a good coach; he made a NCAA Tournament at Fresno State & posted improved season ratings on Pomeroy & T-Rank each of the past 3 years with both rankings having the Bulldogs in the top-80 last year. With a young, inexperienced roster, I expect Terry will follow the same formula that he started with at Fresno. Slow the game down, defend like hell, & hope you can make enough threes to stay competitive. In early interviews, he said he wanted his teams to play tough defense & up-tempo offense, but it's hard to see that happening this year with such a thin roster.

In 2-3 years, UTEP will likely be a good buy game & Terry could very well have them competing at the top of C-USA. For now, this is a program in transition that will just be a comfortable speed bump ahead of the Wisconsin game.

Marquette Connection: The two schools have only played once & that was a Marquette victory in 1963, however these two teams do have a connection. In 2013-14 and 2014-15, Marquette's Ed Morrow and UTEP's Evan Gilyard were teammates on the Chicago Simeon basketball team. They went 44-10 in those two seasons, including a 27-3 season in 2014-15 when Simeon was the #2 ranked team in the state of Illinois. For Gilyard, this trip to Milwaukee will not only be close to home, it will be a reunion with former teammate Morrow.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Kansas State Preview

Kansas State Wildcats
December 1, fiserv.forum

Coach: Bruce Weber (125-80 at Kansas State, 438-235 overall)
3-Year RPI Average: 66.3
3-Year kenpom Average: 42.3
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 25
Projected Starters: PG Kamau Stokes (6'0" Sr), SG Barry Brown (6'3" Sr), SF Cartier Diarra (6'4" So), PF Xavier Sneed (6'5" Jr), C Dean Wade (6'10" Sr)

Ever since Bill Self arrived in Lawrence, the season starts with a small handful of teams that dream of prying the Big 12 title from the Jayhawks. This year, Kansas State is at the top of that list. Expectations are high in Manhattan as Bruce Weber returns everyone from a team that went to the Elite 8. This looks like the best team Weber has had since he took the KSU job. Brown considered the NBA but came back & along with Wade gives the Wildcats two legitimate all-conference players. Not only that, but everyone else in the league lost significant pieces, so KSU could benefit from a down Big 12, similar to how Marquette fans are hoping a down Big East might make a rise up the standings a bit smoother.

However, when you dig into KSU's resume last year, there are some warts. Their only non-conference wins of note were over Georgia & Vanderbilt teams that didn't make the NIT. They did win 10 games in the Big 12, but went 0-7 against the true heavyweights at the top (Kansas, West Virginia, Texas Tech). And their Elite 8 appearance was aided by playing a 16-seed in the second round and narrowly escaping a woeful shooting Kentucky team. While the Wildcats return a lot, the heights they reached last year were a bit of a fluke & those expecting this to be a top-10 to 15 team may need to temper expectations a bit.

Offensively, this Kansas State team likes to spread the floor. Brown is the team leader on a group that can put four guards on the floor to open up driving lanes & dump it in to Wade. It helps that the big man is a 44% shooter from distance to stretch defenses. Weber's teams are patient on offense. With so many guards, they will keep moving the ball for the best shot. Despite being guard-oriented, this is not a team of multiple three-point threats. Expect the Wildcats to get most of their points inside the arc. Defensively, the Wildcats play stout man-to-man defense that thrives on creating turnovers. Their Achilles' Heel is rebounding, though they hope to see that change with the addition of JUCO transfer Austin Trice. If Trice can keep the defensive glass clean, KSU could meet their lofty expectations.

One interesting note about a team coming off an Elite 8 is that not all fans in Manhattan are happy with Weber's job. Some were hoping he wouldn't make the NCAA Tournament last year in hopes he'd be fired. It will be interesting to see which camp is proven right this season -- the pro-Weber camp that thinks they can compete for a Big 12 title or the anti-Weber camp that was disappointed in an Elite 8 run that secured his job for the near-future.

Marquette Connection: Marquette fans fondly remember the 1977 Championship season, but younger fans may not know how close Al McGuire's run came to ending in the Sweet 16 against Kansas State. The Wildcats won the Big 8 Regular Season & Tournament titles & led Marquette 36-28 at the half. The Warriors battled back, using their size to wear down the smaller Wildcats. Marquette lead 67-64 with less than a minute to play when the Wildcats' 6'5" center Darryl Winston tipped in a miss & simultaneously drew a foul on 6'10" Bo Ellis, seemingly indicating a bucket-and-one opportunity that would allow the Wildcats to tie it at the line. However, due to the NCAA rule at the time, tipped shots were not considered controlled shots. The ref waved off the basket & Winston went to the line. He drew KSU to within a point at 67-66. Marquette was then able to run out the clock & march on to the Elite 8 & ultimately the National Championship. After the season ended, the NCAA Rules Committee overturned that rule. The new "Winston Rule" meant fouls on a made tip-in would result in an and-one opportunity.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Charleston Southern Preview

Charleston Southern Buccaneers
November 27, fiserv.forum

Coach: Barclay Radebaugh (175-222 at Charleston Southern)
3-Year RPI Average: 284.3
3-Year kenpom Average: 284.3
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 238
Projected Starters: PG Deontaye Buskey (6'1" So), SG Christian Keeling (6'4" Jr), SF Philandrous Fleming (6'4" So), PF Travis McConico (6'6" So), C Sadarius Bowser (6'9" Fr)

Charleston Southern is going to hope that a strong finish in 2017-18 leads to future success. They went 9-4 down the stretch & return their top-3 scorers in Keeling, Fleming, & McConico. They started the season 3-12 in D1 games before the turnaround. The positive is that this year's CSU squad has continuity. Six returning sophomores who won't need as much time to acclimate should help.

Since taking over CSU, Radebaugh has had ups & downs. Their peak has been a pair of NIT appearances. The Bucs usually tend to take a heavy percentage of threes, even when they don't have great three-point shooters. That trend did change a bit the past two years, but expect them to be back to gunning with Fleming & McConico likely taking more of the offensive load. Defensively, the Bucs mix it up between man & zone. Where they are most dangerous is creating turnovers. They were 12th in the nation in turnover percentage created with Buskey, Keeling, Fleming, & McConico all ranking top-400 in steal percentage.

One drawback to Charleston Southern is that their record annually is boosted up by playing lower division teams. Radebaugh frequently schedules 3-4 such games and has a 44-1 record in 13 years at CSU. That does lead to some deceiving records as NET only counts D1 games.

Regardless, CSU should have the chance for a winning conference record & will be one of a half-dozen or so Big South teams that can have legitimate hopes of finishing atop the league. If their now-experienced sophomores grow up quickly & their trio of freshmen bigs can play effective defense, this should be a fine buy game.

Marquette Connection: The CSU coaching staff are no strangers to Steve Wojciechowski, albeit from his Duke days. Head coach Barclay Radebaugh was an assistant at Winthrop in 2002 when the Eagles were a 16-seed against Wojo & top-seeded Duke. Assistant coach Rick Duckett's first high major job was as an assistant at South Carolina. The first loss Duckett suffered with the Gamecocks was against Wojo & Duke in the Maui Invitational. The only staff member that might not have negative memories is Thomas Butters. He started his coaching career doing D1 coaching clinics from 2008 to 2011. One of the first he worked was at...you guessed it, Duke.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Tennessee Preview

Tennessee Volunteers
November 23, Barclay's Center (Brooklyn, NY)

Coach: Rick Barnes (57-44 at Tennessee, 661-358 overall)
3-Year RPI Average: 77.7
3-Year kenpom Average: 57.7
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 11
Projected Starters: PG Jordan Bone (6'3" Jr), SG Lamonte Turner (6'1" Jr), SF Admiral Schofield (6'5" Sr), PF Grant Williams (6'7" Jr), C Kyle Alexander (6'11" Sr)

The 2017-18 Volunteers were a squad that no one saw coming. SEC coaches picked them 13th in the 14 team league. This isn't a roster of lottery picks like Kentucky; they didn't even have one consensus top-100 recruit. But the entire team bought in. They played tenacious defense & outperformed offensive expectations. Not only that, they return virtually their entire roster. Most rankings have them as a preseason top-5 team in the country & legitimate Final Four contender.

The Volunteers' top-5 scorers all return. Williams & Schofield are the stars. Williams in particular will be the defensive focus. He won SEC Player of the Year in 2018 & is a likely preseason All-American. Turner, Bone, Alexander, & Jordan Bowden have all shown the ability to take control of a game. The Volunteers have diverse offensive abilities. Most of their players are focused on getting inside & scoring downhill, but when that isn't there, they have 4 returning players that averaged 38% or better from three.

While Barnes' teams historically play faster, that changed over the course of last season. In their first 13 games, the Vols were 9-4. In games of 71 or fewer possessions, they were 6-0 & in games of 72 or more possessions they were 3-4. After back-to-back losses to open SEC play (both in 72+ possession games) the Vols slowed it down. They finished the season 17-5 & only played one game of 72+ possessions.

Defensively, this team bought in completely. They run a suffocating man defense that challenges every shot. There are a few ways to exploit them. First, they are a poor defensive rebounding team, especially if they go small or Bowden is in for Schofield. Second, Williams & Schofield can be foul-prone. In 4 of their 9 losses last season, both players had 4+ fouls, & at least one of them had 4+ fouls in 8 of their 9 losses. Going after those two definitely makes beating Tennessee easier.

The biggest question for this year is how this team will handle expectations. While there were none last year, this team will be one of the SEC favorites and expected to be a factor nationally. Their schedule is designed accordingly, with games against Gonzaga, West Virginia, & Memphis highlighting the schedule. If this team is healthy,another SEC title challenge & high NCAA seed should both be realistic goals.

Marquette Connection: One thing Buzz Williams' teams in 2011, 2012, and 2013 were lacking was an inside enforcer. Someone who could defend physically & clean up the boards. Someone like Jeronne Maymon. Before transferring to Tennessee in the middle of his freshman year, Maymon began his college career at Marquette. His father was known as a helicopter parent & was insistent than his 6'7", 250-lb son play point guard. When Buzz wouldn't relent, Maymon left for the Volunteers...to play power forward. Who knows how it would've worked out had he stayed, but Maymon was a beast inside, averaging over 8 rpg twice as a Volunteer. He never played the point but was the exact type of player that could've helped lift one of Buzz's second weekend teams a little bit further.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Louisville Preview

Louisville Cardinals
November 23, Barclay's Center (Brooklyn, NY)

Coach: Chris Mack (0-0 at Louisville, 215-97 overall)
3-Year RPI Average: 20.3
3-Year kenpom Average: 18.0
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 44
Projected Starters: PG Darius Perry (6'2" So), SG Khwan Fore (6'0" Sr), SF V.J. King (6'6" Jr), PF Jordan Nwora (6'7" So), C Malik Williams (6'11" So)

Quentin Snider & Anas Mahmoud graduated, Ray Spalding & Deng Adel left early to start pro careers, & new coach Chris Mack has an incredibly depleted roster. V.J. King is the most prolific returning player, having averaged 8.6 ppg/3.3 rpg last year. No one else played more than 16 mpg.
After missing out on numerous grad transfer options, including Marquette's own Joseph Chartouny, Mack was able to flip Richmond grad transfer Khwan Fore from Tennessee to the Cardinals. Even still, their roster is undersized, untested, & less talented than the Louisville faithful are accustomed to.

Frankly, this team has far more questions than answers. Who will be the go-to scorer? What style will Mack go with? What are reasonable expectations?

My guess for the first question is Nwora with help from King & Perry. Nwora took the highest percentage of shots while on the floor of all returning players, he's the best three-point shooter on the team, & he can get to the line.

For years, Louisville was known for their suffocating press that threw waves of players at opponents. With a depleted roster, expect Mack to slow it down, as he did when Xavier first transitioned to the Big East & again when Edmond Sumner went down with injury two years ago. On defense, Mack's teams generally close out quick and hit the boards hard. I expect they will probably mix some zone in because they don't have a ton of big depth inside.

When Mack took over, most experts had Louisville as a top-25 team & solidly in the tournament. Spalding & Adel were legitimate all-conference type players & losing them without adequate replacements will likely mean a long season in Louisville. I think the T-Rank score is overoptimistic & it will probably take a couple years for Mack to rebuild this into a tournament team. This was a NIT team last year that lost arguably their four best players. If Marquette runs into them in Brooklyn, anything less than a relatively comfortable win would be disappointing.

Marquette Connection: It's hard to pick one, but one game that really stands out was the Buzz Williams "Walk it Out" game in 2010. Coming off a run of 8 wins in 9 games, including 3 straight road overtime victories, Marquette was closing in on securing a NCAA berth after starting just 11-8 and 2-5 in Big East play. Lazar Hayward took an open three that rimmed out, but Darius Johnson-Odom launched himself above the Louisville bigs & threw down a vicious rebound dunk. On the sidelines, Buzz did the "Walk it Out" dance to the delight of players & fans alike. That win secured a 20-win season & even the most skeptical Marquette fans knew that Buzz wasn't the only one that would be Dancing. For a great look at the history of the rivalry, check out Card Chronicle's Ten Most Memorable Louisville vs Marquette Games.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Kansas Preview

Kansas Jayhawks
November 21, Barclay's Center (Brooklyn, NY)

Coach: Bill Self (447-96 at Kansas, 654-201 overall)
3-Year RPI Average: 3.0
3-Year kenpom Average: 6.0
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 1
Projected Starters: PG Charlie Moore (5'11" So), SG Quentin Grimes (6'5" Fr), SF Lagerald Vick (6'5" Sr), PF Dedric Lawson (6'9" Jr), C Udoka Azubuike (7'0" Jr)

The Jayhawks have a good chance to come into this game ranked #1. They have won 14 straight Big 12 titles & are coming off a Final Four appearance. Most experts expect them to be better this upcoming season.

Their starting lineup blends experience with newcomers. Vick & Azubuike tested the draft waters before returning to school. Moore & Lawson are highly regarded transfers. Lawson is already getting consideration as a preseason All-American & National Player of the Year candidate. Then there is Grimes, an expected one-and-done lottery pick. The bench is nearly as impressive with a mix of proven D1 competitors (Silvio De Sousa & KJ Lawson) & highly-regarded freshmen (Devon Dotson & David McCormack).

Self's mantra is that the easiest shot is a layup. For years, that led to an offense that focused on attacking the rim & a defense that was designed to contest shots & limit 2PFG%. While Kansas did focus more on threes the past 3 years, sharpshooters Frank Mason, Devonte Graham, Svi Mykhailuk, & Malik Newman are now gone. Expect Kansas' three-point shooting to come back down to earth (they were top-10 each of the past 3 years) & the focus to go back to getting angles to score points at the rim. The defense never really changed their approach, so contesting shots & limiting interior opportunities will still be the plan.

On paper, Kansas is the toughest opponent on Marquette's schedule a national championship favorite. Despite Kansas' lofty rankings, if Marquette is hot from three, a team that focuses on stopping twos plays to their advantage. Further, there are a lot of new pieces trying to fit together on this Jayhawk roster & while they will almost certainly win the Big 12, they will likely be more vulnerable in November than March. Finally, while the game is in New York, it isn't in the Marquette house of horrors that is Madison Square Garden. Marquette will be underdogs for certain, but I'm saying there's a chance. Of course, if Marquette's 2PFG% defense hasn't improved, all the chances in the world may not matter.

Marquette Connection: The last time these two teams faced off was in 2003. Marquette came into the Final Four fresh off a victory over #1 Kentucky on the back of Dwyane Wade's triple-double. The Jayhawks proceeded to absolutely decimate Marquette, walking out with a 94-61 victory that frankly wasn't as close as the final score indicated. For months, Marquette fans woke up in cold sweats seeing visions of Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich torching nets in their heads. For fans too young to remember, missing out on Quentin Grimes wasn't the first time Marquette suffered a disappointing loss to Kansas.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Presbyterian Preview

Presbyterian Blue Hose
November 17, fiserv.forum

Coach: Dustin Kerns (11-21 at Presbyterian)
3-Year RPI Average: 326.3
3-Year kenpom Average: 337.3
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 289
Projected Starters: PG Davon Bell (5'10" Sr), SG Romeo Crouch (6'3" So), SF J.C. Younger (6'4" Jr), PF Francois Lewis (6'9" Sr), C Armel TeTe (6'9" Jr)

The Blue Hose lost leading scorer Reggie Dillard but should have the rest of their starting lineup back with PG Davon Bell getting a waiver after only playing 7 games his junior year. The big question will be if Lewis & TeTe can play together. When Lewis was found academically ineligible, TeTe stepped in & took the majority of the minutes in the middle.

The good news is that before Lewis was suspended, Presbyterian was a decent 5-8 in D1 games. That includes a win over NCAA-bound UNC-Greensboro, a halftime lead at NC State, & being tied at Virginia Tech with under 9 minutes to play. Then Lewis went out & the Blue Hose finished the season 3-13. Coach Kerns will hope that a full season of Lewis along with a more experienced roster will help them be more competitive. Lewis is a high-usage, high-efficiency player that is a beast on the boards.

The consensus is Presbyterian is a bad team. They were poor on both ends this past year, haven't been a top-325 kenpom team in 7 years, & have never been a top-250 kenpom team. And yet...I think they could be pretty good. The first thing that gives me hope is Lewis, who has a bit of a 2012 Kyle O'Quinn type feel to him. He's got size & conference POY upside. And while their numbers weren't pretty last year, they were competitive with some good teams. They gave NC State & Virginia Tech hell, beat a good Greensboro team, & even after Lewis was injured took NCAA-bound Radford to overtime on the road. Having Bell & Lewis back is huge for this team & while they will certainly have more skeptics than believers, I think Presbyterian will have their best ever kenpom team & have a good chance to make some noise in the Big South.

Stylistically, they are going to play slow. The Blue Hose were 3-9 in games of 65 or more possessions, and the best of those 3 wins was #340 Longwood. Against Virginia Tech, they focused on getting the shot clock under 10 then looking for the best shot. They get the bulk of their points beyond the arc & do have some shooters, so expect them to slow the pace & hope to equalize the talent disparity with the long ball. Lewis really is the key to their team. Once he went down, they allowed 1.15 or worse defensive efficiency in over 60% of their remaining games and went 0-10 in those games.

Marquette Connection: This game will be a homecoming of sorts for Montenia Lewis. The Presbyterian guard played his high school ball less than 40 miles due south of the fiserv.forum at Kenosha Bradford. Lewis led the Red Devils with 12.9 ppg as a senior.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Indiana Preview

Indiana Hoosiers
November 14, Assembly Hall (Bloomington, IN)

Coach: Archie Miller (16-15 at Indiana, 155-78 overall)
3-Year RPI Average: 74.3
3-Year kenpom Average: 42.0
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 23
Projected Starters: PG Devonte Green (6'3" Jr), SG Romeo Langford (6'5" Fr), SF Justin Smith (6'6" So), PF Juwan Morgan (6'7" Sr), C De'Ron Davis (6'10" Jr)

The Hoosiers got two huge boosts this past Spring. First, 5-star stud Romeo Langford committed. Then Juwan Morgan withdrew from the NBA Draft. That combination should give the Hoosiers one of the most effective inside-outside duos in the Big 10. Beyond that, the Hoosiers have depth. They have five other returning players that averaged 15+ mpg as well as five freshmen (including redshirt Race Thompson) that were rated 4-star by at least one of the major services.

While Carsen Edwards & Ethan Happ will likely get the preseason press, don't rule out Morgan in the Big 10 when it comes to postseason accolades. He thrived in Miller's system and is a hyper-efficient interior player. He makes up for his deficits from three & at the line by making 63.0% of his 2PFGs. Putting Langford alongside him gives Miller an elite scorer who is the prohibitive favorite for Big 10 freshman of the year. He will likely be a one-and-done & appears to be a surefire lottery pick at this point.

At Dayton, Miller's teams made their living by attacking the interior on offense. Guys like Scoochie Smith, Kendall Pollard, and Charles Cooke went inside & got to the line. It's no surprise that Juwan Morgan was able to do the same for Miller last year. Defensively, Miller's Dayton teams altered shots & generally limited opponents to one shot...eventually. It wasn't until years 3-4 when he finally got the results he wanted. Losing his starting backcourt from last year could mean it takes some time for Indiana to get it figured out. I'm glad MU sees them early in the season.

It's hard to know what to expect from IU this year. While Michigan State looks like the Big 10 favorite, the Hoosiers are one of 11 teams ranked from 20-52 by T-Rank. On the surface, the combination of a player that can take over a game in Morgan, a secondary stud in Langford, & a deep roster looks like the recipe for a NCAA berth & possible run. But numerous Big 10 teams have a similar composition & it's hard to see more than 6-7 earning NCAA bids as the league has never placed more than 7 teams in the field.

Indiana should be a Quadrant 1 game for Marquette & this is a solid RPI/SOS opponent win or lose. They have a good chance to compete for a NCAA berth, though considering how wide open the Big 10 is, anything from a 4-seed to fingernail chomping on the bubble seems like a perfectly fair expectation.

Marquette Connection: New Marquette Assistant Coach Dwayne Killings started his college career at Massachusetts. He began as a ballboy, then walked on & played for two years under Bruiser Flint. Flint is now an assistant on Miller's Indiana staff. Killings spoke of Flint when he first arrived in Milwaukee, telling Ben Steele of the Journal-Sentinel Flint "became like a second father figure to me & a huge mentor to me in this business." 18 years after both men left UMass, they will be reunited as opposing assistants on the sidelines. (You thought it was going to be Crean, didn't you? Admit it, you totally thought it was Crean. Hell, even I thought it was going to be Crean.)

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Bethune-Cookman Preview

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats
November 10, fiserv.forum

Coach: Ryan Ridder (16-14 record at Bethune-Cookman)
3-Year RPI Average: 308.3
3-Year kenpom Average: 311.3
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 332
Projected Starters: PG Malik Maitland (5'9" Sr), SG Houston Smith (6'4" Jr), SF Isaiah Bailey (6'6 Sr), PF Soufiyane Diakite (6'6" Sr), C Shawntrez Davis (6'9" Sr)

EDIT: Bethune-Cookman's official roster has been released. Leading rebounder Soufiyane Diakite was granted a fifth season, JucoRecruiting.com #48 Mark Gordon joins the team & will push for a starting spot, & they added grad transfer Dondre Duffus from Southeast Missouri State who likely won't play much but provides depth.

Bethune-Cookman is a NIT Tip-Off campus game. The Wildcats lost leading scorer Brandon Tabb, but return five guys that played starter minutes as well as Pope, who led all NJCAA D1 players in rebounding in 2016-17. The stars will be Bailey, Davis, & Diakite. Bailey is a do-everything forward that averaged 16.1 ppg/5.3 rpg/4.8 apg & came within 1 rebound of back-to-back triple-doubles in February. Davis posted 13 double-doubles & is a force inside. Diakite nearly averaged a double-double, posting 10.5 ppg/9.8 rpg. Armani Collins, Mark Gordon, & Cletrell Pope gives them a solid bench rotation.

Coach Ryan Ridder led the Wildcats to their first winning D1 record since 2011. They did that by playing fast. Bethune-Cookman's 76.0 average possessions per game was 3rd in D1. As a comparison, Marquette only reached 76 possessions in 4 of their 35 games last year, & one of those was in overtime. Not surprisingly for a team that is always on the attack, Bethune-Cookman makes their living at the line. Bailey, Davis, & Diakite are excellent at attacking inside & getting to the line. Defensively, Bethune-Cookman gets after their opponents. They play a high-pressure style that limits good looks and works to create turnovers.

Looking at the T-Rank projections for other NIT Tip-Off opponents it's easy to feel disappointed by Bethune-Cookman. For instance, Kansas will play T-Rank #125 Louisiana-Lafayette & #138 Vermont. While the Wildcats will likely be a Quadrant 4 game, they also are a strong contender to win their league. This isn't as bad as #332 ranked team initially projected.

Bethune-Cookman brings back nearly everyone to a team that shared the regular season conference title. They will likely finish with a solid record & have a good chance to be playing games after the MEAC Tournament is done. They did also have their highest RPI & kenpom rankings (288 in both) in the past 3 years & if someone can replace Tabb's scoring, they should be in the mix at the top of the league.

Marquette Connection: The Wildcats have only played Marquette once before. It was an 89-53 victory for Kevin O'Neill's team in December of 1991. That season marked the beginning of O'Neill's turnaround at Marquette, & while the Warriors did not enter postseason play that year, they would go on to a pair of 20-win seasons with NCAA appearances both years.

Friday, August 17, 2018

UMBC Preview

Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers
November 6, fiserv.forum

Coach: Ryan Odom (46-24 record at UMBC)
3-Year RPI Average: 204.7
3-Year kenpom Average: 233.7
2018-19 T-Rank Projection: 242
Projected Starters: PG Kaelin Jackson (6'2" Jr), SG Arkel Lamar (6'5" Jr), SF Joe Sherburne (6'6" Sr), PF Daniel Akin (6'9" So), C Nolan Gerrity (6'10" Sr)

First off, the backcourt duo of Jairus Lyles & KJ Maura that led the Retrievers to the stunning first-ever 16-over-1 upset of Virginia last year has graduated. That has led T-Rank to drop them 70 spots from last year in preseason projections, but there's still a lot to like about Marquette's 2018-19 season opening opponent. First, they return two of the top four scorers from last year's team, Lamar & Whitefish Bay native Sherburne. They also have depth up front. Akin seems likely to start, but along with Gerrity there are a pair of other bigs with experience to help man the frontcourt.

The biggest question mark is at the point, where JUCO transfer Jackson seems like the favorite to start ahead of a transfer (see below) & a pair of 2-star freshmen. Jackson was an all-conference player at Temple College where he put up over 25 ppg & 4 apg. If Jackson can fit in seamlessly, UMBC will likely outperform their preseason predictions.

As far as style of play, we got a good look at it in the NCAA Tournament. The Retrievers like to play fast, create turnovers, & shoot threes. Sherburne & Lamar both shot over 40% from deep last year & should be the top two offensive options. If their big man rotation isn't working, don't be surprised to see UMBC go small. Lamar could man the middle in stretches. He's well-built for 6'5" & hits the glass hard.

One thing that stands out is Odom's success. His gaudy record & win over Virginia aren't the only things to hang his hat on. In his first season at UMBC, he improved their season-opening rating in Pomeroy from 311 to 201. Last year, they improved from 207 to 166. The RPI & kenpom averages above are severely dragged down by the last season of Aki Thomas; Odom's respective 2-year numbers are 138.0 & 183.5, respectively. While the Retrievers are projected by T-Rank to be 243rd in the country, they are predicted to be 3rd in their own conference, which means even a down season from Odom's first two should result in a solid opponent for RPI purposes.

Marquette Connection: One surprising name on the UMBC roster is PG Ricky Council II. The North Carolina native picked Providence over Steve Wojciechowski & Marquette in 2015. Council struggled to crack the roster with the Friars & sat out last season as a transfer. He was a scoring machine who shot 45% from three as a prep senior. If Council settles into the low-major level, he could be a quality pickup that helps UMBC's already impressive three-point shooting while challenging Jackson & Lamar for minutes in the backcourt.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Links to all 351 Athletic Departments and/or Roster

While we've been focused on baseball this summer, we continue to update the Value Add Basketball projections for college players and provide the google doc here. While there are not huge fluctuations during the summer, we did put a good number of hours into establishing contact with someone in many of the athletic departments, and while we do not want to publish the key contacts phone number and email, below we printed the specific link we found most helpful in trying to get updates on rosters.

In some cases, it is a link to the roster itself, but in other cases, it is the staff link. We also added a team line to the google doc, and while we received many updates we do still have cases in which we list a link to an updated roster, but have not actually gone through to match player by player. Yes, you can google, but we found keeping this list more helpful in going right back to the most helpful page.

We do also list the updated Value Add ranking and where that puts each team nationally and within their conference. However, there are only small fluctuations from last time so Marquette sits at 16th, not nearly as high as the No. 4 ranking ESPN's BPI calculates, so we will root for that one to be the most accurate.

Row LabelsValue AddNatlConfConf RnkBest Link
Mississippi St.48.44SEC1http://hailstate.com/sports/2016/2/29/925379.aspx
North Carolina St.43.4513ACC2https://gopack.com/staff.aspx
North Carolina43.414ACC3https://goheels.com/news/2014/9/4/209635022.aspx
Michigan St.41.4417B102http://www.msuspartans.com/school-bio/directory.html#m-bball
St. John's41.1818BE3http://www.redstormsports.com/school-bio/stjo-staff.html
Kansas St.38.3423B123http://www.kstatesports.com/sports/2015/6/29/_131476204232270715.aspx
Arizona St.38.0224P123https://thesundevils.com/staff.aspx
Iowa St.36.728B124http://cyclones.com/sports/2015/5/22/staffdirectory.aspx
Virginia Tech35.8833ACC7http://www.hokiesports.com/staff/#Basketball%20(Men's)
Miami FL35.634ACC8https://hurricanesports.com/staff.aspx
San Diego St.33.87839MWC2http://www.goaztecs.com/school-bio/sports-directory.html
Ohio St.32.7842B107http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/staffdir/osu-staffdir.html#m-baskbl
West Virginia31.84245B127https://wvusports.com/staff.aspx
Notre Dame31.61146ACC9http://www.und.com/school-bio/staff-directory-07.html
Western Kentucky31.3347CUSA1https://wkusports.com/staff.aspx
Texas Tech31.0451B128https://texastech.com/staff.aspx
Florida St.30.67854ACC10http://seminoles.com/staff-directory/
Penn St.29.8859B1011http://www.gopsusports.com/administration/staff-directory.html
South Carolina28.6964SEC11http://www.gamecocksonline.com/
Boston College27.8766ACC11http://bceagles.com/staff.aspx
Loyola Chicago26.9671MVC1http://www.loyolaramblers.com/staff.aspx
Georgia St.26.3872SB1http://www.georgiastatesports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=12700&ATCLID=610429
Illinois St.25.9673MVC2http://goredbirds.com/staff.aspx
Ball St.25.6274MAC2https://ballstatesports.com/staff.aspx
Oklahoma St.24.0480B1210https://okstate.com/staff.aspx
Seton Hall23.8582BE10http://shupirates.com/staff.aspx
Utah St.23.783MWC3http://www.utahstateaggies.com/school-bio/ust-directory.html
UC Irvine23.3886BW1https://ucirvinesports.com/staff.aspx
UNC Greensboro23.3188SC2https://www.nmnathletics.com/StaffDirectory.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=32200
Texas A&M23.2589SEC14https://12thman.com/staff.aspx
Northern Iowa23.1890MVC3https://unipanthers.com/staff.aspx
Oregon St.22.8695P127http://osubeavers.com/staff.aspx
Georgia Tech22.796ACC12http://www.ramblinwreck.com/staffdir/geot-staffdir.html#mbb
Stephen F. Austin22.5998Slnd1https://sfajacks.com/staff.aspx
Indiana St.22.11101MVC4https://gosycamores.com/staff.aspx
Wake Forest22.079102ACC13http://www.wakeforestsports.com/school-bio/wake-staff-directory.html
South Alabama21.97103SB2http://www.usajaguars.com/staff.aspx?tab=staffdirectory
North Texas21.81104CUSA2http://www.meangreensports.com/staffdir/ntex-staff-dir.html
UC Davis21.59107BW2http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/staffdir/ucda-staffdir-dev.html
Saint Joseph's21.48109A104http://www.sjuhawks.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=31200&ATCLID=208883421
Wichita St.21.376110Amer7http://goshockers.com/staff.aspx
San Francisco21.34111WCC3https://usfdons.com/staff.aspx
Old Dominion21.29112CUSA3http://www.odusports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=31100&ATCLID=208425419
San Diego20.91115WCC4http://www.usdtoreros.com/staffdir/usd-staffdir.html
Middle Tennessee20.79117CUSA5https://goblueraiders.com/staff.aspx
Jacksonville St.20.54119OVC2https://jsugamecocksports.com/staff.aspx
Cal St. Fullerton20.52120BW3http://www.fullertontitans.com/athletics/directory/index
Rhode Island20.39122A106http://www.gorhody.com/information/directory/index
St. Bonaventure20.118123A107http://gobonnies.sbu.edu/inside_athletics/directory/index
St. Francis PA20.03125NEC1https://sfuathletics.com/staff.aspx
Fresno St.19.99127MWC5http://www.gobulldogs.com/staff.aspx
Southern Illinois19.76130MVC6https://siusalukis.com/staff.aspx
Eastern Michigan19.71131MAC4https://www.emueagles.com/staff.aspx
Boise St.19.69132MWC6http://www.broncosports.com/staffdir/bosu-staffdir.html
Southern Miss19.08135CUSA6http://www.southernmiss.com/staffdir/smis-staffdir.html
South Dakota19.01137Sum1http://www.goyotes.com/staff.aspx
Saint Louis18.62145A109http://www.slubillikens.com/StaffDirectory.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27200#93215
College of Charleston18.61146CAA3https://cofcsports.com/staff.aspx
UC Santa Barbara18.6147BW4http://www.ucsbgauchos.com/information/directory/index
Utah Valley18.58148CUSA7http://gouvu.com/staff.aspx
William & Mary18.33149CAA4http://www.tribeathletics.com/staff.aspx
UNC Wilmington18.14150CAA5http://uncwsports.com/staff.aspx
North Florida17.99152ASun2https://www.unfospreys.com/staff.aspx
Grand Canyon17.99153WAC1https://www.gculopes.com/staff.aspx
Saint Mary's17.85154WCC6http://www.smcgaels.com/school-bio/staff-directory.html
Loyola Marymount17.75158WCC7http://www.lmulions.com/genrel/loyo-staff-directory.html
Eastern Washington17.62159BSky2https://goeags.com/staff.aspx
South Dakota St.17.56161Sum3https://gojacks.com/staff.aspx
Idaho St.17.56162BSky3https://www.isubengals.com/staff.aspx
Northern Colorado17.51163BSky4https://uncbears.com/staff.aspx
Austin Peay17.51164OVC3http://letsgopeay.com/staff.aspx
Murray St.17.44165OVC4http://goracers.com/staff.aspx
Northern Illinois16.92171MAC6https://www.niuhuskies.com/staff.aspx
New Mexico16.883172MWC7https://golobos.com/staff.aspx
George Mason16.82173A1011https://gomason.com/staff.aspx
Kent St.16.5176MAC7https://kentstatesports.com/staff.aspx
Weber St.16.48177BSky5https://weberstatesports.com/sports/2007/9/6/1209221.aspx
James Madison16.47178CAA7https://jmusports.com/staff.aspx
Louisiana Lafayette16.29179SB3https://ragincajuns.com/staff.aspx
Long Beach St.16.17181BW5http://www.longbeachstate.com/school-bio/athletic_staff.html
Northern Kentucky16.06182Horz1https://nkunorse.com/staff.aspx
Central Michigan15.98184MAC8http://www.cmuchippewas.com/school-bio/staff-dir.html
Washington St.15.92186P1212http://wsucougars.com/staff.aspx
Florida Gulf Coast15.69187ASun4https://fgcuathletics.com/staff.aspx
Fort Wayne15.65188Sum4https://www.gomastodons.com/staff.aspx
Fairleigh Dickinson15.63189NEC2https://fduknights.com/staff.aspx
New Mexico St.15.58190WAC2https://nmstatesports.com/staff.aspx
Wright St.15.51191Horz2https://wsuraiders.com/staff.aspx
Saint Peter's15.44192MAAC5http://saintpeterspeacocks.com/information/directory/index
Georgia Southern15.11195SB4https://gseagles.com/staff.aspx
Louisiana Tech15.02196CUSA10http://www.latechsports.com/staffdir/latc-staffdir.html
Texas Southern14.92198SWAC1http://www.tsusports.com/staff.aspx
Tennessee Martin14.72200OVC5http://www.utmsports.com/staff_list.cfm
La Salle14.49201A1012http://www.goexplorers.com/staff.aspx
George Washington14.47202A1013http://www.gwsports.com/school-bio/gewa-school-bio.html
Cal St. Bakersfield14.4203WAC3https://gorunners.com/staff.aspx
Boston University14.38205Pat3http://goterriers.com/staff.aspx
Illinois Chicago14.23207Horz3https://uicflames.com/staff.aspx
Appalachian St.13.39210SB6https://appstatesports.com/staff.aspx
Western Carolina13.26211SC4http://www.catamountsports.com/athletic-dept/wcar-directory.html
Miami OH13.22212MAC10http://www.miamiredhawks.com/school-bio/mioh-staff-directory.html
Charleston Southern13.22213BSth4http://www.csusports.com/information/directory/index
Alabama St.13.22214SWAC2http://bamastatesports.com/staff.aspx
Colorado St.13.2215MWC8http://csurams.com/staff.aspx
Western Michigan12.98218MAC11https://wmubroncos.com/staff.aspx
LIU Brooklyn12.97219NEC3http://www.liuathletics.com/staff.aspx
Coastal Carolina12.43222SB7http://www.goccusports.com/staffdir/coas-staffdir.html
Air Force12.32223MWC9http://www.goairforcefalcons.com/school-bio/afa-staffdir.html#MensBasketball
North Dakota St.12.24225Sum5https://gobison.com/staff.aspx
New Orleans12.14226Slnd2https://www.unoprivateers.com/staff.aspx
Missouri St.11.89228MVC8http://missouristatebears.com/staff.aspx
North Dakota11.82232BSky6http://www.undsports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=13500&ATCLID=3743113
Gardner Webb11.75233BSth6https://gwusports.com/staff.aspx
Bowling Green11.62236MAC12http://bgsufalcons.com/staff.aspx
Southeast Missouri St.11.52238OVC6https://gosoutheast.com/staff.aspx
The Citadel11.52239SC5http://citadelsports.com/staff.aspx
Nebraska Omaha11.42242Sum6https://omavs.com/staff.aspx
Abilene Christian11.18244Slnd4http://www.acusports.com/staff.aspx
Holy Cross11.17245Pat7http://www.goholycross.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=33100&ATCLID=210240446
Eastern Kentucky11.17246OVC7https://www.ekusports.com/staff.aspx
Loyola MD11.09248Pat8http://www.loyolagreyhounds.com/staffdir/staff-directory.html
Montana St.11.04249BSky7https://msubobcats.com/staff.aspx
Oral Roberts10.93250Sum7http://www.oruathletics.com/information/directory/index
Stony Brook10.89251AE4https://stonybrookathletics.com/staff.aspx
Louisiana Monroe10.61256SB8https://ulmwarhawks.com/staff.aspx
Santa Clara10.6257WCC9http://www.santaclarabroncos.com/information/directory/index
Incarnate Word10.36258Slnd5https://uiwcardinals.com/staff.aspx
Texas St.10.29259SB9https://txstatebobcats.com/sports/2011/4/6/GEN_0406111344.aspx
UC Riverside10.26261BW7gohighlanders.com/staff.aspx?staff=42
Sacramento St.10.05263BSky8http://www.hornetsports.com/information/directory/index
Green Bay9.9264Horz4https://greenbayphoenix.com/staff.aspx
Robert Morris9.84265NEC5https://rmucolonials.com/staff.aspx
South Florida9.71266Amer11https://gousfbulls.com/staff.aspx
Portland St.9.54269BSky9https://www.goviks.com/staff.aspx
Central Arkansas9.49271Slnd6http://www.ucasports.com/staff.aspx
Tennessee St.9.48272OVC8http://www.tsutigers.com/athletics/staff/
St. Francis NY9.44273NEC6https://sfcathletics.com/staff.aspx
UMass Lowell9.16275AE6http://goriverhawks.com/sorry.ashx
Florida Atlantic9.1277CUSA13http://www.fausports.com/school-bio/fau-school-bio-directory.html
Central Connecticut9.07278NEC7http://www.ccsubluedevils.com/athletics/directory/index
East Carolina9.06279Amer12https://ecupirates.com/staff.aspx
Houston Baptist9.05280Slnd7https://hbuhuskies.com/staff.aspx
Sam Houston St.9.04281Slnd8http://www.gobearkats.com/StaffDirectory.dbml
Tennessee Tech8.99282OVC9http://www.ttusports.com/information/directory/index
Delaware St.8.88283MEAC3http://www.dsuhornets.com/StaffDirectory.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=12900
Northern Arizona8.86284BSky10https://nauathletics.com/staff.aspx
Arkansas Pine Bluff8.85285SWAC3https://uapblionsroar.com/staff.aspx
East Tennessee St.8.84286SC7http://www.etsubucs.com/athletics/staff/
Little Rock8.8287SB10https://lrtrojans.com/staff.aspx
Southern Utah8.75288BSky11https://suutbirds.com/staff.aspx
UNC Asheville8.68290BSth7https://uncabulldogs.com/staff.aspx
Maryland Eastern Shore8.6291MEAC4http://www.easternshorehawks.com/staffdir/mdes-staffdir.html
UT Rio Grande Valley8.48294WAC6https://goutrgv.com/staff.aspx
Florida A&M8.47295MEAC5http://www.famuathletics.com/StaffDirectory.dbml
Western Illinois8.38296Sum8http://goleathernecks.com/staff.aspx
North Carolina Central8.35297MEAC6https://nccueaglepride.com/staff.aspx
Arkansas St.8.21299SB11http://www.astateredwolves.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=7200&ATCLID=207138
Morehead St.8.18300OVC10https://msueagles.com/staff.aspx
New Hampshire8.08301AE7http://unhwildcats.com/staff.aspx
Bethune Cookman7.98302MEAC7https://bcuathletics.com/staff.aspx
Alcorn St.7.98303SWAC4https://alcornsports.com/staff.aspx
Texas A&M Corpus Chris7.85305Slnd9https://goislanders.com/staff.aspx
Cleveland St.7.67307Horz7http://www.csuvikings.com/information/directory/home
Youngstown St.7.48309Horz8http://www.ysusports.com/information/directory/index
High Point7.38310BSth8http://highpointpanthers.com/staff.aspx?tab=staffdirectory
Northwestern St.7.19313Slnd10http://www.nsudemons.com/staff.aspx
Prairie View A&M7.18314SWAC5https://pvpanthers.com/staff.aspx
Alabama A&M6.98317SWAC6https://www.aamusports.com/staff.aspx?tab=staffdirectory
Jackson St.6.71320SWAC7https://www.gojsutigers.com/staff-directory/
South Carolina St.6.32324MEAC8https://www.scsuathletics.com/staff.aspx
North Carolina A&T6.26326MEAC9http://www.ncataggies.com/StaffDirectory.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=24500
Cal Poly6.24327BW8https://www.gopoly.com/inside_athletics/staff_directory
McNeese St.6.12328Slnd11http://www.mcneesesports.com/staff.aspx?tab=staffdirectory
Chicago St.6.11329WAC7http://www.gocsucougars.com/staff.aspx
Norfolk St.6.06330MEAC10https://www.nsuspartans.com/staff.aspx
Sacred Heart6.04331NEC9http://www.sacredheartpioneers.com/information/directory/index
San Jose St.5.76332MWC11http://www.sjsuspartans.com/staffdir/sjsu-staffdir.html
Savannah St.5.58334MEAC11https://ssuathletics.com/staff.aspx
Eastern Illinois5.51335OVC11https://eiupanthers.com/staff.aspx
Mississippi Valley St.5.4336SWAC9https://mvsusports.com/staff.aspx
Cal St. Northridge5.31337BW9gomatadors.com/staff.aspx
Morgan St.5.31338MEAC12https://morganstatebears.com/staff.aspx
SIU Edwardsville4.73341OVC12http://www.siuecougars.com/directory/index
Coppin St.4.67342MEAC13http://coppinstatesports.com/staff.aspx
USC Upstate4.62343ASun7http://www.upstatespartans.com/information/directory/index
Grambling St.4.58344SWAC10https://gsutigers.com/staff.aspx
Kennesaw St.4.3346ASun8https://www.ksuowls.com/staff.aspx
UT Arlington3.86347SB12http://www.utamavs.com/staffdir/txar-staffdir.html
Mount St. Mary's3.43349NEC10http://www.mountathletics.com/information/directory/index
Nicholls St.3.41350Slnd12https://geauxcolonels.com/staff.aspx?path=gen
Southeastern Louisiana1.65351Slnd13https://lionsports.net/staff.aspx

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A classic mid off-season pod from Scrambled Eggs

We've been taking time off this summer to do nothing but improve the quality of the podcast.....clearly I'm kidding, we've been doing whatever and got together to talk #mubb during the off season. So we turned to you dear listener for content and got some excellent questions from the twitter.com. We answer some key questions vexing the fanbase like did the team overschedule and who is going to be the unanticipated breakout player next season. We touch on recruiting a little bit and then wrap up with some hot TBT talk. Have a great Fourth of July and enjoy the TBT!

Download this episode (right click and save)

After feedback from 100+ Athletic Departments, Here Are the Updated Ratings

One fear in the offseason Value Add team rankings is that Big East teams would rate too high because the MUScoop community does an even better job of pointing out missing players from our teams than from others. 

To that end, my secret weapon Molly Pudner, a data and information whiz, contacted all 351 D1 basketball Athletic Departments this month and received updates from more than 100 regarding their rosters. These are now all reflected in the google sheet, and hopefully will soon be current on www.valueaddbasketball.com. Molly (who also did my big data projects in my campaign days and whose brother did all the research for my Marquette book before going on to program cell towers across the country) also picked up on some things I had missed - such as Jay Bilas excellent rating of the best on-ball defenders (see subhead The Bilastrator's 30 best in-your-grill defenders). On-ball defense is the biggest item that Value Add cannot end, Ever since I watched Dominic Wright (then Dominic James) play lock down in your grill defense to force what registered as steals for other MU players I wished their was a way to get a separate evaluation of on-ball defense - so maybe I will do something with it.

The good news is that even with a ton of updates that moved some other teams around, the Big East teams were only passed by a few other teams. In fact, one non-Big East Athletic Director pointed out a transfer to Butler that we did not have in the system which help Butler right on the bubble at 51st. (like many of you, I actually was able to focus more on baseball the last few weeks while Molly collected the data, and had two baseball preview posts reach 80,000+ https://www.facebook.com/valueaddsports/)

Here are the updated team rankings, and neither St. John's or Marquette changed since the June 8 update, with St. John's maintaining the smallest edge of 0.12 points for the 2nd place in the Big East. Here are all the Big East teams and the Top 50.

RankTeamValue AddBig East Changes
11Villanova38.51Same spot
23St. John's33.25dropped 1 spot
24Marquette33.13dropped 1 spot
29Providence32.44Dropped 2 spots
51Butler27.6Same spot
67Xavier24.57Dropped 2 spots
73Georgetown23.11Dropped 2 spots
81Creighton22.35dropped 4 spots
94DePaul21.15dropped 4 spots
103Seton Hall20.36dropped 6 spots
7North Carolina40.31
8Mississippi St.40.05
15Miami FL35.60
16South Dakota St.35.12
17North Carolina St.35.07
21Michigan St.33.63
22Virginia Tech33.49
30Kansas St.32.39
31Arizona St.32.1
33San Diego St.31.84
38Iowa St.29.83
42Notre Dame29.38
44Western Kentucky29.22
45Texas Tech29.21
46Ohio St.28.95
48West Virginia28.29
49Florida St.28.25
50Penn St.28.22