"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

Sunday, March 15, 2009

MU got a good draw vs. Utah State & Missouri based on the 3-NBA star rule

Rob will follow-up with a more comprehensive statistical analysis soon, but here is an initial check on how MU matches up this weekend based on the NBA talent on both opponents' rosters.

On this basis, Marquette's talent ranks as the 16th most suited to make a run, while Utah State and Missouri are two of 35 teams that do NOT have at least three players being even considered by the NBA at this point. Marquette is one of only 18 teams in the tournament with at least two players projected to go in the draft this year or next (Jerel McNeal now projected 32nd pick and Wes Matthews 48th), as well as a 3rd player with a shot to picked (Lazar is ranked just outside next year’s draft as the 48th best prospect among juniors according to www.nbadraft.net).

Utah State (Friday in Boise) actually is one of the teams with ZERO players being even considered by the NBA at this point, while Missouri (Sunday if we win 1st round) has one projected NBA pick (6-foot9 forward Leo Lyons, picked to go after both Jerel and Wes at 55th this year) and one other player in the same spot as Lazar, as just outside the draft (DeMarre Carroll picked as the 43rd best senior).

Obviously two big forwards can provide a match-up problem, and Utah will have a huge home advantage, but as far as the history of teams needing 3 players ready to be drafted by the NBA within a year, Marquette got a good bracket.

History proves, it usually takes 3 NBA stars for a run

As I pointed out in a blog on March 3 (http://www.crackedsidewalks.com/2009/03/lazar-needs-to-be-3rd-star-for-elite.html), one of the best predictors of NCAA tournament success is the number of players on a team that will be drafted by the NBA this year or next. In the last 8 years, 67% of teams with MORE THAN three players who will be drafted this year or next make the Final Four (only UConn and UNC have more than three this year). Of teams with exactly 3 such players, 35% make the Final Four, and only 3% of teams with two such players make it. Marquette is one of 19 teams that legitimately could have three draftees based on www.nbadraft.net.

Of course, Al McGuire said you need 3 1/2 stars, and is there any doubt at this point that Jimmy Butler doesn't qualify as at least a half star? Memphis John Calipari just backed up the 3-star theory on CBS by saying, "We lost 3 pro players last year. To be where we are, we must have 3 pro players on this team."

Note that two of the top 8 teams under this system, Ohio State and USC, didn’t even look like they’d make the tourney when I wrote the March 3 column (USC was 7-9 in the Pac 10 and had lost 6 of last 7 at the time, while Ohio State was 8-8 in the Big 10 and had lost 4 of their last 5). However, both shocked everyone as USC won the Pac 10 tourney and OSU whipped Michigan State in Big 10 semis and fell just short in the title game – more evidence that future NBA draftees is a key indicator of the ability to win come tournament time.

How does Buzz’s coaching philosophy play into the “3-star” theory

For years the great Dean Smith played 10 deep to dominate regular seasons, but usually came up short come tournament time as teams that relied on more minutes from key stars were more suited to win come tournament time. What does this say about Buzz’s practice this season of playing Jerel, Wes and Lazar almost 40 minutes a game?

Critics may worry that he wore down our stars by not resting them. However, it may be that Buzz was conditioning Jerel, Wes and Lazar how you play when you are tired. How many other teams have three stars that are used to coming up with big plays after being on the court for 38 or 39 minutes? With all the rest before the opening round, and then another day before the second round game, it could prove that Buzz has been preparing three future NBA players better than anyone other coach for the NCAA tourney experience.

No question, championshipsmatter and chicosbailbonds have made good contrary observations – that a team with one of these stars at point guard and/or center might be better suited to a run, but purely playing the percentages, Marquette is one of the 18 teams who could have enough talent to be playing a second weekend.

What 31 teams have the best shot to advance based purely on NBA talent?

Obviously balance this list against overall rankings, but based PURELY on the 3-star rule, these are the 31 teams with three or more players that could go in the NBA draft this year or next. The following is how they would rank based on how many, and how high they are expected to go in the draft: 1) UConn, 2) North Carolina, 3) Wake Forest, 4) Ohio State, 5) USC, 6) LSU, 7) West Virginia , 8) Oklahoma, 9) Duke, 10) Louisville, 11) Pittsburgh, 12) Texas, 13) UCLA, 14) Tennessee, 15) Marquette, 16) Gonzaga, 17) Kansas, 18) Syracuse, 19) Villanova, 20) Boston College, 21) St. Mary's, 22) Memphis, 23) Oklahoma State, 24) Miami, 25) Michigan St., 26) California, 27) Texas A&M, 28) Florida St., 29) Washington and 30) Purdue.

The 35 other teams in the tournament do not have three players even being considered for the NBA draft.

Teams with more than 3 projected NBA draftees (87% make Elite 8):
1. UConn has 6 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 7: Hasheem Thabeet 7-3 265 C UConn Jr. (No. 2 of 2009 Draft), AJ Price 6-2 190 PG UConn Sr. (No. 17 of 2009 Draft), Jeff Adrien 6-7 245 PF UConn Sr. (No. 34 of 2009 Draft), Kemba Walker 5-11 172 PG UConn Fr. (No. 12 of 2010 Draft), Stanley Robinson 6-8 220 SF UConn Jr. (No. 35 of 2010 Draft), Jerome Dyson (INJ) 6-3 180 SG UConn Jr. (No. 49 of 2010 Draft), Gavin Edwards 6-9 230 PF UConn Jr. (Honorable Mention of Jr.).
2. North Carolina has 6 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 7: Ty Lawson 6-0 195 PG North Carolina Jr. (No. 23 of 2009 Draft). Tyler Hansbrough 6-8 245 PF North Carolina Sr. (No. 25 of 2009 Draft). Danny Green 6-6 210 SF North Carolina Sr. (No. 42 of 2009 Draft). Ed Davis 6-9 225 PF North Carolina Fr. (No. 8 of 2010 Draft). Wayne Ellington 6-5 194 SG North Carolina Jr. (No. 28 of 2010 Draft). Deon Thompson 6-8 240 PF North Carolina Jr. (No. 40 of 2010 Draft). Larry Drew 6-0 160 PG North Carolina Fr. (Honorable Mention of Fr).
Teams with exactly 3 projected NBA Draftees (47% chance of Elite 8)
3. Arizona has 3 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 4: Jordan Hill 6-10 235 PF Arizona Jr. (No. 3 of 2009 Draft). Chase Budinger 6-7 218 SG/SF Arizona Jr. (No. 16 of 2009 Draft). Nic Wise 5-10 177 PG Arizona Jr. (No. 52 of 2010 Draft). Jamelle Horne 6-7 210 SF Arizona So. (No. 48 of So).
4. Wake Forest has 3 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 6: Jeff Teague 6-2 175 PG Wake Forest So. (No. 6 of 2009 Draft). Al-Farouq Aminu 6-9 215 SF Wake Forest Fr. (No. 11 of 2009 Draft). James Johnson 6-8 235 SF Wake Forest So. (No. 18 of 2009 Draft). LD Williams 6-4 210 SG/SF Wake Forest Jr. (Honorable Mention of Jr.). Tony Woods 6-10 240 C Wake Forest Fr. (No. 7 of Fr). Ty Walker 7-0 220 C Wake Forest Fr. (No. 28 of Fr).
5. Ohio State has 3 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 7: BJ Mullens 7-0 275 C Ohio State Fr. (No. 12 of 2009 Draft). Evan Turner 6-6 200 SG Ohio State So. (No. 14 of 2010 Draft). William Buford 6-5 190 SG Ohio State Fr. (No. 24 of 2010 Draft). David Lighty 6-6 220 SG Ohio State Jr. (No. 49 of Jr.). Dallas Lauderdale 6-8 250 PF Ohio State So. (No. 33 of So). Jon Diebler 6-6 200 SG Ohio State So. (No. 49 of So). Anthony Crater 6-1 165 PG Ohio State Fr. (Honorable Mention of Fr).
6. USC has 3 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 4: Demar DeRozan 6-6 210 SG USC Fr. (No. 7 of 2009 Draft). Taj Gibson 6-9 225 PF USC Jr. (No. 37 of 2009 Draft). Daniel Hackett 6-5 205 PG/SG USC Jr. (No. 60 of 2010 Draft). Dwight Lewis 6-5 215 SG USC Jr. (No. 40 of Jr.).
7. LSU has 3 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 3: Marcus Thornton 6-4 210 SG LSU Sr. (No. 46 of 2009 Draft). Chris Johnson 6-11 205 PF/C LSU Sr. (No. 57 of 2009 Draft). Tasmin Mitchell 6-7 230 SF LSU Jr. (No. 48 of 2010 Draft).
8. West Virginia has 3 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 4: Alex Ruoff 6-6 220 SG West Virginia Sr. (No. 59 of 2009 Draft). Devin Ebanks 6-8 185 SF West Virginia Fr. (No. 19 of 2010 Draft). DaSean Butler 6-7 225 SF West Virginia Jr. (No. 42 of 2010 Draft). Kevin Jones 6-8 220 SF West Virginia Fr. (Honorable Mention of Fr).
Teams with 2 projected NBA draftees, and a 3rd that could be drafted:
9. Oklahoma has 2 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 5: Blake Griffin 6-10 252 PF Oklahoma So. (No. 1 of 2009 Draft). Willie Warren 6-3 207 PG/SG Oklahoma Fr. (No. 15 of 2009 Draft). Taylor Griffin 6-7 238 SF/PF Oklahoma Sr. (Honorable Mention of Sr). Tony Crocker 6-6 193 SG Oklahoma Jr. (Honorable Mention of Jr.). Ryan Wright 6-9 240 PF Oklahoma Jr. (Honorable Mention of Jr.).
10. Duke has 2 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 6: Gerald Henderson 6-4 210 SG Duke Jr. (No. 7 of 2009 Draft). Kyle Singler 6-8 220 SF Duke So. (No. 21 of 2010 Draft). Lance Thomas 6-8 215 SF/PF Duke Jr. (Honorable Mention of Jr.). Nolan Smith 6-3 180 PG/SG Duke So. (No. 14 of So). Elliot Williams 6-4 175 SG Duke Fr. (No. 27 of Fr). Olek Czyz 6-7 235 SF Duke Fr. (Honorable Mention of Fr).
11. Louisville has 2 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 5: Earl Clark 6-9 230 SF Louisville Jr. (No. 8 of 2009 Draft). Terrence Williams 6-6 220 SG/SF Louisville Sr. (No. 30 of 2009 Draft). Samardo Samuels 6-8 245 PF Louisville Fr. (No. 24 of Fr). Terrence Jennings 6-10 225 PF Louisville Fr. (No. 32 of Fr). George Goode 6-8 205 SF Louisville Fr. (Honorable Mention of Fr).
12. Pittsburgh has 2 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 5: DeJuan Blair 6-6 287 PF Pittsburgh So. (No. 13 of 2009 Draft). Sam Young 6-6 220 SF Pittsburgh Sr. (No. 22 of 2009 Draft). Gilbert Brown 6-6 190 SG Pittsburgh So. (No. 35 of So). Brad Wanamaker 6-4 200 SG Pittsburgh So. (Honorable Mention of So). Nasir Robinson 6-5 210 SG Pittsburgh Fr. (No. 42 of Fr).
13. Texas has 2 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 7: Damion James 6-7 227 SF Texas Jr. (No. 21 of 2009 Draft). Dexter Pittman 6-10 290 C Texas Jr. (No. 39 of 2010 Draft). Connor Atchley 6-10 230 PF Texas Sr. (No. 31 of Sr). AJ Abrams 5-11 155 PG/SG Texas Sr. (No. 45 of Sr). Justin Mason 6-2 194 PG/SG Texas Jr. (No. 46 of Jr.). Gary Johnson 6-7 235 PF Texas So. (No. 38 of So). Varez Ward 6-2 190 PG/SG Texas Fr. (Honorable Mention of Fr).
14. UCLA has 2 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 8: Darren Collison 6-0 170 PG UCLA Sr. (No. 24 of 2009 Draft). Jrue Holiday 6-3 205 PG/SG UCLA Fr. (No. 22 of 2010 Draft). Josh Shipp 6-5 220 SG UCLA Sr. (No. 34 of Sr). James Keefe 6-8 220 SF/PF UCLA Jr. (No. 45 of Jr.). Malcolm Lee 6-5 175 PG/SG UCLA Fr. (No. 8 of Fr). Jerime Anderson 6-2 165 PG UCLA Fr. (No. 25 of Fr). J'Mison Morgan 6-10 260 PF/C UCLA Fr. (No. 29 of Fr). Drew Gordon 6-9 230 PF UCLA Fr. (No. 33 of Fr).
15. Tennessee has 2 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 6: Tyler Smith 6-7 220 SF Tennessee Jr. (No. 28 of 2009 Draft). JP Prince 6-6 205 SG Tennessee Jr. (No. 56 of 2010 Draft). Wayne Chism 6-8 240 PF Tennessee Jr. (No. 47 of Jr.). Scotty Hopson 6-6 185 SG Tennessee Fr. (No. 14 of Fr). Renaldo Woolridge 6-7 210 SF Tennessee Fr. (No. 46 of Fr). Emmanuel Negedu 6-6 225 SF Tennessee Fr. (No. 47 of Fr).
16. Marquette has 2 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 4: Jerel McNeal 6-3 200 SG Marquette Sr. (No. 32 of 2009 Draft). Wesley Matthews 6-5 215 SG Marquette Sr. (No. 51 of 2009 Draft). Dominic James (INJ) 5-11 180 PG Marquette Sr. (Honorable Mention of Sr). Lazar Hayward 6-6 205 SG/SF Marquette Jr. (No. 48 of Jr.).
17. Gonzaga has 2 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 6: Josh Heytvelt 6-11 238 PF Gonzaga Sr. (No. 39 of 2009 Draft). Austin Daye 6-10 200 SF Gonzaga So. (No. 26 of 2010 Draft). Jeremy Pargo 6-2 219 PG Gonzaga Sr. (No. 30 of Sr). Micah Downs 6-7 180 SG/SF Gonzaga Sr. (No. 35 of Sr). Matt Bouldin 6-5 214 PG/SG Gonzaga Jr. (Honorable Mention of Jr.). Robert Sacre 7-0 255 C Gonzaga So. (No. 50 of So).
18. Kansas has 2 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 6: Cole Aldrich 6-10 250 PF/C Kansas So. (No. 6 of 2010 Draft). Sherron Collins 5-11 200 PG Kansas Jr. (No. 36 of 2010 Draft). Tyshawn Taylor 6-3 180 PG Kansas Fr. (No. 30 of Fr). Travis Releford 6-5 190 SG Kansas Fr. (No. 34 of Fr). Markieff Morris 6-9 230 PF Kansas Fr. (Honorable Mention of Fr). Marcus Morris 6-8 230 PF Kansas Fr. (Honorable Mention of Fr).
19. Syracuse has 2 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 7: Jonny Flynn 6-0 186 PG Syracuse So. (No. 27 of 2010 Draft). Arinze Onuaku 6-10 275 PF/C Syracuse Jr. (No. 41 of 2010 Draft). Paul Harris 220 6-4 SG/SF Syracuse Jr. (No. 57 of 2010 Draft). Eric Devendorf 6-4 175 PG/SG Syracuse Jr. (Honorable Mention of Sr). Rick Jackson 6-9 235 PF Syracuse So. (Honorable Mention of So). Kris Joseph 6-7 220 SF Syracuse Fr. (No. 39 of Fr). Mookie Jones 6-6 210 SF Syracuse Fr. (Honorable Mention of Fr).
Teams with 3 players that could work their way into the NBA draft
20. Villanova has 1 projected NBA draftee, possibly as many as 4: Dante Cunningham 6-7 230 SF Villanova Sr. (No. 33 of 2009 Draft). Scottie Reynolds 6-1 185 PG Villanova Jr. (No. 41 of Jr.). Corey Stokes 6-5 210 SG Villanova So. (No. 31 of So). Corey Fisher 6-1 185 PG Villanova So. (No. 37 of So).
21. Boston College has 1 projected NBA draftee, possibly as many as 3: Tyrese Rice 6-0 190 PG Boston College Sr. (No. 41 of 2009 Draft). Corey Raji 6-5 211 SG Boston College So. (Honorable Mention of So). Rakim Sanders 6-5 225 SG Boston College So. (Honorable Mention of So).
22. St. Mary's has 1 projected NBA draftee, possibly as many as 3: Patrick Mills 5-11 180 PG St. Mary's So. (No. 17 of 2010 Draft). Diamon Simpson 6-7 230 SF St. Mary's Sr. (No. 50 of Sr). Omar Samhan 6-11 265 C St. Mary's Jr. (Honorable Mention of Jr.).
23. Memphis has 1 projected NBA draftee, possibly as many as 7: Tyreke Evans 6-6 219 SG Memphis Fr. (No. 20 of 2010 Draft). Robert Dozier 6-10 215 SF/PF Memphis Sr. (No. 40 of Sr). Antonio Anderson 6-6 214 SG Memphis Sr. (Honorable Mention of Sr). Willie Kemp 6-2 175 PG Memphis Jr. (Honorable Mention of Jr.). Doneal Mack 6-5 170 SG Memphis Jr. (Honorable Mention of Jr.). Jeff Robinson 6-6 205 SF Memphis So. (Honorable Mention of So). Wesley Witherspoon 6-8 200 SG/SF Memphis Fr. (No. 16 of Fr).
24. Oklahoma State has 1 projected NBA draftee, possibly as many as 5: James Anderson 6-6 195 SG Oklahoma State So. (No. 23 of 2010 Draft). Terrel Harris 6-4 190 SG Oklahoma State Sr. (No. 28 of Sr). Byron Eaton 5-11 210 PG Oklahoma State Sr. (Honorable Mention of Sr). Obi Muonelo 6-4 210 PG/SG Oklahoma State Jr. (Honorable Mention of Jr.). Ibrahima Thomas 6-11 238 PF Oklahoma State So. (No. 36 of So).
25. Miami has 1 projected NBA draftee, possibly as many as 3: Dwayne Collins 6-8 240 PF Miami Jr. (No. 34 of 2010 Draft). Jack McClinton 6-1 185 SG Miami Sr. (No. 36 of Sr). DeQuan Jones 6-6 190 SG Miami Fr. (No. 22 of Fr).
26. Michigan St. has 1 projected NBA draftee, possibly as many as 5: Raymar Morgan 6-7 210 SF Michigan St. Jr. (No. 43 of 2010 Draft). Chris Allen 6-3 190 SG Michigan St. So. (No. 39 of So). Kalin Lucas 5-11 180 PG Michigan St. So. (No. 40 of So). Durrell Summers 6-5 186 SG Michigan St. So. (No. 41 of So). Delvon Roe 6-7 215 SF Michigan St. Fr. (No. 35 of Fr).
27. California has 1 projected NBA draftee, possibly as many as 3: Patrick Christopher 6-5 210 SG/SF California Jr. (No. 44 of 2010 Draft). Jerome Randle 5-10 160 PG California Jr. (No. 50 of Jr.). DJ Seeley 6-4 185 SG California Fr. (Honorable Mention of Fr).
28. Texas A&M has 1 projected NBA draftee, possibly as many as 4: Chinemelu Elonu 6-10 235 PF Texas A&M Jr. (No. 54 of 2010 Draft). Josh Carter 6-7 195 SG Texas A&M Sr. (No. 37 of Sr). Bryan Davis 6-8 240 PF Texas A&M Jr. (No. 44 of Jr.). David Loubeau 6-8 215 SF/PF Texas A&M Fr. (Honorable Mention of Fr).
29. Florida St. has 0 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 4: Toney Douglas 6-2 196 PG Florida St. Sr. (No. 38 of Sr). Solomon Alabi 7-1 237 C Florida St. So. (No. 25 of So). Chris Singleton 6-8 220 SF Florida St. Fr. (No. 15 of Fr). Xavier Gibson 6-10 230 PF Florida St. Fr. (No. 44 of Fr).
30. Washington has 0 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 5: Jon Brockman 6-7 250 PF Washington Sr. (No. 46 of Sr). Justin Dentmon 5-11 185 PG Washington Sr. (No. 49 of Sr). Quincy Pondexter 6-7 210 SF Washington Jr. (Honorable Mention of Jr.). Isaiah Thomas 5-8 180 PG Washington Fr. (No. 49 of Fr). Scott Suggs 6-6 190 SG Washington Fr. (Honorable Mention of Fr).
31. Purdue has 0 projected NBA draftees, possibly as many as 3: JaJuan Johnson 6-10 215 SF/PF Purdue So. (No. 20 of So). E'twaun Moore 6-3 180 PG/SG Purdue So. (No. 24 of So). Robbie Hummel 6-7 208 SF Purdue So. (No. 27 of So).
Key: A teams first number indicates how many of its players are projected to go in the 2009 or 2010 draft if it were held today, while the second number indicates how many total players are being at least considered by NBA teams according to www.nbadraft.net. Players are listed from best down. A players notes in parenthesis indicate what order he is expected to go in the draft (e.g. Blake Griffin of Oklahoma is expected to go as the No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft, so “(No. 1 of 2009 Draft).” If a player is not currently projected in the draft, then his number indicates where www.nbadraft.net ranks him among all players in his class.


Unknown said...

Utah State sounds pretty confident they can knock Marquette off. I think Utah St. will be tough and take an all out 40 minute effort to defeat them.

Hillmen66 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hillmen66 said...

Just wondering if anyone knew how many times Marquette has beaten a 30-win team? I know Kentucky in '03 but I can't seem to think of any others...