"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 11, 2012

After picking Lville, Vandy, MSU and Flo St 9 months ago, here is the early bird bracket & best 3 players for each team

The table below gives an alphabetical list of each team in the NCAA and how many bracket lines on which you may want to put each team. I will be on an ESPN station discussing the bracket starting at 6 p.m. EST/5 p.m. CST Monday, and you can listen here and you can call 334-321-1390 to ask questions.

While most were shocked to see Louisville, Florida State and Vanderbilt win their conference tournaments this weekend, the Value Add system had them (and Big East surprise runner-up Cincinnati) all in the Sweet 16 posted more than nine months ago. I continue to believe the three, respectively, have the suffocating pressure defense, half-court defense, and three dominant NBA-level offensive players to make potential runs. Certainly all eight teams who received a No. 1 or 2 seed can make a run, and finally I do believe Marquette is the other team that can make a run because they are so dominant in 7 of 8 areas that unless a team can dominate their one weakness (defensive rebounding), MU can get on a roll past anyone. Sports Illustrated also noted this summer that Value Add had Michigan State as a surprise team in the mix since they were unranked in either preseason poll but in the Value Add Sweet 16 - and the Spartans just took their first Big Ten title in 12 years. Andrew Nicholson, ranked as the 47th best player by Value Add this season, just had the best performance of any player this weekend to lead St. Bonaventure to an upset of Xavier and NCAA appearance.

So if Value Add can identify 15 of the top teams 9 months out (Pitt was the only dud on the list), why not brackets? Simply put, statistics are very accurate over a season or even five or six games, but any statistician will tell you the swings are too wild when looking at one particular game – and one bad match-up or poor performance anywhere in the tournament ends the run.

Therefore, the most likely championship game is Kentucky vs. UNC – but there is only a 4% chance that will be the game and a 96% chance it will be one of the other 2,311 possible match-ups.

While I believe the 12 teams mentioned are the most likely to be in the title game, there is a 52% chance the title game will include two of those 12 teams, and a 48% chance at least one of the teams will be one of the other 56 teams.

So you can use these tables one of three ways:

1. If you just want to get a bracket off your desk you can just write down a team once for every “W” you see by them – with a capital "W" meaning they have a pretty clear edge, a small “w” meaning a slight edge, a small “l” meaning slightly more likely to be a loss, and a big “L” meaning they really shouldn’t win that game.

2. If you want to spend a few more minutes on your bracket, I’ve rated each team on four big things that seem to lead to tourney runs; a, how well the team was based this year based on their ratings in Pomeroy, b, whether or not the team has the three NBA-level or elite players it usually takes for a Final Four run; c, how experienced their guards are (particularly point guard); and d, how hot the team has been the last 10 to 12 games.

3. Finally, if you want to actually look at the key players on any team you are considering, the last table lists the top 3 players for each of the 68 teams and where they ranked among all players (Anthony Davis of Kentucky was first). The only two top 25 players not in the tournament are 11th ranked TJ McConnell of Duquesne and 16th ranked Damian Lillard of Weber State. (you can find all players here)

As for an absolute dark horse out there, I believe Belmont may be the greatest No. 14 seed in the history of the tournament. While I have Georgetown as a very slight favorite against Belmont, if Belmont does win that game they may well shoot into the Sweet 16 or Elite 8, and if they had been seated any higher than 14 I believe they would have been a shoe-in for a first round victory - but Georgetown is good.

Team Table (W = likely Win, L = likely Loss)

The four ratings go in descending order of importance; 1) "Sea" is the season rating, 2) "Tal" is the NBA- or Elite-level play of at least three top players; 3) "Exp" equals experience-level of guards; and 4, "Hot" equals how hot the team has been in moving up or down in Pomeroy the last 10 or 12 games and/or if they have any injuries or have gotten healthier (e.g. SH = shorthanded with one of their top 7 players missing, while teams like Louisville that have Peyton Siva back at full strength are now better:

 Scale 20151010       
9Alabama (SH)SEC1554226lLLLLL
14Brigham YoungWCC1235222LLLLLL
11Colorado St.MWC1046828lLLLLL
7Florida (SH)SEC16108236wllLLL
3Florida St.ACC159101044WwwwlL
4Indiana (SH)B1018810440wlllLL
8Iowa St. (SH)B121566633wLLLLL
8Kansas St.B121654530wLLLLL
12Long Beach St.BW1459533llLLLL
16Long IslandNEC357520LLLLLL
15Loyola MDMAAC543517LLLLLL
8Memphis (SH)CUSA1784635lLLLLL
1Michigan St.B1019109947WWwwww
16Mississippi Val St.SWAC119415LLLLLL
6Murray St.OVC1367531wllLLL
16NC AshevilleBSth5410726LLLLLL
5New MexicoMWC1765937wlLLLL
13New Mexico St.WAC1148831llLLLL
15Norfolk St.MEAC237315LLLLLL
11North Carolina St.ACC1398838WlLLLL
7Notre DameBE14641034wllLLL
2Ohio St.B1019102637WwllLL
12S. Florida (SH)BE1134826LLLLLL
9S. MississippiCUSA1135423lLLLLL
6San Diego St.MWC1244525LLLLLL
14South Dakota St.Sum1217525LLLLLL
14St. BonaventureA101254925LLLLLL
9St. LouisA101757736wLLLLL
7St. Mary's (SH)WCC1356125LLLLLL
1UNC (SH)ACC19155746WWwwwl
10Virginia (SH)ACC1657230lllLLL
16Western KentuckySB317718LLLLLL
5Wichita St.MVC18510740WwllLL
10WVU (SH)BE1363224lLLLLL

Top 3 players for all tournament teams

In addition to noting their overall Rnk among the 4,000 Division I players, I noted if each player is projected to go in the 1st round or 2nd round of the NBA Draft this year, or in the 2013 draft.

Top 3 players each teamConfSeaNBA?Rnk
Alabama (SH)HtYrNBA?Rnk
Trevor Releford6'0"So 46
JaMychal Green6'8" Sr2nd282
Levi Randolph6'5" Fr 294
Quincy Acy6'7" Sr2nd32
Pierre Jackson5'10" Jr 73
Brady Heslip6'2" So1st173
Kerron Johnson6'1" Jr 41
Drew Hanlen5'11 Sr 140
Scott Saunders6'10" Sr 347
Brigham YoungHtYrNBA?Rnk
Noah Hartsock6'8" Sr 192
Charles Abouo6'5" Sr 380
Brandon Davies6'9" Jr 444
Justin Cobbs6'2" So 58
Allen Crabbe6'6" So2013164
Jorge Gutierrez6'3" Sr2nd237
Sean Kilpatrick6'4" So 95
Cashmere Wright6'0"Jr 104
Dion Dixon6'3" Sr 361
Andre Roberson6'7" So201381
Spencer Dinwiddie6'5" Fr 325
Nate Tomlinson6'3" Sr 523
Colorado St.HtYrNBA?Rnk
Pierce Hornung6'5" Jr 71
Dorian Green6'2" Jr 105
Jesse Carr6'2" Jr 483
Jeremy Lamb6'5" So1st45
Shabazz Napier6'0"So 72
Andre Drummond6'11" Fr1st267
Doug McDermott6'7" So201318
Antoine Young6'0"Sr 158
Grant Gibbs6'4" Jr 349
Nik Cochran6'3" Jr 113
De'Mon Brooks6'7" So 222
Jake Cohen6'10" Jr 251
Ray McCallum6'1" So2013163
Doug Anderson6'5" Jr 395
Eli Holman6'10" Sr 429
Ryan Kelly6'11" Jr 70
Mason Plumlee6'10" Jr1st124
Seth Curry6'2" Jr 130
Florida (SH)HtYrNBA?Rnk
Kenny Boynton6'2" Jr201322
Erving Walker5'8" Sr 34
Bradley Beal6'3" Fr1st85
Florida St.HtYrNBA?Rnk
Bernard James6'10" Sr2nd126
Michael Snaer6'5" Jr2013148
Deividas Dulkys6'5" Sr 505
Jason Clark6'2" Sr 24
Otto Porter6'8" Fr201379
Hollis Thompson6'8" Jr2nd91
Kevin Pangos6'1" Fr 76
Elias Harris6'7" Jr 219
Robert Sacre7'0"Sr2nd412
Oliver McNally6'3" Sr 255
Brandyn Curry6'1" Jr 311
Keith Wright6'8" Sr 362
Indiana (SH)HtYrNBA?Rnk
Cody Zeller6'11" Fr20135
Victor Oladipo6'5" So201397
Jordan Hulls6'0"Jr 115
Scott Machado6'1" Sr2nd20
Mike Glover6'7" Sr 121
Lamont Jones6'0"Jr 404
Iowa St. (SH)HtYrNBA?Rnk
Scott Christopherson6'3" Sr 258
Royce White6'8" So2013279
Melvin Ejim6'6" So 290
Thomas Robinson6'9" Jr1st6
Jeff Withey7'0"Jr2nd35
Tyshawn Taylor6'3" Sr1st98
Kansas St.HtYrNBA?Rnk
Rodney McGruder6'4" Jr 36
Jamar Samuels6'7" Sr 264
Will Spradling6'3" So 388
Anthony Davis6'10" Fr1st1
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist6'7" Fr1st28
Doron Lamb6'4" So1st48
Anthony Miles6'0"Sr 175
Devon Lamb6'2" Sr 200
Mike James6'1" Sr 601
C.J. McCollum6'3" Jr2nd11
Mackey McKnight6'0"So 454
Gabe Knutson6'9" Jr 597
Long Beach St.HtYrNBA?Rnk
Larry Anderson6'5" Sr 56
T.J. Robinson6'8" Sr 208
Casper Ware5'10" Sr 231
Long IslandHtYrNBA?Rnk
Julian Boyd6'7" Jr 345
Jamal Olasewere6'7" Jr 394
Jason Brickman5'10" So 944
Gorgui Dieng6'10" So201363
Kyle Kuric6'4" Sr 107
Chris Smith (Lville)6'2" Sr 202
Loyola MDHtYrNBA?Rnk
Robert Olson6'4" Jr 286
Dylon Cormier6'2" So 314
Erik Etherly6'7" Jr 389
Jae Crowder6'6" Sr2nd2
Darius Johnson-Odom6'2" Sr2nd99
Davante Gardner6'8" So 320
Memphis (SH)HtYrNBA?Rnk
Will Barton6'6" So2nd7
Chris Crawford6'4" So 135
Tarik Black6'8" So 182
Zack Novak6'4" Sr 82
Trey Burke6'1" Fr2013131
Evan Smotrycz6'9" So 249
Michigan St.HtYrNBA?Rnk
Draymond Green6'7" Sr2nd3
Keith Appling6'1" So2013129
Branden Dawson6'6" Fr2013274
Mississippi Val St.HtYrNBA?Rnk
Terrence Joyner6'3" Sr 1402
Kevin Burwell5'10" Sr 1510
Cor-J Cox6'5" Sr 1927
Marcus Denmon6'3" Sr2nd13
Ricardo Ratliffe6'8" Sr2nd44
Michael Dixon6'1" Jr 54
Will Cherry6'1" Jr 116
Kareem Jamar6'5" So 220
Art Steward6'4" Sr 613
Murray St.HtYrNBA?Rnk
Isaiah Canaan6'0"Jr201314
Donte Poole6'3" Sr 64
Edward Daniel6'7" Jr 451
NC AshevilleHtYrNBA?Rnk
Jeremy Atkinson6'4" Jr 204
J.P. Primm6'1" Sr 205
Matt Dickey6'1" Sr 227
Mike Moser6'8" So1st101
Chace Stanback6'8" Sr2013217
Anthony Marshall6'3" Jr 268
New MexicoHtYrNBA?Rnk
Drew Gordon6'9" Sr2nd100
Kendall Williams6'3" So 207
Jamal Fenton5'9" Jr 283
New Mexico St.HtYrNBA?Rnk
Wendell McKines6'6" Sr 137
Hernst Laroche6'1" Sr 309
Hamidu Rahman6'11" Sr 814
Norfolk St.HtYrNBA?Rnk
Kyle O'Quinn6'10" Sr 125
Pendarvis Williams6'6" So 897
Jamel Fuentes6'3" So 1248
Tyler Zeller7'0"Sr1st17
John Henson6'10" Jr201355
Kendall Marshall6'3" So2013136
North Carolina St.HtYrNBA?Rnk
Lorenzo Brown6'5" So2013156
C.J. Leslie6'8" Sr 160
Scott Wood6'6" Jr2nd203
Notre DameHtYrNBA?Rnk
Jack Cooley6'9" Jr 25
Jerian Grant6'5" So 92
Eric Atkins6'1" So 244
D.J. Cooper5'11 Jr 123
Nick Kellogg6'3" So 365
Walter Offutt6'3" Jr 436
Ohio St.HtYrNBA?Rnk
Jared Sullinger6'9" So1st9
Aaron Craft6'2" So 40
Deshaun Thomas6'7" So 84
Robbie Hummel6'8" Sr2nd31
Lewis Jackson5'9" Sr 94
Ryne Smith6'3" Sr 240
San Diego St.HtYrNBA?Rnk
Chase Tapley6'2" Jr 106
Jamaal Franklin6'5" So 281
Xavier Thames6'3" So 669
South Dakota St.HtYrNBA?Rnk
Nate Wolters6'4" Jr201326
Griffan Callahan6'4" Sr 316
Jordan Dykstra6'8" So 456
S. Florida (SH)HtYrNBA?Rnk
Toarlyn Fitzpatrick6'8" Jr 221
Anthony Collins6'1" Fr 427
Hugh Robertson6'6" Sr 478
S. MississippiHtYrNBA?Rnk
Neil Watson5'11 So 80
Torye Pelham6'6" Sr 259
LaShay Page6'2" Jr 422
St. BonaventureHtYrNBA?Rnk
Andrew Nicholson6'9" Sr2nd47
Demitrius Conger6'6" Jr 280
Matthew Wright6'4" So 582
St. LouisHtYrNBA?Rnk
Kwamain Mitchell5'10" Jr 90
Brian Conklin6'6" Sr 138
Cody Ellis6'8" Jr 253
St. Mary's (SH)HtYrNBA?Rnk
Matthew Dellavedova6'4" Jr 29
Rob Jones6'6" Sr 176
Stephen Holt6'4" So 194
Kris Joseph6'7" Sr1st43
Dion Waiters (Syr)6'4" So1st53
Scoop Jardine6'2" Sr 89
Khalif Wyatt6'4" Jr 37
Ramone Moore6'4" Sr 271
Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson6'6" Jr 273
J'Covan Brown6'1" Jr2nd21
Sheldon McClellan6'4" Fr 119
Clint Chapman6'10" Sr 321
John Jenkins6'4" Jr1st15
Jeffery Taylor6'7" Sr1st23
Brad Tinsley6'3" Sr 122
Matt Glass6'8" Sr 472
Luke Apfeld6'7" So 593
Brian Voelkel6'6" So 617
Virginia (SH)HtYrNBA?Rnk
Mike Scott6'8" Sr2nd19
Joe Harris (Uva)6'6" So 386
Sammy Zeglinski6'1" Sr 529
Juvonte Reddic6'9" So 257
Bradford Burgess6'6" Sr2nd331
Darius Theus6'3" Jr 368
Kevin Jones6'8" Sr2nd4
Darryl Bryant6'2" Sr 195
Jabarie Hinds5'11 Fr 508
Western KentuckyHtYrNBA?Rnk
George Fant6'5" Fr 768
Jamal Crook6'3" Jr 1266
Kahlil McDonald6'3" Sr 1350
Wichita St.HtYrNBA?Rnk
Joe Ragland6'0"Sr 50
Garrett Stutz7'0"Sr 118
Toure' Murry6'5" Sr 215
Jordan Taylor6'1" Sr2nd10
Jared Berggren6'10" Jr 134
Ryan Evans6'6" Jr 144
Tu Holloway6'0"Sr2nd112
Mark Lyons6'1" Jr 312
Dezmine Wells6'4" Fr 526


Adam said...

Man, thanks for all this data!

Wondering - how were the top 3 players picked? Is it all Value Add based? (ie: Duke's list didn't have Austin Rivers and UNC was missing Harrison Barnes)

I haven't done my research on the Value Add metric so just curious what makes those two players score below expectations?

JohnPudner said...

Yes, a very good question. It is Value Add based, and as awesome as Rivers is - he still plays a bit like a freshman.

The average team scores 1 pt per trip down the court, and based on the calculations from Basketball on paper and presented on www.kenpom.com, a team of Rivers would only average 1.047 - so he has been barely above average. He is clearly one of the few best players long term, but the only categories in which he is in the top 500 in www.kenpom.com are % of minutes played, percent of shots taken, and getting to the foul line. He barely shoots the national average on two pointers at 47.9%, and is just above average on treys at 36.8%. Even though he is a guard he is below average at steals (1.8% per opponents trip down the court), never blocks a shot, and for a guard has a low assist rate - less than half the assist rate of guard Quinn Cook who plays when he isn't in, and lower than Seth Curry or Tyler Thornton.

In short, Rivers shoots way too much and passes way too little to be a truly great player yet, but as he matures in his decision making, he will certainly become one of the most dominant players in the country. Duke can only hope he chooses to hit that level as a sophomore rather than as a NBA rookie next year.