"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, April 23, 2012

Lockett could be a huge upgrade, particularly as Otule ranks as 18th best 2013 player 6'11 or taller and Nolan could be in the wings

With Chris Otule coming back as the 18th best true big men in the country next year, the possibility that Trent Lockett might sign this week to fill the spot of the just released Aaron Durley would be a huge upgrade for MUs prospects in 2013. I do encourage people to do their own searches by clicking here on the database of all players, and when you punch in Durley and Lockett, here is what you get:

Season RankPlayerTeamHtClassOffDefPG/PerValue AddYear
1497Durley, AaronMarquette6'9"1 Fr0.43-0.1900.632013
1048Lockett, TrentAvailable6'4"4 Sr1.29001.292013
1428Lockett, TrentArizona St.6'4"3 Jr1.15100.652012
496Lockett, TrentArizona St.6'4"2 So2.09002.592011
887Lockett, TrentArizona St.6'5"1 Fr0.72-0.8101.522010
The 2013 projections for all players are based on typical progression from their previous year or how similarly ranked high school prospects have done in the past. By that count, getting Lockett to take Durley's spot means going from the projected 1497th best player to the 1048th best player. However, when we look at Lockett's career rather than just last year, he looks like a clear top 500 player at the very least. As a freshman in 2010, he was the 887th best player, and Pomeroy matches his freshman year as the closest match to Wesley Matthews freshman season. Then Lockett did what most sophomores do by more than doubling his offense to be the 496th best player as a sophomore. And if I based projections on an entire career he would probably project as a top 200 player as a senior - but the math is too complicated so the official projection is based just on his junior year when he fell to the 1428th best player in the land. However, subjectively it has to appear that this was because he had to play for one of the worst defensive teams in the high majors - giving him a +1 rating on defense (you want negative numbers on defense like he had his freshman year) due to the team defense being so bad - and we can only assume his offense fell off more due to playing for the team that was the 4th worst team in the country at turning the ball over. Throw out that year and you have a guy who could step in for his one year at MU this coming season and potentially even be the best player on the team. 2013 projections: Otule ranks as 18th best player 6'11" or taller The disappointment for some fans of course is that there was hope Buzz may have found a diamond in the rough to give MU a future dominant big man in Durley. If we go back to the database and SEARCH 6'11" and then 7' and combine the two lists, we see that we already have one of the 20 most valuable players 6'11 or taller in Chris Otule. As I've pointed out in the past, switchables are typically much more valuable than 7-footers - so while we can certainly wish we had a Jerome Whitehead or Jim Chones again - and big reasons that I have Indiana and Baylor as they top two teams next year is Cody Zeller and Isaiah Austin - there just aren't that many real good 7-footers. If Otule can stay healthy and get the 6th year medical redshirt, then we have one of the top 20 big guys for the next two years and Lockett would be a huge upgrade. Here are the top 20 players 6'11" or taller:
Season RankPlayerTeamHtClassOffDefValue Add
1Zeller, CodyIndiana6'11"2 So9.41-2.0911.5
64Muscala, MikeBucknell6'11"4 Sr5.36-0.996.34
75Austin, IsaiahBaylor7'0"1 Fr4.2-1.886.08
121Kelly, RyanDuke6'11"4 Sr4.42-0.935.35
170Brown, AlecWisconsin Green Bay7'1"3 Jr2.85-1.874.72
226Marshall, ZekeAkron7'04 Sr2.4-1.264.17
281Kadji, KennyMiami FL6'11"4 Sr2.73-1.063.79
287Tarczewski, KalebArizona7'0"1 Fr2.59-1.163.75
309Miller, DanielGeorgia Tech6'11"3 Jr1.66-1.963.61
314Henriquez, JordanKansas St.7'04 Sr1.25-2.333.58
372Smith, AndrewButler6'11"4 Sr2.6-0.693.28
443Cauley, WillieKentucky7'0"1 Fr2.03-0.912.94
468Woodbury, AdamIowa7'0"1 Fr1.93-0.872.8
472Upshaw, RobertFresno St.7'0"1 Fr1.93-0.872.8
513Lopez, CarlosNevada Las Vegas6'11"3 Jr1.82-0.82.63
519Dedmon, DewayneSouthern California7'03 Jr0.74-1.382.62
647Olynyk, KellyGonzaga6'11"4 Sr1.01-1.192.2
677Otule, ChrisMarquette6'11"4 Sr0.01-2.082.09
683Loe, RobSt. Louis6'11"3 Jr1.15-0.932.08
691Williams, AmirOhio St.6'11"2 So1.41-0.632.05
So I believe the game has changed enough that while we are thrilled at Chris' progress, there are more important things than ever landing a 7-footer. However, the evidence seems to be that there are more and more really good 6-foot-10 players, which is one of the reasons I was temporarily very excited that there was talk of us getting Aaric Murray to transfer last year. So certainly I cannot deny that landing either him (projected 142nd best player) or Gorgui Dieng (ranked 15th best) would have been huge breakthroughs, and maybe it will take one signing like that to be the final piece of the puzzle for another Final Four run - just as Robert Jackson was in 2003. The Value of 6'10" players like Phillip Nolan The following are the 6'10" players ranked higher than Otule, so if I had added them to the list above, Otule would rank as the 50th best player 6'10" in the country - still a very solid place to be not too long after watching Lazar Hayward have to play out of position at center. 15 Dieng, Gorgui of Louisville; 57 McGary, Mitch of Michigan; 66 Adams, Steven of Pittsburgh; 107 Plumlee, Mason of Duke; 126 Berggren, Jared of Wisconsin; 129 Wear, Travis of UCLA; 142 Murray, Aaric of West Virginia; 164 Cohen, Jake of Davidson; 183 Payne, Adreian of Michigan St.; 216 Bohannon, John of Texas El Paso; 228 Motum, Brock of Washington St.; 246 Yarou, Mouphtaou of Villanova; 275 Murphy, Erik of Florida; 291 Wear, David of UCLA; 293 Ridley, Cameron of Texas; 315 Coursey, Daniel of Mercer; 342 Joaquim, Vander of Hawaii; 378 Ubel, Brandon of Nebraska; 383 Reves, Jordan of Texas Arlington; 398 Ochefu, Daniel of Villanova; 400 Staff, Matt of Texas St.; 402 Johnson, Reggie of Miami FL; 470 Moreland, Eric of Oregon St.; 481 Smith, Joshua of UCLA; 554 Ibeh, Prince of Texas; 559 Brandt, Angus of Oregon St.; 560 Keita, Baye of Syracuse; 575 Austin, Nate of Brigham Young; 586 Black, Cameron of Bowling Green; 603 Maduka, Kodi of Tulsa; 608 James, Joel of North Carolina; 610 Wroblicky, Tony of American. When I search AVAILABLE under the team column and 2013 under the year column, there is only one 6-foot-10 player still out there who projects to be a top 1200 player. That is Milwaukee's own Phillip Nolan who projects to be the 829th best player in the country as a freshman. If he truly does want to be at Marquette and is going to prep school for a year, he really could be the final piece of the 2014 squad.


Anonymous said...

I've got a question, what is the rule that allows players like Mayo and Nolan to go to a prep school without losing any collegiate elgiblity?

JohnPudner said...

The choice is basically to go to prep school for a year without losing eligibility, or going to juco where the years do count against you. It does seem everyone would go prep - but I don't know the advantages of juco for the players.

Thanks for reading!

Mulligan's Musings said...

I think it's more of a financial choice. These prep schools are quite expensive (so much so that I often wonder how some of these kids afford the cost)and I would guess JUCO is a more affordable option for those players that are academically ineligible for DI.