"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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Final Top 100 Big East Players; Notes on MU Needing the Big 3 Stars

I know many want to just turn the page on last season and look forward to the big class. But with the concerns about the Big East TV ratings and only having one team in the Sweet 16, I wanted to make a couple of notes on the Top 100 Big East players in Value Add

Obviously one issue is that the conference does not have much NBA talent. I was sitting in press row at the Big East tournament while Villanova beating Xavier, and the reporter next to me asked how many of Nova's players would make the NBA. He seemed shocked when I answered that I did not think any of them were NBA-level players and that Kris Dunn was the only guy I thought had a decent chance though there would probably be a surprise or two.

One other note is that when you look at the good players we had, there really were a ton of Seniors. In that way, the Big East really looked like an incredible mid-major. I don't mean that we were not a Power Conference, because a No. 2 RPI clearly puts us there, but the conference may need the breakthrough to be with a senior laiden team beating some younger teams from the ACC, Pac-12 and Big Ten in the future to make the big run.

Finally, I do want to once again thank the seniors. I know even our fans were critical when I was calculating Derrick Wilson so high this year, but I don't know what else the kid could have done. That assist explosion in the Big East tournament helped his finish as the 17th best assist to turnover guy in the country at 150/51. When you consider how little scoring we had, that is even more impressive. The kid was worth more than twice as much this year (3.31 points per game for the 33rd best player in the Big East) than he was in his other three seasons COMBINED. 

Matt Carlino had just broken the top 100 before the injury, and I still wonder if we might have put together a .500 season and a bid somewhere without the disruption of losing him. When a player is out he gets a zero for each game, which is why he dropped to 154th by the end, but certainly appreciate him coming here for his final season.

Ironically Juan Anderson ranked one spot behind Wilson at 34th in the conference, and Duane Wilson was next at 35th. So we had only one of the top 32 players, but the others contributed. Value Add had Juan as a very solid player the last two seasons who I thought Buzz should have played more.

As much as I hate not having a good senior night coming next year, the good news is that means we will be betting better and better if Wojo holds his recruits together.

The stuff I wrote on Breitbart leading up to the tournament laid out how you really do need three legit stars (as Al McGuire always said) and in that piece I picked Utah and Michigan State as the two teams with the biggest potential to make surprise runs, and also noted in the same piece that Villanova was the most unlikely to do so of the 1- and 2-seeds based on not having three big stars.

Obviously, Wilson, Anderson and Carlino did not give MU a trio with a chance to be a championship team, but I believe they kept the torch alive by playing true Marquette hustle basketball that probably showed enough to the incoming kids to keep them wanting to play for Wojo.

It looks like between Duane and the incoming class we could easily be building toward the three stars we need.

Big East Rank, National Rank, Last-First Name, Jersey, Team, Class, Value Add
1, 12, Pointer, Sir'Dominic 15, St. John's, 4 Sr, 8.32
2, 14, Smith-Rivera, D'Vauntes 4, Georgetown, 3 Jr, 8.2
3, 34, Hilliard, Darrun 4, Villanova, 4 Sr, 7.36
4, 36, Dunn, Kris 3, Providence, 2 So, 7.33
5, 60, Ochefu, Daniel 23, Villanova, 3 Jr, 6.63
6, 70, Henton, LaDontae 23, Providence, 4 Sr, 6.45
7, 91, Woods, Kameron 31, Butler, 4 Sr, 6.08
8, 92, Stainbrook, Matt 40, Xavier, 4 Sr, 6.06
9, 102, Hart, Josh 3, Villanova, 2 So, 5.94
10, 114, Harrison, D'Angelo 11, St. John's, 4 Sr, 5.68
11, 127, Barlow, Alex 3, Butler, 4 Sr, 5.39
12, 138, Gibbs, Sterling 4, Seton Hall, 3 Jr, 5.25
13, 154, Carlino, Matt 13, Marquette, 4 Sr, 5.1
14, 166, Arcidiacono, Ryan 15, Villanova, 3 Jr, 5.01
15, 193, Dunham, Kellen 24, Butler, 3 Jr, 4.78
16, 202, Smith, Joshua 24, Georgetown, 4 Sr, 4.68
17, 235, Reynolds, Jalen 1, Xavier, 2 So, 4.43
18, 243, Ennis, Dylan 31, Villanova, 3 Jr, 4.36
19, 249, Pinkston, JayVaughn 22, Villanova, 4 Sr, 4.34
20, 268, Delgado, Angel 31, Seton Hall, 1 Fr, 4.19
21, 329, Davis, Myles 15, Xavier, 2 So, 3.84
22, 348, Trawick, Jabril 55, Georgetown, 4 Sr, 3.7
23, 352, Jordan, Rysheed 23, St. John's, 2 So, 3.68
24, 366, Bluiett, Trevon 5, Xavier, 1 Fr, 3.62
25, 390, Obekpa, Chris 12, St. John's, 3 Jr, 3.54
26, 397, Mobley, Brandon 2, Seton Hall, 4 Sr, 3.52
27, 415, Crockett, Jamee 21, DePaul, 4 Sr, 3.44
28, 421, Garrett, Billy 5, DePaul, 2 So, 3.42
29, 424, Jenkins, Kris 2, Villanova, 2 So, 3.41
30, 429, Davis, Dee 11, Xavier, 4 Sr, 3.37
31, 432, Booth, Phil 5, Villanova, 1 Fr, 3.36
32, 439, Greene, Phil 1, St. John's, 4 Sr, 3.33
33, 449, Wilson, Derrick 12, Marquette, 4 Sr, 3.31
34, 588, Anderson, Juan 10, Marquette, 4 Sr, 2.79
35, 590, Wilson, Duane 1, Marquette, 1 Fr, 2.77
36, 592, Chrabascz, Andrew 45, Butler, 2 So, 2.77
37, 599, Abell, Remy 10, Xavier, 3 Jr, 2.74
38, 614, Fischer, Luke 40, Marquette, 2 So, 2.72
39, 640, Harris, Tyler 25, Providence, 3 Jr, 2.64
40, 644, Desrosiers, Carson 33, Providence, 4 Sr, 2.63
41, 689, Jones, Roosevelt 21, Butler, 3 Jr, 2.52
42, 695, Zierden, Isaiah 21, Creighton, 2 So, 2.51
43, 719, Hopkins, Mikael 3, Georgetown, 4 Sr, 2.47
44, 722, Henry, Myke 4, DePaul, 3 Jr, 2.46
45, 760, Rodriguez, Desi 20, Seton Hall, 1 Fr, 2.37
46, 792, Artino, Will 31, Creighton, 4 Sr, 2.29
47, 822, Milliken, James 23, Creighton, 3 Jr, 2.23
48, 847, Johnson, JaJuan 23, Marquette, 2 So, 2.19
49, 856, Chatman, Austin 1, Creighton, 4 Sr, 2.17
50, 871, McDonald, Durrell 25, DePaul, 3 Jr, 2.16
51, 917, Whitehead, Isaiah 15, Seton Hall, 1 Fr, 2.08
52, 918, Branch, Jamal 0, St. John's, 4 Sr, 2.08
53, 924, Copeland, Isaac 11, Georgetown, 1 Fr, 2.06
54, 965, Campbell, Tre 1, Georgetown, 1 Fr, 1.99
55, 973, White, Paul 13, Georgetown, 1 Fr, 1.97
56, 994, Hegner, Toby 32, Creighton, 1 Fr, 1.95
57, 1002, Carrington, Khadeen 0, Seton Hall, 1 Fr, 1.94
58, 1039, Kreklow, Ricky 15, Creighton, 4 Sr, 1.87
59, 1052, Bowen, Aaron 23, Georgetown, 4 Sr, 1.85
60, 1055, Hamilton, Tommy 2, DePaul, 2 So, 1.85
61, 1064, Brooks, Devin 5, Creighton, 4 Sr, 1.83
62, 1176, Taylor, Steve 25, Marquette, 3 Jr, 1.67
63, 1204, Farr, James 2, Xavier, 3 Jr, 1.64
64, 1239, Robinson, Forrest 11, DePaul, 4 Sr, 1.59
65, 1248, Macura, J.P. 55, Xavier, 1 Fr, 1.58
66, 1326, Peak, L.J. 0, Georgetown, 1 Fr, 1.49
67, 1472, Lindsey, Jalen 21, Providence, 1 Fr, 1.32
68, 1545, Cohen, Sandy 5, Marquette, 1 Fr, 1.25
69, 1551, Chukwu, Paschal 13, Providence, 1 Fr, 1.24
70, 1652, Bentil, Ben 0, Providence, 1 Fr, 1.17
71, 1705, Randolph, Brandon 3, Xavier, 2 So, 1.13
72, 1740, Groselle, Geoffrey 41, Creighton, 3 Jr, 1.1
73, 1742, Cartwright, Kyron 24, Providence, 1 Fr, 1.1
74, 1835, Simpson, Aaron 15, DePaul, 3 Jr, 1.02
75, 1846, Stimage, Rashaun 3, DePaul, 3 Jr, 1.01
76, 1957, Etherington, Austin 0, Butler, 4 Sr, 0.94
77, 2018, Bennett, Steven 25, Butler, 2 So, 0.91
78, 2111, Lowe, Henry 0, Villanova, 3 Jr, 0.85
79, 2157, Austin, Larry 0, Xavier, 1 Fr, 0.82
80, 2218, Sina, Jaren 30, Seton Hall, 2 So, 0.78
81, 2319, Sumner, Edmond 4, Xavier, 1 Fr, 0.73
82, 2385, Curington, R.J. 0, DePaul, 2 So, 0.7
83, 2394, 10 Pettus, Trey, Butler, 2 So, 0.7
84, 2413, Wideman, Tyler 4, Butler, 1 Fr, 0.68
85, 2415, Manga, Stephane 45, Seton Hall, 4 Sr, 0.68
86, 2458, Hanel, Joe 33, DePaul, 1 Fr, 0.64
87, 2475, Martin, Kelan 30, Butler, 1 Fr, 0.63
88, 2489, Alibegovic, Amar 14, St. John's, 1 Fr, 0.62
89, 2571, Allen, David 12, Georgetown, 3 Jr, 0.56
90, 2580, Balamou, Felix 24, St. John's, 3 Jr, 0.55
91, 2594, Dingman, Avery 22, Creighton, 4 Sr, 0.54
92, 2626, Karlis, Haralds 13, Seton Hall, 4 Sr, 0.52
93, 2631, Burton, Deonte 30, Marquette, 2 So, 0.52
94, 2784, Davis, Jackson 13, Butler, 1 Fr, 0.43
95, 2823, 12 Allen, David, Georgetown, 3 Jr, 0.41
96, 2837, Gilmore, Leon 0, Creighton, 1 Fr, 0.4
97, 2876, Reynolds, Darryl 14, Villanova, 2 So, 0.37
98, 2892, Bancroft, Ted 22, Providence, 4 Sr, 0.35
99, 3069, Hanson, Zach 40, Creighton, 2 So, 0.18

100, 3070, Hayes, Bradley 42, Georgetown, 3 Jr, 0.18

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The season has ended and winter seems to be on the way out....so there's that

The season has been a grind to say the least, but the first in the Wojo era is now over and we need to talk about. We spend a little time talking about the Big East tournament, but not too much because there wasn't a lot new there. We then talk relatively surprising news, the transfer of Steve Taylor Jr to parts unknown. Since the season is over we have to talk about how this news impacts next year's team and vent a little disappointment. Speaking of disappointment, we talk about the Big East performance in March Madness. We try to put it in perspective for Marquette short and long term and why we should all be Musketeer fans. Lastly, we close out with a few odds and ends like Marquette in Italy this summer. Cleanse yourself of the season and give a listen while we are hopefully celebrating a Badger loss. Download this episode (right click and save)

9 Quintillion to 1 for a perfect bracket. By the second game of the second round, no one was left.

DePaul University mathematics professor Jeff Bergen figured out the odds for a perfect NCAA bracket.  A mind boggling 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 1.  That's 9 quintillion, basically a digit with 18 zeros after it.  After only 3 games on Thursday,  CBS had only 0.27% of their brackets from users remained perfect.  ESPN was down .4%.  By night's end on Friday night, only one person in the U.S. out of 11 million brackets still had a perfect bracket.  That was undone when Ohio State lost in the second game on Saturday.

If you wish to watch Dr. Bergen explain how the odds are calculated, please check out this video.

There's nothing like the madness of the NCAA tournament and the crapshoot that it is.  Or is it?   Well, that depends.  We had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Bergen on Monday morning about the NCAA tournament and pose the question if the tournament is a crapshoot or not.

To no one's surprise...it depends.  What is the definition of a crapshoot?  Is it used in context to compare other sports playoff scenarios or literally in terms of equal odds for everyone to win?  

So I asked him...

"It depends upon what you mean by "crapshoot".  There is no team that has a better than 50% of winning (although Kentucky might be pretty close).  For an analogy, think about golf about 15 years ago.  In a major tournament, no player had a better than 50% chance of winning.  But Tiger Woods had a much, much better chance of winning than anyone else. "

"When we (fans) say crapshoot we probably mean that there is no clear favorite and many teams have chance to win.  But it is far, far, far from the case that all teams have an equal shot.  It depends how you define it, there is nothing wrong with either definition."  

I agreed with him.  Certainly a 16 seed, 15 seed, 14 seed are likely to never win the tournament.  By the very nature of the seedings, better seeded teams are supposed to do better unless the committee completely screwed up the seeds.  It is not a random tournament where a 1 could play a 1 in the first round, it is designed to have the top 4 seeds make the Final Four.  Which begs the question why it doesn't happen very often.  As a follow-up question I asked does the one-and-done format lower the odds of the favorites and give more teams a chance to win then say the NBA or other sports playoff formats, sometimes resulting in the best teams not winning the NCAA tournament.  After all, even in years where a #1 wins the tournament, three #1's do not.  There are those years when none of the four #1s even make the Final Four and only one time have all four #1's made the Final Four as their seeding suggested they should.

"I think you nailed it.  There is a huge difference between a  "best 4 of 7"  series and a one-and-done.  For example, there is no way, anybody beats Kentucky in a best 4 of 7.  To do a little math ...Suppose Team A has a 70% of beating Team B in a single games.  So there is a 30% chance of an upset.  But if the same teams played a best 4 out of 7, then Team A now has a better than 87% chance of winning the series.  So the chance of an upset drops from 30% to less than 13% - a significant drop."

I appreciate Dr. Bergen taking the time to answer our questions.  Enjoying the Madness, or as I like to call it...the crapshoot.    Feel free to disagree.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Closing out the season on a DePaul win

Marquette got that win they needed to feel less bad about themselves and against DePaul no less, so we talked about the DePaul game. We also spend some time discussing Steve Taylor and whether his last two games are indicative of his senior year or a match-up thing. From there, we move to the up coming conference tournament in NYC and Marquette's chance to win at least one game and what it would take to beat Villanova approximately 6 hours after beating Seton Hall. We close out the podcast with some house cleaning topics: Congratulating Duane Wilson and Matt Carlino on their All Big East awards. Talking about Traci Carter at least partially fill the gap hole at point guard for next years team and whether he will become the newest player to commit to Marquette basketball. Wishing Wesley Matthews a speedy recovery from what was a very unfortunate achilles injury. Regular season has come to a merciful close, but enjoy conference tournament time....we won't see Marquette play again until November. Download this episode (right click and save)

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Wilson 3rd Best BEast Freshman After Shooting Tear

Building for the future, Duane Wilson's 16 of 29 tear from beyond the arc the last four games has moved him up to third place among Big East freshmen at www.valueaddbasketball.com. The jump from Freshman to sophomore season is typically the most dramatic, with players improving about 156% on average, so Wilson is on pace to be something special. Sandy Cohen's contributions as the 14th best freshman put him on pace to project as a strong starter his sophomore season.

Sophomores also make a nice jump typically, so Luke Fischer and JJJ look to be solid players the next two years - coming in as the 10th and 11th most valuable sophomores in the conference this season.

Add that together with a Top 10 recruiting class Welcome Sacar Anim to the group of Henry Ellenson, Haanif Cheatham and Matt Heldt and if Wojo can hold them all together this could be an awesome team by 2016-17, and a solid team next year with Steve Taylor as the senior leader.

At least that's how the analytics look (see my photo with guru Nate Silver at the annual convention this year) - hopefully the guys pull an upset tonight and beat DePaul to head into the tournament with a chance to build momentum for next year.

FrOvrFreshmanTeamValue Add
1248Delgado, Angel 31Seton Hall4.36
2286Bluiett, Trevon 5Xavier4.13
3519Wilson, Duane 1Marquette3.05
4537Booth, Phil 5Villanova2.99
5639Rodriguez, Desi 20Seton Hall2.64
6794Copeland, Isaac 11Georgetown2.28
7812Carrington, Khadeen 0Seton Hall2.25
8846Whitehead, Isaiah 15Seton Hall2.18
9921White, Paul 13Georgetown2.04
10978Hegner, Toby 32Creighton1.94
111178Macura, J.P. 55Xavier1.6
121289Peak, L.J. 0Georgetown1.46
131334Campbell, Tre 1Georgetown1.39
141411Cohen, Sandy 5Marquette1.31
151547Chukwu, Paschal 13Providence1.18
SoFrSophomoresTeamValue Add
133Dunn, Kris 3Providence7.3
2147Hart, Josh 3Villanova5.36
3260Reynolds, Jalen 1Xavier4.3
4296Davis, Myles 15Xavier4.06
5341Jenkins, Kris 2Villanova3.75
6349Garrett, Billy 5DePaul3.73
7453Jordan, Rysheed 23St. John's3.32
8588Chrabascz, Andrew 45Butler2.82
9641Zierden, Isaiah 21Creighton2.64
10686Fischer, Luke 40Marquette2.52
11908Johnson, JaJuan 23Marquette2.05
121052Hamilton, Tommy 2DePaul1.82
131652Randolph, Brandon 3Xavier1.1
141994Bennett, Steven 25Butler0.84
152003Sina, Jaren 30Seton Hall0.84

Sunday, March 01, 2015

More of the same from Marquette, but this pod will be mostly new, we think

Ah, another couple of games and another couple of performances that were primarily frustrating but with flashes of potential. We taped this pod immediately following the latest double digit loss, at Providence. We talk about the game and discuss whether all the things that are going on are player, coaching, or bad luck related. We spend time discussing Duane Wilson's performance and why we are looking forward to seeing him play for the next couple of years. We also move from the current year to next year with some of the pieces in place now and pieces that will be in place next season and what that all looks like. We then shift to the more immediate future and discuss the three seniors on this team, Matt Carlino, Derrick Wilson, and Juan Anderson. Spoiler alert, if you like to hate on a couple of the players you won't like this portion of the pod. To finish off the pod, we talk about some recruiting news and where that's going as well as talk next years exception tournament, the Legends Classic. Two weeks to go in the season, you can make, just hang with us a little longer. Download this episode (right click and save)