"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, November 05, 2015

Glad We Picked St. John's Last Place - A DII Team Just Beat them by 32 Points

This has nothing to do with the story, but four years after NBC Sports referenced Value Add Basketball in saying Jae Crowder might be the most complete player in basketball - he added what would have been the longest shot ever if it counted. But from the thrill of victory, we go to the agony of defeat ...

The recent www.valueaddbasketball.com calculations ranked St. John's a DISTANT last place as the 150th best team in the country, and after tonight those who did not join us in picking them last are feeling guilty.

That is because Division II St. Thomas Aquinas just destroyed Chris Mullin's debut 90-58.

Our ranking also made them the only team that we did not believe would deserve a bid to ANY post season tournament - even assuming the CBI and CIT were able to get the best 48 teams after the NCAA and NIT selected. Here are the rankings, and what bid the other nine teams would deserve.

RnkBig EastValueNBAConfBid?Seed
10Villanova42.610.6BE1 NCAA3-seed
31Georgetown34.630.3BE1 NCAA8-seed
35Xavier32.620.3BE1 NCAA9-seed
40Butler33.940.1BE1 NCAA10-seed
51Seton Hall29.380.3BE2 NIT1-seed
51Seton Hall29.380.3BE2 NIT1-seed
55Marquette28.281.0BE2 NIT2-seed
76Providence24.370.8BE3 CBI2-seed
80Creighton23.460.0BE3 CBI3-seed
122DePaul17.90.0BE4 CIT6-seed
150St. John's14.710.0BE

Gary Parrish at CBS Sports had a good sense of humor about the game, writing that it made him look "crazy" for having picked St. John's ahead of DePaul as the 9th best team. My recent piece in Breitbart Sports noted it looked very uphill, with my lead paragraph stating:

"...Chris Mullins preparing to coach his first St. John’s game after losing his top two stars due to point guard Rysheed Jordan skipping his exams and the oft-in-trouble Chris Obekpa quitting because the coach’s toughness."
The usually reliable Massey Ratings shows St. John's as the 50th best team in the country - and St. Thomas Aquinas 530th.
While St. John's is depleted, the conference has talent. In addition to National Player of the Year candidate Kris Dunn (sorry, still have not quite gotten over the coaches giving Ryan Arcidiacono the co-MVP with Dunn last year only to have Dunn outscore him the next day 22-6 despite a gift call to give Archiiacono the two game winning free throws).
Fox Sports almost agreed with me on D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera being one of the two best players in the Big East:
22. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, senior guard, Georgetown. I don’t know whether he’ll be an NBA player, but Smith-Rivera has been a phenomenal college player. He leads a talented Georgetown team that should contend at the top of a chock-full Big East. A college basketball analytics site I love to use, valueaddbasketball.com, has Smith-Rivera ranked as the fifth most valuable college player in the country, a spot ahead of his Big East nemesis Kris Dunn of Providence, who has been tabbed as a possible national player of the year candidate.
Soon the speculation will be over.

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