Fast Breaks 07.31.08

Posted by rtmsf on July 31st, 2008

As July leads into August, here are some tasty bits of knowledge for the summer heat…

  • Richmond’s top player Dan Geriot is expected to miss the 08-09 season with a knee injury.  Auburn’s best player, Josh Dollard, was simply kicked off the team for not getting his sh!t together.
  • Guess we know how Texas A&M-Corpus Christi made the Tourney two years ago. 
  • Thuggins, summertime, scofflaws.  Any questions?
  • It appears as if Illinois’ Jamar Smith violated the terms of his probation by drinking alcohol; he’ll learn his fate at a Sept. 17 hearing.  In other news, a 21-year old ball player recently had sex with a woman. 
  • Memphis could be in some hot water over an improper phone call made by the FedEx CEO to one of his employees (who also happens to be the mother of the #2 rated PG in the class of 2009, Abdul Gaddy). 
  • Baylor????  No, really, Baylor????
  • Gregg Doyel says he’ll bury the hatchet with Coach K if he brings home the gold medal next month.  The most interesting part of this piece is the story about Coach K torpedoing Doyel’s book deal in 1999.   
  • Yes, UK Fans are insane.  We mean that in a good way, of course.
  • Andy Katz takes a look at the Wake Forest program one year after the untimely death of head coach Skip Prosser.
  • We thought this article by Dana O’Neil about coaches working themselves too hard in light of Prosser’s heart attack was going to suck, but we really enjoyed it.  Coaches whine and complain about the summer circuit, but they really love it (poor headline, ESPN). 
  • Jeff Goodman breaks down his top ten prospects from the summer camps in Vegas.
  • Gary Parrish gives an interesting insight into how programs game the summer recruiting circuit by not hiring assistant coaches until after they’ve developed good relationships with top prospects (sidenote: why did Arizona fire Miles Simon – that guy won them a championship!).  He follow that up with another article on how coaches get creative but ethically suspect in getting recruits onto campus in a legal manner.
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Vegas Odds Check-In – Summer Edition

Posted by rtmsf on July 29th, 2008

We’re quite sure Vegas Watch can analyze this much better than we can, but we stumbled across the idea on his site last week and decided to throw up this post showing what the current Vegas odds are for winning next April’s national championship.  Analysis to follow table…

Source:  TheGreek.com

Thoughts. 

  • It’s a LOCK!!  Given the unpredictable nature of the NCAA Tournament (much less the regular season), getting +350 on a team like North Carolina is as close to a lock as it gets.  We wish we had access to the summer 2001 Duke and summer 2006 Florida numbers to see if they were higher than UNC’s.  Regardless, we still think this bet is a little high; if it were in the +400 to +500 range, we’d like it a lot better. 
  • Overvalued.   Unless Coach K has figured out how to bring Dwight Howard with him from Beijing to Durham next season, we don’t see how Duke can be +800.  Same with Florida at +1000 – is there any skilled size whatsoever on these two teams?  Kentucky at +1500????  Patrick Patterson and whose army?    
  • Undervalued.  Because only UNC, Duke and Florida are currently higher than the Field (+1200), we see quite a few undervalued teams out there right now.   Let’s start with UConn and Louisville at +1200 each.  These two teams are probably the most well-suited to challenge the Carolina juggernaut next year with their size, strength and athleticism.   How about Tennessee and good grief have we learned nothing yet about Ben Howland – UCLA!!! – at +1500?  There is a ton of talent remaining on those two squads.  Mid-majors Davidson at +2500 and Gonzaga at +4000 also seem like decent values – both teams should be stacked next year… and if Carolina falters somewhere along the way, who knows?
  • Indiana.  Wow, for only $1, you can win $500 if Tom Crean, Kyle Taber and company manage to pull off the most miraculous sporting turnaround in the history of organized sports.  Pass. 
  • Your Team Isn’t Good Enough to Post Odds.  55 of the listed 59 teams are from BCS conferences.  Other luminaries such as Colorado, Virginia, Iowa St., Rutgers, Depaul, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Penn St., Auburn, South Carolina and Oregon St. were missing from the list.  Actually, we would have loved to have seen what odds Oregon St. would have gotten (0-18 in the Pac-10 last year).  Ok, so we’re joking about the above schools being included, but no Xavier? - they’re usually solid.   
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NBA Draft Picks by School (1949-2008)

Posted by rtmsf on July 29th, 2008

Since we’re in the deadest of dead times when it comes to college basketball, we figured now was as good a time as any to update some of our databases with 2008 figures.  We like to do this for a couple of reasons: a) we’re incredibly stat nerdy, and if we don’t update our charts with new data in a reasonable amount of time after it becomes available, we begin suffering cold-sweat night terrors involving 39395 errors; and, b) like everyone else, we find it difficult to access this kind of historical data on the interwebs, and so this year we’ll be adding links to Google Docs to harbor all of our raw data.

Yes, Redheads Appreciate Robust Data

Our first task is to update our NBA Draft Picks by School information.  You may recall that we put together several posts last summer detailing the historical statistics of the first two rounds of the NBA Draft from its inception as a round-robin spectacle in 1949.  (See Draft Picks 1949-2006 by School, by Round and by Decade)  Since not a lot of the data has changed in the interim, we’re going to take a different tack this time around.  Rather than overwhelming you as we did last year with enormous data-filled tables, we’re going to break it down into smaller bite-size morsels first before giving you the full Monty.  However, if you’re the type of person who can’t wait to dive headfirst into reams of data, be our guest.  All of the raw data from the 1949-2008 NBA Drafts is here.

So here’s Table A, where we list the 11 programs with the most NBA Draft picks in history (1949-2008).  For the full list of programs with ten or more historical draft picks, see our Google Doc on the subject.

It doesn’t take much brainpower to see that UCLA‘s Ben Howland and UNC‘s Roy Williams are likely to spend the next decade further dominating this list.  Louisville and Kansas also stand to rise into the top five quickly with the players Rick Pitino and Bill Self are recruiting these days.  Indiana, Duke, Kentucky – all have been trending downward, but how will the newish coaches at IU and UK change that, and will Coach K start recruiting studs again now that making the Sweet 16 is the norm at Duke?  St. John’s and Maryland? Both are living on lost glory with no recent signs of improvement.  And keep an eye on the sleeping giant Thad Matta is building at Ohio St. (currently at 25 total picks) – he could overtake the Terps with two more of his Thad Five-type classes. 

Total draft picks are nice, but championships are won with first-round talent, and first-round talent tends to become first-round picks (just sayin’).  So let’s slice the data a little further to see what schools produce the most first rounders (Table B). 

The top six programs in history are also the top six producers of first round talent.  Correlation, much? (ok, for that comment, forget Notre Dame and their zero F4s)  We’re still aghast that Minnesota continues to appear in the top ten of this list.  Something tells us that Tubby won’t exactly set the Twin Cities on fire with first rounders up there on the tundra.   

How about elite players?  It’s true that a good argument can be made that the NBA’s recent propensity in drafting potential over production has mitigated some of the value of analyzing these draft numbers at the college level, but there’s likely still a strong correlation between elite NBA draftees and collegiate team success.  See Table C for the list of the schools with the most Top 10, Top 5 and #1 Overall Picks.   

LSU is the real anomaly of this group – they’ve had a modicum of team success over the years (three F4s), but they seem to excel in producing top-tier individual talent, with eight Top 5 picks in history.  Considering that LSU trails only UNC, UCLA and Duke in that category, it is phenomenal that the Tigers haven’t had more national success over the years (until we remember again… Dale Brown, John Brady).  Did anyone else realize that Duquesne has had two #1 picks in its history, and that they were in consecutive years?!?  Those Dick Ricketts (1955) and Sihugo Green (1956) teams of the mid-50s must have had P-town roiling, eh?  (well, actually, the Dukes were NIT Champs in 1955).

Now we’re to Table D, which shows the breakdown of picks by decade.  Keep in mind that the table is sorted by the 2000s column on the left – yes, we’re guilty of a serious case of presentism. 

We threw this table up mostly to show that with one NBA Draft remaining this decade, several schools have a chance to take the lead for most picks in the 2000s.  UCLA, Duke, Connecticut, Florida and Arizona could all have a couple more picks in the books by this time next year.  UNC is the real wildcard, though.  The Heels could have as many as five draftees in next year’s class, which would give them an outside shot at leading the decade, and is amazingly something that UNC has never done in its regal NBA Draft history.

Again, here is the link to the Google Docs listing the programs with 10+ draft picks in history, and here is the link to the comprehensive raw data where you can look up and manipulate the table to locate any pick from the last sixty years. 

We have some further ideas for this data, but that’ll have to wait for another post. 

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07.25.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on July 25th, 2008

Some things we’ve missed while lounging in a pool of indignant contempt (and mineral hot springs)with Lute Olson, Kevin O’Neill and friends the past few weeks…

  • It’s Extension Season! - Davidson’s Bob McKillop (3 more yrs until 2015-16), UCLA’s Ben Howland (7 yrs at approximately $2M per until 2014-15), Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl (1 more yr until 2013-14, but with a raise that will average out to $2.3M per over that span), Notre Dame’s Mike Brey (2 more yrs until 2014-15), Temple’s Fran Dunphy (2 more yrs through 2013-14), and Oregon’s Ernie Kent (3 more yrs until 2012-13) all got their wives a new car last week.
  • UCLA’s AD Dan Guerrero is the new NCAA Tournament Committee chairman for 2009-10.   Expect UCLA to play in Pauley and the Staples Center during its first four rounds that year.
  • Tim Floyd breathed a sigh of relief when he learned last week that Demar DeRozan passed the ACT and will be eligible next season for his Trojans.  DeRozan is a likely 1-and-done, which means Lute Olson has vowed to not recruit players like him for the rest of his career (still feeling the burn of Jennings and Bayless, Lute?)
  • Gonzaga forward and RTC fav Austin Daye both tore and didn’t tear his ACL at the Lebron Skills Camp recently.  He should be ok for the upcoming season. 
  • Welcome to the Kyle Taber Hoosiers.  Speaking of which, ex-Hoosier Jordan Crawford is transferring to Xavier. 
  • Memphis guard Doneal Mack has decided to return to Calipari’s squad after all – he had previously stated that he was transferring to the University of FEMA New Orleans. 
  • This is interesting.  Georgia Tech center Ra’Sean Dickey has decided to forgo his senior season so that he can begin his professional career in Ukraine?  Wow, thie Euro thing is starting to heat up, eh?
  • The fall of former Florida gambler guard and gunner Teddy Dupay is now complete.  He was recently charged with rape, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping of a Utah woman, according to court documents. 
  • It’s sayonara to the Top of the World Classic in Alaska.
  • The extremely poorly situated Kentucky Basketball Museum closed its doors in the face of large financial losses. 
  • We wanted to get a take in on the Brandon Jennings Experiment, as articulately described by N-Bug upon BJ’s announcement that he’ll spend his “1-and-done” year playing in Europe.  Generally, we think this will be a disaster and wouldn’t be surprised if Jennings absolutely submerges his draft stock during the season (that is, until he returns next spring and excels in the 1-on-1 workouts given by teams).  Gottlieb nailed it when he pointed out that EuroLeague ball is of a much-higher quality than what Jennings probably thinks it is (and certainly well above college hoops).  Lots of risk of exposure here for Jennings.  Bad decision. 
  • Gary Parrish makes a compelling point about the inherent conflict of interest in referees working for schools calling games on international trips and scrimmages, then turning around and calling games for those same teams during the season.  As you may recall, we wrote exactly a year ago that the Donaghy situation happens way more than anyone thinks, and this is just another loophole that encourages it. 
  • Maybe we’re cynical, but there has to be a Shawn Kemp is Broke story somewhere in this tender piece by Luke Winn.
  • Davidson’s Stephen Curry has noticed that his life has changed after his spectacular March run.
  • Where does Super Mario’s shot rank in the all-time great NCAA shots pantheon?  His former teammate Sherron Collins won’t have to worry about watching the highlight from the pokey, as prosecutors stated there was not enough evidence to substantiate allegations against him stemming from an alleged incident in an elevator with a woman on the KU campus. 
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The Brandon Jennings Experiment

Posted by nvr1983 on July 17th, 2008

In what will undoubtably be one of the most scrutinized decision in prep sports history, 5-star point guard and Arizona signee Brandon Jennings has decided to forgo his college eligibility to turn pro. . .in Europe. While most people have been speculating that the decision is based on his trouble achieving a high enough SAT score–met the requirement on his 2nd try, but the NCAA flagged it for being a suspiciously high increase from his 1st try and he is awaiting the results of his 3rd attempt–his family asserts they have been considering going to Europe for a while because of the NBA rule that American high school players cannot be drafted until 1 year after their high school class has graduated. Lute Olson appears to be less than thrilled with the decision and has stated he will not recruit anybody who would be a one-and-done player.

While Jennings probably isn’t the 1st American-born player to go straight from high school to an overseas professional league, he certainly is the first with legitimate NBA potential. It will be interesting to see how Jennings does as it will give us a better insight into high-level college basketball versus European pro ball.

On Thursday, Jennings signed with Pallacanestro Virtus Roma of the Italian league. The deal was negotiated by Sonny Vaccaro (surprise!) and is described as a “three-year, multimillion-dollar” contract with an option for a buyout if Jennings wishes to enter the NBA Draft. Vaccaro declined to go into detail about the financials, but I’m assuming Vaccaro is shrewd enough to make sure that the buyout isn’t significant enough to affect his client’s draft stock.

I’m not that familiar with European basketball outside of a few of the major powers, which Pallacanestro Virtus Roma definitely is not (last European League title came in 1984). However, it seems like Vaccaro has ensured that Jennings is in a position to succeed by placing him with an English-speaking coach and arranging for many other things including taking care of his family.

In order to study what could become a major turning point in college basketball (players skipping it to go overseas before the NBA), we will try to provide updates and analysis of Jennings and his performance along with an attempt to translate it into how it will affect his draft stock. In the meantime, if any of you are familiar with Italian league basketball share your knowledge with your fellow fans in the comment section.

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Adios, Billy Packer!

Posted by nvr1983 on July 14th, 2008

In a move that we are certain will generate a ton of praise around the college basketball world (and the blogosphere), CBS has decided to not renew everyone’s least favorite curmudgeon Billy Packer (h/t to The Big Lead for pointing this out). After 27 years at CBS and having called the national championship game every year since 1977, CBS has “decided to move into another direction” (a phrase I’m sure many of our readers have heard before).

Like most college basketball fans, I’m excited to see Packer and his bitterness leave the airwaves (although I’m sure that rtmsf is sad to see a Wake Forest alum lose his job). While Packer has certainly become an institution (of hatred) in college basketball, it seems like in recent years, Packer has been more controversial than normal although that may just be a recency effect.

Among Packer’s “memorable” moments:
-1996: During a Georgetown-Villanova game, he calls Allen Iverson a “tough monkey”. He apologizes and John Thompson (the original, not JT3) says it’s a non-issue because he says Packer is not a racist.
-2000: When two Duke female (yeah, I know an oxymoron) students ask to see his press pass, Packer reportedly responds “Since when do we let women control who gets into a men’s basketball game? Why don’t you go find a women’s game to let people into?” Once again Packer apologizes.
-2004: Criticizes the NCAA selection committee for giving 1-loss Saint Joseph’s a #1 seed in the East Regional. This leads to a small disagreement between Packer and the CBS guest–St. Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli. The Hawks go onto reach the Elite 8 (beating Packer’s alma mater Wake Forest in the Sweet 16) before losing to Oklahoma State in a tight game.
-2006: Packer rips into the selection committee for taking mid-majors over BCSconference schools. The mid-majors responded by having Bradley and Wichita State make it to the Sweet 16 and George Mason make it to the Final 4.
-2008: With 27:30 left in the national semifinal, Packer tells viewers that the game is over. Surprisingly it isn’t. I’m sure the CBS bigwigs weren’t too thrilled that Packer essentially told viewers they could stop watching with 27:30 left in the game.

I’m sure there are others dating back to the beginning of his time on TV, but frankly I’m too young to remember the more distant controversies.

In an attempt to remain “fair & balanced”, we should note that Packer is most likely the 2nd person casual college basketball fans think of when they think of announcers–a distant 2nd to Dick Vitale. We’ll leave you with this YouTube clip from last year with Packer and Jim Nantz discussing his potential legacy (disclosure: I haven’t listened to this because I’m at work and I forgot my headphones–it’s a Monday):

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“…inherited a tremendous amount of dysfunction”

Posted by rtmsf on July 3rd, 2008

The above quote is attributable to new Indiana coach Tom Crean, whose program was rocked again yesterday with the news that IU will give up two scholarships in anticipation of a poor APR score in 2008-09.  You may recall that the Hoosiers with a score of 899 already ranked in the bottom eight BCS schools in the most recent APR scoring.  Seeking to counteract an anticipated horrendous score based on the 2007-08 debacle (can you get a zero in the APR?), Indiana has decided to get proactive and attempt to take their medicine all in one lump next season.  Keeping in mind that IU lost seven players this offseason (not to mention a coach and an AD), Assistant AD Frank Cuervo had this to say:

It’s not necessarily about one issue.  It’s obviously related to the APR score. In terms of reasons, it’s not necessarily due to just players leaving.

Um, yeah, it’s not about players leaving per se; rather, it’s about players leaving an academic clusterf*ck in their wake.  Considering what we know about how Kelvin Sanctions with respect to his organizational management skills (almost as good as Tubby Smith’s missing fax), it’s not a leap to believe that most of his players at IU were barely skirting by in the classroom.  Several of them may have stopped attending classes altogether. 

Crean Needs Some Good News For Once

The NCAA has a lot of decisions to make in the coming month with respect to the IU program.  The NCAA Infractions Report is due near the end of July, and Indiana appears to have put its best foot forward throughout this process to retroactively police itself.  But we fear that the ‘clean house’ approach may not satisfy the NCAA, who may use this situation to steer conscientious programs away from questionable-character coaching hires in the future.   Regardless of the penalties levied, with only eight scholarship players suiting up in 2008-09 Hoosier basketball is probably facing its worst season  since Lou Watson’s 7-17 debacle back in 1969-70.  And without snagging a few Eric Gordons all at once, it’s unlikely Indiana basketball will “get back” until early in the next decade.   

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2008 One-and-Dones – Was It Worth It?

Posted by rtmsf on July 1st, 2008

Happy Fiscal New Year, everyone! 

Along with the turn of the fiscal calendar, July 1 also represents the turn of the academic calendar.  This is particularly appropriate for hoopheads, as the NBA’s season has ended and the draft madness that dominated bandwidth for the last two months after the Mario Miracle has died down to a whimper (well, there’s always 2009, right?).  All there really is to look forward to until October is the Ego Known as Kobe Bryant’s attempt to restore American hegemony in the international (read: Olympics) hoops realm.  That comes in August. 

So now is as good a time as any to take a look back at the 2007-08 season and once again review how the NBA’s one-and-done rule worked out for the schools that enabled it.  You might recall that we took a look at this last year and concluded: Ohio St., UNC, Texas… good.  Georgia Tech, Washington… not so good.  We also mentioned that several schools – Stanford, Tennessee, Arizona and Kansas included – were hanging onto players who could have been one-and-dones, but weren’t.  With the exception of the often comatose Arizona team, the other three as a result had fantastic squads last year. 

To start it off, let’s refresh ourselves with who the Rivals Top 20 recruits were coming into 2007-08.  As you can see below, we added a few columns that outline the player’s freshman numbers (pts/rebs/assts or blocks) and his team’s record as well as whether he went into the draft or is returning next season. 

So was it worth it?  Our takes:

Kansas St.  - Well Worth It.    K-State rode the best.freshman.ever Michael Beasley and sorta-but-not-really one-and-done Bill Walker (he was a medical redshirt in 06-07) as far as it could, which included a third-place finish in the competitive Big 12, a second-round NCAA tournament appearance and the first home win in twenty-four years over its rival and eventual national champion Kansas Jayhawks.  In other words, K-State’s best season in a generation.  The important aspect of Beasley and Walker’s one-and-dones for KSU head coach Frank Martin is to capitalize on future recruiting from the good will and national notoriety mustered by these players while on campus.  If he does not do so, and it’s soon back to the bottom of the Big 12 barrel for K-State, then the potential positive impacts of these stars passing through Manhattan, KS, were missed. 

Memphis – Well Worth It.  This too is a no-brainer.  #1 overall pick Derrick Rose converted a competitive yet incomplete team that would consistently flame out prior to the Final Four against other elite teams into a team that probably should have won the national title.  Rose led Memphis to a 38-2 record and had the Tigers in the argument for the most dominant season in the post-Wooden era before its epic free-throw meltdown in the championship game.  Even only as a runner-up, a Memphis fan would be hard pressed to find much else wrong with the 07-08 season, and as such, the one-year stopover by Derrick Rose was well worth it. 

Memphis Would Take A Rose Every Year (AP photo/Seth Wenig)

UCLA – Worth It.  This was a tough one, because UCLA came into the 07-08 season already having been to the last two Final Fours.  Anything short of that measure was going to be a disappointment (although Bruin fans might argue anything less than a national title is a disappointment).  We’ll argue, however, that Kevin Love brought a toughness and star-quality to Westwood that had been lacking on Ben Howland’s previous teams.  Not to mention that UCLA last season at 35-4 was simply a better team than the ones led by backcourt players (Afflalo and Farmar).  More than anything, Love’s presence solidifed UCLA again as a marquee destination for top-notch recruits, as Howland has penned five of the Rivals Top 50 in the Class of 2008. 

Arizona – Worth It.  It’s quite possible that Jerryd Bayless last season saved Arizona from breaking its NCAA Tournament streak of 24 consecutive appearances.  Arizona certainly didn’t have a great year amidst all the Lute Olson divorce and feud with Kevin O’Neill turmoils, but with a final record of 19-15, you have to figure that Bayless’ fantastic freshman year was worth a few wins that put the Cats back into the field of 65.  But that’s about all it was worth.  It certainly didn’t make Arizona into a contender of any kind, and it’s doubtful whether there will be any residual effects from Bayless’ time in Tucson.   

Indiana – Worth It.  Eric Gordon‘s arrival in Bloomington was worth it if for no other reason than it gave Hoosier fans something to be excited about for approximately three months (Nov-Jan).  Now that the wheels have come completely tumbling off of the Indiana program, we have to wonder just how long their fans will covet and remember the halcyon days when IU was 16-1 and ranked #7 in the AP Poll.  Of course, E-Giddy was partially responsible for Indiana’s subsequent collapse (18.2 ppg on 37.2% FG/25.3% 3FG shooting in the last 13 games (8-5)), but we put most of that on the ultimate dismissal of Kelvin Sanctions whereupon the entire team simply quit playing.  So in our view, this one-and-done represents the last great season that Indiana will have for a while.  Too bad it couldn’t have worked out better for everyone involved. 

Gordon Left More than a Bloody Tooth in His Wake (photo credit:  Bloomington Herald-Times)

USC – Not Worth It.    For a while during the season, it appeared as if the OJ Mayo one-and-done situation might just work out for Tim Floyd and the Trojan Nation.  Similar to K-State, USC hadn’t seen this much hoops attention in years – with Mayo as the headliner, USC played numerous national television games, beat UCLA at Pauley, and ended up tied for third in the rugged Pac-10.  Of course, the wheels came off when USC failed to show up to its hyped battle against K-State in the first round of the NCAAs and the propriety of Mayo’s eligibility was called into question by ESPN soon thereafter.  Throw in Davon Jefferson (a one-and-done from the Class of 2006 who went to prep school for a year before enrolling at USC) and his foolish decision to enter this year’s draft (undrafted) and we’re not sure just how successful USC can claim 2007-08 was.  After all, the 2006-07 edition of the Trojans, led by Nick Young and Gabe Pruitt, also finished third in the Pac-10 but had a better overall record (23-11) and played into the second weekend of March Madness (giving Carolina all it wanted in the process).  Finally, with another uber-recruit, Demar DeRozan, coming to USC next year, Floyd needs to be hyper-vigilant about those nefarious agents and runners in light of the Mayo debacle because more eyes will be watching.   

NC State – Not Worth It.  Hey, remember all the preseason talk about how NC State was the third best team in the ACC, and a definite NCAA Tournament team?  Yeah, we don’t either.  Actually, we do, and few of the pundits will own up to the fact that it was a terrible prediction.  For the record, NC State ended up 15-16, but the Wolfpack were 4-12 in the ACC (worse than the previous year’s 5-11 campaign that inspired such foolishness) and lost their last nine games.  So what did JJ Hickson’s presence in Raleigh bring to the team?  Other than team chemistry problems, of course?  It doesn’t appear that he brought much else than an ability to get himself drafted.  NC State will likely be significantly better without him next season. 

What Chemistry Problems? 

LSU – Not Worth It.  While we’re in the business of ripping bad teams with one-and-done players, we shouldn’t overlook the LSU Tigers.  LSU seems to have one of these guys about every other year anyway, so it probably doesn’t matter much in terms of long-term effects, but a 13-18 record with a loss at Tulane calls into question the value of Anthony Randolph’s tenure on campus in Baton Rouge.  Certainly the mail-it-in coaching style of Mr. Misty Champagne didn’t help things out much, but even with John Wooden coaching that team, we’re not sure how much Randolph could have lifted the Bayou Bengals.

Others.  These teams all had one-and-dones of questionable efficacy.  Put another way, these teams probably wouldn’t have been much better nor worse had these players gone elsewhere.  Exhibit A is Texas A&M‘s DeAndre Jordan.  TAMU was a tourney team anyway, led by Joseph Jones and Josh Carter, and it’s doubtful that Jordan’s four double-figure points games and two double-figure rebounds games in the Big 12 had much of an effect on A&M’s successful season.  Not Worth It.  Syracuse fans may disagree with us here, but despite Donte Greene‘s exceptional first-year numbers, we find it hard to believe that the Orange would have been any less average than they already were last year (21-14, 9-10 Big East).  After all, Jim Boeheim could take five schoolgirls and make them competitive - he just wouldn’t win the title with them (unless Carmela Anthony was on the team).  The question is whether Syracuse fans are pleased with a third-round NIT appearance, and we all know the answer to that – a resounding no.  For a school with multiple F4s and a recent championship banner, missing the NCAAs completely is a failing season, no matter the reasonable expectation.  Not Worth It.  Finally, we look at Ohio St., who took Kosta Koufos to replace last year’s one-and-donest, Greg Oden.  The answer here once again comes down to the question of expectation vs. reality of the situation.  Without Oden, Mike Conley and Daequan Cook, it wasn’t realistic for Thad Matta to make another run at the F4; but the bar has been raised so high at Ohio St. under Matta that a 24-13 season leading to an NIT championship must necessarily be viewed as less-than-stellar.  Winning the Capital One Bowl doesn’t match the Rose Bowl, does it, Buckeye fans?  We’ll call this one a Push.   

Final Thoughts.  With so many freshmen leaving this year from the top 20 Rivals list, we’d guess only Florida with Nick Calathes and Chandler Parsons returning may be a team to really watch closely next year.  Otherwise, keep an eye on UCLA, Wake Forest and UConn, each of which has multiple top twenty players coming onto campus next year. 

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