Morning Five: 11.15.13 Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on November 15th, 2013
- Regardless of what happens the rest of the season Tuesday night will be one of the biggest nights of the season given the amount of attention the sport received with the stars being showcased at the Champions Classic. In a similar way, Friday could be one of the bigger days of the 2014-15 season and will have a bigger impact on next year’s championship picture than Tuesday will have on this season’s championship. In one of the bigger recruiting announcement days that we can remember, four of the top 10 players in the country–Jahlil Okafor (#1), Cliff Alexander (#3), Tyus Jones (#4), and Stanley Johnson (#9)–will announce where they are headed. As Roger Kuznia notes the key will be Okafor and Jones, who have consistently said they are going to be a package. Most recruiting analysts we have heard discuss the class have said that wherever that duo ends up–Duke and Kansas are said to be the favorites–should be the #1 recruiting class and the presumptive favorite to win the 2015 national title. Alexander is reportedly choosing between DePaul, Illinois, Kansas, and Memphis with Illinois and Kansas leading the way. As ridiculous as it sounds there is the possibility that Okafor, Alexander, and Jones all end up at Kansas. As for Johnson, he is choosing between Arizona, Kentucky, and USC with Arizona considered the heavy favorite.
- We all know that being a coveted high school prospect doesn’t guarantee you a future as a NBA player just like not being a heavily recruited high school player does not mean you can’t make it to the NBA. What we didn’t realize was how many NBA stars did not even make the Rivals 150 when they were in high school. Now you can quibble over whether some of these guys qualify as stars, but they are all certainly solid NBA players. The other interesting aspect of the analysis is how many of these guys left college and still were not considered elite players when they entered the NBA based on where they were drafted.
- If you are looking to go to a Duke-North Carolina game to cross it off your bucket list, you might want to start saving. According to TiqIQ, the average price of a ticket to this season’s game at Duke is $1,728 on the secondary market. Part of the reason for the ridiculous prices at Duke is their limited supply playing in such a small venue (average ticket price overall is $409) and the rivalry has developed a certain cachet thanks in large part to the coverage that ESPN and other major outlets give it. There have been plenty of other big games over the years, but due to the small size of Cameron we doubt that any other game comes close matching the demand that Duke-North Carolina at Cameron has.
- Although this is the second week of Luke Winn’s Power Rankings this season, to us it is really the first week since he now has some data from this season to process. In this week’s edition, Luke goes through his usual number-crunching (we are assuming the Russ Smith/Aaron Craft “Turnometers” will be returning soon), but the numbers that jumped out as us were the disparity in shooting frequency of Chris Jones and T.J. McConnell. Jones has toned down his shooting frequency to 27.8 percent to fit in with Russ Smith while McConnell is only taking 9.5 percent this season. We would be interested to see this trended for different programs to see how much of that is related to the program/offense and how much is related to the player. As Luke points out, the Arizona difference appears to be player-related (Mark Lyons took 27.9 percent last year).
- Schadenfreude. If Kentucky fans were not familiar with the word, they should be after their loss against Michigan State thanks to the (dumb) idea that a Kentucky fan had to print “40-0″ shirts before the season even started. With the Wildcats loss on Tuesday, the shirts appeared to lose their value. That is to Kentucky fans. To opposing fans they are a comedy goldmine. This reminds us a little of two college students (New York Giants fans) who sought out the discarded New England Patriots 19-0 shirts by travelling to Nicaragua to get the shirts given away by a humanitarian agency. Obviously, this form of taunting takes much less work.
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