Please accept my sincerest apologies for the absent Morning Five yesterday. I hope a double-dose of links will help ease the pain.
- Run The Floor: In case you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of defensive charting. Michael Rogner has charted the defensive work of Bernard James, John Henson, Josh Smith and Anthony Davis. Putting on your ACC goggles, you can also check his piece over at Tomahawk Nation that ignores the non-Seminole players. The findings are very interesting. Basically, without Chris Singleton, the Seminole defense is elite with James in the game and above average with him on the bench. With James on the court, Leonard Hamilton’s squad allows only 0.75 points per possession, but with him on the bench it allows 0.91 points per possession. That’s a gigantic difference. For comparison’s sake, Henson “only” affects North Carolina’s defense by 0.11 points per possession.
- Durham Herald-Sun: James Michael McAdoo is off to a relatively slow start for North Carolina this season, and Roy Williams thinks it’s his lack of aggression to blame. Against UNCG, “Williams turned to the bench and said that if the 6’9″ freshman didn’t dunk the ball next time, everyone on the team would run sprints while he sat McAdoo on a lawn chair and served him lemonade.” McAdoo’s talent is undeniable, but his transition to the college level has been far from smooth.
- Washington Post: Coaching legend Larry Brown made another short stop (zing) to visit his former player, Mark Turgeon, at Maryland’s basketball practice recently. Despite playing for North Carolina, Brown called Maryland a “special place” with a “special coach.” The only coach in history to win an NCAA championship (1988) and an NBA championship (2004) also gave some advice to Turgeon.
- Basketball Prospectus: Drew Cannon evaluated Kendall Marshall as the 70th best basketball player in the country during the offseason, which was substantially below where pretty much everyone else places the unique North Carolina point guard. But Cannon realized that “[he] was evaluating players in terms of ‘how many wins would this player add to a randomly assembled team of college players?’ while everyone else was evaluating players in terms of ‘how many wins will this player add to his team?’” It’s an important distinction to make, and a valuable one. I still think he had Marshall a little undervalued (and most have him overvalued), but it certainly provides some food for thought (also, don’t be surprised to see some more content this week in a similar vein).
- CollegeHoops.net: It’s probably not surprising that three ACC teams are in the Top 25 this week. What may be surprising is which three teams made the cut. Instead of Florida State, Virginia‘s hot start earned the Cavaliers the conference’s third spot in the AP and Coaches polls. This raises the question of which team is actually better. Florida State has played a tougher schedule, and definitely has the athletic advantage on defense. But Virginia’s offensive and defensive numbers are a little better at the moment. This debate will definitely be something to keep an eye on moving forward. The second half of today’s links is after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »