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  1. Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    But would UCLA be a deserving top 5 team? Before the tournament, UCLA was KenPom's #44 team (11 spots below Duke), with a #11 seed, playing in the First Four. Does a decent five game run from a team that according to Pomeroy was virtually identical to Arizona (if Arizona brings back just about every other significant player on its roster, would Arizona be top 5 too?) really merit such lofty status?
    It's 5 games out of what, 32? So yes that's a significant sample size, and the most relevant as well considering it is 1) the most recent, teams do improve over time and 2) it came in the NCAA tournament where performance matters most.

    Took a quick look at KenPom and they're at #13 after the tournament. Not sure who's leaving and joining the various teams in the offseason but a top 5 ranking doesn't sound unreasonable given all the above.

    I do think KenPom is one of the best rankings out there, but as I've said in the past, I think these systems are limited given the small amount of data available. I'd rather go with tournament results and conclude UCLA is one of the best teams in America as of April 4 versus their #44 KenPom pre-tournament ranking which in retrospect was obviously not right.

  2. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    At least in hindsight (and maybe even without such benefit) it seems like UCLA may have been significantly underseeded. They had bad losses during the year to Stanford (by one point in OT on the road) and Washington State also on the road.

    Their other losses were to:

    at San Diego State in November. (#6 seed in NCAAT; finished #30 in KenPom)
    at Ohio State (#2 seed in NCAAT; finished #11 in KenPom) - technically a neutral but at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland
    USC twice (#6 seed in NCAAT, killed Kansas and made it to Elite 8; finished #6 in KenPom)
    at Colorado (#5 seed in NCAAT; finished #8 in KenPom)
    at Oregon (#7 seed in NCAAT, trounced Iowa and made it to Sweet 16; finished #16 in KenPom)
    Pac 12 Tournament vs. Oregon State. (Elite Eight team)

    In its NCAAT run, UCLA took care of Michigan State, BYU (final KenPom #20), #2 seed Alabama (final KenPom #9), and #1 seed Michigan (final KenPom #3) before losing the heartbreaking buzzerbeater to Gonzaga.

    UCLA itself finished #13 in KenPom.

    I can see them legitimately ranked in the preseason top 5 if Juzang returns and especially is Smith is back. The G league is trying to poach Watson (which would make Mick Cronin's head explode after they got Nix last year) but if that fails, UCLA is going to be really solid.
    I also wonder, given fewer games this year and less inter-conference play, if there weren’t enough data points to calibrate the statistical models correctly. It’s hard to ignore how the PAC 12 as a whole over performed in the NCAA tournament. Maybe the conference was stronger than numbers suggest, and therefore UCLAs Kenpom rating would have been higher if there were more games against other conferences to calibrate the strength of the PAC12?

  3. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkirsh View Post
    I also wonder, given fewer games this year and less inter-conference play, if there weren’t enough data points to calibrate the statistical models correctly. It’s hard to ignore how the PAC 12 as a whole over performed in the NCAA tournament. Maybe the conference was stronger than numbers suggest, and therefore UCLAs Kenpom rating would have been higher if there were more games against other conferences to calibrate the strength of the PAC12?
    Yeah, as others have pointed out, the college bball season isn't really well suited to measure/compare quality across conferences even in a normal year. And this year that's even more true.

    Now, whether or not the numbers were accurate and UCLA just got hot at the right time, or whether they were underrated coming in is pretty close to impossible to say. But there is definitely a good argument to be made that the rating may have been underestimated coming into the tournament.

  4. #144
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    Chad Ford, who has been doing NBA Draft stuff for a long time and certainly knows his stuff, has a list of everyone who is in and everyone who is on the fence: https://www.nbabigboard.com/p/whos-i...-the-nba-draft

    It is an interesting list to peruse. I had no idea that FSU's Sardaar Calhoun was exploring the draft. He was one of the best JUCO transfers in the country last year and I figured he would really take a bigger role for the Noles this coming season with MJ Walker graduating and Scottie Barnes moving on to the draft. I also did not know that Balsa Koprivica was going into the draft. Doesn't feel like his game works in the NBA. He may be turning pro so he can begin playing in Europe (he's from Serbia). Both of those are significant losses for Florida State considering they are also losing Walker, Barnes, and RaiQuan Gray to the draft.

    Of note, Ford says Matthew Hurt will go in the 35-55 range. He lists DJ Steward in the 40-undrafted range.

    His lists include guys still expected to declare and guys who are "50-50."

    No where on any of the lists will you find the name Mark Williams. That tells me that NBA scouts aren't even looking at Williams yet.
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  5. #145
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    scottdude8 is offline Contributor, Zoubek disciple, and resident Wolverine
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Chad Ford, who has been doing NBA Draft stuff for a long time and certainly knows his stuff, has a list of everyone who is in and everyone who is on the fence: https://www.nbabigboard.com/p/whos-i...-the-nba-draft

    It is an interesting list to peruse. I had no idea that FSU's Sardaar Calhoun was exploring the draft. He was one of the best JUCO transfers in the country last year and I figured he would really take a bigger role for the Noles this coming season with MJ Walker graduating and Scottie Barnes moving on to the draft. I also did not know that Balsa Koprivica was going into the draft. Doesn't feel like his game works in the NBA. He may be turning pro so he can begin playing in Europe (he's from Serbia). Both of those are significant losses for Florida State considering they are also losing Walker, Barnes, and RaiQuan Gray to the draft.

    Of note, Ford says Matthew Hurt will go in the 35-55 range. He lists DJ Steward in the 40-undrafted range.

    His lists include guys still expected to declare and guys who are "50-50."

    No where on any of the lists will you find the name Mark Williams. That tells me that NBA scouts aren't even looking at Williams yet.
    That sound you just heard was the collective exhaling of the entire board

    Looking at the list, I find it fascinating how few players there are left to make their intentions clear (really only four potential first rounders in Butler, Kispert, Wagner and Brown) and how many likely undrafted players there are who have declared. I know that's the way things have been going the past few years, but it is still a bit mind blowing to see so explicitly.

    The question in my mind is, will there be a "surprise" returnee among those who have yet to declare? There've always been a couple each year in the recent past... we all know the magic Ol' Roy had, and Tom Izzo had a similar run (Miles Bridges comes to mind, as he was a projected lottery pick after year 1 but came back for year 2 and slid a bit). Baylor loses a lot, but if Butler somehow returns does that make them a favorite to repeat? If Kispert returns, how loaded will Gonzaga be? If Wagner returns, and Michigan returns four of their five starters of the Elite 8 run plus the No. 1 recruiting class, how dangerous will they be?

    The high probability is that all of those guys go to the NBA. But the longer they wait on announcing, the less long those odds get. Any of those players returning would drastically affect the landscape of next year.

    P.S. A footnote on the three players I highlighted: Despite being a sophomore, Wagner is only 19 years old, and doesn't turn 20 until August. He's younger than Hunter Dickinson, who's a year below him. Given that, the potential of Michigan's squad next year, and the fact that his brother stayed in Ann Arbor for three years, as a Michigan fan I retain some hope that he could return. Just an interesting note that "class" (freshman/sophomore/junior/senior) is less important than age nowadays when it comes to declaring for the draft, as we saw with Cassius last year.
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  6. #146
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    you guys are doing a great job of jinxing this thing...first "he's decided to return," then "no one's looking at him." Taunt the hoop gods are your peril.

  7. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post

    Of note, Ford says Matthew Hurt will go in the 35-55 range. He lists DJ Steward in the 40-undrafted range.

    His lists include guys still expected to declare and guys who are "50-50."
    .
    So given these expectations for Hurt and Steward, it still amazes me that they would declare and hire agents. Why not test the waters like some players from other schools do? I know several on this Board have said that Duke players get really good advice from the coaching staff, but that advice presumably would have indicated these draft ranges. Is it that they do not believe they could improve their positions with another year at Duke? And if that is the case (that they know they are solidly in the 35+ or undrafted ranges), how can they also think they are really ready for the NBA?

  8. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tooold View Post
    So given these expectations for Hurt and Steward, it still amazes me that they would declare and hire agents. Why not test the waters like some players from other schools do? I know several on this Board have said that Duke players get really good advice from the coaching staff, but that advice presumably would have indicated these draft ranges. Is it that they do not believe they could improve their positions with another year at Duke? And if that is the case (that they know they are solidly in the 35+ or undrafted ranges), how can they also think they are really ready for the NBA?
    They simply have decided not to return to college. They can continue to get ready for the NBA elsewhere or play professionally elsewhere. Is it really that hard to believe that a player might choose to play non-NBA professional basketball instead of returning for another season of college? I really don't understand the often stated view here that if a player leaves and is then undrafted, that their draft status proves they misunderstood the situation or made a mistake.

  9. #149
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    CBSsports projects Johnson and Hurt in first round.

    https://247sports.com/LongFormArticl.../#164608200_17

  10. #150
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  11. #151
    Quote Originally Posted by freshmanjs View Post
    They simply have decided not to return to college. They can continue to get ready for the NBA elsewhere or play professionally elsewhere. Is it really that hard to believe that a player might choose to play non-NBA professional basketball instead of returning for another season of college? I really don't understand the often stated view here that if a player leaves and is then undrafted, that their draft status proves they misunderstood the situation or made a mistake.
    I think you’re right that guys need to follow their heart and go pro when they want to go. Seems like the G league path is a tough slog for a teenager. There is some anecdotal evidence that college experience increases the odds of success. Quinn Cook and Seth Curry were men when they took that on. They’d been through 4-years of NCAA games and practice and training. They had also matured and overcome some difficulties. The same could be said for Lance. I think those guys likely would have been chewed up and spit out by the G league had they gone after their freshman year. So it also may turn out to be a mistake for DJ. Time will tell.

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    I don't know Kessler Edwards, who declared for the NBA Draft a few days ago. But that's the most Georgia Bulldog name I've ever heard, and yet he somehow went to Pepperdine. (Duke analogy: it's like if BYU had a guy named Buckley Carrawell.)

  13. #153
    Quote Originally Posted by brevity View Post
    I don't know Kessler Edwards, who declared for the NBA Draft a few days ago. But that's the most Georgia Bulldog name I've ever heard, and yet he somehow went to Pepperdine. (Duke analogy: it's like if BYU had a guy named Buckley Carrawell.)
    Could he be the greatest Pepperdine Hoopster since Dennis Johnson?

  14. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotusland View Post
    Could he be the greatest Pepperdine Hoopster since Dennis Johnson?
    Those senior enough might remember Bird Averitt, who was the greatest Pepperdine player, and who went on to have a successful ABA career. Doug Christie might be the second best.

    DJ was actually a kid from Compton who came up rough and was a JUCO player. He only played one (solid) year at Pepperdine so it’s hard to say he was the greatest Wave. Almost has to be Averitt.

  15. #155
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    A mention of Pepperdine hoops reminded me of this:

    Jim Harrick took over the head coaching assignment and during his nine-year run, Pepperdine teams compiled a cumulative record of 167-97 (.633) and advanced to postseason play six times. His Waves went on to the NCAA Tournament four times (1981, 1982, 1985 and 1986) plus earned berths to the National Invitation Tournament in 1980 and 1988. Pepperdine won or shared the league championship in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985 and 1986.

    In what may be the most memorable NCAA Tournament game in Pepperdine history, the Waves lost a heartbreaking first-round decision in 1983 to North Carolina State at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore., by a final score of 69-67 in double overtime. Pepperdine led the Wolfpack by six points with a little more than one minute to play in regulation, but missed free throws cost the Waves, and North Carolina State began its dream run to the national championship.


    https://pepperdinewaves.com/news/200...etball_History

    The game was prominently featured in the great 30/30 "Survive and Advance" about Jim Valvano and the Cardiac Pack.

    For Pepperdine, senior guard Dane Suttle (who averaged over 23 pts/game that season, and scored 1697 career points) was one of the Pepperdine players who missed crucial free throws to give the Pack a chance.

  16. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by roywhite View Post
    A mention of Pepperdine hoops reminded me of this:

    Jim Harrick took over the head coaching assignment and during his nine-year run, Pepperdine teams compiled a cumulative record of 167-97 (.633) and advanced to postseason play six times. His Waves went on to the NCAA Tournament four times (1981, 1982, 1985 and 1986) plus earned berths to the National Invitation Tournament in 1980 and 1988. Pepperdine won or shared the league championship in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985 and 1986.

    In what may be the most memorable NCAA Tournament game in Pepperdine history, the Waves lost a heartbreaking first-round decision in 1983 to North Carolina State at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore., by a final score of 69-67 in double overtime. Pepperdine led the Wolfpack by six points with a little more than one minute to play in regulation, but missed free throws cost the Waves, and North Carolina State began its dream run to the national championship.


    https://pepperdinewaves.com/news/200...etball_History

    The game was prominently featured in the great 30/30 "Survive and Advance" about Jim Valvano and the Cardiac Pack.

    For Pepperdine, senior guard Dane Suttle (who averaged over 23 pts/game that season, and scored 1697 career points) was one of the Pepperdine players who missed crucial free throws to give the Pack a chance.
    Pepperdine opened its 1985 NCAA Tournament against Duke. The Blue Devils won 75-62.

  17. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by roywhite View Post
    A mention of Pepperdine hoops reminded me of this:

    Jim Harrick took over the head coaching assignment and during his nine-year run, Pepperdine teams compiled a cumulative record of 167-97 (.633) and advanced to postseason play six times. His Waves went on to the NCAA Tournament four times (1981, 1982, 1985 and 1986) plus earned berths to the National Invitation Tournament in 1980 and 1988. Pepperdine won or shared the league championship in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985 and 1986.

    In what may be the most memorable NCAA Tournament game in Pepperdine history, the Waves lost a heartbreaking first-round decision in 1983 to North Carolina State at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore., by a final score of 69-67 in double overtime. Pepperdine led the Wolfpack by six points with a little more than one minute to play in regulation, but missed free throws cost the Waves, and North Carolina State began its dream run to the national championship.


    https://pepperdinewaves.com/news/200...etball_History

    The game was prominently featured in the great 30/30 "Survive and Advance" about Jim Valvano and the Cardiac Pack.

    For Pepperdine, senior guard Dane Suttle (who averaged over 23 pts/game that season, and scored 1697 career points) was one of the Pepperdine players who missed crucial free throws to give the Pack a chance.
    I remember watching that game late night in the Trent 3rd Floor Commons Room. Hard to imagine now, but at the time, Valvano’s late game “just foul them every time and make them make free throws” strategy was considered unique, innovative, and brilliant. I understand the strategy of course, but in my opinion it became a scourge upon the game.

  18. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    I remember watching that game late night in the Trent 3rd Floor Commons Room. Hard to imagine now, but at the time, Valvano’s late game “just foul them every time and make them make free throws” strategy was considered unique, innovative, and brilliant. I understand the strategy of course, but in my opinion it became a scourge upon the game.
    I was one floor below you

  19. #159
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    John Rothstein reporting: UNC head coach Hubert Davis says Armando Bacot, "will be back next year" even though Bacot is currently exploring NBA draft: https://twitter.com/JonRothstein/sta...52662802141192
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  20. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    I remember watching that game late night in the Trent 3rd Floor Commons Room. Hard to imagine now, but at the time, Valvano’s late game “just foul them every time and make them make free throws” strategy was considered unique, innovative, and brilliant. I understand the strategy of course, but in my opinion it became a scourge upon the game.
    I watched that game at the Outer Banks, it was preposterous the Woofies won that game...I don't recall how many FTs the Peppers missed, but it was a lot...

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