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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    Not a UVA fan, but it seems hard to me to make that claim. He brought in Sam Hauser and Justin McKoy for last season and then former Indiana G Arman Franklin and former ECU F Jayden Gardner for this season. Gardner is a two-time all conference player in the American Athletic Conference. That's between a mid-major and high-major in terms of a conference. Considering how Bennett doesn't go deep into his rotations and rarely plays freshmen, adding two starter-level transfers a high-major and just-below-high-major team seems pretty good to me.
    I have not taken a long look at all the transfers coming into the ACC next season, but I have to think Gardner and Franklin will be among the top five transfers in the league. Both guys were double-digit scorers in very good leagues. I fully expect each of them to be double-digit scorers in the ACC as well. Heck, you could probably argue that Virginia is the best team in the ACC at bringing in transfers (Louisville is also up there and Notre Dame seems to do well in this category too).
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Do the experts on this Board feel that Bennett's system negatively affected his ability to get transfers in the recent free for all market of college basketball free agency? I'd especially be interested in hearing from the Wahoo posters.
    Folks with better basketball knowledge than I have already posted. But since none are specifically UVA fans, and I pride myself on my customer service and awful brevity, I'll chip in a couple points.

    UVA fans, like everywhere else, are kind of a mixed bag. But it wasn't that long ago UVA's collective basketball aspiration was to be NC State, and a lot of UVA fans are still so used to wandering in the wilderness they haven't really figured out the details of what this means. For example, recruiting. When Duke landed Keels, a resounding cry went up of "We won a natty and we *still* can't recruit!!!" The subtext being now that UVA had won the big one, surely we'd start landing 5* players regularly, because the barrier to recruiting had been UVA being bad. Now that UVA was officially good, surely they'd start rolling in, right?

    Obviously, this is ridiculous. The difference between UVA and the recruiting Blue Bloods of the world wasn't winning a championship, or even winning a lot of regular season games, it was *everything*. How the roster is structured, the cadence of recruiting composition, the administration and athletic donors and to a lesser extent the community's expectations that put really varied and nuanced kinds of pressure on the coaches, things like how well the coach recruits, how pleasant they are to play for (Detroit Mercy. Yikes), and their offense/defensive philosophies, etc etc. Winning is a factor in that, but its only one factor and probably not even the single biggest one. As an example, Tony Bennett's predecessor, Dave Leitao (who kind of sucked as a coach and a person), recruited just as many McDonald's All-Americans in his 4 very mediocre years running UVA as Bennett has in 12 (1 each, Kyle Guy for Bennett and Sylvan Landesberg for Leitao, who Bennett promptly suspended from the team because he didn't go to class).

    My point, and I do have one, is that UVA's attractiveness as a transfer destination has bounced around a lot. Bennett's systems are... unique, and for the first several years while he was still working out the kinks, getting the team to buy in, and filling the roster with the right players, UVA did very little transfer recruiting. Finding someone who was good enough to be worth tying up a scholarship for a year while also being a pretzel-shaped peg to fit through that really idiosyncratic hole was a tall order. But over time, Bennett has done well enough that, yes, he's still stylistically odd, but everyone is aware and they know *how* his systems are odd. Plus, he and his staff have gotten better at teaching his concepts and making them accessible than they used to. So players *know* Bennett is looking for pretzel-shaped pegs, and the hole they have to fit through is a little more flexible than it used to be.

    So, to answer your question, I think Bennett's system was initially a huge minus, on average. But that's an oversimplification, because really it was that 95% of players would say "HELL, no" and 5% of players would be like "FINALLY, someone gets me!" and there wasn't a ton of in-between. Today its expanded a bit like I mentioned, but its still probably like 70% of players having absolutely zero interest, 15% willing to consider it (but are probably "No's"), and 15% are totally on-board. Which really comes through in UVA's recruiting. UVA these days offers scholarships to *very* few players. The process is less "Lets recruit a bunch of good players and hope we get some" and more "First lets figure out which four players can play AND we think will be interested in what we do, then lets talk to them". So Bennett zeros in quickly on the ~2 kids for each slot he's interested in, and it either ends with them being "on-board" and committing quickly, or it turns out they were really just "willing to consider it". In which case the recruitment drags out and UVA invariably loses to someone else several months later (which is what happened with both Coleman and Keels). Bennett's hit% on the kids he zeroes in on is actually really good, he probably gets, I dunno, 2/3 of them?

    Sorry, that, um, ran a little long. Hopefully it answered the question.

    TL; DR - For most kids, Bennett's system is a huge minus, but a small (and slowly growing) number of kids actually consider it a plus. Specifically this season, Franklin and Gardner were *the* two players Bennett wanted out of the transfer madhouse (with Philandrous Fleming Jr, best name ever, 1b behind Franklin) and he got them.

    Edit - One interesting note is that some UVA fans gnash their teeth and rend their clothes when UVA loses a recruiting battle to Duke (especially one from Virginia). But the reality is that UVA will almost always lose those battles, like with Keels. Partially because Duke is a recruiting juggernaut, and partially because by the time Duke got involved with Keels, UVA had already taken its best swing and failed to close the deal. UVA was technically still in the running for Keels to the end, but that's mostly because it doesn't take a ton of work to stay in those things (and UVA doesn't extend many scholarship offers. Not counting transfers, I'm guessing UVA offered 8-ish, high single digits, scholarships to kids in 2021. And for 2022 they're around 3. So, its not that much work to keep them going). Really, UVA had been at best a long-shot after Keels didn't commit back in the Fall of 2019.
    Last edited by ElliottHoo; 05-18-2021 at 12:42 PM.

  3. #23
    Elliot's post above me is a really good one and explains some of the nuances behind UVA's recruiting. I'll add that I think UVA has done pretty well recruiting the transfer market. UVA has landed some impact transfers that have allowed them to maintain a level of consistency since the departure of the 2016 class. However, I think UVA has had to rely on the transfer market recently because UVA has whiffed on a lot of HS recruits or the ones that we did land did not work out and transferred out. The 2016 class was an absolute home run in so many ways but the recruiting classes since have been mediocre and UVA has had to rely on 1-2 year transfers to fill the holes. However, it's really hard to learn/master the pack line defense in 1-2 years. I'm not sure the current recruiting model is a sustainable model for UVA to make continued deep runs in the NCAA tournament. UVA has also focused more heavily on recruiting international players (see 2021 commits) and seeking transfers from mid-major stars or guys from other major programs who buy in to team defense. UVA will continue to target 4-star players in the 40-80 range but there is increasing competition for those players from better branded programs.

    I don't expect UVA to win any recruiting battle against Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, or UNC. I think UVA can be competitive against the rest of the field but UVA has some additional challenges (pace, style, academics) that a lot of the other programs don't. In the end, Bennett is UVA's best asset and he can win a lot of games with less talented rosters than a lot of other coaches. But you still need pros to win championships and it's hard to recruit pros to UVA.
    Last edited by jhmoss1812; 05-18-2021 at 02:10 PM.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by jhmoss1812 View Post
    Elliot's post above me is a really good one and explains some of the nuances behind UVA's recruiting. I'll add that I think UVA has done pretty well recruiting the transfer market. UVA has landed some impact transfers that have allowed them to maintain a level of consistency since the departure of the 2016 class. However, I think UVA has had to rely on the transfer market recently because UVA has whiffed on a lot of HS recruits or the ones that we did land did not work out and transferred out. The 2016 class was an absolute home run in so many ways but the recruiting classes since have been mediocre and UVA has had to rely on 1-2 year transfers to fill the holes. However, it's really hard to learn/master the pack line defense in 1-2 years. I'm not sure the current recruiting model is a sustainable model for UVA to make continued deep runs in the NCAA tournament. UVA has also focused more heavily on recruiting international players (see 2021 commits) and seeking transfers from mid-major stars or guys from other major programs who buy in to team defense. UVA will continue to target 4-star players in the 40-80 range but there is increasing competition for those players from better branded programs.

    I don't expect UVA to win any recruiting battle against Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, or UNC. I think UVA can be competitive against the rest of the field but UVA has some additional challenges (pace, style, academics) that a lot of the other programs don't. In the end, Bennett is UVA's best asset and he can win a lot of games with less talented rosters than a lot of other coaches. But you still need pros to win championships and it's hard to recruit pros to UVA.
    Coming from a Duke alum and fan, do we still believe Duke, GaT or UVA really turn down 5-star players that meet minimum NCAA requirements??

  5. #25
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    The debate about the best transfers into the ACC has been moved to the Transfer thread: https://forums.dukebasketballreport...ason-Transfers
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  6. #26
    Halemetrics has posted for the 2021-22 season.

    https://haslametrics.com/ratings.php

    The rankings do not show Duke as high as T-Rank. However, Duke is still the highest-rated ACC team.

    There are some funky things going on here. Iowa is ranked 26th, for example. I don't think anyone would argue Iowa being a borderline top 25 team or even a tournament team this season. My guess is this system is heavily relying on last year's data. Luka Garza isn't coming through that door in Iowa City.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    Halemetrics has posted for the 2021-22 season.

    https://haslametrics.com/ratings.php

    The rankings do not show Duke as high as T-Rank. However, Duke is still the highest-rated ACC team.

    There are some funky things going on here. Iowa is ranked 26th, for example. I don't think anyone would argue Iowa being a borderline top 25 team or even a tournament team this season. My guess is this system is heavily relying on last year's data. Luka Garza isn't coming through that door in Iowa City.
    I love how these rankings are so clairvoyant in the early season

    "Duke will create problems for opponents with their extremely prolific offense. Scoring roughly 112 points for every 100 possessions vs. AO, the squad is rated #13 in offensive efficiency. Duke does an outstanding job finishing any scoring chances they obtain from offensive rebounds. Against AO, the team successfully converts 8.1% of all second-chance opportunities (ranked first nationally), and with a rating of 16.16,"

    Considering Duke is 0-0 these stats are awesome...

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    Halemetrics has posted for the 2021-22 season.

    https://haslametrics.com/ratings.php

    The rankings do not show Duke as high as T-Rank. However, Duke is still the highest-rated ACC team.

    There are some funky things going on here. Iowa is ranked 26th, for example. I don't think anyone would argue Iowa being a borderline top 25 team or even a tournament team this season. My guess is this system is heavily relying on last year's data. Luka Garza isn't coming through that door in Iowa City.
    According to their website:
    "The algorithm I utilize knows nothing about each team's history and, therefore, treats all teams as absolute equals on Day 1 of the season. As a result, you may see some unfamiliar names near the top of the rankings in the first month of the season as the algorithm continues to build a larger and larger sample set. Over time, however, the data settles in and the ratings become more and more accurate."

    So, I'm not really sure why he has any ranking at the moment. Maybe it is based off of last year's end-of-season results until day 1 of the season happens? Who knows.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    According to their website:
    "The algorithm I utilize knows nothing about each team's history and, therefore, treats all teams as absolute equals on Day 1 of the season. As a result, you may see some unfamiliar names near the top of the rankings in the first month of the season as the algorithm continues to build a larger and larger sample set. Over time, however, the data settles in and the ratings become more and more accurate."

    So, I'm not really sure why he has any ranking at the moment. Maybe it is based off of last year's end-of-season results until day 1 of the season happens? Who knows.
    I don't understand this want. Nobody's rankings are ideal until the graph is "fully connected," but then the choice is between having mediocre rankings before that, or useless ones. We see the useless ones from the NCAA rankings every year now...so I don't understand why the aversion to seeding teams based on past data that has shown to have predictive value, like previous seasons performance, returning minutes, experience, etc.
    basketball is back, baby!

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    I don't understand this want. Nobody's rankings are ideal until the graph is "fully connected," but then the choice is between having mediocre rankings before that, or useless ones. We see the useless ones from the NCAA rankings every year now...so I don't understand why the aversion to seeding teams based on past data that has shown to have predictive value, like previous seasons performance, returning minutes, experience, etc.
    I agree. It's weird to not use past data at this juncture, given that we all understand it is a guess. Using prior data in some form is totally reasonable for a starting point. Sort of a Bayesian conceptual framework, where the new data slowly updates the understanding and replaces the prior. What he's basically saying he does is a frequentist approach. But the problem is that his current rankings don't seem to follow his argument.

    I don't see how he's getting ratings right now if he is NOT using some sort of past data. Because there is quite literally zero data to do the calculations he says he's doing right now. Basically, none of what he's saying on his site makes sense. Maybe his data do get "better" than the others' with time. But right now nothing on his rankings is consistent with his stated methodology.

    Basically, I don't know what to make of anything he's saying because of the inconsistency in his site.

  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I agree. It's weird to not use past data at this juncture, given that we all understand it is a guess. Using prior data in some form is totally reasonable for a starting point. Sort of a Bayesian conceptual framework, where the new data slowly updates the understanding and replaces the prior. What he's basically saying he does is a frequentist approach. But the problem is that his current rankings don't seem to follow his argument.

    I don't see how he's getting ratings right now if he is NOT using some sort of past data. Because there is quite literally zero data to do the calculations he says he's doing right now. Basically, none of what he's saying on his site makes sense. Maybe his data do get "better" than the others' with time. But right now nothing on his rankings is consistent with his stated methodology.

    Basically, I don't know what to make of anything he's saying because of the inconsistency in his site.
    I agree, but I will say that I think "past data" is even more useless these days than it used to be with the transfer rates we see and the instability of rosters. But it's certainly better than nothing.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    I agree, but I will say that I think "past data" is even more useless these days than it used to be with the transfer rates we see and the instability of rosters. But it's certainly better than nothing.
    It's almost certainly less predictive than it used to be given all the roster turnover now. But it's better than zero.

    What I think most sites due is a combination of past history plus an attempt at valuing the returning roster. Obviously that's imperfect too: we don't really know how well the freshmen will do, nor are we certain how much improvement returning players or transfers will have. But there are probably ways to make a reasonable guess based on past performance data ("typical" year-to-year improvement; "typical" freshman performance based on recruiting ranking; etc). That's probably the "best" approach.

    But ultimately, it's all a guess. I just tend to agree that simply saying "everything is equal" at the start makes the least sense as a starting point. We can acknowledge that it's all guesswork at first without completely giving up on the guessing.

    In other words, if you're going to present rankings, there should at least be some effort applied into estimating those rankings. If you're going to say "everybody is equal", then (1) everyone should actually be equal and (2) you probably shouldn't present any rankings at all until you are ready to say something other than "everybody is equal."

  13. #33
    Eric Halsem provided some additional clarification in a tweet thread when he posted the preseason rankings.

    The baselines are a conservative preseason placement of teams based on team performance over the last three seasons, 2020-21 efficiency ratings, returning production, incoming transfers, frosh recruiting rankings, and head coaching changes.
    As stated, three seasons of performance will certainly play a significant role in the baselines, so an upstart team might not make as large a jump as you'd expect if they were nothing special analytically since 2018.
    The same goes for teams that performed well over the last three years but, on paper, are slated for a noteworthy drop-off this season. Those teams tend to overstay their welcome near the top a year too long before their true stripes are revealed.
    Merely an anchoring point for each team, the preseason baselines will gradually dissolve to nothing over the course of the first two months of the season as the actual results roll in. For the time being, take the baselines for what they are: an estimate.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by arnie View Post
    Coming from a Duke alum and fan, do we still believe Duke, GaT or UVA really turn down 5-star players that meet minimum NCAA requirements??
    I sure don't.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    Eric Halsem provided some additional clarification in a tweet thread when he posted the preseason rankings.
    Thanks. That’s at least an approach. He needs to update his website then, because that is obviously different than what he says he is doing.

    But that is at least an approach. Not sure how good an approach it is this year given program turnover nationwide (it probably would be reasonable prior to this past year or two). But it is at least something.

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    Eric Halsem provided some additional clarification in a tweet thread when he posted the preseason rankings.
    Thanks. But even that doesn’t feel like an adequate explanation for UCLA being 17th. Sure, they’re returning a lot and had a great tournament. But they barely made the tournament in the first place and per KenPom were quite bad for a P5 team the two seasons before that.

    I suspect it’s like 80% how he thinks they’ll do this year and 20% the last few seasons, but he doesn’t want to say that for some reason.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElliottHoo View Post
    Thanks. But even that doesn’t feel like an adequate explanation for UCLA being 17th. Sure, they’re returning a lot and had a great tournament. But they barely made the tournament in the first place and per KenPom were quite bad for a P5 team the two seasons before that.

    I suspect it’s like 80% how he thinks they’ll do this year and 20% the last few seasons, but he doesn’t want to say that for some reason.
    Yeah, I will give him the benefit of the doubt because I can’t see his data. But I agree that it feels a bit manufactured.

    For the record, UCLA was rated 15th by him at the end of last year, so I agree that 17th doesn’t seem like a “based on last 3 years” data.

  18. #38
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    Ken Pomeroy's preseason data is now officially live: https://kenpom.com/

    Duke checks in at #10. #12 in OffE and #19 in DefE.

    Ken projects we will go 23-8 and 14-6 in the ACC. He actually has Notre Dame finishing second in the conference (FSU is his second best ACC team, but Dame has a more favorable schedule that allows them to finish 13-7). A certain school down the road comes in #40 in the preseason projections and finishes T7 in the league at 11-9.
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Ken Pomeroy's preseason data is now officially live: https://kenpom.com/

    Duke checks in at #10. #12 in OffE and #19 in DefE.

    Ken projects we will go 23-8 and 14-6 in the ACC. He actually has Notre Dame finishing second in the conference (FSU is his second best ACC team, but Dame has a more favorable schedule that allows them to finish 13-7). A certain school down the road comes in #40 in the preseason projections and finishes T7 in the league at 11-9.
    This is a very accurate and good system that is beyond reproach.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    This is a very accurate and good system that is beyond reproach.
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