Basketball Weekly Roundup

I enjoy doing these weekly updates on ACC basketball. (I guess that’s a good thing because the pay certainly sucks.) But I would hate to do a bracket for the entire NCAAT on a weekly or more frequent basis. The danger in trying to do too much too frequently was nicely illustrated before the Duke/UNC game when Lundardi’s top two seeds were shown. He had UNC as a 1-seed, but before the game they had already dropped to #8 in the RPI Rankings. There is no way in God’s green earth that UNC would have been given a 1-seed with that ranking.

The danger in attempting frequent, comprehensive analyses is the twin errors of inertia and predictions. Teams rated highly are left there too long after they begin to falter…either because the faltering is missed or the assumption that they are going to recover. The flip side of these twin errors is that rising teams are not always picked up quick enough. Much like what goes on in AP rankings, “name” programs seem to hang around in brackets longer than their play this season has earned.

The simplistic technique we use avoids these twin errors by setting objective measures based on RPI and conference record. Towards the end of the regular season we roll in Top-50 wins to help pick through the large band encompassed by “The Bubble”. Thus when a team like Duke goes two months without a Top-50 win and is trending towards 0.500 in conference, I point it out. When Clemson climbs from an RPI Ranking of #236 on Jan 1 to #70 after a month of conference play, it’s worth taking note. But I try to limit my discussion from these facts to possibilities, not predictions.

So off my soap box and on to the RPI Table:

With no Thursday night ACC games, I’m using Thursday’s RPI rankings for this article. By the time this gets published Friday morning, I expect that there will be some small movements in either direction for the RPI Ranking, but at least there won’t be any relative motion among the ACC teams.

Last week, I said not to be too quick to pencil in UVA as a #2 seed. But I never expected that they could move out of the 2-seed into a #1 seed. They may not make it to a 1-seed, but their remaining schedule is tough enough that they certainly have the opportunity to make the pundits forget about their coronation of UNC as the class of the ACC.

In a continuation of my unusually generous streak, I’ve kept Pitt as “IN” even though their recent performance doesn’t really justify it. Their wins over the last month of conference play came at home against BC, VT, and WF and a road win against FSU…not exactly an awe-inspiring record. As we’ll see in a few minutes, the Dance Card calculations through Wed’s games may have influenced my generosity.

 

TREND GRAPHS

 

Note that RPI Rankings #40 -#45 are included in both graphs and you need both graphs to see FSU’s recent decline…

 

Let’s throw in the Dance Card too:

So moving Pitt out of the “IN” category implies that there is someone ready to take their spot…and right now, candidates seem to be in short supply.

Referring back to the RPI Table, Pitt has one Top-25 win and a total of two Top-50 wins. Throw in the fact that they’re only one game over 0.500 in conference play, you would naturally conclude that Pitt is just holding onto a bid. So I expected Pitt to be near the bottom of the Dance Card “IN”, but never expected them to be the absolutely last team in. Looking at Pitt ‘s position another way, if SMU and L’ville were eligible for the NCAAT, then Pitt would be out. That conclusion makes it look like getting off the Bubble is going to be tougher than in recent years.

Bottom line for Pitt is that they need to win more games than the teams looking to move above them, so it’s impossible to say how many games will be required. Here are their remaining regular season games:

It would be interesting to see what a 3-2 record down the stretch (ie 10-8 conference record) would do for Pitt’s NCAAT chances. 2-3 down the stretch (9-9 in conference) would probably require a Thursday ACCT win to be a lock for a NCAAT bid (or some help from Temple and others).

 

FSU’s three game losing streak has them two games under 0.500 in conference with two weeks left to play….not a good position (confirmed by the Dance Card). Here are their remaining games:

I just got through saying that I don’t like to make predictions, but I don’t like FSU’s chances.

 

Clemson’s two-game, home winning streak against GT and BC hasn’t gotten anyone’s attention. Several weeks ago, I was really optimistic on Clemson’s chances. But their play, especially on the road, has not backed up my optimism. Here’s their remaining schedule:

If Clemson is a NCAAT team, then winning three road games against three of the worst teams in the conference should be an easy task. But Clemson has a lot of ground to make up and we’ll see what we see…

 

CURRENT ACC STANDINGS    

The battle at the top of the conference has gotten a lot more interesting over the last two weeks.

It looks like one of the Techs will miss Tuesday’s ACCT games for the first time since the last conference expansion.

 

UPCOMING GAMES

I’m never surprised when either the winner or loser of an emotional game falls in the next game. Both UNC and Duke face real competition on Saturday, so I’ll be interested to see if they are ready.

L’ville mounted an impressive comeback and eventual beat-down of SYR on Wed. I was wondering if they were going to man-up or fold under the combined pressure of a difficult schedule and the disappointment of no post-season play. This week, they’ve got two more chances to answer that question. Note that the game @Pitt should mean a lot more to Pitt than to L’ville…but I wouldn’t bet much more than a beer (American at that) on Pitt.

I highlighted FSU/Duke because of the importance to FSU. If the game were in Tallahassee, then it might be really interesting. I’m pulling for FSU, but not betting on them.

Wed’s game against State is UNC’s last regular season game that isn’t against a probable NCAAT team. Anyone want to side with Lunardi on predicting a #1 seed for UNC?

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

15-16 Basketball ACC Teams College Basketball Stat of the Day

Home Forums Basketball Weekly Roundup

This topic contains 59 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  MrPlywood 3 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 60 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #99731

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    I enjoy doing these weekly updates on ACC basketball. (I guess that’s a good thing because the pay certainly sucks.) But I would hate to do a bracket
    [See the full post at: Basketball Weekly Roundup]

    #99733

    McCallum
    Participant

    To summize, NC Stateth sucketh.

    McCallum

    #99734

    mak4dpak
    Participant

    But is that what Miami sayeth? Like to see if we get Henderson, if we have a run in us. Unlikely, but not impossible. Other than the UVA second half collapse, we have been in every game we lost.

    #99735

    Prowling Woofie
    Participant

    VaWolf,

    Thanks for all the effort putting this information together. I always enjoy the analysis.

    Just wish the Pack could find its way higher in the pecking order !

    #99742

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    Like to see if we get Henderson, if we have a run in us. Unlikely, but not impossible.

    It’s so close to impossible that it would be hard to tell the difference. This team is not one player away from being something special.

    #99744

    Pack85EE
    Participant

    “This team is not one player away from being something special.”

    True, Who knows what Henderson would bring. The real issue is the percent chance of Caleb and Rowan hitting the open 3. It’s too low. If one of those guys gets on a hot streak, we are competitive, if both, we could be “something special” but after a whole season of waiting I realize, their hot streaks are few and far between. There is no slump that is going to end. It is what it is. Maybe they will be better draining 3s next year. As it is, I’m hoping but not really expecting, beyond one game. Go watch Scott Wood highlights and dream of next year.

    #99745

    Pack85EE
    Participant

    I guess to clarify my point I believe 3 point shooting from Caleb and Rowan is the one thing that could have made this team different, the biggest weakness.
    Our blowout at UVA – at one point UVA 6-9 from 3, NCSU 1-9 from 3. That’s a 15 point difference. It’s been hard to watch this team. Hard to hear announcers talking about States poor shot selection when they not bad shots, we just missed open 3’s. In the UVA game, I did hear the women announcer actually say State was getting the shots it wanted but missing them. So at least she did not piss me off as much as most of the loud mouth prognosticators.
    Think how if affects the game overall. One thing defenses did not want to do with the likes of Wood or Turner is let them have an early open 3. Because they might hit those at a 60% rate. Hit a couple, and then the shot selection and makes start coming from a fast break, of 5 feet beyond the arch, or while covered. You let a guy get hot and he makes them from everywhere.
    Defenses do not have as much pressure to worry about Caleb who never gets so hot that you think everything he shoots will go in. And Rowan has only shown that a couple times this season. So with the 3 less of a threat from those two, guys that are not going to go off and beat them, they can focus on Cat and the inside game. We are just missing that piece of the puzzle.

    #99747

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    I would like to see us finish ahead of Clemson in the RPI, just because that would amuse me. I do think we win on Saturday, as we are undefeated on days my kid visits a college (WCU this week, though Mom is taking this one).

    We must win 6 minimum, likely 7 to have ANY shot at avoiding ACCT Tuesday (thanks to our awful tiebreaker record).

    #99748

    wolfpack740
    Participant

    What the chance of getting a quality big guy for next year?

    #99749

    wolfpack740
    Participant

    I don’t think we have that many games left.

    #99750

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    BJD’s talking total ACC wins.

    #99756

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    VA’s right. 6-12 is likely our reasonable ceiling, but likely 7-11 is likely what is needed.

    #99759

    13OT
    Participant

    My fondest wish right now is for the ACC to get only 5 teams in the NCAAT. We have two chances to help this cause (vs Clemson and Syracuse). I like our chances to win Saturday and to beat BC, but I see little hope of us winning those other 3.

    I thought we were in bad shape after several years of Lowe, but the only ceiling I see for this program, given its current direction, is MEDIOCRITY.

    #99770

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    I watched Henderson in the preseason exhibition game against no name opposition in person which was more telling than his seven minute regular season…

    The answer is No.

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
    #99771

    wolfpack92owen
    Participant

    I truly dont get where people are thinking Henderson is some sort of savior for the program or team. All the things that were coming out before he got hurt was that he was just a spot up jump shooter with shaky defense that will just play a role in the offense. Now he is all of a sudden some guy who is going to score 20 a night and excels at defense and drives the lane.

    #99772

    pakfanistan
    Participant

    I thought we were in bad shape after several years of Lowe, but the only ceiling I see for this program, given its current direction, is MEDIOCRITY.

    ugh

    #99773

    VaWolf82
    Keymaster

    I truly dont get where people are thinking Henderson is some sort of savior for the program or team.

    It’s really not that complicated. People looking for excuses generally grab the first one that they find.

    It’s a toss-up which is more frequent on State message boards….blame-storming (everything but the coach), coach bashing, or reasons to WTNY. Though this year, WTNY died about one month into the FB season.

    #99774

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    hey Va…

    Bro… you left out… “ISWIT”…

    (thats — It Is What It Is — for those without a decoder ring…)

    Engineers GOTT to cover ALL the options… you know….

    Inertia….
    The more the change … the more they stay the same…
    What goes up… comes down
    For every action… there’s a equal opposite reaction
    Regression to mean…
    etc, etc, etc….

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
    #99775

    Primewolf
    Participant

    Well done Vawolf.

    I tend to sink into the coach bashing mode, myself. I have never understood player bashing. The players all want to win and are largely the product of recruiting and coaching. About the only time it ain’t totally on the coach are his/her first few years.

    There are so many examples of dramatic differences in an athletic team’ performance with exceptional coaching. I would love to see us invest in the absolute best coaches and build a few national caliber teams. And it doesn’t have to be the two revenue sports. I would blow up the budgets for wrestling, swimming, and anything else where it was clear we had some apparently exceptional coaches. A national championship or two would do wonders for Wolfpack nation. I know it would for me.

    I would invest in an analytic group within the AD that supported all coaching and recruiting in all sports. I mean that the coaching hires and timing of coaching hires would be so thoroughly analyzed that we would rarely get stuck with no options for a likely exceptional candidate. And, it would include budget modeling so that we would be able to hire the best of the best in some programs and try to get lucky in others with newcomer potential and cheaper hires.

    Don’t know if any of this makes sense, time to either go back to bed or make some coffee and let the dog out.

    #99776

    redisgood
    Participant

    I truly dont get where people are thinking Henderson is some sort of savior for the program or team. All the things that were coming out before he got hurt was that he was just a spot up jump shooter with shaky defense that will just play a role in the offense. Now he is all of a sudden some guy who is going to score 20 a night and excels at defense and drives the lane.

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Where the hell are you getting this? I’m in the Henderson’s no savior camp, but your assessment of his game clearly shows you know nothing about it. “Spot up jump shooter”. Not even close. He can do that, but his strength is putting the ball on the floor and creating his own shot. “Shaky defense”. Bob Huggins who knows a little bit about playing defense has lauded Henederson on his defense while playing at WVU. It’s one of his strengths.

    I agree he’s not a program changer, but come on, don’t just throw stuff out there.

    #99777

    redisgood
    Participant

    I watched Henderson in the preseason exhibition game against no name opposition in person which was more telling than his seven minute regular season…

    The answer is No.

    Yep, he was not very good in that game. I guess I would caution though that Trevor Lacey was awful in his exhibition game against Queens last year. If that had of been Trevor’s body of work, we’d all be wondering why all the hype. I honestly think in both cases it was nerves and simply trying too hard. It was their 1st real game action in a year and a half, and they wanted to show the fans what they can do. It’s more pronounced in Terry’s case since he’s a hometown guy. He was just pressing. I even saw it in his 7 short minutes against W&M. I hate that we didn’t get to see his real game. He is a perfect fit for this offense.

    Just one final thing on Henderson. If he does come back, I wouldn’t expect much. He has now played one exhibition game plus 7 minutes over the past two years. He will be likely be out of shape and a step behind everyone. It’s becoming less and less reasonable to even have him got out there at all this year.

    #99778

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    Again, the point is that Henderson allows us to have a secondary ballhandler, freeing up Cat to move without the ball, allowing to run actual halfcourt sets, and play non-shite Perimeter defense.

    The difference between no chance and some chance, because the roster goes from doomed to merely “fragile” in its construction. NOT because Henderson is a world-beater, but solely by his being a legitimate, living, breathing, D-1 caliber guard.

    I will never be suckered into thinking you can play “4 forwards” on offense again. In retrospect, it was pure wishcasting.

    #99779

    pakfanistan
    Participant

    Who was it that mentioned the butterfly effect?

    We’ve lost five games by five points or less, and another five(ish) by less than 10.

    Let’s say the team with Henderson is worth an extra five points on offense, and maybe five points on defense, which isn’t really that much of a stretch, what might our record look like? What if……..

    Disclaimer: I don’t think Gott is basketball Jesus. I do think this team was on the razors edge when the season started, and losing Henderson put us in a tailspin.

    #99781

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    Think of it as a Monte Carlo simulation. If you ran 1,000 computer simulations of NC State basketball seasons with Henderson healthy, I am reasonably confident that a statistically significant number of them (200? 300? 500?) would have State in the NCAAT, at least.

    Note that I would IN NO WAY suggest that number is anywhere approaching 1,000. Just the difference between some chance and no chance. With the roster as currently constructed, I’d expect that number to be around 20-25.

    #99782

    Wufpacker
    Participant

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 60 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.