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Username Post: Back to next season        (Topic#20431)
UPIA1968 
Masters Student
Posts: 680
UPIA1968
Loc: Cornwall, PA
Reg: 11-20-06
08-07-17 10:19 PM - Post#231676    

After several months of talking only about recruits who will not likely make an impact until the 2019-2020 season it time to start thinking seriously about this season. I performed an analysis of the Pomeroy statistics and the verbal commit statistics for all eight teams and have come up with the following conclusions.

First, the league loses only two players who made PomeroY ‘major contributions’ Spieth of Brown and Petrasek of Columbia. No top ranked ‘go-to’ contributors left. The only two such stars in the league, Aiken of Harvard and Boudreaux of Dartmouth return. Princeton lost three third ranked ‘significant’ players while Harvard, Brown and Yale lost 2 below the ‘Major’ rank and Penn lost one Significant, Matt Howard. Cornell and Dartmouth lost nobody of importance from 2016-17. In summary, the league lost relatively few really good players after last season and should be comprehensively better this season.

I next looked for freshmen and sophomore contributors on the theory that rising sophs and juniors improve the most. All the teams had four or more players in this category. The outliers were Harvard with four, all frosh (scary), Yale with five including two frosh and Penn, with six including three frosh. Penn will have real depth this season. Max Rothchild is typical of such a player.

Finally, I looked for newcomers with a 2.5 or higher recruiting score. This was not a good year for the Ivy’s with only two 3’s, one each to Penn and Princeton and four 2.5’s, one each to Penn, Harvard, Yale and Princeton. I also gave credit to Penn for the return of Wood who scored a 2.7 as a recruit and who was a promising freshman. All in all, however, the majority of improvement for the league from freshmen will have to come from the random pool of undistinguished recruits that Mike James points out make up most of good Ivy players, but with the majority riding the bench.

When one combines the results of the three inquiries each team has some hope of improvement divided into four groups. Columbia, Brown and Cornell have the least prospects for improvement. As decidedly mid 200 ranked teams the most they can reasonably hope for is a more down towards 200. Princeton is in the next category, with just enough talent to next just above the loss of the three good seniors. However, their rank of 58 was clearly an outlier, strongly suggesting a regression to the mean for good Ivy teams putting them around 100 - if things go well. They could easily be the surprize underperformer.

The next group includes Dartmouth, Yale and Harvard, all who should expect to improve noticeably. For Dartmouth, it simply means a chance at breaking even given their 305 rank for last year. Yale could move up from its 151 rank to challenge Princeton. Harvard, departing from a 112 rank could easily move below 100, particularly if they can replace the important Siyani Chambers.

In the final, best improvement slot is the good old Quackers losing just one player, with lots of returning young talent and the best incoming talent when one factors in Woods, not to mention the wild card seven-footer. The catch of course is the departure point, the mediocre 171 ranking for a team that did not break even. This analysis suggests that they can hope to approach a 100 ranking, still behind Harvard but equal to the Pussies and Puppies. With some extraordinary luck, one could make an argument for more, but should Steve D. get the team to 100 level in year three, we should all be very happy. I know everyone wants to move well down below 100 as Harvard may do again. But after all, last year’s flawed model got within a missed free throw of defeating the Ivy Champion to earn a rematch with a team they had just beat for a trip to the dance. I would suggest a three seed in the Ivy tournament next March with dancing dependent on the maturation of all those sophomores in Cambridge. I’ll be interested to see what Mike James surely more scientific approach says. One hopeful point: both Harvard and Penn had two frosh last season with Pomeroy offensive ratings over 100, Aiken and Lewis verses Brodeur and Betley. There is real cause for optimism in the Palestra this year for the first year in HOW LONG? Maybe this recently sorry program can move into the rarefied of the exaulted women’s program. Maybe my son, DPerry, the loyal reporter on that program on this site will resume his lapsed interest in the men’s program. Showing the good sense that has always differentiated him from me, he has been absent from the men’s program for a long time. He is a lapsed Phillie and Flyer Fan too. Go figure!


 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4136

Reg: 11-22-04
Re: Back to next season
08-08-17 12:07 AM - Post#231677    
    In response to UPIA1968

Thanks for this. Good to get some thinking going about next year. Personally, I'm higher on Princeton and lower on Dartmouth than you are.

I think Princeton has a formidable 1-2-3 with Stephens, Cannady, and Bell, and the right structure to have big contributions from a very good freshman class. Obviously they lose a lot of depth without Weisz and Cook, but i think in some ways that will just help Stephens and Cannady to really step forward.

On Dartmouth, yes, they don't lose much in the way of possessions, but they were a pretty lousy statistical team last year. I think they need talent more than they can improve with the same players. So I don't see anything more than incremental improvement there. A team like Cornell loses more minutes, but they also shed their sub 100 ORAT guys who were eating lots of possessions. So I could see Cornell improving more than Dartmouth. Regardless, for now the gulf is widening between the haves and have nots in the league.

On the recruiting class, personally I think it is very good. Nothing like Harvard's class for the ages last year, but good nonetheless. I think you missed Columbia's Faulds in your count of 3 star guys. There is some debate between mrjames and the Columbia folks as to whether he is really the best recruit in the league (or even for Columbia), but he shouldn't be ignored.

Finally, I'm bullish on the Quakers, FWIW. I'm high on Brodeur and Betley, and i think one more strong player could make the whole thing gel. Hoping one of the freshmen can be that guy.

If I had to rank the league today:

Yale
Harvard
Princeton
Penn
Columbia
Cornell
Dartmouth
Brown

 
QHoops 
Junior
Posts: 265

Reg: 12-16-04
Re: Back to next season
08-08-17 09:30 AM - Post#231683    
    In response to SomeGuy

So the usual questions need to be asked.

Any scuttlebut on how the incoming freshman are playing now that they are actually on campus?

Jelani's knee?

Is Jackson more than just tall? (Is he really 7'3"?)

Is Eddie Scott the second coming of Barry Pierce?

Can we pencil in Brodeur and Simmons in up front for the next 3 years?



 
PennFan10 
Masters Student
Posts: 993

Reg: 02-15-15
Re: Back to next season
08-08-17 02:24 PM - Post#231689    
    In response to QHoops

  • QHoops Said:
So the usual questions need to be asked.

Any scuttlebut on how the incoming freshman are playing now that they are actually on campus? Mark Bradley is a project, Jelani has to be brace free to be cleared (he is working very hard and looks good from what I hear), Eddie Scott is what we thought but has to adjust to the speed and physicality of the game, Jarrod just got there the last couple weeks so no updates yet.

Jelani's knee? see above

Is Jackson more than just tall? (Is he really 7'3"?). He is legit 7-2 or higher. AJ looks up at him. Has good hands but literally hasn't touched a ball in 2 years (wasn't allowed to)

Is Eddie Scott the second coming of Barry Pierce? No

Can we pencil in Brodeur and Simmons in up front for the next 3 years? AJ yes, barring injury. Assuming Simmons is the heir apparent to Matt Howard is a dangerous proposition. He might be, but more than likely he will take some time to develop. Could easily be a Betley type story or Dev Goodman.






 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 15916

Reg: 11-21-04
Re: Back to next season
08-08-17 02:35 PM - Post#231690    
    In response to PennFan10

If what you say is true, we are looking to be at best the same as last year---give us improvement for AJ and Betley, but the loss of Howard will not be replaced by anyone close to his senior ability.

If we don't have an immediate freshman impact, ugh.

 
PennFan10 
Masters Student
Posts: 993

Reg: 02-15-15
08-08-17 03:09 PM - Post#231691    
    In response to palestra38

I actually don't know about Simmons. He could come in and be the next AJ as a freshman sensation. I don't have any info one way or another.

I have heard Jelani will be cleared prior to start of official practices, I only know he is working very hard, looks great but hasn't played in any of the pick up games this summer.

Bradley has not played in any games either as he has to work his way back into physical shape.

I also have high hopes for the contributions of some of the returnees due to improvement.

I think we are right about where I would have expected at this point. This team will be better than last year's version, but so will some of the competition.

 
TheLine 
Postdoc
Posts: 3053

Age: 54
Reg: 07-07-09
Back to next season
08-08-17 03:24 PM - Post#231693    
    In response to PennFan10

You mean Mark Jackson, right? Wasn't Bradley a center for the Sixers and Nets a few years back?

Good news re: Jelani Williams though no need for him to rush back.



 
PennFan10 
Masters Student
Posts: 993

Reg: 02-15-15
08-08-17 03:47 PM - Post#231694    
    In response to TheLine

Yeah, Jackson. I have 7footer dyslexia!

 
Jeff2sf 
Postdoc
Posts: 3408

Reg: 11-22-04
Back to next season
08-09-17 05:28 PM - Post#231735    
    In response to PennFan10

one thing I don't think all penn fans get is that it's not that it would be nice if Simmons or Jelani/Scott (although it seems Scott's not going to be it) emerged this year.

IT'S THAT IT'S UTTERLY NECESSARY AND STILL MAY NOT BE SUFFICIENT THAT ONE DOES FOR US TO WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS.

Go ahead and read that again. We can not rely on our players who are already in the system improving. Why? Because we're way behind Harvard and Princeton and their players will also improve, the null hypothesis has to be that they'll basically improve at the same rate though you could argue that given Harvard's and Princeton's better program culture (kind of a catch all term for a bunch of things including coaching, development, attitude around the program, etc.) they might improve at a higher rate than our guys

Now, does that mean that you allow, for example, a clearly better Max Rothschild to sit on the bench in favor of Jarrod? No, it doesn't. But it does mean that if it's close, you play Jarrod. Otherwise we just repeat the doomed cycle of mediocrity. I believe Donahue gets this and why Tony Hicks left the program. I don't think all of our fans do.

 
mrjames 
Postdoc
Posts: 4641

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
08-09-17 05:37 PM - Post#231737    
    In response to Jeff2sf

Yeah, I worry a bit that people are viewing last year's Penn team through the lens of its last two games alone. Penn has a long, long way to go to catch Harvard, Yale and Princeton.

Not saying they can't, but the freshmen need to be impact players.

 
SRP 
Postdoc
Posts: 3092

Reg: 02-04-06
08-09-17 05:49 PM - Post#231738    
    In response to mrjames

The obvious guy to jump up in performance would be Betley, whose PT was small until late in the season. He looked like a player with upside.

 
PennFan10 
Masters Student
Posts: 993

Reg: 02-15-15
08-09-17 06:06 PM - Post#231739    
    In response to mrjames

  • mrjames Said:
Yeah, I worry a bit that people are viewing last year's Penn team through the lens of its last two games alone. Penn has a long, long way to go to catch Harvard, Yale and Princeton.

Not saying they can't, but the freshmen need to be impact players.



This has been your mantra for more than a year. I don't buy it. Clearly the talent at those three is more significant and if all things are equal, that makes for a tough road but not a "long, long, long, long, long....(e.g. impossible) road to catch...". The fact remains that we split games with HY last year and none of us beat P.

Penn outperformed last year and Harvard clearly under performed. That can happen again for a lot of reasons that don't come out in talent. We'll see.


 
mrjames 
Postdoc
Posts: 4641

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
08-09-17 06:38 PM - Post#231740    
    In response to PennFan10

I don't believe that Penn overperformed or Harvard underperformed last year. Both performed.

Reasonable estimations have all of Princeton, Harvard and Yale as Top 75-100 teams. I don't see how Penn is a Top 75-100 team without significant contributions from freshmen. Harvard last year had a very similar starting point (its season was actually EERILY similar to Penn's 16-17 campaign), a better player returning from a year's absence, got historic performance from its freshman class and still didn't finish Top 100.

Now, if you think that none of HYP will be Top 100 teams, then I think Penn has a chance to be in that conversation.

 
Silver Maple 
Postdoc
Posts: 2837

Loc: Westfield, New Jersey
Reg: 11-23-04
08-09-17 07:27 PM - Post#231743    
    In response to mrjames

Jeff's right. Penn has had one good recruiting class in recent times-- last year's. We got at least one all ivy caliber player in that class, and maybe as many as three. This fall's incoming class will probably yield another 1-3 such players. That's great, but still probably not enough to win a title. Two more classes like that and then, if Donahue can coach the way we think he can, we should be able to complete on an even footing with the top teams in the league. Until then, we're still in rebuilding mode. I think Donahue's doing a very good job, and he clearly has things moving in the right direction, but it's still probably too early.

 
Penndemonium 
Masters Student
Posts: 543

Reg: 11-29-04
08-09-17 08:23 PM - Post#231749    
    In response to Silver Maple

  • Silver Maple Said:
Jeff's right. Penn has had one good recruiting class in recent times-- last year's. We got at least one all ivy caliber player in that class, and maybe as many as three. This fall's incoming class will probably yield another 1-3 such players. That's great, but still probably not enough to win a title. Two more classes like that and then, if Donahue can coach the way we think he can, we should be able to complete on an even footing with the top teams in the league. Until then, we're still in rebuilding mode. I think Donahue's doing a very good job, and he clearly has things moving in the right direction, but it's still probably too early.



I'm a fan of donahue, but the game has changed. I think you're mistaken. We got 1 all-ivy player in last year's recruiting class. I like Goodman and Betley a lot, but I view them each as 25% likely to make all-ivy and more like 3rd team at that. Short of massive improvements, we've got to hope for this year and next year to have some impact freshmen/recruits that includes a league dominant PG.



 
91Quake 
Masters Student
Posts: 446

Reg: 11-22-04
08-09-17 09:01 PM - Post#231751    
    In response to Penndemonium

I'm going to agree with SRP and disagree with Mr. James here. Not that Penn will be a top 100 team but that they are as far behind as you posit. I think the right way to look at this squad is through the prism of the last 8 or so games which coincided with Betley and Goodman getting much more time and the team turning it around. I don't know if anyone has run the advanced stats on that segment of games, but I believe that those will prove to have greater predictive power than looking at the whole season.

And in basketball depth is great but only gets you so far. Dunphy won (and still does) with an iron eight and sometimes fewer. One All Ivy type recruit and one very good role player will make you competitive in any league.

The only way Betley makes All Ivy is likely if Penn is not very good and he needs to take a ton of the load as no other players are demanding the ball. If Simmons, Scott, etc. are good additions his All Ivy chances probably go down.

 
mrjames 
Postdoc
Posts: 4641

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
08-09-17 09:15 PM - Post#231754    
    In response to 91Quake

Penn was No. 130 over the final 8 games. And 189 over the first 20.

Point proven, right?

Well, Penn was 209 over its final 5 games. And 204 over its final 3.

Also, I think it's really, really challenging to make any comparisons to the Dunphy era now. Just a completely different league.


 
91Quake 
Masters Student
Posts: 446

Reg: 11-22-04
08-09-17 10:22 PM - Post#231755    
    In response to mrjames

Ah, c'mon, the sample size of 3 games is even goofier than my sample size of 8 games.

And Dunphy still wins that way. And I know it's not the Ivy League. I was not comparing across eras, but there are plenty of coaches who win that way.

 
UPIA1968 
Masters Student
Posts: 680
UPIA1968
Loc: Cornwall, PA
Reg: 11-20-06
Re: How many good players
08-10-17 12:19 AM - Post#231757    
    In response to 91Quake

Please keep in mind that there is only one basketball and only enough room on the court for two or three players from the foul line in. That means a pair of stars plus four or five role players puts you in contention (Ibby Zoller). Having three people who can pressure a defense makes you the odds on champion (Begley, Ibby, Zollar)

So that tells us this about Penn's chances next year. Brodeur is the real thing. If Betley plays all year like he did at the end of last year, Penn has two players the opponents will have to base a defense around. That should be enough to improve, but not enough to stay with any of the HYP's who might find that third star. That means Penn will need the low probability event that one of the Freshmen is an instant star to stay with any of the HYP's who find that third player. It's possible, as Brodeur and maybe Betley proved last year, but not likely. If it happens, Steve merely has to find three or four role players. If Simmons is the pearl, all steve has to do is find a dependable point guard from four candidates and a stand still shooter from another four candidates. Throw in two more solid role players and you have a legitimate contender. Remember that no matter how good Harvard's four sophs are, only three at a time will get the ball routinely. True, their numbers make it more likely that Amaker will find his three stars. But if any one of the three Penn heralded recruits turns out, and Betley continues his progress, Penn is there.

Here's the point about recruiting I am trying to make. All deep recruiting does is to increase the odds of finding the two or three lead players one needs to get into real contention. Franny's genius was his ability to find and develop those three stars while surrounding them with good role players like Lengle, Owens, et. al. The only reason we need worry about 2019 recruits now is if Betley regresses and the 2018 class disappoints. Two good recruiting years is enough for any era.

Remember the great UCLA Run when Wooden invented 'over recruiting'. Those championships depended on six great classes over the twelve years. There was the Goodrich class, the Jabbar class, the Sidney Wicks class, the Walton Class and the Greenwood Class. All the other high school all americans that Wooden recruited ended up as role players. In the same way Franny's fourteen-year run featured the Allen, Jordan, U, Begley and Ibby classes.

When Mike James says it's a new league, he is merely saying that the quality of the top three has to be better and it may take more good recruits to find those diamonds in the rough. If, however, Steve has found another diamond in his backyard this year, it should be enough to fuel an extended title run. Yeah, getting below 100 rank will take three or four things to go well, unlikely this year, but if one of the three nuggets does sparkle, Penn's CURRENT recruiting is enough.

I am so tired reading here about Penn's systematic inadequacy in recruiting, when clearly the cause of the current, about to end, bad era was an abject management failure. Last November my son and I happily sang the Red and Blue during the football championship celebration in Ithaca. It is something we have done several times among the nineteen football championships, with 17 championships in the last 34 years. Even me, a typical intellectually handicapped Penn grad (same year as The Donald) can figure that is HALF of the total titles since Penn found the secret sauce under Bernt. The best of the HYP's has 17 total and 12 since 1982. What systematic recruiting advantage? Oh and why does it not apply to the women's programs too. Yeah, they did oops big time at the end, BUT IT WAS IN THE DANCE.

Let's focus our attention on how the young men and women who matriculate play on the hardwood in November. I'll say it again. If Matt makes those free throws, Penn would have beaten each of the HYP's last year and would have been one just more good effort from the Dance. Sure, I would love to see a couple of 2.5's or 3.0's sign up for 2019. But I am much more concerned that the 3-shooting improves , the rebounding improves and we find a point guard who can run the team in the last three minutes of a close game THIS YEAR!. All of those wishes are within this talent's capabilities. Let's get to 9-5 in the Ivies and a third seed in the Ivy tournament. If Harvard runs the table and waltzes through the tournament, okay, Amaker hit the jackpot like Franny did with his three NBA guards in 93 and 94 or Steve did in the years of the blue snow in Ithaca. Two or three losses is more likely for the winner this year and at least one close game in the tournament. Two or three Penn stars will be enough to keep us interested into March. And boy or boy is that better than what we have suffered through recently. This glass is more than half full. Hallelujah!

 
mrjames 
Postdoc
Posts: 4641

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
08-10-17 07:50 AM - Post#231759    
    In response to UPIA1968

I think everyone is underestimating the importance of depth. If you look at lineup stats, you don't want your only net-positive efficiency lineups to be concentrated amongst two or three key players, because, at most, all three players are likely to play on the floor together for half the game, leaving the rest of the lineups to include just two or maybe even one of those stars.

Last year, lineups including Matt Howard and AJ Brodeur would have won the league. The problem is what happened when those two weren't on the floor together, which was a significant portion of the game.

If you're judging Penn's quality by its starting five and comparing that to the starting fives across the league, you might be drawing a conclusion that isn't that relevant for predicting outcomes.

 
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