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Username Post: '17 '18 Ivy Pre-Season Predictions        (Topic#20516)
rbg 
PhD Student
Posts: 1053

Reg: 10-20-14
09-28-17 08:01 AM - Post#233297    

Here are some pre-season rankings and previews for people to view -

Bart Torvik: http://www.barttorvik.com/trankpre.php?conlimit=Iv...
1. Harvard (#90, nationally)
2. Princeton (#91)
3. Yale (#96)
4. Penn (#156)
5. Cornell (#188)
6. Dartmouth (#251)
7. Columbia (#282)
8. Brown (#317)

Busting Brackets: https://bustingbrackets.com/2017/09/27/ivy-league -...
1. Yale
2. Harvard
3. Princeton
4. Dartmouth
5. Penn
6. Cornell
7. Columbia
8. Brown

College Sports Madness: http://www.collegesportsmadness.com/conference/ivy
CSM only previews its Top 144 teams in the nation. While they have not posted the complete league ratings, they have listed its top 3
1. Harvard (#85)
2. Princeton (#94)
3. Yale (#110)

 
mrjames 
Professor
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Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
Re: '17 '18 Ivy Pre-Season Predictions
09-28-17 02:59 PM - Post#233327    
    In response to rbg

I'm fascinated to see what various previews do with this league this year.

My general takeaways thus far are that Columbia's being serially underprojected and that Cornell is, umm, aggressively projected. HYP in any order makes sense - great arguments to be made for any of the three.

 
SRP 
Postdoc
Posts: 3595

Reg: 02-04-06
09-28-17 08:26 PM - Post#233340    
    In response to mrjames

Yale would probably feel dissed here by the two that have them third. They get Mason back, right? Plus the maturation of their freshmen from last year. OK, Downey will be missed, but still...

Whereas Princeton is probably happy to not be picked by anybody to win the whole thing.

 
Silver Maple 
Postdoc
Posts: 3384

Loc: Westfield, New Jersey
Reg: 11-23-04
09-28-17 11:18 PM - Post#233347    
    In response to SRP

Did I not just read that Mason won't be spending his final year of eligibility at Yale?

 
PennFan10 
PhD Student
Posts: 1997

Reg: 02-15-15
09-29-17 12:17 AM - Post#233348    
    In response to Silver Maple

Mason has 2 years left. This year at Yale and then to Baylor?

 
mrjames 
Professor
Posts: 5327

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
09-29-17 06:18 AM - Post#233349    
    In response to PennFan10

Correct. This year at Yale. Then he graduates. Grad transfers to Baylor.

 
rbg 
PhD Student
Posts: 1053

Reg: 10-20-14
10-10-17 08:47 AM - Post#233683    
    In response to mrjames

NBC College Basketball Talk:
http://collegebasketball.nbcsports.com/2017/10/10/...

1. Yale
2. Harvard
3. Princeton
4. Penn
5. Columbia
6. Cornell
7. Brown
8. Dartmouth

The top 3 is the same as most outlets, but it is the first to move Brown off the #8 spot.

 
rbg 
PhD Student
Posts: 1053

Reg: 10-20-14
10-25-17 08:26 AM - Post#234493    
    In response to rbg

Hoopshd.com
http://hoopshd.com/2017/10/24/conference -preview-i...

1. Harvard
2. Yale
3. Penn
4. Princeton
5. Dartmouth
6. Cornell
7. Columbia
8. Brown

Mid-Major Madness
https://www.midmajormadness.com/2017/10/24/1611564...
https://www.midmajormadness.com/2017/10/24/1613889...

1. Yale
2. Princeton
3. Harvard
4. Penn
5. Columbia
6. Dartmouth
7. Cornell
8. Brown

POY: Mason
DPOY: Brodeur
1st Team: Mason, Aiken, Stephens, Brodeur, Boudreaux
2nd Team: Morgan, Cannady, Oni, Betley, Bruner


 
rbg 
PhD Student
Posts: 1053

Reg: 10-20-14
10-31-17 02:59 PM - Post#235171    
    In response to rbg

Bleacher Report ranges the Ivy League as the #14 conference in the nation, just below the Missouri Valley Conference and above the Horizon.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2741495-powe r-r...

SI has its ranking of every team in the country:
https://www.si.com/college-basketball/20 17/10/31/n...

1. Yale (#90)
2. Harvard (#114)
3. Princeton (#116)
4. Penn (#135)
5. Cornell (#218)
6. Columbia (#229)
7. Dartmouth (#285)
8. Brown (#309)

College Insider has three teams in its 10/30/17 Mid-Major Top 25:
http://www.collegeinsider.com/mens-mid-major-top-2...

7. Harvard
19. Yale
21. Princeton

NBC College Basketball Talk's Mid-Major Preseason Power Rankings:
http://collegebasketball.nbcsports.com/2017/10/30/...

6. Yale
16. Harvard

In its Preseason Mid-Major All-America Team, NBC lists Makai Mason on the Third Team and Bryce Aiken as an Honorable Mention:
http://collegebasketball.nbcsports.com/2017/10/30/...

 
Silver Maple 
Postdoc
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Loc: Westfield, New Jersey
Reg: 11-23-04
10-31-17 04:18 PM - Post#235190    
    In response to rbg

This is nice to see, but I'm suspicious. I find it a bit hard to believe that there's so little space between Penn and the top three, and even harder to believe that there's so much space between Penn and #s 5-7.

But then I'm just your typical neurotic Penn fan.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 20043

Reg: 11-21-04
10-31-17 04:20 PM - Post#235192    
    In response to Silver Maple

Princeton suffered major losses and Penn's best players were freshmen. But it is only a prediction.

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4712

Reg: 11-22-04
10-31-17 06:31 PM - Post#235195    
    In response to Silver Maple

The space to 5-7 is easier to explain. At least in kenpom, Penn was 171 last year, Columbia 235, and everybody else 263 or worse. So Penn had a big lead, and if you assume that Columbia and Cornell lost more than Penn, you can see how the gap might be a logical conclusion.

The jump to 135, though, might be a tough sell without Howard. And that 171 for last year presumes Penn was better than it's won/loss record.

Princeton is likely to come down some, but if their big 3 stay healthy, I think they are still a top 100 team with a shot to win the regular season.

For,Yale and Harvard, they were ahead of penn last year and seem likely to improve more than Penn (both by stats and eye test).

 
mrjames 
Professor
Posts: 5327

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
10-31-17 07:00 PM - Post#235197    
    In response to SomeGuy

So, I've gone back and forth with the SI guys (more before Luke went to the Raptors). The two key areas where their predictions suffer are in assessing mid-major impact talent (normally new) and in measuring defense.

They assess talent on an individual level for newcomers, and they find (accurately), that you only feel comfortable predicting that a newcomer will have an impact when they are Top 100 and only a major one in the Top 25 or 50. A lot of that, though, has less to do with the likelihood that a frosh will produce and more to do with the fact that at the high-major level, it takes that level of recruit to displace kids a high-major program already has from the start.

If they did it on the collective level for mids, what they'd find is that while you might not be able to project individual contributors, you can predict the output of a frosh group with some level of accuracy beyond just individuals from the Top 100.

Princeton is going to be very good this year. Some of that is because it didn't lose nearly as much as it seems. Weisz's actual output was not up to his normal standards (a low 100s ORAT on just over 20% usage shouldn't be too hard for Princeton to replace). Cook was an amazing player, no doubt - and those are the possessions we need to focus on. I have a lot of faith in the class Princeton brought in to be able to eat possessions efficiently.

I have questions about both Harvard and Yale, though oddly my questions aren't the ones that others seem to have. Siyani/Harvard isn't a problem. Neither is Yale's starting frontcourt. I am worried that Harvard won't be able to figure out the 4-spot and 5 rotation and that Yale's bench is weak.

I am appreciative that the bottom teams in the league scheduled like garbage to potentially inflate their W/L to boost the top teams' RPIs. Harvard, Princeton and Yale can all be Top 75 RPI teams, and the league's at large chances would get a huge boost if they all are.

 
Tiger69 
Postdoc
Posts: 2287

Reg: 11-23-04
10-31-17 08:29 PM - Post#235198    
    In response to mrjames

It was pleasant to note that the IL was only one conference away from an expected two bids. If most of the Ivies play slightly above expectations this season, we can realistically hope the the regular season winner (the TRUE Champion) will receive a bid in addition to the two game tourney winner (if different).

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4712

Reg: 11-22-04
10-31-17 09:01 PM - Post#235199    
    In response to mrjames

Agreed on Harvard about Siyani, but only so long as Aiken stays healthy. I'm not sure about the PG depth if they were to lose Aiken.

On the 4/5 issue, it may take time to figure it out. But between Lewis, Welsh, Djuricic, and Baker (who seems like a guy who could take a leap), plus the possibility of just playing small with Towns or Bassey at 4, I think Amaker has lots of talented pieces. Even beyond that Egi has talent, and Perez has shown flashes. I think Amaker'll figure it out.

Where is your concern on Yale's depth? Seems like Oni/Phils/Copeland/Mason through 3 spots is strong, with Monroe playing whatever 5th guard minutes they need. Maybe a guy like Swain can play right away, too.

Up front they may need the freshmen to step up as backups to Reynolds and Bruner (an even better breakout candidate than Baker), but Yess and Atkinson look like great recruits who could contribute right away. Maybe they have to play 4 guards for stretches too, but Oni probably allows them to do that. Plus Yale grows big men on trees.

Agreed on Princeton, generally, but it seems like they have to have the freshmen, so depth seems like more of an issue. With no freshmen, they'd start something like Gladson, Brennan, Bell, Cannady, and Young, and while all of those guys should contribute, I'm not sure about them as a unit together or as the top 5 in minutes. Deeper reserves may be fine, but they feel like a leap of faith -- with Harvard and to an extent Yale, I feel like I have a handle on the guys who would be stepping up. Princeton's best shot is if one (maybe 2) of the freshmen is ready to start immediately (which strikes me as a good bet).



 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4712

Reg: 11-22-04
11-01-17 05:32 AM - Post#235200    
    In response to SomeGuy

Princeton's starting lineup and depth looks a lot better when I don't forget Myles Stephens.

 
mrjames 
Professor
Posts: 5327

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
11-01-17 07:16 AM - Post#235203    
    In response to SomeGuy

On its face, it looks like Yale has 3 efficient scorers that can help it ensure that it has at least 2 on the floor together at all times.

Dig a little deeper, though, and both Makai and Alex are likely due for a regression. Makai took 42% of his shots as 2PT Js and made 48% in his last full season while Alex took 38% of his shots as 2PT Js and made 49%. Now, for Makai, that's not as serious of a concern, because he's a career 36% shooter from 3, meaning that you can't just back off and play him inside the arc. Copeland, on the other hand, shot just 29% from three last year and 16% in Ivy play, and as opponents played him more inside the arc to take away his elite at rim ability, his ORAT cratered (122 on 24% usage in non-conf to 104 on 28% usage in conf play). Now, that's still quite good, but regress the 2PT J make rate and it likely continues to tumble. Then, you have to wonder whether he continues to try to be a high usage, low efficiency guy or can transition to a side option for the two stars (even though side options usually are catch-and-shoot 3 guys, which is the thing Copeland can't do).

I don't love either of those two options for Copeland, and I anticipate, without strong gains in 3PT shooting, that he will struggle a bit and in a way that might hurt the team at times. Not a huge Monroe fan in terms of picking up offensive slack, and we know that Phills isn't out there for that purpose, BUT don't sleep on Azar Swain to be productive off the bench. So, one piece of the Yale depth issues, IMO, is that everyone's prohibitive favorite for 6th man of the year (Copeland) might not be an immediate fit for what they're trying to do.

The other piece is that while I think a frontcourt rotation of Reynolds, Bruner and Atkinson could be one of the best Yale has had, that raises both question marks and known issues. Reynolds isn't a true five and needs rebounding help (difference between him and Downey), but can he guard some Ivy 4s (say Stephens or Towns)? Bruner and Atkinson have great potential, and I'm not betting against them, but you kind of need both to be strong contributors. So, I'm a little concerned about whether the depth will materialize there that will allow Yale to put optimal combinations on the floor.

None of this is to say that I don't think Yale is a Top 100 team. Rather, I just think those that are putting them tops in the league (and some far and away the best) are looking at the ceiling and ignoring the risk.

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4712

Reg: 11-22-04
11-01-17 06:52 PM - Post#235284    
    In response to mrjames

I would guess that Copeland is Copeland when he is in, but plays more limited minutes. Maybe lets Mason rest while still on the court, or function more as a shooter.

While it seems to me that would work, admittedly they really didn't go that direction when Montague got kicked out. Copeland was sitting there with high efficiency numbers while Phils and a walk-on played Montague's minutes. So you could be right. But I think they find a way to make it work.

 
bradley 
Masters Student
Posts: 861

Age: 69
Reg: 01-15-16
11-02-17 07:25 AM - Post#235293    
    In response to SomeGuy

I would not be surprised at crunch time if Oni moves to the SF position while Mason and Copeland are in the backcourt. Both Mason and Copeland have the ability to get off their shots one on one which is not typical of most IL players even the really good ones.

Yale has so much talent in the backcourt if, big if, Masom stays healthy. The frontcourt does not have much depth which could present problems especially if Bruner has health issues. Bruner has such ridiculous upside potential based on pure athletic abilities but time will tell if he reaches his potential.

 
mrjames 
Professor
Posts: 5327

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
11-02-17 08:36 AM - Post#235295    
    In response to bradley

Yale is going to be the ultimate test of whether a highly talented team that can't really shoot the three at heavy volume can win out against other highly talented teams that do, indeed, do that.

I have my doubts. Not that Yale can't be really, really good (Top 100), but that it can outlast two other teams (Harvard and Princeton) that play a more stylistically-efficient brand of basketball.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 20043

Reg: 11-21-04
'17 '18 Ivy Pre-Season Predictions
11-02-17 08:56 AM - Post#235299    
    In response to mrjames

Mike, maybe you can explain this to me, but as I look at Princeton, I see a team that lost 4 seniors --all forwards (Cook, Weisz, Caruso and Miller) who played 90 minutes, scored 37 points, and 17.4 rebounds per game yet you seem to feel that this will not be missed because their returning players shoot 3s really well? Where are they going to get the play up front to replace them? All their returning stars are guards.

 
HARVARDDADGRAD 
PhD Student
Posts: 1276

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 01-21-14
11-02-17 09:10 AM - Post#235304    
    In response to mrjames

Yale's backcourt is the strongest unit in the league, possibly even so without Mason. I expect that in a league that tends to go small - and which does not have many big men who can dominate on offense - Bruner, Reynolds, etc. may be more than enough for Yale.

On the other hand, if Bruner is plagued with foul issues or isn't healthy, Yale becomes vulnerable.

Among the tournament prognosticated teams, Harvard may have the same problem unless someone beyond Chris Lewis steps forward. Aside from the ubiquitous Stephens, Princeton has yet to establish an inside scoring threat (40% of Gladson's points came on 3's despite shooting under 25%). With the graduation of Howard, Penn has a strong but single threat - Brodeur - who will have interesting challenges against the the long and athletic Bruner.

These games could be a war of attrition among limited big man resources, heavily impacted by the early foul calls. Classic Ivy league basketball.


 
mrjames 
Professor
Posts: 5327

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
Re: '17 '18 Ivy Pre-Season Predictions
11-02-17 10:02 AM - Post#235320    
    In response to palestra38

It's important to look at the production lost, not the names lost.

Both of Henry Caruso and Hans Brase were lost within the first month of the season, and after losing them, Princeton was 53rd nationally over its final 22 games, versus 141st in its first 7 (D1) games that Caruso, and to a lesser extent Brase, played.

Thus, you can throw Caruso and Brase out. 22 games is a pretty substantial sample and the improvement was steady (46th over the final 18 games, 43rd over the final 12 games, 43rd over the final 6 games, 39th over the 5 games in March).

That leaves Cook and Weisz, who actually did contribute to that team that was Top 50 down the stretch. Weisz was a very important player because of his defensive contributions when it came to stops (rebounds, steals, blocks). But his offensive numbers declined last year versus his junior year, which is more of the player that people think of when they think of Weisz. It's not that 101.5 ORAT guys on 21.5% usage grow on trees, but it's a lot different than replacing a 121.8 ORAT guy on 17% usage, which he was the year before.

Cook is a bit of a different story. Despite shooting well below his career average from 3 in Ivy play, he posted a 112 ORAT on 23% usage. He was insanely good at getting to the rim and finishing there (47% of shots, 59% make rate). And if you sagged off him, he could drill at three (which even at the depressed 35% in Ivy play was still efficient).

I don't think Cook is immediately replaceable, and that's why I don't have Princeton in the Top 50 like it was to end the season. That being said, I don't have them falling much.

I also don't think that getting someone to play upfront is as big of a deal as we're making it. Princeton's most frequently used lineup down the stretch was Bell, Cannady, Weisz, Cook, Stephens at about 25% of team possessions (nearly double the next most frequent lineup) and another 30% came from four of those 5 plus Will Gladson or Alec Brennan. So, Princeton has some familiar options: play five guards some and get Gladson and Brennan to split the remaining minutes at the 5. And that's before we see what guys like Much, Desrosiers and Schweiger can do.

 
1LotteryPick1969 
PhD Student
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1LotteryPick1969
Age: 68
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland
Reg: 11-21-04
Re: '17 '18 Ivy Pre-Season Predictions
11-02-17 11:12 AM - Post#235332    
    In response to mrjames

Thanks. That was a great read.

 
DelMarHoops 
Pre-Frosh
Posts: 2

Age: 56
Reg: 11-23-15
11-02-17 12:10 PM - Post#235339    
    In response to 1LotteryPick1969

Great teams rarely put three score first players on the court at the same time. Mason/Oni score in the flow of the offense, Copeland less so as he likes to go into iso for mid range. Combinations will be the key with Phills having a key defensive role and Monroe providing chemistry, ball movement and getting players the shots they want. Last year the team was statistically better when Dallier was on the floor getting the unit to work better.

Juzang at Harvard has same potential to break through with more minutes and help the team be more productive as an alternative to Aiken given his tendency to dominate while others watch.

With the ability to scout during league the hockey assist and chemistry is increasingly important as the season progresses. The Ivy league is on the rise but this still isn't a 5 star one and done track meet.

 
bradley 
Masters Student
Posts: 861

Age: 69
Reg: 01-15-16
Re: '17 '18 Ivy Pre-Season Predictions
11-02-17 02:37 PM - Post#235365    
    In response to mrjames

I enjoy reading the stats and analysis that you provide. For Tiger fans, we obviously hope that you are right. With that said, I believe that the loss of Weisz, Cook and Miller is very significant and unless one or two of the freshmen are really good, the Tigers will feel the impact.

I acknowledge being old school but what does not get measured in statistics is the effect that a player has on a team. Based on observation and some knowledge, Weisz and Cook held the team together as things unraveled in non-conference play along with the injuries. The very different leadership skills of Wesiz and Cook along with their different skill sets made a somewhat rare combination. I suspect that Chambers had similar leadership skill sets as well.

At the end of the day, we will find out based on team performance -- should be fun.

 
SRP 
Postdoc
Posts: 3595

Reg: 02-04-06
11-02-17 06:14 PM - Post#235382    
    In response to bradley

According to MH post-season, the guy who called the players' meeting after the loss of Caruso (and the constant losing) was Miller. That was when they decided to slow it down and try to grind a lot harder on defense, with subsequent improvement. So Cook and Weisz aren't the only missing leaders.

Very interesting discussion here overall. Considering that Bruner looked to me like he was greatly limited by injury last season, Yale could be a lot better. And with their style of play, I could visualize them getting to the FT line a lot, which might compensate for a lower-than-Ivy-average trey rate.

If Mason has extended his range a bit (at least in terms of where he feels comfortable, if not in accuracy, as he was pretty accurate already if I recall), then they could score a lot of points. Jones's guys usually look like they play within the envelope of what they have mastered in practice and they trust one another, so some of that "anomalous" two-point shooting may be from spots that are very favorable for them. By eye, Mason's elbow pull-ups certainly looked about as good as a contested layup would have been for him.

Princeton has a ton of upside, I think, but a championship scenario will need one or more freshmen and/or Gladson or Brennan to step it up, as well as good health and no drop-off from the big three. Stephens could actually be better this year, which could be scary for everybody, and Cannady may be able to return more to his free-shooting freshman campaign.

But as usual, the big question is whether the Tigers will be consistently able to get stops. Neither their big nor small lineups last year were able to stop strong post scorers from BYU and Notre Dame, although they did better against an injured guy from Cal and against Brodeur and Downey. They played better when they were able to force a few more turnovers, but they wouldn't have been athletic enough to be able to sell out for steals without creating too many easy shots and ORs for the opponent. That's a big reason for missing Weisz--he got a lot of steals without gambling just by anticipating and sticking his hand in the way of a pass.


 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4712

Reg: 11-22-04
Re: '17 '18 Ivy Pre-Season Predictions
11-02-17 07:34 PM - Post#235389    
    In response to palestra38

I think Stephens is at least as much of a forward as Weisz or Cook, FWIW. The freshmen are key because they might be able to fit into the positional flexibility that the team had last year with that group of Stephens, Weisz, Cook, and Bell, where they could really exploit matchups.

On replacing the missing guys, my guess is that Stephens, Cannady, and particularly Bell eat a lot more possessions this year, which means they are replacing the departed with comparable players. And not to go all ORAT, but there are a number of guys who have high efficiency in limited play.

 
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