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Username Post: '17 '18 Ivy Pre-Season Predictions        (Topic#20516)
Posts: 20287

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.

PhD Student
Posts: 1330

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.

Posts: 5342

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
Re: &#039;17 &#039;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.

PhD Student
Posts: 1556
Age: 68
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland
Reg: 11-21-04
Re: &#039;17 &#039;18 Ivy Pre-Season Predictions
11-02-17 11:12 AM - Post#235332    
    In response to mrjames

Thanks. That was a great read.

Posts: 2

Age: 57
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.

Masters Student
Posts: 950

Age: 69
Reg: 01-15-16
Re: &#039;17 &#039;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.

Posts: 3670

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.

Posts: 4777

Reg: 11-22-04
Re: &#039;17 &#039;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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