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Username Post: Harvard over Dmouth ... In OT?        (Topic#21018)
Tiger69 
Postdoc
Posts: 2277

Reg: 11-23-04
01-21-18 11:05 AM - Post#244312    

I'm sure that TA is holding back until the P's and y. But, is this the team with the 10th best recruiting class of a year ago??? Are the guys spending too much time studying and enjoying the pleasures of Hahvud Squayah to go to practice? When do we have to start bowing down to the power of the Mighty Cantab?

 
mrjames 
Professor
Posts: 5275

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
01-21-18 12:00 PM - Post#244314    
    In response to Tiger69

Harvard is missing its top two point guards and is trying to run its offense with two turnover-prone combo guards that struggle to create their own shot efficiently and can’t create well for others.

Can’t tell if this is a serious question or not, but if Bryce Aiken comes back 100% healthy, Harvard’s offense should rebound nicely and its defense is elite. Without Bryce (and unless Tommy McCarthy returns shockingly and is at full strength), struggling to win at Dartmouth (what you’d expect from a low-to-mid-200s team) is about right...

 
bradley 
Masters Student
Posts: 809

Age: 69
Reg: 01-15-16
01-21-18 03:46 PM - Post#244331    
    In response to mrjames

Wi 4 of the top 99 players in the ESPN 2016 class rankings, expectations were understandably high for the Crimson 2020 class. Two A-10 friends of mine were convinced that the Harvard 2016 class would dominate the IL like the Kentucky frosh have dominated the SEC because after all, it is only IL basketball. For IL BB followers, there has never been a class of recruits rated so highly so nobody knew what was going to happen.

Aiken's injury is certainly a blow as he is probably the best of the five including Bassey of the five top recruits.

Aiken, Towns and Lewis are very good players. Question is one or more will be exceptional players by the time they graduate? It is a legitimate question.

 
HARVARDDADGRAD 
PhD Student
Posts: 1187

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 01-21-14
01-21-18 05:16 PM - Post#244337    
    In response to bradley

Fair questions, but I think it's more about missing pieces. Mr. James accurately noted that Harvard is playing without a point guard. In fact, I think there's an argument that even Aiken and McCarthy are not really PG's, although they provide much more than Juzang and Haskett - two defensive oriented guards - can. Without Bryce, Harvard has no transition game whatsoever.

As for the class producing stars, I'd maintain that Towns and Lewis are on their way. Dartmouth can attest to Towns - 26 efficient points in a very slow paced game where Dartmouth focused on him. Lewis is probably the best defensive big in the league, although his offensive production is steady, if not remarkable.

Bassey was not part of the 4 touts, and he's a big role player who guards the opposition's best player and rebounds. Juzang is a strong defensive guard, but not your starting PG. Welsh is a project. All that is not surprising, but maybe the inability to carve out a role for Robert Baker and his small forward skills in a 6'10" frame is a disappointment

Of course, they're all still sophomores.

Hoping Bryce is available next weekend.

 
mrjames 
Professor
Posts: 5275

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
01-21-18 06:16 PM - Post#244340    
    In response to bradley

Yeah, I mean there’s a huge jump in likelihood to contribute in a big way if you’re in the Top 100, but talent differences/likelihood to make a huge impact between 51-100 and the kids Kentucky brings in the Top 10, Top 25 are vast.

Anyone that thought Harvard could bring in one stellar class of 7 and cover two preceding classes where the Crimson missed on almost all of their big targets was sadly mistaken. Now if Aiken, Lewis, Towns and Baker were all Top 25 and a couple were Top 10, then they’d have run through this league as those folks predicted. Or if there were significant win shares coming from the 14 and 15 classes, we might have seen more progress by now.

Will be interesting to see what happens when Harvard adds a four-star like Noah to the strong base it has. I think you’ll see the impact when you add a strong player/class to a strong base, versus adding it to a relatively bare cupboard.

 
bradley 
Masters Student
Posts: 809

Age: 69
Reg: 01-15-16
01-21-18 07:28 PM - Post#244345    
    In response to mrjames

I hear you and see your point but in fairness the Crimson still have 3 top 100 ranked players playing against a #300 ranked team. PG is a critical position but .... If Lewis was even somewhat properly ranked as #68 in the country, the comments by my A-10 friends is why don't this type of player dominate in the "lowly" IL even if Lewis, Towns, Baker are young. They also remind me every time a A-10 team beats an IL team which is unfortunately frequently.

I have watched video of the top 100 recruit going to Princeton next year and he looks great on tape but there is simply no guarantee. And finally, I look at Myles Stephens and simply wonder about high school rankings but that is a different subject.


 
mrjames 
Professor
Posts: 5275

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
01-21-18 09:21 PM - Post#244347    
    In response to bradley

Lewis is at ~110 ORAT on 23+% usage and 58% shooting. Not sure what more you could want from him... especially on a team that hasn’t had competent post delivery or floor spacing shooting. Dartmouth finally caved and doubled him, which was effective because of the aforementioned inability to drain the open shots that resulted.

Seth’s been averaging about 35% usage while Bryce has been out and 30+% for the year. His penchant for 2PT Js has hurt his efficiency, but he’s playing at an extremely high level. Baker has struggled to meet the upside people projected on him (the projection that vaulted him into the top 100 late in his senior season). But Bassey - who was a classic lack-of-summer-exposure issue with his rating - has made up for Baker in the win share department.

I tend to think in these cases, people underestimate the league and often miss dominance that doesn’t reveal itself through counting stats. The truth is that this Harvard class is still on pace to set the record for most win shares from any Ivy class as far back as I have data.

As for Jaelin... he could end up in the NBA some day. He’s legit. I know we like to throw shade at recruiting rankings - and putting a 1-star, 2-star or 3-star (without some serious national rank consideration) on a recruit honestly doesn’t tell much - but Top 150 kids, legit consensus 3-stars or 4-stars pan out at really, really high rates.

 
Tiger69 
Postdoc
Posts: 2277

Reg: 11-23-04
01-21-18 10:19 PM - Post#244349    
    In response to mrjames

I tremble to think what the Penn board would look like if they had the same recruits and same record as Harvard, injuries or not.

 
HARVARDDADGRAD 
PhD Student
Posts: 1187

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 01-21-14
01-21-18 11:54 PM - Post#244352    
    In response to Tiger69

Yeah, we leave selecting the starting lineup to the coach. It’s his job.

Of course, Amaker surprised us with some unexpected ones - at least OOC. I think 15 different Crimson started a game.

 
SRP 
Postdoc
Posts: 3552

Reg: 02-04-06
01-22-18 12:28 AM - Post#244354    
    In response to HARVARDDADGRAD

In fairness, these boards were dominated a few years ago by discussions of how Harvard was going to basically Gonzaga-ize the IL given Amaker's next-level recruiting and Harvard's resources, etc. Some of us were skeptical (though impressed: and I am heartily glad not to have to worry about the likes of Curry and Saunders any more) and received a bit of guff for it.

The rising tide theory partly explains why the dominance scenario didn't play out as some expected, with other schools turning up more highly ranked recruits than they used to get. But the can-only-play-five-at-a-t ime effect, the rankings-are-helpful-but- very-imperfect predictors effect, and the player-development-matter s-a-lot effect have also played roles.

 
Tiger69 
Postdoc
Posts: 2277

Reg: 11-23-04
01-22-18 09:54 AM - Post#244361    
    In response to SRP

All good points. There's also the timeless enjoyment of bringing rivals down to earth: Penn to Princeton, Princeton to harvard, etc.

 
mrjames 
Professor
Posts: 5275

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
01-22-18 10:07 AM - Post#244365    
    In response to SRP

I still think the biggest issue here is that Harvard was given a lot of credit for beating out high majors for a kid in each class (2013 - Z, 2014 - Egi, 2015 - Corey) but those classes were weak depth-wise and ultimately weakened further by injuries (Hunter Myers missed his entire career, TMac has battled injuries since his freshman year).

The 2016 class for Harvard was a watershed moment for the league. And those kids have delivered. Bryce and Seth are both capable of putting up efficient games on 30+% usage. That's remarkable. Chris Lewis is one of the best low post scorers I've seen in this league. Justin Bassey is a lockdown defender, and Christian Juzang ain't so bad on the ball himself. That class is on its way to delivering. The mockery is just misplaced. The 2013-2015 classes were all misses.

 
SRP 
Postdoc
Posts: 3552

Reg: 02-04-06
01-22-18 03:31 PM - Post#244400    
    In response to mrjames

Nobody's mocking. I still think Towns will end up being a dominant player, etc.

I just feel like the excellent Harvard teams of the fairly recent past maybe got underrated in the light of the shiny new recruits, and part of that is because they fit a narrative that started back then of onward and upward Harvard dominance. That still could happen, but I think perceptions of its inevitability have declined.

 
mrjames 
Professor
Posts: 5275

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
Harvard over Dmouth ... In OT?
01-22-18 04:57 PM - Post#244407    
    In response to SRP

Yeah, it's very interesting. I do think there's mass underestimation of what being a Top 40-50 KenPom team takes.

The reason why Harvard could sustain dominance is that it stacked recruiting classes together. Harvard's 2009 entry class has the fourth-highest predicted win shares in the model (and finished 6th of all classes), while its 2011 class has the second-highest predicted win shares in the model (and finished 3rd). Along with those, Harvard had okay 2008 and 2010 classes as well (that happened to over-achieve).

Where Harvard went off the rails recently is having three okay classes in a row (2013, 2014, 2015), having injuries impact much of the potential playing time from that group and having other players remaining underachieve. You don't need to hit every class (you can get to Pomeroy Top 50 just by hitting on 2 in 4 years), but you can't miss on 3 in a row without feeling it.

Of the 130 predicted Ivy classes going back to 2003, here's where Harvard's scored in terms of expected win shares (rank overall is in parentheses first, then hyphen projected win shares then parentheses actual win shares):

Harvard 2016 (1) - 62.9 (16.8 actual through 1.5 years)
Harvard 2011 (2) - 44.9 (44.4 actual)
Harvard 2018 (4) - 32.7 (TBD)
Harvard 2009 (5) - 30.9 (36.5)
Harvard 2002 (25) - 20.2 (19.4)
Harvard 2013 (26) - 19.6 (6.9)
Harvard 2005 (T32) - 18.7 (17.1)
Harvard 2010 (T32) - 18.7 (34.0)
Harvard 2012 (T32) - 18.7 (25.9)
Harvard 2015 (T32) - 18.7 (7.2 through 2.5 years)
Harvard 2006 (59) - 16.1 (18.4)
Harvard 2008 (70) - 14.7 (25.3)
Harvard 2003 (T103) - 10.6 (3.3)
Harvard 2007 (T103) - 10.6 (0.3)
Harvard 2014 (T103) - 10.6 (1.9 through 3.5 years)
Harvard 2017 (T103) - 10.6 (0.1 through 0.5 years)

Harvard 2004 (130) - 4.0 (2.5)

Edited by mrjames on 01-23-18 05:25 PM. Reason for edit: Didn't have Mason Forbes in Harvard 2018 class, projections changed a bit with him added

 
bradley 
Masters Student
Posts: 809

Age: 69
Reg: 01-15-16
01-23-18 02:22 PM - Post#244466    
    In response to mrjames

Out of curiosity, I did take a brief look at the names of the top 100 H.S. recruits in 2016 as to their performance. This class performance pretty much aligns up with your comments. Over 1/2 of the top 25 are in the NBA, the next 25 to 35 are performing pretty well with a few exceptions. After the top 60, performance becomes more spotty but still providing some level of contribution.

The Harvard players overall performance with the exception of Baker stacks up pretty darn good. It does look like the Maryland coach had the greatest overall success as he has three good performers out of his class that are major contributors to a 15-7 Big Ten team.

Fair number of transfers and some behavioral issues. Harvard looks like a good place to go to get playing time and a great education.

 
mrjames 
Professor
Posts: 5275

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
Harvard over Dmouth ... In OT?
01-23-18 03:22 PM - Post#244474    
    In response to bradley

Yeah, the big Returning Player Mins modelers who project the upcoming season have done a ton of research into how Top 25/50/100/NR kids are likely to impact the team that season. One of the interesting things that we’ve gone back and forth about is that, as you found, the impact guys are Top 25, there’s some decent credit for Top 50 and very little for Top 100. And that works well for the power conf teams.

That being said... mids still tend to see big boosts from 51-100 kids (and really Top 150-200 kids) more frequently than the power conf teams. No one has incorporated this into their preseason models yet, but it’s a known phenomenon now. To some extent, why I agreed with the Top 10 ranking was that the kids in that class would be at Harvard for four years (versus teams getting Top 25 kids that leave school early) and over the four years they’d post a win share number worthy of a Top 10 class. But being one of the top 10 best classes that freshman year was unlikely (lower ranked teams with one-and-dones might have more impactful classes in that one year).

 
bradley 
Masters Student
Posts: 809

Age: 69
Reg: 01-15-16
Re: Harvard over Dmouth ... In OT?
01-25-18 05:53 PM - Post#244673    
    In response to mrjames

I am curious as to your thoughts regarding the reasons why a team like Princeton had considerable success last year with only two 3 star recruits, Cannady and Bell. It is possible, but less likely, that Penn will have a great run this year without top rated H.S. players. Is it just a function of certain players being missed in the rating process, good coaching/player development, simply luck, level of competition, etc or a combination of all?

Last year's Tigers team finished undefeated in league play even with losing two starters prior to league play. Were the stars simply aligned? If they have a very successful year this year with a somewhat different group, why from an analytics perspective?

I have some theories but it is based on eye tests vs. analytics. Thoughts, suggestions??



 
JadwinGeorge 
Junior
Posts: 275

Age: 70
Reg: 12-04-15
Re: Harvard over Dmouth ... In OT?
01-25-18 07:11 PM - Post#244675    
    In response to bradley

Stars definitely aligned. Look back at Harvard on the road. Only 4 players scored and Cannady was not one of them. Missed 8 free throws. If Stephens makes the FT the best we can hope for is OT.

 
whitakk 
Junior
Posts: 225

Age: 27
Reg: 11-11-14
Re: Harvard over Dmouth ... In OT?
01-26-18 10:12 AM - Post#244699    
    In response to bradley

Princeton has been particularly good at (a) finding players who fit its system, and (b) maybe more importantly, adjusting to play up those players' strengths. Weisz and Cook especially fit this dynamic -- I'm not sure they would have been legit POY candidates on any other team.

On top of that, familiarity really does matter -- Wesiz, Cook, Bell, Miller had been the core for three full years, and we saw how that paid off on defense especially.

This year, Princeton is one of the most "talented" teams by any measure. Their rookie class was either the league's highest rated or very close, plus Bell and Cannady were three-stars as you mentioned, and then Stephens is undeniably talented (pretty much the whole league was chasing him even if he didn't rate so high nationally). So almost everyone in the rotation has some sort of pedigree.

 
mrjames 
Professor
Posts: 5275

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
01-26-18 06:26 PM - Post#244723    
    In response to whitakk

Princeton's recruiting has been bizarrely consistent all the way back to 2002.

Aside from the Harrison Schaen (and Max Schafer, Luke Owings, Michael Rudoy, Edwin Buffmire, John Reynolds, Patrick Ekeruo) 2003 class, every Princeton class has had expected win shares of between 9.8 and 18.6.

There is still a positive correlation between predicted win shares and actual win shares, but it's weaker than for every other Ivy team - so your perception is indeed reality.

See below for more info...

Team Year Predict WS WSAdj Rank
99 Princeton 2003 33.1 9.6 9.6 4
105 Princeton 2009 18.6 39.0 39.0 36
110 Princeton 2014 18.6 14.6 17.2 37
98 Princeton 2002 17.6 8.3 8.3 41
100 Princeton 2004 17.6 16.8 16.8 42
102 Princeton 2006 17.6 19.5 19.5 43
106 Princeton 2010 17.6 19.0 19.0 44
113 Princeton 2017 17.6 2.1 21.0 45
103 Princeton 2007 16.5 24.2 24.2 61
109 Princeton 2013 16.5 38.9 38.9 62
114 Princeton 2018 16.5 0.0 NA 63
104 Princeton 2008 14.7 22.0 22.0 67
107 Princeton 2011 13.7 8.4 8.4 76
111 Princeton 2015 13.7 17.8 32.4 77
101 Princeton 2005 12.6 2.5 2.5 94
108 Princeton 2012 9.8 8.6 8.6 109
112 Princeton 2016 9.8 1.1 3.7 110

 
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