Wednesday, June 3, 2009

2009 individual school-by-school notes:

Standout(s): The Illini did pretty good in the individual per-game production, placing 3 in the top 11 (McCamey, Frazier, & Davis), but were less solid on a per-possession basis, with only Mike Davis coming in at #11 overall. The heavy use Weber puts on his players dropped the per-possession stats, but this was a solid group, in terms of efficient production.
Weak link(s): Alex Legion gets this one in a walk. There were minutes available on the wing, and per-possession Legion was highly ineffective (.1524), ranking 109th out of 118. Jeff Jordan wasn't great either (.2385) but you can't hold a walk-on's feet to the fire.
Put me in! Off the bench, it seemed like Calvin Brock (.3462) should've gotten more time at the wing, especially considering how many minutes Weber had his starters playing.
Next Year Notes: Dominique Keller might get more minutes, but of the returnees really it's Mike Tisdale (.3481) that should be playing more. Demetri McCamey had himself a fine year on the wing, but next year might not be as kind to his stats as he'll be both point guard and the go-to guy. As Dee Brown will tell him, that can be tough on you.

Standout(s): Exactly two IU players were above-average in this terrible season. Former walk-on Kyle Taber (.3092) and the extremely late pick-up freshman Verdell Jones (.3153) both did well per-possesion, but that was pretty much it. On the whole, this was an extremely inefficient team, and it showed up in the win-loss results.
Weak link(s): Scoring guard: when Dumes wasn't getting hurt or suspended for thowing elbows, he could play efficiently due his stellar three-point shooting. But his inefficiency in pre-conference play suggests that IU fans shouldn't expect a much better version of him to show up next season. Matt Roth's efficiency is probably artificially low (.1804) due to the team's need for him to jack tough threes at the end of games, but really, he did little else besides the occasional but surprising blocked shot. Reserve center Tijan Jobe, despite his height and muscle, was likely the worst player in the conference this season (.0594).
Put me in! Um, nothing really jumps out here. Taber and Jones got as many minutes as they could handle, and noone else really deserved any more than they got. I would've liked to see Nick Williams featured a little more in the offense, but he's gone now, so it's all moot anyway.
Next Year Notes: Crean did what he needed, bring in a top-flight class to start the rebuilding right away. Despite his low conference rating (.2389) Tom Pritchard is actually a pretty decent piece for the future (non-conference he had a .4181 rating), and I think he got victimized (and "fairly" if that's possible) by the refs in the Big Ten for being a physical frosh. Look for his ratings to markedly improve next season. Outside of him and Jones, and maybe Dumes, I don't think we'll see much PT for the other returning players.

Standout(s): The wings were the strength of this team, namely Jake Kelly (15.1/.3114) and Matt Gatens (15.2/.2978). Jeff Peterson (16.3/.3182) & David Palmer (9.4/.3151) were above average as well. But once Cyrus Tate (.3555) went down, so did Iowa's NIT hopes.
Weak link(s): The bench. Possible 2010 starters Devan Bawinkel (.1345) and Aaron Fuller (.1697) were awful, as was reserve center Andrew Brommer (.1697).
Put me in! This year's drama has to be the weirdest non-resolution of a coach-player clash I've seen in quite a while. Well, the Calhoun-Robinson thing at UConn last year was pretty wild too. But the curious case of Anthony Tucker had me scratching my head all year. Often effective (13.2/.3622, and oft-used: 36.3 poss.per game) in the pre-season, erratically and rarely used (15 poss./pg in 4 games, 4.3/.2831) in conference play, and now heavily-used again in the off-season, Tucker is nonetheless the best bet for Iowa at the three-spot in 2010.
Next Year Notes: With the unfortunate career-ending injury of Cyrus Tate, and the raft of refugees (Peterson, Kelly, Palmer, Davis) from Lickliter's program, 2009 has been a bad year for Hawkeye fans. Hopefully, Lickliter likes Tucker again next season, because the only other options for a second wing are Devan Bawinkel (perhaps the worst player getting the most minutes in the conference) and the untested and unheralded freshman, Eric May. Jarryd Cole may also struggle moving from the 4-spot to the 5 next season, which will probably affect his average efficiency adversely. And we probably shouldn't talk about the point guard sitch unless we have to. Ouch.


Standout(s): Essentially, this was a two-man team. DeShawn Sims (19.8/.4206) and Manny Harris (21.3/.4288) accounted for about 43% of the team's entire production, but more notably, no else was even close in per-game or per-possession terms. Beilien knows how to maximize his best players.
Weak link(s): Actually, outside of the two stars, only reserves Zack Gibson, Kelvin Grady, and CJ Lee were in the average range. But with a plethora of freshmen guards, the lack of per-possession efficiency is not surprising.
Put me in! Zack Gibson again did pretty well with a .3471 rating despite very limited minutes, and CJ Lee could've probably used a few more minutes with his above-average .3131 rating. Last year I thought Gibson was ready for a leap forward, and at times he looked really good this year, but he also just seemed useless at others. Probably he's just an effective reserve.
Next Year Notes: Five starters plus Gibson return, and Beilien adds a fine recruiting class to replace the departed bench. I don't see a lot of PT for the frosh big men, Gibson or the redshirted 7-footer Ben Cronin, as the Michigan offense relies on the bigs being able to shoot from outside reliably and *pass the ball.* Novak, Lucas-Perry, and Douglass should all improve with a year under their belts, so the UM program should continue its recovery.

Michigan State

Standout(s): This was a year for the books for the Spartans. But to me, once again, it was Goran Suton for the Big Ten efficiency POY. Intangibly, you could tell a big difference between MSU with Suton and without him. And he was 6th in the per-game rankings (20.8) while also ranking third in per-possession performance overall (.4804), putting him in a very elite group of players who were elite in both (Turner, J. Johnson, Krabbenhoft, & Sims). But even more impressive is that he was still this elite on the Big 10's deepest and far-and-away best team. Delvon Roe & Draymond Green deserve mentions as promising talent (.4649 & .4066)
Weak link(s): The bench wings were a little weak, and perhaps it is a function of Izzo's offense, but Durrell Summers (.2391) & Chris Allen (.2199) just weren't effective per-possession. They need to find a way to improve over the summer, because they'll be seeing a lot more minutes next year.
Put me in! Izzo's pretty good at maximizing his potential, but I think the one guy who coud've gotten more minutes was Draymond Green. Unfortunately, Roe is even better per-possession, so unless there's a way to put them on the floor at the same time, their minutes aren't going to increase substantially anytime soon.
Next Year Notes: There's just a lot of great young talent here (I haven't even mentioned Kalin Lucas- 17.6/.3333), but the Spartans are going to miss Suton, Walton, and yes, even Marquise Gray & Idong Ibok next season. However, where things should absolutely improve is in the play of Raymar Morgan. Before the conference season began, he was playing at an all Big-Ten level (21.0/.4579). With his health suffering, he was a different player for much of the conference season. Despite the losses, which will hurt, this is title-threat.

Standout(s): Although Damian Johnson led UM in per-game contributions (and is the perhaps the conference exemplar for the need for a system that takes into account more than just offensive stats), the real surprise here is Paul Carter. Despite posting a slightly above-average per-game productivity due to receiving only bench minutes, his .4878 rating was second only to NU's Mike Capocci. In fact, Carter saw about four times the possessions that Capocci did, making him a reasonable candidate for most effective player, but Goran Suton still got nearly twice the possessions as Carter while on a much better team. Still, impressively done, Mr. Carter!
Weak link(s): Lawrence Westbrook's .2741 rating, while average for a shooting guard, still doesn't rate well for the leading scorer. And there's not much help off the bench as Blake Hoffarber seemingly took a big step back from last year's .2821 rating to this year's .1961.
Put me in! Obviously, Carter was the guy who needed more minutes -according to the stats. I didn't watch a lot of Minnesota games, but he always seemed to making contributions when I watched. Devron Bostick seemed like a disappointment during the year, but his per-possession rating (.3427) was actually pretty good.
Next Year Notes: With two good freshmen coming in, minutes start to become a question. One doesn't want Damian Johnson & Paul Carter to lose minutes, and yet you've got to find room for Royce White and Rodney Williams. And yet, with good young talent like Al Nolen and Ralph Sampson III already in place, it's a luxury to have this question. And really, if Westbrook becomes just a bit more efficient (less turnovers, better 2 FG%), Tubby's team should challenge for the conference crown.

Standout(s): Coach Carmody squeezes his good players for all they're worth, so while Kevin Coble, Michael Thompson, and Craig Moore had good ratings, their efficiency probably was a little lower due to the heavy minutes. The surprise here was frosh center Luka Mirkovic, who led the team with his .4115 rating.
Weak link(s): Kyle Rowley is the "winner" here with his weak .2034. Which is tough, because he's a freshman with good size and strength. If he works hard, there's no way he won't be a strong contributor for NU in the coming years.
Put me in! Mike Capocci's league-leading .5051 rating suggests that the man needs some more possessions. If Jeff Ryan might shift back to more a guard role, they both can get more minutes next season (.3159). However, both played very few possessions, and neither were great per-possession last season.
Next Year Notes: This was actually a very deep team, as only the lightly-used Rowley, David Curletti, and Sterling Williams posted beow-average ratings. Craig Moore (17.6/.3276) will be missed, but Jeremy Nash was looking like he was ready to shoulder starting minutes anyway.

Ohio State
Standout(s): Evan Turner was huge in per-game production, at a league-leading 25.1. However, it seemed that Matta knew to maximize the use of a good player, so Turner's
per-possession was more on the level of very good, not great. BJ Mullens led the team in that area at .4532, so his contributions will be sorely missed.
Weak link(s): The bench was pretty weak, particularly if one includes "starter" Dallas Lauderdale, who saw less PT than Mullens in-conference. But even Lauderdale's .2019 rating was better than Walter Offutt's .1961 and Kyle Madsen's .1397. Ouch!
Put me in! Mullens was the only player who really stood out as needing more minutes. Of the starters, Jermaine Simmons could maybe use some more minutes, but even he was only average (.2809). I'd suggest Matta just needed more players.
Next Year Notes: Losing Mullens hurts, as transfers Zizi Sarkopoulos and Nicola Kecman are unlikely to be as effective in the post. But the return of David Lighty could help offset that by shoring up the perimeter defense.

Penn State
Standout(s): Obviously, Talor Battle (20.9/.3739) was the standout here. The main reason that his numbers were even that low was due to his triple role as point guard,
playmaker, and bailout man. I'd also like to highlight Stanley Pringle, who was only above average in per-possession (.3234) but was a workhorse (46.6 possessions/game) for PSU.
Weak link(s): Even though Jamelle Cornley had a below-average .2514 rating and still got crazy usage (54.1 poss./game), the role he played was invaluable for this team. The real weak spot was at the wing, where nominal starter Jeff Brooks had the worst rating in the conference of all starters (.1925), and the more-used Danny Morrissey wasn't much better at .1969. But worst of all was reserve DJ Jackson at .1487!
Put me in! Andrew Ott looked good in his reserve role with a .4019 rating, but again, this system favors low-usage reserve centers for some reason. Chris Babb's .2729 rating was on the low side of average, but that's still pretty good for a freshman guard.
Next Year Notes: Ott & Babb will probably get more possessions, with Babb likely to start. The incoming freshmen class has promise, but it seems a longshot that they'll step in and produce immediately, so short of Brooks and Jackson becoming suddenly effective, the Nittany Lions seem likely to fall back for a year.

Standout(s): Robbie Hummel, even despite his injuries that led to a huge drop per-possession (from .5053 to .3626), was still the second-best on the team.
Without JaJuan Johnson's growth into a starring big man (22.3/.4693), Purdue may have had trouble making the NCAA tourney.
Weak link(s): Keaton Grant got heavy minutes and didn't do a lot with them. His .2241 was the worst of any player who got starter's minutes. Maybe itwas just the fact that both he & Moore seem to play better when Hummel is healthy, but one has to wonder whether last season's drastic improvement was an aberration?
Put me in! Marcus Green (.3201) continued to be one of the best 6th men in the conference. Ranking 39th overall as a wing player is no mean feat, and being such a solid option off the bench for two years proved his consistency.
Next Year Notes: Returning their top six players and adding a solid class of freshmen suggests a Big Ten championship awaits these Boilers. Losing a little experienced depth like Green, Calasan, and Riddell off the bench will hurt a little, and the regression of Moore & Grant is a very real concern, but really coach Painter's top worry is the health of Robbie Hummel. Johnson is the top returning center in the conference, but a healthy Hummel is the difference between an okay season and a championship.

Standout(s): Joe Krabbenhoft (21.4/.4796) was the clear standout on this team, in terms of efficiency. During the year I actually thought that he should become a little less effective by leading and shooting a little more, but that wasn't his game. 3rd overall in per-game production and 4th in per-possession, he was runner-up to Goran Suton for POY in these stats.
Weak link(s): I didn't think too much of Jordan Taylor & Rob Wilson during the year, and they were below-average overall, but for freshmen guards they actually did fine in per-possession terms. But the real weak link was Tim Jarmusz, who came in at 89th. His .2088 per-possession rating is bad news for Badger fans looking for him to step up into a starting role next year.
Put me in! Per-possession, Jon Leuer (.3888) and Keaton Nankivil (.3858) were both actually well above-average. Of course, Marcus Landry & Joe Krabbenhoft were even better, so they ate up most of the minutes at the four-spot. Overall, I think Bo Ryan's pretty good at playing his most effective players the most minutes.
Next Year Notes: Jarmusz's .2088 per-possession rating is bad news for Badger fans looking for him to step up into a starting role next year. Nankivil & Leuer should do just fine with the extra minutes inside. But the loss of Krabbenhoft & Landry is going to hurt. Unless the redshirts (Evans & Berggren) can really contribute and Mike Bruesewitz is the second coming of Krabbenhoft, I have a hard time seeing the Badgers make the NCAA's next season.

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