No one's happy with it, my friend ... but we have reached the six-hour warning. It's time for some enthusiasm.
Rutgers, their advantage was inside. Not happening with Kofi around to help Giorgi; Wisconsin, they lose a ton in Happ and Iverson; OSU also very possible, they lose their 2nd leading scorer and by almost double their leader in assists, so they lose a lot more than we do, although currently the have more coming in as well, and they only finished a game up on us in the league.Minny, IU and Iowa quickly come to mind. Maryland isn't a stretch IMO. That Frosh-Soph leap is huge and half our team has the opportunity to make it at the same time.
Gophers lose McBreyer as well. Add in the 7 footer Stockman and it comes to 26.6 points, 15.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists!I’d say Nebraska, Northwestern. Though technically we won’t jump them as they fell way back this year. They both lose a lot of seniors.
Minny is possible, they lose Murphy, but return everyone else of consequence.
Can’t see us being better on paper than IU, Iowa, or Maryland.
His first FULL recruiting class would have to cycle through with absolutely no improvement for him to be on the hot seat.
Agreed.He's nowhere close.
Depends who we get. Difficult to predict until we know who is on the roster. For instance, if the pf from sf austin comes along with kofi...we could be a lot better...if we don't lose important parts from current roster. Lots of variables at this pointApparently, tickets are out there for $1 on stubhub? Tay and Carp had a funny bit about it yesterday.
They also brought up something else interesting. There has been a lot of talk about how much better we can/will be next year. They pointed out that the only time in program history that we’ve gone from a record like 11-20 to a record like 20-11 and being a tourney/bubble team the next year was 1999. Those guys all returned and the added Frankie, Marcus Griffin, and Cook.
Even if we return everyone (which is unlikely) and add Kofi and some 5th year guys I can’t see us making a turnaround like that. Maybe we get to .500.
Trent, Ayo and Giorgi just need to put up similar stats from this year. We need Jones, Williams, Griffin or any one we add to to step in for AJ and produce at the SF, along with the major addition of Kofi.The way our fresh->soph improved this year I'm skeptical that leap will be "huge". Prove me wrong Illini.
Well, I would add a little more improvement out of freshmen. “The best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores.”Sure, here's the explanation:
You're projecting based on hope, not history. Recent history is not so good -- lots of turnover, below .500 ball, and struggling to execute overall.
From a basketball standpoint, you can debate back and forth whether each of your suppositions is likely, but most people use history as their guide. Let's start with some facts and stats we can agree on, since they're readily available. Then I'll take on the comments.
We will not get an at-large bid.
We will not get an auto-bid without a freakin miracle (Odds are 100:1)
Kenpom ranking is 78th, essentially a non-factor in post-season play.
Sagarin's predictor ranking is 83rd, roughtly the same as Kenpom, but a little lower.
NET ranking of 105. Not a fan of this, but the committee uses it. One way to think of these rankings is that you need to pass somewhere between 40 & 50 decent teams to get into the dance. Both of the models have us dead last in conference. Note that (2) teams actually lost more games than us (Neb & NW)
We don't know who we will bring back next year, but the NCAA transfer rate of 40% in the first 2 years means we should brace to lose at least some of our young players.
Importantly, we don't know if Ayo stays, but we do know we lose a starter in AJ. Losing 2 starters is not generally a recipe for being better, btw
Roster turnover since Underwood arrived has been high
So the first question, is how do you break-even? You're losing a starter for sure in AJ, and you might (I'll guess 25%) lose a stud freshman in Ayo. You're losing a back-up center in ADR. I think with ADR, we're looking at a lot of options, and already have a great freshman center in Giorgi, so I think we're ok there. The back-court depends on Ayo staying. Samba is still raw, but he and Kofi should provide something as viable as ADR. Neither will displace Giorgi --he's special and a great fit. So let's assume optimistically and because prevailing sentiment is that Ayo's borderline NBA, that he stays. Who else do we lose, and how do you overcome that loss? We didn't land any wings (yet anyway) and there are some young guys who didn't get much PT even when we struggled. So you have to look at those guys as vulnerable to transfer. If everyone stays, and that would be contrary to recent history, you're relying on some young wings (I use wings for lack of a better term) to really step up. The reason these guys haven't seen the court, let's be honest, is that they haven't excelled in Coach's mind, enough to trust them over the guys that did play. For sure they will improve, but they still have to understand and execute a demanding offense, as well as demanding defense.
So let's assume for the sake of argument that key guys in the freshman class, Ayo, Jones, Kane, Griffin, all stay, and one of those last 3 improves enough to jump ahead of AJ's contribution (I think it's unlikely, but within the realm of possibility). You still need a lot of improvement to get to tournament level. It's hard to put into perspective how big the gap there is between us in a tourney team. At our best, we were clearly performing at a tournament level, so I can see why some posters project it. However, from a metrics standpoint, we're averaging +5 ppg away. That might not sound like much, but look at it this way: over 30 games, you need 150 more points after losing at least 1 starter. Take out our good/great nights where we won, and you're realistically looking at getting 150 points over 20 games. It's possible, but it's a big ask.
So sure, project all kinds of improvement --optimism keeps us going as fans. If guys step up, and we're consistent, I think we're dancing next year, maybe even dangerous. I think outsiders however, will go with modest improvement if Ayo stays, stepping back if he's gone, and something closer to where we are if other key freshman leave.
Their leading player was a junior though, in Cowan, unless you think it's Bruno and he may be leaving for the NBA. Lots of talk he's a 1st rounder at this point. All of our leaders are underclassmen.IIRC Maryland has a younger team than us. They should also benefit from that Fr-->So leap...
Well, I would add a little more improvement out of freshmen. “The best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores.”
So, I see quite a bit of optimism. Unless we lose a few to transfer, I think we will be at least 8 games better, and punching our dance card.
I saw in a News-Gazette article the other day that he has epilepsy, and had not seen that before. However, I can't believe that epilepsy stops you from playing basketball, does it??An article, last week(?), stated he has epilepsy. Not expected to play BB, ever. if true.