Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Less with More Talent

Continuing my post from yesterday, I first calculated the expected number of NCAA tournament appearances and wins based on recruited high school talent for each team starting with the 2002-03 season. Then taking actual minus expected, here are the bottom teams for the last five years:

-3.01 California
-3.10 Virginia
-3.43 Georgia
-3.66 Notre Dame
-3.76 Clemson
-4.21 Miami (Florida)
-4.54 Minnesota
-4.83 St. John's
-6.05 Missouri
-7.21 Michigan
-7.81 Florida State

-First, notice that Michigan, Missouri , St. John’s and Minnesota have all had recent coaching changes. The teams have had talent at times: Michigan (Harris, Petway, and Sims), Missouri (McKinney, Kleiza), St. John’s (Ingram), and Minnesota (Humphries). But the teams were not able to turn that talent into NCAA tournament success, which led to the coaching changes. It is one thing to fail to make the NCAA tournament (see Northwestern), but when you have a lot of talent and still fail to make the NCAA tournament, your odds of being fired are much higher.

-I also see a lot of ACC teams on this list. While the teams in the ACC have an easier time attracting talented players, the quality of the conference makes it very difficult to earn an NCAA bid. And you can’t win tournament games if you don’t qualify for the tournament.

-Notre Dame’s steadfast refusal to play defense prevents them from living up to their potential.

- Ironically, Al Thornton, a red-shirt senior who was not even in a top 200 recruit, was the best player on Florida St. this year. But despite having the top rated class in 2003, and eight Top100 recruits since 2003, Florida St. has zero NCAA tournament appearances in the last 5 years. You can blame injuries and the strength of the ACC, but at some point this team has to break through or Leonard Hamilton is going to be in trouble.

If you start with my post on Wednesday, April 4th and read through today’s post, you’ll probably have a pretty good idea where the various coaches are going to rate when I display the rankings tomorrow. However, since many of the major coaches (Roy Williams, Bill Self, Thad Matta) have switched teams in the last 5 years, there will probably still be a few surprises. Here’s my tentative plan:

Thursday: Top coaches for player development and X’s and O’s
Friday: Top coaches for recruiting
Monday: Evaluating this years coaching changes
Tuesday: Which BCS conference has the best coaches?

In the meantime, I leave you with a coaching chain update. A lot has changed in the last week.

Dan Monson to Long Beach St.
Tubby Smith to Minnesota
Billy Gillispie to Kentucky
Mark Turgeon to Texas A&M
? to Wichita St.

Stan Heath to South Florida
John Pelphrey to Arkansas....
? to South Alabama

Ricardo Patton to Northern Illinois
Jeff Bzdelik to Colorado
? to Air Force

Ritchit McKay to Liberty
Steve Alford to New Mexico
Todd Lickliter to Iowa
Brad Stevens promoted to head coach at Butler

John Beilein to Michigan
Bob Huggins to West Virginia
Frank Martin promoted to head coach at Kansas St.