Friday, August 1, 2008

2008-09 Returning Minutes

While off season media attention has been devoted to the AAU circuit and recruiting in the Classes of 2009 and 2010, the fields for the early season invitational tournaments and the few news items (coaching booster tours, players behaving badly, etc.) generated during the dog days of summer, colleges have been quietly releasing their schedules (bit by bit) and posting their rosters. Over the past week and half thirteen Big East teams have posted their 2008-09 rosters. While most (Marquette and Villanova -- incorrectly identified as the 2007-08 team -- for example) have posted the "traditioal" web page, others (Louisville and Pittsburgh) have buried their rosters in the "summer" or "preseason" prospectus. Given these teams are a work in progress, Clearing House issues have (in a few cases) yet to be resolved and walk-on candidates screened, but this "first pass" did force a shake out of several entering freshmen and a few questionables among the returning players. South Florida touted Teeng Akol back in June as an entering member of the class. Yet last week, after the Bulls posted their 2008-09 roster, put out a press release indicating Akol's scholarship was rescinded, for reasons not entirely clear. Working around Cincinnati, Rutgers and West Virginia these are the estimated (by percentage) returning minutes, listed highest to lowest, for the teams this season...

Pct Ret.
TeamPlay Tm
Notre Dame0.858
St. John's0.753
West Virginia0.610
South Florida0.551
Seton Hall0.519

With only the transfer of Malcolm Grant as the only PT loss, it is no surprise the Wildcats would show as the team that lost the least amount of playing time. The numbers for Georgetown, Cincinnati and DePaul does not surprise either. All three squads featured seniors at multiple positions.Attrition at Seton Hall, South Florida, West Virginia and St. John's included not only graduation/eligibility attrition, but also transfers (and for WVU...) early entry to the NBA draft. I was a little surprised about Connecticut. The Huskies have not lost a starter through graduation in the past two seasons, but have had a steady outflow of transferring players. This off season was more of the same as Curt Kelly and Doug Wiggins both left Storrs for other schools (Kelly to K State, Wiggins is rumored to be headed to UMass). The unexpected loss was starter Stanley Robinson who has enrolled in a community college to get back on track academically. I was also surprised at Louisville's return percentage. With the graduations of David Padgett and Juan Palacios, combined with Derrick Caracter's hiatus, I thought Coach Pitino's squad would return less than the 74.3% playing time the roster and last season's stats show.

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