Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bloggers Roundtable -- On Second Thought...

Pico over at the East Coast Bias Blog organized an end of the season round table for bloggers from 14 of the 16 Big East members (Cincinnati & South Florida do not have many/any? bloggers). Pico sent out a 6 question questionnaire the results of which he published in "Big East Bloggers Roundtable: Pre-Conference Tourney Q and A". I enjoyed participating, and hopefully a number of readers will get over to East Coast Bias to catch all of the responses. After reading through Pico's compilation, I had a few more thoughts (I know, I had a lot of thoughts already...)...

Not asked, but volunteered here -- my vote for POY is Jerel McNeal. Granted you can make an argument for Blair (John Gasaway over at Basketball Prospectus did earlier today...), but consider the Haragody/Hibbert precedent which practically dictates that an underclassman named as POY should jump to the NBA in the off season. McNeal has performed well all season long, has clearly helped his team improve over last season and is a senior (which in my opinion, encourages the underclassmen to stay and hone their game before jumping to the league). For me, the 1st Pittsburgh -- Connecticut, in which Blair completely dominated Thabeet in the paint (that flip-over-the-back move appeared to intimidate the Husky center) ended the UConn's Thabeet-for-POY boomlet (Big East or elsewhere).

I believe the "OY"s should come from upper division teams, or provide the kind of help that markedly improves their team's standing from the previous season. They should be a reason why the team did well. And that's the problem with Mike Rosario and Greg Echenique -- Rutgers was worse this year than last year. Rutgers won 3 conference games in 2008; the Scarlet Knights won 2 in 2009. Their offensive/defensive efficiency difference was -0.170 in 2008, it was -0.146 in 2009. That is an "improvement" of 0.024. I don't put this at Mike Rosario's feet, clearly he is a talented player and deserves to be named to the All-Rookie Team. And should the Scarlet Knights learn to win next season (or the one after), Rosario can share the rewards (assuming he contributes) consistent with that accomplishment. The 2009 edition of the Rutgers men's basketball team has not shown that it is better than the 2008 edition.

Most overrated home venue -- The RAC at Rutgers. I know a few other bloggers had other overrated venues (the Carrier Dome seemed to draw a lot of attention...), but RAC has not provided any advantage for Rutgers in a long time (5 years?) -- this is not a one (a two) season phenomena. The table I put together to illustrate the point makes a pretty strong case. Those teams have been at the bottom of the conference for a few seasons...

South Florida8170.308

As recently as 2002 the RAC was touted as house of horrors by sports writers. By contrast St. John's, who finished #13 this season, had a 14-12 0.538 home record over the past 3 seasons -- and the Johnnies split their home court between Carnesecca Arena in Queens and Madison Square Garden.


stan said...

Hello greyCat.

Good stuff. Question on a slightly different subject.

Do you (or Ray)have any thoughts or empirical data on officiating that happens in the BET vs the NCAA's?

I heard a comment the other day that "ref's let em play" more in the BET vs the NCAA.

Look forward to your reply.

greyCat said...

Hey Stan -- I shot a note off to Ray about this, as I would frankly like to hear his thoughts on it (he referees part-time at the HS level), but it is a very busy week for him right now. He was down in Atlantic City for the 1st round of the A10 yesterday, after spending Tuesday night in NYC for the BET's 1st round. I will remind him at some point (maybe he and I can collaborate on a post...). I have put referee stats in each of the Villanova Post game postings. It only tracks referee teams for Villanova games though. I will look over at StatSheet.com -- it has referee stats by conference, and more importantly it tracks the same referee through every conference whose games he works. That will take time.

stan said...

Thank you greyCat.

I look forward to those observations/comments whenever you guys get the chance.