Yet Another Basketball Blog has an interesting piece up comparing the performance of Big Ten and ACC teams in the NCAA tournament over the last decade. It’s a response to a recent ESPN.com article that asks whether the Big Ten deserves fewer bids due to its lower rate of tournament progression than other conferences in recent years. YABB’s conclusion is that when you control for the seeds of the teams in the two conferences, Big Ten teams have actually outperformed ACC teams in terms of how far they’ve advanced in the tournament. Final conclusion:
I think that any attempt to base bids on past tournament performance is foolish. The numbers don’t support the idea that any conferences bubble teams are clearly inferior or surperior. More importantly, each team should be evaluated on its own merits. Ohio St. should be left out of the field this year, but not because the Big Ten never makes the Sweet Sixteen. Ohio St. should be left out because they are 1-9 vs the RPI Top 50.
Dave Dye has the obligatory “why aren’t Suton and Gray more consistent” article of the month today. Let’s take Gray first: He is what he is. He’s a very good defensive rebounder and he can dunk the ball when he gets open off set plays. After four seasons on campus, I really think we need to stop hoping for more than that from him.
As for Suton, here’s the argument I’ve made previously:
Nearly every big man who’s played for Izzo has been criticized at some point for being inconsistent offensively, the biggest example being Paul Davis.
The MSU offense is not designed to feed a big man the ball in the post on a consistent basis. It’s designed for big men to set screens and get open for easy baskets off set plays. Count the number of times Suton gets fed the ball in the post. In most games, my guess is this number isn’t any larger than 2 or 3.
There’s certainly still room for Suton to be more aggressive and consistent on offense, but I’ll continue to stand by the assertions above.
To nitpick the Dye article a bit, I don’t think the stat cited below is a fair representation of Suton’s ball-handling this year:
Suton is third on the team with 52 turnovers while Gray has a miserable 10-to-41 assist-turnover ratio.
Suton also handles the ball inside the three-point line more than any other player except maybe Morgan. And the turnovers he does make should be placed in the context of his passing. His season average of 1.9 assists/game is tied with Penn State’s Jamelle Cornley for the highest figure among nonguards in the conference.
I probably should have just gone ahead and checked whether www.goransutonfanclub.com was available when I started this blog . . .