Our friend Devin (of College Basketball Chronotope) provides a couple useful links:
- 2008 Big Ten player efficiency ratings: Goran Suton ranked as the 4th most efficient player in the conference on a per-minute basis.
- A preliminary 2009 Big Ten power poll: His rundown of the 11 conference teams has a lot more meat on the bones than mine did. He has MSU second behind Purdue and pegs his Hoosiers to slide all the way down to last place.
In the wider world of college basketball, the ACC doesn’t think they’re getting enough NCAA Tournament bids:
For the second time in three years since the ACC expanded to 12 schools, just four of its teams were selected for the NCAA tournament. Despite having the highest conference RPI for 2007-08, the ACC received fewer NCAA bids than the Big East, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC.
Here’s a case where the difference between the mean and the median makes a difference. Based on average RPI, the ACC was indeed the highest ranked conference this past season. But that figure is pulled upward by UNC’s #1 and Duke’s #7 rankings. Based on the median RPI ranking–a more appropriate gauge of how good the teams in the middle of the conference are–the ACC ranked only 4th among college conferences. (I’m embarrassed to note the Big Ten’s median RPI ranking was 101st, due to the big drop-off from Ohio State to Minnesota.) Conclusion: UNC and Duke being really good doesn’t mean Virginia Tech and Wake Forest should get into the Big Dance.
There’s no trouble on the Academic Progress Ratings front for Michigan State.
According to a poll of college coaches, MSU has two of the top 20 assistant coaches in the country. Mark Montgomery ranks 16th; Dwayne Stephens ranks 17th. Seems like there’s been less chatter about Montgomery being a candidate for head coaching jobs this year than there was the previous couple years.
Here’s a fun read from Sports Illustrated’s recently-opened vault: A piece written in February 2000 about Morris Peterson. I’d forgotten that MSU beat UConn in a nonconference game played in the middle of the conference season that year. And most people forget how unheralded Peterson was as an incoming freshman–his only scholarship offers from major programs were from MSU and Minnesota. He remains Izzo’s greatest achievement in terms of player development: a one-dimensional scorer who became an All-American and a an NBA starter.
Speaking of Spartan players from seasons past, let’s see if anyone’s still out there. Here’s your first offseason Coffee Talk question:
Who is your favorite MSU basketball player of all time? (And why?)
My answer to this question doesn’t require much conjuring up of days of yore. Drew Netizel, who shares my hometown and high school alma mater (Wyoming Park), is my all-time favorite. You already know what I think about his career.
Mrs. Spartans Weblog’s pick is more eclectic: Matt Ishbia. We remember fondly cheering for the diminutive walk-on to enter the game at the end of blowouts during our days as student season ticket holders.
Your turn . . .