Sunday, July 10, 2011

Preseason TAPE Rankings Are Up

This is sure to look foolish by, oh, the second weekend of November or so, but this season I'm going to be publishing a preseason version of the TAPE ratings. The preseason ratings were compiled by projecting each individual player's offensive and defensive PAPER ratings and playing time for the upcoming season based on typical development curves. 

Those development curves are based on the average year-over-year improvement for players at each position in each conference. Ideally, I would be able to use a group of similar players to project out each individual, but since my player stats database only has three seasons' worth of data in it at the moment, this is the next-best thing.

(The list of players included in the rankings can be found in this spreadsheet. It's obviously hard to keep up with the comings and goings of 344 teams, so it's entirely possible that I've missed an incoming transfer here or included a player who's been dismissed from his team there. If you notice any of those cases, please let me know and I'll adjust everything accordingly.)

The astute reader will notice that for most teams the number of expected minutes falls well short of the 200 total floor minutes per game each team will log. That's because the only individuals listed are returning players, incoming transfers, and incoming RSCI Top-50 (or Top-100 for non-BCS conferences) players. The remaining minutes are projected to be filled by generic incoming freshmen.

Some notes on the rankings:
  • The Big Ten looks to be absolutely stacked at the top, with four teams in the Top Ten (#1 Ohio State, #2 Purdue, #8 Wisconsin, and #9 Michigan State), and three more in the Top 25 (#12 Northwestern, #16 Indiana, and #18 Michigan). 
  • The ACC has nine teams--everyone but Georgia Tech, Boston College and Wake Forest--that should contend for NCAA Tournament bids, but only Duke and Carolina project in the Top 25.
  • Frank Haith might have walked into a great situation at #3 Missouri. The rest of the Big 12 looks like it might have a down year.
  • A couple of interesting teams appear poised to rise to the top of the SEC: Alabama and South Carolina. Anthony Grant could have a nationally-elite team in just his third year in Tuscaloosa, while the Gamecocks look like a fringe Top 25 team in what's likely a make-or-break year for Darrin Horn.
  • Looking for a mid-major team that might do big things? Try Indiana State, Oral Roberts, Harvard, Wichita State, or South Dakota State.

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