Additional Insight on Tom Crean and His Contract With Indiana

Additional Insight on Tom Crean and His Contract With Indiana

It reminded me a lot of the political theater I used to be part of

– Indiana Athletic Director Fred Glass on announcing Crean’s extension to a packed Assembly Hall

The media is again struggling to get the specifics of the buyout provisions correct, so we’ll step in. In this article we’ll also discuss a few other angles of interest related to this topic.

What is the amount of Tom Crean’s buyout?

His buyout depends on the timing of termination. If he were to be terminated at the end of this month (March 2015), the buyout would be a minimum of $11.1MM and could be as high as $12.0MM.

From now through June 30, 2015, the buyout is the lesser of $12MM and the remaining “outside, marketing and promotion income” payable under his contract. $11.1MM represents the buyout total if there have been no annual merit increases. However, such merit increases are allowable under the employment agreement and just a 5% increase would push the buyout figure as of the end of this month to $11.6M.

On July 1 of this year the buyout drops to $7.5MM.

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Minnesota’s Mo Walker: Stealing The Show

Minnesota’s Mo Walker: Stealing The Show

Known for his offensive prowess, Gophers’ fifth-year senior Maurice Walker has made a statistically remarkable impact on the other side of the court in 2014-15.

The Gophers have the nation’s second-highest steal rate and their style of play has helped Walker to register a high steal percent, but as the team’s last game at Iowa reminded us, a lot of it is square on him.

Walker’s steal from Iowa guard Mike Gesell late in the game helped to seal Minnesota’s important 64-59 road win on Thursday. Earlier in the game – as he has many times this season – Mo stepped around his man to get his arm into the passing lane and deflect an attempted delivery to the low block, resulting in a turnover.

The figures below are from and include only players who have been on the court for at least 40% of their team’s minutes. To put into context, there are 88 Big Ten players who meet that minimum through games of February 13, 2015.

The Gophers have the top four thieves in the conference (all games, including nonconference):

Rank Player Team Ht Wt Yr %Stls
1 Nate Mason Minnesota 6-1 180 Fr 4.82
2 Deandre Mathieu Minnesota 5-9 165 Sr 4.36
3 Carlos Morris Minnesota 6-5 180 Jr 4.35
4 Maurice Walker Minnesota 6-10 250 Sr 4.17

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Big Ten: Current KenPom vs. Preseason Predictions

Big Ten: Current KenPom vs. Preseason Predictions

Prior to the season’s first tip we offered our 2014-15 Big Ten Predictions. Now a week into February, we take a look at how those predictions compare with the current KenPom ratings through February 8, 2015. In addition to looking at our own predictions vs. KenPom, we’ll look at how the various Big Ten beat writers did as well.

Big Ten teams ordered by their KenPom Rating as of February 8, 2015 are as follows:

# Team
1 Wisconsin
2 Ohio St.
3 Iowa
4 Michigan St.
5 Maryland
6 Minnesota
7 Indiana
8 Purdue
9 Illinois
10 Penn St.
11 Michigan
12 Nebraska
13 Northwestern
14 Rutgers

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University of Minnesota vs. President Obama

University of Minnesota vs. President Obama

Today the White House released 2016 budget documents for the United States Government. Included within those documents was at least one measure that may have college sports fans on opposite sides of the political spectrum agreeing with each other.

Currently, seat donation fees and similar “required donations” to universities as a prerequisite to buying tickets to sporting events are generally 80% deductible as deemed charitable contributions.

President Obama’s budget would eliminate this, as he puts it, “loophole.”

We’d guess the uproar over this may become significant and – all things considered and without delving deep into politics – we think it’s likely that Obama will not get his way on this one. But he could.

Many college and universities have seat donation fees. The University of Minnesota is relatively new to the “game”, but they are stepping things up in a risky way: the ‘U’ recently announced they’d be dramatically increasing the football “scholarship seating” fees over the next three years. 

On their pricing maps for the next three season, Minnesota displays the current facts: “80% of your preferred seating fee is tax deductible.”… but what if that changes?

Should or would the U change their pricing? How would consumer behavior change?

Tax law is always a significant area of risk management for individuals, companies and yes – not-for-profits. Today, college sports fans were reminded of this by the President.

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Minnesota: Conference Shooting Splits

Minnesota: Conference Shooting Splits

In Richard Pitino’s first season, the Minnesota Golden Gophers shot an impressive 52.3% eFG in Big Ten games (#3 in conference). This year that figure is down to 48.4% (#9) and is the primary reason they’re not scoring as well in 2014-15 (on a points per possession basis).

The team’s 3-point shooting isn’t the issue.  This year’s squad is shooting better (35.1% vs. 34.5%) and more often behind the 3-point stripe. (37.7% 3FGA/FGA vs. 34.6%).

Minnesota’s 2-point shooting has taken a significant dip from 52.5% (#2 in B1G)  to 45.9% (#10).

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Top Freshmen Rebounders; Seton Hall Visits Marquette

Top Freshmen Rebounders; Seton Hall Visits Marquette

Last May, ESPN’s Reggie Rankin put together his Class of 2014 Best Rebounders. Missing from the list was 6’9” Seton Hall freshman Angel Delgado who will visit Milwaukee on Wednesday. To his credit, when asked about Delgado after releasing his top 5 rebounders, Rankin indicated that Delgado belonged in the conversation.


With Marquette’s next opponent being Seton Hall, today we take a look at top freshman rebounders including the impressive figures Delgado has produced this season. For purposes of this article, data is through January 24, 2015 and comes from

D-I’s top 5 freshmen (minimum of 225 minutes played) in total rebounding percentage this season are as follows:

Rk Player School MP ORB% DRB% TRB%
1 Josh Ibarra Houston Baptist 261 17.4 30.4 24.1
2 Rokas Gustys Hofstra 236 20.1 23.9 22.0
3 Angel Delgado Seton Hall 469 16.9 24 20.5
4 Jakob Poeltl Utah 402 16.9 23.2 20.4
5 Domantas Sabonis Gonzaga 449 11.5 24.1 18.6

Based on what we saw in travel and international play we expected Rokas Gustys to do well rebounding the ball from day one, but he’s been even better than expected. Gustys has missed time due to injury, but still has maintained a 20-20 OR-DR combo over 236 minutes of play.

Top 5 Offensive Rebounding Percentages

Rk Player School MP ORB%
1 Rokas Gustys Hofstra 236 20.1
2 DeSean Murray Presbyterian 291 17.5
3 Josh Ibarra Houston Baptist 261 17.4
4 Angel Delgado Seton Hall 469 16.9
5 Jakob Poeltl Utah 402 16.9

Top 5 Defensive Rebounding Percentages

Rk Player School MP DRB%
1 Josh Ibarra Houston Baptist 261 30.4
2 Leron Black Illinois 314 25.0
3 Tyler Rawson Southern Utah 288 24.8
4 Domantas Sabonis Gonzaga 449 24.1
5 Angel Delgado Seton Hall 469 24.0

ESPN’s May ’14 Picks – Top 5 Rebounders – Current Rank

Jahlil Okafor – #12 TR%, #6 OR%, #41 DR%
Cliff Alexander – #11, #14, #13
Goodluck Okonoboh – #75, #103, #180
Reid Travis – #31, #40, #41
Abdul-Malik Abu – #60, #78, #55

Other Seton Hall Notes:

  • The Pirates provide another fine example of a team that can be great on one side of the glass, but not the other. Their OR% is #34 in the nation per, but their DR% is #303.
  • 6’2″ guard Sterling Gibbs has been terrific scoring and distributing the ball, but he’s allergic to rebounds (1.7% OR and 3.9% DR). His DR% is easily the worst among all Big East regulars (next worst is at 5.7%).
  • 6’6″ freshman Desi Rodriguez doesn’t get the minutes that Delgado does, but he’s also been very strong on the boards (8.8% OR; 20.3% DR).
  • True, Marquette allows a lot of offensive rebounds for opponents, but in Big East play the Warriors have a 35.1% Def OR%, a fair amount better than Seton Hall’s Def OR% of 38.7%.
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Minnesota’s 2FG% Dooms Them at Nebraska

Minnesota’s 2FG% Dooms Them at Nebraska

Free throws (9/19 for 47.4%) get the attention from many, but they weren’t the primary issue in Minnesota’s loss at Nebraska.

Although the Gophers could have used some more made free throws in the 52-49, there were more important factors to them losing.

The biggest one factor was 2-point field goal shooting. Their mark of 25.0% (8/32) was the program’s worst performance going back at least five years. Had Minnesota made slightly less than the D-I average of their 2-point attempts (D-I average is approximately 47.5%; Minnesota averages better than 50.5% on the season), they would have scored an additional 14 points.

Free throw percentage is nearly irrelevant to a team winning or losing a basketball game.
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Gophers: Stealing Still Is Not The Answer

Gophers: Stealing Still Is Not The Answer

“Head coach Richard Pitino has talked about more steals as a way to improve the 2014-15 Gophers, but the Gophers aren’t likely to improve their defense much by creating more steals.” —, October 2014

The Minnesota Gophers have the nation’s third best steal rate and are #2 among Big Ten teams in conference play at 12.2%.

Nonetheless, the team’s defense has been poor and now ranks #12 in the league. We have a suggested potential partial fix, but this roster isn’t likely to put together many impressive defensive performances no matter what changes are made.

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