Hindsight review: 2014-15 Minnesota Predictions We had nailed Minnesota’s Big Ten finish for the first few years we made predictions, but failed this past season. They underachieved. We’ll have more prior to the start of the 2015-16 season, but the reality is the defense failed. From a turnover and steal perspective, Minnesota was elite. However, we knew that wouldn’t be enough and it wasn’t even close. The opportunity for young kids to make their mark has never been greater for this program – and there are many new faces. 2015-16, if nothing else, will be entertaining.
Bold: Our preseason comments
The Gophers have a veteran core. Their offensive efficiency can be similar to last year and their defense can improve substantially, but they’ve got a ways to go to compete for a Big Ten title.
Minnesota’s kenpom adjusted offensive efficiency was ranked #43 in 2014-15, which was similar to the previous year’s ranking of #40.
However, the Gophers saw their adjusted defensive efficiency ranking fall from 82 to 106. We talked about it before, during and after the season: Stealing was not the answer. Indeed, Minnesota’s steal rate of 13.6% and defensive turnover % of 24.7% were both elite and far above the previous year (11.5% and 18.7%, respectively), but their defense had bad issues that offset the good.
Fact Check: Does Gopher Football have the #1 APR among public universities?
A couple of weeks ago the Minnesota Gophers’ football recruiting coordinator tweeted that Minnesota football currently holds a 994 APR score, making it the fourth best in the nation and #1 among public universities.
Then, on May 12, assistant recruiting coordinator John Schaekel tweeted the same thing.
These gentlemen hang out with football recruits and their families. To be able to say the football program has the best APR among all public universities is a great thing to be able to share… but is it true?
Question: Does Gopher football currently hold the best APR among public universities?
Howard Pulley finished this weekend’s session with a 74-70 victory over Boo Williams. Pulley (3-5) had started the session with three losses, but an impressive 13 point, 12 rebound performance by 2016 center Brock Bertram helped propel the Panthers to the win.
Continue reading below for select team and individual advanced statistics from the weekend.
This question came in response to our article regarding Wisconsin’s adjusted offensive efficiency. The Badgers now have a positive points-per-100 possessions adjustment of 7.0, or 5.8%, given to their actual per game average offensive efficiency. Both of these adjustments are larger than those given to any other team in the nation.
The answer to the question is “no.” When thinking about kenpom’s ranking system, always keep in mind that it’s a predictive system. Giving more weigh to recent games when predicting the immediate future doesn’t seem odd at all.
Let’s do some quick math to see if treating the Kentucky equally to all others would cause a different answer. Coming into the Final Four, Wisconsin’s AdjOE was 127.5. They had played 38 games. 127.5 * 38 = 4,845. After the Kentucky game, Wisconsin’s AdjOE is 128.5. An AdjOE of 128.5 * 39 games = 5,011.5.
If all games were treated equally, you’d expect Wisconsin’s AdjOE against Kentucky to be 166.5 (5,011.5 – 4,845). The Badgers scored 123.3 pp100p on a neutral court against Kentucky and their 86.5 AdjDE.
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.
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 KenPom.com 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):
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: