FACT CHECK: Iowa says men’s head basketball coach Fran McCaffery’s new deal puts him in the upper half of Big Ten Conference with regard to guaranteed compensation.
Is this claim factual? No.
How outrageous is this claim? Not very. Whether a simple mistake or a white lie, we’re talking about Iowa and a coaching contract we actually like. Let’s give them a break (especially after Licklighter).
“The seven-year agreement guarantees McCaffery a minimum average of $1.66 million annually over the length of the contract, beginning with a base salary of $1.3 million in 2012-13. The base salary moves McCaffery to the upper half of the Big Ten Conference in comparison to his colleagues.”
The University of Iowa said in July 2012 that a new deal between the school and head coach Fran McCaffery moves his base salary into the upper half of the Big Ten Conference in comparison to other head coaches. In this context the school is using “base salary” to mean guaranteed pay, but the comparison does not include various incentives that could be earned.
Overall, I like the contract. The school is providing a significant financial incentive for McCaffery to get the team into the NCAA tournament and to do so quickly. However, the claim of their head coach’s guaranteed compensation being in the upper half of the conference is simply untrue.
Specifically, let’s consider the six Big Ten teams who are likely to be preseason picks to finish higher than Iowa this season: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin. The head coach of each of those programs earns more guaranteed compensation than McCaffery’s new deal. We could go on (by looking at Purdue’s Matt Painter, for example), but we’re already comfortable stating that McCaffery’s guaranteed compensation remains in the bottom half of the conference and not in the top half as the University of Iowa has claimed.
This morning in Miami, a court handed down penalties to University of Minnesota basketball player Trevor Mbakwe after he violated terms of his probation in a felony battery case. Mbakwe, 23, had been found guilty of felony battery this past February and was facing a wide range of potential punishments in the case after a DUI arrest this summer.
The most significant development this morning was that prior to criminal court going into session, the civil attorney for the victim of the felony battery was present and met with Mbakwe’s criminal defense attorney.
During the meeting, a confidential civil settlement was reached but the terms were not disclosed to the prosecutor or the criminal court. In return for the promise of what may be a substantial retribution payment to the victim if Mbakwe is an NBA first round draft pick, the victim’s attorney requested that the criminal court limit Mbakwe’s punishment to additional probation.
The 6’8″, 245 power forward figures to get some consideration from NBA teams despite a history of injuries and criminal offenses. LateNightHoops.com projects Mbakwe as a potential second-round draft pick in the 2013 draft.
Probation for Mbakwe was extended and is now scheduled to end in two years instead of this spring and the type of probation was enhanced to require regular reporting. He is also currently on probation for two Minnesota cases in different counties.
After his September DUI conviction and hearing for a probation violation on a harassment conviction, Mbakwe has been required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and see a sports psychologist. The judge in Miami instructed him to continue with both of these requirements and directed Mbakwe to attend at least three AA meetings per week.
In addition, 480 hours of community service were ordered to be performed over the next two years.
The University of Minnesota had not issued a public statement as of the time of this release. It is unclear whether they intend to do so.
Minnesota’s Largest Exposure in Mbakwe Mess Still Looming? October 18, 2012
University of Minnesota star forward Trevor Mbakwe may receive additional punishment on Friday from a Miami-Dade court related to his felony battery due to a summer probation violation. While the punishment could include jail time and further negatively affect the Minnesota Gophers basketball team, there may be an exposure outside of the courts for the university that is more significant than anything the judge will hand down this week.
My reporting on the felony issue over the years has been met with denial and attacks, but this week, after LateNightHoops.com broke the news of the latest troubles in Miami, people are beginning to understand the history and severity of this matter.
It can be difficult to determine the reasoning of the NCAA when they decide to grant a sixth year of eligibility to a student-athlete, especially when it doesn’t appear that any of the listed criteria for a Five-Year Rule Waiver are met.
With regard to Mbakwe, I had put his chances of being granted a waiver at 2% when he went down at the Old Spice Classic last November. The reasoning for this was that I firmly believed that the felony battery case, which continues to be misreported by most media outlets, would likely end in a plea agreement and a finding of guilt by the court. It did.
Still, the waiver was granted.
If the felony charge had been dismissed, my view would have been completely different. Imagine an argument that could have been made by the University:
Mbakwe was falsely accused. It was a case of mistaken identity. We held him out for a year because it was the right thing to do for the school and for him. He was never convicted. Surely this legal issue was no fault of his own and therefore the NCAA should grant him an additional year of eligibility.
This argument may be compelling to a third party such as the NCAA. Technically, this is an argument that could have been made and while misleading, might not contain any blatant lies.
In the state of Florida, a plea of no contest is available and that is what Mbakwe pled in February of this year. A no contest plea is frequently used by defendants in Florida and simply means the defendant does not wish to contest the charges. Before accepting the plea, the court would have made certain Mbakwe knew he was accused of assaulting a young woman and would be found guilty by the court of a second degree felony.
Another practice that is not rare in Florida is for a judge to “withhold adjudication”. This means that while the court finds an individual guilty, he is not “convicted”. This can be beneficial for the defendant in that certain civil rights may be preserved (i.e. voting, right to bear arms. Editor’s Note: Our understanding is that Mbakwe is registered to vote in Minnesota and is considered to be a “convicted felon” under state statutes that cover voter eligibility despite the withhold as long as he remains on probation; therefore, it appears he’s currently unable to legally vote, so the withhold doesn’t have the same benefit as it may if he lived in Florida).
So, was Mbakwe convicted of the felony? No (although he may be this Friday). Was he found guilty? Absolutely.
Now let’s reconsider a possible Minnesota argument if the facts are more clearly laid out to the NCAA:
We held him out for a year because it was the right thing to do for the school and for him. He was later found guilty of felony battery. You should grant him another year since we decided to sit him because of a felony charge that he was ultimately found guilty of.
This argument isn’t so compelling.
Now, I don’t know what the discussions between Minnesota and the NCAA were. I do know that the Five-Year Rule Waiver being granted was very surprising to me and based on the facts at the time (Mbakwe had been found guilty prior to Minnesota’s petition), it brings into question what information was discussed when the NCAA was making their decision.
On course, the argument for a waiver may have been completely unrelated to Minnesota’s decision to sit Mbakwe in 2009-10. I doubt it, but I do not know.
If Minnesota’s request for a Five-Year Rule Waiver excluded relevant information, there may be reason for deep concern. The question would then be whether it was a case of ignorance or intentional deception. Neither one would be looked upon favorably.
Deep talent, a legitimate star and big time PR have pushed the Hoosiers to No. 1
Indiana has a great basketball team and an incredibly supportive fan base. Neither of these facts should come as a surprise. After all, every four year player at Indiana since the 1950s has played for a nationally ranked squad at some point during their career.
Heading into the 2012-13 college basketball season there aren’t many teams that look like a sure shot national title contender. I understand why most of the nation has Indiana ranked number one in the land, but personally I’m unable to rationalize an argument for that expectation.
The Hoosiers’ offense does not have much room to improve and their defense has too much room for improvement.
Prior to the season tipping off, LateNightHoops.com will preview each of the Big Ten teams, highlighting positives, negatives and overall outlook. However, today we’ll get a start on Indiana and offer some thoughts on why they don’t look like a team that will win it all in 2012-13.
How good were they last year?
Indiana’s 27-9 record in 2011-12 looks good, but their non-conference schedule included a lot of awful competition. More than half of the Hoosiers’ 27 wins were 15+ point blowouts. While the Kentucky game at Assembly Hall stands out, Indiana didn’t play many games that went down to the wire. More than half of their losses were by double-digits.
Indiana finished conference play in 5th place last season and compiled a road record of 3-6, with none of those wins coming against foes that finished ahead of them.
From an efficiency standpoint (KenPom.com adjusted; Editors note: subscribing to KenPom.com is highly recommended & the small cost is a tiny fraction of the value you’ll receive), the Hoosiers posted an offensive efficiency of 120.6 and a defensive mark of 95.3 for a net of 25.3.
Looking back at the five most recent national champions, their net efficiency numbers were as follows: 34.8, 25.4, 37.6, 34.5, 42.5. Connecticut, who had an incredible late season run in both the Big East and NCAA tournaments, is the outlier at 25.4 in 2010-11. The average of the second best net efficiency in the last five seasons has been 33.5.
To feel good about Indiana as a No. 1, I’d want to see a believable path to around 34.0. That said, the Hoosiers need about 9 additional points in 2012-13 and I can’t get there.
Matching last year’s efficiency won’t be easy and improving it by more than a few points is not a reasonable expectation.
In the past five seasons, just eight teams have reached 123 and only four of those surpassed 125.
Let’s be generous and assume Indiana increases its offensive efficiency by 2.5 points to 123.1.
Below is just a sampling of the road blocks the Hoosiers could encounter when trying to be a better (or even equal) offensive team in 2012-13:
Cody Zeller is absolutely legit. As a sophomore he’ll showcase an expanded game and be even more fun to watch. However, I project his offensive rating to decline a bit. His total value to the team should improve some, but he won’t provide nearly the same incremental boost as last season.
Indiana’s free throw rate (“FTR”) in the Big Ten was the best seen in the conference over the past 5 years. Much like the Indiana defense focused on reducing their own fouling of the opposition last year, others teams will do the same this year when defending the Hoosiers’ attack. The Hoosiers were 0-5 in conference games when they had a FTR of less than 32.7%.
The three-pointer wasn’t used a lot, but it did provide a big boost to the team’s overall shooting because of their incredible accuracy from deep.
– The team shot 43.1% 3FG (41.4% conf; 44.9% nonconf).
– Jordan Hulls won’t match his 49.3% 3FG (42.1% conf; 57.1% nonconf)
– Considerable downside risk for Christian Watford’s 43.7% 3FG
– Matt Roth was effectively cut from the program. His 54.5% 3FG (59.2% in Big Ten) won’t come close to being duplicated by anyone. Ex-Roth, Indiana’s 41.4% 3FG in conference drops to 37.4%.
The Hoosiers still must play on the road. Matt Roth nailed 5 of 6 three point field goals during a 22 point performance in a victory at Penn State, a win that broke Indiana’s 16-game Big Ten road losing streak. Indiana was 2-6 in other conference road games, losing 4 by double digits and dropping a close one at lowly Nebraska.
Roth and senior Tom Pritchard were ultra-low usage guys that played with great offensive efficiency in their combined 24+ minutes per Big Ten game last year. How well will Tom Crean mix in guys with more regular usage tendencies?
Giving Indiana some hope, Cody Zeller still needs to prove he can dominate consistently away from home and he could help them to a better road showing this year. In Big Ten play, he was a far better performer at Assembly Hall:
Points FG% FT rate
Home 19.8 71.1% 70%
Away 11.6 51.4% 54%
A 6.5 defensive efficiency improvement may not sound like a lot, but it is. Remember, Indiana’s 2011-12 was not nearly as bad as the few years prior. Although there wasn’t anything particularly good about their team defense, it wasn’t awful and improved by 3.8 points last year.
The Hoosiers lowered their defensive free throw rate significantly last year, but won’t realize such a drop again this year. A place they can improve is forcing turnovers, but at what cost?
Indiana needs a big improvement on defense. Are a talented group of freshmen the answer? I wouldn’t think so. Perhaps having veteran wings Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey start games to set the defensive tone would be wise, but it is possible Coach Crean has Yogi Ferrell and senior Jordan Hulls in the backcourt together a lot.
Ferrell is smart, strong and overall a great player. Nonetheless, he’s also small, a freshman and a kid that played 2-3 zone in high school. Pairing him with Hulls will scare the opposition’s defense, but delight their offense.
Improving their defensive efficiency by 6.5 points would take Indiana to 88.8. That would place them among the top 10 or 15 best defensive teams in the nation. Is that enough to get a national championship done? Sure. Will they get there? I just don’t see it.
The Hoosiers should have an excellent season, but I just can’t rationalize them as No. 1.
Indiana has tremendous talent and unreal depth, but now it gets down to coaching. Tom Crean is a great PR man, but are there concerns with the X’s and O’s? Having tons of talent is better than having no talent, but optimally balancing this group of players throughout the year could prove to be quite a challenge.
The youngsters are terrific and I’ve watched them in person many times. Ferrell is strong, clever and incredibly agile in the lane. Hanner is an impressive physical specimen that will shock people who haven’t seen him up close with his strength, athleticism and aggressiveness near the rim. Jeremy Hollowell’s combination of skill and size is good enough that if he can consistently work hard, he’s a next level guy. The future is bright, but they are all freshmen.
Their schedule lends itself to high expectations continuing for much of the year. After a weak non-conference portion, the season heads into conference play where Indiana’s most difficult four road games are all on the back half of the calendar.
Indiana will lose road games during the last month of the regular season, pushing them away from the top spot in the polls at year end. In the tournament, their defense makes it highly unlikely that they’ll be able to put together a six-game run.
If I had to select five teams with the goal of naming one that would either finish the regular season ranked No. 1 or win the national championship, Indiana would not be one of those teams. It’s not that there are many teams who are clearly better than Indiana, it’s that there are many teams who have the potential to be a No. 1, whereas I can’t get there when projecting the Hoosiers in 2012-13.
After considering the statistics below, which player do you think had a better season – A or B?
2011-12 Player Comparison
REB / 40 min
AST / 40 min
TO / 40 min
STL / 40 min
Also, keep in mind the following:
Player A made more shots in fewer attempts than Player B when shooting 2-point field goals.
Player A also made more shots in fewer attempts than Player B when shooting 3-point field goals.
Each player turned the ball over and secured rebounds at approximately the same rates.
Andre Hollins had a fine freshman campaign and his progression over the course of the season could be seen. He’ll be much improved as a sophomore and looks to be a key piece of Minnesota basketball for the next few years.
However, as a freshman his 2-point field goal percentage was the worst of all Gophers (excluding walk-ons), he had a turnover rate of about 26% and was prone to picking up bad fouls. These are areas that often improve significantly between a player’s first and second years and Dre projects to be very good.
Although Hollins did average 15.0 ppg in the Gophers’ NIT run, his effective field goal percentage was only 47.4% and the young guard turned the ball over at an average of 5.0 per 40 minutes (25% higher than his average for the full season). Also, it’s fair to note that in the NIT Minnesota didn’t face any teams in the top 50 for defensive efficiency until Stanford (19th). To be sure, the confidence is there and things will come together for Andre, but in 2011-12 the Gophers’ best point guard was Julian Welch (Player A).
People will remember some late game missed free throws from Welch, but he was a fine 78% from the line overall. If anything more than coincidence, misses in crunch time are mostly mental and fans should do what Julian needs to do whenever he’s at the line – forget about the past. It’s just another free throw.
The junior guard from California proved to be capable of hitting key shots on many occasions. Just a sample:
With 5:38 to play against Michigan in the Big Ten Tourney, his 3-pointer put Minnesota up 49-45. 25 seconds later, he buried another trey to make it 52-45 in favor of the Gophers.
In overtime against Northwestern, Julian connected from deep to break a 62-62 tie and the Gophers never gave the lead back.
With less than three minutes on the clock and down by 5, Welch’s 3-pointer made the score 55-53 Michigan in a regular season contest. Less than a minute later, another long range basket cut the lead to 57-56.
At Illinois, his 3-point baskets late in the second half tied the game up at 54 and 57, respectively.
Down by 5 with 4:36 to play, Welch nailed a triple to reduce Indiana State’s lead to 2 points. A minute later, his layup would give Minnesota a 63-62 lead and his 4/4 free throw shooting in the last 1:23 of the game sealed the victory for the Gophers.
Welch started and ended the season playing through injury, but even after his first three games as a Gopher in which he shot just 2/9 from the field, had 4 assists and 8 turnovers, he put together a solid 2011-12 campaign. His 56.1 eFG% was so good that it will be difficult to duplicate (to compare, Andre Hollins had a 48.2 eFG% and in 2010-11 senior Blake Hoffarber shot 53.5%), but if he can cut down on turnovers and not take a huge step back shooting the ball, the 5th year senior will be a valuable part of the team once again.
The time is now for sophomore Andre Hollins, but there’s no reason why he and Julian Welch can’t play together. No matter who carries the ball up the court, you’ve then got two ballhandlers that are threats from 3-point range. While Julian adds in a nifty mid-range game, Andre has the ability to get all the way to the bucket. Combine those two with Austin Hollins and the defense has to worry about three deep ball threats who can attack at multiple levels. Not bad. Add in an all-conference talent down low in Trevor Mbakwe along with an athletic Rodney Williams cutting toward the hoop and opponents are going to have their hands full.
Match ups and a number of other variables will dictate who plays with who, but don’t forget about Julian Welch as a potential difference maker for the 2012-13 Golden Gophers. No matter where you see Welch fitting in with next year’s team, he deserves a lot of credit for a solid first year at Minnesota.
The table below is not meant to be an exhaustive list of everyone who played point guard in the Big Ten, but it does help to illustrate where the Gophers’ guards stacked up against their peers.
B1G Point Guards – Effective Field Goal Percentage in 2011-12
Minnesota Gopher Star Forward Returns To Miami Court October 17, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS – University of Minnesota basketball star Trevor Mbakwe was required to make a personal appearance in a Miami court this morning. The sixth year senior was there to answer to a probation violation after a felony warrant was issued earlier this month.
Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Terry Chavez confirmed that during today’s appearance a probation violation hearing was set for this Friday, October 19, 2012. Per Ms. Chavez, it will be up to the court to sentence him after the hearing on Friday.
According to Minnesota Gophers men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith last Friday, Trevor Mbakwe is “lucky to still be around here.” Smith’s comments were in response to questions about a July driving under the influence (DUI) arrest and subsequent conviction in September after LateNightHoops.com broke the story early Friday afternoon.
However, it did not appear Friday that Smith knew the status of the Miami felony case. Per @NadineBabu’s Twitter while Ms. Babu was at the team’s media day, “Tubby said he doesn’t know if this DUI has anything to do with violating probation, ask his lawyer.”
In February of this year, Mbakwe was found guilty of second degree felony battery in Miami related to an attack on a young woman in April, 2009. This summer’s DUI in Minnesota was a violation of probation in that felony case.
The DUI also represented a probation violation related to a harassment conviction late in 2011.
While the respective courts have handed down punishments for the DUI conviction and harassment probation violation already, far more serious penalties could be forthcoming this Friday in Florida.
Copyright 2012 | PAA, Inc. | All Rights Reserved LateNightHoops.com
Minnesota Pump N Run and Edina (MN) high school point guard Graham Woodward has committed to Penn State. The 2013 floor general would have attracted more early attention from high majors if he were taller, but eventually many schools decided they couldn’t help but take interest in the under-six-foot guard after a strong summer.
LateNightHoops was in Las Vegas in July and witnessed an impressive run to the final four of the adidas Super 64 by Woodward’s Minnesota Pump N Run 17U squad. 2014 F Reid Travis is the more well known name on that team (and rightfully so), but in several games during the tournament it was clearly Woodward who led the way.
Woodward is a true point guard who combines a solid all around game and a strong court IQ with a incredible effort and grit. Capable passer and scorer, his game continues to develop. He’s small, but has skills and smarts. There is no doubt that the effort will be there.
Penn State will graduate do-it-all point guard Tim Frazier after the 2012-13 season, but the Nittany Lions expects to sign both Woodward and combo guard Geno Thorpe next month during the early signing period.
The state of Minnesota continues to produce impressive basketball talent, including those who stay home and play for the Gophers. However, with so many skilled players and some excellent high school and AAU programs, there are numerous student-athletes from the state that join Division I programs across the country.
In 2012-13, a number of Minnesotans will be difference makers at their respective schools. Today, we highlight several players who look primed to take sizable steps forward in their collegiate careers.
Marshall Bjorklund, North Dakota State
2011-12: 26.2 mpg, 11.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg
Not recognized nationally or in Minnesota as much as is probably warranted. Extremely efficient offensive player who shot 67.1% FG% last year. Bjorklund doesn’t turn the ball over and is a very good on the offensive boards Tough, solid interior guy. The Gophers will host NDSU on December 11.
Alec Brown, UW-Green Bay
2011-12: 31.3 mpg, 13.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 89 blk
Now a veteran at UWGB, he’ll need to lead a UWGB team that should be much improved compared to last year’s 15-15 team. His game should continue to expand under third-year head coach Brian Wardle (Marquette, 2001). It’s a huge year for both Brown and Wardle and one in which both of them are capable of earning national recognition. With his skills and a bit more bulk, Brown could find himself on NBA draft boards.
Quietly very productive off the bench last year, he’ll look to prove just how good he can be in 2012-13. Zags center Robert Sacre was drafted by the Lakers this summer, giving Dower a great opportunity to impress.
High-flying 6’6” forward played his first year of D1 basketball last year at Oregon with Gopher transfer Devoe Joseph. Emory is a big time athlete that will regularly make the highlight reel.
Ross Travis, Penn State
2011-12: 17.9 mpg, 4.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg
With Tim Frazier on the team and transfer D.J. Newbill now eligible, Travis may not see his offensive usage go up tremendously, but he’ll be improved as a sophomore and should have a strong career at PSU. Minnesota plays Penn State in Minneapolis on either March 2 or 3 (date to be determined).
Moats didn’t see much playing time on a highly talented and senior-heavy team last year, but will be called upon often this year.
Kevin Noreen, West Virginia
2011-12: 12.0 mpg, 2.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Received a medical hardship waiver for 2010-11 season and played just 23 games last year before breaking an ankle. Noreen can be a prolific scorer and a match up problem for opponents at 6’10”.
In addition to the names above, there are returning players that look to build on their past success at the Division I level and may already have a bit more name recognition with followers of college basketball than those players listed above:
Mike Muscala, Bucknell, Sr, F/C: 17.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg. Muscala has impressed every year, but was superb as a junior. A strong senior season for the Bison could help his chances of reaching the NBA.
Nate Wolters, South Dakota St., Sr, G: 21.2 ppg, 5.9 apg, 5.1 rpg. Wolters is an ultra-productive point guard with good size. Some NBA teams will want to consider him next summer. Wolters & SDSU visit Williams Arena on December 4.
Trent Lockett, Marquette, Sr, G: 13.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg (with Arizona State). Big guard could be a difference maker in Milwaukee.
Jared Berggren, Wisconsin, Sr, F/C: 10.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg. Versatile 6’10” big man looks to build on solid 2011-12 performance. The Gophers play at Wisconsin January 26 and host the Badgers on February 14.
Mike Bruesewitz, Wisconsin, Sr, F: 5.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg. Bruesewitz is a high-energy worker who may increase his offensive production now that fellow Minnesotan Jordan Taylor has graduated.