Ken Pomeroy and Dan Hanner - two heavyweights in the tempo-neutral college basketball business - have released their preseason projections, both based on previous performance with a dollop of adjustment for impact players coming in. Transfers, however, are ignored, since gauging their impact is often very difficult/ inconsistent.
Keep that in mind as you're looking through these rankings - they're not a be-all, end-all, but they do speak to trends in teams that tend to hold true.
First, Ken Pomeroy's rankings (in a sortable table!):
As often mentioned, the Big East is considered to be a conference where the difference between the top three and the bottom three may be a couple of games against evenly-matched squads. St. John's appearance at 6th here should come with some words of caution; the Johnnies' offense last year was very inefficient, depending on long jump shots (the most inefficient shots in the game).
This year's team has some changes that should improve the offense - a break-you-down point guard in freshman Rysheed Jordan coupled with a more confident Jamal Branch; the addition of a pair of players with low-post ability in Orlando Sanchez and God`sGift Achiuwa; and the shooting stroke of Max Hooper.
Next, Dan Hanner's projections ((in a sortable table!). First, the guide to what you are looking at, by column:
Rank: Ranking based on median simulation
POFF: Projected offense median prediction for points scored per 100 possessions
PDEF: Projected defense median prediction for points allowed per 100 possessions
BC: Best-case scenario 90th percentile simulation rank
WC: Worst-case scenario 10th percentile simulation rank
Conf Rank: Ranking within conference
Here, Creighton and Marquette's offense are far above the rest of the programs, while Georgetown, Villanova and St. John's history of tenacious defenses help differentiate themselves from other schools. DePaul has the widest variance between best case and worst case finishes, with a spread of 106 spots.
Hanner's projection likes the Red Storm's defense a bit more than Pomeroy's, and the Johnnies are fifth in this projection. Again, in a league with this much parity, teams will need to win the winnable games and take advantage of other teams' mistakes. Having a veteran squad could help the Red Storm outpace their projections in a conference where many games will be decided by one or two possessions.
More from Rumble In The Garden:
- NHB Podcast: on Obekpa's suspension, Whitehead's trash talk, and the upside of the Rutgers roster
- St. John's gets best Tip-Off turnout in Lavin era
- Chris Obekpa to miss Tip-Off and two exhibitions for violating University policy
- St. John's expecting recruits, alumni, and Lupe Fiasco for Red Storm Tip-Off
- Red Storm Tip-Off