"Rodrick Williams Jr.'s 10-month old, 2-foot-long savannah monitor named "Kill" gets the RB some strange looks when they go for walks together."
Via UmichBBALL twitter...
This has hit the Twitter wire, and Tennessee's AD has called a press conference this afternoon. Cuonzo Martin, who admittedly wasn't well liked by the Volunteer fan base until a Sweet 16 run, is leaving to take the Cal head coaching position.
It would not surprise me if LaVall Jordan gets a look, as Tennessee really isn't a top notch basketball program. But, as this season showed, they can be a perennial winner in the SEC and make a little noise come tournament time.
This is way off-topic, especially on a day when we're probably saying goodbye to 40% of our starting basketball lineup, but it may be interesting to people like me who are both sports fans and spend way too much time trying to quantify human behavior.
The 'hot hand" or 'hot streak' in basketball and baseball have been topics of debate forever, but for 30 years the academic consensus was that they were fallacy, that believers in such things did not understand the data. Well, new research from Stanford and Harvard - by business school faculty, interestingly - turns this assumption on its head:
(The two studies cited in this article are a bit more difficult and require at least a basic understanding of statistics to follow).
In a nutshell, prior studies suffered from endogenous variable bias; e.g. a model designed to predict the probability of a player with a 'hot hand' making his next shot suffers from the relationship between a variable in the model, current or recent shooting percentage, and a variable not in the model, or lumped in the error: defensive reaction. This is much less of a problem in baseball.
For those interested, Big Ten Network will air Nik and Glenn's joint press conference live at 3:30 with a live stream also available at mgoblue.com.
Mitch's father has told MLive that Mitch will not be announcing his future plans tomorrow at the 3:30 press conference along with Nik and Glenn.
This leads me to believe that Mitch is more likely staying than going. At the worst, it means he hasn't made up his mind yet (but Jon said Mitch had already told him his decision, so I feel like he's probably staying). It would make sense if Mitch was going to leave that he would announce along with Nik and Glenn so they could all do it together. I think Mitch's decision is probably different than Nik and Glenn's though, hence the different announcement times.
Out of the 3, Mitch was always probably the most important to the team's success next year, regardless of what you thought about the trio's differing skills. Now, with the transfer of Horford, Mitch is definitely the most needed out of the 3, as he is our only player over about 6'8" or so left.
Not to jump the gun (but I am) - with Nik very likely to go NBA the wildcard for the 2014-2015 team is Mitch. If he does go - what would your expectation be of the squad next year?
General thoughts on conference
- Overall Big 10 will be down with only Wiscy being a "powerhouse".
- There is a vast opening by a number of teams for slot 2 thru 8 in the Big 10 - I'd place any group of these 7 teams in those slots in any order:
- UM - very thin up front, and very young overall but wing/guard talent. LeVert B10POY candidate
MSU - assumes Dawson comes back, still has core of SR Dawson, JR Valentine, SR Trice, JR Costello and sharpshooter
- Maryland - top 10 class joining a bunch of SRs and JRs but some transfers out to offset
- OSU - young team but talented freshman join some transfers in
- Nebraska - top 2 players back, no major losses. Petteway B10POY candidate
- Illinois - had a great record to begin last year, and gelled late with suffocating defense. Will be a bear to play at their home I believe - offense is their main limitation. Not sure if they get any talented freshman in.
- Iowa - big loss in Marble but a deep team with 9 guys who averaged 6 or more pts. Only lose 2 of them, msot of the others can go off on any night for 10-15. Surely coach's family issues were a distraction late in season
[I am not including Indiana despite Yogi in this tier, and Minnesota I don't see as good as the teams above]
General thoughts on team
- Great coaching but in this scenario our ENTIRE starting lineup in the NC game is gone in 12 months. That's difficult.
- 4 guard/wing offense is only option - not a biggie.
- Starters will be playing huge minutes as drop off is pretty severe after first 6.
- Defense last year was iffy and next year will most likely be worse as our best paint defender is gone and we are replacing with a trio of Doyle, Donnal, and Bielfeldt. That's scary.
- LeVert has shown enough to take next step and fill Nik role next year but will face every team's #1 defender and has to adjust to it.
- Irvin we assume can make the freshman to sophomore jump - he is a 5 star and will be playing 30+ minutes a game next year
- Walton Jr wont be playing quite as much as LeVert and Irvin due to Spike, but makes the 3rd of the Big 3 for next year. Needs to become more of a scoring threat; think he will.
- Chatman comes in and immediately needs to play 25+ minutes a game
- Donnal is now getting massive talk but he is still a RS FR next year - one who will get lost at times on defense and refs will be happy to call dumb fouls on... the kind that all college big men not named Randle get called for. Not worried much about his offense but his defense and ability to stay on floor will be issues. He will also be forced to be the "5" in a 4 guard/wing set.
- Depth after Donnal is essentially Doyle and Bielfeldt.
Playing time: 8 players
- LeVert - takes Nik's role at 35 minutes
- Irvin - takes GR3 role at 33 minutes, up from 15 this year
- Chatman - takes GR3 freshman role out of necessity, has to play 27-30ish minutes
- Walton Jr - 27 minutes this year, about the same next year unless Spike and Walton play at same time on court which will make us tiny.
- Spike - same role as last year around 13 min unless we go with a tiny 2 PG backcourt for 5 minutes a game
- Donnal - cannot be expected to play 30 minutes due to being a big man banging with JRs and SRs from other teams and picking up fouls as he learns the game. There are going to be games he gets sent to the bench with 8 left in the 1st half with his 2nd foul - it is just reality. Mitch averaged 20 as a freshman - if we get 22 out of Donnal have to be happy due to defensive stress he will face being only "big man" on court most of the time.
- Bielfeldt - have to ask him to take Horford role and go from 5 min per game to 12ish, at some 5 and 4.
- Doyle - assume he gets the redshirt taken off vs DJ Wilson due to body and position. Gets 8ish minutes a game at 5.
If Irvin and Walton make "the jump" and Chatman can be somewhere between GR3 and Irvin as a freshman and Donnal can stay on the court 20 minutes a game, it looks like a 4th to 6th place Big 10 team which is good enough to continue the NCAA streak. Depth in front court is frightening however - wings and guards should take care of themselves. Defense is going to be a major issue - we lose a 6'10 JR center and a 6'8 SR center and replace with a 6'9 RS FR and question marks in Bielfeldt and Doyle. Offense I am confident Beilein will do his magic.