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  1. #1

    Default Charlie Creme places Gophers in Top 25 of his early 2019-2020 projection

    http://www.espn.com/womens-college-b...top-25-2019-20

    18. Minnesota Golden Gophers

    Lindsay Whalen's first season as head coach at her alma mater ended in the second round of the WNIT, but despite the loss of top scorer Kenisha Bell (19.1 PPG, 4.4 APG), the Gophers could be set for better things next season. Destiny Pitts (16.3 PPG, 81 3-pointers), Taiye Bello (9.7 PPG, team-high 11.9 rebounds) and Jasmine Brunson (8.4 PPG) are back. The final piece to a return to the NCAA tournament will be the health of guard Gadiva Hubbard, who averaged 13.6 PPG as a sophomore in 2017-18 but missed all of last season because of a foot injury.


  2. #2

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    Don't want to rain on the parade, but this seems a bit high. But who knows, if some of the incoming freshmen can contribute and Staples and Tomancova can get to a point where they contribute consistently.....It would be nice to be a legitimate top 25 team again. (I never viewed this past season's #12 ranking as all the legitimate because of the weak non-conference schedule and because I don't place a lot of credence in pre-season and non-conference rankings...but that's just me. I still like to view the rankings...just don't place much credibility in them.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by tripledouble View Post
    Don't want to rain on the parade, but this seems a bit high. But who knows, if some of the incoming freshmen can contribute and Staples and Tomancova can get to a point where they contribute consistently.....It would be nice to be a legitimate top 25 team again. (I never viewed this past season's #12 ranking as all the legitimate because of the weak non-conference schedule and because I don't place a lot of credence in pre-season and non-conference rankings...but that's just me. I still like to view the rankings...just don't place much credibility in them.
    In alignment with tripledouble's comments, I agree that Charlie Creme's analysis doesn't go deep enough - and thus has the potential to be inaccurate. Just like early last season when Charlie (and all the others) did not take into account Diva's injury (let alone failing to factor in the cupcake-ness of our NC schedule), this way-to-early assessment might be taken with a grain of salt just on principle.

    Yet in spite of that, I have hope (and at least a tentative amount of confidence) that Charlie's prediction might be right on the money after all. The high-level reason is that I believe that the returning players will up their game, plus the return of Diva, plus I think we have a promising rookie class that can contribute significantly. But let's take a deeper look by someone who knows our team better than Charlie does (namely us). Spoiler alert: It's worse than Charlier thinks, but hopefully our improved returning players (including improved bench) plus rookie contributors will save the day.

    Charlie's key oversight is that he focuses *only* on the loss of Kenisha Bell, whose point production arguably might be made up simply by the insertion of Diva plus improvement by Pitts alone. But we need to look at the loss of all four senior, not just the biggest loss (namely Keke).

    In point production alone, Bell scored 27.448% of our average 69.563 points per game this year. That's a big loss. However, the four Seniors combined for 45.463% of our point production. That's another 18% of last years points that we lose via the graduation of Lamke and Perez and Kaposi. That's slightly more than another 12.5 points that we need to make up beyond somehow covering the loss of Bell's points. In total the Seniors scored an average of 31.625 points per game that we need to make up. To do better next year, our returning players plus rookies actually need to more-than-replace those points (say, 35 points at least?). But I think they can. Tentatively, and barring injury.

    We also need to replace the 15 rebounds contributed, on average, by our Seniors. That's about 37% of this year's rebounds. Bell contributed about 14.5% of those rebounds with Lamke and Kaposi contributing most of the rest. That's three great rebounders we need to replace. It could have been worse, except that the fact that T. Bello gets most of our rebounds makes this issue somewhat less intense than it otherwise would be.

    The four Seniors contributed 48.956% of our average 16.469 assists per game. That means almost half of our assists just graduated. Of course Bell contributed 32.483% by herself. Yet another pile of assists just graduated with Perez, Lamke and Kaposi (in that order).

    Not surprising is the other bad news that 46.091% of our steals just graduated. Even less surprising is that Bell was responsible for over half of the "graduated steals." Brunson and the other guards will have to pick up the pace on steals next year. The Defensive MVP's shoes are hard to fill in that regard. We also need to replace 31.429% of our blocks lost to graduation. The reason this stat is not so bad is that T. Bello gets most of our blocks.

    The bottom line is that even though only one "primary star" is graduating, the cumulative contribution of the other three graduating seniors is much more than one might realize without crunching the math. But I think the good news is that (per my earlier conjecture) the returning players will be able to improve significantly, plus Diva will be back, plus the rookies will be able to contribute non-trivially. And perhaps one of the most salient points will be that, barring significant injury, we should have a much deeper bench next year than this year. So I think that Charlie has a good chance of being fairly close to the mark with his prediction - in spite of the fact that his analysis wasn't deep enough. It will take some hard work and dedication on the part of next-year's team - but gotta have a dream if you wanna have a dream come true.
    Last edited by CutDownTheNet; 04-22-2019 at 03:01 PM.

  4. #4

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    I do like the way too early predictions if only for a snapshot of who’s leaving, who’s staying even tho a lot a can change between now and the new season. Was surprised to see Gophers make top 25, but don’t think that it is unreasonable either. Within the Big Ten, I would agree as Maryland as the team to beat with MSU second. In my mind I thought Gophers would fall behind Michigan and Indiana but I like Creme’s prediction better.

  5. #5
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    It is a great way to give the Gophers some press time. Likewise, I think Top 25 is a little too early.

    I think Diva's return to full recovery, Staples and Tomancova and their off season development, and the how the rest of the team will develop over the Summer will be critical. Then, there is also the incoming Freshmen. Who out of the five can contribute quickly?

    Had Gadiva Hubbard been healthy in Whalen's inaugural season, IMHO the Gophers could have been a much better team.
    Welcome to Badger Road Kill Country!

  6. #6

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    Although he mentioned Indiana in his "considered" category, I think they're going to be better than that. And he is sleeping on Ohio State. I think they have a good chance to finish second in the BIG next year, even though they'll be very young. But a great recruiting class coming in.

  7. #7

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    http://www.espn.com/womens-college-b...nkings-2018-19

    Last season, in his "Too Early Top 25" Creme listed Minnesota as "also considered"(California, Miami, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Nebraska, Florida State were the others.) His biggest misses in the top 25 were Duke (20) and probably Tennessee (9).

  8. #8

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    All interesting. But we don't know yet where all the graduate transfers will end up and whether the Gophers will get one or two. Seems that the right ones can change the immediate trajectory of teams.

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