Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How to Interpret November Results

The lock of last night was Baylor giving a point to a depleted Oregon squad.  Oregon, ranked in the Top 10, against Baylor, a promising, but frustrating team, in Waco.

Baylor rolled them like a sorority girl 66-49.  Hot takes abound!  Oregon is going to regress this season, struggle to make the tourney... Baylor has turned the corner and has erased the last two embarrassing season ending losses... Altman's tempo only works when shots are falling and the crowd is behind them.

There is so much too process, each for the players, coaches, analysts.  Coaches will not have a good feel for their line up or rotation for the first few games (unless they are returning everybody) and may not be able to reach potential.  Players coming off injury, suspension, transfer have little time in seat and are still getting their feet wet since official practices only started 3+ weeks ago.  And us... hell most of these guys are stat lines and bios until we see them on the floor.

Does my opinion change of Oregon after this loss?  No.

Does my opinion change of Duke after their loss?  No.

Michigan St after 2 losses?  No.

That is why I try not poll or rank every week, instead focusing on every month.  Sure, updated polls sell newspapers, but they really don't tell us anything other than who won or lost their last two games, which is a terrible sample size.  Let's look back on the 5th of December and see who the movers and shakers are.

Best win so far, and surprise, not an upset pick, was Villanova shaking off the hangover and winning a close one at Purdue.  They may not repeat, but will be a fun team to watch defend the title.  They keep the belt until a worthy opponent knocks them off the medal stand (which with the early Duke loss, could be in 2017).

Monmouth claims a great loss, dropping an OT game at South Carolina.  The SEC is Kentucky, South Carolina, and the bottom of the cage at the zoo.  Monmouth couldn't grab an at-large bid last season because of their conference affiliation, but went and stacked a non-conference slate that will set them up on the bubble again if they can get to 25 wins: USC, Syracuse, Memphis, Princeton, and UNC. Even 2-3 through that gauntlet and holding serve in the little MAAC should get them there... my guess is 3-2.

Hope to have some conference rankings out this week.

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