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Blog Entry

Which Way Is Your Elevator Headed??? These are UP

Posted on: November 30, 2009 6:35 pm
 

We're now over 3 weeks into the season...There is still a lot we don't know about teams, but some trends are noticable.

In this Blog I'm going to discuss whether teams look like they will trend up or down, or whether their elevator is stuck between floors! I'll point out the best wins for each team and upcoming non-conference games that should be competitive, and hopefully worth watching...

Before I start, I'd like to give credit where credit is due! The statistics that I use are coming from 2 sources: First and foremost is from the:

KenPom.com site -- he has an amazing amount of information at his site... The team rankings I use are from his site...so when I say Colorado (#110)...I'm saying that KenPom has them rated as his #110 rated team out of all D1 teams!

Some team stats that I use are from ESPN.com stat pages... I like to use both ESPN and CBS sites for general stats, but ESPN provides better team numbers...for individual stats, CBS has great info!

OK, the credits have rolled, no let's get to the show!!!

I'm going to address the Big 12 teams by putting them into 3 groups -- Elevators UP!, Elevators DOWN!, and Elevators OUT OF SERVICE!

I think that most people want to know whats HOT more than whats NOT!

So, we start with:

ELEVATORS UP - TO THE TOP - PLEASE!

Texas (#1)  (5-0) KenPom rates their SOS #69, second in the Big 12, behind only Texas A&M! Only 1 of UT's 5 opponents have been rated worse than 200.

BEST WIN(s): #35 Pitt - on a N (neutral court)

Their 3P% is a very moderate 34.5%, and their FT% is a rotten 63.7% (#271) in the country.
They have resembled a train, a little slow to get up to speed, but dang near unstoppable when they do!
Teams like Pitt and Rice were able to hang with them for about 30 minutes but were then steam-rolled!

Their next four opponents shouldn't require too much effort, all 4 are home games, with the highest rated opponent being #77 Long Beach State!

Then they will play one of the top weekly schedules:

GAMES WORTH WATCHING (GWW):

12/19: UNC (#67) in Dallas
12/22: Mich St. (#42) in Austin

Then they'll snooze thru cupcakes until Big 12 Conference play begins!

DANGER, Danger...Will Robinson!??? -- The Horns have 2 danger signals...first they lost their starting PG Ward for the season in a freak warm-up accident...and second - They aren't shooting FT's very well (This is like a plague, or at the very least, a common refrain, for most Big 12 teams!)

GOOD NEWS!!!? -- The Horns can look forward to some good news; PG Jai Lucas, a transfer from Florida, is eligible after the end of the first semester! Unfortunately, that means they'll have to take on UNC & Michigan State without either of their two best PG's!

Next Elevator please!

Texas A&M #7  (5-1) ...SOS is rated as #3 in the country, tops in the Big 12!!!!...what a difference a good week can make!

BEST WINS:
#10 Clemson, and #8 Minnesota in the 76 Classic  - both N

Their only loss was to #2 WVU, by 7 on a N (neutral court)

Three of their 6 opponents are currently rated in KenPom's top 10 -- and they won 2 of those three games!!!
Since they were working last week, they'll Feast this week instead....their next 3 opponents are all rated worse than 100...

GWW:
12/12 @ New Mexico #16  and 12/22 @ Washington #11

That will make 5 non-conference opponents ranked in the top 20! And if they win the rest of their OOC games, they will have earned a top 10 ranking in the national polls, though the remaining OOC schedule (Other than the 2 GWW's) is decidely light!

Danger!??? -- Like Texas, they don't shoot FT's very well, only 61% so far, ranking them an abysmal #313!

GOOD NEWS!!!? -- The Aggies have made themselves known by their great showing in the 76 Classic...now they need to sustain it! I had them ranked as the #5 team in the Big 12 in the pre-season, behind KU, UT, KSt., and OU...right now they look like no worse than the 3rd best team in the Big 12!

ELEVATORS UP - DESTINATION UNKNOWN!

These teams have shown some potential, and are ahead of where most thought they would be at the beginning of the season...The question is: "Is it all smoke and mirrors, and great tasting cupcakes, or would Clara Pellar be able to find some beef here?"

Missouri #14 (4-1) SOS #231...Were looking impressive until losing to Richmond (#34) by 7 on a N

BEST WIN: #27 ODU on a N

GWW's: 12/2 @ Vandy (#48), 12/5 Oregon (#46), and 12/23 Illinois (#91) - N

Their opponents turn the ball over on 30.3% of their possessions - Thats the 4th highest rate in the country! They are also #1 in the country in steal % - They steal the ball on 19.7% of the opponents' possessions! IMPRESSIVE! That pressure D seems to be working!

They get assists on over 60% of their made FG's! The national average is only 53.7%, and Kentucky's is only 53.3%!
36.5% of their FGA are 3P's, the national average is 32.6%. That's a lot of 3P's! The good news is they hit 38.4 % of their 3's (#76)

No FT woes here...They make over 73% of theirs!

They are in this category because?.....That loss to Richmond (a good, probably a tournament team - but probably not a great team) calls into question what their ceiling is! The answer should be clearer after they've played those 3 GWW's!

KState #39 (5-1) ...SOS #198... I picked these guys to finish 3rd in the Big 12 in the pre-season. The only team I currently see that might move them down is Texas A&M. They've played two good teams, beating one (Dayton #115) and losing to the other (Ole Miss #33).

They still look like a tourney team to me, but...

They only shoot 61.2% from the FT line (#309)
Good news...They shoot 52.2% from the field!

Best win: Dayton #115 - N
Good loss: Ole Miss #33

GWW: 12/8 Xavier (H), and 12/12 @UNLV

The rest of the OOC schedule is cupcakes and icing, and lots of it!

Their here because?....They have shown some promise but I'm not sure how good they can be...


ELEVATOR HAS BEEN UP - BUT IT MAY BE A MIRAGE - Or maybe its really just a work in progress??!

Oklahoma State #21  (6-0) ...SOS #269...Yes they are 6-0, but...

Best Win: Utah #126 - N
GWW: 12/2 @Tulsa #40; 12/5 Texas - San Antonio #38 (H)

They have only assisted on 43.1% of their FG's (#314) - That's a lot of one-on-one action...sounds like the dribble and shoot offense doesn't it??? The good part of their shooting efforts is that only 24.1% of their FGA's are 3P's...that's very few 3's!

We'll have a better idea if they are real and will be in or if they'll be out after those 2 GWW's!

TTech #59???????? (7-0) ... SOS #255 (Better than KU's!)

Best Win: Texas A&M CC (#101)

GWW: 12/3 Washington #11 - H; 12/19 @ Wichita State #76; and 12/29 @ New Mexico #16; and 1/23 UTEP #28 - H

If they win any of those 4 GWW, they are better than I think they are! If they can win just one, domesticate those dogs!!!

This team can shoot FT's...77.3% (#19)
Their offense seems to be more disciplined and more balanced than last year! Last year they shot 3's on 32.3% of their FGAs, which they hit at a rate of 36.9%...This year they are only shooting 3's on 22% of their FGAs...that's a good thing they are shooting less of them, because they are hitting a lower %...34.1%

Iowa State #45  (6-1) ... SOS #324 (only barely better than KU's #330!)

They were looking VERY good...until they lost to #97 NW by 2 - N

Guess what, just like so many other Big 12 teams, these guys can't shoot FT's!!! They make only 63.6% (#273)

BUT...Go figure, they CAN shoot 3P's...They are #2 in the country at 49.6%!

Best Win: #104 St Louis

GWW: 12/5 @ California #17; and 1/6 Duke #3 (N) ....Win either of those two and they will UP and OUT of this category!
I think they will have a chance against Cal!!! Duke will be a really tough match-up for them, but a very good test!

SUMMARY (Bet you thought we'd never get here!)

So, that is a total of 7 teams that have been riding the elevators up so far! I'm hoping that they keep riding them up, but the last group of three have their work cut out for them to prove they are for real!


Do you think I've missed anybody?

There are only 5 other Big 12 teams: KU, OU, Nebraska, Baylor, and Colorado...

All of those guys will be seen in my next blog!

The categories will be: Elevators DOWN and Elevators OUT OF SERVICE!

As always, I enjoy dialogue!

Let me know what you think!

If you have a Big 12 question, post it here and I'll try to answer it! Hey, I'm no professional, but I do know my Big 12 teams, or if I don't know, I look for the info!

This Blog's motto is:

It's the Big 12's turn to Rule!

Comments

Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2009 6:24 am
 

Which Way Is Your Elevator Headed??? These are UP

Lets see how I am doing:

Monday
Penn St at Virgina    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp; - Penn St   Win
   Got this one correct evern tho it took a 30 point effort for PSU Battle


Tuesday
Maryland at IU     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     - Maryland   Win   
   Did not see much of this game.  I was very surprised to see IU only down by 2 at halftime. 

Mich St at NC     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp; - Mich St     &nb
sp;Loss 
   Very entertaining game. NC's bigs are getting better with every game.  Looks like NC guard play has improved. NC FG% was almost equal to their FT%  For MSU having Lucas shoot 3 - 14 ouch.  As a team MSU shot 10% from 3 land.  Hard to win games doing that

Northwestern at NC St     &nb
sp; - Northwestern  Win
    Was surpirsed the game was not closer.  NW is playing pretty well without Coble.  Was impressed with the speed NW Thompson.

Va Tech at Iowa     &
nbsp;     
    - Va Tech     &
nbsp;  Win
     Thought this game would be a complete blow out, but Iowa made in respectable for the first half.

Wake Forest at Purdue     
;  - Purdue     
; Win
      Wow did this game start off ugly.   Purdue did not make a FG until 5 minutes into the game.  In the 2nd half Painter got his team to play attacking defense.  What a deference that made.


Wednesday
BC at Michigan    &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;      - Michigan
Duke at Wisconsin    &n
bsp;     &
nbsp; - Duke
Flor St at Ohio St     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;  - Ohio St
Illinois at Clemson    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp; - Clemson (unless Illini FRs show up)
Minnesota at Miami     
      - Minnesota




Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: December 1, 2009 11:41 pm
 

Which Way Is Your Elevator Headed??? These are UP

3 to 3! Tomorrow will be interesting. Monday's game remains my only miss in my picks a couple of weeks ago. My old picks were in bold.

PennSt @ Virginia - I missed this one!

Mich St. @ UNC - Both teams look like they can be scary good.

Maryland @ Indiana - Greivis Vasquez was just enough against a young Indiana.


Northwestern @ NCState - Ho hum.

VaTech @ Iowa - Iowa seems to lack firepower.

Wake Forest @ Purdue - This is no knock on Wake. I still think Purdue is likely the best team in the Big 10.


Now I need for one of the ACC teams I didn't originally pick to pull one out tomorrow evening. Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota all had losses last week. But that might make them more determined. Should be very interesting.

Boston College @ Michigan - This is a tough call. BC is better than people realize, but I know Michigan is projected to be very good this year. The game is at Michigan. I'll go with the home team.

Duke @ Wisconsin - Duke should be better than they have been in for several years. This game will be a good test. The Devils should win.

Florida State @ Ohio State - FSU is long and then some at every position. The Noles are another of those ACC teams that is consistently better than people realize. I must admit I don't really know what Ohio State has got. Hmm, let's go Ohio State at home.

Illinois @ Clemson - I'll be there screaming. My Tigers lost Rivers, Oglesby and Sykes. They have Trevor Booker and several other fine players returning along with the best recruiting class in school history. If the four freshman play well the Tigers will be better than ever. With Rivers and Oglesby gone outside shooting could be a question mark.
Clemson has a surprisingly good record in the challenge. Illinois is a fine team, but since we are playing in Littlejohn I have to go with my Tigers.

Minnesota @ Miami - I've always thought Tubby was a good coach. Miami is rebuilding this year.


Go Tigers! Go ACC! Get that elevator going up!




Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: December 1, 2009 6:03 am
 

Which Way Is Your Elevator Headed??? These are UP

All

Here are my predicitions.  (these predictions were made prior to the start of the Penn St vs Virg Game)

()



Monday
Penn St at Virgina    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp; - Penn St

Tuesday
Maryland at IU     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     - Maryland
Mich St at NC     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp; - Mich St
Northwestern at NC St     &nb
sp; - Northwestern
Va Tech at Iowa     &
nbsp;     
    - Va Tech
Wake Forest at Purdue     
;  - Purdue


Wednesday
BC at Michigan    &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;      - Michigan
Duke at Wisconsin    &n
bsp;     &
nbsp; - Duke
Flor St at Ohio St     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;  - Ohio St
Illinois at Clemson    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp; - Clemson (unless Illini FRs show up)
Minnesota at Miami     
      - Minnesota


Big ten - 7   Acc - 4



Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2009 10:30 pm
 

Which Way Is Your Elevator Headed??? These are UP

Chi Fi,

I definitely agree that any rating system is still suspect at this point in the season. So, without a perfect option, I use the one that I think is the best available to compare teams. Even KenPom's stats aren't going to be 'really good' until about the start of conference play, but his ratings provide a point of reference.

Penn State & Virginia was a toss-up game in my mind! I favored Penn State in that match-up (Isn't that convenient of me?) because of their winning the NIT title last year. Two of the main cogs of last year's team were gone, so I wasn't super-confident.

I originally picked the Big Ten to win the Challenge by a count of 7 games to 4...I'm not as confident now, as I was then...

So let me try to pick the remaining 10 games again, and see what I come up with...

tommorrow (12/1):

MSU @ UNC -- MSU
MD @ IU --MD
NW @ NC State -- NW
VT @ Iowa -- VT (easiest game of all to pick!)
Wake @ Purdue --- Purdue

(12/2)
BC @ Michigan --Michigan
Duke @ Wisc -- Duke (This could be a trap game for Duke, coming off the Pre-Season NIT Championship!- But I think they handle them)
FSU @ Ohio State - Ohio State
Illini @ Clemson  -- Clemson (I had Illini winning this, but I think Clemson wins - by more than 10 at LittleJohn)
Minny @ Miami -- Miami -- This one is a toss-up...so I'll go with the home team!

The count on those 10 games would be... 5-5! So, I think the Big 10 will win 6-5 and not 7-4, but they have no margin for error, and the MSU and UNC game could go either way! If UNC wins it, the Big Ten may never win this thing!

Thanks for the dialogue!



Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2009 9:19 pm
 

Which Way Is Your Elevator Headed??? These are UP

Nice work-up Skubball. I enjoyed reading through it and some of the stats provided. Sounds like my Clemson Tigers need to watch some Missouri Tigers film to study how to make a press cause more turnovers. The one thing I think needs to be kept in perspective however is that I'm not sure how reliable rankings of any kind are at this point in the season.

And I see where the ACC just lost the first game of the challenge with the Big10... a game I had picked the ACC winning... advantage Big10.



Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2009 7:15 pm
 

Which Way Is Your Elevator Headed??? These are UP

Very Impressive.   Have not seen such a quality breakdown of teams in a while.   Not sure if its comical or scary the poor FT shooting in the majority of the teams you reviewed.   Curious what you will have to say about OK. 


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com