Big Ten Wonk
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
BONUS Sweet-16-edition PPWS
There's no trick to putting up a nice number for points per game (PPG). Just shoot a lot. But who would get the most points from the same number of shots?

To answer that question we turn to the handy stat that not only measures scoring efficiency, it also captures more than just points from the field (unlike, say, points per shot or "PPS"). This stat takes in both FGA's and FTA's. It's points per weighted shot (PPWS), developed cannily by John Hollinger (The Basketball Prospectus) and renamed brazenly by Wonk.

Here are the current PPWS numbers for the Sweet 16:

(And, yes, there really are two Chris Hill's still playing....)

1. Salim Stoudamire, Arizona (1.41)
2. Adrian Tigert, Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1.37)
3. James Augustine, Illinois (1.36)
4. Alan Anderson, Michigan State (1.36)
5. Marc Jackson, Utah (1.35)
6. Dee Brown, Illinois (1.34)
7. Andrew Bogut, Utah (1.33)
8. Larry O'Bannon, Louisville (1.32)
9. Jason Fraser, Villanova (1.32)
10. Jawad Williams, North Carolina (1.31)
11. Kelvin Torbert, Michigan State (1.30)
12. Marvin Williams, North Carolina (1.29)
13. Joel Smith, Washington (1.29)
14. Sean Dockery, Duke (1.28)
15. Joey Graham, Oklahoma State (1.28)
16. Ivan McFarlin, Oklahoma State (1.28)
17. Taquan Dean, Louisville (1.28)
18. D'or Fischer, West Virginia (1.26)
19. Maurice Ager, Michigan State (1.26)
20. Luther Head, Illinois (1.26)
21. Bryant Markson, Utah (1.25)
22. Brandon Jenkins, Louisville (1.25)
23. Roger Powell, Illinois (1.24)
24. J.J. Redick, Duke (1.24)
25. Brandon Roy, Washington (1.24)
26. Shelden Williams, Duke (1.23)
27. Rashad McCants, North Carolina (1.23)
28. David Noel, North Carolina (1.23)
29. Sean May, North Carolina (1.23)
30. Jordan Collins, NC State (1.22)
31. Andrew Brackman, NC State (1.22)
32. Elian Evtimov, NC State (1.22)
33. Channing Frye, Arizona (1.21)
34. Ravi Moss, Kentucky (1.21)
35. John Lucas, Oklahoma State (1.21)
36. Chris Hill, Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1.20)
37. Ronald Ross, Texas Tech (1.20)
38. Cameron Bennerman, NC State (1.20)
39. Nate Robinson, Washington (1.20)
40. JamesOn Curry, Oklahoma State (1.20)
41. Raymond Felton, North Carolina (1.20)
42. Bobby Jones, Washington (1.19)
43. Tyrone Sally, West Virginia (1.19)
44. Paul Davis, Michigan State (1.19)
45. Daniel Bobik, Oklahoma State (1.18)
46. Francisco Garcia, Louisville (1.18)
47. Stephen Graham, Oklahoma State (1.17)
48. Kevin Pittsnogle, West Virginia (1.17)
49. Tre Simmons, Washington (1.17)
50. Clayton Hanson, Wisconsin (1.17)
51. Chris Hill, Michigan State (1.17)
52. Mike Gansey, West Virginia (1.17)
53. Mike Wilkinson, Wisconsin (1.17)
54. Kelenna Azubuike, Kentucky (1.17)
55. Jawann McClellan, Arizona (1.17)
56. Jarrius Jackson, Texas Tech (1.17)
57. Zach Morley, Wisconsin (1.16)
58. Jamaal Williams, Washington (1.15)
59. Terrence Crawford, Oklahoma State (1.15)
60. Richard Chaney, Utah (1.15)
61. Allan Ray, Villanova (1.15)
62. Julius Hodge, NC State (1.14)
63. Alando Tucker, Wisconsin (1.14)
64. Lee Melchionni, Duke (1.13)
65. Randolph Morris, Kentucky (1.13)
66. Rajon Rondo, Kentucky (1.13)
67. Will Conroy, Washington (1.12)
68. Tim Drisdom, Utah (1.12)
69. Ed McCants, Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1.12)
70. Juan Diego Palacios, Louisville (1.11)
71. Boo Davis, Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1.11)
72. Devonne Giles, Texas Tech (1.11)
73. Engin Atsur, NC State (1.11)
74. Johnannes Herber, West Virginia (1.10)
75. Will Sheridan, Villanova (1.10)
76. Hakeem Rollins, Washington (1.10)
77. Chuck Hayes, Kentucky (1.10)
78. Patrick Sparks, Kentucky (1.10)
79. Ellis Myles, Louisville (1.10)
80. Jackie Manuel, North Carolina (1.09)
81. Lorenzo Wade, Louisville (1.09)
82. Shannon Brown, Michigan State (1.09)
83. James Wright, Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1.08)
84. Patrick Beilein, West Virginia (1.08)
85. Darryl Dora, Texas Tech (1.08)
86. Daniel Ewing, Duke (1.07)
87. Martin Zeno, Texas Tech (1.07)
88. Jack Ingram, Illinois (1.07)
89. Joah Tucker, Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1.07)
90. Deron Williams, Illinois (1.06)
91. Justin Hawkins, Utah (1.06)
92. Curtis Marshall, Texas Tech (1.06)
93. Jonas Langvad, Utah (1.05)
94. Mike Jensen, Washington (1.04)
95. Mustafa Shakur, Arizona (1.04)
96. Hassan Adams, Arizona (1.04)
97. Randy Foye, Villanova (1.03)
98. Kammron Taylor, Wisconsin (1.03)
99. Melvin Scott, North Carolina (1.03)
100. Ivan Radenovic, Arizona (1.02)
101. Sharif Chambliss, Wisconsin (1.01)
102. Ramel Bradley, Kentucky (1.00)
103. Brian Butch, Wisconsin (1.00)
104. Chris Rodgers, Arizona (0.99)
105. Rich McBride, Illinois (0.97)
106. Drew Neitzel, Michigan State (0.97)
107. Jarmon Durisseau-Collins, West Virginia (0.96)
108. Mike Nardi, Villanova (0.96)
109. DeMarcus Nelson, Duke (0.95)
110. Kyle Lowry, Villanova (0.94)
111. Bobby Perry, Kentucky (0.91)
112. Andreas Helmigk, Wisconsin (0.89)
113. Shavlik Randolph, Duke (0.89)
114. Nick Smith, Illinois (0.88)

What it means. Give Salim Stoudamire 12 FGA's and six FTA's and he'll likely score about 21 points. Give Nick Smith the same number of shots and he'll likely score about 13. Prodigious and efficient scorer Salim Stoudamire, Wonk salutes you!

COMING tomorrow....
A talk with Chris West, the blogosphere's leading expert on the Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers. In addition to being a Milwaukee resident, Wisconsin (Madison) graduate, and creator of one of the finest hoops blogs around (The Chris West Basketball Journal), Chris has followed UWM avidly since long before they were this popular--or this noteworthy to Big Ten fans. Wonk will chat with Chris about the Panthers' season, their thrilling tourney run, and Thursday's game against Illinois. Tune in tomorrow!

In today's less Wonk-ish venues....
Indiana coach Mike Davis will return for the 2005-06 season, reports Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star. An official announcement is expected today. Reaction of Hoosier fans? Mixed. For his part, Indy Star columnist Bob Kravitz says now "it's up to Davis and the players he believes can make IU a contender." (Kravitz also credits Indiana AD Rick Greenspan for not simply taking "the easiest path imaginable to ingratiate himself to IU's multitudes, firing Davis and spending the next week standing outside the locker room door of Bruce Pearl and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.") And Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti says former IU coach Bob Knight (he of yesterday's I-would-have-fired-Mike-Davis fame) has proven "conclusively [that] he is a brilliant basketball coach first and an evil S.O.B. second."

Purdue recruiting update here.

Gregg Doyel of cbs.sportsline says Wisconsin "takes the least impressive tournament resume into the Sweet 16, having beaten Northern Iowa 57-52 and Bucknell 71-62." Bo Ryan says statements like that roll off his back: "I'm a between-the-lines guy."...Praise for the Badger bench here. Praise for tournament "rookies" Kammron Taylor, Sharif Chambliss, and Michael Flowers here.

Michigan State doesn't just have "a" monkey on its back--the Spartans are apparently carting around multiple monkeys, at least according to Kelvin Torbert: "If we can get over the hurdle of beating Duke, that would be getting another monkey off our back."...Tom Izzo says in the tournament's first two games Drew Neitzel "did a tremendous job running our team, taking care of the ball and getting us into our sets." But Izzo also says the weekend left his team with "two negatives to work on--our rebounding and our perimeter shooting." Vermont notched 23 offensive rebounds (!) against State....Chris Hill says J.J. Redick is a threat from anywhere on the floor: "He has no conscience. There's no consequence with the shots he takes. He can take an awful shot and not think much about it. There's such a different mindset." Izzo notes that when the Spartans lost to the Blue Devils 81-74 in Durham on November 30, Redick and Daniel Ewing has 29 points apiece on combined 10-of-16 shooting outside the arc. "I'm not sure those two guards could ever shoot that good again--at least I hope not."

Only Wonk can give you a link that mentions Bruce Weber and Golda Meir! Pocket history of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee here.

Illinois coach and Wisconsin-Milwaukee alum Bruce Weber says he was known as "Dirt" in his college days because he was the catcher on the baseball team....Oracular Illini observer Mark Tupper says Illinois is preparing for the Panthers' full-court pressure by having the offense practice against six or even seven defensive players. "That's the best way to simulate it," Weber says. UWM coach Bruce Pearl says there's some risk in pressing the guard-heavy Illini: "I don't know how effective it's going to be. If we press them and make them go faster, they might beat us by 20 instead of 10. We may have to find other ways to be effective."...Chicago Sun-Times columnist Ron Rapoport says he's "looking forward to seeing how the Illini do against players who don't come out on the court scared to death....Maybe Oklahoma State."....Profile of James Augustine here.

Great minds alert! Stewart Mandel of says: "All season long, North Carolina and Illinois have been considered the teams to beat, and four days of tournament action have done little to change that." And Detroit Free Press columnist Michael Rosenberg says: "More than ever, I want to see Illinois and North Carolina in the final. And more than ever, I believe we will."

From the Geezer Meme archives! Set your time-travel dials to November 7, 1990, and see the text of the NCAA's "Public Infraction Report" on the recruiting of Deon Thomas by Illinois here. Andy Katz of wonders whether "Illini fans really will taunt Pearl–or is this story finally over?" Weber's take on the whole matter is this: "The Bruce Pearl thing, I appreciate the former players and fans. We’ve had tons of calls and e-mails. Guys want to suit up again. And I understand that and I’m not downplaying it, but at the same time, we need to beat them to advance."

Mark Tupper's take on the whole matter is this: "I've always felt it was the NCAA that acted most outrageously in this matter, cutting a deal with [Bruce] Pearl, telling Thomas he could attend any school but Illinois, and refusing to investigate any of the allegations against Pearl and Iowa. Making the matter worse was the presence of Pearl's Boston College buddy, Rich Hilliard, as a member of the NCAA's enforcement team. Records indicated that Pearl phoned the NCAA frequently and they worked as a team to gather incriminating information on Illinois. The arrogance of the NCAA came to a head when sanctions were announced. Chuck Smrt, the NCAA director of enforcement, was asked how the NCAA could justify such harsh sanctions when the organization ruled 'not guilty' on all major allegations. His comment still rings with absurd arrogance and convoluted logic. 'We believe the Committee (of Infractions) did not say the allegations were false, but they did not find that they were true.'"

More wall-to-wall Geezers' Meme coverage here, here, and here.

BONUS supersized March Madness edition of Wonk back!
Don't just mutter ineffectually; email me!

In defense of the Badgers...and the Big Ten
Dennis Dodd of cbs.sportsline watched Wisconsin beat Bucknell in Oklahoma City on Sunday and reported: "The Badgers are truly stultifying on and off the court." Wonk's readers respond!


It's official, though it's been suspected for quite some time. The national media have zero appreciation for the Wisconsin Badgers, and little more than that for any Big Ten team not ranked number 1 in the nation.

Dennis Dodd whines about a dreary and boring day of being paid to witness NCAA tournament games. Guess what Dennis? We're bored with unimaginative, disinterested writing which displays not the slightest hint that any effort was expended to write anything different than the "Wisconsin is no fun" boilerplate in circulation for the past ten years.

Meanwhile: ESPN laments the disposal of Vermont at the hands of the Spartans; continues to mischaracterize exactly what it is the Badgers do; and searches eagerly, almost longingly, for an exploitable weakness in Illinois.

Sure, the local Wisconsin media "get it" when it comes to Bo Ryan's squad--but they can be dismissed as homers and quacks, right? Dodd whines about not having a good story to write but Dale Hoffman seemed to find a way. He wrote the story about how this year's edition has achieved despite the loss of Devin Harris. Despite the loss of Boo Wade. Despite nagging injuries to Tucker and Wilkinson and Morley throughout the year. About how half of the team's losses were road losses to teams still playing in the NCAA tournament. About how two of the others came while breaking in a new point guard rotation to replace the same Devin Harris that much of the media didn't really pay attention to until after he decided to leave.

The funny thing is it's only us fans who really get wound up about stuff like this. As I noted above, the nearly twenty percent of the Sweet 16 from the Big Ten still has bigger fish to fry. And I don't think Weber or Izzo or Ryan would have it any other way.

Sandon K.
Colby, WI

Thanks, Sandon!

Still more Big Ten chest-thumping!
Hey, Wonk,

Just wanted to know what you thought about the Big East now. So many people argued that is was the best league top to bottom, but that's hard to say now. The top three teams got bounced early. Now they have Villanova and WVU, both good teams, but it's a joke to say the Big East is so great.

Jeremy B.

Jeremy, I think, is referring to this interview from last week where your intrepid blogger said the Big Ten was beloved by yours truly (duh--200,000 words and counting) but nevertheless inferior, when viewed whole, to the ACC and Big East this year, thanks primarily to unusually weak performers in the conference's bottom two slots.

Wonk can only say: I am very, very happy to have three teams in the Sweet 16.

...And I still think Connecticut alone has more future NBA players than 75 percent of that Sweet 16 combined.

Hawkeye to Illini: Your team is 34-1. Stop complaining.

First, let me start by saying that your blog (along with Hawkeye Hoops) is a daily "must read" for me. I am a die-hard Iowa fan but I enjoy reading about the entire Big Ten (I am loving the fact that the conference has more teams in the 16 than the Big East, Pac-10, SEC, etc.), so thank you for your article postings and objective, insightful analysis.

Anyway, since you are an Illinois fan, I am wondering if you could comment on the bizarre, angst-ridden state of Illini Nation. Is it me, or does it seem like a sizeable contingent of Illinois fans are never happy during this amazing season? After listening to them obsess about the perceived "lack of respect" all year, I now have to listen to the whole Bruce Pearl saga again this week. Not to mention the whole Bill Self thing. I realize that many fans are enjoying this season but it seems like an alarming number are not.

Is this state of unhappiness simply a media creation, or is it constrained to the Chicagoland area (where I live) with tortured fans that also root for the Cubs, White Sox, and Bears? Can't they just enjoy the ride?

I know if Iowa had this type of season, I wouldn't spend it complaining about Lute Olson (who left and actually won a national title, unlike Self) or Dick Vitale. I realize that fans are fans no matter what the school/team, but Illinois seems a little different in this regard--like they have the proverbial chip (or boulder) on their shoulder.

Your thoughts?

Tom T.

Thanks, Tom! (Love your Lute Olson simile!)

Wonk can only speak for this Illini fan: I am savoring every second of this year. The lacunae in my links tell you correctly that I don't care one whit what Dick Vitale says (though I enjoy him as camp par excellence) or where Illinois ranks in ESPN's "Power 16." (Surely the ultimate absurdity: a ranking of 16 teams who are about to play a single-elimination tournament to determine the true and final ranking of the 16 teams.)

And I wish undisputed recruiting monster and dyed-in-the-wool Big 12 boy Bill Self all the best. The very fact that Self is reviled by the canned-food-storing portion of Illini Nation is actually the highest compliment. Put it this way: no Michigan fan obsesses over what Brian Ellerbee is doing right now.

COMING soon in Wonk back!
Continued: Is Jay Bilas slowly becoming Bill Raftery? Can someone please put Billy Packer on jury duty for the next two weeks? Wonk's readers respond!


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