KenPom projections

Michigan ranked 17th in KenPom’s preseason rankings with a projected 20-9 (11-7 Big Ten) record. Top ten offense, top 60 defense.

KenPom numbers are way down on Maryland (#24) and like Wisconsin and Indiana at the top of the Big Ten.

I assume his preseason projections don’t tend to be pretty good and take too much stock in the previous year? Clearly is doing a poor job of taking into account the fact that Wisky has lost 5 of their 7 rotation guys, lol.

I think in one of his posts, he did explain that previous seasons played a fairly significant role in his preseason projections. Basically his justification was that good programs generally have good seasons regardless of player turnover, etc. He admitted it’s a flaw and by a certain number of games, preseason projections are removed completely from his formula.

Interesting that Michigan would be so high if a lot of stock is put into last year.

Well, in some cases, he seems to put more stock in returning players (even if injured last year) than in elite newcomers. He also doesn’t seem to have bought into the Cal hype, for instance. They were no better than us last year and had more attrition, but have been vaulted into the top 15 by a lot of prognosticators, solely due to two elite recruits. He’s got them at 47. Sometimes, though, his rankings don’t seem to pass a reality check.

At the end of the day, KenPom’s preseason numbers are designed so that his system works relatively well once real data starts flowing in. I would guess that history proves that the safest way to do this is by a lot of program history weights. Obviously there are some misses there, but chances are that a team that’s good every year is better than a team that happened to get a top ten class. At least out of the gate.

Just 4 fun, here are KenPom’s preseason rankings of our non-con opponents, in order of ranking:

23 SMU
31 Xavier
32 UConn
33 Syracuse (or 261 Charlotte)*
41 NC State
240 Bryant
268 Elon
271 Northern Kentucky
287 Youngstown State
308 Houston Baptist
335 Delaware State

*The third Bahamas game would be vs 7 Gonzaga or 34 Texas or 39 Texas A&M or 135 Washington.

Could be 6 top-50ish level opponents (safer bet is 6 top 100 teams) and that is a pretty tough slate overall.

For what little it may be worth, a mini-Bielfeldt update (and mini-Indiana scouting report):

Just watched Indiana play their exhibition game against Ottawa, a team that beat the Hoosiers last summer in Canada. Led by PG Mike L’Africain (Nik Stauskas’ old HS teammate from Mississauga), Ottawa kept things close until the second half, when they went ice cold despite numerous open 3-point shots. Indiana pulled away for a 82-54 win.

-Max Bielfeldt started the game at the four and looked very solid inside, picking up 8 pts and 8 rebs along with 4 steals. He had some nice post moves and was solid defensively. Nice to see him playing such big role for IU although I hope that Doyle and Wilson can shut him down when he visits Ann Arbor for the last time.
-Thomas Bryant is a beast down low and picked up a double-double. He also plays with a constant menacing scowl. He will be a huge handful for our bigs.

  • James Blackmon Jr. looked smooth with 15 pts and 6 assists.
  • Troy Williams did a bunch of athletic things but also had a bunch of turnovers.
  • Yogi had a solid game but L’Africain did a pretty good job keeping him in check. He also leaped over the IU bench for a loose ball and slammed into a railing but luckily avoided injury.

All in all, it looks like Indiana has solved their interior problems from last season through the addition of Bryant, and, to a degree, Bielfeldt. They will be a dangerous team as expected but they committed a bunch of turnovers against lesser competition and had some trouble closing out shooters on the perimeter. They will no doubt address some of these issues in the coming weeks but if Michigan can move the ball well and hit open shots I think they should win when they meet in Ann Arbor.

Sorry, I don’t know why I posted this in a KenPom projections thread. Apologies.

Sorry, I don't know why I posted this in a KenPom projections thread. Apologies.
Indiana went from #53 at end of last year to preseason #13 (+40) on kenpom with addition of Beilfeldt. Michigan went from #75 at end of last year to preseason #17 (+58) on kenpom with loss of Beilfeldt. win-win-win, as Michael Scott would say