Ranking Big Ten teams over the past 5 years


It is not wrong. For that five year period, Wisconsin has had very few highly ranked players.


But even with the 2 1st round exits and the no-tournament (OSU had 1 1st round exit and 1 NIT), Michigan still comes out on top in NCAA wins, which is co-equal for the author in terms of importance of factors. There are 2 areas where OSU comes out on top–kenpom rating, which is impacted by the factors you cite, and average recruiting rating, which is not. And funny thing about OSU’s recruiting ratings–they’re jacked up by a #6 finish in 2015 by a 5 man class which has already lost 4 members (none to the NBA)–they haven’t lead to more NBA players (Michigan clearly leads in that area), and they haven’t lead to more BT wins (the programs are tied).

Maryland’s ranking included its performance in the ACC. The Terps didn’t make the NCAAs for the first 3 seasons of the 5, and only made the NIT In one of those 3 years. I don’t see the ranking as being unfair to that program.


Really, so many fewer than Nebraska, Northwestern, PSU, etc.? I don’t have the time to go through it, but I would be surprised if those teams mentioned have a higher number of guys ranked, say, in the top 150.


In regards to Maryland I just don’t like including the last 3 years in the ACC. Maryland has averaged 13 wins per year in the B1G conference. Maybe Maryland is actually going to be a high level finisher in the B1G not having to face the likes of Duke/UNC/Virginia/Syracuse and once they left Louisville pretty much replaced them. Judging Maryland in this grouping when they have played 60% of that time frame in the ACC seems ridiculous to me. If we were to judge the past 2 years Maryland has been better than Michigan. Just as if Maryland was great in the ACC during those 3 years and would be a top 2-3 B1G team would be unfair.


Found it interesting in the article that the Big Ten was actually the better league during that time according to KenPom.


Albrecht, I have watched way, way more Maryland basketball than I ever thought I would beginning with the fall of 2007 when my older daughter first enrolled in Maryland’s journalism program. Jen has always been a crazed sports fan, especially basketball (she is now a moderator on Maryland’s SBNation board), and conversations with her have required that I keep up with Maryland hoops. Maybe Maryland will continue to be a high level finisher in the Big Ten, though the Terps will lose either 4 or 5 starters depending on Trimble, and have a good, but not great, recruiting class coming in, but Maryland was a mediocre or less team for Turgeon’s first 3 seasons in College Park, and would have been whether they were in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, or any other power 5 conference.


I don’t have the time to go back and look it up either, but then, I am not the one disputing the data given in the analysis.
I can tell you that, according to my notes, here are some of Wisconsin’s players rankings:
Dekker 12, Koenig 111, Hayes 145, Kaminsky 218, Brust 191, Dukan 200 and Gasser 207, Jackson 201, Showalter 239 and Dearring 254. That was from their 2015 runner-up team.


You might be right but the prior couple years before Maryland joined there were still some questionable B1G teams that made the tourney. Iowa made that play in game against Tennessee, OSU a 10-8 B1G team lost to Dayton round 1, an 8-10 Illinois made the tourney and actually won a tourney game they did have a 22-12 overall record but a losing record in conference doesn’t speak well of a team imo. Turgeon had an 8-10 team in the ACC one year and made the NIT semis, another year 9-9 didn’t even get them in the NIT. I agree they were mediocre but there was some mediocre B1G teams that got a tourney berth as well.


Questionable teams make the tourney every year from every major conference. What’s your point?

You said that “[m]aybe Maryland is actually going to be a high level finisher in the B1G not having to face the likes of Duke/UNC/Virginia/Syracuse…” You do realize, don’t you, that Syracuse joined the ACC during Maryland’s last year in conference? So they didn’t play Syracuse for 2/3 ACC years used in the rankings. Also, UVa was mediocre for the first 2 years used in this ranking.

Did you actually look at the ACC for those 3 years? It was bad. UNC was good in 2012, and then fell off for the next 2. Duke suffered huge 1st round upsets during 2 of those 3 years. The ACC was simply not good. Maryland’s numbers actually look better because they were playing in a bad conference.


For comparison, PSU had only two guys in the top 100 over the whole period (one at 50, the other at 95), and only two more guys in the top 150. Pritzl, Happ, and Illikaine were in the top 100, 150 and 150 respectively, in addition to those guy you mentioned. So I think Wiscy got more top 25, 100 and top 150 guys than PSU. And even when you look at ITH’s numbers, PSU comes in averaging 57 and Wiscy 70, but it’s the percentile rank that seems so low. So I maintain that the recruiting rankings list, while interesting, is not the most useful measuring stick. I’d be more interested to see number of top 50 and 150 guys, something like that.


Here are the class rankings by year:


2017 class is crucial assuming there’s a legitimate trend in that spreadsheet.


You do know that year Syracuse went to the ACC they were #4 in the country when Maryland faced them. So yes adding a top 5-10 team in the country would naturally knock a team down a peg.

UNC fell off for the next 2 years? They were 12-6 and 13-5 those last 2 seasons Maryland was in the ACC. Obviously 25-11 isn’t that god though. Duke 27-9 those final 2 seasons, Virginia also 27-9 those 2 years. You could make the case the ACC wasn’t great but don’t make statements saying UNC fell off those 2 years.


I think the recruiting ranking probably needs to be adjusted for quantity somehow. Michigan’s 107 stands out because of only one prospect and I’m guessing some of the other >100 rankings are similar (i.e. Wisconsin’s 2014 class was ranked 120th because it was only Ethan Happ).


You make bad points. It matters little what Syracuse was ranked when they played Maryland that one time, because Syracuse wasn’t even in the league for the first two years. So Maryland’s mediocrity was barely impacted by Syracuse. It isn’t as if they played 6 times during those 3 years.

Yes, UNC fell off. Their record is unimpressive insofar as it was a result of playing in a bad conference. The tournament committee saw right through it, giving them an 8 and 7 seed, respectively, in those 2 years. The seedings were justified, as they lost in the second round each year. In the year prior and the 2 years after, UNC was a 1 seed, a 4 seed, and a 1 seed. So, yes, UNC certainly did fall off for those 2 years.

I’m not sure what point you’re trying to prove by listing conference records for those teams. My argument is that the conference was bad. So if the “top” teams had good conference records, it means absolutely nothing. Again, Duke lost to a 15 and a 14 seed in 2 of those years. They obviously weren’t that good.


To go back and quote the article:

For Maryland and Rutgers, we had to use their conference wins in other leagues. For Rutgers, it didn’t matter too much. For Maryland, using ACC wins may have actually given a slight boost given that the Big Ten ranked ahead of the ACC in KenPom for each season affected (2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14).


That is exactly what I found in the past. There have been years when a school took only one player, but he was a 5 star and their class finished ranked 90+, strictly due to small class size.


OTOH … Five five-stars still needs to be regarded as better than 1 five-star, so it is a tricky situation.


Like I said initially, recruiting class rankings is of small value in this analysis.


I actually always thought the big ten was better because it’s deeper. Now the acc is stacked so maybe not anymore but for years the acc was just top heavy. Big ten was very deep.