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e process of researching national championship

one month ago
4 posts
I was in the process of researching national championship roster construction on Tuesday afternoon when both Troy Brown and Keith Smith announced intentions to leave the program. The basis of what I was investigating was how frequent title winners have relied heavily on freshmen. The answer? Not very often. Over the last 10 years, just three champion teams have featured a true freshmen double digit scorer, and only three teams have relied on frosh players to play more than a third of their minutes. Essentially, a roster of one and dones hasn t historically beaten a roster of savvy vets. This research was spurred on by both the lofty expectations many have for the 2018 19 Oregon team one that features a program best recruiting class Casey Benson Jersey, and comments head coach Dana Altman made yesterday during his final press engagement for the 2017 18 season. Earlier this week one publication pitted the Ducks as the seventh best team and Vegas gave them the ninth best odds to win it all. Let s start by saying this, the expectations that this program is operating with is much higher than those of even three years ago. Over the last three years, Oregon has won two league titles, reached the Elite Eight twice and the Final Four once. They ve been a few wins a way from tasting the ultimate prize, and have subsequently converted that success into top NBA talent. Brown will act as the program s first one and done, and like the first first round pick in 12 years. This upcoming team will feature two more players Bol Bol and Louis King who figure to have similar career trajectories. But, I do wonder if the direction the program is headed now is the most direct path to accomplishing those aforementioned championship goals. And, I think Altman gets why. At least what he said on Tuesday seems to indicate he does. “I’ve always said talent was the most important thing, but experience is a close second, he explained. Our team in 2016 17 was really talented… but we also had Jordan for three years, Dillon three years, Tyler for two, Dylan Ennis for six years... We had a really experienced team last year. My job was a lot easier than this year. By the end of his near 30 minute interview found here , Altman explained the challenges of this past season, a year which saw a roster of youthful blue chippers and grad transfers underachieve. And, it s clear by his comments that the frustrations of those sitting in the MKA grandstands or on their couches across the country were shared by him. “I haven’t felt real good about my connection and what I got out of the team, he explained. If you’re not honest with yourself, it’s hard for you to be honest with your players… We were very average. We should’ve won more games. It’s that simple. Oregon won t be any more experienced next season than they were this season. In fact, I d ventured that the Ducks will feature more minutes played by freshman in 2018 19 than they did in 2017 18. That fact is just magnified by Tuesday s defections. As Matt stated in today s Whispers in the Woods, the Ducks could reasonably add up to three more freshmen in this class. Should that happen, the Ducks could conceivably play more freshmen than veterans next year. And as I stated above, that has not typically translated to to titles below is the breakdowns of the past 10 winners and then the past three Oregon teams . I apologize for the ugly tables, but the fact is pretty clear, over the past 10 years, veteran teams like Villanova have won at a higher frequency than the super frosh teams led by John Calipari and Mike Krzyzewski. And Oregon s rise has been a perfect example of that. During both historic seasons, the Ducks relied on freshmen for less than 20 percent of their minutes. Last season they relied on them for over a third of the minutes and the season was admittedly a frustrating one for Altman and company. Part of me wonders what the 2018 19 season will bring from that perspective. The Ducks seem to have bought all in on the land as many five star talents as possible strategy that has brought both Calipari and Krzyzewski acclaim. But, might they be better off targeting talents like Villanova has during its mini dynasty? I don t have an answer for that. But, what I do know is that Oregon is likely to depend upon freshmen at a higher rate this winter than every before. Depending upon what transpires on the recruiting front, this team could start upwards of three of them, and one would guess that around 50 percent of the minutes will be played by frosh. None of that precludes them from winning a ton of games and contending for a title, but I do caution those who might equate one and done talents with titles. The numbers say otherwise.
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