Friday, February 23, 2007

This is not 2003

Ever since the Vermont loss, people have said this team feels like the 2003 team that underachieved and was eventually snubbed by the selection committee. There are some similarities, but ultimately I think this team is different and will have a different ending.


Losing their big man. 2003: Uka Agbai broke his neck against Holy Cross and redshirted after three games. (While this hurt 2003, I really think Agbai’s presence helped the very young 2004 team that surprised everyone.) 2007: Infamously lost Sean Williams for disciplinary reasons.

An uneven non-conference resume. 2003: Losses to Holy Cross, Northeastern, Kent State and wins over Iowa St., NC State, UMass. 2007: Losses to Vermont, Duquesne and wins over Michigan State, UMass, and Rhode Island.

Short bench with one star as the focal point. 2003: mostly a seven man rotation with Troy Bell as the guy carrying the team. 2007: mostly a seven man rotation with Dudley carrying the team (should be noted, Rocke is getting more minutes of late).

Solid conference record. 2003: 10-6 and 1-1 in the BE Tournament. 2007: TBD, but currently sitting on 9 wins.


RPI. I am not a big fan of the RPI, but it is a factor. 2003: Our RPI was 49. Prime bubble territory. 2007: Our RPI sits at 29. Even if we lost our next three (which I don’t see) it is unlikely to fall into the 40s. Plus 2007 schedules plays much better with RPI than 2003. For example our losses to Vermont and Duquesne (and even Kansas) are not nearly as hurtful RPIwise as Kent State and Northeasern were. And our non conference wins over Michigan St and Rhode Island are giving our RPI a bump we didn't get from Iowa St and NC State in 2003.

Conference Reputation. 2003: Although Syracuse won the whole thing in 2003, it was not a great year for the Big East. 2007: Most are saying the ACC is the best and deepest conference in the country. I also think the 10 regular season wins in the ACC means more than it meant in the Big East in 2003.

Last Ten games. 2003: Finished the regular season 7-3. 2007: TBD but unlikely to finish as strong.

Ultimately, I think if we win Saturday or next week against Georgia Tech, we are in. I think the 2003 team started out rough and closed strong against a weak portion of their schedule. I think this year’s team will struggle closing out the season but will have built up enough good will with their early run and RPI to get in.

All that said, if we lose our next three, we don’t deserve to go in.


Angry Eagle said...

You're goddamn right Bill. But I think the biggest difference is that the 2003 team was a very dysfunctional one, all I can remember is that idiot Andrew Bryant jacking crazy threes and people pointing figers at each other. And like you say, the Big East was very down that year, as opposed to the ACC this year. In contrast, BC's schedule this season is very tough, I count 15 of their 24 opponents have a very good chance at either an automatic bid or an at-large bid to the NCAA tourney. They should get the nod on strength of schedule and RPI, but I am concerned that the fade (which has more to do with who and where they're playing), will have a dour effect on the Selection Committee. That's why I think they need to beat both Clemson and GTech to feel comfortable. A tough row to hoe indeed.

ATL_eagle said...

Both wins would be nice, but 1 is all we need. There is no way that a 10 regular season ACC win team is not getting invited this year. It has never happened before and shouldn't happen in a supposed strong year for the conference.

Scott Weigman said...

Bill nice breakdown. I think on pure merit alone this team gets in even if they lost the next three.

But the difference you left out is the timing of the departures and the fact that committee has a track record of looking at the team that you're briging to the tourney...and when you look at the track record since SW left and you start to get an uneasy feeling....especially given our track record.