Trey Burke

Dan Hanner’s rankings released

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Dan Hanner, one of college basketball’s leading stat gurus, released his complete rankings for the 2012-2013 basketball season over at Basketball Prospectus today.



He ranked every team in the country. That’s impressive.

I do have come quibbles, however, although Hanner addressed a number of them while discussing the rankings in the link above.

First and foremost, Michigan is not the 44th best team in the country. I understand why his projection model has them slotted there, and I get that projection models are going to have some gaps. I will admit that I have my own doubts about the Wolverines. I think they are a bit overrated in the top five, and I have concerns about where I placed them in my own rankings (at No. 9). But still: Michigan brings back an all-american point guard, an all-conference caliber two-guard and teams them with a group of promising freshmen. They are better than the 44th best team in the country.

San Diego State, who is ranked 41st, is too low, as well, especially when you consider the fact that New Mexico and UNLV are both in the top 15. I think the Aztecs are the best team in the Mountain West. Along those same lines, I struggle to see how Iowa State, without Royce White, is expected to have the same record in a loaded Big 12 conference as Kansas State, who returns almost everyone from a team that finished the season as an eight seed.

Other thoughts: Louisville (10th) and Cincinnati (52nd) are too low while Tennessee (17th) is too high.

But the beauty of rankings like this?

They make me question things I thought were a given.

Louisville, who is a consensus top three team in the polls, returns nothing but inefficient scorers. As good as their defense is, will that be enough to win games? Michigan really will be relying on a lot of freshmen and a lot of players not suited for John Beilein’s system. Are we overrating them? Is everyone sleeping on New Mexico again?

And, in the end, that’s the point of putting out a rating system like this. Nothing is exact, no Dan Hanner’s computer, not Kenpom’s calculator and not my opinion. But it creates discussion and arguments and differing opinions and, in the end, isn’t that what makes sports great?

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.