How is one player ranked 11th by one outlet and 34th by another?

1 Comment

See the rest of our posts on the Consensus 2012 Recruiting Rankings here.

The most interesting number in the charts we put together in the Consensus Recruiting Rankings database is the last number you see to the right.

Deviation.

That number is an average of the difference between each individual site’s ranking and the mean ranking for the five sites. In simpler terms, it’s a stat that will give you a sense of how spread out the five rankings are. In this first chart, you’ll see Devonta Pollard and Glenn Robinson III:

source:

Pollard’s average rank is 0.4 points higher than Robinson’s, meaning that the total difference between the two players was two spots from the five outlets. You can’t get much closer than that. What is interesting to not, however, is that Robinson’s deviation is almost four times as high as Pollard’s. All five outlets ranked Pollard somewhere between 22nd and 28th, while Robinson was rated as high as 11th by Rivals and as low as 34th by CBS.

Another example of a difference in deviation is between Gabe York and Prince Ibeh. York finished a full five spots ahead of Ibeh in the Consensus Recruiting Rankings, but the range at which he was rated was much more vast than Ibeh. York’s deviation was almost nine times that of Ibeh. While all five outlets had Ibeh somewhere between 52nd and 59th, two outlets pegged York as a top 40 recruit (CBS had him at 32nd) while two also had him outside the top 60 (Scout was the lowest, putting York at 82nd):

source:

My question: How does this happen? How can there be so much variation in how one player is viewed while another player is more-or-less a known quantity? Could it really be as simple as seeing a great game versus a mediocre game?

“Eric Bossi (who is in charge of the Rivals rankings) has probably seen Glenn Robinson excel at certain events,” CBSSports.com’s Jeff Borzello, who is in charge of the CBS rankings and had Robinson the lowest of the five outlets, said. “I have personally not seen him play five-star worthy at any event. To me, it kind of just depends of when you see him. I haven’t seen Glenn Robinson that much since last spring. I know he’s gotten better, but how much better?”

Well, it’s safe to assume that he has gotten significantly better. Robinson has jumped up 28 spots in the rankings since last July, which is a sign that he’s starting to reach the potential that he has shown over the years. The problem is that these evaluators trust their gut instinct, so while Borzello may be hearing stories of the incredible games that Robinson has had, if he doesn’t witness it in person, it’s difficult to change that first impression.

Different evaluators will also have different criteria they are looking for when determining the level that a specific prospect can reach. Some value potential over production. Some value leadership and a winning mentality over potential. Some trust a feeling they get talking to a kid off the court and judging his dedication to getting better. Some will penalize a kid for hopping from school to school and AAU program to AAU program; if they can’t decide on where they want to attend high school, how are they going to last longer than a year at a college?

“We all have different things that we’re looking for and we all have different things that are more important to us,” Evan Daniels, Scout.com’s lead recruiting analyst, said. “A lot of it comes down to when we see the guy play and that kind of stuff. At the end of the day. I don’t look at anybody else’s rankings. I don’t really care where anybody else has them. I’m going off my gut and where I think that guy fits in. I think it just comes down to we evaluate differently and value different things.”

Borzello agreed, saying “People have different criteria. Some value winners. James Robinson (a Pitt commit, Robinson is 73rd in our rankings, topping out at 43rd according to ESPN but going unranked by 247) is a winner, and some people like to value that more.”

“It just depends on what you focus on. Some people focus on potential, some people focus on how much you win,” he continued. “It’s kind of useless arguing one kid over another when you are looking at a specific thing, so I try to bring in everything when looking at players.”

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

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK
0 Comments

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky will play its annual Blue-White men’s basketball scrimmage in Eastern Kentucky to benefit victims of the devastating summer floods.

The school announced that the Oct. 22 event at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville will feature a pregame Fan Fest. Ticket proceeds will go through Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief.

Wildcat players will also participate in a community service activity with local organizations in the relief effort.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said the team was excited to play for Eastern Kentucky fans and added, “We hope we can provide a temporary escape with basketball and community engagement.”

The scrimmage traditionally is held at Rupp Arena. It will occur eight days after its Big Blue Madness public workout at Rupp.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times/USA TODAY NETWORK
0 Comments

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy says freshman Tionna Herron is recovering from open-heart surgery to correct a structural abnormality.

The 6-foot-4 post player learned of her condition after arriving at school in June and received other opinions before surgery was recommended. Senior trainer Courtney Jones said in a release that Herron underwent surgery Aug. 24 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and is recovering at home in DeSoto, Texas.

Elzy said Herron “is the definition of a warrior” and all are grateful to be on the other side of the player’s surgery. Herron is expected back on campus early next month and will continue rehabilitation until she’s cleared to return to normal activity.

“Her will and determination to eventually return to the court is inspiring, and it’s that `game-on’ attitude that is what makes her such a perfect fit in our program,” Elzy said in a release. “We are so thrilled for Tionna’s return to our locker room; it’s not the same without our full team together.”

Herron committed to Kentucky during last fall’s early signing period, rated as a four-star prospect and a top-70 player in last year’s class. Kentucky won last year’s Southeastern Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

Emoni Bates charged with 2 felonies

Joe Rondone/USA TODAY NETWORK
1 Comment

SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich — Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who transferred to Eastern Michigan from Memphis, was charged with two felonies after police found a gun in a car during a traffic stop.

The 18-year-old Bates failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night and a search turned up the weapon, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office.

Defense attorney Steve Haney told The Associated Press that the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

“I hope people can reserve judgment and understand there’s a presumption of innocence,” Haney said. “This was not his vehicle. This was not his gun. … We’re still gathering facts, too.”

Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm. He was released after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea. Bates’ next court hearing is Oct. 6.

“This is his first brush with the law,” Haney said in court. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”

Less than a month ago, the 6-foot-9 Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan to play for his hometown Eagles. Bates averaged nearly 10 points a game last season as a freshman at Memphis, where he enrolled after reclassifying to skip a year of high school and join the class of 2021.

“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student athletes,” EMU spokesman Greg Steiner said. “We are working to gather more details and will have further comment when more information is available.”

Bates was the first sophomore to win the Gatorade national player of the year award in high school basketball in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the 2021 NBA draft.

Bates committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State two years ago, later de-committed and signed with Memphis. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, who finished 22-11 under Penny Hardaway. Bates missed much of the season with a back injury before appearing in Memphis’ two NCAA Tournament games.

In 2019, as a high school freshman, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state title and was named Michigan’s Division 1 Player of the Year by The Associated Press. His sophomore season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.

UConn to pay Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million over firing

uconn
Michael Hickey/Getty Images
0 Comments

STORRS, Conn. — UConn announced Thursday it has agreed to pay former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million to settle discrimination claims surrounding his 2018 firing.

The money is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in back salary Ollie has already been paid after an arbitrator ruled in January that he was improperly fired under the school’s agreement with its professor’s union.

“I am grateful that we were able to reach agreement,” Ollie said in a statement Thursday. “My time at UConn as a student-athlete and coach is something I will always cherish. I am pleased that this matter is now fully and finally resolved.”

Ollie, a former UConn point guard who guided the Huskies to a 127-79 record and the 2014 national championship in six seasons as head coach, was let go after two losing seasons. UConn also stopped paying him under his contract, citing numerous NCAA violations in terminating the deal.

In 2019, the NCAA placed UConn on probation for two years and Ollie was sanctioned individually for violations, which the NCAA found occurred between 2013 and 2018. Ollie’s attorneys, Jacques Parenteau and William Madsen, accused UConn of making false claims to the NCAA for the purpose of firing Ollie “with cause.”

The school had argued that Ollie’s transgressions were serious and that his individual contract superseded those union protections.

Ollie’s lawyers had argued that white coaches, including Hall-of-Famers Jim Calhoun and women’s coach Geno Auriemma, had also committed NCAA violations, without being fired, and indicated they were planning to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The school and Ollie said in a joint statement Thursday they were settling “to avoid further costly and protracted litigation.”

Both sides declined to comment further.

Ollie, who faced three years of restrictions from the NCAA on becoming a college basketball coach again, is currently coaching for Overtime Elite, a league that prepares top prospects who are not attending college for the pros.

Dream’s McDonald returning to Arizona to coach under Barnes

Getty Images
0 Comments

TUCSON, Ariz. — Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald is returning to Arizona to work under coach Adia Barnes.

The school announced that McDonald will serve as director of recruiting operations while continuing to fulfill her WNBA commitments. She will oversee all recruiting logistics, assist with on-campus visits, manage recruit information and social media content at Arizona.

McDonald was one of the best players in Arizona history after transferring from Washington as a sophomore. She was an All-American and the Pac-12 player of the year in 2020-21, leading the Wildcats to the national championship game, which they lost to Stanford.

McDonald broke Barnes’ single-season scoring record and had the highest career scoring average in school history before being selected by the Dream with the third overall pick of the 2021 WNBA draft.