This morning we gave our analysis of the new set of computer rankings that were released by Dan Hanner over at Basketball Prospectus. In general, we agreed with the assessments that Hanner laid out, including the Penn prediction that Hanner called out in his original post.
But FOTS John Templon over at Big Apple Buckets is never one to be satisfied with predictions on their face value. He sat down with Hanner to get a little more information about what goes into the rankings, and together they parse through some of the mid-major predictions.
A good deal of the article is spent looking at the Northeast Conference (since so much of the league falls right into the BAB wheelhouse). One of the best bits is the analysis on Long Island, everyone's favorite to win a close race despite tough efficiency numbers from last season that could have had some predictors running scared:
BAB: Alright, now let's talk about the NEC, which I think contains some of the most interesting projections. Why is LIU Brooklyn predicted to go 12-6? I know they had a worse KenPom than Robert Morris and Wagner last season, but they return everyone but Michael Culpo and are consensus favorites to win the league title in what should be a tense battle. Here you've got them in a tense battle, but with St. Francis (NY) and Quinnipiac for third.
DH: You hit the nail on the head. LIU wasn't just slightly worse than Robert Morris and Wagner last year according to the tempo free stats, they were actually quite a bit worse. And LIU was even worse than Quinnipiac.
If you compare my offensive and defensive prediction to the stats from last year, you will see that LIU is picked to improve on both ends of the court. The model certainly thinks they will be a better team this year. But the model is concerned that last year's pace-inspired weak defense will come back to haunt the team this season.
Hanner goes on from there with his analysis on the Blackbirds.
As usual, great work turned in by Templon and an interesting look inside the rankings at teams that wouldn't normally get more than a cursory glance by most sites out there.