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SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby mustangxc » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:18 pm

I wanted to quantify how our roster has looked the last few seasons in terms of our ability to attract the type of recruits needed to compete for NCAA bids. I used 247 composite rankings and only included the rotation players for that particular season, not freshmen/transfers who did not contribute so as to not skew the rankings. I wasn't able to find data for Yanick Moreira, Nat Dixon, or Isaiah Mike. If anyone can provide their rankings I will be happy to factor them in.

2013-14 - NIT
(Shawn Williams, Nic Russell, Cannen Cunningham, Ryan Manuel, Yanick Moreira, Nic Moore, Markus Kennedy, Sterling Brown, Ben Moore)
Average recruit ranking 167
*Missing rank for Yanick Moreira who was the #1 Juco in the nation

2014-15 - NCAA
(Cannen Cunningham, Ryan Manuel, Yanick Moreira, Nic Moore, Markus Kennedy, Sterling Brown, Ben Moore, Keith Frazier)
Average recruit ranking 170
*Missing rank for Yanick Moreira who was the #1 Juco in the nation

2015-16 - Ineligible
(Jordan Tolbert, Nic Moore, Markus Kennedy, Sterling Brown, Ben Moore, Shake Milton, Jarrey Foster)
Average recruit ranking 186

2016-17 - NCAA
(Semi Ojeleye, Sterling Brown, Ben Moore, Shake Milton, Jarrey Foster, Ben Emelogu)
Average recruit ranking 185

2017-18
(Shake Milton, Jarrey Foster, Ben Emelogu, Jimmy Whitt, Jahmal McMurray, Ethan Chargois, Akoy Agau)
Average recruit ranking 212

2018-19
(Jarrey Foster, Jimmy Whitt, Jahmal McMurray, Ethan Chargois, Nat Dixon, Isaiah Mike, Feron Hunt)
Average recruit ranking 214
*Missing rank for Nat Dixon and Isaiah Mike
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Re: SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby SoCal_Pony » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:41 pm

well I think this is a very good report, xc.

I also think a little more explanation behind the numbers is helpful. Case in point is Ben Emelogu. I looked at the 2016-2017 average of 185 and said, 'how can that be'. Then I see Gu is skewing the numbers down. He has offers from TCU, Marquette and VT, but he's also ranked #412. As a freshman at VT he was named Captain of the team and averaged over 10 points per game in the ACC. So as I see it, when we get Emelogu we are not getting the #412 ranked kid nationally, but a highly productive player from the ACC. If you take out his ranking the team average drops to 139. Also, the next lowest ranked player is Ben Moore at #252, but he also had 16 offers including 4 P5 offers.

Now compare that to Jank's recent work over the past 2 years. Young #367, McBride #358, White not even ranked but holding an Ark St offer, and Cook at #424. 4 players with only ZERO P5 offers between them. That's quite a contrast.
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Re: SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby JasonB » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:24 pm

Would be also an interesting comparison to use transfers versus non-transfers. Gu pushes it down, but then Semi and Markus and TOlbert probably elevate. Whitt elevates, but not as much.

Also, if you want to evaluate the full classes, don't you also have to evaluate the folks who left? Sed, Landrum, the Aussie's, etc?

I believe that if you do that, it will show the decline starts in 2016, and that sense then the decline is due to a lower quality transfer maybe as much as a lower quality recruit? Either way, the decline in recruiting will correlate with both Jank taking over and recruiting restrictions.

Young and White are proving to be nice developmental pieces. McBride and Cook were both recruited to provide depth at the end of the bench with the full roster of scholarships. For a variety of reasons, LB never reached a stage in the program where he was recruiting a full bench. He was always recruiting starters, which is easier.

The most important comparison is what does Jank reel in now that he has a starting spot to recruit for at SG. The JUCO is not in your list because it is a different ranking, but I think he would be considered a solid add. We will see what he can add at guard in addition.
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Re: SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby Charleston Pony » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:15 pm

Bottom line is that SMU is simply not a top choice/destination program for high profile players, but higher rated kids were attracted to the idea of playing for a Hall of Fame coach with the reputation Larry Brown had. With Jank, we are back to being SMU so the average player rankings are sinking back to what we saw in the pre-Brown era (or worse because Dement and Doherty actually attracted some talent but IMO just under achieved with what they had). If Jank can't get it done, we can only hope SMU can attract someone who can take the talent level back to what it was under coach Brown. At least the program is somewhat relevant again but I don't think we are ever going to find another coach with the skins Larry Brown had, so it's going to take a younger, high energy guy who kids really like and want to play for. Would love to find college basketball's Dabo Swinney (who a lot of Clemson people were really upset about when he was hired).
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Re: SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby mustangxc » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:43 pm

For this analysis I wanted to quantify the strength of our rotation players each season. That is why I did not include Keith Frazier for the 2013-14 season who would have skewed the strength of the team way up or Ben Emelogu who was really not a factor his first season at SMU and would have skewed the strength of the team way down. While Harry and Tom were huge misses in recruiting, they did not factor into our team for the 2016-17 season as they played minimally and transferred at the beginning of the season. I did not include transfers the year they sat out as they did not factor into the success/failure of the rotation. While I completely understand SoCal's concern with Ben Emelogu skewing the strength in the negative direction, I think it is important to include it as our success has depended on a few diamond's in the rough who have greatly outperformed expectations such as Nic Moore, Ben Emelogu, Jarrey Foster, and now Isaiah Mike (unranked) and Jahmal McMurray. I think it is fairly clear that our recruiting is trending in the negative direction and I was more interested to see how far we have fallen and how far away we are from righting the ship. I think that if we can get our average rotation player to be ranked 200 or less we can comfortably expect an NCAA tournament caliber team. Any questions feel free to ask. Also, if anyone wants me to email the excel spreadsheet pm me and I will gladly share it.
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Re: SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby mustangxc » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:08 pm

Charleston Pony wrote:Bottom line is that SMU is simply not a top choice/destination program for high profile players, but higher rated kids were attracted to the idea of playing for a Hall of Fame coach with the reputation Larry Brown had. With Jank, we are back to being SMU so the average player rankings are sinking back to what we saw in the pre-Brown era (or worse because Dement and Doherty actually attracted some talent but IMO just under achieved with what they had). If Jank can't get it done, we can only hope SMU can attract someone who can take the talent level back to what it was under coach Brown. At least the program is somewhat relevant again but I don't think we are ever going to find another coach with the skins Larry Brown had, so it's going to take a younger, high energy guy who kids really like and want to play for. Would love to find college basketball's Dabo Swinney (who a lot of Clemson people were really upset about when he was hired).


Scott Drew was a nobody when he arrived at Baylor. Baylor had achieved nothing, was worse than SMU at the time, and Drew inherited very severe sanctions. He somehow managed to attract top level recruiting classes that I think even Larry Brown would have been jealous of. It can be done, but it takes tremendous effort and dedication. SMU has a better arena, atmosphere and is now in a power basketball conference. We need to stop making excuses for our coaches that demonstrate an inability to get it done. If we somehow manage to squeeze into the NCAA tournament I think you have to give Jankovich more time, but if not the negative recruiting trend is rather obvious.
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Re: SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby SoCal_Pony » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:12 pm

mustangxc wrote:While I completely understand SoCal's concern with Ben Emelogu skewing the strength in the negative direction, I think it is important to include it as our success has depended on a few diamond's in the rough who have greatly outperformed expectations such as Nic Moore, Ben Emelogu, Jarrey Foster, and now Isaiah Mike (unranked) and Jahmal McMurray.


To me the big difference is we acquired almost all your list above AFTER they proved themselves, therefore making their National HS rankings much less meaningful.

Nic was MVC All-Freshmen who scored 24 points against Ole Miss and 25 against Stanford during their NIT tourney run, clearly he was trending up. Gu, Mike and McMurray were also all highly productive before arriving here.
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Re: SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby mustangxc » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:19 pm

McMurray was a Jankovich recruit and ranked 401. We signed him after he proved himself at USF so I think they offset. The main takeaway to me is we need to sign a couple top 150s to anchor the rotation, which would bring our average down closer to the 167-185 range of our tournament teams.
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Re: SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby SoCal_Pony » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:21 pm

Charleston Pony wrote:Bottom line is that SMU is simply not a top choice/destination program for high profile players, but higher rated kids were attracted to the idea of playing for a Hall of Fame coach with the reputation Larry Brown had. With Jank, we are back to being SMU so the average player rankings are sinking back to what we saw in the pre-Brown era (or worse because Dement and Doherty actually attracted some talent but IMO just under achieved with what they had).


CP, I can't say I completely agree with this statement. Sure, kids want to play for LB, but the only elite talent who rolled through here from HS was Keith and he rightfully so only made xc's list for 1 year.

I think a Buzz Williams type hire could do wonders for this program.
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Re: SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby DiamondM » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:46 pm

I would be interested in a comparison of our numbers with the numbers of mid-major at large NCAA teams over the years. Gonzaga, Wichita State, Creighton, Nevada, St. Mary's. I mean, are these guys really landing average Top 50 talent, or do they take lower ranked kids, keep them for 4 years, hit on a big one every 5 years or so, and still have success?
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Re: SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby DiamondM » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:54 pm

mustangxc wrote:Scott Drew was a nobody when he arrived at Baylor. Baylor had achieved nothing, was worse than SMU at the time, and Drew inherited very severe sanctions. He somehow managed to attract top level recruiting classes that I think even Larry Brown would have been jealous of. It can be done, but it takes tremendous effort and dedication. SMU has a better arena, atmosphere and is now in a power basketball conference. We need to stop making excuses for our coaches that demonstrate an inability to get it done. If we somehow manage to squeeze into the NCAA tournament I think you have to give Jankovich more time, but if not the negative recruiting trend is rather obvious.


Take it with a grain of salt I suppose, but I was at a sports law panel about amateurism and NCAA rules a couple of years ago and 2 separate panelists, one a well-known known broadcaster and one a sports law professor at a good school who both told me that there is an "open secret" that there are a number of schools paying players (since partially confirmed by FBI investigation) and they specifically identified Baylor as one of those.
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Re: SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby JasonB » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:29 am

For me, it stands out that we need to have an elite player (Nic Moore, Semi, Shake) surrounded by a cast of really good players.

The reason I asked for a separation between direct recruit and transfer is that our HS recruiting is mostly going to capture the really good, solid players. Or at least that should be the target. For our transfers, we need to target elite athletes that can push us over the top.

For example, for the UCONN game, you have multiple warning signs. First, when McMurray is off his game, we don't have another elite scorer to take up the slack. Mike and Whitt are very nice players to have. Great pieces of the puzzle. But our transfers need to be "plus" players to push us over the top. Even the transfer from A&M for next year doesn't fit that label. Foster could have been that if healthy, so that is unfortunate. Hunt might develop into a plus player, he has the athleticism, but we haven't seen his shot develop yet. Assuming McMurray doesn't get his extension, you have a situation where Chargois, Hunt, or Mike might develop into a plus scoring option but we don't have a second player on the roster right now, and that needs to come from either the JUCO or a HS recruit.

The second warning sign is the defense. I wrote the post about the defensive statistics improving. If, as the season goes along, the defense struggles against a team like UConn, it will be a very big sign that the athleticism on the team has dropped enough that we can't defend adequately. In which case, of course, we will have a .500 or worse conference record and Jank is gone.
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Re: SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby Charleston Pony » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:55 am

JasonB wrote:For me, it stands out that we need to have an elite player (Nic Moore, Semi, Shake) surrounded by a cast of really good players.

The reason I asked for a separation between direct recruit and transfer is that our HS recruiting is mostly going to capture the really good, solid players. Or at least that should be the target. For our transfers, we need to target elite athletes that can push us over the top.

For example, for the UCONN game, you have multiple warning signs. First, when McMurray is off his game, we don't have another elite scorer to take up the slack. Mike and Whitt are very nice players to have. Great pieces of the puzzle. But our transfers need to be "plus" players to push us over the top. Even the transfer from A&M for next year doesn't fit that label. Foster could have been that if healthy, so that is unfortunate. Hunt might develop into a plus player, he has the athleticism, but we haven't seen his shot develop yet. Assuming McMurray doesn't get his extension, you have a situation where Chargois, Hunt, or Mike might develop into a plus scoring option but we don't have a second player on the roster right now, and that needs to come from either the JUCO or a HS recruit.

The second warning sign is the defense. I wrote the post about the defensive statistics improving. If, as the season goes along, the defense struggles against a team like UConn, it will be a very big sign that the athleticism on the team has dropped enough that we can't defend adequately. In which case, of course, we will have a .500 or worse conference record and Jank is gone.


I agree it would be nice to hit on a high caliber transfer who might be eligible right away but as for the comment about Jarrey, I've never really seen him as an elite player/scorer, despite all the talk that he might have NBA level talent. Foster is/was a great athlete, but has always been more of a role player and had been surrounded by professional level talent up until this season. While still a very important piece of this roster, he's not a guy I ever thought would be our leading scorer because unlike McMurray and even Whitt, he's not a guy who can create his own shot.
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Re: SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby Wild Mustang » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:56 am

I like the idea of comparing high school rankings of recruites and I like the idea of this thread, but in reality the first post in this thread is close to meaningless. I agree with the sentiment that high schools players need to prove that they are excellent college players. Ranking can translate into success in college, but let's be honest rankings do not always translate to success in college. To complicate things college basketball has completely changed. No longer are teams solely relying on High School kids instead choosing to build their programs through transfers. See SMU since LB. Nic Moore, Ben E, Justin Tolbert, the list goes on. Comparing SMU Classes to each other is difficult. There are a lot of moving parts.

As we all know a High School Player can be ranked highly and then not produce. See Keith Frazier. I am sure that we could come up many examples of the exact opposite of this. The original post in this thread is very strange. They want to back up their opinion with numbers (rankings) but they do not want to include all players. Well I included this recruit or I did not include this recruit because x. Seems pretty subjective.

One of the sentiments of the original post is that recruiting at SMU has gone downhill between LB and Jank. And to all those people who want to play LB against Jank or say that LB recruited better than Jank. I have all the love and respect for LB. LB is a Hall of Fame Coach who helped bring SMU back to relevance. I am grateful for LB coming to SMU. I unfortunately had to live through the many unsuccessful SMU coaches before LB. Yes it was painful.

Funny thing, I wanted to ask a few SMU questions for the short-sighted recruting gurus on ponyfans.com...
1) Who brought Jank to SMU? Answer: LB
2) What SMU player has had the most success in college (in recent years)? Answer: Nic Moore
3) Who originally recruited and signed Nic Moore? Answer: Coach Jank
4) Who brought Nic Moore to SMU? Answer: Coach Jank
5) Imagine where the SMU Basketball Program would be without Nic Moore

I for one am grateful for Coach Jank. I have been amazed with what he has done as Head Coach at SMU. Yes I want team to improve and yes we need more high school recruits to pan out, but if recent memory serves Jank and staff recruited and signed Feron Hunt and Feron looks like he can be a real talent.
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Re: SMU basketball average player ranks

Postby mustangxc » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:19 am

Not really that subjective, simply requires knowledge of the team each season. That is why I am unable to do it for other schools as I am not really familiar with their rosters each season. I included all the rotation players for every season. A player that is on the roster but does not play does not impact the rankings. As a result, Keith Frazier who really did not play his freshman season was not included his freshman season. Harry and Tom who did not impact the season on the court were also not included.
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