The Way Too Early FInal Four
As always, in alphabetical order...
Emory (phalla, Preseason No. 2, 23-7, Sweet 16 last season)
Emory begins the year with adjusted cores of 52/51/56 in the Ath/Spd/Def triumverate. There’s eight upperclassmen on the roster, including five that tip the scales at 600+ rating to start the season. While the numbers look pretty good, I do see two areas of possible concern. First, Emory is potentially weak on the low blocks with only two players above 50 LP value. Both of those are 70+, but one at least is listed as an SG. Also, for a team with eight upperclassmen, the IQs show a lack of A’s right now. That could change by season’s end, but at least provides some cause for optimism to Emory’s foes.
Millsaps (brianxavier, Preseason No. 1, 29-4, Final Four)
This group adjusts to 55/54/53 for a nice starting point. Good upperclass representation with eight juniors and seniors around. Like the preseason ranking indicates, Millsaps probably starts the year with the best set of numbers in Rupp this season. Looking for weaknesses, Millsaps shares Emory’s lower LP rating and could be in even worse shap with only one player in the 70s. The team rebounding number looks a little low as well, but the high ath/spd will compensate for some of that. Also, an elite rebounder in Carter (96) and an above-average one in Smith (82) will make up for what the guards can’t get to.
Penn St. Altoona (frankgrimes1, Preseason No. 3, 28-5, Elite Eight)
One of the speediest sets of ballhandlers n the Rupp world this season and an awesome 58/49/61 with the option to still stuff a redshirt on someone and alter those values slightly. The upper-end values aren’t as impressive as some other teams, but the depth is there, with No. 9 on the ratings roster still weighing in at 523. Only one perimeter shooter over 70 could hamper the team from the perimeter at times this season, but speed will allow for a slash and hacked attack.
Wentworth (chewchad, Preseason No. 6, 22-9, PI 2nd round)
Surprise! Yes, I dissed chad as being overrated at No. 6 in the conference previews because at the time the adjusted rating just didn’t look like I’d expect most seasons. After looking through two dozen more conferences and looking at the top teams though, it appears we’re in a down cycle across Rupp and programs across the board (mostly) are starting the season 10-ish points lower than normal. In that environment, Wentworth doesn’t look bad. He has two of the highest rated players in Rupp in Turner (729) and Woodcock (716) and good upperclass representation not found in some other highly ranked teams. Not as athletic as other teams with a 44/52/47 set for Ath/Spd/Def. The BH and Passing start off the charts for D3 at 54-48 adjusted for the redshirt. Will that be enough to make up for an Ath that starts considerable lower? Only time will tell.