There are a few things that I wanted to touch about this past season that I didn't get a chance to write about. Since the NCAA Champ was crowned, and the season finally over, I figured we'd close the book here as well.
The first thing I wanted to touch on, was the notion that this wasn't McDermott's best team at Iowa State, because actually I think it was. I'm not really going out on a limb here in my opinion, because I looked at Sagarin's and Pomeroy's ratings of teams to arrive at this conclusion. Below is a chart by year, ISU's Sagarin and Pomeroy ratings at the end of each year under the McDermott era:
Now, both these guys use different methods to try and predict outcomes of games, and to rank the teams. But the movements are consistent. McDermott's first year was his worst team, and this past year was his best team.
Were we a great team this year? No. Pomeroy's expected Win % for this year's team was 80%, and we won 46% of our games. Part of the reason why we did as bad W-L wise as the previous teams, even though this was a better team was the toughness of the conference.
According to Pomeroy's conference ratings, in 09-10 the Big 12 was the 2nd best conference. In 08-09 it was the 4th. In 07-08 it was the best, and in 06-07 it was the 6th best conference.
Part of the reason why you may think that McDermott's first year was his best year was because the Big 12 wasn't that good of a conference. The Big 12 that year was like the SEC this year talent-wise (If you look outside of Kentucky, and Tennessee it wasn't that good of a conference).
Am I saying I'm happy and things have been good enough? Absolutley not. When I look at our Pomeroy ratings this year, the "big" teams closest to us are Texas Tech (69) and Seton Hall (72) and they both at least went to the NIT. It would have been disappointing, but I would've taken that over nothing.
All I am trying to say is that this was McDermott's best team, despite what you hear others say.
The story of McDermott at Iowa State is the gap between our talent and the talent of the rest of the conference continues to grow.
The second thing I want to touch on is the most improved player on the team conversation. When I listened to the radio, read the newspapers, etc., everyone has pretty much said it's Justin Hamilton.
Now with Justin, he started the year off badly, and did get better throughout the season. But at first glance, I felt like what he was contributing this past year was eerily similar to his contributions his freshmen year. In other words, while I think it took him a while to perform at his top level, I didn't feel like his level of play grew.
Let's look at his stat lines from the past two years:
|% Min||Offensive Rating||OR%||DR%||FT Rate||FT %||2pt %|
Definitley some improvement there with the scoring and offensive rebounding. The big thing I think is that Brackins was routinley doubled in the post this year from the get-go, which allowed for Hamilton to get in good position for offensive rebounds and easy putbacks.
Now, let's look at the person who I thought was the most improved: Diante Garrett
|% Min||Offensive Rating||% Poss||% Shots||eFG%||Assist Rate||TO Rate||FT %||2pt %||3pt %|
Now, the differences aren't as big as I had thought, and there isn't a clear cut winner with this. With DG I felt like he made better decisions with shooting, and he got better at it as well. With Hamilton, I think he learned how to get in position when Craig was garnering most of the attention.
Definitely debatable, but there isn't a clear cut most improved in my mind.
This should conclude pretty much all of the 09-10 basketball talk. I'll talk about basketball recruiting for 2010 and 2011, along with some of the stuff that goes on over the summer. And we'll also talk about football of course.