Sunday, September 24, 2017

Horizon League: Hayes Leads 4 Oakland Stars to Potential Title

Jalen Hayes is the big star and leads the best team, Oakland, in the Horizon League that thankfully makes the regular season matter by awarding home court advantage in their tournament. The only school with a football team is a very good FCS team Youngstown State, so it is all basketball for the rest of the Horizon.

Value Add projects Hayes in the top three percent of all players (105th of 4000), but more impressively four of the six Horizon League players in the top 10 percent of all players are on the Oakland squad. While Northern Kentucky pulled the upset to take the title and March Madness bid this year and can still be tough, Oakland has put more distance between themselves and the rest of the League and second place Valparaiso left for the Missouri Valley Conference.

Here is where Value Add ranks each Summit League team for the season, and the Massey Rankings ranking for Youngstown is 86th - ahead of many FBS schools and almost all FCS schools. Updates will be provided here.

Horizon / 2017 seedHoops 2017-18Football
Illinois Chicago121
Northern Kentucky 15128
Cleveland St.213
Wright St.219
Youngstown St.28786
Green Bay340

Here are the top 15 projected players in the conference in order.

Top 15 Horizon PlayersValue AddSchoolHt
Jalen Hayes 46.76Oakland`6-07
Grant Benzinger 135.05Wright St.`6-03
Kendrick Nunn 254.99Oakland`6-03
Martez Walker 354.89Oakland`6-06
Drew McDonald 344.88Northern Kentucky`6-07
Isaiah Brock 104.77Oakland`6-08
Carson Williams 234.49Northern Kentucky`6-05
Cameron Morse 244.40Youngstown St.`6-02
Dikembe Dixson 104.20Illinois Chicago`6-07
Tai Odiase 214.11Illinois Chicago`6-09
Justin Mitchell 13.73Wright St.`6-04
Corey Allen 13.60Detroit`6-03
Brock Stull 33.48Wisconsin Milwaukee`6-04
Brett Prahl 503.45Wisconsin Milwaukee`6-09
Lavone Holland 303.40Northern Kentucky`6-01

Ken Pomeroy ranked the Summit League with Valpo 16th of 32 Division 1 basketball conferences, which will all be previewed here with notes on which schools are now "basketball" or "football" schools based on which program is stronger this season. Football revenue is much higher, but programs are much more expensive between equipment and the requirement of matching enough women's scholarships in other sports. Therefore some programs forgo FBS football programs to focus on low cost basketball programs as their biggest revenue sport.

Sports IllustratedFox Sports and ESPN have lauded Value Add Basketball for estimating the number of points each college basketball players is worth to his team above a replacement player - similar to baseball WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Massey Ratings is used for the football rankings above.

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