Thursday, November 23, 2023

Conference USA and Return of Value Add Basketball Rankings

All-Conf USA         Team                         Value    AdjO  AdjD   Notes
Tylor PerryNorth Texas10.37124.394.131-7, Poss 24.4%
Jordan WalkerUAB9.64114.797.929-10 (PG), Poss 30.6%
Vladislav GoldinFlorida Atlantic7.95117.395.79-seed, 35-4, Poss 22.9%
Johnell DavisFlorida Atlantic7.70114.595.79-seed, 35-4, Poss 25%
Giancarlo RosadoFlorida Atlantic7.55121.195.79-seed, 35-4, Poss 17.9%
2nd T-Conf USATeamValueAdjOAdjDNotes
Aaron ScottNorth Texas7.39124.694.131-7, Poss 14.4%
Alijah MartinFlorida Atlantic7.34113.595.79-seed, 35-4, Poss 24.4%
Max FiedlerRice6.7612911019-16, Poss 19.8%
Aly KhalifaCharlotte6.42116.7102.522-14, Poss 24.1%
Brice WilliamsCharlotte6.00114.1102.522-14, Poss 25.9%
HM-Conf USATeamValueAdjOAdjDNotes
Kenny HunterLouisiana Tech5.70124.2105.215-18, Poss 14.2%
Luke FramptonWestern Kentucky5.63125105.117-16, Poss 13.2%
Cobe WilliamsLouisiana Tech5.43108.3105.215-18 (PG), Poss 30.1%
Eli LawrenceMiddle Tennessee5.00111.4101.619-14, Poss 20.4%

Above is a very late All-Conference USA team from the 2022-23 season, and we will be updating these and the top 300 players at to go along with the rankings going back to the 2001-02 season. While this system received rave reviews from Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Fox Sports and many others, last season we skipped because we lost the ability to rank all 4000 players who take the court for D1 action.

What a final season for North Texas, UAB and especially Florida Atlantic before the American Athletic Conference raided all three - and now Liberty looks ready to take their place as a March Madness contender. If you look at the Value Add Basketball All-American team below you will see that the top two players in the conference also give North Texas and UAB an All-American. Obviously the other three 1st team All-Conference players led Florida Atlantic to within one point of a Conference USA team playing for the national title against UConn.

Conference MVP Tylor Perry transferred to K-State.

Outside of the Pac-12, no conference lost more excellent teams to realignment than Conference USA, with but they do get defending ASun champ Kennesaw State next year to add to the huge pickup of Liberty University this year, which brings almost the same kind of following of Baptists across the country as BYU brings Latter Day Saints to the Big 12 and Notre Dame brings Catholics to the ACC.

Louisiana Tech certainly seems like the best remaining challenge to Liberty, though for whatever reason despite a decade of excellent teams they have not been able to pull off a conference title to go to the NCAA tournament - unlike the La Tech women who have three national titles and 13 Final Fours.

Team                             2023        2024        2025      Seed23   Rnk24
CharlotteCUSAAmerAmer 118
Florida AtlanticCUSAAmerAmer948
Jacksonville St.ASunCUSACUSA 229
Kennesaw St.ASunASunCUSA14225
LibertyASunCUSACUSA 45
Louisiana TechCUSACUSACUSA 95
Middle TennesseeCUSACUSACUSA 133
New Mexico St.WACCUSACUSA 253
North TexasCUSAAmerAmer 73
RiceCUSAAmerAmer 219
Sam Houston St.WACCUSACUSA 143
UABCUSAAmerAmer 93
UTSACUSAAmerAmer 287
Western KentuckyCUSACUSACUSA 147

Better late than never - this is one of 32 lists of All-Conference teams based on the "resurrected" Value Add Basketball rankings at The other 31 releases of Conference teams will all include this same explanation for the rest of the blog, including the 10 returning All-Americans and top 60 players from last season listed further down.

This paragraph is of interest to stat nerds only. The offensive ratings were easier to recreate, since the basis was to pull hundreds of players ranked as the most efficient last season (AdjO at and adjusting their figures for their percent of possessions. A player who can produce about 1.2 points per time he has the ball who also gets the ball 25% of the time against tough competition and as part of a strong defense can be All-American level, but a player who doesn't get the ball nearly as often but produces even more at 1.3 points per possession can still be All-Conference even if fans feel other players handling and shooting the ball more are better due to higher points scored per game.

The new simplified system weighs their ability to produce points against the Adjusted Defense (AdjD) - that is how many points per 100 trips would their team allow against an average D1 team. This accounts both for defense and for level of competition. We also note if a player is a Point Guard, the most important position on the court.

The resulting "Value" listed in the third column is the Value Add of points the player would improve an average team over if he could not play if a decent replacement took his place. Zach Edey was by far the most valuable player in the country last year at 13.17 meaning typically he would turn a 65-70 loss for a team into a 72-64 win - a 13 point swing. The notes off to the first indicated the team's record, their seed if they made the tournament, and then if they went to the NBA in the 2023 draft or are projected to go in the 2024 or 2025 draft.

1st and 2nd Team Returning All-Americans; and Top 60 Players from Last Season
The table below is the list of the 30 most valuable players in college basketball for the 2022-23 season according to our simplified rankings. Obviously most of these top players finished their eligibility or went pro so are no longer playing. However, if we made this our All-American teams of returning players including transfers at their new school the headline would be from Creighton.

1st Team Returning All-Americans - Value Add Basketball calculates that Creighton now has two of the three most valuable players in 2022-23 in returning Ryan Kalkbrenner and Utah State transfer Steven Ashworth. Ironically, Thursday it was Colorado State that handed Creighton its first loss - a team that Ashworth had dominated four of seven times in conference games at Utah State. The other 1st Team All-Americans based on last year's Value Add would be J'Wan Roberts returning for Houston, and then Tylor Perry who transferred from North Texas to Kansas State.

Most Valuable Player for 2nd Year. However, the far and away Most Valuable Player in the Country could challenge Anthony DavisJon Scheyer and Zion Williamson for as the most Valuable college player of the century in the All-Time Value Add Basketball Rankings - Zach Edey who was almost 2 points better than anyone in the country last year at Purdue and has them at No. 1 this season.

2nd Team Returning All-Americans - The 6th most valuable returning player according to Value Add is Marquette Point Guard Tyler Kolek. He would be joined on a second team All-American squad of returning players by Tennessee's Santiago Vescovi, Texas transfer from Oral Roberts Max Abmas, Duke's Ryan Young, Arizona's Azuolas Tubelis and finally Cam Spencer, who transferred from Rutgers to UConn.

In all, 18 of the top 30 players finished their college careers, leaving those 10 returning All-Americans and then two other players - JaKobe Coles of TCU and USC's Boogie Ellis.
All-American 1st Team    Team               Value    AdjO  AdjDNotes                                                
Zach EdeyPurdue13.17125.994.51-seed, 29-6, nba 58 in 2024
Adama Sanogo (gone)Connecticut11.37122.690.94-seed, 31-8, Poss 26.4%
Marcus Sasser (gone)Houston11.25123.490.41-seed, 33-4, nba 25 in 2023
Ryan KalkbrennerCreighton10.80133.493.26-seed, 24-13, Poss 19.4%
Steven Ashworth (Creigh)Utah St.10.72127.798.910-seed, 26-9 (PG), Poss 21.6%
All-American 2nd TeamTeamValueAdjOAdjDNotes
Tylor Perry (K-State)North Texas10.37124.394.131-7, Poss 24.4%
Brandon Miller (gone)Alabama10.23117.088.21-seed, 31-6, nba 2 in 2023
Xavier Castaneda (gone)Akron9.94121.9103.422-11 (PG), Poss 29.4%
J'Wan RobertsHouston9.90127.990.41-seed, 33-4, Poss 18.4%
Jordan Hawkins (gone)Connecticut9.88121.290.94-seed, 31-8, nba 14 in 2023
All-American 3rd TeamTeamValueAdjOAdjDNotes
Jaime Jaquez (gone)UCLA9.80113.1882-seed, 31-6, nba 18 in 2023
Jalen Pickett (gone)Penn St.9.66118.7101.110-seed, 23-14 (PG), nba 32 in 2023
Jordan Walker (gone)UAB9.64114.797.929-10 (PG), Poss 30.6%
Tyler KolekMarquette9.6311896.72-seed, 29-7 (PG), Poss 24.1%
Santiago VescoviTennessee9.52114.287.54-seed, 25-11 (PG), Poss 18.8%
All-American 4th TeamTeamValueAdjOAdjDNotes
Max Abmas (Texas)Oral Roberts9.47120.2102.212-seed, 30-5 (PG), Poss 27.6%
Trayce Jackson-Davis (g)Indiana9.45118.597.24-seed, 23-12, nba 57 in 2023
Ryan YoungDuke9.37128.793.95-seed, 27-9, Poss 18.3%
Kendric Davis (grad)Memphis9.24111.196.18-seed, 26-9 (PG), Poss 31.6%
Drew Timme (grad)Gonzaga9.21119.699.33-seed, 31-6, Poss 30.6%
All-American 5th TeamTeamValueAdjOAdjDNotes
Markquis Nowell (gone)Kansas St.8.92111953-seed, 26-10 (PG), Poss 27.6%
Souley Boum (gone)Xavier8.87119.298.63-seed, 27-10 (PG), Poss 21.2%
Oscar Tshiebwe (gone)Kentucky8.83122.698.86-seed, 22-12, Poss 24.5%
Terence Lewis (gone)Louisiana8.74131.2102.913-seed, 26-8, Poss 20.3%
Darius McGhee (gone)Liberty8.68114.597.527-9, Poss 33.4%
All-American 6th TeamTeamValueAdjOAdjDNotes
Azuolas TubelisArizona8.68116.196.32-seed, 28-7, Poss 28.7%
Cam Spencer (UConn)Rutgers8.66119.490.819-15, Poss 19.8%
Sir'Jabari Rice (gone)Texas8.66116.392.12-seed, 29-9, Poss 23.4%
JaKobe ColesTCU8.64118.494.36-seed, 22-13, Poss 23.4%
Boogie EllisUSC8.56113.397.510-seed, 22-11 (PG), Poss 25.7%

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