Sunday, January 7, 2024

Calipari vs. Cornbread and Top Performances Through 250 Games

Our next game features Cedric Maxwell (Cornbread) and his 1977 Final Four Charlotte on page 20 from our List A of teams and John Calipari's  1996 Final Four Massachusetts team on Page 24 of our List D teams. We preview the cards and game below, and then list the top offenses, defenses and other rankings of teams through 250 Value Add Basketball Games below that.

While all 200 teams are set and tested after playing 250 games since inventing Value Add Basketball Game five years ago, we mentioned that while the scoresheets start with each player having 2 points out the outset and a 20-20 tie, you can slightly tweak before starting the game. Our suggestion is that if any of the reserves have fewer than a 2 point per game average, that you start them at zero and add a little to some of the starters. Below is an example starting box score, and then notes I've added on the cards, for how you might do this for both Charlotte and UMass.

The two are both similar in that they each have two bench players who averaged below 2 points per game, so we took away their beginning of game 2-pointer. That lowers the total points for the teams to 16 instead of 20, so we need to add 4 points to the starters totals. What makes most sense to us is added a second 2-point shot to each of the centers - since they were the most dominant player on each of their teams - so Cornbread Maxwell and Marcus Camby both get an extra buckets to start with four points. Then we take the two next scorers who might hit an occasional 3-pointers, and change their 2-pointer to a 3-pointer. As long as the total is 20 points you can make these common sense examples. Remember each players "Stamina" number is the number of possessions they would typically play MINUS 11 since we are assuming each player scored due to playing 11 out of 22 possessions before our first roll to play out the final 44 possessions of the game.

Below that, we show you the top 5 team through our first 250 games in points scored, wins, points allowed, toughest schedule, etc.

Starting totals w/ 44 posPts3pt2ptFTAttRebStlBlkFlSeason Stats
 Bottom must add up to20??00132110 
Pos      Charlotte 1977Pts  3pt 2ptFTAttRebStlBlkFl   Pts
1-PGMelvin Watkins2010011016'3, 9.6 ppg
2-SGChad Kinch3100011016'4, 15.4 ppg, NBA
3-SFKevin King2010020016'7, 11.1 ppg
4-PFLew Massey3100020016'6, 19.7 ppg
5-CCedric Maxwell4020020116'8, 22.3 ppg, NBA
1-PGJeff Gruber2010010016'2, 5.6 ppg
2-SGLee Whitfield0000010016'2, 0.6 ppg
3-SFMike Hester2010010016'7, 3.1 ppg
4-PFKen Angel0000010016'8, 1.1 ppg
5-CPhil Scott2010010016'8, 3.1 ppg
 3 turnovers202700132110 
PosMassachusetts 1996Pts3pt2ptFTAttRebStlBlkFlPts
1-PGEdgar Padilla2010011018.9 Pts, 3.5 Reb, 6.7 Ast
2-SGCarmelo Travieso31000110112.6 Pts, 3.2 Reb, 2.1 Ast
3-SFDonta Bright40200200114.5 Pts, 5.8 Reb, 1.7 Ast
4-PFDana Dingle31000200110.1 Pts, 7.4 Reb, 1.5 Ast
5-CMarcus Camby40200201120.5 Pts, 8.2 Reb, 1.8 Ast-NBA
1-PGCharlton Clarke0000010011.4 Pts, 0.5 Reb, 0.7 Ast
2-SGTyrone Weeks2010010015.8 Pts, 5.2 Reb, 0.4 Ast
3-SFRigoberto Nunez0000010010.5 Pts, 1.0 Reb, 0.3 Ast
4-PFInus Norville2010010012.4 Pts, 2.1 Reb, 0.0 Ast
5-CTed Cottrell0000010010.9 Pts, 0.9 Reb, 0.0 Ast
 3 turnovers202700132110

Most Wins

We developed the 21st Century teams first and were playing teams within conferences at first before adding teams from the 1900s. Once we figured out how to develop the cards for teams before, UCLA went 6-0 to win the title. However, Auburn's 2019 team has already played several SEC games before Bill Walton's UCLA team was even invented - so they have the most wins at 8-1 even though they rank 31st and UCLA is No. 1 at 6-0.

Result #Card#Most WinsYearStarWLOffDefSoS
3192Auburn2019Chuma Okeke8171.065.3-2.6
1326Villanova2018Mikal Bridges7279.470.30.1
59101Michigan St.2009Draymond Green6371.371.91.6
11UCLA1972Bill Walton6072.062.0-0.5
1550Connecticut2004Ben Gordon5274.766.00.7
2429Duke2010Jon Scheyer5274.066.70.1
5712Florida2006Joakim Noah5374.472.0-4.6
217Kansas1997Paul Pierce5076.862.4-1.0
853Kansas2008Mario Chalmers5174.756.0-0.7
713North Carolina1982Michael Jordan5168.865.04.0

Best Offenses 

Loyola Marymount played by far at the fastest pace of any team in the game, with 26 extra possessions, meaning you need two scoresheets to play those possessions starting from 20-20 at that point. Loyola's all offense no defense resulted in a 138-116 win - but still leaving Kentucky with the No. 1 offensive average for one game. Loyola is No. 2 after playing again. The most impressive of course is Houston, which is 5th in average points and 1st in average points allowed. As you can see, Kentucky is last in defense having had to play Loyola. 

Result #Card#Best OffenseYearStarLOff     RnkDef    Rnk
177124Kentucky1970Dan Issel01116.01138.0200
52100Loyola Marymount1990Bo Kimble12112.32108.3199
9251Duke1986Johnny Dawkins01106.03108.0197
186175Miami1965Rick Berry01104.04108.0198
4965Houston2021Quentin Grimes10102.0550.01
132133Washington2006Brandon Roy0198.0699.0194
40117Charlotte1977Cedric "Cornbread" Maxwell1095.0768.043
187193Stephen f austin2016Thomas Walkup0194.0895.0192
3574Tulsa2000David Shelton1092.0964.019
37105Rutgers1976Phil Sellers2090.51075.5110

Best Defense - fewest points allowed

UConn 2023 just had the best defensive performance in the game, holding St. Peter's 2022 in the 30s to pull their season average down to 58 points per game.
Result #Card#Not in Current TourYear    Star                     W  L  Off     RnkDefRnk
4965Houston2021Quentin Grimes10102.0550.01
2983New Mexico St.1970Jimmy Collins1077.05954.02
122157DePaul1945George Mikan0151.019855.03
853Kansas2008Mario Chalmers5174.77856.04
147Connecticut2023Adama Sanogo2078.54958.05
59Indiana1976Scott May3171.311059.86
3471Temple1958Guy Rodgers1072.010560.07
8681Marquette1977Butch Lee1166.015961.58
11UCLA1972Bill Walton6072.010662.09
8459Pittsburgh2009DeJuan Blair1360.018762.310

Toughest schedule

The scoring averages are not adjusted for opponents' faced. Here are the 10 toughest schedules faced so far. Big Big O - Oscar Robertson, and his Cincinnati 1960 team has played only top 20 teams. They lost to the eventual champs UCLA 1972 and 4th ranked intra state foe Ohio State in close games, then beat 19th ranked Gonzaga 2017.

Meanwhile Arkansas lost two tight games against the great Kentucky 2006 and Auburn 2019 - then won their only out of conference foe in UConn 1999.

You can see why these teams rank 27th and 12th despite being 1-2 in our games.
Result #Card#Not in Current TourYear     StarWLOffDefSoS
276Cincinnati1960Oscar Robertson1272.378.08.3
1220Arkansas1994Corliss Williamson1275.370.38.0
185145Creighton2020Ty-Shon Alexander0172.0106.08.0
143183Virginia Tech1986Dell Curry0181.087.07.4
122157DePaul1945George Mikan0151.055.07.0
53111UTEP (Texas Western)1966Bobby Joe Hill2163.766.06.7
39112Wake Forest1996Tim Duncan2166.064.76.0
116140South Carolina1973Mike Dunleavy0166.072.06.0
196198Niagara1970Calvin Murphy0168.084.06.0
149138Mississippi 2001Justin Reed0156.067.05.0
157189Mississippi St.2005Lawrence Roberts0169.071.05.0
10028Connecticut1999Richard Hamilton0260.573.05.0

Top 2 Teams in Each Conference Based on 2024-25 Realignment

Finally we ranked teams by their 2025 conference. We grouped all the teams whose conference does not have at least 5 great teams in the game into "Other," with New Mexico State moving up to 29th with a big blow out in our current tournament and the historic Texas Western team that stunned Kentucky in the first battle of an all-black line-up to start a title game - fitting against an all-white Kentucky team under Adolph Rupp.
Result #Card#Not in Current Tour     Year     StarWLSoSConf
7635Loyola-Chicago1963Jerry Harkness01-2.0A10
8554Massachusetts1996Marcus Camby10-15.0A10
34Duke2001Shane Battier314.8ACC
713North Carolina1982Michael Jordan514.0ACC
3471Temple1958Guy Rodgers10-8.0Amer
3574Tulsa2000David Shelton10-9.0Amer
11UCLA1972Bill Walton60-0.5B10
410Ohio St.1960Jerry Lucas214.7B10
217Kansas1997Paul Pierce50-1.0B12
614Houston1968Elvin Hayes311.3B12
1326Villanova2018Mikal Bridges720.1BE
147Connecticut2023Adama Sanogo20-11.0BE
2983New Mexico St.1970Jimmy Collins10-11.0Low
53111UTEP (Texas Western)1966Bobby Joe Hill216.7Low
4311UNLV1991Larry Johnson120.7P12/MWC
4456Oregon St.1982A.C. Green10-12.0P12/MWC
95Kentucky1996Antoine Walker213.3SEC
1220Arkansas1994Corliss Williamson128.0SEC
1025San Francisco1956Bill Russell311.0WCC
1921Gonzaga2017Nigel Williams-Goss333.0WCC

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