LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Only 119 days until the start of college basketball season, and one analytics site is prepared with its conference predictions:
Louisville to win the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Kentucky to not win the Southeastern Conference, finishing second to Florida.
Indiana to finish in the bottom half — actually, 10th — in the Big Ten.
Western Kentucky to win Conference USA.
Please forward all compliments and complaints to barttorvik.com. It’s his mathematical work I am sharing.
Anybody who loves college basketball enough to work his numbers for conference and national projections four months before the start of the season deserves love in this space.
As Torvik noted in the Frequently Asked Questions tab on his web site, he is a devotee of Ken Pomeroy, who popularized ranking teams and forecasting the results of games while using offensive and defensive efficiency numbers.
Like anybody in the analytics game, Torvik tweaked his formula from Pomeroy’s in several areas. You can read how his site differs from Pomeroy at this link.
If you’d like a laugh, click on this link that Torvik uses to answer the question “About Me.” I clicked it three times to make certain it wasn’t a glitch. The man has a sense of humor.
But there is no clowning in his rankings.
His formula favors Louisville over North Carolina and Duke in an ACC race that actually projects to a three-way tie with 14-6 records.
Overall the Cards (No. 4 nationally) are ranked ahead of the Tar Heels (No. 5) and Blue Devils (No. 10) because of superior offensive efficiency and Chris Mack’s team returns guys who played more than two-thirds of the available minutes last season.
(The returning minutes numbers for North Carolina and Duke are 26.8 percent and 45.3. For the record, the three teams ranked ahead of Louisville nationally are Florida, Michigan State and Kansas.)
Torvik projects Jordan Nwora leading the Cardinals in scoring at 17.2 points per game, followed by 12.7 from Dwayne Sutton and 8.8 by Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble, the graduate transfer point guard from St. Joseph’s.
In the SEC, it’s Florida (14-4) finishing two games ahead of Kentucky, which is ranked 10th in the nation. Torvik’s numbers love the Gators, crediting Florida with the second-most efficient offense as well as the third-most efficient defense.
Torvik projects these three Kentucky players will average double figures — Ashton Hagans (12.4), Tyrese Maxey (12.9) and Kahlil Whitney (10.3).
Here is a surprise: Missouri is projected to finish with the same SEC record as Kentucky (12-6) while Georgia is projected to climb to No. 5 in the league on the strength of Tom Crean’s Top 5 recruiting class.
A fourth straight season out of the NCAA Tournament for Indiana?
That is what Torvik forecasted for Archie Miller’s team. The Hoosiers are a difficult team to project because of the medical questions surrounding forward Jerome Hunter.
He missed last season because of a medical condition. If 100 percent, Hunter projects as Indiana’s best player but his availability will not be determined for several months.
Torvik has Indiana at 16-15 overall and 9-11 in the league, finishing ahead of only Rutgers, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern. Torvik likes Devonte Green (13.6) and Justin Smith (13.2) as the Hoosiers’ top scorers.
Michigan State, Maryland and Purdue are his teams to watch in the Big Ten.
Torvik’s numbers project Western Kentucky finishing two games ahead of Texas-San Antonio and four ahead of UTEP in Conference USA.
Torvik projects that four of Rick Stansbury’s players will average more than a dozen points per game, led by guard Taveion Hollingsworth at 15.
The Hilltoppers’ overall record of 22-9 projects to a No. 65 rating in the nation, ahead of BYU, Houston and Connecticut.
Copyright 2019 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.