Defending Big East and National champ Louisville will try to hold off defending CUSA champ Memphis, which stunned Oklahoma State this weekend, and Value Add 2nd Team All-American Shabazz Napier who pulled out another one Monday with a 4-point play and buzzer beater en route to 26 points and a win over Florida. It will be Louisville’s only year in the new American Athletic Conference before they head to the ACC, and Value Add has them as the projected No. 1 team in the country.
Chane Behanan gets back to his regular minutes after the suspension, but the best news has been seeing Kevin Ware (pictured) just get a few minutes in after last year’s gruesome injury.
Louisville was upset by UNC, but Rick Pitino times out his seasons to have Louisville peak in Febuary and March. In 2011, his team was ranked 40th in www.kenpom.com near the end of January and went to the Final Four, and in 2012 his team was 0-3 against top 30 teams until late January and went on to win the National Title.
Napier may vie with 3rd team All-American Russ Smith for Conference POY in a conference with nine NBA prospects.
Memphis has looked dominant the last couple of years but never had the big win over a ranked team until Sunday, when their defense surrounded Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart twice in the closing seconds to avenge an earlier blowout loss to them.
The PROJECTED Value Add projections below for Conference teams and players are meant to give a GENERAL idea of how good each could be. They are by no means an exact science like the ACTUAL www.valueaddbasketball.com figures: Rnk, American Athletic, Value Add
1, Louisville, 45.53
13, Memphis, 36.35
17, Connecticut, 34.69
44, Southern Methodist, 24.72
54, Cincinnati, 19.39
81, South Florida, 22.2
109, Central Florida, 18.61
149, Rutgers, 17.01
158, Houston, 14.32
184, Temple, 6.95
Preseason All-Conference/Projected Value Add Rank (based purely on average progression from stats prior to this season)
9, Napier, Shabazz, Connecticut-PG NBA
12, Smith, Russ, Louisville-PG NBA
21, Mack, Myles, Rutgers
57, Kilpatrick, Sean, Cincinnati
66, Boatright, Ryan, Connecticut
67, Behanan, Chane, Louisville-PF NBA
82, Harrell, Montrezl, Louisville-PF/C NBA
94, Jackson, Joe, Memphis-PG NBA
126, Thomas, TaShawn, Houston
128, Crawford, Chris, Memphis
141, Blackshear, Wayne, Louisville-SF NBA
246, Daniels, DeAndre, Connecticut-NBA Pros
631, House, Danuel, Houston-NBA Pros
837, Goodwin, Shaq, Memphis-NBA Pros
1158, Thomas, Adonis, Memphis-SF NBA
About these rankings: The player rankings references are the projections (2014 Proj) at www.valueaddbasketball.com. During the season the updated Value Add for each player, which represents how much he has improved his team’s offense and defense, will appear on under the “2014 Act” search no www.valueaddbasketball.com. The team rankings are based 51% of the sum of each players’ projected Value Add rankings and 49% on the team rankings at www.kenpom.com as of November 29. You can follow the inventor of Value Add on twitter @jpudner.