Not that it’s rational, but this time of year people have started talking about tournament seeding.
Right now, the Ted Objective Onus Leader method for determining seeding (TOOL for short) has the 4 number one’s as such:
Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, and Villanova.
Never mind that Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology has the exact same thing. Total coincidence. Kinda.
All that being said, it’s interesting to see how these teams got there. Everyone knocks recruiting as such a fickle thing, but let’s use the current number ones as a lens for this obsession with high school boys. (Editor’s Note: That’s gross)
Top overall seed: Kentucky
Coach: John Calipari’s penchant for nabbing impact guards is unparalleled the last three seasons. Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans were both top-five picks, leading to the latest in that department.
Recruiting breakdown: Despite their first loss last night, the Wildcats aren’t nearly this powerful without John Wall. The prized recruit and future number-one lottery pick followed coach Cal to Lexington, where the Wildcats have ascended back to the college basketball throne.
Coach: Bill Self does pretty well for himself. As scared as KU fans may have been when Roy Williams bounced for UNC, Self picked the slack up, getting together a team that won the title two years ago and is in position to do it again.
Recruiting Breakdown: Xavier Henry is the easy target here. The freshman wing is doing it all for the Jayhawks, and he was a McDonald’s All-American, just like his teammates Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins. These three blue-chippers have made Self’s team what some call the favorite to win it all.
Coach: Jay Wright’s dynamic Wildcats have made the Big East a much more crowded conference then it already was. His recruiting has gained serious momentum as The Fizz detailed, picking up Jayvaughn Pinkstonafter UT ditched him for Tobias Harris.
Recruiting Breakdown: Scottie Reynolds is an interesting case study on the pinball situation of college coaches. Reynolds was one of the best players in Virginia basketball history, originally committed to Oklahoma to play for Kelvin Sampson. But when the disgraced Sampson left to coach Indiana, Reynolds opted to go with Wright over at ‘Nova. Well, we know how things turned out for Sampson. Scottie doesn’t know though!
Coach: I’ll spare you. We all know.
Recruiting breakdown: This is where SU becomes the outliers in the standard deviation of Final Four teams. Jonny Flynn, Paul Harris, and Eric Devendorf were the touted recruits. They are gone now. SU has done its bidding through hard-earned experience (Onuaku, Rautins, Jackson, Jardine) and one hell of a transfer (Johnson) who had to get himself recruited. It’s a team of role players, with a star who takes 11 shots a game.
There’s a lot of season to go, but SU certainly is different among the current elite. Be sure to check back with The Fizz for more analysis by the TOOL. Wait a second…