Yesterday Basketball Prospectus’ Dan Hanner released his comprehensive preseason tempo-free rankings for 345 of the 347 Division-I men’s basketball teams, and today was the annual day for Ken Pomeroy to release his traditional tempo-free preseason rankings.
Both essentially rely on the same tempo-free dataset to make their projections, but Hanner has tweaked his methodology to incorporate things like incoming transfers and historical trends, while Pomeroy pretty exclusively relies on last season’s efficiency numbers considered in combination with returners. Hanner explains in utter depth right here.
Pomeroy admits in his accompanying blog post from today that humans may be better at assessing teams in the preseason but that transfers impact teams more negligibly than has been suggested by some (like Hanner).
Either way, these rankings offer a fascinating measure of context for the nine teams of the Horizon League away from any human bias.
I combined the rankings of all nine teams, calculated the averages and differentials, sorted by average rankings and posted them right here:
|Team||HL media ranking||Pomeroy ranking||Hanner ranking||Differential||Avg. ranking|
As you can see both tempo-free databases disagreed on a lot, but when averaged they have Detroit, Valparaiso and Green Bay on top. Detroit was the highest pick in Hanner’s system, but Cleveland State got the best ranking in Pomeroy’s.
Some interesting finds:
- The 56-point differential in Loyola’s rankings is probably mostly due to the expected impact of Iowa-transfer Cully Payne, and Hanner’s rankings similarly disagree with Pomeroy on the impact of incomers Junior Lomomba and Aaron Scales for Cleveland State. Detroit’s interior trio of JUCO transfers along with Nick Minnerath returning from injury throw off Pomeroy’s ranking there.
- Both databases agree overwhelmingly that Milwaukee and Wright State belong right around the lower 200s.
- UIC is ranked lowest in both rankings despite a host of incoming newcomers including two D-I transfers. What keeps them low in the rankings is their tremendously inefficient offensive and defensive play over the last three seasons that neither database will excuse.