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 Post subject: Realistic NIT discussion
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:33 am 
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The chance of an NIT bid has been brought up at various times. Let’s have a real discussion about the possibilities. Last year Houston and UCF got bids from our league each with 20 wins. Clemson and Iowa got bids at barely over .500 and other ACC and Big Ten teams got bids with records like 18-13 or 19-12. I think this proves that the talk of an NIT bid being probable at this point is premature. The NIT wants to make money and ideally hopes for a final four of Big Ten and ACC teams. Their selections show it. Realistically we will need to get to 19 or 20 wins and are currently at 13-8.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:36 am 
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Only 2 or 3 more losses and it could happen.
But based on the last 2 games, we’ll be lucky to get 2 or3 more wins.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:53 am 
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With the remaining schedule, we are looking at 15-15 or 16-14, unless we play much better. Then the tourney, which we might get hot. Or not. Our conference affiliation MIGHT get us a bid. It depends on how other teams shake out in their respective tourneys. I would think that Tulane has to finish two-three games over .500 for consideration.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:03 am 
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even though this isn't your Grandfather's NIT, bad losses to teams like USF and the fact that we seem to have gone flat (scoring wise) makes it a tough goal to achieve (looking at it right now).

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:21 am 
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These days the NIT has to take any team that won its conference regular season title and lost in its conference tournament, so that takes up some spots that used to go to other teams. After that, they want big name teams and teams that will sell a lot of tickets to games on campus. I agree that we'd need to have 19 or 20 wins to get in and that would mean going 6-3 or 7-2 down the stretch and not bowing out in the first round of the AAC tourney. That's a big ask this year. Realistically, we are probably hoping for finishing above .500 based upon what we've seen in the last few games.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:27 am 
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I'm also in the possible but not probable camp at this stage. I do think we need 20 wins or so, at least a win in the conference tourney, and no more bad losses. I don't think we're consistent enough to pull that off at this stage. This year has still been a big step up, even if we don't make it, though.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:34 am 
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GretnaGrn wrote:
I'm also in the possible but not probable camp at this stage. I do think we need 20 wins or so, at least a win in the conference tourney, and no more bad losses. I don't think we're consistent enough to pull that off at this stage. This year has still been a big step up, even if we don't make it, though.
Had we not had the couple of bad losses I think MD is in discussion for some national coaching honors. As it is we’ll probably improve 10+ games in the win column in year two, which is the kind of growth curve anyone should like. I got stars in my eyes with the Temple win and expected too much. It’s a long season and as Pete said, we’re trending back toward the mean which is still light years better than 365 days ago.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:36 am 
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Perhaps the team now is simply reverting to the mean. It only won six games last year and personnel have not changed that much. Maybe the simple answer is it simply overachieved earlier in season. Regardless it knows how to win and with some hot shooting, it could surprise us with a very strong conference tourney performance guiding to 20 victories this season.

All just a guess. Meanwhile I'm just hoping the Temple team keeps following the Eagles 24/7 coverage in Philly and are distracted in Devlin come Sunday.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:47 am 
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Well we had what I thought were three "marquee" wins this year: SMU, Houston and Temple and thought we could parley that to an NIT bid (when coupled with a bunch of filler wins). But its clear that for us to win we have a very tight formula which requires Reynolds and at least one other player (Frazier/Caleb/Cornish) to be hot from the outside. Without that we're dead in the water offensively. And for too long now Reynolds has been "off" and not enough players have taken up the slack. Which is why I'm doubtful of an NIT invite this year.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:54 pm 
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For all of the reasons stated in posts above, I do not see us getting an NIT bid this year. The biggest thing is the tourney's focus on getting teams from "power" conferences because of the marketability of the games ... aka, "show me the money". The NIT isn't in it for the fairness of letting the next-best group of teams play in the postseason, they're in it for the money.

Here's my personal opinion, which means nothing... but hey, it's the internet: We have 9 games left, and we're 13-8. It would take virtually a perfect run through the remaining 9 games, or at least 6-7 wins against the 7 teams not called Cincinnati or Wichita State, plus good showings (if not an upset win) against one of those teams, in order to even have a remote shot. A loss to USF or ECU and we're done. A bad loss to the "middle" teams (Tulsa, Temple, Houston, Memphis, UCF) might be the end as well. So we'd basically need to play close or win against UC and WSU, win at least 4 if not 5 out of those 5 "middle" teams (and no blowout losses), and then definitely beat USF and ECU. If we lose one of those 5 "middle" games, we might need to offset it by beating UC or WSU. This scenario alone gets us to "only" a 20-10 record. THEN... we need to win at least two games in the tourney, preferably upsetting either UC, WSU, or SMU (the three perceived "best" teams in the conference) along the way. It would help tremendously if we actually reached the AAC tourney finals and got to play on national TV on championship weekend (even if we lost). I admittedly have not looked at the bracket to see whether we'd need to win two or three to reach the finals - I suppose that would depend on where we finished in conference.

To me, this is too tall of a task for this Tulane team. As TUPF mentioned above, I've stated my opinion in the past that we're a decent team who is "not there yet", and our play is really reverting to the mean... in other words, I don't think we have the talent and the mental toughness *YET* to pull off what I listed above. And we're clearly showing fatigue as the season wears on (and we are playing our scorers nearly 40 minutes per game). We're definitely making strides as a program, but I'm still not 100% convinced the Dunleavy system can win in college unless we start signing a few 4- and 5-star guys. It's not going to work with 3-star guys.

...in the meantime, I wonder whether Temple will play zone against us. If I recall from the first meeting, they played very little (maybe a possession or two) against us the first time.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:32 pm 
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If only Rick D was here to get us a coveted CBIT bid.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:49 pm 
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IMO, even being in a decently well respected conference, we need at minimum 20-wins to get an NIT berth. Tulane isn't a basketball name and isn't going to to move the needle in terms of ticket sales and TV eyeballs. If we were UConn, Memphis, Cinci, Temple, etc. we might get the benefit of the doubt, but without a strong basketball tradition I think we will have to earn anything we get.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:07 pm 
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Exactly, outlaw. And even if the AAC had been as good as expected (I'd say it's been an overall slight disappointment this year so far), Tulane itself has to "get good and stay good" for a few years before we'd get any benefit of the doubt.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:06 pm 
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I will agree that this team has been heading in the wrong direction recently but I still think they have a chance of surprising all of us and making it happen. We will see - they are too streaky to bet on it. (you can tell I have been a Wave fan way too long... totally will not let go of the thought this might be the year!!)

But I sure am rooting for them to make us all wrong! They need someone to step up and take the team on their shoulders to the NIT. Who is the most likely candidate? Early on I thought it might be Frazier because he was looking to make a statement late in some of those "markee" wins; recently he seems to get lost, or they do not look for him, as the game wears on. Who is most likely to make that quantum leap this year? Maybe a smaller guard who starts to penetrate the zone? - do you think? Can Colin Slater step up? He has shown flashes...

Can MD start to sub out for folks to change their rhythm when they are clearly off ( miss a multitude of shots or just aren't performing?) rather than let them play the entire 40 mins?

I will say when Patino was at PC - he was a master of changing the tempo of the game with time outs and substitutions in the Big East, particularly when the "runs" started to go against them - not after all the points brought the other team even or ahead. Maybe Mike needs to change a bit too recognizing that the College game is not the same as the pros in some respects? Maybe he does not have enough puzzle pieces to be that creative ?? Still alot of fun to watch! Roll Wave...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:22 pm 
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I think the NIT is very unlikely for the reasons I pointed out and everybody seems to agree with.

We are in a 3 way tie for 7th at 4-5, a game behind 3 teams who are tied for 4th and 2 games behind Houston for third.

I would love to see us find a way to finish 5th or 6th to play either ECU or USF in the first round in the conference tournament. In order to that, we probably need to go 6-3.

5-4 the rest of the way probably puts us in 7th or 8th and gets us to 18 regular season which would triple last seasons win total and cement an unbelievable turnaround.

Three weeks ago I would have said 5 wins was very realistic. It would mean beating Memphis, Tulsa, Temple, ECU and USF or losing one of those and winning 1 of 4 out of UCF, Houston, Wichita State and Cincy. Today I am not sure.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:04 pm 
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RPI isn't everything, but if we can get to 10-8 in league, you're looking at an RPI in the high 70s or low 80s. That would likely mean we win the remainder of our home games outside of Cincinnati, and we beat Tulsa AND UCF on the road. Even then, I don't think it's enough.

Beating UCF on the road will be a little easier now that Tacko Fall is out, but we will still be underdogs in that game. And underdogs against Tulsa, for that matter.

Obviously, if we can win any of Houston, Wichita, and Cincinnati, that will go a long way.


At this point, it's going to be tough. I've said this before, but the USF game could be the difference between making and missing the NIT.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:15 pm 
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Temple just beat Wichita.

I wish we played Wichita at home and Cincinnati on the road. Cincy is really freaking good and will beat us no matter where we play. Wichita has been extremely overrated all season, and aren't quite as bad of a matchup for us as Cincy is.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:45 pm 
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TulaneTiger wrote:
Temple just beat Wichita.

I wish we played Wichita at home and Cincinnati on the road. Cincy is really freaking good and will beat us no matter where we play. Wichita has been extremely overrated all season, and aren't quite as bad of a matchup for us as Cincy is.


Tulane is 1 - 0 versus teams coming off an upset win over Wichita this season

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:26 pm 
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Johnny Mac wrote:
TulaneTiger wrote:
Temple just beat Wichita.

I wish we played Wichita at home and Cincinnati on the road. Cincy is really freaking good and will beat us no matter where we play. Wichita has been extremely overrated all season, and aren't quite as bad of a matchup for us as Cincy is.


Tulane is 1 - 0 versus teams coming off an upset win over Wichita this season

0-1;
Regardless we need to win the next 2: Temple and then at Tulsa.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:31 pm 
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As a team, we look tired and worn down. Not much of a bench and too many guys playing too many minutes. Add to that players who seem like they've regressed (Sehic, Paul and Cornish) add a dab of key player slump: Reynolds and we look like a team that has plateaued

hope we can find some fuel in the tank.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:49 pm 
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GreenieBacker wrote:
As a team, we look tired and worn down. Not much of a bench and too many guys playing too many minutes. Add to that players who seem like they've regressed (Sehic, Paul and Cornish) add a dab of key player slump: Reynolds and we look like a team that has plateaued

hope we can find some fuel in the tank.
Your second sentence explains the rest.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:55 pm 
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GreenieBacker wrote:
As a team, we look tired and worn down. Not much of a bench and too many guys playing too many minutes. Add to that players who seem like they've regressed (Sehic, Paul and Cornish) add a dab of key player slump: Reynolds and we look like a team that has plateaued

hope we can find some fuel in the tank.


I don't think Sehic has regressed. He was great against USF. He didn't get enough minutes against East Carolina. Paul is what he is and shouldn't be playing more than 10 to 15 minutes per game. We are a better team when Sehic gets the bulk of the minutes. Cornish is very streaky.

Reynolds struggled from 3 against East Carolina but did a nice job finding the dead spot against the zone and scoring that way.

We need to score in transition if we are going to be as bad as we are against the zone. It's tough to do with guys playing 40 minutes. It's also tough to run when you can't get a defensive rebound.

I think teams have figured out that we can't handle the zone and the complete lack of rebounding just kills us some nights.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:51 pm 
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I think Daniels, Slater, and Ajang need more minutes, especially Daniels.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:14 pm 
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I agree about Daniels but who do you replace? Cornish?

Personally I would like to see Dunleavy shake up his lineup. I would start Embo, Daniels, Frazier, Reynolds and Sehic. Bring Cornish or Slater off the bench along with Ajang (who, as others have noted, has a lot of potential but desperately needs experience).

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:58 pm 
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GreenieBacker wrote:
I agree about Daniels but who do you replace? Cornish?

Personally I would like to see Dunleavy shake up his lineup. I would start Embo, Daniels, Frazier, Reynolds and Sehic. Bring Cornish or Slater off the bench along with Ajang (who, as others have noted, has a lot of potential but desperately needs experience).


I'd like to see that line-up given a chance too.

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