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Thread: 2016-17 NSIC standings prediction thread

  1. #1

    Default 2016-17 NSIC standings prediction thread

    Not sure which deleted thread this should've gone under, but since most of them have gone up to that big message board in the sky, I'll start a new one.

    Anyone feel like throwing out predictions for the season as far as final team standings and that kind of stuff go? The season officially starts on the 15th, so it's getting close to that time for the NSIC preseason coaches poll to drop, amongst other predictions from the news and media.

    At the risk of angering Augieholic by lowballing our Vikes, I'll throw out a predictive list that I've put about 5% effort/concentration into. I may change my predictions before the season officially kicks off if people present compelling arguments that I haven't considered. But, for now, this is my prediction of finishes in conference play for the 2016-17 season. As always, there's a ton of "I could be wrong" and other qualifiers and crap like that. At least I'm aware of it, I suppose.

    Ready, set, go.

    1) MSU-Mankato - Mankato only seems able to go a year or two at most without competing for and/or winning the regular season conference championship, and it's been two years now that they haven't even been the 2nd best team in the conference. The time for them not to be on top has to end soon, and my guess is it's this year. I think Fuqua and Aarias Austin are going to be a really brutal combo this year. Throw in Charlie Brown and Witthus (who was looking really solid last season), and the rest of their transfers, and I think they'll have too much talent not to finish first.

    2) Moorhead. This one was tough. Every year I overrate USF and every year they let me down (while simultaneously making me happy, since I'm an Augie fan). Frankly, with their returning talent, I don't see how they don't finish top 3, but since they've let me down too many times, I won't put them at 2nd place. I'm thinking Walthall keeps the Dragon train steaming along and the Dragons take home second in conference play. Kretchmann is solid, Lien should average 15-18 ppg, and Walthall seems to puzzle piece random talent together in a way that racks up the wins.

    3) USF. It pains me to do this, but I'm putting USF here. Too many decent returners on a team that has solid weapons in Drew Guebert, Mack Johnson and the Barkley-esque guy in the paint whose name escapes me. If they don't finish top 3 or 4 this year, I'd really consider it a letdown for Cougar fans, assuming there aren't drastic/dramatic injuries or something.

    4) Augie. I contemplated putting Northern here, even without Peterka, but I realized that if Augieholic hasn't already disowned me in every way possible by this point in my post, putting the Vikes lower than 4th would seal that deal without question. My hope is that Busack comes in and prevents a complete and total drop off from last year's inside game, but those are big shoes to fill. We'll need at least one of the young big guys to step up and be ready to go, but our best candidate for that, Kerkman, is still recovering from his foot injury from what I understand. That's discouraging. If Beyer is healthy and he and Spencer play at a high level, our guard play should still be some of the best in the conference, which will be huge.

    5) Northern. A healthy amount of returning talent, a little addition by subtraction, and a couple of bigs who have the potential to do some damage this year. I could just as easily see the Wolves finishing a spot or two higher or a spot or two lower, so this seemed like a decent place for them.

    6) St. Cloud. Not as high a ranking as The Sporting News would give the Huskies, but their guards are some of the best scorers in the league and if any big men step up, they'll be pretty well rounded. My gut says I should still put them down in 7th or 8th range, but on paper it just seems too unlikely they'll finish that low.

    7) Winona? Lots of other people on the boards (particularly WSU fans) seem to insist the talent is there for the Warriors to be high-level contenders. I would've thought they had the same chance to make that happen last season and it didn't exactly work out. Obviously there were some unique circumstances with the coaching situation and a new system and everything, so maybe they'll make a big jump this year, but I'll need to see it before I believe it. Either way, with Bambenek, Gray, and Bauman, it would seem they have a good combination of talent for a respectable finish, but I'm not as high on this roster as guys like fanofnsic and a handful of others seem to be.

    8) SMSU? Also not solid on this one. The Mustangs should be good--their once-young talent is finally hitting upperclassman range--but I haven't seen a ton from them in the past couple of seasons that made me think they'd be a top contender even when they got older. Age doesn't automatically equal wins. Like Northern, I could see the Mustangs finishing a spot or two higher. For the sake of their loyal message board fans, I hope it's not a spot or two lower.

    9) CSP. Is Joey James pulling things together in Golden Bear territory? I don't know. They seem to have some decent players though. I could see them finishing 9th.

    10) Duluth. Duluth is always one of those teams I think should finish higher than they end up finishing for some reason or another. I see them being right in the lower-middle this year. Interestingly, they only have one senior on the roster this season. I didn't realize that. TONS of freshmen (8) and 5 sophomores, so maybe they'll be solid in a few years, but I'm predicting a 10th place finish (or lower) for this year's Bulldog squad.

    11) U-Mary? They got off to such a hot start last year before cooling substantially. Maybe their new-ish coach can actually keep the fire going throughout the season this time around? If he doesn't, I see the Marauders finishing a little lower than they did last season.

    12) Upper Iowa. I don't have any reason for this other than simply feeling like other teams should be better on-paper. The Peacocks did keep up with last year's Augie squad pretty well in their first matchup, so I want to put them up a little higher, and they actually had a decent record last year at 16-17, but I just can't commit to them being any higher. If they finished 8th or 9th though, I wouldn't be shocked.

    13) Minot? I feel like Bemidji needs to be up higher for some reason, but they only finished 7-15 last year and Minot went 10-12, and I haven't seen anything that makes me think, "That was an aberration...Bemidji's roster will be much stronger next season." So I'm leaving the red Beavers above the green Beavers for now.

    14) Bemidji. Another one of those teams where my mind says, "They should finish higher than this, shouldn't they?", but based on last year, 13th makes more sense than randomly putting them up in the 9-12 range without good reason. I could easily be mistaken, obviously. And probably will be proven so.

    15) Crookston. At one point a couple of years ago, Crookston actually had a strong recruiting class by Crookston's standards. So this may be the year that said recruiting class starts to show something by digging the Golden Eagles out of the cellar of cellars. I mean, they went 1-21 last year...that can't happen again, can it?

    16) Wayne. New coach. Basically the same players as last year. Seems like a recipe for a rough season in Wayne, America. I don't mean to be harsh, I'm just not seeing on-paper what will bring the Wildcats up from last year's 3-19 record. I know a few of their young guys show promise, but they'll need to translate that promise into wins before I'll be willing to put them higher.

    Anyway, this was basically me just spitting things off the top of my head, so I might re-read it in a day or two and think, "Oh yeah, I'm an idiot..." (as I often do), but I'm sticking with it for now and posting it just to possibly get some discussion going.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 2016-17 NSIC standings prediction thread

    Thanks for the shout out Mr, Augustana it's an honor and privilege to be mentioned in your write up. In my opinion WSU has the talent to be a top 3 team this year in the league. But I agree they have to prove it on the court. I could see them finishing 7th if they perform the way they did last year. They do have some things going for them though. First they have senior leadership as you mentioned and those guys are talented. Riley could have been one of the best guards in WSU history after his freshman year but his play fell off greatly and I feel it had to do with some changes around him. I think he can get it back though if he just lets himself go and just plays the game the way he used to play. Bauman should have a field day against many of the other teams bigs with his ability to do a little of everything. The other guys in place if they find a role and do it well could make this team a solid one. The other thing they have going is they were better down the stretch last year so they did improve. Given everything those players went through its amazing that many of them stuck it out but they also were able to keep together as a team. After this year though all bets are off. They seem to no longer have the top recruit from last year on the team any longer for some reason and the others have question marks. The talent of just 5 years ago in the pipeline are definitely gone. Maybe after the election Trump can come and try to Make WSU Great Again!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 2016-17 NSIC standings prediction thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MrAugustana View Post
    1) MSU-Mankato - Mankato only seems able to go a year or two at most without competing for and/or winning the regular season conference championship, and it's been two years now that they haven't even been the 2nd best team in the conference. The time for them not to be on top has to end soon, and my guess is it's this year. I think Fuqua and Aarias Austin are going to be a really brutal combo this year. Throw in Charlie Brown and Witthus (who was looking really solid last season), and the rest of their transfers, and I think they'll have too much talent not to finish first.
    Mister Mister, if the Mavs win the NSIC this year I'll buy you .........hmmm, I used to get homemade ice cream when I'd go to Elmen. But they don't play at Elmen anymore. Don't think that they sold it at the Pentagon. Well, we will figure something out when and if it happens.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 2016-17 NSIC standings prediction thread

    Quote Originally Posted by laker View Post
    Mister Mister, if the Mavs win the NSIC this year I'll buy you .........hmmm, I used to get homemade ice cream when I'd go to Elmen. But they don't play at Elmen anymore. Don't think that they sold it at the Pentagon. Well, we will figure something out when and if it happens.
    Have no fear... the Augie faithful can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe your beloved ice cream crew is at the Arena for Augie's regular season home games.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 2016-17 NSIC standings prediction thread

    As we head into the break, let's break down my noticeable failure as a basketball analyst based on my preseason predictions thread vs. the actual standings and state of the conference.

    My predicted standings:

    1) MSU-Mankato (off by 8 in a bad way for MSU)
    2) Moorhead (dead-on)
    3) USF (off by 8 in a bad way for USF)
    4) Augie (off by 1 in a good way for Augie)
    5) Northern (off by 1 in a not-really-that-bad way for Northern)
    6) St. Cloud (off by 1 in a good way for SCSU)
    7) Winona (dead-on)
    8) SMSU (off by 7 in a good way for SMSU)
    9) CSP (off by 5 in a not good way for CSP)
    10) Duluth (off by 6 in a bad way for Duluth)
    11) U-Mary (off by 3 in a good way for U-Mary)
    12) Upper Iowa (off by 8 in a good way for UIU...go ahead and jump in here, Herdman, to bash me for my inaccurate prediction.)
    13) Minot (off by 3 in a good way for Minot)
    14) Bemidji (off by 1 in a not good way for Bemidji)
    15) Crookston (off by 2 in an uncharacteristically good way for Crookston)
    16) Wayne (off by 4 in a good way for Wayne)


    Actual standings heading into the Christmas break (to be clear, the top 3 teams are all 5-1 in NSIC play, but the Northern Sun lists them out as 1-3):

    1) SMSU - This is the one I was probably most wrong about, just due to how solidly they've played from the first game on. I was skeptical of the talent that was paired with their veteran experience, but the Mustangs seem intent on proving me wrong. They've toughed out some close ones and seem to be legitimate contenders so far this year.

    2) Moorhead - Nailed it.

    3) Augie - Off by one. But, being honest, I wasn't expecting us to be here.

    4) Upper Iowa - Also one I was super wrong about. I think this year's Peacock squad is sneaky. The key will be stopping their shooters...but that seems to be the key against them every year.

    5) St. Cloud - Pretty close

    6) Northern - Also pretty close

    7) Winona - Nailed it.

    8) U-Mary - Fairly wrong, but not terrible.

    9) Mankato - Also very, very wrong on. I know Witthus is hurt, but there seem to be issues beyond his injury that the Mavs will need to straighten out. Transfer-heavy teams seem to fare better as the season goes on, so maybe Margenthaler will get MSU going after the break.

    10) Minot - Not too far off. Their win against Augie certainly doesn't hurt them. It hurt Augie though.

    11) USF - Go ahead, Augieholic.

    12) Wayne - As I've said more than once, I'm pleasantly surprised by this one. A better Wildcats squad is better for Augie. I think Kaminsky will get them winning sooner rather than later, assuming he can recruit.

    13) Crookston - If they'd pulled off that win over Moorhead, it would've basically given them the best season they've had in the past 4-5 years. Still plenty of time to make that happen for the Golden Eagles though. Just hopefully not against Augie.

    14) CSP - Yikes.

    15) Bemidji - About what I expected.

    16) Duluth - Also yikes. Not sure what's happening up in northern Minnesota, but Bowen is having a tough year so far. Definitely not what I was expecting.

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