Let me preface this article by acknowledging that I still love the Billikens. Despite their best intentions to question my purpose on this earth, I’m still devoted to this program.
That being said, I’m hoping we lose out the remainder of the year.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that there is no upcoming draft where we could potentially score a lottery pick. In college basketball, you need to be trying to win every single game. If you’re 2-21, giving up does nothing to help your chances in the future. That’s now how it works.
But this is a team so far gone that discussing rational ideas is moot. Before I explain why I think losing every single game would be beneficial, let me explain reasons of why we’ve seen a dramatic spike in sales of Burnetts at the infamous ghetto Schnucks.
Everyone knows our offense is terrible, but did you know to what extent? In the three conference games we’ve played so far, which includes a win that will undoubtably be our best of the season, the Billikens have been outscored by 41 points, are shooting 14% worse than their opponents from the arc, have been out-rebounded by 23, and have recorded one single block. Again, these stats include a game in which we had our best win of the season. But it gets worse…
Compared to the rest of the A10, SLU ranks in the bottom 4 in all but the following categories: Free throw shooting (attempts, makes, %), steals, and personal fouls. So in short, SLU ranks in the bottom 4 in ALL offensive categories except for free throw shooting. We rank last in field goals made, field goals attempted, three pointers attempted, offensive rebounding, defensive rebounding, total rebounds, blocks, total points, and points per game.
Breath with me…
Here’s where it gets fun: Offensive Win Share is an estimate of the number of wins contributed to a player by his offense. The average player in the A10 comes in at 0.34 OWS, yet the SLU average is a league worst 0.09. We have FIVE players with negative OWS, meaning we literally have five players on the roster that are so bad at OFFENSE (this is not a defensive measurement at all) that they negate from our win total.
Milik Yarbrough, our third leading scorer (9.4 pts/game) ranks 180 our of 184 eligible players in OWS. You know that sophomore guard that comes off the bench from VCU that shoots 19% from the field? Me neither, but he’s better than Milik. In fact, most people are better than Milik based on this metric (98% actually). You know who’s not? Matt Neufeld. He ranks dead last. Good grief.
If we measure rebounds, SLU only has three players that average over 3 per game. No other team has less than 5 players who meet that criteria. The league average is 5.7 players per team (0.7 persons is equivalent to one Brett Jolly).
Now, I didn’t tell you anything you didn’t know. But perhaps this adds some context around why I think it would be beneficial for us to lose out the remainder of the season.
If SLU finishes at 6-24 (this is totally possible), there is no excuse that could save Jim Crews. Sure, there is no moral victory that can be gained from that, but at least our administration wouldn’t be able to hide behind any minor victories we may have had. I’m certain that if we win as little as 10 games, they’re going to cite minor improvement (which will be a lie) and allow Jim Crews to continue to test the theory that someone’s head can actually explode with rage.
And don’t make the mistake of thinking that Jim Crews is going to retire gracefully and let the program continue on without him. Would you? Under Crews we’ve had our two best and two worst seasons (including this one). I don’t blame him for wanting to prove to himself and the program that he’s a great coach. But I’ll certainly blame May and Pestello if they let him try.
Kevin is clearly operating from a standpoint of zero confidence in anyone with any sort of power in SLU’s leadership. If that’s the case, I don’t see what tanking would accomplish. As Kev mentions, there is no draft pick to be gained here. If they would keep this coach after 10 win season, I can’t see any reason Chris May would pull the plug on the Jim Crews experience with 4 less wins. This, like every other thing in the history of the United States of America, comes down to dollars. I don’t know what Jimmy makes, but let’s just say it’s 750k per year. There is a 0% chance he just retires and leaves that money on the table. Do you know how many Golden Corral buffets 750 thousand dollars can buy? Yea, there is no way Crews opts out of that many trips to the chocolate fountain at the end of the soft serve ice cream bar. So getting rid of him would mean that Chris May would have to convince Pestello it is worth that amount of money plus our next head coach’s salary just for Crews to go away. I for one think this would be a wonderful investment, but unfortunately I do not have Biondi or Chaifetz on speed-dial. My sincere hope is that this decision has already been made. Anyone with half a brain has seen enough to know Jim Crew’s time in Saint Louis has run out. For now I am going to give Chris May the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he is in fact in possession of at least that much gray matter. So to me the premise of tanking so Crews for sure goes would do more harm than good. If nothing else than to my own blood pressure as I scream obscenities from the top row of 208.