Surprise at the top of NEC value added rankings

This afternoon on Twitter I got asked about the Value Added rankings for the NEC. Long Island is the defending champion and is going to be returning a number of players, including 6’7 forward Julian Boyd, from a team that ranked 118th in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings last season and went 27-6 (16-2). Thus the Blackbirds should be the favorite again in 2011-12, right? Not so fast suggests value added.

The top team according to returning value added is Central Connecticut State. Behind superstar forward Ken Horton the metric sees big things for the other Blue Devils in college hoops. In fact, the rankings suggest quite a shakeup at the top of the standings next season. Check out the graph:

Robert Morris’ placement on the list is easy to explain. The Colonials were one of the youngest teams in NCAA Division I last season (331st in Ken Pomeroy’s experience metric) and still finished 18-14 (12-6). Postseason is certainly a possibility for that team next season.

The biggest surprise though is Mount St. Mary’s. The Mount was ranked 267th in Pomeroy and went 11-21 (9-9) last season. Still, value added really likes the Seahawks’ defense. But no matter how good the defense is, if Robert Burke can’t improve his team’s offense (305th in adjusted efficiency last season), all that defensive talent isn’t going to be enough to muscle them into a fourth place finish.

Besides Mount St. Mary’s the thirds of the conference are relatively intact according to last season’s numbers. There’s a pretty well defined hierarchy between the Haves, Middlemen and Have Nots. We’ll see if that holds in 2011-12.

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