Off to the ASC with this post and I’ve added Mills and Santa Cruz at the bottom. If you didn’t read my initial write-up on statistics loss then please check out the SCAC post done earlier, which you can find here.
Here is the chart showing the teams in the ASC with their 2017 records and their statistics loss due to graduation in points, assists and digs.
|Sul Ross State||3-24||12.0%||8.8%||23.6%|
Things look good for the ASC in 2018 as no team hit the 45% mark in points loss. We have three teams losing their primary 5-1 setter and one losing one of their 6-2 setters. Defense (digs) also looks good for 2018. Looking at the bottom of the table, I believe McMurry can be a full Division III member in 2018 but I’m not 100% sure. If true, they are a huge threat for the conference championship. UMHB is also sitting pretty but are one of the teams that has to replace their setter and this actually worries me a bit. For the past few years, UMHB seems hesitant in listing players as pure setters. They are always listed as S/RS as was their outgoing senior setter Natasha Evans. My assumption is that Miranda Klein would be the setter for next year but she was also one of the Cru’s best hitters in 2017. It will be interesting to see how Coach Frost handles this position.
In summary, the ASC (and specifically UMHB) really got snubbed by the NCAA this past season with only one bid going to UT-Dallas. I hope I see UT-Dallas, McMurry, UT-Tyler and UMHB really schedule a tough out-of-conference slate of matches this next season. I think the ASC will be much strong in 2018 but without some important wins in and out of the region, the conference will not get the respect I think it will deserve.
Here were the ASC statistics losses in 2016:
|Sul Ross State||3-24||33.8%||1.9%||16.7%|
I had some late updates at the beginning of the season that showed underclassmen loss impacted ETBU (new points loss was 59.6%), Belhaven (36.3%), UMHB (22.5%) and Concordia (25%). Even with these adjustments, LeTourneau still finds itself with the most statistics loss in the last two years. They did a good job holding steady in 2017 and that was with a new coach, as well. UT-Dallas actually suffered much worse losses than the table shows, as I never factored in the losses of Fayna Zeng and Dylan Brinkman. Still mind blowing to me how well that team responded this past season and the scary thing for everyone else will be how strong UT-Dallas will be if both of those players can come back strong in 2018. I did expect a better season from Hardin-Simmons and despite being better in 2017, an even stronger one from UT-Tyler than what they had.
From a scheduling perspective, McMurry and UMHB seem to be the teams that should be able to start the season off fast. Despite the numbers, I would still avoid Louisiana College, Howard Payne and Sul Ross State as I think they will still hurt your SOS numbers. ETBU should at least finish around .500 and UT-Tyler and Concordia seem safe bets to at least maintain their current levels next year. None of these three should hurt an opponent’s SOS. Not sure what to make of Hardin-Simmons going into next season at this point but if 2017 proves to be a fluke then they should be a contender in 2018. As mentioned above, be careful with UT-Dallas on the schedule and I’d probably back away from Belhaven and LeTourneau due to SOS concerns.
My next post will deal with the Top 25 and their statistics losses and I want to summarize some of the West Region teams that look to be strong contenders next season. Look for that in the next couple of days or so.
Without further ado, here are the losses for Mills and UC Santa Cruz:
|UC Santa Cruz||6-21||21.4%||8.9%||36.7%|
Nothing earth shattering, but any kind of losses really hurt these teams since they are coming off poor seasons. Mills has a very small roster so there is a pressing need to bring in more players there. These schools really struggle to schedule teams because it’s a no-win (even if you win) proposition for their opponents as they just drag down your SOS numbers. One of the reasons for Southwestern’s average SOS this past year was playing in the Santa Cruz tournament that first weekend of the season. They faced Mills, Elmhurst (they also had a poor season) and Santa Cruz. It’s really hard to make up that much drag in the SOS the rest of the way. It goes without saying, that as a coach, I wouldn’t schedule either team in 2018 if I had aspirations of an NCAA Tournament bid.