2011 Hemcher Cup XIX Preview Guide
By Anthong Lampazzi, Assistant to the Commissioner
Welcome back to another exciting year of Hemcher Cup action. Before we look forward to 2011, let’s take a moment to review what happened last year. One of the perennial Hemcher Cup powers, Team Gannon, returned from an extended championship drought to claim their 5th cup. Though Teams Gannon and Poli battled right up to the final whistle in the Monday night Championship game, this was not one of the more competitive years overall, as three of the six franchises failed to reach 400 total pts with one of those three failing to crack 300pts and setting an all-time record low in the process. The two top team’s battle for 1st place was unique in a couple of respects. First, these two teams drafted from the last two positions (Gannon 6th, Poli 5th) and the final margin of victory of just 25pts was amazing considering Poli placed two 100+ pt scorers while Gannon had none. They both had a total of 45 games played and Poli actually outscored Gannon in 4 of the 6 rounds but the key for Gannon was that he outscored Poli by 119pts in Rounds 2 and 3. MVP for Team Gannon was Gordon Hayward from Butler drafted in Round 12 and leading Team Gannon with 95pts. As a side note, it’s worth mentioning that last year’s preview guide accurately predicted that Team Gannon would win the championship.
Though the entire league was not very competitive last year it was an exciting race to the finish by Gannon and Poli and we here at “THCPG” (The Hemcher Cup Preview Guide) expect a much more competitive contest this year.
It’s worth noting that over the last five years, we have seen five different Hemcher Cup Champions. This even distribution has never happened before in Hemcher Cup history. Since 2006 this is the list of Champions: Poli, Tonsmeire, Zucker, Knight, and Gannon. This most recent five year time period will be the key data analyzed and used in this year’s projection.
Without further adieu here is your projected order of finish……
“Bats, they are sick. I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats. I offer him cigar, rum. He will come”.
– Pedro Cerrano, “Major League”.
6th Place: Team Zucker: 501 pts.
Average points scored in last five years: 494pts.
Perennial crowd favorite Team Zucker not only managed to win a title during the last five years but he posted the highest score of any Champion during that time period with 718pts in 2008. It was not even a contest as Team Zucker cruised to his title with the next closest team finishing 117pts off the mark. That’s the good of Team Zucker, the straightball if you will, but there’s also the bad, last year Team Zucker fell off the proverbial cliff. Not only did he finish last but he set an all time record for least amount of points scored in a tournament at just 294. I’m not sure where the Mendoza line is for Hemcher Cup points but it has to be at least 300pts. During that same five year stretch, throwing out the 1st place finish in 2008, Team Zucker had three 6th place finishes and one 5th place finish. His average drafting position is 3.2 while his average finishing position is 4.8, that’s a net decline of 1.6, that’s not very good (but as you’ll read later on in this guide, it’s not the worst in the league). What does this tell us about Team Zucker? It tells us that much like a free swinging home run hitter in baseball, when he connects he can hit the ball a mile but more often than not he misses the ball completely. Team Zucker is kind of like Haley’s comet, he only shows up once in a while but when he does it’s usually pretty spectacular. Considering he rode Stephen Curry to his last title, perhaps he’ll try to keep it in the family and pick up little brother Seth this year.
“Have you boys seen your grade point averages yet? Well, have you?
I have, sir. I know it’s a little below par…
It’s more than a little below par, Mr. Hoover. IT STINKS! It’s the lowest on campus. It’s the lowest in Faber history!”
– “Animal House”
5th Place: Team Lampazzi: 515 pts.
Average points scored in last five years: 514pts.
The only surprise here is that this team wasn’t projected to finish last. You might recall at the beginning of this article we mentioned that five different teams have won titles in the last five years. Considering that there are six teams in the league, can you guess which is the one that didn’t win? Team Lampazzi, that’s who. Over the last five years, this team’s average draft position is 2.6 while their average finish is 4.8. This team has the worst discrepancy between starting and finishing position. They refuse to take advantage of drafting high. Last year they based their draft on a belief that the Big East was a good league, they drafted six players from that conference, and they got 8 games played and a whopping 66 total pts from those players. Only getting 8 players into the 2nd round was the death blow for this team. Everyone knows you have to build your base in the 1st two rounds if you want to have any chance to compete. One could make the argument that based on the overall league trend with five different winners in five years that this team is due to win, but we’d rather follow the trend of this team’s overall poor performance. They do have the #1 pick but with no clear cut #1 pick in this year’s draft, there’s almost no advantage in drafting early this year, which is another factor working against this franchise. Two years ago they had the #1 pick and took league favorite Scottie Reynolds and wound up finishing last. It’s been over a decade since this team last won a championship, in fact Bill Clinton was still President, and we have no confidence that they will end that drought anytime soon.
“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking.
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines”
– Steve McCroskey, “Airplane”
4th Place: Team Knight: 599pts.
Average points scored in last five years: 600 pts.
We can already hear the outrage coming from the Bay State about this pick. This is the most decorated franchise in the history of the league but over the last five years, they have won only one title. For most teams that would be great, but not for Team Knight. Expectations are high for this franchise and when they don’t win, the fan and media reaction can be severe. Just like the cross town Patriots, this once mighty dynasty may have started to show some cracks. Over these last five years, they have finished 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 1st, and 4th. Throwing out last year, the team has been very competitive so why the low projection? During this time period, their average draft position is 2.4 and their average finish is also 2.4. That indicates that they tend to finish where they start. You can argue that everything is skewed due to last year’s poor performance but we think last year wasn’t just a blip, we think it’s the start of a trend. They drifted from their usual winning draft night strategy to “Triple Down” on Jayhawks. In case you forgot, Kansas, the overall #1 seed got knocked out in Round 2. Looked like they picked the wrong year to triple down on Jayhawks. A very risky strategy that blew up in their face and they did this from the #1 drafting position. We can only cringe at what risky strategy they may employ from the #6 spot this year. One thing to take into consideration is that two titles in the last five years have been won from the 6th spot. So we won’t be shocked if they win, but we don’t see it happening.
“And you got these fucking claws and these fangs, man! And you’re looking at your claws and you’re looking at your fangs. And you’re thinking to yourself, you don’t know what to do, man. “I don’t know how to kill the bunny.” With *this* you don’t know how to kill the bunny, do you know what I mean?
You’re like a big bear, man”
3rd Place: Team Poli: 615pts.
Average points scored in last five years: 626pts.
If you objectively look at Team Poli during the last five years, you’ll notice that they have the highest average pts scored as well as the 2nd highest finish vs. draft spot. Their average starting position is 4.6 with an average finish of 3.0. So, they score a lot and usually finish higher than where they started and yet somehow this team has only managed to win one title during this run. We can’t really put our finger on why they fail to break thru and win multiple championships. This team is so money and they don’t even know it. Maybe it’s just as simple as bad luck. I mean, last year they doubled down on Duke Blue Devils and were rewarded with 106pts from each but it wasn’t enough to catch Team Gannon who didn’t have any 100pt scorers. The archives are a bit sketchy at the moment but unofficially I believe this was only the 2nd time a single team has produced two 100pt scorers since Team Gannon in 1995 with Ed O’Bannon and Bryant Reeves. During this last five year stretch Team Poli has drafted 6th and 5th twice, every time finishing higher. In 2007 they drafted from the top spot and finished 4th. It seems like perhaps Team Poli enjoys the lower drafting position as opposed to the top spots. This will be his first attempt from the #4 spot and we think he will struggle somewhat with the new position but will still finish higher than where he started.
“Five players on the floor functioning as one single unit: team, team, team –
no one more important that the other”
– Norman Dale, “Hoosiers”
2nd Place: Team Gannon: 630pts.
Average points scored in last five years: 617pts.
Statistically, this team flip-flops with Team Poli on points and finish. Team Gannon is 2nd in average points scored to Team Poli but is #1 in finish vs. starting position with an average start of 4.6 and an average finish of 2.6. Team Gannon has improved the most from their starting position vs. the rest of the league. One thing that is probably contributing to this is that Team Gannon has been starting very low for many of these years. Over the last five years, they have drafted three times from the #6 spot. You could argue there is only one place to go from there since you can’t finish worse than six, but to his credit, Team Gannon has finished 3rd, 2nd and 1st from those last drafting positions which shows he knows how to find talent and makes the most out of the bookend picks. He may not be able to get the top dog, but he tends to find two solid performers for his first two picks when drafting late. Just like last year’s title team, he didn’t get the best players but he got the best TEAM with contributions from everyone especially a kid who played his home games in the same gym that the Hickory Huskers won their championship. We see a strong title defense of the cup from Team Gannon this year but we think the championship hangover will last a little too long and will ultimately keep him from repeating.
“I’m going to take my talents to South Beach…”
– Lebron James
1st Place: Team Tons 654:
Average points scored in last five years: 589pts.
The statistical support for projecting Team Tons as this year’s Champ seems to be lacking, considering they are middle of the pack in terms of average points scored and only show a modest improvement between start and finish positions of 0.2. Average drafting position is 3.6 with an average finish position of 3.4. Since Team Tons is picking in the 2nd spot, if they improve at all there’s only one spot in front of them to finish. Their 2007 Championship was won with the 2nd highest total points scored during this five year period (708pts, 2nd only to Zuck’s 718pts in 2008). They also employed a very risky strategy that year by drafting three sets of teammates. Team Tons was rewarded big time that year, as it just so happened that two of those teams reached the Title game. This year looks similar to us in that there is no great team with monster players but there are a bunch of good teams with good players. We see Team Tons trying to rekindle some magic from 2007 and using a similar double down approach. Also, it’s pretty well known that The Hemcher Cup would like to expand its global brand and presence and what better way to do that than by putting a championship down under. We here at THCPG don’t subscribe to conspiracy theory and this isn’t as blatant as the NBA fixing the lottery in 1985 for the Knicks but by moving Team Tons into one of the top two spots, the Hemcher Cup may have wanted to “help” his chances….much like LeBron wanting to take his talents to South Beach, it was widely reported that Team Tons had been overheard telling several close friends, that he was going to take his talents to the “South Pacific”. Watch out Sydney Kings, there may be a new sheriff in town.
Only time will tell if we’ve projected the field correctly, but one thing that we are sure about is that it should be another fun year.
Well, another preview guide is written and we are rapidly approaching the first round of the 2011 NCAA tournament.
We wish you all good luck and as always, please remember this guide is written for entertainment purposes, so
please no wagering!