Definition of a mediocre program | Syracusefan.com

Definition of a mediocre program

Cuseball

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I missed a discussion in the "What I am hearing" thread about Syracuse being mediocre over the past 10 years. Everyone can agree that we have been on a clear downward trend and it culminated in last season. If we cut the below to 8 years we fall down the list a bit which emphasizes the decline (which I am not arguing). We have a long way to go to get back to where we were and to close the gap on the elite. However, it really depends on how strictly you want to define mediocre (for example a top 20 program over this time period)?

Here's one way to look at the last 10 years.
  • 9 teams make up the elite list (Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, UNC, Nova, Gonzaga, Virginia, Michigan State and Arizona (Zona is questionable but we will include for the sake of argument)
Here's a table showing the next in line (Michigan and Baylor separate and the rest are fairly close).
  • Cuse falls in the top 20 based on regular season record and ranks much higher when combining with NCAA performance.
  • My take is this supports the argument that labeling us mediocre over the last ten years was incorrect

Losing
Last 10 yrsOverall RecordAvgSeasonsNCAA Record
WLPctWLWLPctSSF8F4NC
Michigan2491050.70324.910.502380.7427420
Baylor242980.71224.29.801360.6843111
UCLA2291130.67022.911.311370.6505110
Florida2251150.66222.511.511360.6843310
Purdue2241150.66122.411.521070.5884100
Maryland2171150.65421.711.51440.5001000
Florida State2161150.65321.611.50840.6673100
Ohio State2131140.65121.311.401170.6112100
Xavier2161170.64921.611.70750.5832100
Tennessee2101230.63121.012.31650.5452000
Iowa2131250.63021.312.51560.4551000
Cuse2131270.62621.312.711460.7004220
Notre Dame2121270.62521.212.731050.6672200
Providence2061240.62420.612.40560.4551000
Uconn2001250.61520.012.53720.7781111
Louisville198920.68322.010.21640.6002100
LSU1981260.61119.812.61440.5001000
West Virginia2061320.60920.613.23750.5833000
Oklahoma1991280.60919.912.811070.5882110
Indiana1991300.60519.913.01540.5562000
Seton Hall1921300.59619.213.01150.1670000
Marquette1901320.5901913.22340.4291100
Auburn1891370.58018.913.75630.6671110
Texas1911410.57519.114.12460.4001000
Illinois1911420.57419.114.23430.5711000
 

721Comstock

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I missed a discussion in the "What I am hearing" thread about Syracuse being mediocre over the past 10 years. Everyone can agree that we have been on a clear downward trend and it culminated in last season. If we cut the below to 8 years we fall down the list a bit which emphasizes the decline (which I am not arguing). We have a long way to go to get back to where we were and to close the gap on the elite. However, it really depends on how strictly you want to define mediocre (for example a top 20 program over this time period)?

Here's one way to look at the last 10 years.
  • 9 teams make up the elite list (Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, UNC, Nova, Gonzaga, Virginia, Michigan State and Arizona (Zona is questionable but we will include for the sake of argument)
Here's a table showing the next in line (Michigan and Baylor separate and the rest are fairly close).
  • Cuse falls in the top 20 based on regular season record and ranks much higher when combining with NCAA performance.
  • My take is this supports the argument that labeling us mediocre over the last ten years was incorrect

Losing
Last 10 yrsOverall RecordAvgSeasonsNCAA Record
WLPctWLWLPctSSF8F4NC
Michigan2491050.70324.910.502380.7427420
Baylor242980.71224.29.801360.6843111
UCLA2291130.67022.911.311370.6505110
Florida2251150.66222.511.511360.6843310
Purdue2241150.66122.411.521070.5884100
Maryland2171150.65421.711.51440.5001000
Florida State2161150.65321.611.50840.6673100
Ohio State2131140.65121.311.401170.6112100
Xavier2161170.64921.611.70750.5832100
Tennessee2101230.63121.012.31650.5452000
Iowa2131250.63021.312.51560.4551000
Cuse2131270.62621.312.711460.7004220
Notre Dame2121270.62521.212.731050.6672200
Providence2061240.62420.612.40560.4551000
Uconn2001250.61520.012.53720.7781111
Louisville198920.68322.010.21640.6002100
LSU1981260.61119.812.61440.5001000
West Virginia2061320.60920.613.23750.5833000
Oklahoma1991280.60919.912.811070.5882110
Indiana1991300.60519.913.01540.5562000
Seton Hall1921300.59619.213.01150.1670000
Marquette1901320.5901913.22340.4291100
Auburn1891370.58018.913.75630.6671110
Texas1911410.57519.114.12460.4001000
Illinois1911420.57419.114.23430.5711000

Cool story, bro.

Problem is - those first 2 years were back when we we really good.
aka - a typical (or even better) Cuse program.

So they skew the 10 year #’s to make them look better overall.

When it’s the last 8 years - straight - that we’ve been mediocre.
And the wheels have really come off these past 4-5 or so.

With the exception of our first season in the ACC, we’ve been an afterthought in terms of winning the conference.

We used to be ranked in the Top 25 very consistently.
Now we pretty much never are.

We rarely lost double-digit games in a season.
Now, ‘just’ 10-11 L’s would be an improvement.

We used to get guys drafted in the first round on the regular.
Hasn’t happened in ages now.

We used to earn protected seeds for NCAA’s; now we’re always sweating the bubble - at best.

We used to win preseason tournaments.
Now, we take L’s to meh programs.

We used to win all of our OOC buy games.
Now we’re taking L’s to Bonnie’s and Colgate.

We’ve taken inexplicable L’s to the worst Georgetown teams in history.

We have a losing record against Capel at Pitt.

We had winning seasons for over FIFTY YEARS STRAIGHT.
Not anymore.

You can torture, spin, and twist the data all you want.

It doesn’t change the fact that Syracuse has become a mediocre program these past 8 years.

And if you chart the programs direction for that period of time -
it’s trending downward, and picking up speed.

tl/dr - definition of a mediocre program?
See: Syracuse. (the past 8 years)
 
Last edited:

Zelda Zonk

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Like all subjective characterizations, “mediocre” has a context. Our context is that we are members of the ACC.

Just as we could not claim to be a great team because we could still beat Lemoyne 9 out of 10 times, we cannot claim to not be mediocre because our regular season record over ten years includes wins over teams that aren’t directly comparable and within our league.

In our conference, we are a .500 team. Middle of the pack. Mediocre.
 

Dinkyspond

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Cool story, bro.

Problem is - those first 2 years were back when we we really good.
aka - a typical (or even better) Cuse program.

So they skew the 10 year #’s to make them look better overall.

When it’s the last 8 years - straight - that we’ve been mediocre.
And the wheels have really come off these past 4-5 or so.

With the exception of our first season in the ACC, we’ve been an afterthought in terms of winning the conference.

We used to be ranked in the Top 25 very consistently.
Now we pretty much never are.

We rarely lost double-digit games in a season.
Now, ‘just’ 10-11 L’s would be an improvement.

We used to get guys drafted in the first round on the regular.
Hasn’t happened in ages now.

We used to earn protected seeds for NCAA’s; now we’re always sweating the bubble - at best.

We used to win preseason tournaments.
Now, we take L’s to meh programs.

We used to win all of our OOC buy games.
Now we’re taking L’s to Bonnie’s and Colgate.

We’ve taken inexplicable L’s to the worst Georgetown teams in history.

We have a losing record against Capel at Pitt.

We had winning seasons for over FIFTY YEARS STRAIGHT.
Not anymore.

You can torture, spin, and twist the data all you want.

It doesn’t change the fact that Syracuse has become a mediocre program these past 8 years.

And if you chart the programs direction for that period of time -
it’s trending downward, and picking up speed.

tl/dr - definition of a mediocre program?
See: Syracuse. (the past 8 years)
True on most accounts but you can't whitewash a F4 and 2 S16s in 7 years (no tourney in 2020). That's pretty good but the regular seasons and ACC tourneys have been really lackluster. I'm with you there.
 

Col. Bleep

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We’ve taken inexplicable L’s to the worst Georgetown teams in history.
All true and it's been extremely unpleasant.
But for those of us who have been around for a while...the above line is what matters most.
Those games can sit in the gut and ruin an entire season.

I LOOOOOOOAAAAAATHE G-town!
GO ORANGE!
 

OrangeTown

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You'll obviously never get everyone on the same page with this discussion. The problem is there is too much subjectivity.

The definition of mediocre is "of only moderate quality". Furthermore, the definition of moderate is "average in amount, intensity, quality, or degree." Therefore, a mediocre program is, by definition, of average quality.

As always it will then boil down to how an individual views "quality" with respect to a college basketball team, and this is where the subjectivity comes in. Some people seem to think NCAA performance alone is enough to be viewed as an indicator of quality. If that is the case, then I think it's clear that the program has surpassed the level of "mediocre" in the past 8 years.

Some people seem to think it's only conference play (whether regular season, tournament, or both) that is the best indicator of quality. I don't think many would argue that we probably meet the definition of mediocre the past 8 years with respect to our conference record.

Some people seem to think it's overall record that is the best indicator of quality. Some people prefer to just take the "eye test" and look at the product we are putting on the court and compare with what they see either from other teams during that same season or comparing to teams they remember from previous seasons when we were viewed as more "elite".

My personal opinion is that we are truly mediocre right now and in the past few seasons. That being said, I don't begrudge the people who are content with a tournament run every few years despite a mediocre overall record. I personally enjoy a prolonged stretch of wins during the season over the course of months as opposed to a stretch of 3-4 wins to get us to the Sweet Sixteen or Final Four, even though those are super exciting in their own right.

TLDR: "Mediocre" has a definition. Unfortunately, it's inherently a subjective definition and there will ultimately never be full agreement on how that translates to the performance of our basketball team.



In my opinion. :)
 

Cuseball

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Cool story, bro.

Problem is - those first 2 years were back when we we really good.
aka - a typical (or even better) Cuse program.

So they skew the 10 year #’s to make them look better overall.

When it’s the last 8 years - straight - that we’ve been mediocre.
And the wheels have really come off these past 4-5 or so.

With the exception of our first season in the ACC, we’ve been an afterthought in terms of winning the conference.

We used to be ranked in the Top 25 very consistently.
Now we pretty much never are.

We rarely lost double-digit games in a season.
Now, ‘just’ 10-11 L’s would be an improvement.

We used to get guys drafted in the first round on the regular.
Hasn’t happened in ages now.

We used to earn protected seeds for NCAA’s; now we’re always sweating the bubble - at best.

We used to win preseason tournaments.
Now, we take L’s to meh programs.

We used to win all of our OOC buy games.
Now we’re taking L’s to Bonnie’s and Colgate.

We’ve taken inexplicable L’s to the worst Georgetown teams in history.

We have a losing record against Capel at Pitt.

We had winning seasons for over FIFTY YEARS STRAIGHT.
Not anymore.

You can torture, spin, and twist the data all you want.

It doesn’t change the fact that Syracuse has become a mediocre program these past 8 years.

And if you chart the programs direction for that period of time -
it’s trending downward, and picking up speed.

tl/dr - definition of a mediocre program?
See: Syracuse. (the past 8 years)
Hmm you must have missed the point where I said I was addressing the past 10 years since that was a specific comment posters had claimed...and they are wrong. You also must have missed where I said if you viewed it over the past 8 then a different story.

Again no argument we have slipped and no argument we are trending downward. Hopefully last year was the bottom but we are a long way from where we used to be. By the way, none of the data was spun. These are real won/lost records over the past 10 years an all I am doing is showing them

Cuse!
 

721Comstock

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Hmm you must have missed the point where I said I was addressing the past 10 years since that was a specific comment posters had claimed...and they are wrong. You also must have missed where I said if you viewed it over the past 8 then a different story.

Again no argument we have slipped and no argument we are trending downward. Hopefully last year was the bottom but we are a long way from where we used to be. By the way, none of the data was spun. These are real won/lost records over the past 10 years an all I am doing is showing them

Cuse!

10 years is an arbitrary period of time.
Nothing magical about that.
"round number" = yay!

I'd be willing to be a large sum of $ that were you to do this same exercise 2 years from now, over a 10 year period of time, that the results would look much, much worse.

It's all about the trendline.
Which is decidedly down now, and accelerating downward.

Your chosen sample size is like looking at the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and saying that - overall - it's not mediocre, because the Russians were doing really well at the very beginning!!
 

DCUNITED13

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I think it boils down to the following. After Nov/Dec, we all look at remaining schedule and wonder how to get to 20 wins. We throw out definite losses and hope for a few good results. Sad part is the ones we know we don't win, we don't. We dont have one handed to us on a platter lately. We do not have a gamechanger that teams fear. We have a scorer who puts up buckets but not one you have to stop for the other team to win. When was the last time that we had a player like that? Over the last 8 years I do not think we have had a player to whom I would say, this is the last play of the game give us a bucket and know its going in.

On the other hand, I hope we have a great team this year and we win 20 games and go to NCAA's. Perhaps this last statement is this Boards definition of a "Mediocre Team" (great season and win 20 games)
 

AlaskaSU

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Our coaches have not suddenly lost their ability to recruit. As a member of the ACC we are a less attractive destination than when we were a Big East kingpin and the Big East roared. Times change. Our circumstances have changed.

In so far as recruiting is a facilities and amenities arms race we need to have the very best to make up for lessened prestige.
 

RF2044

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Our coaches have not suddenly lost their ability to recruit. As a member of the ACC we are a less attractive destination than when we were a Big East kingpin and the Big East roared. Times change. Our circumstances have changed.

In so far as recruiting is a facilities and amenities arms race we need to have the very best to make up for lessened prestige.

I see it differently. I don't think it has anything to do with the ACC -- at all.

I think that is coincidental in the sense that our transition to the ACC came at a time when JB stopped putting forward the maximum effort recruited to recruit at the high major level. And accordingly, results have slipped.

Being in the ACC is more like a symptom; the root cause of the actual problem lies elsewhere. IMO.
 

Cuse181

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When you're rarely ranked...you're mediocre.
360 teams, meaning 335 are unranked any given week (93% of teams) let’s add another 30 who are ranked for a week or so a year, that’s 305 teams (85%) that would be “mediocre” which by some opinions might be true, but I think all this shows is a massive imbalance in the talent level between the top 5% of teams and the other 95%. Yes, Syracuse was in the top 5% for a while, but like Indiana, UCLA, NC State, St John’s, Texas, etc. you go into down cycles and up cycles we just lucky to have arguably the longest cycle in history.

Granted this might be moot point in 2 years if the super conferences form because only football will matter.
 

MSOrange

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360 teams, meaning 335 are unranked any given week (93% of teams) let’s add another 30 who are ranked for a week or so a year, that’s 305 teams (85%) that would be “mediocre” which by some opinions might be true, but I think all this shows is a massive imbalance in the talent level between the top 5% of teams and the other 95%. Yes, Syracuse was in the top 5% for a while, but like Indiana, UCLA, NC State, St John’s, Texas, etc. you go into down cycles and up cycles we just lucky to have arguably the longest cycle in history.

Granted this might be moot point in 2 years if the super conferences form because only football will matter.
Let's be real about the 360 teams. Yes that's all of Division 1 but we should realistically be comparing ourselves to the Power 5 teams and a handful of conferences outside that, not Savannah State.
 

Orangezoo

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Let's be real about the 360 teams. Yes that's all of Division 1 but we should realistically be comparing ourselves to the Power 5 teams and a handful of conferences outside that, not Savannah State.

Correct. Beat me to it. If you factor in the big 6 plus those committed to hoops programs in the WCC and the MWC along with providing for the smaller conference juggernauts you have more like 100 programs you can really evaluate against.
 

Eric15

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As a member of the ACC we are a less attractive destination than when we were a Big East kingpin and the Big East roared. Times change. Our circumstances have changed.
JB to recruits during Big East: come to SU and you can play against Providence and Seton Hall!
Recruits: "that sounds awesome, I'm in!"

JB to recruits during ACC: come to SU and you can play against Duke and UNC!"
Recruits: "that sounds lame. no thanks. not enough prestige."

That... doesn't seem plausible.
 

Fat tire 13

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Most concise way to describe would be the following (in my opinion)

Flipped to mediocre in 2014-2015 season. The only positive to note is overachieving in NCAAs

Why mediocre
-10+ losses every year
-Never finished a season ranked, and never ranked at any point in past 3 seasons
-Never won more than 10 games in ACC in a season
-Missed NCCA tourney 4/8 years, and highest seed was #8

That's a very clear contrast from other arguably elite stretches, like 2008-2014
 

AlaskaSU

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JB to recruits during Big East: come to SU and you can play against Providence and Seton Hall!
Recruits: "that sounds awesome, I'm in!"

JB to recruits during ACC: come to SU and you can play against Duke and UNC!"
Recruits: "that sounds lame. no thanks. not enough prestige."

That... doesn't seem plausible.
Right now Prov and Setan Hall would beat us. They were bottom feeders. Georgetown, Nova, U Conn, Pitt were big and meaningful rivalries. Come to Cuse and get schooled by North Carolina and Puke - yeh, that is a great selling point. As I said, times change. Obviously, we are not attractive as we used to be..
 

bozophobe

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At one point, recently, Coppin State came within 4 spots of Syracuse in the Sagarin (I think it was Sagarin) ratings. If that ain't a sign of the Apocalypse Four...
 

OrangeDW

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Right now Prov and Setan Hall would beat us. They were bottom feeders. Georgetown, Nova, U Conn, Pitt were big and meaningful rivalries. Come to Cuse and get schooled by North Carolina and Puke - yeh, that is a great selling point. As I said, times change. Obviously, we are not attractive as we used to be..
Think it was more sanctions, and our coach getting really old that did us in.

But at this point, can’t say for sure. We’ll see what happens. If Kadary, Bras, and QG don’t transfer, we’re probably top 25 and a solid 4-5 seed type team this past season.

People have been leaving here as soon as possible for awhile now.
 

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