Does experience necessarily translate into wins? The Orange will come into this season as one of the most inexperienced teams in the ACC. Second to last, to be exact.
But does that necessarily matter? I went back through some of SU’s recent seasons to see if its experience translated into a higher win share. I randomly selected three other seasons from the last 10 years to see if I could come to any conclusions.
First, I started with this year’s team:
Let’s now try the 2014-15 team:
That team finished 18-13 overall, giving it a multiplier of 8.18 wins per year of experience.
The next time I looked at was the 2012-13 team:
|Baye Moussa Keita||3|
The 2012-13 team won 30 games on the way to the Final Four, giving it a multiplier of 12.5 wins per year of experience. Michael Gbinije is not listed on this roster since he took a redshirt that year.
The last time among the bunch will be the 2007-08 team, exactly 10 years ago.
This team is a bit of an oddball because two players are left off this chart completely: Andy Rautins (3) and Sean Williams (1). If you remember, Williams redshirted, while Rautins tore his ACL before the start of the season. Devendorf also suffered a season ending ACL injury, though he did appear in enough of the non-conference schedule where I put him on this chart.
That team won 21 games, giving it an 11.6 multiplier per year of experience.
This is an inexact science, but if you average the three multipliers together, you get a 10.78 multiplier per year of experience, which would give Syracuse 21 wins this season.
So the answer to the question seems to be, yes, experience does count for something. That MCW-led Final Four team had the highest multiplier and also went the furthest of the three teams pulled from the sample.
But plenty of other factors come to play here that aren’t accounted for, including difficulty of schedule. The Orange played in the Big East for two of the three seasons listed. The bottom of the current ACC is still far superior to the bottom of the ACC (DePaul?) at the time SU played in the Big East.
Also consider the relative experience of other teams. Perhaps the conference is in an overall down year with a talent drain to the NBA.
It’s something to think about as the Orange heads into the season with one of least experienced rosters in recent memory.