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“…But It’s A Young Team”

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I know you’re eternally tired of hearing that argument (I know I am) but the fact of the matter is that it’s true.

Big thanks to OKC Dave for the following post:

Coaches always seem to say how young their teams are, but it is definitely true with this bunch. To put this team’s youth in perspective, I calculated the weighted average classification (WAC) for each team in the Sutton/Ford era. The teams are weighted by minutes played, so a team made up of all seniors would have a WAC of 4.0. A team made up of all juniors would have a WAC of 3.0, and so on.

The average for the entire Sutton/Ford era going in to this year was 2.96. Out of the 22 teams in the era, this 2012 team is the youngest at 2.12. Even more alarming, if you take out JPO, Dowell, and Gulley, the WAC for this team is 1.96 — a full year “younger” than the average.

I put together a chart showing each team’s WAC over the years (see above). The orange columns represent teams that made the dance; black columns represent teams that watched it from home. I decided to leave the 2012 column in orange just for the hell of it — I don’t want to write these guys off yet.

Looking back, the only really young teams that have done well at OSU had great players anchoring the rest of their young team:

1998 (2.7) had junior Adrian Peterson as the anchor with sophomores Mason, Adkins, Gottlieb, Webber, and Montonati (wow) learning their roles.
2001 (2.4) had junior Mo Baker as the anchor (along with Fred) as Victor, Melvin, and Andre came along. As an aside, I think Baker is one of the most underrated players in recent OSU history.
2010 (2.5) had junior James Anderson as the anchor (along with Obi) as Penn, Franklin, Gulley, and Dowell googled “NCAA transfer rules”

All of Ford’s teams have been below the average for the modern era of OSU basketball. It’s not easy to play with a young team: all of the teams with success (Sweet 16 or better) in this era — 1991, 1992, 1995, 2000, 2004, 2005 — were at or “older” than a WAC of 3.2.

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