20 thoughts on “Polls, part two

  1. Do people really think that Dorman is a title contender this year? No disrespect to Dorman–they do consistently great work over there, and they are a lock for a top 10 and have a shot at a top 5 finish this year–but I can’t see them beating State College, Maggie Walker, LASA, or Stevenson.

  2. Based on the results of Prison Bowl, I think Dorman solidified their credentials. On the other hand, looking at their results it doesn’t seem like they’ve found a consistent 4th player, which is interesting.

    Bellarmine’s trip out to Texas will be something to watch. From what I gather, LASA was understrength at Prison Bowl, but I’d suspect they’d be at full strength so close to home. Reports say that Bellarmine is extremely fast on the buzzers, so that might get them an edge at HSNCT.

    The problem for me with Centennial is that they’re very much a one-man team and, as I will repeat ad nauseum, you don’t win nationals with a one-man team. There are just too many things that can go wrong, even for the most talented players. A strong supporting cast that can account for 30-40% of the team’s scoring is needed to pick up the slack in those crucial moments. I see Centennial suffering a DCD-esque loss and finishing in say, T7.

    • We’re actually pretty average in terms of buzzer speed and tend to lose a fair share of buzzer races. I think our bigger concern as a team is sorting out who’s in control of which subjects (we’ve only played 1 full tournament together). It should also be noted that graduation conflicts with HSNCT, so I won’t be attending, and Phil might not, either.

    • Maybe one-man teams can’t win national tournaments (which I still think is a tenuous claim), but last year St. Anselm and GDS finished 4th and 5th at PACE, and neither had supporting casts putting up more than 30% of the points. Just having a balanced team doesn’t make you better; being better makes you better. Maggie Walker is essentially a one-man team this year, and I still think they can beat Dorman and perhaps LASA.

      At Prison Bowl, the best team Dorman beat was St. Anselm’s, who isn’t even in the top 10 this year. All that “solidifies” is that Dorman is a top 10 (and perhaps top 5) team, like I said. In no way does the win at Prison Bowl mean they’re a title contender this year.

    • In terms of LASA: Their entire A team was in Houston playing the ACF Regional.

      In terms of “you don’t win nationals with a one-man team,” Henry Gorman sure did. Twice in one year, if I remember correctly.

      I’m not telling you that has anything to do with Centennial, nor that Henry Gormans come along every year. But to dismiss it ever happening out of hand doesn’t make a lot of sense.

      • No team has won the HSNCT with less than 60.87 PPG combined from non-leading players, at least for HSNCTs that I can find individual stats for (and I believe this holds true for NSCs as well, though stats aren’t as easily available for those). There’s a key distinction between a team with a clear lead player and a team where one player puts up 90%+ of the points.

      • The figure for Chris Ray’s support, at least in the prelims, is significantly below this figure. 49 or so.

  3. I don’t know if the Charter ’09 HSNCT win counts as a one man team – Gorman had 73.7 ppg, and Neeraj had 33.9 ppg. Henry did have more than double as many points, but 33.9 isn’t nothing.

    I’d count the Charter NSC as a one-man win, though.

  4. Dorman played State College and LASA toe to toe at Harvard, suffering 2 close defeats, & defeated Hunter, TJ and Dunbar. And in addition to defeating Saint Anselm’s at Hunter, it defeated a very gifted DCC team twice. I might be wrong because I am relying on my memory alone here, but has not DCC played some of the great Illinois teams very well this year? If so, defeating DCC twice should not be underrated. But given all of this, it suggests that Centennial might be underrated too, given how well it has played against Dorman.

  5. Is Sidney’s absence permanent? If so, I did not know that. This of course might hurt Dorman’s chances, but the remaining top 3 players are still exceptionally good and quite balanced, don’t you think? I watched them defeat DCC in a good match where Doorman pulled away at the end, and having read for DCC earlier in the day, I observed at first hand how good a team it is, with good depth as well. Additionally, has not DCC defeated the great team from Stevenson, Illinois several times this year? I think it has, and if it has, does this not make Dorman’s double vitory over DCC at Prison Bowl more impressive? But it also makes Centennial’s victoories over Dorman more impressive as well, does it not? So: How good is Centennial really? This becomes quite an interesting question, does it not?

    • My team has played both Centennial and Dorman several times this year. I can tell you that Centennial is just as good as Dorman, if not even better. They may be a one man team, but the one man that they have is really strong and doesn’t ever seem to play a bad game. The reason that people view Dorman as being better (other than their reputation) is that Dorman travels to tournaments around the country while Centennial does not.

  6. Suffice it to say that “O Fortuna” will pretty much make minced meat of all these predictions. Residing down Texas way, I’ve seen a lot of LASA and Seven Lakes playing — and they are both excellent teams. However, I also know that on any given day, with any given packet, there are lots of teams that can ‘toast’ their opponents. Having been present at the birth of NAQT for high school nationals in Norman, Oklahoma, I can attest to the fact that this is very much of an evolving academic event. Any one of several dozen teams could come from nowhere-ville and take home the natiaonl title. Thus sayeth the Prophet.

    • Several dozen? I’d say maybe a dozen teams would have a chance at beating the eventual champion over the course of the tournament. Maybe a half-dozen have a shot at the title. In fact, if the champion is not LASA, State College, or Maggie Walker, this year, I will be very surprised. Despite the seeming randomness, there does seem to be a method to NAQT’s madness and fluke champions are rare.

  7. If NOT State College, LASA or Maggie Walker, then who has played well enough this year to suggest it could be a Dark Horse winner?

    Certainly Centennial should garner some support, and Stevenson’s, Hunter’s and Auburn’s performances throughout the year also would seem to suggest they might be possible winners if the Big 3 fall short. And Dorman looked quite healthy to me defeating a very gifted DCC team at Prison Bowl. Bellarmine also comes to mind, but after this who? A red hot Richard Montgomery or St. Anselm’s perhaps? Am I missing any team that others think could make a serious run at it all if the Big 3 do indeed not play up to their usual standards of excellence?

  8. I am more than happy to reassert the veracity of my observation. If at the end of the Nationals tournament, one chooses to call me a false prophet, well, then, let the fate of the 400 prophets of Ba’al fall upon me. If not, then let’s do a role reversal, of sorts, and the rest of the naysayers can be cast into the Olympic Park Pool — or some other non-lethal punishment. Thus sayeth The Prophet!

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