30.4.15

DISCIPLINE TRUMPS TALENT.

Combine talent, experience, and discipline and you get the power rule that appears to be present in collegiate women's basketball.
The “downside” of having every great player stick around for four years is that teams get good. And they play together for long periods of time and get better. The effects of good recruiting — as well as good coaching — are more pronounced and last longer. In the women’s tournament, we have a much better sense of who the best teams are, and they play like it. You don’t get the “madness”-engendering scenario in which talented teams with no experience face off against experienced teams with less talent.

The irony is that the lack of upsets in the women’s tourney is frequently cited as a sign of the sport’s immaturity or inferior talent. But the chalk likely results from the opposite: The women’s game is the more mature of the two.

No doubt, the women’s tournament has a very different character than the men’s — and I don’t just mean the scarcity of dunks. Big upsets are extremely rare, and teams perform relatively closer to their expectations. But you don’t tune in to witness madness; you tune in to witness greatness.
Yes, although the author makes the mistake of conflating undisciplined flamboyance with talent.  To the extent that the recruit, redshirt, and develop model diffuses in the men's game, the pundits will have to rethink what they understand as the madness.

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