Breaking Down Jon Rothstein’s Overly Optimistic Tweets

If you’re a college basketball fan that frequents Twitter, then chances are you follow CBS Sports and WFAN insider Jon Rothstein. There aren’t many analysts who work harder at their craft, as Rothstein lives, breathes, and sleeps college basketball. We here at Big Apple Buckets respect the hell out of him, but if you ever paid attention to his Twitter timeline, you’ll notice one overwhelming, and ultimately annoying theme.

Not one single tweet is negative. Reading Rothstein’s timeline is like attending a cheerleader’s convention – every player is a guy to watch out for, a sleeper, a potential breakout candidate. Every team mentioned is talented, will compete for whatever league title. Frankly, it’s comical at times. For example, check out a typical Rothstein tweet from last week that drew the scrutiny of John (and rightfully so):

Asking a team to improve by 12 wins in a difficult Atlantic 10 is a tall task, but this is what Rothstein does on Twitter. He promotes everyone and everything. So we decided to embark on a harmless, yet fun experiment. After sifting through the “stay hungry, stay humble” tweets, I randomly pulled some offseason tweets before the 2012-13 season to see how Rothstein fared with his glowing projections. Were his tweets ridiculously optimistic, or were they fair?

(Quick disclaimer: I had no idea how Rothstein would fare before diving into this. I don’t even know what to consider an acceptable percentage for correct predictions. I’ll simply let you be the judge.)

Let’s begin, shall we?

Delaware finished 13-5 in the CAA, tied for second place. On the other hand, Drexel disappointed thanks to injuries and poor performance, so we’ll call Rothstein’s opening prediction a wash.

White was productive for Niagara, but I’m not sure if I’d call him a conference changer. This is the trouble Jon gets into on Twitter, everyone is a wildcard, a must-watch candidate, a sleeper. Just once I dare Jon to write, “So-and-so needs to be more consistent or it could be a long season for Team A.” But that will never happen.

Umm, not exactly. To be fair, though, many of us were sending the Colonials to the NCAAs up until the point Jamion Christian’s Mountaineers had to ruin it. Yours truly was firmly in the Rothstein camp for this one.

The mid-major conference Rothstein tweets the most about is the MAAC, which is fine given his location. The problem, as you’ll see throughout these tweets, is every team in the MAAC has upside. Rothstein never once indicates which teams are in his bottom tier. That’s because all 10 MAAC clubs should have finished in the top five according to our cheery analyst! And for those scoring at home, Lewis did have a monster season, but it did little to improve the Red Foxes standing in the MAAC. Marist finished with a 6-12 record in the MAAC.

See what I mean already?

If by really score, he means average 12 ppg while shooting 36.4% from the floor and averaging more turnovers than assists, then Rothstein nailed it!

If Rothstein was confident, he’d tell you to write it in pen! Nevertheless, props to the infinitely optimistic one – Calhoun averaged 11.1 ppg in his freshman campaign. That prediction was OFF THE CHARTS!

This Big East prediction didn’t pass the test, however. Projecting 17 and 7 for a sophomore residing in one of the best conferences in America (at the time) is hopelessly optimistic. Pinkston had a very good year, don’t get me wrong, but projecting a 17 and 7 season is foolish, at best.

Good call by Rothstin here, although these tweets drive me nuts. If you go through his entire offseason timeline, there would be hundreds of players you should “keep an eye on.” But Chambers was a beast, despite being thrust into a starting role when Curry decided to cheat on a take home final exam.

Rothstein loves Harvard, it’s by far his most talked about Ivy League team. Still, he was correct as Moundou-Missi stepped up to have a solid season in the absence of Kyle Casey.

Jamee Crockett’s scoring average improved 0.1 ppg to 8.7 ppg as a sophomore. That, I reckon, doesn’t qualify as emerging.

Oof. It’s not fair to pick on Rothstein here though. He wasn’t aware – nor was former Hofstra head coach Mo Cassara – that four Pride players would launch a moronic scheme to make a quick buck by stealing and pawning off Apple electronics. There’s no way an iPad will have a tracking device, right?

Artis was solid as a rookie, averaging 7.2 points, 3.2 assists, and 1.5 steals in nearly 24 minutes per game. It wasn’t good enough to garner Pac-12 all-rookie team honors, but this should qualify as an instant impact type of season.

A good call. Brown averaged a career high 11.4 ppg, while also remaining nationally ranked in rebound and block rate. I guess the 7.3 pounds of muscle really helped.

Nope. A cupcake non-conference schedule likely did the Terps in. Fans got their hopes up early when Maryland was whipping up on mid-majors like IUPUI, Monmouth, and Maryland Eastern Shore, only to be bitterly disappointed come conference season. Doesn’t that sound familiar, Seton Hall fans?

Sure, I guess. Xavier did finish their conference season over 0.500, which is a nice accomplishment in the brutal Atlantic 10.

After Derek Needham and, at times, Maurice Barrow, there was an abundance of uninspiring play for the Stags. Gilbert was part of the underwhelming mix, averaging 5.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 0.5 block per game. Is that considered an impact? I say no.

Chalk another one up for Rothstein. Although projecting 20 victories for a team that won 21 games the prior season and lost only one key starter, isn’t exactly going out on a limb, if you know what I’m saying.

Does an 8.0 ppg scoring average and only one double-digit scoring performance in his final 16 games construed as “lethal.” I think not.

Another classic “don’t sleep on this team” tweet. I’m not impressed. Sadly, the NEC prediction tweets were few and far between. Rothstein loves Andy Toole (who doesn’t) and is aware of Wagner because of the Hurley brothers past success, but that seems to be about it.

Well, Munford was URI’s leading scorer. On the other hand, ouch. The Rams didn’t surprise, they went 8-21. As I touched on previously, Rothstein adores Dan Hurley. This is the equivalent of this season’s 20-win prediction.

Ehh. In terms of efficiency rating, Cummings was the sixth most productive player on Fran Dunphy’s Temple squad. I’d hardly call that a breakout performance.

Sometimes, the jokes just write themselves! Poor Matt Milk, he didn’t have a chance.

Getting smoked by Robert Morris in the first round of the NEC tournament doesn’t qualify as the top of the NEC. Inconsistent play from Travis Nichols, Ben Mockford, Akeem Johnson and the point guards did them in. Basically everyone not named Jalen Cannon.

A tip of the cap to Rothstein there. The eventual MAAC Player of the Year was sensational for Tim Cluess, as he led the conference in scoring with 22.6 ppg.

Another excellent call. After finishing fourth in the CAA regular season, Brady’s crew pulled off upsets over Delaware and Northeastern in the CAA tournament before dispatching LIU in the NCAA tournament. I’d call that a little jump.

Rothstein is officially on a hot streak. Towson nearly doubled his prediction with 18 victories in season number two under Pat Skerry. The rebuilding process didn’t take very long.

OK, this isn’t fun anymore. Rothstein is absolutely killing it now. OFF. THE. CHARTS!! (Unlike the Whopper I just ate from a Burger King off the New Jersey turnpike…)

And we’re back. After a shocking win over Rutgers to begin the season, the Peacocks flamed out in the MAAC to finish … you guessed it, tenth out of ten teams. Regardless, you won’t find a more loyal supporter of John Dunne then Rothstein. I’m not quite sure why, since Dunne has compiled a mediocre 71-143 record as St. Peters head coach.

Let’s finish on a positive note. After all, Rothstein’s tweets supplied us with a massive post here on Big Apple Buckets.

In conclusion, Rothstein was correct on half of those aforementioned tweets that offered true predictions (16 of 32). Is that good? With no one to compare to, it’s tough to say. We will let you be the judge, is their more fluff than bite with Rothstein’s Twitter timeline?

You can follow Ryan on Twitter @pioneer_pride

9 thoughts on “Breaking Down Jon Rothstein’s Overly Optimistic Tweets

  1. Jaden Daly

    Okay, so Jon missed on a couple. He’s not perfect, but who out there is? Even my predictions aren’t as accurate half the time, and for the record, I too had St. Francis in the top half of the NEC when the year started, as did a lot of others…even this site as well if I remember correctly. And as far as his promotion is concerned, anyone and everyone has the potential to be a sleeper or breakout performer until the season starts. Perfect example: Mandell Thomas at Fordham, who started to break out after the Siena game. Who among us thought Thomas would be an X-factor for the Rams? Nobody can go into a season and automatically label the year a lost cause before the game is even played…St. Francis women’s basketball was a combined 8-79 from 2009 to 2012, but I never once came out and said it would be a long season, at least not blatantly. On a side bar with the MAAC, it was wide open, as seven of the ten teams finished .500 or better. Find me another conference with that kind of parity. And not many do a better job getting something out of nothing than John Dunne. He may have a .333 winning percentage, but he also has a conference championship that NO ONE, probably not even Jon himself at the start of the 2010-11 season, expected him to get. Yes, our colleague Mr. Rothstein might only be hitting .500 according to this article, but it’s a lot better than most.

  2. Kevin

    You should really do an analysis of his eight millions tweets comparing a college player to a former college player and see how accurate he is.

    1. rpeters Post author

      I love to see that, Kevin, but I’m a married man.

      “Hey hun, want to see a movie tonight?”

      “Sorry, I have to scan someone’s Twitter timeline for the next…25-28 hours.”

  3. Jaden Daly

    I took another look at each tweet and came up with 27 of 32 for Rothstein, with another couple that just missed. So that makes him 30/32. Great numbers if you ask me.

    1. rpeters Post author

      I don’t understand how you only counted 5 predictions as incorrect. Off the top of my head, Rothstein got Lindsay and Chambers’ scoring, the Terps making the Big Dance, St. Peters and St. Francis Brooklyn’s finish in MAAC, and URI’s “surprise team” as wrong.

      I accuse you, Jaden, of being overly optimistic toward Rothstein’s overly optimistic tweets! But you have every right to disagree with me.

  4. Jerome Fox

    Stalk much?

    I reviewed the internet and found that this entry is a bigger waste of time than 99% other columns posted.

    If you could compare Rpeters to any 5th grade teacher past or present, who would it be?. Put away your red pen Misses Crabapple.


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