Welcome to the Thursday edition of The Cooler. There is a lot of stuff to get to, so let’s get started:
*We’re one week from the NBA Draft, and you will no doubt see mock drafts touted even more in the next seven days than they have been already. MOCK DRAFT VERSION 23! An update of the No. 48 overall pick!
OK, but seriously mock drafts are somewhat useful, up to a point. I think there are diminishing returns the further you get from the No. 1 overall pick because the variables increase, but there is still value, if you are interested in prediction, at aggregating the mocks/guesses/insights from several good sources.
After reading several books on sociology, economic theory and prediction in the last couple of years, one point that is consistently reinforced is that an aggregation of several pieces of information tends to be more reliable than a single piece.
It helps smooth out bias — both from the predictor and the reader — and provides a better general idea of what will happen. You see it in political polling, and it applies to mock drafts as well.
OK, you didn’t come here for a VERY basic explanation of that principle. You came for what the mocks are telling us about the Timberwolves and what they might do with the No. 20 overall pick.
HoopsHype does a good job of this, considering six top mocks. The AGGREGATE says Boise State guard Chandler Hutchison is the most likely pick at No. 20, even though not a single one of the six mocks has him pegged to go to the Wolves. A lot of mocks have him going right around that spot.
Only one player shows up going to the Wolves in more than one mock: Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop, tabbed by ESPN and The Athletic as likely picks by Minnesota.
Donte DiVincenzo (Villanova), Jacob Evans (Cincinnati), Troy Brown (Oregon) and Aaron Holiday (UCLA) all show up in one mock.
Will one (or two) of the mocks be correct, or will the aggregate prove to be right? Maybe none of them will. That’s the challenge of the No. 20 pick. Everyone seems to agree, though, that the Wolves will take a wing who can score and defend at that slot. My preference remains Khyri Thomas of Creighton, but most mocks have him going later in the first round.
The generic answer: The Wolves will most likely take the guard still available that they feel has the best and most suitable skill set. But that’s no fun for a mock draft, right?
*Sad story from the world of women’s basketball: Anne Donovan, a legend in the sport, died of heart failure at the age of 56. Donovan was a 6-8 center who dominated at Old Dominion and later led Seattle to a WNBA title as head coach. She also hired Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve for her first job.
“Devastating news to hear of the passing of Anne Donovan,” Reeve told High Post Hoops Wednesday night. “Anne is the reason I am coaching in the WNBA. I’m so thankful for the memories we shared in our time together in Charlotte and through our years competing in the WNBA. Just over a week ago Anne sent a message of encouragement to me. My heart goes out to Anne’s family.”
*Here’s a very strange story from the NHL. The short version: Melinda Karlsson, wife of Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson, is alleging that Monika Caryk, the longtime girlfriend of Karlsson’s teammate Mike Hoffman, harassed and cyberbullied her and has filed an order of protection against her.
“Monika Caryk has uttered numerous statements wishing my unborn child dead,” Karlsson said in the sworn statement, per Global News. The Karlssons’ first child, a son named Axel, was stillborn in March.
*Former Twins pitcher Brian Duensing, now with the Cubs, spent part of the eighth inning on the mound and part of it in left field Wednesday. If you’re confused, you can read more about it here.