What-If Projections: How Draft Decisions, Coaching Changes and Commits Impact 2017-18

We put "What if?" scenarios into our model to evaluate how draft decisions, coaching changes and commits shook up the 2017-18 season. 
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Sports Illustrated’s 2017-18 college basketball projections are a collaboration between economist Dan Hanner, SI’s Chris Johnson and SI’s Jeremy Fuchs. The system uses college and AAU statistics, recruiting rankings and coaching data to project every Division I player and team. For a deeper look at how the system works, read this explainer. SI’s ranking of teams 1-351 has been more accurate than similar 1-351 rankings produced by ESPN, CBS Sports and noted analyst Ken Pomeroy for three consecutive years.

In the final installment of our preview, we’re veering from projecting what will happen this season to projecting would have happened in different scenarios. In these “what if” hypotheticals, we used our model to evaluate how certain draft decisions, recruiting wins/losses and coaching changes would have affected the college basketball landscape in 2017-18. The many ideas offered on social media last week are much appreciated, but we decided on the following seven, which had the most impact onthe national title race or caused the most extreme shifts in a team’s ranking.​