Monday, November 8, 2010

Big Ten Wrap-up, 11/8/2010

Last week the rest of the Big Ten team's kicked off their exhibition slates (Illinois started the week before) and every team in the conference played a game.  Surprise!  They went 11-0, with only Illinois struggling in their game (and Michigan, but they suck).  It doesn't really tell us much as far as beating up on this level of competition but we can find some player trends that can be interesting.  You can find my thoughts on your beloved Gopher hoopsters here, but there were some interesting developments from other teams:
  • Illinois turned the ball over 20 and 23 times in their two exhibition games, leading to smaller than expected winning margins (10 and 9 points).  I expect this to be their achilles heel throughout the year, since they haven't had an actual point guard since Chester Frazier graduated.  And yes, I'm aware Demetri McCamey led the Big Ten in assists last year.  I don't care.  You will never convince me he's an actual point guard. 
  • Maurice Creek scored 16 points in 20 minutes during Indiana's win over Franklin College.  It's not so much the dominating inferior competition, as it is coming back from a big time knee injury to take a team-high 14 shots in only 20 minutes that tells me he's being aggressive, which likely means there are no lingering issues.
  • I was wondering if Purdue would end up with a third scorer emerging or if it would be a collective Robbie Hummel pick-me-up, and the first game was a collective effort with six guys scoring between six and nine points in their game against Indianapolis (Moore and Johnson led with 11 and 13), including talented freshmen Terone and Anthony Johnson.
  • Draymond Green has added the three-point shot to his repertoire.  Last year Green shot just 16 three-pointers all year, making two.  Last week in Michigan State's game against Saginaw Valley State he shot three, making two.  Interesting.  Also if he and Maurice Walker ever guard each other in a game that floor is caving in.
  • Jershon Cobb is going to make an impact for Northwestern after starting and scoring 12 points in 21 minutes.  He's a top 150 recruit in the country, I'm assuming the first for the Wildcats, and they're looking to him immediately, which makes me think he's probably as good as advertised.  Adding a fourth scorer makes Northwestern far more dangerous and far more relevant.  
  • Tim Hardaway, Jr. is certainly not afraid to shoot, and I'm guessing he's going to kill the Wolverines more than once this year.  Despite shooting 1-7 from three and 2-10 overall he led the team in shot attempts and three-point attempts.  
  • John Gasser might be the non-descript, non-heraled white freshman who makes the biggest splash for the Badgers this year.  He led Wisconsin freshmen in minutes (20) and points (9), and fun fact:  he's from Port Washington, Wisconsin, which is where the hit TV show Step-by-Step took place.  I always loved Al.  Once she got old enough, I mean.
  • Talor Battle is still not getting any help from his front court.  Their senior starting trio tallied just a combined 18 points against a severly undersized East Stroudsberg team with nobody over 6-6 on the roster.  If Penn State is going to make a surprising run to an NCAA bid, Battle's going to need somebody to help out in the paint.  This doesn't bode well.
  • I mentioned in my Big Ten preview that the one big weakness for the Buckeyes could be a point guard, but it perhaps freshman Aaron Craft is up for the task because he notched 8 assists to go along with 12 points in the Ohio State rout of Walsh.  It's also tough to get a true gauge on somebody's value when their team wins 102-56, and Adam Boone once looked like the next Magic in an exhibition game, but this certainly isn't a bad sign for OSU. 
  • Iowa is still terrible, even if they did manage to win by 45.  And Eric May will probably have to carry the team.  Have fun with that.
So, you see, there are a few nuggets we can take from these games.  Some may be indicators of the future, while some may not, but what the hell, we're just here chat anyway.


    Illinois gets things rolling in the 2k Sports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, playing UC-Irvine tonight and Toledo on Wednesday as the 2010-2011 College Basketball season gets officially rolling.  Other Big Ten teams play their final exhibition tune-ups during the week before getting things started for real over the weekend, mainly versus cupcake city.  The only two games that could be remotely competitive are the Gophers vs. Wofford and Northwestern vs. Northern Illinois.  Wofford won the Southern Conference last year, almost upset Wisconsin in round 1 of the NCAA Tournament, and return four starters including conference POY (and Minnesota boy) Noah Dahlman.  It should be a good test to see exactly where the Gophers stand this year.  Northwestern vs. NIU is only interesting because it's rare a Big Ten team opens on the road, but the Wildcats should be able to handle them without issue.


    Still no real games, just a bunch of exhibitions that nobody really reports on unless it's Duke, so no real comments here.  Of note though is the play of Harrison Barnes, a preseason All-American as a freshman.  Let's just say he didn't exactly live up to the hype in his first exhibition game, tallying just .

    Coming up, the season gets started for Pitt, Texas, and Maryland early as they join Illinois in the Coaches vs. Cancer tourney and tip-off Monday, with Pitt facing a good tester right out of the box in Rhode Island.  Then everybody gets going over the weekend, with the best games probably Seton Hall @ Temple, Georgetown @ Old Dominion, and Northern Iowa @ Syracuse on Friday, San Diego State @ Long Beach State and Weber State @ Utah State on Saturday, and South Dakota State @ Iowa on Sunday (LOL, at least it should be competitive).

    College hoops is here.  It's finally here.

    Finally, here are the futures bets I've got for the season. If you can still get any of these teams at anywhere near these odds I would highly recommend jumping on them, although most of them have come considerably down. Because I'm a genius.

    Washington 60-1
    Minnesota 150-1
    Virginia Tech 200-1
    San Diego State 100-1
    NC State 200-1
    Arizona 100-1
    Baylor 30-1

    Minnesota 12-1 (BIG TEN)
    St. Johns 12-1 (BIG EAST)
    Missouri 6-1 (BIG 12)

    I also kind of like NC State in the ACC at 8-1, but Duke is so loaded this year it's basically throwing money away betting against them.

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