Wednesday, October 3, 2012

NCAA Hoops Preview: Teams 68-60

As the college basketball season approaches, you're no doubt wondering to yourself, "Hey, when is DWG going to start in with those needlessly long college basketball conference previews that nobody really reads anyway but come with hot pictures?"  Well, I have news for you:  I'm just too busy these days to write that much about the bottom teams of Conference USA, sorry.  I can't, however, go into a college basketball season without at least writing something, so instead I will write short previews of the top 68 teams this year by my estimation, in reverse order.  Why 68, you ask?  Because when I first wrote down all the interesting teams I had 73, and 68 seems like a nice number for college basketball so I chopped off four (sorry Wichita, North Texas, Central Florida, and South Florida).  I will be posting these in chunks of however many I feel like at a time.  So here we go with #s 68 through whatever I get to.

This is an average Utah State girl.
68.  UTAH STATE AGGIES.  I understand nobody really cares about Utah State, but other than Williams Arena it's the place I've seen the most college basketball games, that arena is awesome, and the chicks there are as hot as I've seen anywhere outside of Target HQ, so USU will always get a bump from me.  Plus assuming they can find a way to replace point guard and horrible first name guy Brockeith Pane at the point they should walk to the WAC title (again).  Preston Medlin will be in the running for WAC player of the year and fellow wing Kyisean Reed might be the most athletic player in the conference since Magnum Rolle or at least from what I've seen which admittedly is not all that much because the WAC is never on TV.  In any case it should be a bounce back year for the Aggies, which will make it much more enjoyable if I'm out there for a game this year.  Well, that and the chicks, man.

67.  IOWA HAWKEYES.  It's looking like Iowa might be back, and by back I mean back to the mediocrity we've become accustomed to rather than this laughing stock status I've thoroughly enjoyed the last few seasons.  McCaffery snagged one of the better recruiting classes in the conference this year, and Roy Marble and Aaron White look like they're going to be major factors even if Aaron White doesn't look like he should be any kind of factor at all.  If Melsahn Basabe can bounce back from a sub-par sophomore year the Hawkeyes could be better than this, but I wouldn't count on it because Iowa sucks and everybody knows it. 

66.  USC TROJANS.  Good news for the Gophers, this is the only non-Battle 4 Atlantis non-conference opponent who appears on this list.  Bad news is that they might not even belong this high but I mean come on, we have to at least have the chance to believe there's a decent opponent on the slate, right?  Actually the Trojans would have probably belonged right about here, but leading scorer Maurice Jones transferred after being declared academically ineligible, and that's a bit of a ding right there.  Still, there are a couple decent returning guys and if guard Jio Fontan is fully recovered from last season's ACL injury he's really, really good.  There are also a bunch of transfers from places like Wake and Tennessee and UC-Irvine so who knows, the Trojans could be good enough to surprise.  And by surprise of course I mean surprisingly make the NIT, not the NCAA Tournament.  Make no mistake, a loss by the Gophers to these guys is a disaster. 

65.  NEVADA WOLFPACK.  The move to the Mountain West will hurt Nevada a bit short term since that conference is pretty good whereas the WAC would have been Utah State, Nevada, and that's it, but I'm sure long term it'll be good or something.  Still, Nevada has some serious fire power and should score an upset or two.  The Deonte Burton and Malik Story back court combo is the type that can win a game on it's own if they're both hot, or could completely shoot them out of a game if not.  One thing is for certain with that kind of guard tandem - I won't touch a single game bet of theirs the whole season.  Unless it's the late game.  On TV.  Ok fine, even if it's not on TV, but it WILL have to be a late game.  Probably.

 64.  MANHATTAN JASPERS.  The Jaspers haven't been relevant since the glory days of Luis Flores, but now they're back and Bogart can break out his Manhattan Jaspers t-shirt again.   They return last season's leading conference scorer and last year's Conference Defensive Player of the Year along with a few other starters and should be good enough to tangle with Loyola in the MAAC.  I'd write more but really that's all I know but I really wanted to rank Manhattan in here because god it was so much fun wagering on Manhattan on Friday nights when Flores was there.  I think they covered ever single night.

I agree with these girls.
63.  IOWA STATE CYCLONES.  Another team I may be ranking too highly but I like them and it's my blog and my rankings so screw you fascist.  Anyway, the losses will be tough to deal with especially since Royce White led the team in basically every category including assists (and Chris Allen and Scott Christopherson were scorers #2 and #3), but I have a feeling Hoiberg's transfer system is going to work out well (coming in this year:  Korie Lucious from Michigan State and Will Clyburn from Utah) in the short term, and the team's success is already paying dividends in recruiting with one ESPN Top100 recruit coming in this season and two more on-board already for 2013, which if you're scoring at home is only one fewer than Tubby's signed in his entire time with the Gophers.  That's it, I'm moving to Ames.  Plus they have a really kick-ass sandwich shop there (West End Deli, maybe?) and a "strip club" where the girls strip down to bikinis which is weird but whatever.  All that plus actual D-I level basketball.  Sounds like nirvana.

62.  UMASS MINUTEMEN.  Can UMass finally get to their first NCAA Tournament since 1998?  No, probably not since the only time that school was good was when cheater Calipari was there, but at least they should be in the mix.  They have a good start with apparent 1980's movie bully Chaz Williams back, who led the A-10 in assists last season, and if you start with a great distributor you never know how things are going to fall.  They also have basically the same entire squad back from last year's NIT Final Four team, which is both a positive and a negative, and it's a very experienced team.  Sort of the opposite of Nevada, UMass is a solid, experienced, and quality team who should be able to hang with pretty much anybody without getting blown out.  They don't play anyone particularly good this year, so I can see taking them in any game where they are +5 or worse.  Also I didn't intend for these previews to be gambling related in any way, but it turns out I have one hell of a gambling problem.

61.  MIDDLE TENNESSEE BLUE RAIDERS.  Remember last year when these guys blew through the Sun Belt like they owned the joint and were even a possible at-large team depending on how the conference tournament went?  And then they lost in their first conference tournament game to a shitty team and got bounced to the NIT where they won two games before the Gophers stomped on their heads?  Well this is basically the same team with more experience.  They do lose their leading scorer who also happened to be the conference player of the year, but should still be the best team in the conference.  The only team who should be able to challenge them is North Texas, so there's no reason Middle Tennessee shouldn't be making a trip to the NCAA Tournament this year.  You know, just like last season.

60.  ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE.  It's going to be tough to replace JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell, although less so Mitchell because he missed the team's last eleven games after being suspended.  The biggest key to the season may be freshman Devonta Pollard, a small forward who is an absolute elite player from Day 1 (#28 overall on ESPN, #22 on Rivals).  If Pollard (who is 6'8) can play in the paint Alabama's two billion good guards could surround him and make this a very good team.  If he can't, they basically have nobody else and they will suck like that 2 Broke Girls show.  There is no in between.  I refuse to allow it.


Loretta8 said...

no way is Kevin O'Neill leading a team of his own players to anything other than the Pac-12 basement.

WWWWWW said...

Somehow I knew you'd be in here with an O'Neill comment.

Loretta8 said...

It is known.

snacks said...

No baseball preview? Lazy. I was planning on reading it and then using the opposite reasoning for placing series bets.

WWWWWW said...

I'll do something for next round. The one-game Wildcard and starting the first round when I was out of town kind of threw me off.