Monday, November 5, 2012

DWG College Hoops Preview: Teams #18-#12

I wasn't able to go to the Gopher game tonight, so instead here are a few more NCAA Hoop Previews (we're almost done!).  But first, a quick check on the Big 10 teams and how they've done in the exhibitions that have been played so far.

Illinois 79-47 over Lewis and 75-66 over West Chester.   The Illini had 21 turnovers vs. just 7 assists against West Chester.  Safe to say their issues with ball-handling haven't been resolved just yet.

Indiana 86-57 over Wesleyan.  Maurice Creek led the Hoosiers in scoring with 12.  I would have sworn that dude had graduated already.

Iowa 100-54 over Quincy.  Hawks forced 31 turnovers in this game, and based on possessions in the game it looks like Iowa might be converted over to a run-and-gun, press the whole game type of team.  Tom Davis would be proud.

Michigan 83-47 over Northern Michigan.  Trey Burke was suspended for this one which clearly didn't matter.  Two of the three vaunted freshmen hit double figures.  Tim Hardaway had 5 assists and zero turnovers.  Luckily he still shoots like shit.

Michigan State 85-47 over Northwood and 62-49 over St. Cloud State.  Derrick Nix looking like he's come to play this year with a 13 & 8 and 14 & 7 in these two.  Then again, I doubt teams of that caliber have anyone who can handle someone as wide as Nix in the paint.

Nebraska:  yet to play.  They can't even figure out scheduling properly.

Northwestern:  yet to play.  You'll never make the NCAA Tournament this way.

Ohio State 83-71 over Walsh.  DeShaun Thomas scored 25 and got up 17 shots with nobody else on OSU putting up more than 9.  The man is just a scoring machine.  Breathtaking.

Penn State 79-54 over Philadelphia.  D.J. Newbill, a transfer from Southern Miss, scored 15 them and Tim Frazier scored 17 with 8 assists.  Frazier is insane.  How he can put up the kind of numbers he did last year with no help is baffling.

Purdue 70-61 over Montevallo and 109-68 over Newberry.  They have three guys named Johnson (Ronnie, Terone, and Anthony) who were the three leading scorers against Montevallo.  That's hilarious.

Wisconsin:  yet to play.  Slackers.

Anyway, on with it.  And don't forget to check out the post directly below this one for TRE's Western Conference Preview which I totally just stepped all over.

18.  Creighton Blue Jays.  You're going to hear a sickening amount about Creighton this year, and not without reason, but you know how much ESPN loves their little teams that could and Creighton is the top qualifier this year (since Gonzaga and Memphis have done it so long and no longer qualify - well maybe Gonzaga).   This is a team that beat Alabama in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season and has nine of its top ten guys back including Doug McDermott who is somehow a National Player of the Year candidate.  The guy they lose is a big one in Antoine Young who has been their PG for three years, but he didn't even lead the team in assists last year so they'll probably be ok.  The real problem is that schedule.  They have a couple of so-so teams on there (North Texas, Cal, St. Joe's) but the only real team is Wisconsin and they just lost their PG for the season.  So it's very likely they will enter the MVC schedule undefeated and should run through there with only 1-2 losses.  Can you hear the media coverage already?  Can't you already hear Dickie V screaming about McDermott and Creighton?  Ugh.  I'm sick of it already and it hasn't even started yet.

17.  Kansas Jayhawks.  These guys rank 7th in both polls so I might be underrating them, but losing both Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson is huge - that's 34 points, 14 boards, and 7 assists just gone.  Then again, the year prior they lost the Morris twins and made the Championship Game, and the year before that they lost Sherron Collins (what happened to that guy?), Cole Aldrich, and Xavier Henry and still made the elite 8.  So I guess, what, Kansas is kind of a basketball factory?  Man, why am I always the last to know?  You know they're going to be involved on some level because you know they're always going to play defense, and even more fun is that big dopey surfer dude, Jeff Withey, is back with his 3.6 blocks per game from last year.  Man I love shotblockers.  Remember Antoine Broxsie?  God was I excited when he transferred to the Gophers.  Whiffed on that one.  He's the starting PF on my all-disappointing Gopher team (PG: Adam Boone, SG: Rico Tucker, SF: Rick Rickert , PF Broxsie, C Ralph Sampson, and Voshon Lenard's senior year should be on here somewhere too)

16.  Arizona Wildcats.  Arizona looks to be back, finally, and I for one am happy about it.  To have the alma mater of Sean Elliott and Sean Rooks be a giant suckhole was not good for my brain, man, but they're back.  A monster recruiting class (ranked #3 in the country by ESPN with four dudes in their top 100), a big-time transfer (Mark Lyons from Xavier who averaged 15 points and 3 assists per game last year and is immediately eligible thanks to that post-graduate rule that everyone who has ever used has been doing in order to further their academic career), and a couple of studs in waiting back will have Arizona back in the NCAA Tournament after their streak of I don't know like 25 years in a row or something ended last season.  FUN FACT:  Lyons was recruited to Xavier by then head coach Sean Miller.  Sean Miller is now Arizona's coach.  Good thing Arizona offered a post-grad degree Lyons was after that Xavier didn't.  What a happy coincidence. 

15.  Gonzaga Bulldogs.  I've come way around on the Bulldogs.  When they started winning a bunch of games I initially hated them the same way I currently hate Davidson - an annoying little brother winning a few too many games after hitting a lucky streak that the national media wants to make out with at all times - but now I've decided I'm a big fan.  You can't have this run of success by accident, and it's impressive how they've managed to keep it going and, stop me if you've heard this before, this season might be their best.  As per usual they're loaded in the back court with Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell, and these guys are just sophomores so you can expect them to be good for at least another few seasons, and Elias Harris is back and was good again last year so there's no reason to think he won't jump up another level in his final college year.  The key to this team's success may end up being center Sam Dower, a junior from Osseo (yes, Osseo, MN) who apparently the Gophers didn't need.  He's had a couple of nice seasons as a back-up and with Robert Sacre gone he's primed for a breakout year.  Gonzaga highlights on SportsCenter are literally going to kill me this year.  Yes, I said literally.

14.  North Carolina Tar Heels.  Normally a team starting two freshmen and two guys coming back off knee surgery would be cause for concern, but you know the deal once you start getting to this caliber of team - these aren't exactly mediocre talents.  James McAdoo, who for some reason is always called James Michael McAdoo which I am not going to do because it's annoying, could have been a Top 10 NBA pick last season if he had left despite playing just 15 minutes per game with UNC because apparently nobody remembers Marvin Williams, but he chose to stay and is immediately one of the favorites for ACC Player of the Year.  Seriously these guys will be fine.  The back-ups who played 10 minutes per game last year were all like, Top 50 recruits who were just biding their time, and they bring in the 8th ranked recruiting class which included stealing two guys (Marcus Paige from Iowa, J.P. Tokoto from Wisconsin) out of the midwest so seriously F these guys.  The only reason not to completely hate Carolina is because at least they aren't Duke.

13.  Memphis Tigers.  Guess which team hasn't won an NCAA Tournament game the last three years (no not the Gophers I mean a team that's supposed to win those games)?  Well obviously it's Memphis otherwise why would I bring it up?  That will have to change if Sam Weir look-a-like Josh Pastner wants to stay comfortable as Memphis jumps to the Big East next season, because this Memphis team is finally loaded the way those all Caliparian teams were.  They've got a very talented back court including former McDonald's All-American Shoeless Joe Jackson, Adonis Thomas (another former McD's AA who was hurt the majority of last season) is also back and healthy, and in the paint they grabbed another McD's AA in Shaq Thomas.  So yeah, I'd say Pastner's recruiting has finally caught up to what Calipari was doing when he was at Memphis.  Expect sanctions any day.

12.  Baylor Bears.  It's pretty incredible that Baylor can lose Perry Jones, Quincy Acy, and Quincy Miller all to the NBA and still have a shot at being a top 10 team this year, but Baylor has turned into a pretty incredible program.  Pierre Jackson is back to run the show after being named Honorable Mention All-American last season and was tabbed as the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year, and his back court mate Brady Heslip is back as well to knock down a billion threes.  Add in Deuce Bello, A.J. Walton, and Gary Franklin and it's safe to say there are no questions about Baylor's guard play.  Losing the entire front court could hurt, but Baylor could easily go three guards and there's plenty of incoming talent as well.  Particularly Isaiah Austin who is the best incoming center in the country and a top-5 overall recruit - the kind of guy lesser schools would call a "program changer" but just business as usual at Baylor.  Plus J'mison Morgan is somehow still around.  I swear that dude is older than Mbakwe.

Teams #68-60
Teams #59-53
Teams #52-47 
Teams #46-39 
Teams #38-34 
Teams #33-26 
Teams #25-20 
Team #19 (GOPHERS)

1 comment:

Loretta8 said...

Elias Harris still has eligibility? Damn.