2016-17 BIG Ten Preview

Posted on November 7, 2016. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG TEN Basketball Preview…

November 7, 2016

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We are predicting that the Big Ten will experience a “changing of the guard” in 2016-17.

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The crispness of the fall air, the time change (fall back), and the squeak of basketball sneakers in gymnasiums across the country can only mean ONE thing – basketball is back! And the official start for the march to March Madness has started.

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Here’s our look at the Big Ten:

As of right now, Wisconsin seems to have the greatest advantage. The Badgers return every key player from a team that regrouped under new coach Greg Gard to go 12–6 in Big Ten play. Meanwhile, teams like Michigan State, Indiana and Purdue will look for role players and secondary scorers to take the next step.

1. Wisconsin

Five starters return, including Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig — key players with Final Four experience.

 

2. MichiganState

Tom Izzo has rarely relied on freshmen, but he will do so this season with Miles Bridges and Joshua Langford heading his best recruiting class.

3. indianabb-logo

If Pitt transfer Josh Newkirk delivers at point guard and OG Anunoby takes the next step, the Hoosiers could win the Big Ten title again.

4. purduebb-logo

Getting Vince Edwards and Caleb Swanigan to return was critical, but Matt Painter’s team won’t contend unless it finds a high-caliber point guard.

5. Michigan

Keeping Derrick Walton healthy for the entire season is critical for the Wolverines, who have a nice first five but little experienced depth.

6. marylandbb-logo

Melo Trimble is back for his third tour at Maryland. He will have to play like the league’s best point guard as the Terps try to replace four starters.

7. OhioState

Transfers wiped out most of Thad Matta’s sophomore class, so depth and the maturity of point guard JaQuan Lyle are the primary issues.

8. pennstate-bb

With the addition of Pat Chambers’ best freshman class, the Nittany Lions will be able to win with talent as well as grit.

9. Iowa
The loss of four starters plus memories of the Hawkeyes’ struggles down the stretch last season make Iowa the Big Ten’s biggest mystery.

10. northwesternbb

Chris Collins has upgraded the talent every year, and he has the point guard (Bryant McIntosh) to compete.

11. illinois-bball

Losing 19 games and facing a string of off-the-court issues have Illini fans wondering if John Groce can regain momentum.

12. minnesotabb
Richard Pitino has failed to make the NCAA Tournament for three seasons and needs to impress a new athletic director.

13. nebraska2

Losing Andrew White in late June was major setback that coach Tim Miles did not expect.

14. rutgersbb

The Scarlet Knights have hit the reset button — again. It’s Steve Pikiell’s turn.  Big Ten Superlatives

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Player of the Year: Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin

Best Defensive Player: Ethan Happ, Wisconsin

Most Underrated Player: Jae’Sean Tate, Ohio State

Top Newcomer: Miles Bridges, Michigan State

 

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Top College Basketball Teams 2013-14

Posted on November 18, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Our Top Teams…

November 2013

Another exciting college basketball season is underway! This should be an incredible season because there are a number of legitimate contenders. You will see some great matchups early in the year, including Michigan State-Kentucky and Kansas-Duke in Chicago early – November 12. That’s four of my top five teams squaring off in one night!

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1. Kentucky
John Calipari has reloaded big time. He has the top recruiting class in America by far, and this group should be special. Think about it — the Harrison twins (Aaron and Andrew), Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson, James Young, Marcus Lee —  WOW! Then add in veterans like Jarrod Polson, Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein to help the youngsters learn the ropes, and Big Blue Nation will be smiling.

2. MichiganState
Having Adreian Payne up front, plus a healthy Gary Harris, Keith Appling and Branden Dawson, is enough to believe the Spartans are legit contenders to cut down the nets in April. The Big Ten favorites will be cohesive and deep. Tom Izzo is a master motivator at tournament time and his team should make a deep run in 2014.

3. Louisville
Russ Smith’s decision to return to school gives Rick Pitino an even better chance of going back-to-back. Chane Behanan will be even tougher on the glass. Luke Hancock is more confident after being named Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four. I can’t wait to watch Louisville and Kentucky go at it in late December, and don’t forget about Chicago’s very-own Wayne Blackshear.

4. Duke
Mike Krzyzewski will have a more athletic team that will run, baby, run! Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood are newcomers to watch. Expect more from Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon. The return of Andre Dawkins will provide long-range shooting help.

5. Kansas
The Jayhawks moved up because of one name — Andrew Wiggins. There will be excitement for Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk with the diaper dandy leading the way at the Phog. I expect Perry Ellis to develop into a valuable performer.

For the rest of our list, click here.

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2012-13 NCAA Basketball Things We Think We Know

Posted on November 9, 2012. Filed under: Basketball, Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

October 25, 2012

Midnight Madness got started last week which marks the start of the 2012-13 NCAA basketball season. But there’s still four weeks to the first offical game, so we began our debate projections and predictions.

THINGS WE THINK WE KNOW ABOUT THE 2012-13 SEASON

1. Nov. 9: That’s the day the season gets underway with Kentucky vs. Maryland in Brooklyn.

2. Missing Shabazz: How many games will UCLA’s talented freshman, Shabazz Muhammad,wind up missing? The NCAA has been digging for months. It could be anywhere from five to 15 games — and if it’s on the high end, would he just go overseas?

3. Is this another “rebuilding year for Kansas? ROTFLMBO!!!!

5. Final season for Syracuse and Pitt in the Big East…

6. Tobacco Road trio: Duke isn’t exactly overwhelming, North Carolina lost four first-rounders and N.C. State brings back nearly everyone – who will stand on top? Right now it looks like the Wolfpack might be the preseason ACC favorites over Duke and UNC.

7. Kentucky reloads… will this help or hurt?

8. Midwest is on the map across the board in the preseason as Indiana hopes to hang another Final Four banner in what’s expected to be Cody Zeller’s final year of school… Yeah we know he’s a sophomore but come on, who stays nowadays?

9. Atlantic 10 is heavily represented in many polls this season. They could potentially have six teams in the NCAA tournament this year

10. West Coast resurrection? Last year no team left of the Central time zone made the Sweet 16. We’ll see…

11. In a word, Louisville. Can Rick Pitino take the spotlight away from freshmen driven Kentucky? Well we will see December 29.

15. Can Syracuse remain as entertaining and watchable this season especially after losing Fab Melo, Dion Waiters, Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph?

16. Can Tom Izzo make it to his seventh Final Four with Michigan State?

17. Mid-Major watch: Can Murray State repeat last season performance as they jumped out to a 23-0 record and won a game in the NCAA tournament? Or will Missouri Valley conference continue to represent like last season as they sent two teams (Creighton, Wichita State) to The Dance last year, and can Illinois State make a run?

23. Larry Brown (72) took over a downtrodden SMU program that’s headed to the Big East in 2013-14. Hhhhmmmm….

24. There’s a new television show only playing at Oklahoma State – (Marcus) Smart and (Le’Bryan) Nash. These are two top-10 prospects in their respective classes coming out of high school. So now people want to know can they play together and get wins?

26. Simply put… Buzz! Marquette coach Buzz Williams hopes to make another quiet run towards New Orleans…. SSSShhhhh

39. Can Northwestern FINALLY break their 75th year in a row of NOT making it to the NCAA dance? This Susan Luci convonent award will stop sooner or later – Right?   42. Harvard showed Northwestern how it’s done ending their 65-year NCAA tourney drought… So can they pick up from last year’s momentum? It’s going to be tough considering starters Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry were both implicated in an academic cheating scandal and will miss the season.

47. Tulsa? Who? We said Tulsa… Can first year coach Danny Manny turn things around?

48. USC hopes to be out of the ER this season as coach Kevin O’Neill bring back Jio Fontain, Dewayne Deadmon and Aaron Fuller, as well as the addition of J.T. Terrell, Eric Wise and Renaldo Wooldridge.

52. Can the Runnin’ Rebels run an entire season instead of the first 20-or-so? On paper they should especially with the additions of Pittsburgh transfer Khem Birch, USC transfer Bryce Jones, top-10 freshman Anthony Bennett, four-star guard Katin Reinhardt and All-American Mike Moser.

53. Bruce Weber has a new address and it’s at Kansas State. So can he get the team to follow his vision?

63. Reaction to refereeing: Nothing enhances the game-watching experience like you chiming in on Twitter about the zebras. It’s always rational, long-sighted and filled with expert opinion. Block/charge calls, the charge circle in general, all the new rules coming to the game. I’m sure we’re in for the most level-headed season yet. Please log in to Twitter and share your opinions as often as possible.

68. The second Monday night in April: Yes, this season’s national title game will be played on the second Monday night in April as opposed to its usual first. Blame the calendar. Tom Crean might get his first national title that night. Rick Pitino or John Calipari could get their second. Or something totally unexpected might culminate in Atlanta. Nobody can say for sure. But the five months spent getting there should be a blast.

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