- 2018 Coaching Carousel March 22, 2018 Brett Siegel
UPDATED: June 6th, 2018
From now to the start of next season, we will have you up-to-date with each coaching hiring and firing at every program across the country! Below is the most updated list of coaching changes in this year’s “Coaching Carousel” !
- NCAA Tournament Preview: #6 Houston vs. #11 San Diego State March 15, 2018 Brett Siegel
#6 Houston Cougars v.s. #11 San Diego State Aztecs
Thursday (3/15) 7:20p EST, TBS
The 6-11 match-up always has been an interesting matchup to watch during the first weekend of the tournament. 11-seeds are always a threat to pull off an upset in the first weekend, and for the first time, 11-seeds have won at least three of the four match-ups with 6-seeds in consecutive years. All time, 11-seeds are 55-97 (36.2%) and continue to shock people during the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. We can definitely expect Houston vs. San Diego State to be a very intriguing match-up!
Houston Cougars (26-7) (14-4) – American
Houston enters the NCAA Tournament after making a run in the AAC Tournament, eventually losing to Cincinnati in the championship game. All season long though, Houston has been a very consistent team, led by veterans Rob Gray and Corey Davis Jr. Both Gray and Davis Jr. combine for an average 32.0 PPG and have led Houston back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010. Since taking over as the Houston head coach back in 2014, Kelvin Sampson has turned this program around and into one of the most efficient programs in the country! He has posted an 82-47 record (64%) in his four seasons with the Cougars and finally brought them back to the NCAA Tournament with a shot to make a run!
When you watch Houston play, it is very clear to see that Rob Gray is the leader of this team. He leads the team in points, assists, and minutes. Rob Gray was named to the AAC-All Conference First Team this season and has been heating up as of late. He is averaging 23.6 PPG in Houston’s last 7 games, and put up three 30-point games over that stretch. His ability to score is something very valuable to this Houston team and if he is struggling to score, Houston’s offense is stagnant. Along with Corey Davis Jr. on the wing, Gray’s ability to draw defenders inside and kick out to Davis for a wide open three makes Houston a dangerous team in transition. Their guard play is some of the best in the country and will give a lot of teams problems if they are to move on.
X-Factor: Ability to Score in Transition and Spread the Court
Houston is not a big team at all, as their tallest player on the court is usually 6’6”. They may not be able to contest a lot of shots in the paint, but they will rip the ball out of their opponents hands and begin their quick transition offense. Houston is one of the better scoring defenses in the country, as they rank T-21 in the country for opponents PPG at an average of 64.9 PPG allowed. They also possess one ...
- NCAA Tournament Preview: #4 Wichita State vs. #13 Marshall March 14, 2018 Sean Bock
#4 Wichita State vs. #13 Marshall
San Diego, CA
Friday, March 16, 2018 (1:30 PM ET, TNT)
Wichita State (25-7, 14-4 AAC)
Player to Watch: Landry Shamet: 15.0 PPG, 5.1 APG, 3.2 RPG
Despite his team’s recent struggles, Shamet has been playing at a high level and is the reason Wichita State is such a dangerous team. In the last three games, Shamet is averaging 19.6 points, 4.6 assists and is connecting on 57 percent of his 3-point attempts. Great guards are the ticket to NCAA Tournament runs and Shamet is one of the best in the country as he can impact the game in so many ways.
X-Factor: Defensive Intensity
The Shockers boast one of the premier offenses in the country but their defense is a bit skeptical at times. Gregg Marshall’s team is very athletic, but they often lack the discipline on the defensive end and try to outscore teams rather than make it a focus to get stops. Marshall plays a very fast, up-tempo style of play so Wichita State will have to make sure it gets after it defensively.
Marshall (24-10, 12-6 CUSA)
Player to Watch: Jon Elmore: 22.8 PPG, 6.9 APG, 6.0 RPG
Elmore has one of the most impressive stat lines in the country this year and has been the main reason why the Thundering Herd are having one of their best seasons in program history. Elmore has only scored less than 15 points in one game this year and has had four 30-point performances. While scoring is his main attribute, he has dished out at least 10 assists on seven different occasions this season.
X-Factor: Force Wichita State to guard
As I stated earlier, the Shockers have trouble on the defensive end which gives guys like Elmore, C.J. Burks (20.5 PPG), and Ajdin Penava a chance to put up big numbers. If Wichita State puts too much focus on scoring points, the Thundering Herd could cause some issues.
Match-Up to Watch: Shaq Morris vs. Penava
While the guards are the main focus this time of year, this matchup boasts one of the more intriguing inside battles. Penava, a 6-foot-9 big man, averaged 4.1 blocks per game and could give Morris (14.0 PPG) some difficulties down-low. When Shamet has struggled this year, Morris has been the go-to option and Penava shutting him down would give Marshall a distinct advantage in this one.
Key Stat: Wichita State Offensive Rebounding
The Shockers rebound 35.2 percent of their shots which is 10th in the country according to KenPom. The Thundering Herd are not a big team (203rd in average height) and have problems keeping opponents off the offensive glass. Wichita State shoots a decent amount of 3’s, so Marshall is going to have to make it a focal point to box out everytime the ball goes up.
Prediction: Wichita State 90, Marshall 85
This game is going to be awesome if you hate defense. Both teams can put up big numbers and have a good balance of inside and outside productivity. Wichita State is the clear favorite in this one but Marshall is going ...
- UConn fires Kevin Ollie March 10, 2018 Sean Bock
UConn and Kevin Ollie have parted ways; the school announced Saturday morning.
The Huskies went 14-18 this season and 7-11 in AAC play. In five years at UConn, Ollie was 127-79, including a national championship in 2014.
“The University of Connecticut has initiated disciplinary procedures to terminate the employment of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Kevin Ollie for just cause,” the school said in a release. “The University will have no further comment on the matter until the completion of both the University’s disciplinary process and the ongoing NCAA investigation.”
UConn has also lost the services of three-star point guard James Akinjo who reportedly decommitted this morning amid Ollie’s firing.
“It is unfortunate that this decision became necessary,” said Director of Athletics David Benedict. “As with all of our programs, we hold men’s basketball to the highest standards. We will begin a national search immediately to identify our next head coach.”
A few names I’d anticipate involved in the coaching search are current Rhode Island head coach Danny Hurley and former Indiana head coach Tom Crean.
Photo: Getty Images
- Thank You, Kevin Ollie. But That’s Enough. March 9, 2018 Nick Schwartz
On Thursday afternoon, the 2017-18 season for the UConn Huskies ended not with a bang, but a sad, sad whimper. The Huskies trailed by nineteen at the half against an SMU team missing its best player and multiple key reserves due to injury. A half-hearted second half rally at one point cut the margin to four, but it was always going to be too little, too late. As Jeff Jacobs of Connecticut Heart Media put it, UConn basketball has hit rock bottom. The only plausible play for the beleaguered program is to remove Kevin Ollie.
True UConn fans will be forever grateful to Ollie for his many contributions. He gave them four great years as a player, then served as a prime example of hard work in Husky blue paying off during his long NBA career. Following his playing days, he returned as an assistant coach, during which his stint was marked by a 2011 national championship. When Jim Calhoun, arguably the greatest coach in college basketball history, retired, Ollie was tabbed to replace him.
This was during a rocky period marred by NCAA penalties, including a postseason ban, and a wave of conference realignment that left UConn behind. Still, Ollie persisted during those first two years, keeping the program respectable in the last year of the real Big East, then doing the unthinkable: cutting down the nets in 2014. Ollie, and UConn, were once again on top of the college basketball world.
First, it was the Los Angeles Lakers. Then, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kevin Ollie became one of the hottest names on the NBA coaching carousel. To preserve their hero, UConn extended Ollie with a lucrative contract that paid him over $3 million dollars annually. It seemed like the Huskies had done the impossible: replaced a legendary coach with another legendary coach, if only in his infancy. What has followed is nothing short of a travesty.
UConn mightily underachieved in 2014-15, ending up in the NIT, despite being the defending national champion. The program entered 2015-16 with high expectations, but largely failed to deliver on those promises, instead flaming out in the round of 32 against Kansas. Then, the last two years happened: utter failure in all facets of the program. Recruiting. Player retention. Development. Teaching. Winning games. Between 2016 and 2018, UConn basketball, a legitimate blue blood and owner of four national championships in the last twenty years, went 30-35.
Injuries most definitely played a part. Alterique Gilbert was a 2016 McDonald’s All-American who has not played a game in December or later in either of the last two seasons. Terry Larrier missed most of 2016-17 with a torn ACL. Nearly every player on the team the last two seasons has missed at least some games due to an injury. But injuries did not cause three potential rotation pieces to transfer out in the spring of 2017. Injuries are not the reason top 2017 and 2018 recruits have avoided the Huskies like the plague. For most players, injuries are not the ...
- Detailed List of College Basketball Teams with Direct Ties to Federal Probe February 24, 2018 Noah Holley
Leading source: Yahoo Sports
- Alabama: Freshman Collin Sexton reportedly among players/families of players who met with or had meals with former ASM employee Christian Dawkins
- Arizona: FBI wiretaps caught head coach Sean Miller and Christian Dawkins discussing $100K payment to ensure freshman DeAndre Ayton went to the school
- Auburn: Personnel/former personnel linked to corruption case include: former assistant Chuck Person arrested in September after FBI findings of corruption and fraud; freshman Austin Wiley, who was ruled out for season after reportedly accepting benefits; and current player Danjel Purifoy, also ruled out for the season due to ties to corruption case
- Clemson: Former player Jaron Blossomgame reportedly received at least $1,100 from ASM Sports while still in college
- Creighton: Former player Justin Patton reportedly among players/families of players who met with or had meals with former ASM employee Christian Dawkins before turning pro
- Duke: Freshman Wendell Carter reportedly among players/families of players who met with or had meals with former ASM employee Christian Dawkins; Duke rules his eligibility is not in question
- Iowa State: Former player Monte Morris reportedly among players/families of players who met with or had meals with former ASM employee Christian Dawkins before turning pro; Morris’ mother denies allegations
- Kansas: Apples Jones, the mother of former player Josh Jackson, reportedly received at least $2,700 from ASM Sports while Jackson was still in college
- Kentucky: Players reportedly linked to corruption case include: former player Bam Adebayo, who according to documents accepted $12,000 and $36,000 in separate handouts; and freshman Kevin Knox, among players/families of players who met with or had meals with former ASM employee Christian Dawkins
- LSU: Former player Tim Quarterman reportedly received at least $16,000 from ASM Sports while still in college
- Louisville: Former recruit and current South Carolina player Brian Bowen, ensnared in initial investigation into corruption in college basketball, accepted $100K from Adidas; Bowen and his family were also mentioned in Yahoo Sports report, as documents revealed Bowen and his family revealed at least $7,000 in benefits
- Maryland: Former player Diamond Stone reportedly received at least $14,303 from ASM Sports while still in college; head coach Mark Turgeon denies knowledge of payments
- Michigan State: Mother of current player Miles Bridges reportedly received “hundreds of dollars in advances”; head coach Tom Izzo appeared on Christian Dawkins’ expense reports
- North Carolina: Players reportedly linked to corruption case include: former player Tony Bradley, among players/families of players who met with or had meals with former ASM employee Christian Dawkins before turning pro; and former player Brice Johnson, also among players/families of players who met with or had meals with Dawkins before turning pro
- North Carolina State: Former player Dennis Smith reportedly received $43,000 from ASM Sports while still in college (separate document reveals Smith accepted a total of $73,500 in loans); athletic director Debbie Yow claims school cut ties with ASM Sports owner Andy Miller in 2012
- Notre Dame: Former player Demetrius Jackson reportedly among players/families of players who met with or had meals with former ASM employee Christian Dawkins before turning pro
- Oklahoma State: Former assistant Lamont Evans arrested in September after FBI findings of corruption and fraud
- San Diego State: Current player Malik Pope reportedly received at least $1,400 from ...
- Analyzing the UConn Investigation January 26, 2018 Nick Schwartz
Late Thursday night, on the heels of their best win this season, news broke via Jeff Jacobs of Hearst Connecticut Media that the UConn Huskies men’s basketball team was under investigation by the NCAA for potential recruiting violations. This striking news puts even more damper on what has already been a tumultuous year for the program.
Truthfully, there is not a lot of information to analyze. What we do know, is this: Sometime over the past couple months, an external source reported potential violations to the NCAA surrounding UConn men’s basketball recruiting. Since then, the NCAA has conducted approximately one hundred hours of interviews involving coaches, players, former players, and others related to the program. It is rather astounding that this investigation seems to have been kept under wraps for at least a couple weeks.
It does not appear that this investigation has any relation to the FBI probe currently hanging over all of college basketball like a dark cloud. Following those revelations, the NCAA directed all D-I programs to conduct internal reviews of their programs. The only connection is that UConn has hired the same law firm in this current case that they used last fall to conduct their internal review. The results of this review were normal, and both Coach Kevin Ollie and school president Susan Herbst declared the program clean.
Beyond these facts, virtually nothing has been confirmed about the current investigation that is unrelated to the FBI investigation. This, however, has not stopped rampant speculation on the parts of both media and fans. It is of the utmost importance to take any analysis, including the following paragraphs, with a grain of salt. No one knows anything official, and those that might are not going to be talking with reporters. There is no knowledge relating to the level of potential violation, or if an infraction was even truly committed.
On September 1st, Sidney Wilson, a top-100 wing out of New York in the class of 2017, committed to UConn after earlier deciding to transfer from St. John’s after only taking a couple weeks of summer classes. When Wilson announced his initial decision to attend St. John’s, UConn was widely perceived as the runner-up for his services. Recently, UConn was informed that their waiver application in order to make Wilson eligible for this season had been denied by the NCAA. During the waiver application process, St. John’s was not helpful whatsoever in UConn’s attempts to make Wilson eligible. Is it possible that St. John’s accused UConn of tampering with Wilson before he officially announced his intent to transfer? There is no evidence to support this accusation, or that UConn is guilty of the potential infraction. However, the pieces would fit, especially with this news breaking only hours after news broke that UConn’s final appeal to earn Wilson eligibility was denied. It must be reiterated that the above is ALL speculation and that as of now St. John’s nor Wilson are known to be involved in the investigation.
Other scenarios may be more pernicious. ...
- Preview: UConn vs. Arizona December 20, 2017 Nick Schwartz
No. 18 Arizona (9-3) seems to have gotten back on track after a rocky start to the season. The Huskies (7-3) could use a quality road win to bolster their murky hopes. Will they get it Thursday night in Tucson?
Kevin Ollie is coaching for his professional life. There’s no point in mincing words or making excuses any longer; he has to pull a below-average UConn team together and make the NCAA Tournament. Failure is not an option for a coach that has in many ways been nothing but a failure since 2014. The season has been a roller coaster through the first ten games for UConn. They’ve beaten all the teams they should (though usually uncomfortably) while failing to step up when matched against quality opposition. Arizona presents a unique chance for Coach Ollie to buck this trend and have his team compete in a game no one expects the Huskies to win.
The days of UConn demolishing teams by forty seem distant. Their biggest win this season is by nineteen, while they’ve been taken to overtime by two cupcakes. Combined with a trio of blowout losses, and many fans are wary of this team’s talent level. Against the vaunted Wildcats, the star players for UConn will have to step up. Jalen Adams and Terry Larrier are both dynamic scorers. However, neither of them seems to do a great job of making their teammates better. This is especially troubling for Adams, who averaged over six assists a game last year. The stagnant Husky offense this season has run largely on isolation. There’s only so many creative ways for a player to take their defender off the dribble. There needs to be more creativity and more team involvement to possibly keep up with Arizona’s ability to score. Up front, the Huskies have a lot of bodies, but are at a severe talent disadvantage. Quality performances must come from each and every post player on UConn’s roster to at least slow down the torrid talent that Arizona possesses.
As just mentioned, the Wildcats have a vast talent advantage in the frontcourt. They’ve also got a supreme advantage in depth; Coach Sean Miller is not afraid to use eleven players in his rotation. Up front, it all starts with Deandre Ayton. The future lottery pick is more physically developed than any other freshman in the nation and knows how to use his body. His finishing touch around the hoop makes him a focal point of the Wildcats’ offense. He should get a bucket virtually whenever he wants against UConn’s smaller and less talented post players. Other freshmen like Brandon Randolph and Ira Lee also provide quality minutes. Getting Rawle Alkins back on the wing makes this offense all the more potent. He’s a tremendous complement to star player Allonzo Trier and forces teams to pick their poison, because it’s impossible to stop both of them. Arizona will be able to attack a porous Husky defense in a ...
- College Pride Press Top 25 – Week Seven December 18, 2017 Nick Schwartz
Well, so much for last week being slow. A multitude of ranked teams fell on Saturday, creating hysteria for our voters. It seems that after finals, some of our ranked teams came out flat. Several of these games ended in dramatic fashion, such as Indiana’s upset win over Notre Dame and Xavier’s dramatic heroics to overcome their opponent.
The most impressive performance in a week with fewer games was undoubtedly Oklahoma. The Sooners went into Wichita, Kansas (something the Jayhawks will never do!) and came out with a victory over the formerly number four Shockers. At this point, Trae Young has to be a strong candidate for national player of the year. Now, it’s time to reveal the newest edition of the College Pride Press Top 25:
- Villanova (11-0, LW: 1) def. Temple, 87-67. Villanova only played once this week, but they put in a clinical performance to top the Owls. Jalen Brunson led the way with a dominating game that included 31 points, 6 boards, and 5 assists. CPP’s number one team will play against Hofstra on Friday night before the Christmas break.
- Michigan State (10-1, LW: 2) def. Oakland, 86-73. Upset-minded Oakland gave the Spartans a good fight for thirty-five minutes, but the superior talent at Tom Izzo’s disposal allowed his team to pull away at the end. Back in action twice this week, Michigan State plays against Houston Baptist on Monday and Long Beach State on Thursday.
- Duke (11-1, LW: 5) Duke was off this entire past week to take finals. However, primarily due to Wichita State’s loss and a non-stellar performance from Miami, they have moved up to the number three spot. They’ve got one game this week before Christmas, and it should result in a win against Evansville.
- Arizona State (10-0, LW: 8) def. Vanderbilt, 76-64. And the Sun Devils march on. They started slow, but dominated the Commodores during the middle stretch of the game. Reserve Mickey Mitchell had a coming out with 8 points and 13 rebounds. Expect them to stay undefeated with games against Longwood and Pacific on the docket.
- Miami (FL) (9-0, LW: 3) def. George Washington, 59-50. Finals must have taken a toll on the Hurricanes, because they looked very flat down the stretch. Despite a 17-point lead at halftime, the ‘Canes only won by nine. Still, they are one of four undefeated teams left. They travel to paradise for a road game against Hawaii this weekend.
- Texas A&M (9-1, LW: 9) def. Savannah State, 113-66. A&M looked like a juggernaut against their hapless opponents. The Aggies put seven players in double figures and hit 16 three-pointers. They play twice this week against Northern Kentucky and Buffalo. Getting past those two would put the Aggies on a perfect path entering SEC play.
- Xavier (10-1, LW: 6) def. East Tennessee State, 68-66. That was almost a nightmare result for the Musketeers. Down double digits nearly the entire game, they stormed back to win thanks to Trevon Bluiett. He’s averaging 21.4 points a game. ...
- College Pride Press Top 25 – Week Six December 11, 2017 Nick Schwartz
Bedlam. That was last week. Five of our top ten teams lost. Some in games you wouldn’t predict in a million years. It’s clear that Christmas came early for college basketball fans, as chaos dominated. We had Florida get trounced by their rival then inexplicably lose to a mid-major. Kansas got shocked in a pair of home games (ok… one of those was in Kansas City. But who do you think they were cheering for?) and fell like a rock. Mighty Duke, the expert escape artists, finally found a deficit they couldn’t overturn. And who took down the vaunted Blue Devils but… the Boston College Golden Eagles? If conference play is anything like this past week, there will be gigantic movement in every new poll.
However, this storm has left a need to calm down in its wake. This coming week, many programs either have light schedules or no games at all. In all the madness, it can get tough to remember that these world-class athletes are also still students who have student-like responsibilities. Finals are the dreaded archenemy of the college student. Schools have often settled on this week, the second full one in December, as the ideal time for exams. Because of this, there may not be as much excitement at this time next Monday.
But first, let’s recall the utter calamities that gripped the college basketball world this past week. Teams have jumped. Teams have sunk. Without further ado, let’s take a peek at the newest edition of the CPP Top 25:
- Michigan State (9-1, LW: 2) def. Rutgers, 62-52; def. Southern Utah, 88-63. Michigan State and Villanova actually ended up with the exact same number of votes. However, the Spartans received one more first place vote than the Wildcats, and have therefore ascended to the top spot. With Oakland as their only competition for the week, they’re likely to stay here.
- Villanova (10-0, LW: 4) def. Gonzaga, 88-72; def. La Salle, 77-68. The undefeated Wildcats are basically our number one team. Their decimation of the Bulldogs further drove home the fact that they will be a factor all season. Despite their mediocre performance against La Salle, they held on to win. Temple, on the road, is the next game.
- Miami (FL) (8-0, LW: 6) def. Boston, 69-54. With the losses in front of them, Miami has risen to the number three spot, despite an underwhelming game against the Terriers. Dewan Huell and the Hurricanes don’t play until Saturday, when they come to the nation’s capital for a game with George Washington.
- Wichita State (8-1, LW: 5) def. South Dakota State, 95-85; def. Oklahoma State, 78-66. After a lackluster performance against SD State, the Shockers looked strong in their road win over Oklahoma State. Landry Shamet netted 30 points to key the victory. Wichita State only has one game this week, but it’s a big Saturday battle with Oklahoma.
- Duke (11-1, LW: 1) def. St. Francis (PA), 124-67; lost to Boston College, 84-89. Duke made 15 threes and scored 71 ...
- Preview: UConn vs. Syracuse December 4, 2017 Nick Schwartz
It’s a rivalry game in the Big Apple! Connecticut (6-2) meets Syracuse (6-1) in a clash of old Big East titans. The game is the nightcap of the Jimmy V Classic to benefit cancer research.
There’s something special about New York City. The streets of Manhattan bring out the best when two beasts of the east meet up for a battle. This will be the third-consecutive season these teams will meet despite no longer being in the same conference. In 2015, an arguably less-talented Syracuse team topped the Huskies in Atlantis. Last season, a decidedly weaker Huskies team knocked off Syracuse on the floor of Madison Square Garden. This season, the teams return to Midtown Manhattan for a rubber game.
Connecticut comes into this game unsure of their true talent level. They may be 6-2 without a bad loss, but both of their last two wins have come in overtime against teams from far weaker conferences. There’s uncertainty surrounding multiple players, particularly the injury-prone Alterique Gilbert. His shoulder issues have left the Husky backcourt depleted, but the three remaining guards are all quality players. Jalen Adams and Antwoine Anderson have proven themselves as playmakers. Christian Vital can be a strong three-point shooter and will not be scared of the big stage; last year as a freshman, he hit the two free throws that broke the 50-50 tie with a second left that gave UConn the win. Mamadou Diarra seems to be rounding into shape as a physical presence down low, though there is still not much in the form of offense from the Husky big men. Hopefully, Eric Cobb will be fully healthy. The six-foot-nine forward returned from an ankle injury on Saturday, but clearly was not completely comfortable.
Tyus Battle is as dynamic as they come on both ends of the floor. He will be the most important piece for a Syracuse team that’s down to seven rotation players after the departure of Geno Thorpe. Canadian Oshae Brissett is a tenacious rebounder and, as just a freshman, could go down as one of Boeheim’s best recruiting finds. He, along with Battle and Frank Howard, who also averages 6 assists a game, provide the bulk of Syracuse’s punch. Howard also keys the zone from the top, and averages over 2 steals a game. Anchoring the zone is the seven-foot-two Pascal Chukwu. He’s an elite shotblocker and allows the other defenders to attack passing lanes viciously; they know he’s back there to correct their mistakes. He blocked 8 shots in the win over Oakland. UConn has had a lot of trouble defending on the perimeter this season. Syracuse has largely struggled thus far shooting from the perimeter, but could find themselves with more quality looks against the Huskies.
Attacking the Zone
Syracuse’s vaunted zone defense has been made even more effective this year by the length of their perimeter players. Battle and Howard are the perfect players to ...
- Pregame: TCU vs. SMU December 4, 2017 Ben Auten
Pregame: TCU Horned Frogs vs. SMU Mustangs
Tuesday, December 6th, 7:00 PM ET, Fox Sports Southwest
The TCU Horned Frogs are off to an 8-0 start for the second year in a row, but lost to rival SMU last year to end their unbeaten run. However, this year SMU comes to Schollmaier Arena, and the Frogs are riding a nation-leading 13-game winning streak. TCU gets set for a pair of notable out-of-conference matchups beginning with SMU, and then Nevada on Friday night.
Meanwhile, the SMU Mustangs are 7-2, but have marquee wins over then No. 2 Arizona and No. 14 USC this past Saturday. SMU holds the nation’s longest unbeaten streak at home, having won 28 in a row, but now head to Fort Worth for their first true road game this season. The Mustangs will be looking for their unprecedented third win over an AP Top 25.
TCU is led by second-year coach Jamie Dixon and he has an experienced group that returned its top 6 leading scorers from a year ago. Seniors Vladimir Broadziansky (14.4 points per game) and Kenrich Williams (12.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game) have led the Frogs early on. However, the biggest surprise for TCU has been the play of sophomore Desmond Bane, who is seventh in country in 3-point percentage.
SMU may have lost Semi Ojeleye from a tournament team a year ago, but the Mustangs haven’t skipped a beat. Junior guard Shake Milton is fifth in the American in scoring, averaging 18.7 points per game. But, the Mustangs pride themselves on the defensive end. SMU allows an average of 56.3 points per game, which ranks third in all of college basketball. Head coach Tim Jankovic has a long, athletic group that causes all sorts of problems for opponents.
Players to Watch:
TCU: #0 Jaylen Fisher
The sophomore guard was TCU’s highest-ranked recruit in program history, and has improved across the board in his second season. He leads the Frogs in assists, averaging 5.8 per game. Fisher was held to 10 points on 4 of 11 shooting in this matchup last year, while having just 1 assist to 4 turnovers. Now, with a season under his belt, Fisher is the catalyst for this Horned Frogs offense that will be tested against SMU’s defense.
SMU: #21 Ben Emelogu II
SMU’s senior guard has been the epitome of a “big time player” so far this season. Emelogu averages 10.7 points per game, but scored 16 points on 4 of 5 shooting from 3-point range in their last outing against USC. Then, in the Mustangs’ win over Arizona, Emelogu posted a season-high 20 points on 5 of 7 shooting from beyond the arc. Emelogu provides a lot of experience, and when he shoots well, gives this SMU offense a much-needed boost.
TCU 68 – 64 SMU
- College Pride Press Top 25 – Week Five December 4, 2017 Nick Schwartz
Oftentimes, the couple weeks following Thanksgiving can be a slow period in college basketball. The high competition of the early-season tournaments can have some teams looking for reprieve in smaller opponents. Finals are coming up, too, which means teams will usually go at least a week without contesting a game. After all, these dynamic players are still students! None of this seems to apply this year.
Three of our top twelve teams from a week ago fell in what was another chaotic stretch of games. The result is a poll that is much-changed from this time seven days ago. Michigan State flexed their muscle against Notre Dame. Both Xavier and Seton Hall knocked off two ranked teams. The USC Trojans continue to struggle as one of their best players sits with eligibility concerns. Without further ado, let’s see how this all affected our voters and take a look at the new CPP Top 25:
- Duke (10-0, LW: 1) def. Indiana, 91-81; def. South Dakota, 96-80. Duke is the first team to ten wins this season. They battled for much of the game against IU before pulling away with their superior talent. Marvin Bagley has lived up to the hype thus far. He will lead Duke against St. Francis (PA) and ACC foe Boston College this week.
- Michigan State (7-1, LW: 4) def. Notre Dame, 81-63; def. Nebraska, 86-57. Like a well-oiled machine, the Spartans’ combination of defensive tenacity and number of offensive weapons tore through two more opponents. Michigan State even picked up a couple first-place votes this week. Rutgers and Southern Utah are the next victims.
- Kansas (7-0, LW: 2) def. Toledo, 96-58; def. Syracuse, 76-60. So far, KU is the most consistent team in the nation. They’re winning games by an average of thirty-one points a game. Their only nail-biter was UK; Syracuse deserves props for even keeping the margin within twenty. Next up to challenge the Jayhawks are Pac-12 teams Washington and Arizona State.
- Villanova (8-0, LW: 3) def. Penn, 90-62; def. St. Joseph’s, 94-53. At this point, it’s clear Villanova has lapped their Big Five brethren. They hit nineteen triples against the Hawks to set a program record. The Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday will see them clash with Gonzaga. La Salle will be the next Big Five challenge in a Sunday game.
- Wichita State (6-1, LW: 6) def. Savannah State, 112-66; def. Baylor, 69-62. The Shockers rebounded nicely from their tough Maui loss. After demolishing the Tigers, Wichita State went to Waco and took care of Baylor behind Connor Frankamp and Shaq Morris. This week, they entertain South Dakota State before traveling to Stillwater for a battle with Oklahoma State.
- Miami (FL) (7-0, LW: 10) def. Minnesota, 86-81; def. Princeton, 80-52. A category five hurricane may be brewing in Coral Gables, but Floridians should be excited not scared. Instead of the vaunted backcourt, it was forward Dewan Huell that paced Miami in their ultra-impressive road win against Minnesota. Boston University will make the trip down the coast ...
- College Pride Press Top 25 – Week Three November 20, 2017 Nick Schwartz
Last week, the college basketball year truly began, thanks to the Champions’ Classic. Those two battles brought us high-level competition just days into the season. In addition, a couple other ranked teams also saw themselves get beat, or nearly. This includes Northwestern and USC, one of which clung to a tough win and kept its lofty ranking; the other fell short and crashed out. Given the results, there is some actual movement in the poll this week. Without further ado, let’s get to the latest CPP Top 25:
- Duke (4-0, LW: 1) def. Michigan State, 88-81; def. Southern 78-61. Well, it certainly appears Grayson Allen has put his troubles behind him and is back to being a stellar baller. In an underwhelming performance against SWAC foe Southern, Wendell Carter led the way with a double-double. Duke first takes aim at Furman tonight, before heading out west to partake in the loaded Motion Bracket of the PK80.
- Arizona (3-0, LW: 3) def. CSU-Bakersfield, 91-59. The Wildcats have yet to be challenged on the young season. That happens when you shoot near 60 percent as a team through three games. How’s a stacked Battle 4 Atlantis bracket sound for a challenge? An undefeated NC State will be their first-round opponent. Northern Iowa and SMU could provide a second-round test. Purdue and Villanova also headline the field.
- Kansas (3-0, LW: 4) def. Kentucky, 66-61; def. South Dakota State 98-64. In a wild game, KU knocked off UK to cap another astounding Champions’ Classic. They play a pair of games this week as part of Maui Invitation on-campus games; it’s unfortunate the Jayhawks won’t actually be in Hawaii. Those opponents will be Texas Southern and Oakland.
- Wichita State (2-0, LW: 5) def. Charleston, 81-63. The Shockers haven’t played in seven days, last knocking off C of C without a ton of effort. This week, Landry Shamet and co. travel to the tropical paradise of Hawaii for the Maui Invitational. They open up with Cal tonight in a slightly weaker Maui field than usual.
- Michigan State (2-1, LW: 2) lost to Duke, 81-88; def. Stony Brook, 93-71. The Spartans couldn’t contend late against Duke, but it was a good outing until the game’s final five minutes. That insanely good sophomore class led Coach Izzo over Stony Brook, thought Bridges picked up a minor injury. He better get healthy quick, because the Victory bracket of the PK80 will be tough to navigate. They play DePaul first, then meet Oregon or Connecticut.
- Villanova (3-0, LW: 6) def. Nicholls State, 113-77; def. Lafayette, 104-57. With six players averaging double-figures, ‘Nova’s stellar roster has not missed a beat. Though their opponents to this point have been easy, it gets tougher with a trek to the Bahamas and the Battle 4 Atlantis. First up in the loaded field is Western Kentucky. Arizona looms in a potential final.
- Cincinnati (3-0, LW: 10) def. Western Carolina, 102-51; def. Coppin State, 97-54. The Bearcats have not been tested this season and are averaging 102 ...
- College Pride Press Top 25: Week Two November 13, 2017 Nick Schwartz
The first weekend is in the past. As per the usual, there wasn’t a ton of drama. Most teams played schools from lower conferences, which served as punching bags and measuring sticks. Though some teams struggled to work through growing pains, such as Kentucky, there shouldn’t be a lot of stock placed in teams based on their games from the first weekend. That is, except for Texas A&M. Without arguably their best player, the Aggies made a statement in their blowout over West Virginia. However, despite the tough loss, the Mountaineers still have a number before their name. Let’s see where the rest of college’s elite rank up in this week’s edition of the CPP Top 25:
- Duke (2-0, LW: 1) def. Elon, 97-68; def. Utah Valley 99-69. So far, so good. Duke got off to a strong stark with a pair of blowout wins at Cameron Indoor. Marvin Bagley has been as advertised, efficiently averaging 24.5 points and 10 rebounds a game. The Champions’ Classic and a duel with Michigan State await Duke this week. Southern is also on the schedule.
- Michigan State (1-0, LW: 2) def. North Florida 98-66. Last year, Michigan State’s close win over UNF was not without controversy. This season, no such issues. Miles Bridges had a double-double to lead Coach Izzo’s squad in their opening win. They meet Duke in a titanic tilt on Tuesday, then play Stony Brook over the weekend.
- Arizona (2-0, LW: 3) def. Northern Arizona, 101-67; def. UMBC, 103-78. Big time offensive production has propelled the Wildcats thus far. Allonzo Trier and co. have been unstoppable. Deandre Ayton has been a beast down low. The Wildcats have CSU-Bakersfield next on the schedule.
- Kansas (1-0, LW: 4) def. Tennessee State, 92-56. The poor Tigers had no chance against KU. It was Lagerald Vick that paced the way with 23 points, though he was one of six Jayhawks in double figures. Hopefully, Coach Self and his players enjoyed their warm up, because they have to play Kentucky on Tuesday. They’ll also entertain South Dakota State on Friday.
- Wichita State (1-0, LW: 5) def. UMKC, 109-57. Like Kansas, the Shockers also put six players in double figures on their way to a rout. They also went 13-23 from deep and hit over 60 percent from the field. Wichita State will only play once this week in a home game against the College of Charleston on Monday.
- Villanova (1-0, LW: 6) def. Columbia, 75-60. While the Wildcats won decisively, they did not completely overwhelm Columbia. Still, behind Eric Paschall and Jalen Brunson, Villanova is at 1-0. They’ve got two home games lined up for next week, though neither opponent, Nicholls State and Lafayette (PA), should give them much trouble.
- USC (1-0, LW: 9) def. Cal State Fullerton, 84-42. The Trojans only gave up 15 points in the first half of their victory. For USC, the massive win is a tiny step towards validating their lofty ranking. Next up for USC is North Dakota State, who ...
- So You Want to Be a Champion? November 9, 2017 Brett Siegel
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The programs are ready, the courts are so shiny, the fans ready to cheer! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” If you aren’t in the College Basketball season spirit, then what are you doing? It has been 7 months since the nets were cut down and the North Carolina Tar Heels raised the National Championship trophy to end the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Times have changed now and new faces in college hoops, like Michael Porter Jr. and Marvin Bagley III, look to make their presence felt early on in the season. But old villains, including the likes of Grayson Allen and Devonte Graham, look to end their college career with a trophy in their hands. The number one question everyone is asking about before the start of the season though is “Who will be this year’s champion?”
On November 10, 2017, 351 college basketball programs all start their campaign to make it to the madness in March and lift the trophy under the storm of confetti. Everyone’s road to the championship starts shortly, but they all need to go through their conference, before the can have a shot at the field of 68. So you want to be a champion? Well, take that up with the rest of your conference, because they are thinking the same thing!
Now, with all that said, let’s breakdown all 32 conferences as I predict each conference’s champion and who I have in my preseason Final Four!
AMERICAN EAST CONFERENCE:
Previous Champion: Vermont Catamount 29-5 (16-0)
The American East Conference has always been considered a mid-major conference, and while it has produced two solid teams in Stony Brook and Vermont within the past two years, this conference has never won a game in the NCAA Tournament. In fact, a 13-seed for Vermont last season was the highest the American East has ever been ranked in the tournament. Looking at the American East this season, you should not expect much change. The Vermont Catamounts are returning their top 3 scorers from last year’s historic season and should be in store for another great season. I fully expect the Catamounts to once again storm through the American East and raise another American East title, but do not sleep on Albany this season. Albany could give Vermont a run in the American East, but I do not see any other team except Vermont raising the American East title this season.
My Conference Champion: Vermont Catamounts
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE (AAC):
Previous Champion: SMU Mustangs 30-4 (17-1)
Oh the American Conference. Remember back in 2014, when the UCONN Huskies won the National Championship as an 8-seed in the American Conference’s inaugural season? The expectations for this conference started off extremely high, but have slowly declined over the past few seasons. Since the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the American Conference is 3-8 in the NCAA Tournament and has not had a Sweet-16 team since 2014. The ...
- Lukas Kisunas Commits to UConn October 2, 2017 Nick Schwartz
On Monday morning, Lithuanian native Lukas Kisunas pledged to the UConn Huskies, giving Coach Ollie his third commitment in recent weeks, all for the Class of 2018. He had made an official visit to Storrs last week. Kisunas, a native of Vilnius, the country’s capital city, recently measured in at 6 feet, 10 inches and 256 pounds, according to Brewster Academy head coach Jason Smith. He will bring some much-needed muscle to the Huskies’ front court in 2018.
Kisunas is a physical specimen that does not mind doing the dirty work to help his team prevail. He’s got great defensive footwork and a reputation for setting brick-wall screens. Given the dynamic guards and ball handlers that usually make up the star power of Husky rosters, a player like Kisunas is essential to the team’s success. Without a vaunted big man to facilitate the pick-and-roll, the offense lacks a lot of punch. Kisunas should fit this team like a glove.
A rise in the rankings is likely in the cards for Kisunas. He spent the later part of the summer being a key cog on the Lithuanian national team that won bronze at the European Youth Championships. Before that, he played with the New England Playaz on the Adidas circuit. This upcoming season will be his second at Brewster Academy, a known powerhouse that recently produced current Husky star Jalen Adams.
This past weekend, the Lithuanian went on an official visit to Illinois, as the Illini had also been heavily involved. Other marquee offers came from Purdue, Creighton, and Pittsburgh. Kisunas was also drawing heavy interest from schools such as Maryland, Ohio State, and Stanford. Academics were an important part in this decision. Kisunas also had talked extensively with Ivy League schools, chiefly Dartmouth. The Huskies, recently ranked the 18th best public university in the country, will be adding an accomplished student in addition to a talented player.
With this commitment, the Huskies should be all but complete with 2018 recruiting. Four-star guard James Akinjo of California and rising wing Emmitt Williams, Jr. of Washington are the other two pieces of their 2018 group. Having the class shored up so quickly should allow the Huskies to get a leg up on 2019 recruiting, where they will likely swing for the fences after adding key rotation pieces with the current class. It’s also likely the Huskies will have one more excess scholarship in the Spring, which could open the door for a high-profile decommit or graduate transfer. Whatever the case, Coach Ollie has his team set up for long-term success.
PHOTO LINK: https://twitter.com/f150zach/status/858691748570247168
- Special Solar eclipse day Bracketology August 21, 2017 College Pride Press
Special Solar eclipse day Bracketology by: Jonathon Warriner
For some, today might be the last time you will be able to read my Bracketology, due to looking into the sun without Solar eclipse glasses. Enjoy reading my latest predictions, and remember to wear the Solar eclipse glasses before looking at the eclipse.
West Region (Los Angeles)
1.Arizona (San Diego)
2.Wichita State (Dallas)
East Region (Boston)
1.Michigan State (Detroit)
16.Idaho/St. Francis (PA)
3.North Carolina (Charlotte)
14.Florida Gulf Coast
South Region (Atlanta)
16.Hampton/ St. Peter’s
4.Seton Hall (Dallas)
3.West Virginia (Pittsburgh)
11.Wake Forest/ Indiana
Midwest Region (Omaha)
16.Stephen F. Austin
3.USC (San Diego)
14.Long Beach State
First Four Out: UCF, South Carolina, Creighton, St. Bonaventure
Next Four Out: Stanford, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, LSU
- CPP Top 100: #52 Markis McDuffie August 18, 2017 Tyler Calvaruso
2016-2017 Stats: 11.5 Ppg, 5.7 Rpg.
Why they are here
When you think of the kind of players that have helped Wichita State rise to national prominence over the last couple of years, Markis McDuffie fits the mold to a tee.
Under-recruited coming out of high school playing for the legendary Bobby Hurley at St. Anthony’s in New Jersey, McDuffie has gone from a lanky, spot up shooter to an all-around threat and one of the better players in all of college basketball heading into his junior year.
The shooting ability is still there for McDuffie, but he now has the ability to take people off the dribble to create opportunites for himself closer to the basket and has even developed a bit of a low-post game, even though he rarely uses it.
McDuffie has also evolved into a solid defensive presence who is more than just a defender with long arms, which he was coming into Wichita State as a freshman. He has even improved as a rebounder, averaging almost six per game.
Role on this year’s team
Everyone on Wichita State’s roster knows their role, and McDuffie is no different. He’s not a true star, but he might be the closest thing the Shockers have to one and McDuffie has embraced that role.
McDuffie led the Shockers in scoring last season and could very well do the same again, but it is not a neccesity. Landry Shamet is a rising star who will most likely lead the Shockers in scoring this season, but again it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.
As long as McDuffie maintains his averages from a year ago, he will continue to be one of the better players in college basketball. If he manages to improve upon his numbers from a year ago, we could be witnessing a star in the making.
College Season/ NBA Prospects
Unless McDuffie completely blows up this season, he seems like a sure-fire four year collegiate player.
While some of this goes into certain aspects of McDuffie’s game not being fully developed for the NBA yet, a lot of it has to do with the emphasis that McDuffie has put into getting a degree, which goes back to his days playing at St. Anthony’s.
There’s a strong chance that McDuffie will be able to carve out a niche in the NBA once he arrives, but expect two more years of McDuffie in the college ranks.
- Jonathon Warriner’s Bracketology: Update August 1st 2017 August 1, 2017 College Pride Press
West Region (Los Angeles)
1.Arizona (San Diego)
16.Stephen F. Austin
4.Seton Hall (Boise)
3.West Virginia (Pittsburgh)
11.Wake Forest/ Indiana
2.Wichita State (Dallas)
South Region (Atlanta)
16.Hampton/ St. Peter’s
3.North Carolina (Charlotte)
East Region (Boston)
1.Michigan State (Detroit)
16.St. Francis (PA)/ Idaho
14.Florida Gulf Coast
Midwest Region (Omaha)
2.USC (San Diego)
15.Long Beach State
First Four Out: UCF, St. Bonaventure, Stanford, Texas A&M
Next Four Out: LSU, Texas Tech, St. Joseph’s, South Carolina
- Jonathon Warriner’s Bracketology: Post NBA Draft Decision Deadline May 30, 2017 College Pride Press
West Region (Los Angeles)
1.Arizona (San Diego)
16.Stephen F. Austin
2.Wichita State (Dallas)
South Region (Atlanta)
16.Hampton/ St. Peter’s
4.Seton Hall (Detroit)
3.West Virginia (Pittsburgh)
11.Georgia Tech/ Vanderbilt
East Region (Boston)
1.Michigan State (Detroit)
16.St. Francis (PA)/ Idaho
3.North Carolina (Charlotte)
Midwest Region (Omaha)
14.Florida Gulf Coast
11.Oklahoma State/ Missouri
2.USC (San Diego)
15.Long Beach State
First Four Out: Wake Forest, Mississippi, UCF, Kansas State
Next Four Out: South Carolina, Creighton, Indiana, Texas A&M
- NBA Draft Player Breakdown: Semi Ojeleye May 25, 2017 College Pride Press
Leading up to the NBA Draft we will be analyzing scouting reports for various players who have entered their name in this year’s NBA Draft. The focus of these articles will be on prospects who we find most intriguing and feel readers need to become more familiar. Please let us know if you want any players specifically @edupridepress. All stats and videos are via KenPom, ESPN, DraftExpress, and YouTube.
Weight: 241 lbs
Age: 22 years old
Projected: 25 (DraftExpress) 30 (CPP Big Board) 26 (CPP Mock Draft)
Semi Ojeleye has concluded his college career after stops at both Duke and SMU which included the versatile forward playing many different roles. The super senior is now looking to make a living playing basketball in the NBA. After discussing a number of freshmen I am excited to talk about someone who has completed their college education! Ojeleye might not be the youngest player in the draft but he bring very little unknown to the team drafting him. He will be a career bench player who can do a little bit of everything playing the 3 or the 4 while not being a liability on either side of the ball. Ojeleye was asked to do so much at SMU that his skillset is vast which NBA teams will love.
At SMU, Ojeleye was asked to do so much that nothing will phase him in the NBA. He can handle the ball and distribute or set screens and pop. He is a very good rebounder, shooter, defender, and is very underrated as an athlete. An NBA team should not expect a superstar but rather a steady veteran that they can rely on off the bench.
After looking deeper into Ojeleye’s stats I discovered that he was the most efficient player in the country in pick and pop situations scoring 2.11 ppp. Put Ojeleye in those situations with your second unit and that will be very difficult to defend. Ojeleye is also a gamer. He wasn’t exposed to the national spotlight often at SMU but he took advantage of the opportunities he received.
Ojeleye is a developed player but he also spent 5 years in college to add that polish. As a early second round pick, teams will have the decision between a medium floor/medium ceiling 24 year old or a low floor/low ceiling 18 year old. Some NBA teams look for home runs in the second round as there is very little risk involved in those picks. What you see is what you get with Ojeleye and that could hurt his stock in some NBA teams minds.
Comparison: LITE Draymond Green
BOOM! The perfect comparison for Ojeleye is Draymond Green. Ojeleye will be a lite version of Green in that he will not become the elite distributor or defender that Green is. Draymond Green came into the league as a very similar player to Ojeleye; swiss army knife forwards. There is great value in ...
- Jonathon Warriner’s Bracketology: 5-23-2017 May 23, 2017 College Pride Press
West Region (Los Angeles)
1.Arizona (San Diego)
16.St. Francis (PA)/ Idaho
4.Seton Hall (Detroit)
2.Wichita State (Dallas)
15.Long Beach State
South Region (Atlanta)
1.North Carolina (Charlotte)
3.USC (San Diego)
11.SMU/ Wake Forest
East Region (Boston)
1.Michigan State (Detroit)
16.Hampton/ St. Peter’s
3.West Virginia (Pittsburgh)
14.Florida Gulf Coast
11.Georgia Tech/ Vanderbilt
Midwest Region (Omaha)
16.Stephen F. Austin
First Four Out: Mississippi, UCF, Kansas State, South Carolina
Next Four Out: Creighton, Dayton, Texas A&M, Florida State
- Jonathon Warriner’s Bracketology: 5-9-17 May 9, 2017 College Pride Press
West Region (Los Angeles)
1.Arizona (San Diego)
2.Wichita State (Dallas)
Midwest Region (Omaha)
16.Stephen F. Austin
3.USC (San Diego)
11.Wake Forest/ BYU
15.Long Beach State
East Region (Boston)
1.Michigan State (Detroit)
16.St. Francis (PA)/ St. Peter’s
14.Florida Gulf Coast
South Region (Atlanta)
3.West Virginia (Pittsburgh)
2.North Carolina (Charlotte)
First Four Out: UCF, Kansas State, South Carolina, Creighton
Next Four Out: Texas, Dayton, Texas A&M, Florida State
- Jonathon Warriner’s Bracketology: 4-18-2017 April 18, 2017 College Pride Press
West Region (Los Angeles)
1.Arizona (San Diego)
16.Idaho/ Texas Southern
2.North Carolina (Charlotte)
Midwest Region (Omaha)
16.Stephen F. Austin
3.USC (San Diego)
14.New Mexico State
2.Wichita State (Dallas)
15.Long Beach State
South Region (Atlanta)
16.Hampton/ St. Peter’s
3.West Virginia (Pittsburgh)
East Region (Boston)
1.Michigan State (Detroit)
16.Mount St. Mary’s
14.Florida Gulf Coast
11.Vanderbilt/ Oklahoma State
Four Out: South Carolina, Kansas State, Creighton, Texas
Next Four Out: Dayton, Wake Forest, Texas A&M, Florida State
- Kansas Lands Memphis Transfers Dedric, KJ Lawson April 12, 2017 Billy Powers
The rich got richer this week in Lawrence. The Jayhawks nabbed former Memphis forwards (and brothers) Dedric and K.J. Lawson, as announced via a K.J. tweet on this past Monday, April 10. The two stars will have to sit out next season, as per NCAA transfer rules. Memphis Head Coach Tubby Smith will also demote Keelon Lawson, the brothers’ father, from his position as assistant coach to the team’s director of player development.
Dedric, a sophomore, led Memphis in scoring, rebounding, and blocks with 19.2, 9.9, and 2.1, respectively. K.J., the older brother despite being a redshirt freshman (yes, that’s a brain teaser but it is true), averaged 12.3 points and 8.1 rebounds this season after playing in just 10 games in 2015-16. Dedric was named to the All-AAC first team and KJ was the conference’s rookie of the year.
Memphis finished last season with a 19-15 record, but their roster needs serious rebuilding after being decimated the just the last several weeks with six transfers. Also departing the Tigers with the Lawson brothers are starting shooting guard Markel Crawford (12.8ppg), and contributing reserves Chad Rykhoek, Keon Clergeot, and Craig Randall II. Memphis has five incoming class of 2017 recruits, including four 3-stars, to help fill the gaps. While Memphis’s AD, Tom Bowen, put on a good face by expressing optimism about the future, the transfers are truly a blow to Coach Tubby Smith, a national title winner at the University of Kentucky.
Kansas, on the other hand, is coming off yet another long tournament run, this time to the Elite Eight behind their Wooden Award winner Frank Mason III. KU will be losing Mason, Landen Lucas, and likely Josh Jackson, but will have a talent-stocked roster coming back nonetheless. The roster will include key returning seniors Graham and Mykhailiuk, as well as role players ready to step up and the 2017 recruiting class headlined by McDonald’s All American Billy Preston. Although the Lawson brothers are ineligible to play in this upcoming season, Bill Self has the ingredients for success next year and beyond.
- NCAA Tournament Preview: #6 Cincinnati vs. #11 Kansas State March 15, 2017 Nick Schwartz
#6 Cincinnati vs. #11 Kansas State
7:27 PM ET, truTV
Cincinnati Bearcats 29-5 (16-2)
Player to Watch: F Gary Clark
The six foot, eight inch Clark has been a staple for the Bearcats his entire career. A former conference defensive player of the year (15-16), Clark is a shot blocking expert who can also defend on the perimeter. He may be only the third top scorer on the team (10.7 PPG), but he’s also the teams top man on the glass and averages 7.8 a game. When other options, such as Troy Caupain or Kyle Washington are struggling on the offensive end, Clark has shown the ability to carry the load; he had 25 points in the AAC semifinal against UConn, and went 15-16 from the line in that same contest. When combined with his status as one of the top defenders in the country, his consistent offensive production and rebounding tenacity makes Clark the key cog for Mick Cronin’s team.
X-Factor: Having more Depth
Kansas State only plays about seven players. With the aggressive style Cincy plays, they often grind teams into the ground with their physicality. Beating them without having a spectacular day requires being able to withstand their tenacity, something most teams can’t do. Cincy, on the other hand, plays as many as nine guys, meaning as long as foul trouble is not an issue, they can wear down opponents while remaining fresh. Their style of play is designed to tire other teams out; they play at a slow tempo, a result of their defensive efficiency, but also force teams to defend for the entire shot clock when they have the ball. Kansas State also has to now fly across the country (from Dayton to Sacramento) and play this physical team in just three days. Cincy’s advantage in depth over the Wildcats could mean they can grind K-State down slowly, and get a typical, physical, win.
Kansas State Wildcats 21-13 (8-10)
Player to Watch: F Wesley Iwundu
Iwundu finished the regular season averaging 12.5 points a game, but set a career high with 24 points in the win over Wake Forest. The wing is firing on all cylinders, hitting 11-13 from the line against the Deacons while adding 6 boards and 7 assists. A senior, Iwundu has been a four-year starter and is the leader of the Wildcats. He’s a matchup nightmare on offense, being able to take his man off the dribble and knock down shots from behind the line. He’s both the leading scorer and rebounder for Coach Bruce Weber. His matchup very likely will be Gary Clark, and the battle between the two forwards could go a long way in deciding if the Wildcats can build off their First Four victory.
X-Factor: Defensive Rebounding
Kansas State averages less rebounds than their opponents. The Bearcats, on the other hand, outrebound their opponents ...
- Junior College Big Man Eric Cobb Commits to Huskies March 8, 2017 Nick Schwartz
Yesterday evening, Chipola Junior College center Eric Cobb committed to Kevin Ollie and the Huskies. The 6 foot, 10 inch Cobb will have two years of eligibility remaining when he suits up for UConn next November.
The former South Carolina Gamecock averaged 11 points and 8 boards a game this past season for Chipola, which owns one of the top basketball programs at the junior college level. At over 270 pounds, the physical specimen will give the Huskies important muscle in a front court rife with bodies, but short on experience. While he likely needs some conditioning before becoming a major contributor, the rebounding instincts and semblance of an offensive game are welcome sights for Husky fans.
Cobb figures to fit right into the UConn rotation next year. Current sophomore Steve Enoch is still likely the starting center, despite deficiencies on the defensive end. However, Cobb will push Enoch both in practice and for playing time, and should allow current freshmen Juwan Durham and (redshirting) Mamadou Diarra to continue their developments on a normal pace in 2017, along with incoming freshman Josh Carlton.
Out of high school, Cobb also considered Kansas State, VCU, Boston College, and Alabama before deciding on the Gamecocks. In this go-round, UConn beat out Houston, Texas Tech, and others for his commitment.
- March Preview: SMU Mustangs February 27, 2017 Jackson Borman
The Mustangs have been one of the surprise teams to enter and stay in the top 25 of college basketball this year, after having their season start with tough losses to unranked Michigan, USC, and Boise State. Since then they have gone on two separate 10 game winning streaks and have only lost a single game in between. With their second tournament appearance in the last 24 years, SMU will be looking to shock the world.
Southern Methodist boasts one of the toughest defenses in all of college basketball. They rank 3rd overall in opponents points per game, and excel in stopping offenses inside, ranking 16th in opponents 2 point percentage. If they go up against a team that likes to penetrate and score, SMU will successfully stop them
SMU also has some guys that can really shoot it from outside. Besides being two of the best names in college basketball, Semi Ojeleye and Shake Milton both have over 60 made threes on the season. The Mustangs as a team can pour it on from outside and rank 22nd in three point percentage on the season.
In SMU’s four losses this season, they have been killed by their opponents lighting it up at the three point line. In their losses against Cincy and USC, they gave up 12 long balls. In their loss against Michigan, they gave up 13. Any team that can shoot lights out from behind the arc (UCLA, Creighton) has a good chance at knocking out the Mustangs.
At times this season, Southern Methodist has struggled from the free throw line. In their loss against Boise State, the Mustangs were just 50% from the line (missed 11 free throws and lost by 9 points). The team ranks just 204th in season free throw percentage. This could be a deciding factor for close games in the tournament.
Photo Credit: SMU Athletics
- March Preview: Cincinnati Bearcats February 27, 2017 Jackson Borman
Cincinnati has quietly had one of the best records in college basketball all year, with very few bad losses and three wins against ranked opponents. They have been a very consistent team, and will be making their seventh straight tournament appearance. The Bearcats haven’t won it all in over 50 years. Is 2017 the year to break the drought?
Interior defense has been one of Cincinnati’s strong points all season long. The Bearcats rank 16th in blocks per game, and 3rd in the nation for opponents two-point percentage. Lead by big man Kyle Washington and small forward Gary Clark, who both average a couple of blocks per game, Cincinnati doesn’t allow anything easy inside.
Cincinnati is also a team that simply moves the ball well. Swinging side to side, getting to the post, and finding teammates for easy scores, the Bearcats are 14th in the nation in assists per game. At home this season, they averaged over twenty assists per game, behind only UCLA and William and Mary. Prepare to be picked apart if your team is up against Cincy in March.
Free throw shooting has been a struggle for the Bearcats all season long. The team ranks just 288th in free throw percentage on the season. Even in their big wins on the season they have shot poorly from the charity stripe. In their win against Xavier they shot 49% from the line, in the overtime win against Iowa State just 46%, in their win against SMU just 57%. This could make for a tough loss if a close game goes to free throw shooting down the stretch.
Outside shooting is also a struggle at times for Cincy. For a team lead in scoring by a post player, having a couple of treats from outside that will spread the floor can cripple a defense. This is a luxury that the Bearcats do not have. They shoot just 35% from three point land, ranking 156th in the country. If their post game is taken away (as it was in their loss @ Butler) Cincinnati is going to have a tough time scoring.
Photo Credit: durhamregion.com
- At-large bid breakdown by Conference February 26, 2017 College Pride Press
At-Large Bid Breakdown
By: Jonathon Warriner
Lock- There is no possible chance this team misses the NCAA Tournament
In Good shape- Not a lock but they are safely off the bubble for now
On the Bubble- These teams may be projected as in or out, but they are clearly in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament
Still in consideration- Teams that will need to keep winning to make a statement to the NCAA Tournament committee
Better luck Next Year- Teams that will have to win their conference tournament to make the NCAA Tournament
Locks- North Carolina, Duke, Louisville, Florida State, Notre Dame, Virginia, Miami, Virginia Tech
On the bubble- Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest
Still In consideration- Clemson, Pittsburgh
Better Luck Next Year- NC State, Boston College
Locks- Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Iowa State
On the bubble- Kansas State, TCU
Still In Consideration- Texas Tech
Better Luck Next Year- Texas, Oklahoma
Locks- Purdue, Maryland, Wisconsin, Minnesota
In Good Shape- Michigan State, Michigan
On the bubble- Northwestern
Still In Consideration- Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State, Iowa
Better Luck Next Year- Penn State, Nebraska, Rutgers
Locks- Villanova, Butler, Creighton
In Good Shape- Xavier
On the Bubble- Marquette, Seton Hall, Providence
Better Luck Next Year- Georgetown, St. John’s, DePaul
Locks- Oregon, Arizona, UCLA
In Good Shape- USC, California
Still In Consideration- Utah
Better Luck Next Year- Colorado, Arizona State, Stanford, Washington, Washington State, Oregon State
Locks- Kentucky, Florida
In Good Shape- South Carolina, Arkansas
On the bubble- Vanderbilt
Still In Consideration- Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi
Better Luck Next Year- Texas A&M, Georgia, Auburn, Mississippi State, Missouri, LSU
Locks- SMU, Cincinnati
Still In Consideration- Houston, Memphis
Better Luck Next Year- UConn, UCF, Tulsa, Temple, East Carolina, Tulane, South Florida
In Good Shape- VCU, Dayton
On the bubble- Rhode Island
Better Luck Next Year- George Mason, St. Bonaventure, Richmond, La Salle, Davidson, Fordham, George Washington, St. Louis, Duquesne, Umass, St. Joseph’s
Locks- Gonzaga, St. Mary’s
On the bubble- Wichita State, Middle Tennessee, Illinois State
Still In Consideration- UNC Wilmington, Nevada, Akron, Monmouth, Princeton
- Preview: UConn at Cincinnati February 3, 2017 Nick Schwartz
Jalen Adams takes the Huskies (10-11) to a hostile environment for a matchup with the Bearcats (20-2), one of the hottest teams in the nation.
Since the destruction of the old Big East, Cincinnati is the closest thing UConn fans have to a conference rival. In recent years, it’s appeared the players feel the same way. Games between the Huskies and the Bearcats have been scrappy dogfights, often not decided until the final minutes. Last year’s contest in the AAC tournament, the four overtime thriller, was without a doubt one of the best games over the entire season. Coming into this one, the Bearcats have been absolutely rolling; they’re winners of thirteen in a row and are undefeated in conference play. UConn, on the other hand, have been arguably the most disappointing team in the country, although they have won three games in a row. But, Cincy is a clear step-up in competition from those last few victories.
UConn will need to rely heavily on Jalen Adams if they hope to stay competitive with the Bearcats. The star guard averages 15 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds a contest. He’ll likely need to top all those numbers for UConn to have a chance. If he turns in a performance more along the lines of what happened when UConn visited SMU (1-10 from the field), then it will be a long forty minutes for the Huskies. Like most years, Cincy plays an aggressive brand of defense that grinds other teams into dust. With the offensive struggles UConn has had this year (66.6 points a game), they’re going to need to find a way to grind out enough points against the tenacious Bearcats. These buckets will not only have to come from Adams, but senior guard Purvis, who seems to single-handedly be capable of either winning or losing a game for the Huskies on any given night. Freshmen Vance Jackson and Christian Vital both average eight points a game, and have been playing with noticeable improvement over the past few games. They will both also need to contribute, because it will be very difficult for the Huskies to score down low against the experienced bigs of Cincy. Kentan Facey has been masterful in his senior year, but he has been contained when facing post players of a higher quality.
In years past, the slow and inefficient offense of the Bearcats was as much a trademark for the team as their stellar defense. However, this year, they’ve exhibited the ability to outscore teams on nights their defense isn’t doing the job (such as against Xavier, an 86-78 victory), and this is what raises the team’s ceiling an incredible amount this season. Jacob Evans (14.3 PPG), Kyle Washington (13.3 PPG) and Troy Caupain (10.7 PPG) are all strong scoring options, and this isn’t even mentioning freshman Jarron Cumberland, who is the reigning AAC player of the week, and comes off the bench. As per the last two ...
- Noah Holley Bracketology: January 23, 2017 January 23, 2017 Noah Holley
(Sites: Buffalo, Orlando, Milwaukee, Greenville)
1 Villanova vs 16 NC Central/Fairleigh Dickinson
8 Virginia Tech vs 9 TCU
5 Wisconsin vs 12 Nevada
4 Louisville vs 13 Valparaiso
6 Maryland vs 11 UNC-Wilmington
3 Creighton vs 14 Belmont
7 SMU vs 10 Texas Tech
2 Kentucky vs 15 Princeton
(Sites: Tulsa, Indianapolis, Greenville, Sacramento)
1 Baylor vs 16 Sam Houston State
8 Northwestern vs 9 Marquette
5 West Virginia vs 12 Akron
4 Notre Dame vs 13 New Mexico State
6 Xavier vs 11 Illinois State
3 North Carolina vs 14 Georgia Southern
7 Minnesota vs 10 Arkansas
2 Gonzaga vs 15 North Dakota State
(Sites: Tulsa, Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, Indianapolis)
1 Kansas vs 16 UC Irvine/Texas Southern
8 Southern Cal vs 9 Seton Hall
5 Purdue vs 12 Cal/Pitt
4 Duke vs 13 Florida Gulf Coast
6 South Carolina vs 11 Wichita State
3 Oregon vs 14 Winthrop
7 Florida vs 10 VCU
2 Butler vs 15 UNC-Greensboro
(Sites: Orlando, Buffalo, Sacramento, Salt Lake City)
1 Florida State vs 16 Eastern Washington
8 Kansas State vs 9 Dayton
5 Cincinnati vs 12 Michigan State/Miami
4 Virginia vs 13 Monmouth
6 Indiana vs 11 Mid Tennessee State
3 UCLA vs 14 Vermont
7 Saint Mary’s vs 10 Iowa State
2 Arizona vs 15 Bucknell
LAST FOUR BYES
LAST FOUR IN
FIRST FOUR OUT
NEXT FOUR OUT
- Recruiting: 5-star Diallo chooses Kentucky January 8, 2017 Noah Holley
5-star shooting guard Hamidou Diallo announced his commitment to Kentucky yesterday. He is ranked no. 11 in the ESPN 100.
Diallo attends Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut.
Diallo will immediately enroll at Kentucky, but is not expected to play until next season. There is little room for him in Kentucky’s loaded backcourt.
Diallo chose Kentucky over Connecticut, Arizona and others. UConn was hurt the most by the 19-year-old’s decision, as he lived only 25 miles from campus. He made countless visits to the school over the past few years, and the Huskies were considered to be the favorite to sign him for most of his recruiting process. UConn is in the midst of a disastrous season, and the hopes were that Diallo would enroll early and help get them on the right track.
If Diallo indeed chooses to sit out the remainder of 2016-17, he will officially be a part of the Wildcats’ top-rated 2017 recruiting class, which consists of four 5-stars.
Diallo is eligible for the 2017 NBA Draft, but has stated that he wants to play college ball.
- Preview: UConn Travels to Memphis Looking to Right the Ship January 5, 2017 Nick Schwartz
The Huskies (5-8) visit the Blues City in an attempt to get back in the W column, as they take on a Tigers (10-4) team that will look to protect its home court and continue its resurrection.
UConn has had a rough season so far. There’s no arguing that Husky fans did not see their team playing their first game of the New Year three games under .500 with virtually no postseason hope. Injuries to Terry Larrier and Alterique Gilbert have left them with eight scholarship players. Thankfully, star guard Jalen Adams (16.6 PPG, 5.5 APG, 4.7 RPG) is healthy after also missing some time, although his addition did not help the Huskies defeat Tulsa in their last outing. However, UConn knows they can expect a stellar performance from Adams on most nights. To have a chance against Memphis, the frontcourt must rise to the occasion on both ends of the floor and play well enough to neutralize the Tigers’ advantage. Amida Brimah is an elite defensive player, and blocks three shots a game. He showed out with six rejections in the loss to Tulsa. However, his offensive game is lacking in fluidity, and his rebounding instincts are subpar. Steve Enoch, on the other hand, has shown to be a capable post scorer, but is slow to rotate on defense and is a below average shot blocker. Both players have deficiencies that they must overcome. Power forward Kentan Facey (6.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG) has had something of a renaissance year, but needs to stay out of foul trouble, as he is the Huskies’ most competent rebounder and post scorer. Lastly, Rodney Purvis needs to find his jump shot. After being consistently above average to excellent a year ago, Purvis has regressed to the quiet and inconsistent form that plagued him in 2014-2015. He needs to be UConn’s main option from beyond the arc.
Memphis lost their last conference game to a strong SMU team, but owns non-conference victories over South Carolina, Iowa, and at Oklahoma. While this team may still be a bit of time from recapturing Memphis’s former glory, Tubby Smith has them on the right track. Dedric Lawson (20.6 PPG, 11.1 RPG) has played like a future pro all season, and is a matchup nightmare. He can score from both inside and outside, though is shooting only 28 percent from deep this season. The length of the Memphis backcourt may give Adams and Purvis trouble when the Huskies are looking to score. The six-foot five Markel Crawford (14.5 PPG) will be a name to watch, as he is the teams second best three-point shooter and second best at stealing the ball. Guard Randall Craig II leads the team with 21 made three pointers. An important piece of the game for Memphis will be how aggressive K.J. Lawson is scoring the ball. The brother of star player Dedric, the younger Lawson scored only six points in a full forty minutes during the ...
- 2017 NBA Draft Board/Top 100 Prospects: End of 2016 Edition December 22, 2016 Brett Siegel
As we enter into the final weeks of 2016 and into conference play in College Basketball, NBA Draft Analyst Brett Siegel has updated his 2017 NBA Draft Big Board/Top 100 Prospects. The year of the freshmen continue as players around the country move into and out of the Top 100 list! Check out the list and see who he has as the Top 100 CBB players in the country!
Conference play is right around the corner, which means it is time to see who is and who isn’t ready for the draft! The top 20 continue to make a name for themselves as others begin their journey and establish their position on my Top 100 list! From all of us at College Pride Press, we wish everyone a Happy Holidays and New Year! Thanks for making this past year fantastic for checking us out and giving feedback!
Ranking Name Position School/Country Year/Age Height Weight – 1 Markelle Fultz PG/SG WASHINGTON Freshman/18 6’5″ 190 lbs ↑ (1) 2 Lonzo Ball PG UCLA Freshman/19 6’5″ 195 lbs ↓ (1) 3 Josh Jackson SF KANSAS Freshman/19 6’8″ 203 lbs ↑ (6) 4 Malik Monk PG/SG KENTUCKY Freshman/18 6’4″ 185 lbs – 5 Jayson Tatum SF DUKE Freshman/18 6’8″ 204 lbs – 6 Frank Ntilikina PG FRANCE INTL/18 6’4″ 175 lbs – 7 Ivan Rabb PF/C CALIFORNIA Sophomore/19 6’11” 220 lbs ↓ (4) 8 Dennis Smith PG N.C. ST. Freshman/19 6’2″ 180 lbs ↑ (2) 9 De’Aaron Fox PG KENTUCKY Freshman/19 6’4″ 170 lbs ↑ (4) 10 Bam Adebayo PF/C KENTUCKY Freshman/19 6’10” 240 lbs ↓ (3) 11 Jonathan Isaac SF FLORIDA ST. Freshman/19 6’11” 205 lbs ↓ (3) 12 Harry Giles PF DUKE Freshman/18 6’11” 230 lbs – 13 Lauri Markkenen PF ARIZONA Freshman/19 7’0″ 225 lbs ↓ (2) 14 Miles Bridges SF MICHIGAN ST. Freshman/18 6’8″ 230 lbs – 15 O.G. Anunoby SF INDIANA Sophomore/18 6’8″ 215 lbs ↑ (5) 16 Rodions Kurucs SF LATVIA INTL/18 6’8″ 190 lbs – 17 Nigel Hayes SF WISCONSIN Senior/21 6’8″ 235 lbs ↑ (1) 18 Grayson Allen PG/SG DUKE Junior/21 6’5″ 205 lbs ↑ (1) 19 Josh Hart SG/SF VILLANOVA Senior/21 6’5″ 205 lbs ↑ (2) 20 Dwayne Bacon SF FLORIDA ST. Sophomore/20 6’5″ 202 lbs ↑ (12) 21 Jaron Blossomgame SF CLEMSON Senior/23 6’7″ 214 lbs ↑ (27) 22 T.J. Leaf PF UCLA Freshman/18 6’9″ 215 lbs ↑ (32) 23 Luke Kennard SG DUKE Sophomore/20 6’5″ 187 lbs ↓ (8) 24 Marques Bolden C DUKE Freshman/18 6’10” 254 lbs ↑ (5) 25 Terrance Ferguson SG/SF AUSTRALLIA INTL/18 6’7″ 185 lbs ↓ (8) 26 Jarrett Allen C TEXAS Freshman/18 6’11” 227 lbs ↑ (2) 27 Thomas Bryant PF/C INDIANA Sophomore/19 6’10” 245 lbs ↓ (5) 28 Frank Jackson PG DUKE Freshman/18 6’4″ 200 lbs ↓ (5) 29 Frank Mason III PG KANSAS Senior/22 5’11” 185 lbs ↑ (7) 30 Joel Berry II PG/SG UNC Junior/21 6’0″ 195 lbs ↓ (5) 31 Isaiah Hartenstein PF GERMANY INTL/18 6’10” 230 lbs ↓ (5) 32 Jonathan Jeanne PF/C FRANCE INTL/19 7’2″ 195 lbs ↓ (8) 33 Tyler Lydon SF/PF SYRAC– USE Sophomore/20 6’9″ 205 lbs ↑ (2) 34 Justin Jackson SF UNC Junior/21 6’8″ 193 lbs – 35 Dillon Brooks SF OREGON Junior/20 6’7″ 215 lbs ↓ (8) 36 Omer Yurtseven C N.C. ST. Freshman/18 7’0″ 228 lbs ↓ (5) 37 Edmond Sumner PG XAVIER Sophomore/21 6’5″ 170 lbs ↓ (7) 38 Monte Morris PG IOWA ST. Senior/21 6’3″ 170 lbs ↓ (5) 39 V.J. Beachum SF NOTRE DAME Senior/22 6’9″ 197 lbs – 40 Alec Peters PF VALPARAISO Senior/21 6’9″ 225 lbs ↓ (2) 41 Devonte’ Graham PG KANSAS Junior/21 6’2″ 175 lbs ↑ (3) 42 Amile Jefferson PF DUKE Senior/23 6’9″ 195 lbs – 43 Melo Trimble PG MARYLAND Junior/21 6’3″ 190 lbs ↑ (7) 44 Caleb Swanigan PF PURDUE Sophomore/19 6’9″ 247 lbs NEW 45 Robert Williams PF/C TEXAS A&M Freshman/19 6’9″ 237 lbs ↑ (19) 46 Maurice Watson Jr. PG CREIGHTON Senior/23 5’10” 170 lbs ↓ (1) 47 Blaz Mesicek SG SLOVENIA INTL/19 6’6″ 190 lbs ↓ (4) 48 Santiago Yusta SG SPAIN INTL/19 6’7″ 200 lbs ↑ (25) 49 Jonathan Motley PF BAYLOR Junior/21 6’9″ 230 lbs ↑ (3) 50 Andzejs Pasecniks C LATVIA INTL/21 7’1″ 220 lbs NEW 51 Isaac Hamilton SG UCLA Senior/22 6’5″ 195 lbs – 52 London Perrantes PG/SG VIRGINIA Senior/21 6’2″ 192 lbs NEW 53 Lagerald Vick SG KANSAS Sophomore/20 6’5″ 175 lbs ↓ (6) 54 Isaiah Hicks PF UNC Senior/21 6’8″ 230 lbs ↓ (17) 55 Chris Boucher PF OREGON Senior/23 6’10” 200 lbs ↑ (4) 56 Jack Gibbs PG DAVIDSON Senior/21 6’0″ 195 lbs ↑ (6) 57 Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk SG KANSAS Junior/19 6’8″ 191 lbs ↑ (12) 58 Alpha Kaba PF/C FRANCE INTL/20 6’10” 226 lbs ↑ (7) 59 Malik Pope SF SAN DIEGO ST. Junior/19 6’10” 205 lbs ↓ (19) 60 Wenyen Gabriel SF/PF KENTUCKY Freshman/19 6’9″ 200 lbs ↓ (19) 61 Allonzo Trier SG ARIZONA Sophomore/20 6’4″ 205 lbs NEW 62 L.J. Peak SF GEORGETOWN Junior/20 6’5″ 215 lbs ↓ (7) 63 Isaiah Briscoe PG/SG KENTUCKY Sophomore/20 6’3″ 218 lbs ↓ (7) 64 James Blackmon Jr. SG INDIANA Junior/21 6’3″ 184 lbs ↓ (18) 65 Kris Jenkins SF/PF VILLANOVA Senior/22 6’6″ 240 lbs ↑ (11) 66 Jawun Evans PG OKLAHOMA ST. Sophomore/20 6’1″ 177 lbs NEW 67 Bryce Alford PG/SG UCLA Senior/21 6’3″ 185 lbs ↓ (18) 68 E.C. Matthews SG RHODE ISLAND Sophomore/20 6’4″ 181 lbs NEW 69 Charles Cooke SG DAYTON Senior/22 6’5″ 196 lbs ↑ (20) 70 Manu Lecomte PG BAYLOR Junior/21 5’11” 170 lbs NEW 71 Bonzie Colson PF NOTRE DAME Junior/20 6’5″ 220 lbs NEW 72 Dedric Lawson SF MEMPHIS Sophomore/19 6’8″ 225lbs ↓ (19) 73 Jessie Govan C GEORGETOWN Sophomore/18 6’11” 255 lbs NEW 74 Aaron Holiday PG UCLA Sophomore/20 6’1″ 187 lbs ↑ (17) 75 Moses Kingsley PF/C ARKANSAS Senior/22 6’10” 230 lbs ↓ (14) 76 Malcolm Hill SF ILLINOIS Senior/21 6’6″ 230 lbs ↑ (21) 77 Peter Jok SG IOWA Senior/22 6’6″ 199 lbs ↓ (20) 78 Kobi Simmons PG ARIZONA Freshman/18 6’6″ 185 lbs ↓ (8) 79 Aleksander Vezenkov SF/PF BULGARIA INTL/20 6’9″ 225 lbs ↓ (7) 80 Nic Slavica SF CROATIA INTL/19 6’7″ 190 lbs ↓ (20) 81 Antonio Blakeney SG LSU Sophomore/19 6’4″ 177 lbs ↓ (9) 82 Kyle Kuzma PF UTAH Junior/20 6’9″ 221 lbs ↓ (16) 83 Luke Kornet PF/C VANDERBILT Senior/21 7’0″ 240 lbs ↓ (9) 84 Diego Flaccadori SG ITALY INTL/20 6’5″ 172 lbs ↓ (6) 85 Amida Brimah C UCONN Senior/22 7’0″ 230 lbs ↑ (13) 86 Emircan Kosut C TURKEY INTL/21 6’11” 220 lbs ↑ (13) 87 Trevon Bluiett SF XAVIER Junior/20 6’6″ 215 lbs NEW 88 Marcus Keene PG CENTRAL MICHIGAN Junior/20 5’9″ 175 lbs ↓ (21) 89 Josh Langford SG MICHIGAN ST. Freshman/18 6’6″ 205 lbs ↓ (26) 90 Chimezie Metu PF/C USC Sophomore/19 6’9″ 210 lbs ↓ (8) 91 Vinny Okouo C CONGO INTL/19 7’2″ 240 lbs NEW 92 Donovan Mitchell PG/SG LOUISVILLE Sophomore/20 6’3″ 210 lbs ↓ (17) 93 Kyle Guy SG VIRGINIA Freshman/18 6’2″ 170 lbs ↓ (1) 93 Zach Collins C GONZAGA Freshman/18 6’11” 220 lbs ↓ (13) 94 Vince Edwards Jr. SF PURDUE Junior/20 6’8″ 225 lbs ↓ (13) 95 Matt Jones SG DUKE Senior/21 6’5″ 200 lbs ↓ (10) 96 Nic Slavica SF CROATIA INTL/19 6’7″ 190 lbs ↓ (1) 97 Kennedy Meeks C UNC Senior/21 6’9″ 279 lbs ↓ (20) 98 Rawle Alkins SG ARIZONA Freshman/18 6’4″ 185 lbs ↓ (5) 99 Egemen Guven PF/C TURKEY INTL/19 6’10” 210 lbs NEW 100 Tony Bradley C UNC Freshman/19 6’10” 248 lbs Players By Conference ACC: 24 players Big-12: 10 players Big-10: 11 players PAC-12: 14 players SEC: 9 players Other: ...
- Pregame: #16 Butler Bulldogs vs. #22 Cincinnati Bearcats December 10, 2016 Jackson Borman
#22 Cincinnati travels to Hinkle Fieldhouse to take on #16 Butler on Saturday December 10th at 4:30. The game will be televised on FS1. The game is also a part of the first ever “Indiana Basketball Day”.
Fresh off of their first loss to lowly Indiana State University, the Bulldogs look to regroup against a solid Cincinnati team who beat Iowa State last week.
The Bulldogs will look to remedy their loss by locking down on defense and spreading the offense away from relying on Kelan Martin: two things that they struggled to do against Indiana State on Wednesday night.
The Bulldogs allowed Indiana State’s Matt Van Scyoc and Brenton Scott 23 and 25 points respectively. Butler star Kelan Martin shot a poor 26% from the field on 15 shots. Many of which were questionable, including contested midrange jumpers and floaters. The Bulldogs were lead in scoring by Tyler Lewis and Andrew Chrabascz with 15 and 18 points respectively and shot a combined 10 for 19- a nice break from Martin’s excessive volume shooting. Indiana State also dominated with 12 offensive boards, four of which coming from Junior Forward Brandon Murphy off the bench.
Cincinnati is 7-1 on the season and has an impressive one point overtime-win over Iowa State. The win snapped Iowa State’s 37 home-game winning streak against nonconference opponents. In the victory, the Bearcats held the Cyclones to just 54 points, despite going into overtime. Cincy big men dominated the boards in the contest with three players reaching double digits in the rebound column.
Butler will look to contain big man Kyle Washington, who leads the Bearcats in scoring with 17.3 and rebounds with nine per game. Washington also is a force defensively with a strong build and nearly two blocks per game.
Cincy’s second highest scorer is three man Jacob Evans scores 15.6 points per game on 42% three point shooting. He also averages a couple of steals every game.
Butler’s big men will have to dominate the boards on Saturday if they want to win. The Bearcats picked apart Iowa State by owning every rebound. This will be a key for the Bulldogs victory.
Despite their loss to Indiana State on Wednesday. I still believe that the Dawgs take the W at home on Saturday. The Indiana State game was the first time all season that Butler gave up over 70 points to an opponent. Look for the Bulldog’s defense to once again steal the show against this Cincinnati team.
Butler is also playing at home, at the legendary Hinkle Fieldhouse. This is a clear boost to the Dawgs, seeing as they are still undefeated at home. Hinkle magic will definitely be in the air come Saturday afternoon. The hometown crowd should be a real pick-me-up to a rebounding Butler team after their first loss of the season.
Players to watch:
Avery Woodson continues to be Butler’s biggest scoring ...
- Reliving the Rivalry: UConn’s Best Wins over Syracuse December 5, 2016 Nick Schwartz
Tonight at Madison Square Garden, Big East rivals Syracuse and UConn meet again in a contest that has national implications! If only this were still true; alas, UConn has been banished to the AAC, while the Orange have become a valued member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Still, these two teams will meet tonight, under the bright lights of the Garden, in a game hotly anticipated by the fanbases of both sides. During the 1990s and 2000s, the Huskies became one of the chief rivals to the Orange, arguably drawing level with Georgetown in terms of Syracuse hate at various points. At this same time, UConn saw their local neighbors as a proud program with a rich history the Huskies did not quite possess, and used this hatred partly to drive themselves to success never though possible for a state school in the northeast. The mutual disdain, along with the high quality basketball provided by both sides, made these games one any basketball fan, let alone Big East fan, would not want to miss. However, the recent conference realignments have robbed the college basketball world of this annual tradition; until this year. Yes, last year’s clash in the Bahamas was a nice treat, but this is the big time. This is Syracuse-UConn in the heart of New York, playing at the world’s most famous arena. With the rivalry being renewed tonight, it seems like a great time for a stroll down memory lane to relive some of UConn’s best moments against the Orange.
March 11th, 1990: UConn 78, Syracuse 75
This game took place in New York City, and was for the Big East Championship. UConn, ranked number eight in the country, was in the midst of a year nowadays called the “Dream Season” by the fanbase; after starting the season unranked in 1989-90, Jim Calhoun’s Huskies, a program with little national reputation, clawed its way into the top ten behind guard Chris Smith, and had even defeated Syracuse in Hartford, CT during the regular season. However, the Orange had returned the favor by winning the return game at the Carrier Dome, and came into this Big East final ranked fourth in the country. Syracuse was heavily favored in this game, and jumped out to a 17-5 lead behind star Derrick Coleman just six minutes into the first half. However, the Huskies battled back thanks to the defensive efforts of freshman Toraino Walker, and 22 points from Tate George, who hit clutch free throws to ice the game. Smith, a sophomore at the time, netted 20 points and was named tournament MVP. UConn was given a number one seed in the 1990 Tournament, and eventually lost in the Elite Eight to Duke, on a miracle shot by Christian Laettner. While a sad end to the Dream Season, UConn had defeated the Orange twice, and clinched the first of their record-tying seven Big East Tournament titles.
- 2017 NBA Draft Big Board/Top 100 Prospects: 112 Days Until Selection Sunday Edition! November 21, 2016 Brett Siegel
Week 1 of the College Basketball season is in the past, so let’s continue to analyze the future! NBA Draft Analyst Brett Siegel has updated his NBA Draft Big Board/Top 100 Prospects list for the 2017 NBA Draft based on performances during the first week of the College Basketball season! Check out the rankings to see who has helped their draft stock this past week and who has endangered it!
It has clearly been the year of the freshman so far, but let’s not forget about these upperclassmen either! Take a look and see where your favorite college player ranks among the rest of the prospects, and see how many NBA prospects from your favorite college/country made my list!
Players By Conference ACC: 24 players Big-12: 11 players Big-10: 12 players PAC-12: 13 players SEC: 10 players Other: 30 players Players By Year Freshmen: 24 players Sophomores: 20 players Juniors: 16 players Seniors: 24 players International: 16 players Ranking Name Position School/Country Year/Age Height Weight – 1 Markelle Fultz PG/SG WASHINGTON Freshman/18 6’5″ 190 lbs – 2 Josh Jackson SF KANSAS Freshman/19 6’8″ 203 lbs ↑ (4) 3 Lonzo Ball PG UCLA Freshman/18 6’5″ 195 lbs ↓ (1) 4 Dennis Smith PG N.C. ST. Freshman/19 6’2″ 180 lbs ↓ (1) 5 Jayson Tatum SF DUKE Freshman/18 6’8″ 204 lbs ↓ (1) 6 Frank Ntilikina PG FRANCE INTL/18 6’4″ 175 lbs ↑ (1) 7 Ivan Rabb PF/C CALIFORNIA Sophomore/19 6’11” 220 lbs ↓ (2) 8 Jonathan Isaac SF FLORIDA ST. Freshman/18 6’11” 205 lbs – 9 Harry Giles PF DUKE Freshman/18 6’11” 230 lbs ↑ (3) 10 Malik Monk PG/SG KENTUCKY Freshman/18 6’4″ 185 lbs ↓ (1) 11 De’Aaron Fox PG KENTUCKY Freshman/18 6’4″ 170 lbs ↑ (10) 12 Miles Bridges SF MICHIGAN ST. Freshman/18 6’8″ 230 lbs ↑ (2) 13 Lauri Markkenen PF ARIZONA Freshman/19 7’0″ 225 lbs ↓ (3) 14 Bam Adebayo PF/C KENTUCKY Freshman/19 6’10” 240 lbs ↑ (4) 15 O.G. Anunoby SF INDIANA Sophomore/18 6’8″ 215 lbs ↓ (4) 16 Marques Bolden C DUKE Freshman/18 6’10” 254 lbs – 17 Nigel Hayes SF WISCONSIN Senior/21 6’8″ 235 lbs – 18 Jarrett Allen C TEXAS Freshman/18 6’11” 227 lbs ↓ (3) 19 Grayson Allen PG/SG DUKE Junior/20 6’5″ 205 lbs ↑ (19) 20 Josh Hart SG/SF VILLANOVA Senior/21 6’5″ 205 lbs – 21 Rodions Kurucs SF LATVIA INTL/18 6’8″ 190 lbs ↑ (8) 22 Dwayne Bacon SF FLORIDA ST. Sophomore/20 6’5″ 202 lbs ↑ (15) 23 Frank Jackson PG DUKE Freshman/18 6’4″ 200 lbs ↑ (34) 24 Frank Mason III PG KANSAS Senior/22 5’11” 185 lbs ↓ (5) 25 Tyler Lydon SF/PF SYRAC– USE Sophomore/20 6’9″ 205 lbs ↓ (3) 26 Isaiah Hartenstein PF GERMANY INTL/18 6’10” 230 lbs ↓ (3) 27 Jonathan Jeanne PF/C FRANCE INTL/19 7’2″ 195 lbs ↓ (3) 28 Omer Yurtseven C N.C. ST. Freshman/18 7’0″ 228 lbs ↓ (15) 29 Thomas Bryant PF/C INDIANA Sophomore/19 6’10” 245 lbs ↓ (3) 30 Terrance Ferguson SG/SF AUSTRALLIA INTL/18 6’7″ 185 lbs ↓ (5) 31 Monte Morris PG IOWA ST. Senior/21 6’3″ 170 lbs ↑ (5) 32 Edmond Sumner PG XAVIER Sophomore/20 6’5″ 170 lbs – 33 Jaron Blossomgame SF CLEMSON Senior/22 6’7″ 214 lbs – 34 V.J. Beachum SF NOTRE DAME Senior/21 6’9″ 197 lbs – 35 Dillon Brooks SF OREGON Junior/20 6’7″ 215 lbs ↓ (8) 36 Justin Jackson SF UNC Junior/21 6’8″ 193 lbs ↑ (12) 37 Joel Berry II PG/SG UNC Junior/21 6’0″ 195 lbs ↓ (9) 38 Chris Boucher PF OREGON Senior/23 6’10” 200 lbs ↑ (1) 39 Devonte’ Graham PG KANSAS Junior/21 6’2″ 175 lbs ↑ (5) 40 Alec Peters PF VALPARAISO Senior/21 6’9″ 225 lbs ↓ (5) 41 Wenyen Gabriel SF/PF KENTUCKY Freshman/19 6’9″ 200 lbs ↓ (11) 42 Allonzo Trier SG ARIZONA Sophomore/20 6’4″ 205 lbs ↓ (11) 43 Melo Trimble PG MARYLAND Junior/21 6’3″ 190 lbs – 44 Santiago Yusta SG SPAIN INTL/19 6’7″ 200 lbs ↑ (3) 45 Amile Jefferson PF DUKE Senior/23 6’9″ 195 lbs ↓ (4) 46 Blaz Mesicek SG SLOVENIA INTL/19 6’6″ 190 lbs ↓ (1) 47 Kris Jenkins SF/PF VILLANOVA Senior/22 6’6″ 240 lbs ↓ (1) 48 Isaiah Hicks PF UNC Senior/21 6’8″ 230 lbs ↑ (7) 49 T.J. Leaf PF UCLA Freshman/18 6’9″ 215 lbs – 50 E.C. Matthews SG RHODE ISLAND Sophomore/20 6’4″ 181 lbs – 51 Caleb Swanigan PF PURDUE Sophomore/19 6’9″ 247 lbs – 52 London Perrantes PG/SG VIRGINIA Senior/21 6’2″ 192 lbs ↑ (13) 53 Andzejs Pasecniks C LATVIA INTL/20 7’1″ 220 lbs ↓ (11) 54 Jessie Govan C GEORGETOWN Sophomore/18 6’11” 255 lbs ↑ (18) 55 Luke Kennard SG DUKE Sophomore/20 6’5″ 187 lbs ↑ (13) 56 Isaiah Briscoe PG/SG KENTUCKY Sophomore/20 6’3″ 218 lbs NEW 57 James Blackmon Jr. SG INDIANA Junior/21 6’3″ 184 lbs ↑ (40) 58 Kobi Simmons PG ARIZONA Freshman/18 6’6″ 185 lbs NEW 59 Terry Larrier SG/SF UCONN Sophomore/21 6’8″ 195 lbs ↓ (5) 60 Jack Gibbs PG DAVIDSON Senior/21 6’0″ 195 lbs ↓ (7) 61 Antonio Blakeney SG LSU Sophomore/19 6’4″ 177 lbs ↑ (29) 62 Malcolm Hill SF ILLINOIS Senior/20 6’6″ 230 lbs ↓ (22) 63 Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk SG KANSAS Junior/19 6’8″ 191 lbs ↓ (11) 64 Chimezie Metu PF/C USC Sophomore/19 6’9″ 210 lbs ↑ (20) 65 Maurice Watson Jr. PG CREIGHTON Senior/23 5’10” 170 lbs ↓ (2) 66 Malik Pope SF SAN DIEGO ST. Junior/19 6’10” 205 lbs ↓ (2) 67 Luke Kornet PF/C VANDERBILT Senior/21 7’0″ 240 lbs ↓ (11) 68 Josh Langford SG MICHIGAN ST. Freshman/18 6’6″ 205 lbs ↑ (2) 69 Tyler Roberson PF SYRAC– USE Senior/22 6’8″ 225 lbs ↓ (9) 70 Alpha Kaba PF/C FRANCE INTL/20 6’10” 226 lbs ↓ (12) 71 Aleksander Vezenkov SF/PF BULGARIA INTL/20 6’9″ 225 lbs ↓ (10) 73 Nic Slavica SF CROATIA INTL/19 6’7″ 190 lbs ↓ (10) 73 Kyle Kuzma PF UTAH Junior/20 6’9″ 221 lbs ↑ (5) 74 Jonathan Motley PF BAYLOR Junior/21 6’9″ 230 lbs ↑ (5) 75 Diego Flaccadori SG ITALY INTL/20 6’5″ 172 lbs ↓ (8) 76 Kyle Guy SG VIRGINIA Freshman/18 6’2″ 170 lbs ↑ (12) 77 Jawun Evans PG OKLAHOMA ST. Sophomore/19 6’1″ 177 lbs ↑ (22) 78 Rawle Alkins SG ARIZONA Freshman/18 6’4″ 185 lbs ↓ (12) 79 Amida Brimah C UCONN Senior/22 7’0″ 230 lbs ↑ (7) 80 Keita Bates-Diop SF OHIO ST. Junior/20 6’7″ 235 lbs ↑ (7) 81 Vince Edwards Jr. SF PURDUE Junior/20 6’8″ 225 lbs ↓ (10) 82 Matt Jones SG DUKE Senior/21 6’5″ 200 lbs ↓ (6) 83 Vinny Okouo C CONGO INTL/19 7’2″ 240 lbs ↓ (14) 84 Jordan Woodard PG OKLAHOMA Senior/20 5’11” 181 lbs ↓ (2) 85 Deng Adel SF/PF LOUISVILLE Sophomore/20 6’7″ 200 lbs ↓ (12) 86 Nic Slavica SF CROATIA INTL/19 6’7″ 190 lbs ↓ (12) 87 DJ Hogg SF TEXAS A&M Sophomore/20 6’8″ 220 lbs ↑ (2) 88 V.J. King SF LOUISVILLE Freshman/19 6’7″ 190 lbs ↑ (6) 89 Jalen Brunson PG VILLANOVA Sophomore/19 6’2″ 200 lbs NEW 90 Manu Lecomte PG BAYLOR Junior/21 5’11” 170 lbs ↓ (7) 91 Carlton Bragg PF KANSAS Sophomore/20 6’8″ 225 lbs ↓ (16) 92 Moses Kingsley PF/C ARKANSAS Senior/22 6’10” 230 lbs ↑ (4) 93 Zach Collins C GONZAGA Freshman/18 6’11” 220 lbs ↓ (16) 94 Egemen Guven PF/C TURKEY INTL/19 6’10” 210 lbs ↓ (14) 95 Jabari Bird SG CALIFORNIA Senior/22 6’6″ 200 lbs ↓ (14) 96 Kennedy Meeks C UNC Senior/21 6’9″ 279 lbs ↓ (5) 97 Devin Robinson SF FLORIDA Junior/21 6’8″ 180 lbs ↓ (4) 98 Peter Jok SG IOWA Senior/22 6’6″ 199 lbs ↓ (13) 99 Emircan Kosut C TURKEY INTL/21 6’11” 220 lbs ↓ (7) 100 Trevon Bluiett SF XAVIER Junior/20 6’6″ 215 lbs
- Preview: UConn vs. Oklahoma St. November 21, 2016 Nick Schwartz
9 PM ET
Lahaina Civic Center, Maui
The University of Connecticut Huskies get set to begin the Maui Invitational with a showdown against the Cowboys of Oklahoma State. The Hawaiian tournament has been kind to UConn in the past; they’ve won the event twice (2005, 2010). Maui is a place that conjures fond memories for Husky fans: it is where Kemba Walker announced his arrival on the national stage, and the place where Marcus Williams, Rudy Gay and co. knocked off Adam Morrison and the Zags on their way to a number one seed and the 2006 Elite Eight. Starting tonight, the 2016-17 edition of the UConn Huskies will attempt to imitate the runs of their predecessors.
For UConn, they come into this game after a rough start to the season, one in which high expectations have already crumbled. To further complicate matters, star freshman Alterique Gilbert reinjured his shoulder in their last battle against Loyola Marymount, and is likely done for the foreseeable future. It means that the shaky play of senior leader Rodney Purvis (5.7 PPG and just 13% 3PT) can no longer continue. He must team with sophomore Jalen Adams to challenge Oklahoma St.’s elite backcourt. Up front, Terry Larrier has been a bright spot for UConn. The sophomore is averaging 16.7 PPG and 5.7 RPG, and will need to be the offensive maestro he has shown flashes of in previous games. The one real advantage UConn may have is in size; they can throw multiple big bodies at the smaller Pokes. However, they must use this advantage, something they haven’t done so far. In fact, UConn is on average being outrebounded 39 to 36 by opponents this year. Without a concentrated effort on the glass that produces a rebounding victory, UConn will have little shot at a win.
New coach Brad Underwood has the Cowboys rolling, as they’ve topped 100 points in each of their first three games. The previously mentioned stellar backcourt, made up of Jawun Evans and Phil Forte, will be a major advantage against the depleted Huskies. As a pair, the sophomore and the senior average 45 points. These two anchor a strong starting five that has changed only once, at one position, so far this season. Coach Underwood’s true weapon may be Forward Jeffrey Carroll, an upperclassman who comes off the bench and plays 18 minutes a game. Carroll makes the most of that time, averaging 18.7 PPG. He also averages 8 boards a contest, and as a unit the Cowboys are averaging 45 a game through this early section of the season. While this has been against inferior competition, the sheer gaudy nature of these numbers makes them incredible. A similar performance against the Huskies on the glass could make this game ugly.
The Cowboys hit over 9 three-pointers a game, led by Forte, who is 9-24 on the young season. As a team, they hit 36 percent of their attempts from beyond the ...
- Tournament Preview: 2016 NIT Season Tip-Off November 20, 2016 Chris Walz
The NIT Season Tip-off consists of four teams and four games. The games will be played on Thursday, November 24th & Friday the 25th at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York. The Tip-Off contains a very intriguing field in Temple, Florida State, Illinois, and West Virginia. None of these programs are considered the best of the best in college basketball but all of them can make some noise come March. This will be an exciting tournament to watch over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Game 1: Temple vs. Florida State
>(11/24; 12:30 P.M. ET; ESPNU)
Game 2: Illinois vs. West Virginia
>(11/24; 2:30 P.M. ET; ESPNU)
Game 3 (Consolation): Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
>(11/25; 12:30 P.M. ET; ESPNU)
Game 4 (Championship): Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
>(11/25; 3:00 P.M. ET; ESPN2)
>Daniel Dingle (R-Sr. Guard): Unless you are a Temple basketball fan, I guarantee you have never heard of this guy. In his junior campaign, Dingle averaged less than 5 points a game a year ago. So far he has exceeded anybody’s expectations for him this year. Dingle opened up the season scoring 22 points against a very good LaSalle team that many are predicting to finish top-5 in a loaded Atlantic-10 Conference. If Temple has any shot of beating Florida State, Dingle will need to have a huge game scoring and rebounding.
>Dwayne Bacon (So. Guard): FSU’s leading scorer from last year, Bacon, scored 22 points, 12 from 3-point land, in Florida State’s season opener against a solid Charleston Southern team. Bacon is a freak athlete with the ability to score from anywhere on the floor. His 6’7” size tends to create mismatches. Bacon is one of the most electrifying players in the country. Expect him to put up twenty in both of FSU’s games.
>Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Jr. Guard): Xavier Rathan-Mayes is one of the most underrated players in the country. He was FSU’s most consistent player his first two years on campus and he continues to do that at the start of this season. He is one of the most exciting guards to watch. Rathan-Mayes is an absolute sharpshooter and pure scorer. He scored 30 points in a span of 4 minutes against a top-25 Miami Hurricanes team last season. He has a great basketball IQ. He always seems to be making the right play.
>Malcolm Hill (Sr. Guard): Malcolm Hill has been the face of Illinois basketball the past two years. You can not mention Illini basketball without mentioning Hill. He has been U of I’s most reliable player for the longest time. He is only 6’6” but he rebounds like he is 6’10” and shoots like he is a point guard. He has a deadly jump shot and can score from anywhere on the floor. Earlier this season in a matchup with Northern Kentucky, Hill scored 40 points. Just to put that in perspective, Illinois, as a team, scored a total of 79 points that game. Illinois does as Malcolm Hill does. He will need to have a big game shooting the ball ...
- Tournament Preview: Maui Jim Maui Invitational November 20, 2016 Nick Schwartz
ESPN aptly refers to the week of Thanksgiving as “Feast Week” in the world of college basketball. Early season tournaments produce scintillating games and March-like moments during the month of November. The headliner of these events is the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, commonly referred to simply as “Maui”, which takes place the three days before Thanksgiving every year, in the tropical paradise of the Hawaiian archipelago.
This year’s Maui field is headlined by a trio of top teams: Oregon, Wisconsin, and the North Carolina Tar Heels. Other participating teams are Connecticut, Georgetown, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, and of course, the Silver Swords of Chaminade. The small Hawaiian university inspired the idea for this elite tournament with their upset victory over the top ranked Virginia Cavaliers in the early 1980s.
First Round Previews
Tennessee vs. Wisconsin
The Volunteers have had a tumultuous start to the season, losing by double digits against Chattanooga before outlasting Appalachian St., 103-94. Rick Barnes can rely on Robert Hubbs, however, as the senior is averaging 13.5 points and 4 rebounds a game. The Volunteers dearth of size has hurt them considerably, with the 6’5” Hubbs often having to play Forward. Center Kyle Alexander has averaged 10 points and 7.5 boards as the one true big man for Tennessee. Wisconsin has a clear advantage in the frontcourt, behind stars Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes. Further depth and size is added by Alex Illikainen and Vito Brown. Leading scorer Bronson Koenig is averaging nearly 16 a game, and should provide the boost that pushes Wisconsin past the Volunteers. Tennessee could hang in and make this game interesting, but the chances are higher the Badgers blow them out. Look for Koenig to be the difference in this being a close game and an easy Badger win. Prediction: Wisconsin 78, Tennessee 62.
Georgetown vs. Oregon
It has been a rough week for the Hoyas, as they lost a heartbreaker against Maryland, before being beaten down by Arkansas St. on their home floor. The talent is there for Georgetown, as both L.J. Peak and Rodney Pryor are averaging 17.7 points a game. Sophomore Center Jessie Govan has averaged 14.3 points a game and 5.7 boards a contest, and continues to be the subject of NBA rumors. Key rotation players Tre Campbell and Jonathan Mulmore have provided crucial depth. If Georgetown puts all their pieces together, they are capable of beating an Oregon team that was thrashed by Baylor this past week. The Ducks are sorely missing Dillon Brooks, while star guard Tyler Dorsey has been underwhelming early in the year, averaging 12.7 points and only 2 assists a game. Chris Boucher, however, has been fantastic, averaging 17 points a game, and Forward Jordan Bell is averaging over four blocks a game. Adding Brooks back to this team makes them instantly a title contender. Still, he is not currently playing, and it makes the depleted Ducks ripe for an upset against a talented team that has been underperforming. ...
- Preview: Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic November 17, 2016 Mark Stouffer
For those of you that already have their minds on Thanksgiving break, there is the perfect basketball tournament this weekend to keep your mind occupied.
The Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic takes place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Eight teams are participating in total. Established in 2o11, the tournament has featured past champions such as Kentucky, Ohio State, North Carolina, Providence, and Purdue.
They are split into two brackets. The Naismith bracket features the four teams with a higher status and is seen as more competitive. The Springfield bracket features four teams from mid-major conferences.
The teams are as follows:
Naismith Bracket: Cincinnati, Duke, Penn State, Rhode Island
Springfield Bracket: Albany, Brown, Grand Canyon, Marist
Prior to this weekend, eight “campus” games were played, in which every team in the Naismith bracket played two different teams in the Springfield Bracket. The results were as follows:
Cincinnati: 11/11/2016 Brown W 84-55, 11/14/2016 Albany W 74-51
Duke: 11/11/2016 Marist W 94-49, 11/12/2016 Grand Canyon W 96-61
Penn State: 11/11/2016 Albany L 81-87, 11/14/2016 Grand Canyon W 85-76
Rhode Island: 11/14/2016 Marist W 107-65, 11/16/2016 Brown W 79-72
The Springfield Bracket is not an official tournament, but instead four games between the teams that have no effect on each other. The schedule is as follows, with all games on ESPN3:
Saturday, November 19: Brown vs Marist 5:30 PM, Albany vs Grand Canyon 8 PM
Sunday November 20: Marist vs Grand Canyon 6 PM, Albany vs Brown 8:30 PM
The Naismith Bracket is as follows:
Saturday: Semifinals: Duke vs Penn State 12:30 PM, Cincinnati vs Rhode Island 3 PM
Sunday: Consolation Game 3:30 PM, Championship Game 1 PM
Why is the Championship game before the consolation game? If anyone knows the answer, then also ask that person where the Ark of the Covenant is.
The Bearcats, led by head coach Mick Cronin, enter the tournament having won their two previous games and ranked 24 in the most recent AP Poll. Thanks to UConn seemingly losing their ability to play basketball, Cincinnati is now the favorite to win the American Athletic Conference. The Bearcats are per usual one of the best defensive teams in the country, led by a front court of AAC Defensive Player of the Year Gary Clark, who is also developing a solid offensive game. Also in the front court is NC State transfer Kyle Washington and Jacob Evans, a sophomore who had a 26 point, 9 rebound performance in Cincinnati’s loss to St. Josephs in the NCAA tournament last season. Also per usual for the Bearcats, their offense is very average, as their back court has very little aside from All-AAC Troy Caupain. Caupain, who returns after a stellar 2015-16 season, is the key to success for the Bearcats. If he does not score, the Bearcats have few options to shoulder the load. In spite of inconsistent back court play, the stellar defense and a down AAC means that Cincinnati will almost certainly win the AAC.
Duke Blue Devils
Although Duke will enter this tournament ranked 1, that will almost certainly go away after ...
- CPP Week 1 College Basketball Awards November 14, 2016 Mark Stouffer
Every year it seems as if the offseason gets longer and longer. This past one felt like Perry Ellis’s career in length. But thankfully, it is over, and college basketball promised for us a great slate of weekend games. They did not disappoint.
On behalf of the writers of College Pride Press, I present our awards for the very first week of the season:
Game of the Week
Indiana 103, Kansas 99 (6 votes)
The Armed Forces Classic in general exceeded the hype, with both games being stellar. The nightcap provided a bit of everything.
Two standout individual performances (you’ll see both later in this piece), excellent coaching, two teams reaching as deep as they could because of foul trouble, and drama at every twist and turn.
It was a game that would not be out of place in a late round of the tournament. Not bad for an opener.
Others receiving votes: Arizona 65, Michigan State 63 (2 votes)
Team of the Week
Wagner (4 votes)
Here’s a little bio about the Wagner Seahawks.
Wagner is a Lutheran University in Staten Island, New York, with an enrollment of 1,750 undergraduates. They play in the Northeast Conference, have been to one NCAA tournament (2003), played in the NIT last year, and has never beaten a ranked opponent.
Except for that last part. Now they have done that.
Almost lost in the shuffle of Friday night, Wagner went to Storrs, Connecticut and stunned #18 Connecticut 67-58. Wagner led most of the game, shot a higher percentage, and out-performed the Huskies in every statistical category except turnovers.
In other words, this was no fluke.
If you’re looking for a 15/16 seed that could shock the world in March, this is the team for you.
Others receiving votes: Indiana (2 votes), Arizona (2 votes)
Coach of the Week
Sean Miller, Arizona (7 votes)
Talk about a rough offseason for Sean Miller.
His best recruit, Terrance Ferguson, decided to play in Australia. Allonzo Trier, who was supposed to be a key player, is suspended indefinitely. And a prized freshman from the year before, Ray Smith, tragically tore his ACL for a third time and chose to retire.
With all of that happening, it’s easy to forgive Arizona for being a mess.
Except they’re not, and a huge amount of credit belongs to Miller. Miller, who has been to four Elite Eights but never a Final Four, had a well composed, mentally tough team ready for the Armed Forces Classic.
Going down 15-2 early to Michigan State, the Wildcats never wavered, and mounted a slow but steady comeback. When Michigan State tied the game on a bouncing three with 7 seconds left, Arizona never slumped or looked defeated, and were well prepared to run the final play. Kadeem Allen’s coast to coast lay-up fell in, and Arizona had a great victory.
For those that love resilience, this is the team to root for. And with a team this well prepared, Sean Miller has a legitimate chance at finally going to the Final Four.
Others receiving votes: Tom Crean (1 vote)
Freshman of the Week
Miles Bridges, Michigan State (3 votes)
Michigan State may ...
- College Pride Press Preseason Top 25 November 7, 2016 Nick Schwartz
Here at College Pride Press, we value not just the individual familiarity each writer has with their specific school, but the vast wealth of national knowledge that is also present. Using this understanding of the country’s entire college basketball landscape, we have constructed our own preseason poll, based upon the votes collected from ten different writers. Every Monday morning, just like the AP and Coaches Polls, College Pride Press will release its own rankings, based upon the knowledge and opinions expressed by our voters. Without further ado, here is our inaugural preseason poll.
- Duke (1 AP/1 Coaches) – The Blue Devils received all ten first place votes, and are on paper the best team in the country. They also have the best coach in the country. Anything less than a national title for Grayson Allen, Jayson Tatum and co. will be a disappointment.
- Kansas (3/2) – Despite losing Perry Ellis, KU is one of the clear frontrunners here in the preseason. Mason and Graham are an electric backcourt, and the Jayhawks added top prospect Josh Jackson to a team that also returns Landen Lucas and Carlton Bragg in the frontcourt.
- Kentucky (2/4) – Calipari has reloaded again, with top twenty prospects Bam Adebayo, Malik Monk, Wenyen Gabriel, and De’Aaron Fox joining returnees Isaiah Briscoe and Derek Willis. UK won their final exhibition game by nearly 100 points, against an NAIA school.
- Villanova (4/3) – The defending champs are still loaded, despite losing Omari Spellman to eligibility issues. Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins give the Wildcats one of the best and most experienced duos in the country. Jalen Brunson is a prime candidate for a sophomore breakout.
- Oregon (5/5) – With Trier in doubt for Arizona, the Ducks are the clear class of the Pac-12. Missing Brooks for the first portion of the season makes them a bit more vulnerable, but Boucher is one of the most underrated bigs in the country and could average over three blocks a game.
- Wisconsin (9/10) – Do not sleep on the Badgers; they return four starters from last year, including All-American candidates Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes. The scariest thing is that someone else may be the best player on the team: sophomore Ethan Happ.
- North Carolina (6/6) – Marcus Paige is gone, but Justin Jackson isn’t. Joel Berry and Nate Britt are both capable of being suitable replacements for Paige at lead guard, while Carolina has their typical absurd amount of depth in the frontcourt, led by Kennedy Meeks.
- Xavier (7/8) – The Musketeers will fight ‘Nova the entire season for the Big East. Trevon Bluiett and Jalen Reynolds both could be the conference’s best player, while point guard Edmund Sumner was one of the best freshmen in the country last year.
- Michigan State (12/9) – Tom Izzo reeled in his best recruiting class ever; Langford and Bridges especially have one-and-done potential. There are also a lot of returning pieces, such as Schilling and Nairn that ...
- 5 Reasons UConn will win the 2017 National Championship October 28, 2016 Nick Schwartz
A year ago, the state of Connecticut was buzzing with championship aspirations, as the Huskies were getting set to field a team made up of valuable returning players and talented newcomers. Huskynation was legitimately thinking national title. Unfortunately, the season proved to be one marred by inconsistency, and by the time UConn put most of the pieces together, the damage had been done, and they were lining up to play the juggernaut number one overall seed Kansas Jayhawks in the round of thirty-two. After a summer of reloading, the Huskies enter this season with the same expectations, encouraged by a group of returning players and one of the top freshmen classes in the country. Here are the five reasons why the UConn Huskies will be celebrating in Phoenix next April.
Three years ago, Shabazz Napier led a nearly unprecedented run to the national championship. This victory was only nearly unprecedented, because three years before that, when Napier and fellow classmates Tyler Olander and Niels Giffey were freshmen, Kemba Walker put them on his legendary back, and carried the Huskies to a championship. Now, the three remaining members of the 2014 team, interior players Kentan Facey and Amida Brimah, along with guard Rodney Purvis (who redshirted per transfer rules in 2014, but was on the roster), are in the leadership seats, glistening with the experience they earned three years prior. There is no pressure like competing for a national championship, and all three of these seniors have it, and will likely use their poise and maturity as key rotation players for the Huskies. They know what kind of mental preparation and physical state it takes to win the chaotic storm that is March Madness, and having such experience is indispensable.
Drifting from the abstract to the empirical, it is no secret that free-throw shooting is critical to winning games, especially the tight contests that define March Madness. Having a unit that can knock down free throws consistently is like having Mariano Rivera in the bullpen; all a team needs is a lead going into the end of the game, and they will close out the opponent with tenacity. In 2015-16, UConn led the entire nation in free-throw percentage, hitting 79.3 percent from the line. Even though they lost three of their best shooters in Daniel Hamilton, Sterling Gibbs, and Shonn Miller (all hit better than 80 percent), the Huskies return talented shooters in both Jalen Adams, who hit 86 percent, and Amida Brimah, whose 82 percent mark from the line is particularly impressive for a center. While Rodney Purvis only hit 66 percent for the season, he was over 70 percent from January onwards, showing major improvement from his poor percentage in 2014-15. UConn under Kevin Ollie has stressed free throws, and with such policies in place, there is little doubt this year’s team will also shoot an exceptional percentage.
Frontcourt Depth ...
- 2017 NBA Draft Big Board/Top 100 Prospects: End of Summer Addition August 14, 2016 Brett Siegel
As the summer of 2016 comes to an end, it is time to see which 2017 NBA Draft prospect’s stocks are rising and falling! NBA Draft Analyst Brett Siegel has updated his 2017 NBA Draft Big Board with a new #1 Overall Prospect! Check out where he ranks your favorite college players and where he ranks this year’s top incoming freshmen among the rest of the college basketball world! Even though we are 323 days away from the 2017 NBA Draft, each day counts for these young prospects looking to make their dreams come true!
Players By Conference ACC: 25 players Big-12: 10 players Big-10: 12 players PAC-12: 15 players SEC: 7 players Other: 31 players Players By Year Freshmen: 24 players Sophomores: 21 players Juniors: 16 players Seniors: 25 players International: 14 players
↑ (3) 1 Markelle Fultz PG/SG WASHINGTON Freshman/18 6’4″ 190 lbs ↓ (1) 2 Josh Jackson SF KANSAS Freshman/19 6’7″ 185 lbs ↓ (1) 3 Jayson Tatum SF DUKE Freshman/18 6’8″ 175 lbs ↑ (2) 4 Lonzo Ball PG UCLA Freshman/18 6’5″ 195 lbs ↑ (4) 5 Frank Ntilikina PG FRANCE INTL/18 6’4″ 175 lbs ↑ (8) 6 Dennis Smith PG N.C. ST. Freshman/19 6’2″ 180 lbs ↓ (4) 7 Harry Giles PF DUKE Freshman/18 6’10” 230 lbs ↑ (5) 8 Isaiah Hartenstein PF GERMANY INTL/18 6’10” 230 lbs ↑ (6) 9 De’Aaron Fox PG KENTUCKY Freshman/18 6’4″ 170 lbs – 10 Grayson Allen PG/SG DUKE Junior/20 6’5″ 205 lbs ↓ (4) 11 Bam Adebayo PF/C KENTUCKY Freshman/18 6’9″ 240 lbs ↓ (7) 12 Monte Morris PG IOWA ST. Senior/21 6’3″ 170 lbs ↑ (7) 13 Jonathan Jeanne PF/C FRANCE INTL/19 7’2″ 195 lbs ↓ (6) 14 Ivan Rabb PF/C CALIFORNIA Sophomore/19 6’11” 220 lbs ↓ (3) 15 Thomas Bryant PF INDIANA Sophomore/19 6’10” 245 lbs – 16 Nigel Hayes SF WISCONSIN Senior/21 6’8″ 235 lbs ↑ (12) 17 Jonathan Isaac SF FLORIDA ST. Freshman/18 6’10” 185 lbs ↓ (7) 18 Jarrett Allen C TEXAS Freshman/18 6’10” 220 lbs ↑ (17) 19 Lauri Markkenen PF ARIZONA Freshman/19 7’0″ 225 lbs ↓ (2) 20 Josh Hart SG/SF VILLANOVA Senior/21 6’5″ 205 lbs – 21 Justin Jackson SF UNC Junior/21 6’8″ 193 lbs – 22 Miles Bridges SF MICHIGAN ST. Freshman/18 6’7″ 225 lbs – 23 O.G. Anunoby SF INDIANA Sophomore/18 6’8″ 215 lbs ↓ (7) 24 Melo Trimble PG MARYLAND Junior/21 6’3″ 190 lbs ↓ (6) 25 Marques Bolden C DUKE Freshman/18 6’10” 254 lbs ↑ (2) 26 Malik Monk SG/SF KENTUCKY Freshman/18 6’3″ 185 lbs ↑ (6) 27 Tyler Lydon SF/PF SYRAC– USE Sophomore/20 6’9″ 205 lbs ↓ (4) 28 Omer Yurtseven C N.C. ST. Freshman/18 7’0″ 228 lbs ↑ (1) 29 Terrance Ferguson SG/SF AUSTRALLIA INTL/18 6’7″ 185 lbs ↓ (3) 30 Jaron Blossomgame SF CLEMSON Senior/22 6’7″ 214 lbs ↑ (8) 31 Kris Jenkins SF/PF VILLANOVA Senior/22 6’6″ 240 lbs ↓ (7) 32 Rodions Kurucs SF LATVIA INTL/18 6’8″ 190 lbs ↑ (7) 33 Chris Boucher PF OREGON Senior/23 6’10” 200 lbs – 34 Dwayne Bacon SF FLORIDA ST. Sophomore/20 6’5″ 202 lbs – 35 Dillon Brooks SF OREGON Junior/20 6’7″ 215 lbs ↓ (10) 36 Joel Berry II PG/SG UNC Junior/21 6’0″ 195 lbs ↓ (6) 37 Edmond Sumner PG XAVIER Sophomore/20 6’5″ 170 lbs – 38 Frank Jackson PG DUKE Freshman/18 6’4″ 200 lbs ↓ (7) 39 Allonzo Trier SG ARIZONA Sophomore/20 6’4″ 205 lbs ↑ (1) 40 Alec Peters PF VALPARAISO Senior/21 6’9″ 225 lbs ↑ (7) 41 V.J. Beachum SF NOTRE DAME Senior/21 6’9″ 197 lbs ↓ (5) 42 Chimezie Metu PF/C USC Sophomore/19 6’9″ 210 lbs – 43 Frank Mason III PG KANSAS Senior/22 5’11” 185 lbs ↑ (1) 44 Devonte’ Graham PG KANSAS Junior/21 6’2″ 175 lbs ↑ (5) 45 Antonio Blakeney SG LSU Sophomore/19 6’4″ 177 lbs ↓ (4) 46 Isaiah Briscoe PG/SG KENTUCKY Sophomore/20 6’3″ 218 lbs – 47 Amile Jefferson PF DUKE Senior/23 6’9″ 195 lbs ↑ (5) 48 Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk SG KANSAS Junior/19 6’8″ 191 lbs – 49 Isaiah Hicks PF UNC Senior/21 6’8″ 230 lbs ↑ (8) 50 Jessie Govan C GEORGETOWN Sophomore/18 6’11” 255 lbs ↓ (7) 51 Caleb Swanigan PF PURDUE Sophomore/19 6’9″ 247 lbs ↑ (4) 52 London Perrantes PG/SG VIRGINIA Senior/21 6’2″ 192 lbs ↓ (2) 53 T.J. Leaf PF UCLA Freshman/18 6’9″ 215 lbs – 54 Blaz Mesicek SG SLOVENIA INTL/19 6’6″ 190 lbs ↑ (8) 55 Deng Adel SF/PF LOUISVILLE Sophomore/20 6’7″ 200 lbs ↓ (10) 56 Carlton Bragg PF KANSAS Sophomore/20 6’8″ 225 lbs ↓ (5) 57 Josh Langford SG MICHIGAN ST. Freshman/18 6’6″ 205 lbs ↑ (1) 58 Jack Gibbs PG DAVIDSON Senior/21 6’0″ 195 lbs ↓ (2) 59 Kyle Guy SG VIRGINIA Freshman/18 6’2″ 170 lbs ↓ (5) 60 Matt Jones SG DUKE Senior/21 6’5″ 200 lbs ↑ (5) 61 Jordan Woodard PG OKLAHOMA Senior/20 5’11” 181 lbs ↑ (5) 62 Jonathan Motley PF BAYLOR Junior/21 6’9″ 230 lbs ↓ (3) 63 Malik Pope SF SAN DIEGO ST. Junior/19 6’10” 205 lbs ↑ (10) 64 Aleksander Vezenkov SF/PF BULGARIA INTL/20 6’9″ 225 lbs NEW 65 Santiago Yusta SG SPAIN INTL/19 6’7″ 200 lbs ↓ (4) 66 Luke Kennard SG DUKE Sophomore/20 6’5″ 187 lbs ↑ (22) 67 Kyle Kuzma PF UTAH Junior/20 6’9″ 221 lbs ↑ (15) 68 Malcolm Hill SF ILLINOIS Senior/20 6’6″ 230 lbs NEW 69 Luke Kornet PF/C VANDERBILT Senior/21 7’0″ 240 lbs – 70 E.C. Matthews SG RHODE ISLAND Sophomore/20 6’4″ 181 lbs ↑ (4) 71 Keita Bates-Diop SF OHIO ST. Junior/20 6’7″ 235 lbs ↑ (7) 72 Andzejs Pasecniks C LATVIA INTL/20 7’1″ 220 lbs ↓ (2) 73 Devin Robinson SF FLORIDA Junior/21 6’8″ 180 lbs ↓ (2) 74 Peter Jok SG IOWA Senior/22 6’6″ 199 lbs ↓ (14) 75 Ray Smith SF ARIZONA Freshman/19 6’8″ 210 lbs ↓ (11) 76 Maurice Watson Jr. PG CREIGHTON Senior/23 5’10” 170 lbs ↓ (1) 77 Kennedy Meeks C UNC Senior/21 6’9″ 279 lbs NEW 78 Diego Flaccadori SG ITALY INTL/20 6’5″ 172 lbs ↓ (15) 79 Zach Collins C GONZAGA Freshman/18 6’11” 220 lbs NEW 80 Alpha Kaba PF/C FRANCE INTL/20 6’10” 226 lbs ↓ (8) 81 Amida Brimah C UCONN Senior/22 7’0″ 230 lbs ↓ (14) 82 Chase Jeter C DUKE Sophomore/18 6’10” 239 lbs ↑ (5) 83 Jawun Evans PG OKLAHOMA ST. Sophomore/19 6’1″ 177 lbs – 84 Nic Slavica SF CROATIA INTL/19 6’7″ 190 lbs ↓ (16) 85 Kobi Simmons PG ARIZONA Freshman/18 6’6″ 185 lbs ↓ (9) 86 Trevon Bluiett SF XAVIER Junior/20 6’6″ 215 lbs ↑ (8) 87 James Daniel PG HOWARD Senior/22 5’11” 165 lbs ↑ (3) 88 Jalen Brunson PG VILLANOVA Sophomore/19 6’2″ 200 lbs ↓ (11) 89 Vince Edwards Jr. SF PURDUE Junior/20 6’8″ 225 lbs ↓ (9) 90 Egemen Guven PF/C TURKEY INTL/19 6’10” 210 lbs ↓ (9) 91 Emircan Kosut C TURKEY INTL/21 6’11” 220 lbs – 92 Derryck Thornton PG USC Sophomore/19 6’2″ 160 lbs ↓ (13) 93 Rawle Alkins SG ARIZONA Freshman/18 6’4″ 185 lbs – 94 Justin Robinson PG MONMOUTH Senior/21 5’8″ 160 lbs ↓ (9) 95 J.J. Frazier PG GEORGIA Senior/20 5’10” 155 lbs ↓ (9) 96 Tarik Phillip PG/SG WEST VIRGINIA Senior/22 6’3″ 200 lbs ↓ (1) 97 James Blackmon Jr. SG INDIANA Junior/21 6’3″ 184 lbs ↑ (2) 98 V.J. King SF LOUISVILLE Freshman/19 6’7″ 190 lbs ↓ (9) 99 Tyler Dorsey SG OREGON Sophomore/20 6’4″ 180 lbs ↓ (3) 100 Austin Nichols PF VIRGINIA Junior/21 6’9″ 202 lbs
- An In-Depth Look at Big 12 Expansion July 25, 2016 Nick Schwartz
The world of major college athletics has devolved into a harsh landscape where the importance of regional rivalries, rich histories, and geography are all irrelevant in a setting dominated by cold, hard cash. Conference realignment has given schools more wealth than ever, while also systematically destroying some of sports’ best facets. Now, it appears that there is only one crucial cog left to turn before stability comes back to the NCAA. The Big 12, faced with possible extinction, has come to the correct conclusion that their only chance to remain a member of the “Power Five” is to expand its membership. With more schools, the conference will have a larger presence nationwide and overall become more stable.
Shortly after the official announcement that the conference would explore expansion candidates, commissioner Bob Bowlsby released a list of six criteria that are going to be most important in the evaluation of candidates. These are: 1. Strength of athletic department, 2. Fan base, 3. Media market, 4. Reputation, 5. Integrity, and 6. Academic standing. In terms of athletic department, it should be expected that football is the most important sport, with basketball being a distant second. A noteworthy omission on this list of factors is geography. As recent expansion has showed, location is no longer relevant to the realignment picture in today’s age.
A multitude of schools have come forward and expressed their desire to join the Big 12. However, in reality, seven schools have a realistic chance of seizing an invite to the Power Five. Many of these are among the usual suspects when expansion rumors fly around, while others require some more creative thinking to seem properly feasible. These seven schools will be evaluated along the six factors mentioned specifically by Commissioner Bowlsby, in order to present the true best candidates for Big 12 expansion.
Brigham Young University: BYU is perhaps the school currently outside the Power Five that is most deserving of a spot. Their athletic department boasts a football program that has won national titles, and recently defeated both Oklahoma and Texas. Their basketball program is consistently in the postseason picture. The Cougars have an athletic department revenue of $59 million, more than nearly every “G5” school. BYU’s existence as a religious institution gives them a unique advantage in the fan base department, as the Mormon religion boasts copious members not just nationwide, but worldwide. This leads to a football attendance that approaches 60,000 per game, larger than over half of the current Big 12 members. Despite this advantage in fan base, BYU’s actual media market is somewhat small. Salt Lake City’s market ranks 34th in the country. However, this is still larger than many of the current markets occupied by Big 12 schools. It is difficult to assess what exactly Bowlsby means by “reputation,” but whatever this means, BYU has it. The school’s combination of athletic prowess and strong academics produces an amazing image. Integrity is also difficult to define, although BYU again seems to match up what Bowlsby is ...
- 2017 NBA Draft Big Board/Top 100 Prospects July 10, 2016 Brett Siegel
NBA Draft Analyst Brett Siegel compiled his “Way-Too-Early” 2017 NBA Draft Big Board/Top 100 Players. Check out where he ranks your favorite college players and where he ranks this year’s top incoming freshmen among the rest of the college basketball world! Even though the 2017 NBA Draft is about a year away, it is never too early to start finding the next hidden gems in college basketball!
Brett Siegel’s 2017 NBA Draft Big Board/Top 100 Prospects July 8th, 2016
Players By Conference ACC: 25 players Big-12: 11 players Big-10: 11 players PAC-12: 15 players SEC: 7 players Other: 31 players Players By Year Freshmen: 25 players Sophomores: 22 players Juniors: 17 players Seniors: 25 players International: 11 players
1 Josh Jackson SF KANSAS Freshman/19 6’7″ 185 lbs 2 Jayson Tatum SF DUKE Freshman/18 6’8″ 175 lbs 3 Harry Giles PF DUKE Freshman/18 6’10” 230 lbs 4 Markelle Fultz PG/SG WASHINGTON Freshman/18 6’4″ 190 lbs 5 Monte Morris PG IOWA ST. Senior/21 6’3″ 170 lbs 6 Lonzo Ball PG UCLA Freshman/18 6’5″ 195 lbs 7 Bam Adebayo PF/C KENTUCKY Freshman/18 6’9″ 240 lbs 8 Ivan Rabb PF/C CALIFORNIA Sophomore/19 6’11” 220 lbs 9 Frank Ntilikina PG FRANCE INTL/18 6’4″ 175 lbs 10 Grayson Allen PG/SG DUKE Junior/20 6’5″ 205 lbs 11 Jarrett Allen C TEXAS Freshman/18 6’10” 220 lbs 12 Thomas Bryant PF INDIANA Sophomore/19 6’10” 245 lbs 13 Isaiah Hartenstein PF GERMANY INTL/18 6’10” 230 lbs 14 Dennis Smith PG N.C. ST. Freshman/19 6’2″ 180 lbs 15 De’Aaron Fox PG KENTUCKY Freshman/18 6’4″ 170 lbs 16 Nigel Hayes SF WISCONSIN Senior/21 6’8″ 235 lbs 17 Melo Trimble PG MARYLAND Junior/21 6’3″ 190 lbs 18 Josh Hart SG/SF VILLANOVA Senior/21 6’5″ 205 lbs 19 Marques Bolden C DUKE Freshman/18 6’10” 254 lbs 20 Jonathan Jeanne PF/C FRANCE INTL/19 7’2″ 195 lbs 21 Justin Jackson SF UNC Junior/21 6’8″ 193 lbs 22 Miles Bridges SF MICHIGAN ST. Freshman/18 6’7″ 225 lbs 23 O.G. Anunoby SF INDIANA Sophomore/18 6’8″ 215 lbs 24 Omer Yurtseven C N.C. ST. Freshman/18 7’0″ 228 lbs 25 Rodions Kurucs SF LATVIA INTL/18 6’8″ 190 lbs 26 Joel Berry II PG/SG UNC Junior/21 6’0″ 195 lbs 27 Jaron Blossomgame SF CLEMSON Senior/22 6’7″ 214 lbs 28 Malik Monk SG/SF KENTUCKY Freshman/18 6’3″ 185 lbs 29 Jonathan Isaac SF FLORIDA ST. Freshman/18 6’10” 185 lbs 30 Terrance Ferguson SG/SF AUSTRALLIA INTL/18 6’7″ 185 lbs 31 Edmond Sumner PG XAVIER Sophomore/20 6’5″ 170 lbs 32 Allonzo Trier SG ARIZONA Sophomore/20 6’4″ 205 lbs 33 Tyler Lydon SF/PF SYRAC– USE Sophomore/20 6’9″ 205 lbs 34 Dwayne Bacon SF FLORIDA ST. Sophomore/20 6’5″ 202 lbs 35 Dillon Brooks SF OREGON Junior/20 6’7″ 215 lbs 36 Lauri Markkenen PF ARIZONA Freshman/19 7’0″ 225 lbs 37 Chimezie Metu PF/C USC Sophomore/19 6’9″ 210 lbs 38 Frank Jackson PG DUKE Freshman/18 6’4″ 200 lbs 39 Kris Jenkins SF/PF VILLANOVA Senior/22 6’6″ 240 lbs 40 Chris Boucher PF OREGON Senior/23 6’10” 200 lbs 41 Alec Peters PF VALPARAISO Senior/21 6’9″ 225 lbs 42 Isaiah Briscoe PG/SG KENTUCKY Sophomore/20 6’3″ 218 lbs 43 Frank Mason III PG KANSAS Senior/22 5’11” 185 lbs 44 Caleb Swanigan PF PURDUE Sophomore/19 6’9″ 247 lbs 45 Devonte’ Graham PG KANSAS Junior/21 6’2″ 175 lbs 46 Carlton Bragg PF KANSAS Sophomore/20 6’8″ 225 lbs 47 Amile Jefferson PF DUKE Senior/23 6’9″ 195 lbs 48 V.J. Beachum SF NOTRE DAME Senior/21 6’9″ 197 lbs 49 Isaiah Hicks PF UNC Senior/21 6’8″ 230 lbs 50 Antonio Blakeney SG LSU Sophomore/19 6’4″ 177 lbs 51 T.J. Leaf PF UCLA Freshman/18 6’9″ 215 lbs 52 Josh Langford SG MICHIGAN ST. Freshman/18 6’6″ 205 lbs 53 Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk SG KANSAS Junior/19 6’8″ 191 lbs 54 Blaz Mesicek SG SLOVENIA INTL/19 6’6″ 190 lbs 55 Matt Jones SG DUKE Senior/21 6’5″ 200 lbs 56 London Perrantes PG/SG VIRGINIA Senior/21 6’2″ 192 lbs 57 Kyle Guy SG VIRGINIA Freshman/18 6’2″ 170 lbs 58 Jessie Govan C GEORGETOWN Sophomore/18 6’11” 255 lbs 59 Jack Gibbs PG DAVIDSON Senior/21 6’0″ 195 lbs 60 Malik Pope SF SAN DIEGO ST. Junior/19 6’10” 205 lbs 61 Ray Smith SF ARIZONA Freshman/19 6’8″ 210 lbs 62 Luke Kennard SG DUKE Sophomore/20 6’5″ 187 lbs 63 Deng Adel SF/PF LOUISVILLE Sophomore/20 6’7″ 200 lbs 64 Zach Collins C GONZAGA Freshman/18 6’11” 220 lbs 65 Maurice Watson Jr. PG CREIGHTON Senior/23 5’10” 170 lbs 66 Jordan Woodard PG OKLAHOMA Senior/20 5’11” 181 lbs 67 Jonathan Motley PF BAYLOR Junior/21 6’9″ 230 lbs 68 Chase Jeter C DUKE Sophomore/18 6’10” 239 lbs 69 Kobi Simmons PG ARIZONA Freshman/18 6’6″ 185 lbs 70 E.C. Matthews SG RHODE ISLAND Sophomore/20 6’4″ 181 lbs 71 Devin Robinson SF FLORIDA Junior/21 6’8″ 180 lbs 72 Peter Jok SG IOWA Senior/22 6’6″ 199 lbs 73 Amida Brimah C UCONN Senior/22 7’0″ 230 lbs 74 Aleksander Vezenkov SF/PF BULGARIA INTL/20 6’9″ 225 lbs 75 Keita Bates-Diop SF OHIO ST. Junior/20 6’7″ 235 lbs 76 Kennedy Meeks C UNC Senior/21 6’9″ 279 lbs 77 Trevon Bluiett SF XAVIER Junior/20 6’6″ 215 lbs 78 Vince Edwards Jr. SF PURDUE Junior/20 6’8″ 225 lbs 79 Andzejs Pasecniks C LATVIA INTL/20 7’1″ 220 lbs 80 Rawle Alkins SG ARIZONA Freshman/18 6’4″ 185 lbs 81 Egemen Guven PF/C TURKEY INTL/19 6’10” 210 lbs 82 Emircan Kosut C TURKEY INTL/21 6’11” 220 lbs 83 Malcolm Hill SF ILLINOIS Senior/20 6’6″ 230 lbs 84 Nic Slavica SF CROATIA INTL/19 6’7″ 190 lbs 85 Wenyen Gabriel PF KENTUCKY Freshman/18 6’8″ 210 lbs 86 J.J. Frazier PG GEORGIA Senior/20 5’10” 155 lbs 87 Tarik Phillip PG/SG WEST VIRGINIA Senior/22 6’3″ 200 lbs 88 Jawun Evans PG OKLAHOMA ST. Sophomore/19 6’1″ 177 lbs 89 Kyle Kuzma PF UTAH Junior/20 6’9″ 221 lbs 90 Tyler Dorsey SG OREGON Sophomore/20 6’4″ 180 lbs 91 Jalen Brunson PG VILLANOVA Sophomore/19 6’2″ 200 lbs 92 Derryck Thornton PG USC Sophomore/19 6’2″ 160 lbs 93 Isacc Humphries C KENTUCKY Sophomore/18 7’0″ 260 lbs 94 Justin Robinson PG MONMOUTH Senior/21 5’8″ 160 lbs 95 James Daniel PG HOWARD Senior/22 5’11” 165 lbs 96 James Blackmon Jr. SG INDIANA Junior/21 6’3″ 184 lbs 97 Austin Nichols PF VIRGINIA Junior/21 6’9″ 202 lbs 98 Charles Cooke SG DAYTON Senior/22 6’5″ 192 lbs 99 Emmett Naar PG SAINT MARY’S Junior/22 6’1″ 195 lbs 100 V.J. King SF LOUISVILLE Freshman/19 6’7″ 190 lbs
Download the full chart at NBA Big Board 2017
- NBA Draft Breakdown by Conferences and Classes June 27, 2016 College Pride Press
We have been covering everything involving the NBA Draft and now that all the picks have been made I wanted to take a step back and look at the big picture of the draft from a college basketball perspective. 16 international players were selected on Thursday night making that 44 college players selected throughout the night. The first stat I wanted to look at was the players selected by conference.
The ACC is always considered one of the best basketball conferences if not the best conference in the country. The talent level is extremely high and it shows on their teams. The one thing that really surprised me was that the talent was very well spread throughout the ACC with no team having more than 2 players selected on Thursday night.
The Big Ten, Big-12, and SEC all tied for second with 6 picks. Kentucky had a down year with only 3 players getting selected. Most years the SEC has 6 just from Lexington. The Big Ten seemed to have a down year with Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ohio State all not having a draft pick. Of those three Indiana was the only team with 2 undrafted players. The conference should rebound next year with loads of talent coming into Michigan State and Indiana developing future NBA players.
The PAC-12 was on of the most interesting conferences because two of their five selections came from middle tier team Washington. Conference champion Oregon retained all of their future NBA players. The conference had two consensus first round picks return to school with Allonzo Trier (Arizona) and Ivan Rabb (Cal). Next year will be a big year for the PAC-12 with more talent in the draft.
The Big East brings up the rear of major conferences with 4 draft picks. The national champ Villanova Wildcats did not have any draft picks. Providence had 2 players selected with Marquette and Seton Hall representing the other two picks. The Big East has been very successful competing with the bigger conferences without tons of NBA players on their rosters.
The class standing of the draftees was a little surprising to me with more seniors being selected than any other class. The 2015-2016 year was a big one for seniors all over the country. Four of their draft picks were in the first round inferring that NBA teams still value experience and readiness somewhat. 14 freshmen were selected in the draft to go along with 10 sophomores and five juniors.
Next year should be a heavy year for the freshmen and sophomores. The 2016 recruiting class is loaded with future NBA players and expected “one and done” careers. Combine that with some of the freshmen who decided it would be wiser to spend another year in college and the underclassmen may rule the next draft class.
Indiana University ’18
- Recruiting Update: 2018 PG Luther Muhammad June 7, 2016 College Pride Press
2018 4-star point guard Luther Muhammad has told us he has offers from Cincinnati, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rider, Rutgers, San Francisco, Seton Hall, St. John’s, and VCU. He also has interest from Arizona, Villanova and Virginia, with Arizona being the most recent interest. The 247 Crystal Ball reads 100% to St. John’s for the young prospect, with only one prediction in total. Muhammad is ranked #43 nationally by 247Sports and ranked the #10 point guard in the class.
Muhammad is a very flashy player. Standing at 6-4, Muhammad can shoot the three ball well and has great vision. He can cross his defender up and find his way to the basket for an easy two points. He is a fantastic offensive weapon. Muhammed has a very high ceiling as he is only a sophomore.
Muhammad has been targeted by many nearby schools including Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John’s, among others. His interest lately has been coming from around the country, including Arizona and San Francisco. Look for Muhammad to be a very highly recruited prospect in the near future.
- Why My Team Didn’t Win the National Championship: UConn Huskies May 29, 2016 Nick Schwartz
The 2015-16 season was one that the Huskies began with lofty goals. With only one key player leaving the team, and two stellar grad transfers joining a solid base, many fans felt the team would be one with balance, depth, and experience. However, these preseason hopes, such as reaching the third weekend of the NCAA tournament, never came close to fruition. Instead, the Huskies performed shockingly average during the regular season, before goinng on a run to win the conference tournament inspired by the second-best shot of the year, courtesy of Jalen Adams. The season eventually ended with a twelve-point loss to the Kansas Jayhawks. For many Husky fans, this was seen as salvaging a below average season with a respectable finish, while still not attaining the difficult goals expressed in October. But, a closer look reveals the issues that plagued this team, and prevented them from doing damage in the big dance.
Grad transfers Shonn Miller and Sterling Gibbs were expected to step in and not miss a beat. However, they were still two new players who had never experienced the UConn system or gameplay. Depending on new players to perform in key roles is a formula for feast or famine. This is not a knock on Miller or Gibbs; they both averaged double figures and never expressed anything but love for the university. But, the team did not have the familiarity of playing together for multiple years. In addition, the loss of Ryan Boatright proved to make a much bigger hole than initially projected. Many felt that the additions of Gibbs and Adams would be able to make up for Boatright, and they did, for the most part, in the stats columns. However, the Boatshow had been an unquestioned leader, the alpha male who everyone deferred to during crunch time. This void was not filled completely by any player on the UConn roster. Gibbs, Daniel Hamilton, Rodney Purvis, and Adams all attempted to exert their fortitude at different times, and were all met with mixed results. Without a calming presence of a true leader, the Huskies faltered late in many games, including losses to Temple, Houston, and Syracuse, and even in wins against teams like Memphis and Colorado. Very rarely were they able to maintain a 10 or 12-point lead and bury the other team. This was due to chemistry issues surrounding a lack of a true leader. In the coming season, the hope is that Jalen Adams or Rodney Purvis can emerge as the alpha.
POINT GUARD PLAY
Boatright was not just the Huskies’ emotional leader, he was also their floor general. Given that Sterling Gibbs had operated in a similar role his final season at Seton Hall, he was widely projected to come in and play as the lead guard. However, over the season, the picture became clear: Gibbs, while possessing a good handle, was in reality more of a shooting-specialist off ball guard than a true point ...
- Preview: #1 Kansas vs. #9 Connecticut March 18, 2016 Nick Schwartz
#1 Kansas (31-4) vs. #9 Connecticut (25-10)
Saturday, March 19, 2016
7:45 EST, CBS
Top seed Kansas gets set to continue its tournament march with a game against the ninth-seeded Connecticut Huskies. This game will pit two of the best programs in the country against each other. Between this contest and the other game in Des Moines, Indiana and Kentucky, there are 20 NCAA championships between the teams (UK with 8, IU with 5, UConn with 4, and KU with 3). 2008 national champion Bill Self is looking to win veteran Perry Ellis a ring before he graduates, but will have to go through 2014 champion Kevin Ollie to get there.
Kansas looked good, but not impressive in their game against Austin Peay. The offense was clicking on all cylinders, but the defense left a lot to be desired. The team committed too many fouls (27) and were nearly outrebounded by the Governors. Still, the offense played to its typical efficient form. The 105 points were the Jayhawks’ most scored since the classic game against Oklahoma in January. Ellis did what he usually does, and paced the Jayhawks by scoring in the paint. The battle between KU’s ability to score in the paint and the Huskies’ shot blocking prowess will be critical.
UConn looked like two different teams against Colorado; a tight, slow squad in the first half, and a loose, explosive, and tenacious unit in the second. That kind of slow start will not do the Huskies any favors against the best team in the country. It is going to take the type of defensive effort, and rebounding tenacity, that the Huskies showed in the second half. Daniel Hamilton and Rodney Purvis will need to score in bunches again. Beating Kansas will take the best 40 minutes of UConn’s season, but it is entirely possible.
MATCH-UP TO WATCH
Both Daniel Hamilton and Wayne Selden lead their teams from the wings. The utilitarian Hamilton posted a double-double against Colorado, while Selden poured in 14 points in only 19 minutes during the glorified warm-up against Austin Peay. Selden has come on strong towards the later half of this season, and is now hitting over 40 percent on his shots from deep. The talented wing from Roxbury, Mass. (the same hometown as Shabazz Napier and current Husky Jalen Adams) could possibly be bothered by the length of the taller Hamilton, but is definitely the better athlete. The two future pros will be critical both in scoring the ball, and likely playing defense on each other.
X-FACTOR FOR KANSAS
Hitting Threes: Unlike other Bill Self teams, this Jayhawks incarnation frequently plays with four competent three-point shooters on the floor at once. Both Devonte’ Graham and stud Frank Mason hit well over 40 percent from deep. The three-point shots also open up Ellis’s advanced post game, and driving lanes for the bevy of slashers Kansas has at their ...
- Recap: #9 UConn 74, #8 Colorado 67 March 18, 2016 Nick Schwartz
Connecticut: 74, Colorado: 67
In a game of runs, the ninth-seeded UConn Huskies held on to top the eighth-seeded Colorado Buffaloes in a first round clash. The Huskies fell behind early in the first half, trailing by as much as 11 with three minutes to go in the first half as Colorado exerted their will down low. Through Josh Scott’s early domination (13 first half points), Colorado took a nine-point lead into the locker room, up 36-27 at the first buzzer. The Buffaloes (22-12) shot 50 percent against the stout Husky defense in that first period.
However, a motivational halftime speech from head coach Kevin Ollie had the Huskies poised to play in the second half. UConn (25-10) would trade baskets early in the second half with Colorado, but eventually locked in on defense and went on a 16-4 run, and took their first lead with a little over eleven minutes left in the game. During this run, critical steals by Daniel Hamilton (17 points) and Rodney Purvis (19 points) ignited the UConn transition game. From that point, the Huskies, with a combination of their tough perimeter defense and timely three-point shooting, extended their lead and dominated the tempo. With three minutes to go, an and-one by Purvis extended the lead to 66-53. Up to that point, the Huskies were outscoring Colorado 39-17 in the second half. Surely, the game was in hand. Not quite.
Colorado, which had uncharacteristically been struggling from the line during this game, began drawing fouls and quickly clawed their way back into the game from the line. UConn’s Shonn Miller, who was never a factor due to foul trouble, committed his fifth infraction with 1:43 left, and the free throws from Scott (finished with 23 points) made the score 66-59. Colorado’s 10-0 run made the game 66-63 with a minute to play, and took several years off the lives of many Connecticut residents. Luckily, clutch free throw shooting from Sterling Gibbs, who hit 6-6 in the final minute, allowed UConn to weather Colorado’s rally and hold on for the victory.
UConn’s three-point defense: Colorado came into this game averaging over eight made triples a game, and shooting 39% from deep. However, even in the first half when Josh Scott was dominating this contest, the Huskies’ perimeter defense ensured Colorado would not win this game from beyond the arc. George King and Dominique Collier combined to shoot just 1-4 from deep, and as a team, Colorado made just two of ten three-pointers. Guard Xavier Talton was particularly poor, going 0-5 from deep. The tenacious defense of Purvis, Gibbs, and Jalen Adams on the perimeter ensured everything the Colorado guards did, whether it was shooting the ball or passing inside, was challenged.
How Did UConn Win?
Colorado came into this game as one of the top rebounding teams in the country, as they averaged over 42 a game. They predictably dominated the glass in the first half, outrebounding UConn 22-16 on their way to ...
- Preview: #8 Colorado vs. #9 Connecticut March 15, 2016 Nick Schwartz
8. Colorado (22-11) vs. 9. Connecticut (24-10)
Thursday, March 17, 2016
1:30 ET, TNT
Ah, the most wonderful time of the year: the NCAA Tournament has arrived! In this game, Pac-12 at-large selection Colorado gets set to battle the American Conference Tournament champion UConn Huskies, in possibly the most intriguing 8 vs. 9 game of the bracket. Tad Boyle, one of the most underrated coaches in the country, looks to cement his team’s place as a national program with a chance to beat the 2014 NCAA champion.
Colorado’s offense is defined by the old adage of playing “inside-out” basketball. Big man Josh Scott (16.1 points per game) will be playing in the NBA sooner rather than later, but for now gives Boyle’s squad an elite post scorer with a shooting touch nearly out to the three-point line. Scott is the focal point of the Buffaloes’ offense, and his savvy passing ability allows him to expose double teams and kick out to multiple open shooters from beyond the arc. These wings, especially George King and Treshaun Fletcher, are great athletes who have the ability to play outstanding defense, when they commit themselves to that side of the floor. Point guard Josh Fortune (10.4 points, 2.3 assists per game) is the wild card for Colorado; he himself is also a good shooter, but disappears from games as frequently as he gets hot from the field. On top of all this, Colorado is a great free throw shooting team, making 73.8 percent from the line.
Connecticut’s elite defense (fourth in the country in field goal percentage) will have its work cut out for it guarding Scott on the inside and multiple above average shooters. But, this is a team that itself has an abundance of shooters from the perimeter, and has a very balanced scoring attack. Forward Shonn Miller (12.8 points per game) will have to avoid the foul trouble that plagued him during the AAC Tournament. He has an excellent offensive game, especially in the post, and must be a key factor for UConn to win. Shot blocker Amida Brimah will need to show the poise and patience he showed during the conference tourney, so that he can stay on the floor and be the Huskies’ answer to Scott. UConn’s greatest advantage may be at point guard, where freshman Jalen Adams has catapulted himself into the national spotlight thanks to his miracle shot against Cincinnati. However, his overall game as a slasher and floor general offers something to the UConn offense that Colorado doesn’t have. The Huskies are also not only a great squad from the free throw line, but ...
- Preview: #8 St. Joseph’s vs #9 Cincinnati March 14, 2016 Zach Beeler
#8 St. Joseph’s vs #9 Cincinnati
Thursday March 18, 9:57 PM ET
In this first round match up, I think we have one of the best games of the day. Both of these teams are more than capable of giving Oregon a tough game, and this is a fitting audition to do so. So without further ado, lets break down St. Joe’s vs Cincinnati.
After losing two straight games to end the regular season, St. Joe’s ran off three in a row to win the Atlantic 10 tournament, beating fellow NCAA Tournament team Dayton on that path. Cincinnati lost in their first American Athletic Conference game after Connecticut hit a miracle 60-foot shot in the third overtime to send it to a fourth, where they eventually prevailed. However, this Cincinnati team is as gritty as they come. According to Kenpom, the Bearcats rank as the 8th most efficient defensive team in the country. They like to slow the game down and really make their opponent work for every the whole 40 minutes. On the other hand, St. Joe’s has a few guys that can really fill it up in Isaiah Miles and DeAndre Bembry. Bembry will play in the NBA someday, and will probably be the most talented player on the court.
Why St. Joseph’s Wins
The Hawks take care of the ball and manage to crack the Bearcat defense. St. Joe’s only turns the ball over on 14.3% of their possessions, good for fourth in the country. They are a veteran team with a lot of experience, and they are poised under pressure. Patience will be key for the Hawks, and they’ll need a lot of it if they want to win this game. However, all the pieces are in place to crack the defense. Experience, a dominant big man in Isaiah Miles and a go to player in DeAndre Bembry. If Bembry comes out making plays right away, I think that it bodes well for St. Joseph’s chances.
Why Cincinnati Wins
The Bearcats get a balanced offensive effort and dominate the glass. Cincinnati has four players that average 10 or more points per game. This can make it tough to defend in the NCAA Tournament, where there isn’t one guy to key in on defensively. Instead, St. Joe’s will have to defend the whole lineup against a team they haven’t seen or had time to scout this year. Along with a balanced effort on the offensive side, Cincinnati needs to dominate the glass. The Bearcats average 39.4 rebounds per game, good for just .7 more rebounds per game. However, for a team that doesn’t shoot extraordinarily well (43%) and doesn’t have a go to guy second chance points and limiting second chance points could be huge.
I think this could be the most competitive game in the first round. Both of these teams have legitimate cases to win, and both have enough talent to give Oregon all they want in the second round. However, I think that ...
- Preview: UConn vs. Cincinnati January 26, 2016 Nick Schwartz
The University of Connecticut Huskies get set to play their second consecutive major game of the season in Hartford, as they host the Cincinnati Bearcats this Thursday. UConn (14-5, 5-2 AAC) comes in to this game riding high after the big victory against Georgetown last Saturday. Now, they get set to face another former Big East team, as the desperate Bearcats make their way to New England for the first of two scheduled meetings between the teams. Cincy (15-6, 5-3 AAC) has underachieved this season, and is in serious danger of falling completely off of the NCAA tournament radar. A win in Hartford would pay dividends for Mick Cronin’s side.
The Kevin Ollie-led Huskies showed off their impressive defense for much of the game against the Hoyas, holding them to 39 percent shooting. It was the sixth straight game, and eighth of their last nine, that the Huskies held their opponent to under 40 percent from the field. Given that shotblocking center Amida Brimah has been out of action for that entire stretch, the defensive ferocity exhibited by the Huskies has been a welcome sight. The UConn defense is now up to 15th in the country for points allowed, giving up 62.6 points per game. However, one spot above them is the Cincinnati Bearcats, allowing a paltry 62.4 points a game. This kind of defense has become the status quo for the ferocious Bearcats under Mick Cronin, and means that we could be in for a rockfight when these two teams line up for the tip.
Leading UConn scorer Shonn Miller (13.6 ppg) will be crucial on the block, where he will likely be matched up with Cincy’s talented sophomore, Gary Clark, who is averaging over ten points and eight rebounds a game. However, this individual matchup is not quite as important as the one that will be between Farad Cobb and Rodney Purvis. The slightly build Cobb will have his hand full guarding the six foot four Purvis, but will present the same defensive issues to the UConn guard thanks to his quickness and ability to hit the three ball (which he strokes at 45 percent).
The redshirt senior forward has been a part of Mick Cronin’s program since the days of the old Big East, and has seen the Huskies play more than anyone. The versatile forward posted ten points and seven rebounds when these teams last matched up in the AAC tournament a little under a year ago, which was also played in the XL Center. Thomas has got big game experience, as he posted ten points in nearly thirty minutes of action against last year’s Kentucky squad in Cincy’s NCAA tournament loss. As the primary defender of UConn’s Daniel Hamilton, the key cog in the Husky offense, his play on that end of the floor could decide the game.
Point Guard Attitudes
Starting at point guard for Cincy is long time Husky adversary Troy Caupain. UConn ...
- Recap: UConn Overcomes Georgetown in a High-Intensity Game January 23, 2016 Nick Schwartz
It almost felt like 2009. Two classic Big East programs, duking it out in the physical style the conference was known for. During the years of the Big East, UConn and Georgetown tied with the most conference tournament titles, and this game had that kind of feel. The crowd, immune to the impending snowstorm, was rowdy, and definitely helped the Huskies battle until the end. When that final whistle blew, it was the Huskies who prevailed, posting a 68-62 victory.
Rodney Purvis netted 17 points, including going 7-8 from the line, to lead four Huskies in double figures. Sterling Gibbs added 16 points, while Daniel Hamilton had 11, including a pair of triples in the first half. For the Husky offense, it was a tale of two halves. UConn shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, while hitting five of ten threes, pacing the team to a 40-33 lead. However, the Huskies shot an atrocious 4-21 from the field for 19 percent after the intermission. If it wasn’t for the play of Shonn Miller, who had 15 points over the entire game, the second half could have gotten well out of hand. However, the free throw line allowed the Huskies to carry the day, as they went 20 of 25 in the second half, and 29-36 for the entire game. The defense was solid for the entire game, holding the Hoyas to under 40 percent from the field.
For Georgetown, who jumped out to a 9-4 lead early in the game, the three point arc, not the post, was a major source of offense, as the squad hit nine for the game. Leading scorer Reggie Cameron hit three shots from deep, while posting 13 points in total. Other key players for Georgetown were D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and L.J. Peak, who scored 12 points apiece. The points in the paint statistic was actually not in favor of the Hoyas, something coach John Thompson will likely come to regret, given the advantages Georgetown had in their frontcourt. However, it wasn’t enough to withstand the Huskies.
As previously noted, Georgetown jumped out to a quick lead, as the Huskies couldn’t grab their first advantage until 12-11 with thirteen minutes left on the clock in the first half. From that point, the Huskies maintained a small but constant lead, with a highpoint coming off a Gibbs layup with 3:33 left in the half which pushed the Husky lead to seven. That was the same margin at halftime, with the Huskies up 40-33.
Georgetown started the second half impressively, hitting a bevy of triples early on to comeback and tie the game at 49 with 11:50 left in the game. At the same time, though, a multitude of early fouls allowed the Huskies to reach the ...
- Preview: UConn vs. Georgetown January 21, 2016 Nick Schwartz
In a matchup of the two most successful programs in the old Big East, the Huskies and the Hoyas meet in Hartford.
In the shadow of a major snowfall, a storm of a different kind will be brewing in the XL Center, as the Huskies welcome a familiar opponent for a game with major implications. The last time these two teams played, the result was an instant classic, won by the Hoyas in double-overtime. Now, three years later, the teams get another crack at each other. UConn picked up a rather lackluster win on Tuesday, beating Tulane 60-42 in Hartford. Georgetown, on the other hand, pick up one of the best wins, of any team, this season. They defeated top five Xavier, in Cincy, 81-72. Georgetown will be a much tougher test for the Huskies, especially with the momentum the Xavier win built up. The winner of this game has a great shot at being ranked in the Top 25 next week, while the loser will be left scrambling with only a third of the season left to play.
UConn’s win over Tulane offers little for evaluating where the team is at. It was a weekday game against a poor opponent, and felt like the squad was simply going through the motions. Instead, some tendencies from the win at Houston on Sunday give a better image of how UConn’s looking right now. In that 69-57 win, the Huskies showed the poise that had been missing for much of the season, and it is the same poise that they should bring to a game against a historic rival. However, all the poise in the world won’t help Coach Ollie win if his team’s shots simply aren’t falling. Over the past three games, UConn has had a particularly tough time hitting three pointers, going just 16-59 over that span. Most of these shortcomings are due to the mishaps of Rodney Purvis, who for the first half of the season was the best player on the team. However, since the win over Memphis two weeks ago, Purvis has made a single three pointer in 14 attempts. During that same time, Sterling Gibbs has stepped up in his absence, averaging over 15 points per game over that same span. UConn needs to get both Gibbs and Purvis going at the same time to reach their potential.
Georgetown had some horrendous losses earlier in the season. There’s no debating that a team of the Hoyas’ caliber should never drop games to Radford and UNC-Asheville. However this is also the same team that hung with Maryland in College Park, and of course beat Xavier just a few days ago. The Hoyas seem to have finally put their early season struggles behind them, but this team coming to New England is still the same team that lost against a pair of Big South schools. In the ...
- Recap: UConn Defeats Memphis January 10, 2016 Nick Schwartz
UConn Wins Wild Contest Against Memphis
For a second there, it looked like the mean-streak Sterling Gibbs had shown in the past had reared its ugly head. His technical foul for shoving a Memphis player in the first half helped spark a major run for the Tigers, who led 25-17 with 8:23 left. But then, he showed the poise and maturity that made him the most sought after transfer over the summer. Gibbs scored 26 points, 13 over the final 10 minutes, and helped the Huskies hold off a furious late rally from the Tigers and post an 81-78 win.
UConn, who led 39-37 at halftime, was actually down for much of the first half, before a push led by Rodney Purvis, who finished the game with 13 points, gave UConn a 32-29 lead. It could have been worse for the Huskies had Shaq Goodwin played. The senior forward picked up two quick fouls and sat virtually the entire first half. With him on the bench, guard Ricky Tarrant did a tremendous job for the Tigers (10-5, 1-1 AAC). He finished the first half with 12 points.
The second half of this game was hotly contested, as a combination of emotion and high level basketball made the battle incredibly entertaining. UConn (11-4, 2-1 AAC) held the lead for most of the half, extending it to as much as eight on a breakaway dunk by Purvis with 7:03 left to play. Gibbs was also crucial in helping the Huskies maintain their advantage throughout the second half. hitting four of his five threes after the intermission. However, Memphis would not let the Huskies run away with the game, even when leading scorer Dedric Lawson went out with four fouls about halfway through the second half. Led by the shooting of Trashon Burrell and Tarrant, along with a couple of key triples from reserve Avery Woodson, Memphis was able to make sure the game stayed within striking distance.
The battle between Shaq Goodwin and Shonn Miller defined the second half. On the same possession, Miller managed to draw Goodwin’s third and fourth fouls, with the score at 57-54 and 7:43 left in the game. After Purvis’s dunk, it appeared UConn was poised to run away. But, with about six minutes to play in the game, Shaq Goodwin took over. On several consecutive possessions, Goodwin produced points for Memphis either from the paint or from the charity stripe, where he shot 11-12 for the game. Goodwin continued to excel despite his four fouls. He scored his 23rd point, 19 of which came in the second half, to tie the game with a minute and a half left. But, Miller was able to draw the fifth and final foul on Goodwin with 1:10 left in the game, much to the delight of a raucous Gampel crowd. Memphis would nearly have the ...
- Preview: UConn vs. Memphis January 8, 2016 Nick Schwartz
UConn Looks to Right the Ship Against the Tigers
The 23rd-ranked Huskies look to get back on track as they resume American Conference play this Saturday against Memphis. Following a shocking home loss to the Temple Owls on Tuesday, the Huskies are desperate to build some positive momentum. Thankfully, this important matchup will be contested inside Gampel Pavilion.
The Huskies were done in against Temple by poor shooting from their most important players, namely Daniel Hamilton. The talented wing shot just 2-13 from the field, including several critical misses during a hotly contested second half. Starting guards Rodney Purivs and Sterling Gibbs also shot a combined 5-19. With UConn’s defense already at a serious disadvantage due to Amida Brimah’s injury, the offense needs to be able to pick up the slack. This simply did not happen against the Owls. The Huskies only hit four shots from behind the arc, the second lowest total of the season. Against a team with a strong frontcourt such as the Memphis Tigers, perimeter shooting needs to be spot on for the Huskies to win. The loss of Brimah really changed the outlook of this game, and UConn’s team defense must be up to the challenge of containing Memphis’s front line.
Two of Memphis’s top three scorers are their starting forwards, talented freshman Dedric Lawson and hardened veteran Shaq Goodwin. Goodwin, who hit a late game-winning shot in Gampel last time these two teams played, is averaging a career high 12.5 points per game. Long known for his adept ability as a rebounder and defender, Goodwin has been much more efficient at the offensive end this year, hitting nearly 50 percent of his shots. His skill and savvy make him the biggest threat to UConn’s weak interior. Lawson and his brother, K.J., the sons of a Memphis assistant coach, provide matchup issues with their athleticism. Dedric, a top 30 recruit, has lived up to the promises those rankings bring. The Memphis backcourt has also been solid this year. Alabama grad-transfer Ricky Tarrant has been a godsend for the Tigers, averaging 14 points a game and providing stability as the lead guard for Coach Pastner’s team. Veterans Markel Crawford and Trashon Burrell have also provided good minutes at the wing positions for the Tigers.
Point Guard Matchup
Both Tarrant and UConn’s Sterling Gibbs are more scorer than distributor; both average roughly three assists a game. Given that they also both have other weapons on their teams, whomever does a better job of getting others involved could help bring his team the victory. However, the peskier defender of the two is Tarrant, meaning that he could hold the advantage in this key matchup.
Shaq Goodwin is an animal. He stands six feet nine inches tall and weighs 230 pounds, all of ...
- UConn Readies to Enter Conference Play January 2, 2016 Nick Schwartz
It’s been an interesting first part of the season for the Connecticut Huskies. While the Huskies lost arguably their most important games against Syracuse and Maryland, they also picked up a pair of underrated wins against Michigan and Texas. The Huskies, sitting at 9-3, don’t have a bad loss at this point in the season. At the same time, they don’t appear to have a win against a top-20 caliber team. The next part of the season, conference play, will go a long way towards defining whether UConn can be a serious player in a national landscape that doesn’t appear to have any elite teams.
The biggest problems for the Huskies have been general consistency and perimeter defense. The Huskies can play at the level of the best teams in the country, while also appearing to look utterly uninspiring. A cursory glance at the Maryland game is all one needs to confirm this. Kevin Ollie’s team came out flat and soft, losing by 16 at halftime. Down double digits midway through the second half, UConn looked like they were going to be run out of the gym. But, the Huskies battled back, cutting the Terp lead to one possession late in the game (before a technical foul halted all momentum). Over the course of the Maryland game, we saw glimpses of UConn’s disappointing 2014-15 team, and looks at the vast potential this year’s team could have.
Even in other games, whether it be as good an opponent as Gonzaga or as poor an opponent as Sacred Heart, the Huskies have often appeared to be two completely different teams. Going into the rigors of conference play, which will feature many long road trips, more consistency and focus will be needed to ensure this team gets the seed it deserves come Selection Sunday.
UConn’s perimeter defense has been a major strength the past couple of years, led by two of the best guards in the program’s storied history. However, so far this season, UConn’s guards have looked slow and lazy when defending their opponents. Part of this may come from the sense of security a shot blocker like Amida Brimah can give the guards playing in front of him. But, the Huskies are only averaging four blocks a game over the contests Brimah has missed with injury.
In the first nine games of the season, all of which Brimah played, UConn averaged six and a half blocks. Without that kind of shot blocking prowess on the back line, the perimeter defense needs to be better. The slow perimeter defense is also a major factor in the three point shooting effectiveness UConn opponents have showed. The low percentage, 31%, is a result of teams jacking up absurd amounts of threes against the Huskies. Opponents have made over seven a game against UConn, a number far too high for a squad that has played multiple low level teams. Against better competition, such as Gonzaga ...
- College Pride Press NBA Mock Draft December 20, 2015 College Pride Press
A couple of the writers are also very big NBA followers and came up with the idea of doing an NBA mock draft. We set the order based on records at the time drafted and rotated amongst the three writers. The great thing about doing the mock draft was that we chatted with writers at the different schools who have watched every game for a scouting report. This was a huge help for our selections and for our fits for each team. We have posted picks 10-15 here below but all 30 picks will be on our premium forum. If you’d like to join the forum please click here. The link to all the draft picks will be below as well. We hope to update or do a new mock draft every month so keep an eye out for future updates.
10.Washington Wizards- Jacob Poeltl
7’ C, Utah
Washington has struggled this season with some unreliable play beyond John Wall and Bradley Beal. While Wall is a great point guard, he is not a natural jump shooter and is better distributing. Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre are still developing at the 3. Nene is providing quality play at the 4 leaving the clear need at center. Even though Marcin Gortat just received a contract extension his play is diminishing. Jacob Poeltl is a very talented center who can provide quality minutes as a rookie while developing into a high quality player. I have a hard time seeing him as an All-Star but rather as a consistent starter for many years like a Marcin Gortat. -Brad Kreppel
11. New York Knicks- Dwayne Bacon
6’6” SG, Florida State
Bacon has so much upside it really made me overlook the flaws his game currently has. His athleticism and length is exactly what scouts look for, and he is explosive when attacking the basket. However, he is still really working to refine his game. His outside shot can be spotty at times, and he can seem to be complacent through periods of the game. With all the physical tools being in place, these flaws can be looked past and the Knicks can get a home run pick. -Zach Beeler
12. Minnesota Timberwolves- Furkan Korkmaz
6’6” SG, International
International prospects are always hard to decipher, but success stories like Kristaps Porzingis force teams to take the gamble. Minnesota is the type of team willing to take this type of risk, as their last few first-round picks seem to be progressing nicely. Korkmaz is natural-born scorer. He has a knack for getting the ball in the basket, whether that be his beautiful shot, or aggressiveness to the basket. His defense isn’t perfect, but he has the necessary tools to change that. Limited playing time and his size are legitimate concerns, ...
- Preview: UConn vs Maryland December 6, 2015 Nick Schwartz
UConn Travels to New York on Tuesday to face Maryland in the Jimmy V Classic
Maryland comes into this game off a beatdown of St. Francis (Penn.), where the Terps posted a 41 point win. UConn has not played in six days, last beating Sacred Heart 82-49. With the lights shining bright in Madison Square Garden, the headliner of the annual Jimmy V Classic to benefit cancer research promises to be a doozy of a contest.
The name of the game for the Huskies is balance: Four separate starters average in double figures for fourth-year coach Kevin Ollie, and all of them have led this team in scoring at least once. Expect points to come from the guards and wings, as Maryland’s size and depth in the frontcourt could trouble a UConn post game that is somewhat underdeveloped. Rodney Purvis slashes to the bucket well, but has had trouble finishing in traffic. This timidity could be a result of Purvis shying away from contact, as he is only a 52 percent free throw shooter so far this season. Freshman Jalen Adams will likely be called on to play big minutes off the bench. His on-ball ferocity may be the Huskies only hope of containing Melo Trimble. Maryland’s aforementioned frontcourt will be a massive test for the Huskies; Brimah is a shot-blocking menace, but was incredibly foul-prone in 2014-15 (4.3 fouls per 40 minutes). UConn will need him to stay on the court, and will likely also require quality minutes from reserve big men Kentan Facey, Phil Nolan, and Steve Enoch.
Maryland went back to dominance over the weekend, but definitely still has the UNC loss on the mind. Mark Turgeon’s team, like the Huskies, has incredible scoring balance, led by preseason All-American Melo Trimble. Suliamon, the former Blue Devil, has looked right at home playing for the Terps, knocking down 53 percent of his shots from deep. Jake Layman, captain of the “It feels like you’ve been in college for seven years” team provides matchup nightmares for UConn whether he’s at the 3 or the 4. Then, there is the frontcourt, where Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter has been doing everything from hitting threes to grabbing rebounds in traffic. Diamond Stone gives a special angle to this game. The Milwaukee native was heavily recruited by the Huskies, who were in his final 3 along with the Terrapins and Wisconsin. Alas, being in the red and gold mean his advanced post game and brute physicality will be tormenting the UConn big men for the better part of the night. Damonte Dodd and Slovakian Michal Cekovsky and provide further size and skill.
In their first five games of the ...
- New Series of Articles August 10, 2015 College Pride Press
We hope that you have enjoyed reading the first couple of articles that we have posted. This week we will start our new series of articles. Each article for focus on one question, the biggest question, for a team in college basketball. Our students have been hard at work writing about the biggest question for their school so we hope you enjoy reading them. We will release one school each morning and will throw in a couple of other schools that we don’t cover just as the cheery on top of the whipped cream.
You will be able to see all of the Biggest Question articles by clicking HERE
- Pregame: #16 Butler Bulldogs vs. #22 Cincinnati Bearcats December 10, 2016 Jackson Borman