Forum: College Basketball Forum - Post your picks and discuss anything related to betting College Hoops here.

Thread: Cnotes Looking Ahead To 2017 College Hoops !

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
  1. #1 Cnotes Looking Ahead To 2017 College Hoops ! 
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Grading Coaching Hires
    April 13, 2017



    Indiana – In: Archie Miller; Out: Tom Crean


    -- I’ve been saying Archie Miller is a star in the business since taking Dayton to the Elite Eight in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. During his six-year run at UD, Miller compiled a 139-63 overall record (68.8%) and a 68-34 mark in Atlantic-10 play (66.7%), taking the Flyers to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments to close his tenure. Miller went 5-4 in the Tourney and won at least 24 games in each of his final four seasons. The former scrappy N.C. State point guard (1998-2002) also took UD to the NIT in his first season. He comes from amazing basketball DNA, as he and his older brother Sean played prep hoops under their father, John Miller, who retired as a high school basketball head coach after posting a 657-280 record in 35 seasons. The elder Miller went 104-29 in postseason play. Sean played for Pittsburgh and was a four-year starter at the point-guard position, handing out the famous assist to Jerome Lane, who shattered the glass backboard and prompted Bill Raftery’s legendary call, “Send it in, Jerome!!” Archie and Sean also have a sister, Lisa, who played college ball at Elon and Toledo.


    There are two more huge factors that have me grading this hire as the best of this offseason. First of all, Archie is only 38 years of age and already has six years of head-coaching experience. And for those not in the know, make no mistake about it, Dayton is a big-time program with a rabid fan base. I saw it first hand at FedEx Forum in Memphis at the South Region finals in 2014 when my Gators were essentially playing a road game in terms of fan noise, as the Flyers’ faithful poured more than 10,000 fans into the stands. Secondly, Archie has assembled an outstanding staff. He has brought along Tom Ostrom, his top aide at UD. Ostrom worked under Billy Donovan at the University of Florida and played a critical role in the recruitment of Joakim Noah and Mike Miller. He followed a fellow UF assistant, John Pelphrey, to South Alabama and Arkansas. When Pelphrey was fired at Arkansas, he joined Miller at UD.


    Bruiser Flint, who has 20 seasons of head-coaching experience under his belt (15 at Drexel, five at UMass), worked under John Calipari as an assistant at UMass before getting the head gig. Flint has deep, old-school recruiting ties in Philadelphia and Boston, especially The City of Brotherly Love, where he grew up and played college ball at St. Joseph’s. Ed Schilling, who recently worked under IU legendary player Steve Alford at UCLA, also joins the staff.

    Grade: A


    Missouri - In: Cuonzo Martin; Out: Kim Anderson



    -- Anderson inherited a mess and probably didn’t get enough time, but he showed nothing in three seasons to think the program was heading toward the upper tier of the SEC anytime soon. Martin is an excellent hire, assuming he’s going to stick around for an extended period of time. I obviously understood when Martin bolted his first job at Missouri State to take the Tennessee gig after Bruce Pearl was forced out. Again, I could see why he wanted out at UT because the fan base was literally gathering thousands of signatures for a petition to bring Pearl back after Martin had just taken the team to the Sweet 16 (and was one could’ve-gone-either-way charging call from playing in the East Region finals). Martin recruited with the best of ‘em while he was at California for three campaigns, but several one-and-done players netted just one trip to the NCAA Tournament, one trip to the NIT and zero postseason victories. But now Martin has left a school following a brief three-year tenure for the third time. At some point, he turns into a Larry Brown/Bobby Petrino (which is piss-poor form if you ask me) if he so much as entertains another offer in the next 4-5 years.


    Martin has made his mark at Mizzou already, bagging the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect in Michael Porter Jr. last month. This was one of those that LSU’s Dale Brown and Larry Brown (while at Kansas, think Danny Manning’s father, Ed) used to regularly utilize, as Martin hired the prized prospects father, Michael Porter Sr., as an assistant on his staff. Porter Jr. is currently busy trying to lure top-tier recruits in the 2017 class who remain uncommitted. He helped nab one of those on April 11 when four-star guard Blake Harris, who like Porter Jr. was originally a commit to Washington before Lorenzo Romar’s dismissal.


    Grade: B+


    San Diego State – In: Brian Dutcher; Out: Steve Fisher



    -- Let’s start with props galore to Fisher, who became a household name in the 1989 NCAA Tournament. When Bill Frieder took the Arizona St. job just before the start of the Tourney, the late/great then-Michigan AD Bo Schembechler famously said, “A Michigan man will coach Michigan.” In other words, Frieder wasn’t sticking around to coach the Wolverines for another minute. Therefore, Fisher was named the interim head coach. After five wins, including a victory over Illinois in the national semifinals at The Kingdome in Seattle, Michigan trailed P.J. Carlesimo’s Seton Hall squad by one in the final seconds of overtime. As Rumeal Robinson penetrated into the lane going right, he was defended by Gerald Greene. John Clougherty came from nearly halfcourt and called what Raftery would term, “small change” or a “nickle-dimer.” Translation: Greene was playing solid defense and for some reason was whistled for a blocking foul even though there was little contact and Robinson was passing the ball to the wing rather than shooting. Anyhow, Robinson hit both free throws and Fisher was given the head job after the Wolverines cut the nets down in Seattle. It would be wrong if I failed to note what an incredible Tournament Glen Rice enjoyed that year, and he had plenty of help from Terry Mills and Loy Vaught in the paint.


    Fisher brought back nearly the entire squad the next season, only to get jettisoned back to Ann Arbor in the Round of 32 when Bo Kimble went for 40-plus points and Jeff Fryer rained down 11 treys in a blowout victory for Paul Westhead’s Loyola-Marymount squad that was playing in honor of its fallen teammate, Hank Gathers. But Fisher, with a lot of help from Dutcher, would bring in the Fab Five and get to two more title games, only to come up short in both. He led the Wolverines to the NIT championship in 1997 but was fired several months later due to the Ed Martin fiasco, which involved players like Robert Traylor and Maurice Taylor receiving illegal benefits.


    Michigan self-imposed sanctions that the NCAA accepted and Fisher wasn’t implicated in any of the wrongdoing. Therefore, he took the San Diego State job in 1999. The Aztecs hadn’t tasted a postseason appearance since the 84-85 campaign. Nobody dreamed Fisher could build a powerhouse or even be slightly competitive with UCLA and USC in recruiting kids from Southern California.


    However, during Fisher’s 18-year tenure, he did just that on the recruiting trail, signing the likes of Kawhi Leonard out of L.A. Fisher took San Diego St. to eight NCAA Tournaments, a pair of Sweet 16’s, five NIT’s and a pair of NIT Final Fours at MSG in NYC.


    With Fisher retiring in early April, the transition to Dutcher will be smooth. He has been Fisher’s top assistant for 27 seasons at both Michigan and SD State. With that said, this is his first head-coaching job.


    Grade: C+


    Georgetown - In: Patrick Ewing; Out: John Thompson III



    -- Things had grown stale with JT3 and it was time for a change. Patrick Ewing, Georgetown’s greatest player who led the Hoyas to three national-title games and one championship in 1984, has been paying his dues as an NBA assistant coach since 2003. That’s the good and the bad. Ewing isn’t just a great player that’s going to give coaching a shot. He’s been doing it for well over a decade. However, the 54-year-old Ewing hasn’t been a head coach yet and has been out of the college game since Villanova’s shocking upset win over the Hoyas in the 1985 finals at Rupp Arena. But this is certainly worth a shot! I like the move and, even better, I like the idea of Chris Mullin and Ewing meeting at mid-court before games between St. John’s and Georgetown. Maybe they’ll both wear the same sweater at MSG one night just like Big John and Louie did back in the early ‘80s?


    Grade: B+


    LSU - In: Will Wade; Out: Johnny Jones



    -- Jones couldn’t get to the NCAA Tournament with the nation’s best player, Ben Simmons, on his roster two seasons ago. Then the program completely fell apart this past year, enduring a 15-game losing streak on the way to a 10-21 overall record. I like the pick of Will Wade as his replacement. To be clear, though, I’m not a fan of LSU AD Joe Alleva, who spent who knows how much of LSU’s cash to hire a search firm (to do his job) and make this hire. Wade has worked under Tommy Amaker at Harvard and Shaka Smart at VCU. He has four years of head-coaching experience and is only 34 years old. Wade went 40-25 at Chattanooga before landing the VCU gig, where he compiled a 51-20 record (71.8%) and went to consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Wade has already been Coach of the Year in the Southern Conference and the A-10. He has one more assistant left to hire, but the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on April 11 that Greg Heiar is joining Wade after six years under Gregg Marshall at Wichita State. Heiar also spent five seasons as the head coach at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla. Chipola is a perennial national power in the juco ranks that’s six hours east of New Orleans, so Heiar is familiar with the recruiting areas LSU likes to explore.


    Grade: A-


    Illinois: In: Brad Underwood; Out: John Groce



    -- This certainly goes down as the most shocking coaching move of this offseason. Underwood did an outstanding job at Oklahoma State in his first year, shaking off an 0-6 start in Big 12 play to catch fire and get to the NCAA Tournament. The Cowboys fell to Michigan by one, 93-92, in perhaps the most entertaining game of the entire Tourney. Underwood, who was hired after a solid run at Stephen F. Austin, was only making a hair above $1 million per year at OSU. When Illinois came in with a $3 million per year offer, he was obviously interested. Whether or not Underwood allowed OSU the chance to match the offer, something that certainly could’ve happened with T-Boone Pickens’ hundreds of millions, remains unclear. Again, I think spending one year at a school and then bolting to another job is poor form. With that said, I can’t be critical of Underwood without knowing whether or not OSU countered Illinois with a strong offer. If the Cowboys didn’t, then Underwood did what nearly all of us would do – take the raise and new job, wish your co-workers well and get on with it. But that’s irrelevant from Illinois’ view, anyway. The Illini scored a really good coach in Underwood, who has taken all four of his teams as a head coach to the NCAA Tourney. He also won a first-round game twice while at SF Austin and was incredibly close to going to the Sweet 16 two seasons ago when the Lumberjacks let a late lead get away in a gut-wrenching loss to Notre Dame. The defeat against Michigan this year was equally as heartbreaking.


    Grade: A-


    New Mexico – In: Paul Weir; Out: Craig Neal

    -- ‘Noodles,’ who was best known as being Mark Price’s back-up point guard at Ga. Tech in the early ‘80s, was an assistant under Alford at Iowa and UNM from 2004-2013. Neal went 27-7 in his first season with the Lobos, but they lost in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Since then, UNM has had three down years without a postseason invite. The school parted ways with Neal and went to New Mexico St. and snatched its head coach, Paul Weir, who posted a 28-6 record in his only year as HC for the Aggies after Marvin Menzies bolted for UNLV. UNM could’ve done better, but I’ll be lenient on my grade since it took an in-state rival’s coach.

    Grade: C


    Oklahoma State: In: Mike Boynton Jr.; Out: Brad Underwood



    -- OSU was left hanging when Underwood dipped out of Stillwater. The Cowboys chose to go with a 35-year-old rookie HC in Boynton, who was on Underwood’s staff at OSU and SF Austin. Boynton played at South Carolina and was an assistant for the Gamecocks from 2008-2013. I have no clue how this one will turn out.


    Grade: D

    North Carolina State In: Kevin Keatts; Out: Mark Gottfried



    -- Everyone knows what you get with Mark Gottfried: great recruiter, extremely shaky game coach. He had some good years at N.C. St., but the school opted to go in another direction. Keatts is 44 and has made a rapid rise from a high school coach to an ACC sideline in only six years. After serving on Rick Pitino’s staff at U of L, Keatts took the UNC-Wilmington job. The Seahawks had been down in the decade following the Brett Blizzard Era. Keatts turned the program back around with the quickness, taking the school to the Tourney in his second and third seasons.

    Grade: B-


    Washington: In: Mike Hopkins; Out: Lorenzo Romar



    -- As noted earlier, UW lost out on two great recruits by pink slipping Romar. Hopkins has been on Jim Boeheim’s staff for 22 years and was the coach in waiting at Syracuse. He’s originally from the West, however, so this isn’t necessarily an instance where the coach will be completely out of his realm recruiting-wise (like Mark Fox was when former Georgia AD Damon ‘Red Panties’ Evans brought him to Athens from Nevada). We’ll see.

    Grade: C+


    California: In: Wyking Jones; Out: Cuonzo Martin



    -- Cal decided to promote from within. The school has been dealing with debt issues, so it wasn’t going to be able to make a high-profile hire by forking out a multi-million dollar contract. Like Hopkins, Jones served under Pitino before joining Martin in Berkeley.

    Grade: D
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2. #2  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Bagley could make Duke preseason No. 1
    August 14, 2017



    Top high school prospect Marvin Bagley III has committed to Duke and is eligible to play in the 2017-18 season, immediately making the Blue Devils a top national-title contender.


    Bagley made his announcement on ESPN's ''SportsCenter'' on Monday night.


    The 6-foot-11 Bagley is widely considered the top recruit of the 2018 recruiting class, but last month he petitioned the NCAA to reclassify and become college eligible for the upcoming season.


    Bagley went on campus visits in July to Duke and USC, with UCLA also in the mix.


    Bagley started his high school career at Tempe Corona del Sol High School in Arizona and ended up at Southern California's Chatsworth Sierra Canyon High School.


    The long, athletic big man will likely be in the mix to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft whenever he decides to leave college.


    **********************


    Minnesota's Eric Curry out for season
    August 31, 2017



    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota sophomore forward Eric Curry will miss the upcoming season, after injuring his left knee during a pickup game.


    The university announced that Curry tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus Thursday.


    Gophers coach Richard Pitino said the team was ''disheartened by the news'' after a ''tremendous summer'' on the court by Curry. The native of Memphis, Tennessee, played in all 34 games in a reserve role as a freshman. He was third on the team in rebounds and blocks, averaging 5.5 points and 19.9 minutes per game.


    The Gophers have experience with this kind of setback. Last year, forward Davonte Fitzgerald tore the ACL and damaged cartilage in his left knee during a noncontact drill in a preseason practice.


    ***********************


    Sid Williams to transfer from St. John's
    August 29, 2017



    NEW YORK (AP) Sid Wilson, a New York City high school star, has requested to transfer from St. John's before his freshman season starts.


    St. John's has granted the 6-foot-7 Wilson permission to speak with other Division I programs.


    Before signing with St. John's in May, Wilson spent his senior year at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, where he helped lead the Bobcats to the 2017 National Prep Championship. He previously attended St. Raymond in the Bronx.


    ''We know this was not an easy decision for Sid, so we are supportive of him as he strives to find the right fit,'' St. John's coach Chris Mullin said. ''He is a good person and talented player who we wish the best as he begins his new journey.''
    Reply With Quote  
     

  3. #3  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Maryland season preview capsule
    October 26, 2017


    Maryland season preview capsule


    Maryland


    Last season: 24-9, lost to Xavier in first round of NCAA Tournament.


    Nickname: Terrapins.


    Coach: Mark Turgeon.


    Conference: Big Ten.


    Who's gone: G Melo Trimble, C Damonte Dodd, F L.G. Gill.


    Who's back: F Justin Jackson. The sophomore was second in scoring behind Trimble with 10.5 points a game and averaged a team-high 6.0 rebounds. Also led team with .438 shooting percentage from 3-point range; G Kevin Huerter. The sophomore started all 33 games, averaging 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds a game. Led Terrapins with 19 points against Xavier in NCAA Tournament; C Michal Cekovsky. The 7-foot-1 Slovakian appeared in 17 games as a junior, earning starts in four before fractured ankle in mid-February sidelined him for remainder of season; G Anthony Cowan. Sophomore was third on team in scoring at 10.3 points a game, led Maryland in assists and was third in minutes played. Started all 33 games as a freshman; F Ivan Bender. The 6-9 junior played in 32 games, including five starts. Shot 66 percent from floor.


    Who's new: F Bruno Fernando. The 6-10, four-star recruit played for Angola at the 2014 U-17 FIBA World Championships and averaged 9.1 points and 10.6 rebounds; F Sean Obi. Played as freshman at Rice, and sophomore and junior at Duke. Appeared in 10 games for Blue Devils in 2015-16 before an injury ended his season; G Darryl Morsell. First Baltimore high school player to sign with Maryland since Turgeon took over in 2011 is a stopper on defensive end of court.


    The Skinny: The Terrapins look to continue their recent run of success without Trimble, who left for the NBA draft after his junior season. If Huerter, Cowan and Jackson can score and provide leadership, this young team can develop quickly, be a contender in the Big Ten and extend its run of NCAA Tournament appearances to four.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #4  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Indiana Preview Capsule
    October 26, 2017


    Indiana Preview Capsule


    Indiana


    Last season: 18-16, lost at Georgia Tech in the first round of the NIT.


    Nickname: Hoosiers.


    Coach: Archie Miller.


    Conference: Big Ten.


    Who's gone: Coach Tom Crean, F OG Anunoby, G James Blackmon Jr., C Thomas Bryant.


    Who's back: G Robert Johnson. After withdrawing from the NBA draft, the senior will take on an expanded role as he tries to improve his numbers (12.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game). G Josh Newkirk. The clear choice at point guard returns for his third and final season with the Hoosiers. He's hoping to cut down on the turnovers and take on a bigger scoring role (9.0 ppg last season). F De'Ron Davis. The 6-foot-10 forward lost about 20 pounds this offseason with the hope he will stay in better condition and commit fewer fouls when he starts getting tired.


    Who's new: F Clifton Moore. While it's unclear which member of this four-player freshman class could have the biggest impact, Moore provides the Hoosiers one quality they lack - size. He and Davis are the only players on the roster taller than 6-9.


    The Skinny: Miller's first Indiana team may not have all the pieces but it does have enough backcourt talent and potential on the front line to become a factor in the Big Ten race. Expect it to take time for the players to get in sync with Miller's new system, and an early four-game run with Duke, Michigan, Iowa and Louisville won't help. But a postseason bid is a reasonable possibility.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #5  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Wisconsin Preview Capsule
    October 26, 2017


    Wisconsin Preview Capsule


    Wisconsin


    Last season: 27-10; lost to Florida in regional semifinals of NCAA Tournament


    Nickname: Badgers


    Coach: Greg Gard


    Conference: Big Ten


    Who's gone: F Nigel Hayes, F Vitto Brown, G Bronson Koenig, G Zak Showalter, G Jordan Hill


    Who's back: F Ethan Happ (14.0 points, 9.0 rebounds) is the lone returning starter. One of the toughest big-man matchups in the country with his athleticism, one of Happ's only weaknesses is a lack of an outside shot. G D'Mitrik Trice (5.6 points) hit 41 percent from 3-point territory off the bench as a freshman last season. He has the poise to take over the point guard job from Koenig. G Brevin Pritzl will get a shot to show off his 3-point range with more regular minutes. Swingman Khalil Iverson's strength is athleticism in the paint.


    Who's new: A promising three-member freshman class could be called on to contribute early, especially Gs Kobe King and Brad Davison. The athletic, 6-foot-4 King was the unanimous prep player of the year in Wisconsin last season. The hustling Davison could be the next player that Badgers fans love and opponents hate to face.


    The Skinny: A transition year for Wisconsin. The talent is there, but the Badgers lack the experience that fueled the program to new heights over the last five years. A summer exhibition trip of Australia and New Zealand did help with developing chemistry. A return to the NCAA Tournament will depend on 3-point shooting and how the supporting cast develops around Happ.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #6  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Rutgers Preview Capsule
    October 26, 2017


    RUTGERS


    Last season: 15-18, ties most wins since 2012-13.


    Nickname: Scarlet Knights.


    Coach: Steve Pikiell.


    Conference: Big Ten.


    Who's gone: C C.J. Gettys, G Nigel Johnson (graduate transfer, Virginia), F Jonathan Laurent, G Khalil Batie, C Ibrahima Diallo.


    Who's back: G Corey Sanders. The junior led the Scarlet Knights with team-high 12.8; F Deshawn Freeman. Athletic senior averaged 11.1 points in 33 games; G Mike Williams. The streaky shooting guard averaged 9.4 points. Fs Candido Sa, Issa Thiam, Shaquille Doorson and Eugene Omoruyi all played in 30-plus games last season but were minor contributors.


    Who's new: G Soug Mensah. Junior college transfer will provide depth at guard. Freshmen F Mamadou Doucoure and C Myles Johnson give Rutgers big bodies up front. The 6-foot-9 Doucoure averaged 11 points, 14 rebounds and 3.0 blocks as a senior at Our Savior New American School on Long Island. The 6-10 Johnson played at Long Beach (California) Polytechnic High School. He had eight points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks against a nationally-ranked Chino Hills in the playoffs. Freshman G Geo Baker will get playing time.


    The Skinny: Rutgers has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1991, the year Pikiell started his coaching career as an assistant at Connecticut. The Scarlet Knights have been picked to finish last in the conference. Getting more than three conference wins the season would be an improvement. Making the NIT for the first time since 2006 would be a major success.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #7  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Iowa Preview Capsule
    October 26, 2017


    Iowa Preview Capsule


    Iowa


    Last season: 19-15.


    Nickname: Hawkeyes.


    Coach: Fran McCaffery.


    Conference: Big Ten.


    Who's gone: G Peter Jok.


    Who's back: Everybody else, including PG Jordan Bohannon. He averaged nearly 11 points a game last season as a freshman and finished with three straight double-doubles in postseason play. F Tyler Cook (12.3 points, 5.3 rebounds) was up and down as a newcomer a year ago but could emerge as one of the Big Ten's breakout stars. F Nicholas Baer was the league's Sixth Man of the Year in 2016-17, but it's uncertain if he will move into the starting lineup.


    Who's new: C Luka Garza, a freshman, was Iowa's best player during a summer tour through Europe and is expected to start. C Jack Nunge, also a freshman, should also see extended minutes in the Hawkeyes' rebuilt frontcourt.


    The Skinny: Iowa will miss Jok's 19.9 points per game. But If Bohannon and Cook improve as expected and Garza and Nunge solidify the frontcourt, Iowa will likely make a push for a top-five league finish and return to the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes have as many as 12 guys who can play at the Division I level, and McCaffery will have his hands full keeping everyone happy.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #8  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Ohio State Preview Capsule
    October 26, 2017


    Ohio State Preview Capsule


    Ohio State


    Last season: 17-15, 7-11 Big Ten


    Nickname: Buckeyes


    Conference: Big Ten


    Who's gone: G JaQuan Lyle, C Trevor Thompson, F Marc Loving, C David Bell.


    Who's back: F Jae'Sean Tate. Senior is a fine small forward who led the team in scoring last year; F Keita Bates-Diop. Red-shirt junior missed most of last season with an injury in the ninth game. Averaged 11.8 points and 6.4 rebounds as a sophomore; C Micah Potter. Sophomore will have to step up as starting center after backing up Thompson last season. G C.J. Jackson. Junior will be counted on as the primary ball-handler as one of two point guards on the roster; G Kam Williams. Redshirt senior will start at two-guard spot. F Andre Wesson. Small forward played off the bench as a freshman.


    Who's new: G Andrew Dakich. Graduate transfer from Michigan will back up Jackson at point guard; F Kaleb Wesson. Andre's brother is 6-foot-9 and will be expected to play right away. May be better than his brother; G Musa Jallow. Freshman small forward who Holtmann had pursued while still with Butler. F Kyle Young. Freshman committed to Butler but followed Holtmann to Ohio State. Long wing player will provide some depth.


    The Skinny: New coach Chris Holtmann is trying to right a program that fell into disarray in Thad Matta's last couple of seasons. All five players in the 2015 recruiting class transferred out, leaving little depth. Tate, Bates-Diop and Jackson will feel the pressure to pace the club without much experience on the bench behind them. Freshmen are going to have contribute. Potter has got to be more physical in the middle. Even Holtmann acknowledges that it's probably going to be a tough season.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #9  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Nebraska Preview Capsule
    October 26, 2017


    Nebraska Preview Capsule


    Nebraska


    Last season: 12-19, third straight season with no postseason appearance.


    Nickname: Cornhuskers.


    Coach: Tim Miles.


    Conference: Big Ten.


    Who's gone: G Tai Webster, F Ed Morrow Jr. (transfer to Marquette), F Michael Jacobson (transfer to Iowa State), F Jeriah Horne (transfer to Tulsa), F Nick Fuller (graduate transfer at South Dakota).


    Who's back: G Glynn Watson. The junior is the only returning player who averaged in double figures (13.0 points per game), and his 1.6 steals a game ranked third in the Big Ten. G Evan Taylor. The senior started the last 21 games. G Anton Gill. The senior returns after rupturing the patella tendon in his right knee on Dec. 25. F Jack McVeigh. The junior dropped out of the rotation in January but re-emerged as a key contributor off the bench. F Isaiah Roby. Played only 15 minutes a game but was third on team with 25 blocked shots; C Jordy Tshimanga. The 6-foot-11, 268-pound sophomore averaged 7.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in last 11 games.


    Who's new: G-F James Palmer. The junior transfer from Miami scored a team-high 17 points in 23 minutes of a charity exhibition at Mississippi State. F Isaac Copeland. The junior transfer from Georgetown provides strength and athleticism near the basket. C Duby Okeke. Grad transfer from Winthrop gives Huskers a much-needed rim protector. G Thomas Allen. The freshman was top-100 recruit. G Thorir Thorbjarnarson. Freshman comes out of Iceland's national team program.


    The Skinny: This is a huge season for Miles, who's 75-86 in five years and hasn't finished higher than 11th in the Big Ten the last three years. The program hasn't made the postseason since a late run in 2014 produced an NCAA Tournament appearance. Some key additions give Miles hope a move up in Big Ten is possible.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #10  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Northwestern Preview Capsule
    October 26, 2017


    Northwestern Preview Capsule


    Northwestern


    Last season: 24-12, lost to Gonzaga in NCAA round of 32.


    Nickname: Wildcats.


    Coach: Chris Collins.


    Conference: Big Ten.


    Who's gone: F Sanjay Lumpkin.


    Who's back: G Bryant McIntosh. A preseason all-Big Ten pick, the senior averaged a team-high 14.8 points last season and tied for the conference lead in assists at 5.2 per game; G Scottie Lindsey. Like McIntosh, a preseason all-conference pick after averaging 14.1 points; F Vic Law. A Big Ten all-defensive team pick last season, he was the Wildcats' third-leading scoring and second-leading rebounder; F Dererk Pardon. He ranked second in the conference in field goal percentage (.611), fourth in blocks (1.8 per game) and seventh in rebounding (8.0 rpg).


    Who's new: G Anthony Gaines is the lone incoming freshman.


    The Skinny: The Wildcats are balanced and experienced and hungry for more coming off the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #11  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Purdue Preview Capsule
    October 26, 2017


    Purdue Preview Capsule


    Purdue


    Last season: 27-8; lost to Kansas in NCAA Tournament regional semifinals


    Nickname: Boilermakers.


    Coach: Matt Painter.


    Conference: Big Ten.


    Who's gone: F Caleb Swanigan, F Basil Smotherman, G Spike Albrecht.


    Who's back: F Vincent Edwards. The senior preseason all-conference selection might be the Boilermakers' best overall player. He can shoot (48.6 percent), score (12.6), rebound (4.9) and defend. G Carsen Edwards. As a freshman, the other Edwards - no relation to Vincent - led Purdue in assists (133) and was tied for the team-high in steals (36). This year, he'll be asked to increase his scoring average from 10.6 points. C Isaac Haas. The 7-foot-2 senior averaged 12.6 points and 5.0 rebounds in just 19.5 minutes last season. With Swanigan off to the NBA, Haas is likely to log more minutes if he stays out of foul trouble.


    Who's new: F Matt Haarms. The redshirt freshman used last season to try and add strength. Now the 7-foot-3 Dutch native could fill the role Haas had over the last couple of seasons off the bench. If the Boilermakers play Haas and Haarms together, they could have the biggest front line in the nation.


    The Skinny: Yes, the defending Big Ten champs lost the conference player of the year (Swanigan). But they are hardly bereft of talent. Painter has four starters and six of his top seven scorers back. With size, versatility, tournament experience and a team that knows how to defend, look for the four seniors to keep the Boilermakers at or near the top of the conference standings.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #12  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Illinois Preview Capsule
    October 26, 2017


    Illinois Preview Capsule


    Illinois


    Last season: 20-15 overall, 8-10 in the Big Ten.


    Nickname: Fighting Illini.


    Coach: Brad Underwood.


    Conference: Big Ten.


    Who's gone: G Malcolm Hill, G Tracy Abrams, G Jalen-Coleman Lands (transfer), G D.J. Williams (transfer), G Jaylon Tate, G Alex Austin C Maverick Morgan, C Mike Thorne Jr.


    Who's back: G Te'Jon Lucas. Last season, the sophomore was fifth in the Big Ten in turnover ratio during conference games. F Michael Finke. He shot 44.9 percent from behind the arc during conference play, ranking him eighth in the Big Ten. F Leron Black. Black had elbow surgery during the preseason, but is expected to be healthy for the season opener. He led the team in rebounding at 6.3 per game. F. Kipper Nichols. After sitting out the fall due to NCAA transfer rules, he appeared in 21 games for the Illini. He averaged 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in Big Ten play.


    Who's new: G Mark Smith. Smith was named the 2017 Mr. Basketball of Illinois after leading Edwardsville to a 30-2 record. G Trent Frazier. Frazier is a consensus four-star recruit from Florida. He averaged just over 27 points per game during his senior season. G. Da'Monte Williams. Williams played just three seasons during his senior year of high school due to an ACL tear. However, he did average 25.6 points per game for Peoria Manual. G Mark Alstork.


    The Skinny: In Underwood's first season, the Illini have the chance to make it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years. In his four years at Stephen F. Austin and Oklahoma State, Underwood never missed the tournament. In one year at Oklahoma State, Underwood showed that he can put together one of the best offenses in the country. If he can do the same at Illinois, Illini fans could finally enjoy a meaningful postseason appearance.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #13  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Michigan State Preview-Capsule
    October 26, 2017


    Michigan State Preview-Capsule


    Michigan State


    Last season: 20-15, lost to Kansas in NCAA round of 32.


    Nickname: Spartans.


    Coach: Tom Izzo


    Conference: Big Ten.


    Who's gone: G Eron Harris, G Alvin Ellis, F Matt Van Dyk.


    Who's back: Four of the top five and eight of the top 10 scorers from last season. F Miles Bridges turned down a chance to be an NBA lottery pick to return for his sophomore season. Bridges is the Big Ten preseason player of the year and a national player of the year candidate. F Nick Ward averaged nearly 14 points and six-plus rebounds as a freshman, trailing only Bridges on the team. Ward joined Bridges on the preseason All-Big Ten team.


    Who's new: F Jaren Jackson and F Xavier Tillman are talented enough as freshmen to be key players on a loaded team. The 6-11, 242-pound Jackson is projected by some as top-five pick in the 2018 NBA draft. Izzo said the 6-8, 260-pound Tillman was the biggest surprise in early practices.


    The Skinny: Izzo, a Hall of Fame coach, has a good shot to win his second national championship, reach his eighth Final Four and win his first Big Ten regular season title since 2012.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #14  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Minnesota Preview Capsule
    October 26, 2017


    Minnesota Preview Capsule


    Minnesota


    Last season: 24-10, lost to Middle Tennessee in first round of NCAA Tournament.


    Nickname: Golden Gophers.


    Coach: Richard Pitino


    Conference: Big Ten.


    Who's gone: SG Akeem Springs: He had a team-high 67 made 3-pointers in his lone season at Minnesota as a graduate transfer.


    Who's back: PG Nate Mason: The senior was among 20 point guards in the country named to the preseason Bob Cousy Award watch list after being named first team All-Big Ten for 2016-17. SF Amir Coffey: The Big Ten All-Freshman Team pick from last season and the son of former Gophers standout Richard Coffey has only scratched the surface with his inside-outside, two-way ability. PF Jordan Murphy: The team's leading rebounder averaged 11.3 points per game last season. C Reggie Lynch: The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year set a new single-season Gophers record with 114 blocked shots.


    Who's new: PG Isaiah Washington: The Mr. New York Basketball award winner as the top player in the state, he was a consensus top-100 recruit. PF Davonte Fitzgerald: The fifth-year junior has two seasons of eligibility left after sitting out two years, one for a transfer from Texas A&M and one after an ACL tear and other damage to his left knee from an offseason practice.


    The Skinny: Coming off a 16-win turnaround from 2015-16 and the first NCAA Tournament appearance since Pitino took over in 2013, bringing all but Springs back from their top seven scorers from last season, hopes are the highest this program has had in 20 years. Staying healthy will be the key. PF Eric Curry, who made meaningful contributions as a freshman backup, injured his left knee in an offseason pickup game and will redshirt this season.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #15  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Michigan Preview Capsule
    October 26, 2017


    Michigan Preview Capsule

    Michigan


    Last season: 26-12, won Big Ten Tournament and reached NCAA Sweet 16.


    Nickname: Wolverines.


    Coach: John Beilein.


    Conference: Big Ten.


    Who's gone: G Derrick Walton, F D.J. Wilson, G-F Zak Irvin, F Mark Donnal.


    Who's back: F Moe Wagner. After considering jump to NBA, Wagner is back at Michigan as team's top returning player; G Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. Enters senior season with plenty of experience after starting 37 games in 2016-17; G-F Duncan Robinson. Shot 44 percent from 3-point range in first two seasons at Michigan. G Zavier Simpson. Averaged 8.7 minutes a game as freshman last season, backing up Walton.


    Who's new: G Jaaron Simmons. Graduate transfer from Ohio averaged 17.2 points last season for one of top teams in Mid-American Conference; G Charles Matthews. Kentucky transfer now eligible after sitting out last season, could give Michigan some athleticism on wing. G Eli Brooks. Averaged 29.7 points as high school senior in 2016-17.


    The Skinny: Michigan has a lot to replace, but Simmons and Matthews already have Division I experience, so the transition may not be too bumpy for Beilein's team. Losing Wilson to the NBA was a blow, but Wagner's return means the Wolverines are still a team to watch in the Big Ten. Their early schedule is an intriguing one with trips to North Carolina and Texas and a home game against UCLA.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #16  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Penn State looking for more consistency
    October 26, 2017


    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Patrick Chambers watched as his best group of recruits started to blossom last season. Now he wants to see those young players hit their stride together.


    ''I want to see the development of these players,'' Chambers said. ''Obviously, having your starting five back is something we're not used to. A lot of excitement around here, we're climbing. I know you guys have seen that.''


    Chambers' positive outlook is based mostly on the raw talent and flashes of success his youngsters showed last season. Sophomores Tony Carr, Lamar Stevens and Mike Watkins return after finishing at or near the top of all the team's major statistical categories. They'll join veterans Shep Garner and Julian Moore to give the Nittany Lions a starting group Chambers believes can take the next step.


    For a team that hasn't won more than seven conference games since Chambers arrived in 2011, that next step has to be a big one if the Nittany Lions are to make the kind of progress they expect.


    They believe they have the skills to be playing well into March.


    ''It's definitely a goal of ours,'' Stevens said. ''We have to focus on the small things and not take anything for granted. We focus one practice at a time, one game at a time, and hopefully if we do that, then that dream and goal of ours will come true.''


    The program has endured most of its struggles down the stretch, where it's 29-74 in regular -season games after Dec. 31 under Chambers. Two of those wins came last year against ranked teams, and the Nittany Lions pushed then-No. 14 Purdue in an overtime loss that gave Chambers reason to be hopeful.


    ''It's really more about consistency,'' Chambers said. ''That's why we're climbing. The climb's never straightforward. It's left, right, it could go back, but that's a great tagline for what we're trying to do. So as long as they're consistent and bring a great approach and they stick together and stay connected and there's a lot of love in the room, we've got a great chance to have a really successful year.''


    CARR-YING THE OFFENSE


    Carr led the team with 13.2 points and 4.2 assists per game and reported to preseason practice with nearly 30 more pounds of muscle on what was a wiry 6-foot-5 frame.


    He also believes he's better prepared mentally for his sophomore year.


    ''There were definitely some times where I kind of lost my cool last year, and let my emotions get the best of me out there on the court,'' Carr said. ''So I definitely made that a key point, just keeping myself under the wraps out there and just trying to be the best player and the best teammate that I can.''


    HELP ON THE GLASS


    Penn State often lost rebounding contests last season, and its deficiencies on the glass were notable nearly every time Watkins was on the bench.


    Chambers added a player he thinks will complement Watkins, Stevens and Moore down low. Virginia Tech transfer Satchel Pierce is the team's tallest player at 7 feet, and Chambers described him as ''really skilled.''


    ''He's going to add a dimension where those 8-0 (scoring) runs, those 10-0 runs, if Mike (Watkins) is not in the game, I'm very confident he can get us an easy one,'' Chambers said.


    SHEP'S SHOT


    Garner possesses the team's best long shot, making 36 percent of his 3-pointers last season. He was often complemented by Payton Banks, who left the program in the offseason.


    So far, Carr and Josh Reaves look to be the next best options if the team needs a shot from beyond the arc. Stevens made it a goal to improve his 3-point shot in the offseason, too.


    WATCH BOSTICK


    Nazeer Bostick didn't see a lot of action last winter mainly because a hand injury limited him to 18 games. When he did play, Bostick proved himself a reliable spell in the guard rotation.


    He played double-digit minutes in the team's win over then-No. 24 Maryland and in two other games before his injury. Considering he was part of back-to-back PIAA Championship teams with Stevens and Carr at Philadelphia's Roman Catholic High, Bostick is itching to get more minutes alongside his longtime teammates.


    ''With so many transfers at the end of the season, he could have been one of those guys,'' Chambers said. ''He didn't get the minutes that he wanted throughout the season. It's very easy to change your attitude and do something different and fight the system. Instead, he embraced it, and I think that's why he's going to have such a breakout year.''
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #17  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Kansas Preview Capsule
    October 27, 2017


    Kansas Preview Capsule


    Kansas


    Last season: 31-5, lost in first round of NCAA Tournament


    Nickname: Jayhawks


    Coach: Bill Self


    Conference: Big 12


    Who's gone: G Frank Mason III, G Josh Jackson, F Carlton Bragg, F Landen Lucas, F Dwight Coleby


    Who's back: G Devonte Graham is the leading returning scorer at 13.4 points per game last season; G Svi Mykhailiuk averaged 9.8 points and flirted with the NBA before returning for senior season; G Lagerald Vick averaged 7.4 points; F Udoka Azubuike missed most of his freshman season with a wrist injury.


    Who's new: G Malik Newman was a top-10 recruit who transferred from Mississippi State and sat out last season; G Sam Cunliffe is a transfer from Arizona State who becomes eligible in December; F Billy Preston was a consensus five-star recruit from Oak Hill Academy; G Marcus Garret was a four-star prospect from Dallas.


    The Skinny: Kansas lost the national player of the year in Mason and a lottery pick in Jackson and is still favored to win its 14th straight Big 12 title. The Jayhawks should have more size with Azubuike and Preston in the paint, while Graham is poised to take over for Mason as a potential player of the year. If the newcomers can contribute, including do-everything guard Newman, the Jayhawks could make a Final Four run.


    ---
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #18  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Kansas State Preview Capsule
    October 27, 2017


    Kansas State Preview Capsule


    Kansas State


    Last season: 21-14, lost in first round of NCAA Tournament


    Nickname: Wildcats


    Coach: Bruce Weber


    Conference: Big 12


    Who's gone: G Carlbe Ervin II, F Isaiah Maurice, F Wesley Iwundu, F Austin Budke, F D.J. Johnson


    Who's back: G Kamau Stokes averaged 11.7 points and a team-leading 4.1 assists last season; G Barry Brown averaged 11.7 points and 3.2 rebounds; F Dean Wade averaged 9.3 points and shot 50 percent from the field, and will be asked to give the Wildcats more of a post presence this season; Xavier Sneed averaged 7.1 points as a freshman and will be heavily counted upon this season.


    Who's new: F Mawdo Sallah is a 6-8 graduate transfer from Mount St. Mary's who is eligible immediately; F Makol Mawie is a 6-9 sophomore who transferred from New Mexico Junior College; G Amaad Wainright transferred from Trinity Valley Community College; Nigel Shadd and Levi Stockard are touted 6-8 prep forwards; G Mike McGuirl is a top-100 guard prospect from Connecticut.


    The Skinny: Kansas State squeaked into the NCAA Tournament last season despite going 8-10 in league play. Most of its core returns intact, though a lack of size that plagued the Wildcats last season still exists. Big 12 coaches picked them to finish eighth, but there is a feeling that they could finish in the top half of the league.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #19  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Texas looks to Bamba to help rebuild
    October 27, 2017


    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Last season was an embarrassment for Texas, for coach Shaka Smart, the players and the entire program.


    There are few other ways to describe a season in which the Longhorns finished last in the Big 12 for the first time in league history and won just 11 games after starting the season in the Top 25.


    ''I used to say on selection Sunday, `Don't take this for granted,''' Smart said. ''Last year, we obviously were far from a tournament team. It gives you a real sense of urgency. Coming off last year, we certainly don't want to dwell on it, but we want to learn from it.''


    The terrible season didn't stop the Longhorns from getting some really good news a few weeks late when top recruit Mohamed Bamba signed with the Longhorns. Most expect the power forward to make only a short stay at Texas on his way to the NBA. He's already been named the Big 12 preseason freshman of the year .


    ''Mo is a unique player. He has the ability to impact a team in some very powerful ways,'' Smart said.


    Smart came to Texas two seasons ago as one of the hottest coaching names in college basketball and with the expectation of elevating a program back into a Big 12 title contender. His first season ended with a first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament, the same sort of March fade that made the program lose patience with Rick Barnes. Then came the losing.


    There's been no suggestion from the school's administration that Smart's job is in jeopardy. But with Bamba on board and point-guard recruit Matt Coleman feeding him the ball, Texas should be, and must be, much better.


    ''We can be a team that can play with anyone,'' Smart said. ''We've got a lot of maturing to do.''


    Some things to watch for from Texas this season:


    BIG MAN BAMBA


    Bamba carries the expectation that he can dominate in college right away. Last season, Texas had forward Jarrett Allen, who was a first-round pick after his freshman season. Allen was good all year but seldom took over games like Bamba will be counted on to do.


    POINT GUARD PRECISION


    A huge problem for Texas last season was the lack of a true point guard and Smart never really coached one up. Coleman is a four-star recruit who will have targets like Bamba and Andrew Jones to get the offense moving. Coleman's impact likely won't make many highlight reels but it could be key in winning close games throughout the season.


    TRANSFER'S TIME


    Forward Dylan Osetkowski sat out last season after transferring from Tulane and gives the Longhorns much-needed versatility and athleticism up front next to Bamba. He had 11 double-doubles as a sophomore at Tulane and led the Green Wave in rebounding that season.


    ''Dylan and Mo, those guys are as good as anybody on our team as offensive engines. It starts with those guys. I'd doubt he'll lead us in scoring, but he'll make a lot of plays,'' Smart said.


    BIG SHOT DAVIS


    Texas lacked the outside shooting that could deliver the daggers in big moments or help rally from big deficits. Guard Eric Davis was the top outside threat two seasons ago and needs to find that role again.


    ''We missed a lot of open 3-pointers last year. This is a make or miss game. The bottom line is we need to make more shots this year,'' Smart said.


    TEAM CHEMISTRY


    It was a problem all last season as losses mounted and Smart suspended Tevin Mack, the team's top scorer and best defender at the time. Mack never returned and eventually transferred to Alabama. A happy team likely plays as a better team.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #20  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Baylor Preview Capsule
    October 27, 2017


    Baylor Preview Capsule


    Baylor


    Last season: 27-8, NCAA Sweet 16.


    Nickname: Bears.


    Coach: Scott Drew.


    Conference: Big 12.


    Who's gone: F Johnathan Motley, the team's top scorer and rebounder (17.3 points, 9.9 rebounds per game), G Al Freeman, G Ishmail Wainright.


    Who's back: PG Manu Lecomte is the top returning scorer at 12.2 points with 3.8 assists a game. The former Miami transfer from Belgium was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year last season; 7-foot F Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. (9.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.5 blocks per game), a sixth-year senior; F Terry Maston, who scored 19 points in each of Baylor's first two NCAA Tournament games; G King McClure, a 3-point shooting threat; G Jake Lindsey; and F Nuni Omot.


    Who's new: F Tristan Clark, a Class 6A player of the year after his senior year at San Antonio's Wagner High; G Tyson Jolly sat out last year after originally signing with California, but got his release after a coaching change; high-flying freshman F Mark Vital; 7-foot F Leonard Allen.


    The Skinny: With three key starters back from a Sweet 16 team, including the point guard and the big man who keeps improving, Drew has a team that should be in the upper half of the Big 12 again. And that should be good enough for their eighth NCAA bid in 11 years.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #21  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Oklahoma Preview Capsule
    October 27, 2017


    Oklahoma Preview Capsule


    Oklahoma


    Last season: 11-20


    Nickname: Sooners.


    Coach: Lon Kruger.


    Conference: Big 12.


    Who's gone: G Jordan Woodard. He was the team's leading scorer with 14.6 points per game in an injury-shortened senior campaign.


    Who's back: G Kameron McGusty. He was the team's No. 2 scorer last season as a freshman; G Rashard Odomes, who averaged 10.1 points last season as a sophomore; F Khristian Doolittle, who was one of Oklahoma's best players in league play but is suspended for the fall semester; C Khadeem Lattin, a senior holdover from the team that reached the Final Four two years ago.


    Who's new: G Trae Young. A McDonald's All-American who opted to stay in his hometown of Norman. He averaged 42.6 points per game as a senior at Norman North High School; F Brady Manek, who was a standout during Oklahoma's foreign tour this summer; C Hannes Polla, a freshman from Finland.


    The Skinny: Oklahoma reached the Final Four two years ago with Buddy Hield, then rebuilt with young, talented players last season. The players who scraped and clawed through the Big 12 last season now have an elite point guard in Young to tie it all together. The Sooners should be exciting to watch and much improved. A return to the NCAA Tournament is a legitimate goal.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #22  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Oklahoma State Preview Capsule
    October 27, 2017


    Oklahoma State Preview Capsule


    Oklahoma State


    Last season: 20-13, lost in first round of the NCAA Tournament.


    Nickname: Cowboys.


    Coach: Mike Boynton.


    Conference: Big 12.


    Who's gone: G Jawun Evans. He was one of the nation's best point guards last season, averaging 19.2 points and 6.4 assists per game before leaving early for the NBA; G Phil Forte, who averaged 13.3 points per game and was one of the best 3-point shooters in school history; F Leyton Hammonds, who started 32 of Oklahoma State's 33 games last season.


    Who's back: F Jeffrey Carroll. He considered leaving for the NBA after his junior season but chose to stay put. He averaged 17.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last season and has been named preseason All-Big 12; G Lindy Waters III, who shot 44 percent from 3-point range as a freshman; C Mitchell Solomon, a steady senior who started 22 games last season; G Brandon Averette; G/F Davon Dillard.


    Who's new: G Zack Dawson, a four-star recruit who averaged 26.5 points and 8.0 rebounds as a senior at South Miami High School; F/C Yankuba Sima, a junior transfer from St. John's who is expected to be eligible after the fall semester.


    The Skinny: The Cowboys have distractions aplenty, with the bribery scandal already leading to assistant coach Lamont Evans' dismissal. Add the loss of Evans and the fact that new coach Mike Boynton faces so many issues beyond basketball, and it could be a rough season for the Cowboys.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #23  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    Texas Tech Preview Capsule
    October 27, 2017


    Texas Tech Preview Capsule


    Texas Tech


    Last season: 18-14.


    Nickname: Red Raiders.


    Coach: Chris Beard.


    Conference: Big 12.


    Who's gone: F Anthony Livingston; F Aaron Ross; G Devon Thomas; F Matthew Temple; F Thomas Brandsma.


    Who's back: G Keenan Evans, the team's top scorer at 15.4 points per game while shooting 43 percent on 3-pointers; F Zach Smith, who averaged 12.1 points and team-best 7.2 rebounds; F Justin Gray, who shot 53 percent from the field; G Niem Stevenson.


    Who's new: Most of the team with 11 newcomers. Seven are true freshmen along with junior college transfer guards Josh Webster and Hyron Edwards, and two Division I transfers, Tommy Hamilton IV from DePaul and Brandone Francis from Florida.


    The Skinny: With five seniors and seven freshmen, Beard was spot-on when he said the team's ''chemistry is a work in progress.'' When the former Red Raiders assistant returned to Texas Tech last year as head coach, he brought in three graduate transfers among six new players. Whether the Raiders can get back to their second NCAA Tournament in 11 seasons will depend on how the seasoned seniors and the youngsters come together on the court.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #24  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    TCU Preview Capsule
    October 27, 2017


    TCU Preview Capsule


    TCU


    Last season: 24-15, NIT champions.


    Nickname: Horned Frogs.


    Coach: Jamie Dixon.


    Conference: Big 12.


    Who's gone: G Brandon Parrish, F Karviar Shepherd, F Chris Washburn, G Michael Williams.


    Who's back: All five starters: F Vladimir Brodziansky, a preseason all-Big 12 pick after averaging team-high 14.1 points with 5.7 rebounds last season; PG Jaylen Fisher (9.9 points, 4.0 assists); F JD Miller; G Alex Robinson; F Kenrich Williams (11.4 points, 9.7 rebounds), who missed the 2016-17 opener before returning to the court after more than 600 days away from competition because of injuries.


    Who's new: F Ahmed Hamdy, a graduate transfer from VCU, who is eligible to play immediately; Australian forwards Lat Mayen and Kouat Noi; G RJ Nembhard; JUCO transfer G Shawn Olden, a former top freshman at Pepperdine; C Kevin Samuel.


    The Skinny: Dixon had an immediate impact at his alma mater after leaving Pittsburgh to return to Fort Worth. The Frogs won more than 20 games for the first time since 2004-05, and the NIT title. With all five starters back and some experienced newcomers, TCU is already getting noticed in the Big 12 - coaches picked them third in the preseason poll. They could make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #25  
    RX Local
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    72,594
    South Carolina Preview Capsule
    October 30, 2017


    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) South Carolina


    Last season: 26-11, first Final Four appearance.


    Nickname: Gamecocks.


    Coach: Frank Martin.


    Conference: Southeastern.


    Who's gone: G Sindarius Thorwell (senior), G Duane Notice (senior), G Justin McKie (senior), G P.J. Dozier (left for NBA draft after sophomore season), G Rakym Felder (dismissed after second arrest on assault charges in less than year).


    Who's back: F Chris Silva. The junior was a big part of the Final Four run, scoring in double figures in all five tournament games including a career-high 17 points in a win over Duke in the second round. F Maik Kotsar. The 6-foot-10 forward played 37 games as a freshman and added 15 pounds (up to 260) to better compete down low in the SEC.


    Who's new: G Kory Holden. A junior who transferred from Delaware and averaged 17.7 points a game his final year with the Blue Hens. He sat out last season due to NCAA rules. G Frank Booker. A graduate transfer who spent his first two seasons at Oklahoma and last year at Florida Atlantic before coming to the Gamecocks. G David Beatty. A 6-2 freshman who has impressed coaches with his quick pickup of the defense.


    The Skinny: Frank Martin signed a contract extension in the offseason instead of bailing at the first true sign of success. That says the sixth-year coach is looking at the long haul with the Gamecocks and believes the program can get further than just the Final Four.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •