Tuesday, November 30, 2010

UConn Survives Against Pesky Wildcats

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The No. 9 UConn Huskies (6-0) made a quantum leap inside the top-10 after not being ranked previously.

Their upcoming game against the New Hampshire Wildcats (3-2) was conceived as a tune-up game for the Big East conference race. However, the Wildcats made it much more than a tune-up game.

New Hampshire came out firing on the Huskies taking the lead in the first half, and not relinquishing it.

The Wildcats went into the half with a 24-23 lead, and a chance to pick up a marquee victory over a top-10 squad.

However, Kemba Walker just did not let that happen. The Huskies got on the right track in the second half and defeated New Hampshire 62-55.

Walker finished with a game-high 30-points, which stays consistent with his average. Walker also chipped in five rebounds, and two steals.

Shabazz Napier was the only other player in double-figures for UConn with 11 points, and four steals. Alex Oriahki battled foul trouble for most of the game but still acquired seven points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks.

The Huskies displayed just how young they were as a team. UConn struggled from the field, and on the glass, but with the leadership of Walker, the Huskies were able to escape New Hampshires upset bid.

Two players were in double-figures for the Wildcats. Ferg Myrick had 19 points, eight rebounds, and four steals. James Calladares also chipped in 12-points off the bench for New Hampshire.

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Indiana Off To Their Best Start With Tom Crean at The Helm

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Many thought the Indiana Hoosiers would get better with the recruits committed to play in future seasons. However, nobody thought the Hoosiers would get off to such a hot start.

The Hoosiers sit at (6-0), with a very good chance at winning seven straight games.

What makes this run so significant is the fact that coach Tom Crean's early flawless record already matches the win total of his first season (6-25).

It is also the first time the Hoosiers won their first six games since the 2002-03 season, in which, Indiana finished with a (21-13) record overall, and a second-round appearance in the tournament.

Granted, Indiana has had an easy schedule thus far, but they have taken care of business against every opponent.

The Hoosiers are holding their opponents to 55.6 points per game, while scoring an average of 77.5 every outing.

That is an average defeat of 21.9 points per game, which helps coach Crean feel good about his young, but talented team.

Indiana gets after it on the defensive end, averaging nine steals per outing, forcing 18.6 turnovers per game and holding its opponents to 36 percent from the field.

On offense, Crean's Hoosiers turn the ball over a lot, but commend the mistake dishing out 16.3 assist per game. That helps Indiana shoot nearly 50 percent from the field (.497).

Christian Watford has become the superstar of this young Indiana team. Watford paces the Hoosier in both scoring and rebounding with 17.5 points, and seven rebounds per game.

He is a key asset on both ends of the floor. Watford pulls down 5.1 defensive rebounds per game, not to mention, only picks up an average of one foul per outing, which displays his ability to play defense without fouling.

Additionally, Indiana seems very balanced with their offensive attack. The Hoosiers have used a lot of their bench thus far in the season, and that has worked well for them. There is seven steady contributors on offense that allows Crean to exercise his depth.

However, the Hoosiers are far from being an elite team. Despite shooting 49 percent from the field, Indiana has had a hard time converting at the line. The Hoosiers have connected on 103-of-151 (68%) from the line.

Indiana also has to take care of the ball. They are currently turning the ball over 18-times per game, which means the Hoosiers have a negative assist-turnover ratio.

If Indiana truly wants to join the elite category, the Hoosiers will need to clean up their act at the line and take care of the ball on offense.

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2011 NBA Draft Stock Watch: November Edition

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
As November comes to a close, we can only reminisce about a wonderful opening month of College Basketball.

We witnessed a display of marquee athletes showcase their unique talents and skills.

There were many key players who were hyped up before the season as a possible one-and-done, or NBA draft bait after the season.

However, the elite has already separated themselves from the rest.

Here is a look at some college stars who has rising and falling NBA draft stock.


Kyrie Irving - Duke (Lottery Pick)

Kyrie Irving wasn't touted as the best player in the 2010 recruiting class, but he sure does look like the best point guard in all of College Basketball. In one of the biggest games in his early career, Irving faced AP Preseason All American Jacob Pullen and the No. 4 Kansas State Wildcats, and dismantled them. Irving posted 17 points, five rebounds, and five assist.

He is also fortunate enough to average 14.5 points, 5.8 assist (team-high), 3.7 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game.

However, more than stats meet the eye with Irving. His blazing quick speed, and ability to finish around the rim with both hands is very beneficial. He had NCAA scouts drooling while in high school, now the NBA scouts get a full look as well.

Jared Sullinger - Ohio State (Lottery Pick)

Jared Sullinger is one of the best big men in the nation right now. The No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes have a lot of depth, but what put them over then-No. 8 Florida Gators was the play of Sullinger.

Sullinger has been a beast acquiring 15.2 points, and 8.6 rebounds per game. He is very precise with the ball in his hands. He makes the smart plays and scores at a very high percentage.

He has the ability to score with his back to the basket, or facing up and putting the ball on the floor. Right now, Sullinger is converting 62 percent of his shots, as well as converting at the line 14-of-21 (66%) times.

Nonetheless, Sullinger is a key commodity due to his strength, ability to score, and his willingness on offense.

Kemba Walker - UConn (Lottery Pick)

Kemba Walker has blossomed into a complete point guard this season for Jim Calhoun. Walker has led his Huskies to two top-10 victories in two days, despite not even being given a chance before the Maui Tournament.

With Walker leading the way, the Huskies are now a top-10 team in the polls. His ability to score on every possession puts pressure on the opposing defenses. However, he isn't shy about passing the ball dishing out 3.6 assist per game.

He also gets on the glass grabbing 4.2 rebounds per outing, and acquiring 2.2 steals. He has great speed, and his leadership ability is felt on and off the court. Walker could become on of the top guards in the country as the season progresses.

Terrence Jones - Kentucky (Lottery Pick)

Initially, Terrence Jones should have been a Washington Huskie. However, he changed his mind and went with the Kentucky Wildcats which proved to be the right choice for the 6-foot-9 forward. Jones has been impressive in every game for the Wildcats.

He seemed to be the fuel that Kentucky runs on. His 29 point, 13 rebound, four block performance led Kentucky over Oklahoma. He also hurdle adversity against his the school he decomitted from, Washington, and came away with 16 points, 17 rebounds, and four blocks.

Jones' stats are easy on the eyes, but what also helps his cause as an NBA lottery pick is his consistency. Jones has stayed consistent for Kentucky since he played his first game. He currently puts up video game statistics with 21.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, 2.2 assist, and 1.6 steals.

His statistics show he can play almost any position on the court. At times, you will witness Jones pushing the ball up for Kentucky. Jones has great ball-handle, a high basketball I.Q. and is a very talented wing man.

Nolan Smith - Duke (Late First Round)

Many scouts didn't believe Nolan Smith could run a offense as a true point guard. Well, those scouts are getting a full dose of what Smith can actually achieve. Smith is averaging 5.7 assist as an off-guard to talented freshman Kyrie Irving.

However, you see promise in Smith. He has the ability to drive the lane and finish around the rim consistently. He also has great court vision and always finds his teammates.

The athletic ability is there, and so are the point guard skills. Smith is currently averaging a team-high 16.8 points per game. He is also ripping down 5.2 rebounds per game.

With continued consistency, Smith could elevate his draft stock continually.

(Others to watch: Draymond Green, MSU; Alex Oriahki, UConn; Tristian Thompson, UT; Jordan Hamilton, UT)


Harrison Barnes - North Carolina (Lottery Pick)

Harrison Barnes was suppose to be Mr. Do it all for the North Carolina Tar Heels. However, Barnes has turned in a (0-12), (4-12), and (3-12) shooting night from the field.

Despite the cold start for the talented freshman from Ames, Iowa, I believe he still has a chance to be taken in the lottery. He is still averaging 11.3 points, and 6.3 rebounds per outing. Barnes has yet to shake his cold shooting from mid-range, which is definitely commendable with time.

Down the season, Barnes will get back into a groove and compete for the No. 1 spot at the 2011 NBA draft.

Shelvin Mack - Butler (Early Second Round)

Shelvin Mack had a great summer playing against some of the best players in the NCAA. However, that only improved his scoring ability. Mack averaged 17.2 points in November, but did not show leadership in some games down the stretch.

Sometimes I remind myself that Mack is clearly a shooting guard stuck inside a 6-foot-2 frame. During Louisville's season-opener, Butler was down and Mack did little to help the Bulldogs get back into the game except fire bad attempts at the basket.

Also, the loss against Edwardsville, Mack just couldn't get into a groove shooting the ball leaving the game 3-of-13 (23%) from the field.

Mack has to prove he can lead Butler in the right direction, while slimming down on his turnovers; almost three per game.

Elias Harris - Gonzaga (Late First, Early Second)

Elias Harris is capable of creating a lot of havoc on both ends of the floor. After posting an impressive 14.9 points, and 7.1 rebounds his freshman season, Elias has accumulated 9.2 points, and 4.2 rebounds his sophomore year.

Harris struggles has come from the lack of confidence. He doesn't take enough shots to key the defense worried about him on offense. He has only been in double-figures twice through five games.

His highest scoring game came against Marquette, where he took a season-high 18 field goal attempts. He also grabbed a season-high eight boards.

Harris inability to create his own offense has become evident throughout November. The talented forward should look to become more effective on offense, and start utilizing his huge frame.

(Others to watch - Jacob Pullen, KSU; Kalin Lucas, MSU; Chandler Parsons, UF;)

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Monday, November 29, 2010

2010-11 Week 3 Review and Week 4 Preview

Today Texas Christian announced that they were leaving the Mountain West for the Big East. This move will shake up the Big East as much as a scratchy throat would affect Dick Vitale's verbosity. The Horned Frogs haven't been to the NCAA Tournament since 1998 and figure to serve two roles in their new home: to give the bottom-feeders some company and to make some of the league members complain about the long road trip.

 Their current conference mates have had an easy time with the boys from Fort Worth in recent years, especially the top dogs.

Interestingly enough, TCU is leaving the Mountain West because they are not considered a BCS conference. Considering their football prowess and the college gridiron galaxy this is a decision they had to make to better their interests but any college hoops fan knows this conference is definitely BCS-worthy.

 Last season they sent four teams to the Big Dance and came within two three-pointers of having all of them advance to the second round. So how have things changed since their big run last season?
Brigham Young remains a Top 25 team, thanks to the return of Mormon Nation's biggest hip-hop star (Jimmer Fredette) and some improved scoring from their front line.

The Cougars recently beat a St. Mary's squad to stay undefeated. UNLV has not only returned to the national scene but has done it without the collection of agents hanging out in hot tubs. San Diego State is enjoying a Top 25 ranking for the first time in school history and features probable lottery pick Kawhi Leonard collecting double-doubles like beachcombers collect seashells.

 New Mexico was expected to fall a bit after losing Darlington Hobson and Roman Martinez but are benefiting from a balanced attack that has seven players averaging at least six points a game. With the Pac-10 poised to struggle again this year it's clear that to see the Best in the West you have to head for the Mountain.

Gonzaga has rightfully become the model program for mid-majors but their conference foe St. Mary's is on the same track. In the past few seasons they have lost key personnel but have managed to reload instead of starting from scratch. Had they not lost that nail-biter to BYU they would have sneaked into the Top 25 or come very close.

This year Mickey McConnell has assumed the role of team star but four others average double figures in scoring, including San Diego transfer Rob Jones. Look for the Gaels to be a threat once again to make the Dance.

Syracuse is nearly ranked in the Top Five in the major polls but I don't see anything to justify that ranking. Every game they have played has been close, which wouldn't be a big deal if they were playing some top teams. But look at the teams that have occupied the Orange schedule: Michigan, William & Mary, Detroit and Georgia Tech. It's doubtful any of those teams will make the Dance. Michigan State looms on December 7.

If their struggles to find a fourth scoring option continue and Fab Melo continues his run of non-production (1.3 ppg so far from a kid who was picked on some first-team all-conference ballots at the beginning of the year) don't expect the Orange to occupy prime space in the fruit bowl for long.

Oklahoma and Alabama make their bones on the football field but it's not like they haven't had basketball success. Still, their seasons have already had their loyalists counting the days until spring practice. The Sooners were going to lose to Kentucky, though they did put up a fight against the heavily favored Wildcats. Then they lost by 18 to Virginia, which hasn't had a prominent team since they lost to Chaminade, which beat the Sooners the next night. Alabama had an even worse time in the Virgin Islands.

They dropped a close one to Seton Hall (which might be smack on the bubble in March), then lost to Iowa (who, to be blunt, stink) and closed out their trip with a nail-biting loss to St. Peter's. Paradise lost, indeed.

I got a late start due to circumstance beyond my control but there wasn't a lot happening in the galaxy tonight so it's not a huge deal. There are some interesting games as we star-gaze, though.

Georgetown-Missouri. (Tuesday, 9 ET) The Tigers are the best team in the Big 12 that doesn't live in Kansas. Mike Anderson turned this program around in a hurry following the disastrous turn by Hugh Grant, who should've stuck to playing cads alongside Renee Zellweger. Considering Kim English was supposed to be the star for the Tigers and he's fourth on the team in scoring is a very good sign. The Hoyas' star, Austin Freeman, hasn't been affected at all by diabetes while his team is making nearly half their shots in six games. Considering that the D.C. Demons usually build several houses with their bricks they are actually fun to watch for people who like their hoops to be more than forty minutes of bruises and sweat.

St. Mary's-San Diego State (Wednesday, 10:30 ET) This is the best game NOT on national TV that night. If you're on the West Coast and the Duke-Michigan State turns out to be a blowout switch the channel to this affair. This will be a really good test for the Aztecs, who could be known for something more than being Tony Gwynn's alma mater or the school that was attended by the main characters of Sideways.

Presbyterian-VMI (Saturday, 1 ET) This isn't as big of a reach as you think. The Keydets get to work out all of the frustration of not being able to act like normal college students by running around like crazed cheetahs en route to over ninety points a game while the Blue Hose gave Kansas State all they could handle earlier this year before beating Ivy League favorites Princeton. However, they only score 58 points a game, so something will have to give in terms of tempo.

This week's Top 25 poll had some changes with the rise of Connecticut (though I didn't debut them in the Top Ten – it's still early, people) and the fall of Butler. I'm keeping Gonzaga in for now, even with their two losses, but they could be the next to go.
  1. Duke
  2. Kansas
  3. Ohio State
  4. Michigan State
  5. Pittsburgh
  6. Villanova
  7. Missouri
  8. Florida
  9. Purdue
  10. Kansas State
  11. Memphis
  12. Kentucky
  13. Tennessee
  14. Syracuse
  15. Baylor
  16. Illinois
  17. Connecticut
  18. Brigham Young
  19. San Diego State
  20. Minnesota
  21. Gonzaga
  22. Georgetown
  23. Texas
  24. Notre Dame
  25. UNLV

Oriakhi Stepping Up for UConn

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Alex Oriakhi was conceived to be the cream of the crop for the (No. 7 AP, ESPN/USAToday No. 9) Connecticut Huskies.

During his freshman year, he stepped in to possibly commend the shoes of Hasheem Thabeet, and earned a spot on the Big East All-Rookie team as the result.

Now, after watching the golden opportunity to start for the Huskies (5-0) this season fall in his favor, Oriakhi has stepped up for UConn.

After averaging five points, and 6.6 rebounds per game last year, Oriahki is up to 13.4 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.4 blocks per game.

During both upsets of the No. 6 Michigan State Spartans, and the No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats, Oriahki was in double-figures in points and rebounds.

He currently averages 16.5 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks per game against ranked opponents.

Kemba Walker stole the show this season thus far scoring 30-points per game, but Oriahki has become a great second option.

With Walker, and Oriahki in the starting lineup for the Huskies, UConn can continue its dominance. The Huskies have now been inserted into the top-25, and has a chance to continue dominating their non-conference slate of games.

The Huskies are in action next when UConn takes on the New Hampshire Wildcats (3-1) on November 30, at 7:30 ET.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tennessee Volunteers Making a Statement Early

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Tennessee Volunteers (No. 24 AP, ESPN/USA Today No. 24) had to make an early statement that it wasn't affected by the Bruce Pearl suspension, nor allegations, and so far they have succeeded in doing just that.

After falling to a Division II Indianapolis, Bruce Pearl has his Volunteers (5-0) with a top-10 defeat under their belt.

Tennessee's junior guard Scotty Hopson has paced the Volunteers with 15.8 points per outing, while chipping in 4.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assist as well.

Freshman Tobias Harris has also ended up in the scoring column with 15.8 points, but also adds 5.8 rebounds per game.

More impressively, junior Cameron Tatum is averaging double-figure scoring for the first time in his career averaging 12.6 points a game, while adding 4.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assist.

The Volunteers have been very tenacious on the glass pulling down 43 per game, while dishing out 14 assist as well.

This is the opposite of what many fans expected from Tennessee. After watching them fall to a Division II school by double-figures, to seeing their coach be suspended, and watching NCAA violations, and allegations pile up. Many would suppose that the Vols' would be distracted, maybe, just even a little bit.

However, that seems to be the fuel that drives the Vols', or maybe the opposing fans that continue to chant 'cheaters never win' every time Tennessee takes the court.

In all, the Vols' are at a flawless record with five wins. They have been able to hurdle adversity and focus on basketball. With the two-prone attack of Hopson, and Harris, the Vols' could continue to impress early.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Draymond Green is the Key to Michigan State's Success

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The No. 2 Michigan State Spartans have started off (4-1) with it's only loss coming to the Connecticut Huskies on a neutral court. However, their (4-1) record could easily be (2-3). 

The No. 2 touted team in the nation has not lived up to the preseason hype, despite the depth, leadership, and future Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo pacing the sidelines.

After opening the season with a blowout performance against Eastern Michigan 96-66, the Spartans have been tested. In the next four games the Spartans allowed 70-plus to opponents, and their lack of containing teams on the offensive glass became evident.

All four of the Spartans opponents had a successful night on the offensive glass; South Carolina (13), Chaminade (10) UConn (18) and Washington (7).

Not to mention, the Spartans as a team are struggling from the foul line. As a team, the Spartans are shooting 64 percent from the charity stripe, while turning the ball over 16 times per game.

Now, combine the flaws and that could spell disaster for any team, but Michigan State has been able to commend their mistakes thanks to a returning junior. Draymond Green has become Michigan State's most consistent player, and is the key piece to the puzzle for the Spartans. 

He is the scoring leader averaging 15.5 points, rebounding leader with 10.5 rebounds, and assist leader acquiring 4.5 assist per game. Need I remind you, Green comes off the bench for the Spartans.

Not to mention, shooting 60 percent from the field, and three. Green has been in double-figures for the Spartans in every game, while stepping up in big time games. 

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has said Green has made great strides to become a wing threat. He worked on both his jump shot, and ball handling skills, which flows very well on the court.

In their last game against the Huskies Green came up with a steal, and came up with an assist after watching Kalin Lucas make the layup that gave the Spartans their second lead of the second half. 

Green also came up big in the second half against Chaminade after being tied at half. Green scored five points, but grabbed seven rebounds, and threw two key assist that helped open the game.

In their only loss on the season, Green came away with 22 points, 12 rebounds five assist and three blocks, but watched his desperation attempt bounce off the backboard. 

However, thanks to his performance, he was able to keep the Spartans in the game. His ability to attack the offensive glass in the second half was beneficial for the Spartans. However, the free-throws is what ultimately loss the game for Michigan State.

Green failed to convert at the line, and watched Kemba Walker and UConn walk off the court winners.

Nonetheless, when you think of the Spartans, Lucas or Izzo might come to mind. However, this year, Green should be the name most noted. He has been consistent throughout the first five games, and is one of the reason why the Spartans were able to pull away from many upset bids. 

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Connecticut Huskies a Legit Title Contender?

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Connecticut Huskies lost both Jerome Dyson, and Stanley Robinson from last year's squad leaving talented guard Kemba Walker to fend for himself in a tough Big East conference.

The Huskies were tabbed as the No. 10 team in the Big East, and wasn't expected to make such a statement early in the season.

However, that is exactly why they play the game. UConn was not anyone's choice to possibly contend for the National Championship, or even contend with a team like Michigan State, or Kentucky.

If you believe in preseason hype, UConn came from being a team in turmoil transitioning into one of the best teams in all of College Basketball.

UConn has knocked off the No. 2 Michigan State Spartans, and the No. 9 Kentucky Wildcats in two days. Their days out of the top-25 should be over once the new poll is released, but high expectations also follow.

Many point the finger at Walker for scoring 132 points in four games, more impressively 90-points in the previous three outings, three-points shy of a NCAA record.

However, the Huskies success has come from more than Walker's ability to light up the stats sheet. The Huskies were able to pull down a season-high 18 offensive rebounds against Michigan State that resulted in an upset victory.

A day later, the Huskies out-rebounded Kentucky, shot 58 percent from three, and dished out 16 assist.

There is many things that the Huskies are doing good right now. UConn is pulling down 44 rebounds a game, and scoring 81 points per game, while holding their opponents to dismal 67.6 points per outing.

Despite Walker scoring 30-points per game, the Huskies have a lot of balance on offense. Alex Oriakhi has averaged 13.4 points, 12 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. Shabazz Napier averages 9.6 points, Roscoe Smith jumps in the scoring column with 7.6, with many other player chipping in for UConn.

A so-called transition season for the Huskies has become more significant. Head coach Jim Calhoun has led his Huskies to a (5-0) record, with two top-10 victories under their belt once selection sunday approaches.

With a great start by the Huskies, the stage is set for UConn to prosper this season. The Huskies can only go as far as Walker takes them, and I believe it could be deep in the NCAA tournament.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Check Out Michael Jordan's Son Dunk!

Posted by CoHoops Josh Dhani
Check out this tight dunk made by Michael Jordan's son, Marcus, of UCF. Skip to about the 30-second mark to see the great dunk!

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UConn a Contender With Kemba Walker Leading the Way

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Before the season started, Kemba Walker was not a familiar name for many. The Connecticut Huskies were selected to finish tenth in the Big East Conference by the coaches.

However, the UConn Huskies and Walker have surprised teams this season.

Walker led the Huskies with a season-high 42 points against Vermont and came away with a 89-73 victory.

Led by Walker's 29-point performance in the second half, the Huskies were able to pull away from the Wichita State Shockers 83-79.

One night later, Walker continued his dominance with a 30-point performance on the No. 2 Michigan State Spartans and came away with a upset 70-67.

Over the last three games, Walker scored 103-points, averaging 34.3 points per game. Not to mention, shooting 55 percent from the field.

The one-man wrecking show of Walker has the Huskies undefeated, and dangerous. UConn is still undefeated after playing the No. 2 team in the nation, and has the chance to knock off another top-10 opponent in the No. 9 Kentucky Wildcats.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Week 2 of the 2010-11 College Hoops Season – The Week in Review and What Week 3 Holds


By Marc Daley


Typically the early part of each college basketball season features a lot of upsets. Teams are typically overrated, especially since most of us bestow high rankings based on the potential of kids who will become millionaires a short time after they discovered girls and the art of shaving. This past week didn't feature the slew of upsets that the NC AA Tournament used to display on a regular basis but the ones that did occur are worth mentioning.


Louisville 88, Butler 73.


Being from Lexington, I like Shelvin Mack as much as the next guy and the Kentucky grad in me doesn't care much for Louisville. Even with Mack and Matt Howard returning, I still didn't think Butler should have gotten the accolades that some people heaped upon them in the preseason but I didn't think they would miss Gordon Hayward as much as they did. Right now, the Bulldogs are playing two against five. Mack and Howard combined for 14-for-25 from the field and 48 points against the Cardinals. The rest of the team went seven for 35. They have to find a third option in a hurry.


Minnesota 72, North Carolina 67 and Vanderbilt 72, North Carolina 65.


Perhaps people will stop drinking the blue Kool-Aid (I know it's tasty and it gives your tongue that cool hue, but c'mon). At the end of the season the Tar Heels may be seasoned enough to give some of the elite teams a scare but now they are more uncertain than a sweaty-handed teenager on his first date. Against Vandy their leading assist men had two each for the whole game and the Heels ended up with an abysmal assist-to-turnover ratio of nearly 1:3. Harrison Barnes had a decent game but you have to wonder if John Henson is ever going to live up to the hype (two points, six turnovers, two shots from the field). Barnes wasn't so fortunate against Minnesota (zero for 12!) So far, his classmate Kendall Marshall has actually looked more solid and you have to wonder why Roy Williams doesn't start him over Larry Drew. The Heels should get well against North Carolina-Asheville before a rematch of last year's upset special against College of Charleston but for now they should be considered a probable one-and-done team in the NCAAs.


Yale 75, Boston College 67.


Steve Donahue knew that this version of the Eagles wasn't going to be as good as his last Cornell team but I'm sure he didn't expect them to lose to a Yale team he is intimately familiar with and is typically picked to finish in the middle of the Ivy pack. After this effort I'm sure the Elis alums went a little crazy and decided to drink the medium-priced brandy or break out the colorful smoking jackets. But in Chestnut Hill, it's obvious that Reggie Jackson is going to have be Mr. November, December, etc. if they have any chance of playing in the postseason.


Looking to Week 3


You can watch some great tournaments this week and get some requisite shots of people enjoying a lot better weather than you are. But once you've taken a mental vacation to some tropical paradise snap back to reality check out some of these matchups.


Kansas State-Gonzaga(Monday at 9:30pm ET)


The Wildcats got a little bored against Presbyterian but should be geared up for this matchup. So far, their best performance has come against a ranked team (Virginia Tech). Is it too early to call this a must-win for the Zags? It's very possible they could end up with five losses before Christmas (Illinois, Baylor, and an underrated Xavier team). The good news is that they have shot lights out so far (6th in the nation at 54 percent from the field).


Virginia Commonwealth-Tennessee(Wednesday at 7pm)


The Rams just pounded a Wake Forest team that has gone through a coaching change and will be "transitioning" (i.e., fans will be pining for Tim Duncan more than ever). They're still an impressive bunch that is flying under the radar (fifth in the nation in assists per game) and should be primed for a Tennessee squad that will have some "transitioning" themselves late this season (i.e. fans will be pining for a coach that calls out another coach for doing the same things he ended up doing himself but still looks scary half-naked). Don't be surprised to see a mild pre-Thanksgiving upset.


Florida-Florida State(Saturday at 7:30pm)


The Seminoles have used their height to their advantage against the Southern division of the Little Sisters of the Poor conference so it will be interesting to see how they respond in their first true challenge of the season. Right after that the Seminoles go against Ohio State, where J.J. Sullinger should have a great battle with Chris Singleton. Until then, will we see the Gators respond as the elite team some pegged them to be?


Top 25


Our first changes of the season feature a goodbye from an elite program and a hello from a team who I have ranked upon for not playing together as a team despite their wealth of talent. At least they're giving their fans something to smile about as their football team has really mailed it in.


  1. Duke
  2. Michigan State
  3. Kansas
  4. Ohio State
  5. Villanova
  6. Purdue
  7. Pittsburgh
  8. Kansas State
  9. Florida
  10. Missouri
  11. Kentucky
  12. Memphis
  13. Syracuse
  14. Baylor
  15. Illinois
  16. Tennessee
  17. Gonzaga
  18. Brigham Young
  19. Washington
  20. Virginia Tech
  21. San Diego State
  22. Minnesota
  23. Georgetown
  24. Texas
  25. Florida State

Saturday, November 20, 2010

No. 5 Ohio State Runs Past UNC-Wilmington, 81-41

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0) continue to impress with their depth, and firepower on both ends of the court.

The North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks (2-2) faced off against Ohio State and received a sour 40-point loss to the fifth ranked Buckeyes, 81-41.

It wasn't Jared Sullinger that dominated the game, rather freshman Deshaun Thomas. Thomas lead all scorers with 17 points and added seven rebounds.

All five starters were in double-figures for the Buckeyes. William Buford picked up 12 points, Sullinger and Jordan Sibert both acquired 11 points, along with David Lighty chipping in 10.

Dallas Lauderdale was the only Buckeye with double-digit rebounds, but Ohio State as a team grabbed 47 rebounds, 16 coming from the offensive glass.

The Buckeyes nailed 10 three-point attempts, and nailing 45 percent of their shots from the field.

The Seahawks had two players in double-figures, Chad Tomko with 13, and Matthew Wallace paced UNC-Wilmington with a team-high 14 points.

The Buckeyes held UNC-Wilmington to 41-points, the lowest total since George Mason did it back in '07-08.

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UNLV Defeats No. 25 Wisconsin 68-65

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The UNLV Rebels (3-0) picked up an marquee win over the 25th ranked Wisconsin Badgers (2-1) 68-65.

UNLV acquired eight steals, and forced 15 turnovers, which posed a problem for Wisconsin.

Not to mention, the Rebels also shot 50 percent from deep (9-of-18), and edged Wisconsin in the final seconds.

The Badgers had three players in double-figures. Jordan Taylor paced Wisconsin with 19 points, while Ryan Evans added 11, and Jon Leuer chipped in 10.

The Rebels did a great job defensively on Wisconsin star Leuer. Leuer started the season off scoring 20-plus in both games. 

UNLV limited Leuer to 10 points, four rebounds, along with four personal fouls.

The Rebels 6-foot-8 forward Chace Stanback paced UNLV with a game-high 25-points, and drained 4-of-7 from the three point line.

Not to mention, Oscar Bellfield added 18 points, and four rebounds as the Rebels knocked off their first ranked opponent of the year.

Both Stanback, and Bellfield combined to accumulate 43 points, shooting 60 percent from the field, and beyond the arc.

Ultimately, the Rebels were able to pull away for the win thanks to a clutch steal by Justin Hawkins. Hawkins picked up a steal off a Mike Bruesewitz turnover, and hit two clutch free-throws, his only points of the night, to pull away for the win.

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Mizzou's Defense Impressive in 96-58 Rout of North Florida

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The 15th ranked Missouri Tigers are notorious for fearsome defense. The Tigers loss talent, but has not shown signs of losing it's defensive pressure.

The Tigers defensive pressure also got them in the record books. Thanks to their 34 forced turnovers against the North Florida Ospreys in a 96-58 victory.

Additionally, according to ESPN.com Head Coach Mike Anderson challenged his team to hold North Florida scoreless for the rest of the game, and that is exactly what Missouri was able to do ending the game on a 24-0 run.

The Tigers defense is very aggressive, and hard to grasp for any team. They are always in your face, fast agile, and can track the ball down fast.

Most of their offense comes from the defensive end and no one has been able to slow down the tough defense of the Tigers.

Granted, it was North Florida, but anytime a team shows dominance by shutting any team out in the final seconds of the game needs to be noted.

Mizzou had a balanced attack with five players in double figures, led by Marcus Denmon's 18 points.

Ricardo Ratliffe chipped-in 16, Kim English had 13, Laurence Bowers finished with 12, and Michael Dixon had 11.

North Florida finished with two players in double-figures. Parker Smith finished with a team-high 17, while Matt Sauey chipped in 14.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Josh Selby Ruled Eligible After Nine Game Suspension

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Kansas Jayhawks Head Coach Bill Self patiently waited for the verdict on his 6-foot-3 guard Josh Selby out of Baltimore, Maryland.

On a night where Coach Self witnessed his Jayhawks tie a team record for home wins, Kansas got other good news as well.

Freshman guard Selby was granted eligibility but would have to serve a nine-game suspension for accepting illegal benefits, and pay back $5,757.58 according to the NCAA.

Selby, the No. 1 rated recruit according to Yahoo Rivals could come in and elevate the Jayhawks.

His debut is set for December 18, when the Jayhawks face off against the USC Trojans.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

No. 22 Texas Longhorns Upset No. 16 Illinois in OT

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The No. 16 Illinois Fighting Illini (3-1) came into the game with a huge advantage of having depth over the No. 22 Texas Longhorns (3-0).

Texas also had the advantage in the frontcourt averaging almost 50 rebounds per game.

The game was better than advertised. The see-saw affair needed more than 40-minutes to decide which team would play the No. 4 Pittsburgh Panthers in the championship game.

 Two freshman, Jereme Richmond and Corey Joseph both nailed shots to tie things up before the buzzer.

In overtime, Texas came out the gates with an 8-0 run that virtually put the Longhorns in the driver seat.

Despite two big three-point field goals by Illinois Bill Cole that pulled the game within three, the Longhorns hit two free throws in the final minute to pull away in the final seconds 90-84.

Tristian Thompson led all scorers with 20 points, seven rebounds, five blocks, and four assist. Jordan Hamilton continues to lead to the Longhorns in scoring with 25-points, with seven rebounds and three steals.

Gary Johnson (16), and Corey Joseph (10) were the other Longhorns in double-figures on the night. Despite their blemish at the free-throw line, shot 25-44 from the line, the Longhorns made key turnovers on defense to help pull away from the Illini.

Illinois picked up their first loss on the season, and that could have been a result to frontier force Mike Tisdale fouling out only picking up seven points and rebounds apiece.

Richmond also picked up his fifth foul in overtime, and that didn't help the Illini out either. Not to mention, the Illinois shot a daunting 37 percent from the line.

However, what doesn't show up in the stat book is Dougus Balbay's defense on McCamey. Balbay on finished with five points, eight rebounds, and three assist, but his defense is what sent the Longhorns to the winners circle.

Balbay played tough defense on one of the top guards in the nation, and did not let him touch the ball in key situations.

This is one of the reason why Texas could overcome a 22 point, eight assist, five rebound and two steal performance by the talented guard McCamey.

The Illini did not get much of a lift from their bench in the second half, although two reserves were in double-figures on the night; both Richmond with 11, and Brandon Paul with 12.

D.J. Richardson also checked in with 15, but the defense of Texas was too tough to overcome in overtime for the Illini. Texas moves on to face No. 4 Pitt in the championship, while Illinois will play Maryland in a third place game.

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No. 16 Illinois will face-off against No. 22 Texas in a Classic Top-25 Showdown

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The No. 22 Texas Longhorns (2-0) will finally get a glimpse of just how good they are as a team. The Longhorns will face off against the No. 16 Illinois Fighting Illini in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden.

Illinois, and Texas have not faced off against each other since the Longhorns won at home 72-64 in 2000.

The Fighting Illini have ran through their first three opponents by an average of 25-points a game.

Texas will likely bring that average down with the Longhorns averaging 86-points over their first two games, while only allowing 55-points to opponents.

However, the Longhorns will have a tough time trying to embrace the depth of Illinois.

Illinois bench has averaged around 30 points a game, with guard Brandon Paul leading the way for the reserves with 11.7 points off the bench.

Starting point guard Demetri McCamey has been on a hot streak shooting lately. Through the first three games, McCamey has come away with 14.7 points, eight assist, while shooting 60 percent from the field.

Mike Davis has reached double-figures in all three games for the Illini averaging 12.3, and frontcourt mate Mike Tisdale has lead Illinois in rebounding with 7.7 per contest.

However, the Illini struggles on the boards will continue when they face the Longhorns. Texas has 97 total rebounds through the first two games, with 27 coming on the offensive end.

That is way above the average of Illinois who is currently pulling down 37 (111 total) rebounds per contest.

Jordan Hamilton, the Longhorns leading scorer, has impressed a lot with his ability to take over games. Through the first two, Hamilton has averaged 22.5 points, and seven rebounds per outing.

Not to mention, Gary Johnson has accumulated 16 points, eight rebounds, while freshman Tristian Thompson averages 12.5 with seven rebounds.

Nonetheless, the game should come down to whoever takes care of the ball. Both teams are averaging around 15 turnovers a game, and the real competition has yet to hit. Which ever team has great guard play should be in position to win the game.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

San Diego State Picks Up Key Win Against No. 12 Gonzaga

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The San Diego State Aztecs (2-0) are conceived to possibly be this years Butler Bulldogs of last year. The Aztecs can possibly be the mid-major power to beat, and has great players to commend that notion.

San Diego State had their first test of the season on the road against the No. 12 Gonzaga Bulldogs (2-1).

After the Aztecs made a statement by taking a 42-37 lead at the half, San Diego State continued their dominance all the way until the final buzzer sounded.

The Aztecs held off Gonzaga after watching a desperation attempt fall well short at the buzzer by Steven Gray.

Billy White scored a career-high 30 points, to go along with nine rebounds, and two steals.

Three other players were in double-figures as the Aztecs picked up one of the most notable wins in school history. Kawhi Leonard had 18, James Rahon 12, and Brian Carwell with 10.

The Aztecs out-rebounded Gonzaga 33-26, 18 coming on the offensive end.

However, Gonzaga's Gray lead all scorers with 35 points, while adding five assist, three rebounds, and two assist. Robert Sacre also finished in double-figures for Gonzaga with 13 points, and 11 rebounds.

Impressively, San Diego State did a great job on Elias Harris. Harris finished the game with five points, and three rebounds, while shooting 1-of-4 from the field. The Aztecs made Harris a non-threat on offense, and ultimately is one of the reasons why San Diego State stayed ahead most of the game.

Nonetheless, the Aztecs pick up their first marquee win in school history, as well as the season. San Diego State will be in action next against Green Bay Phoenix at home. Gonzaga will travel to Kansas City to face-off against the No. 3 ranked Kansas State Wildcats.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No. 2 Michigan State Spartans Hold Off S. Carolina, 82-73

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The No. 2 Michigan State Spartans (2-0), and the South Carolina Gamecocks (1-1) both were coming off season-opening victories. However, only one team could stay undefeated and that was the No. 2 Spartans.

Despite turning the ball over more than 15 times in the second half, Michigan State pulled away from the Gamecocks and won 82-73.

Draymond Green, lead the Spartans with 18 points, 12 rebounds, five steals, two assist, and blocks apiece.

Durrell Summers, and Bruce Ellington (SC) lead all scorers with 22 points apiece.

Delvon Roe was the only other player in double-figures for the Spartans. Roe has 15 points, six rebounds and four assist.

Ultimately, the best statistical category for the Spartans came from the assist column. Michigan State threw 20 assist, on 29 made field goals. Not to mention, hitting 7-of-16 three-point attempts before the final buzzer.

Overall, the Spartans were able to fight off the pesky Gamecocks. Brian Richardson, was one of the two players in double-figures for the Gamecocks. Richardson scored 11 points, and grabbed four boards.

South Carolina looks very talented headed into their next game. The Gamecocks were able to play tough defense on one of the best teams in the nation, No. 2 to be exact.

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Louisville Opens New Arena With Upset Over No. 18 Butler

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Louisville Cardinals (1-0) opened the game with a 6-0 advantage over the No. 18 Butler Bulldogs (1-1).

They also watched Matt Howard leave the game after picking up his second foul with 16:44 left in the first half.

Soon after that, Louisville asserted dominance inside and pulled out a 41-23 halftime lead.

Checking back into the history book, the Bulldogs have not allowed a team to score 40 first half points since losing to the Milwaukee Panthers by 16 in '06.

Nonetheless, things changed up a bit in the second half. Louisville got a scare from Butler late in the second half, however, the Cardinals just would not let the Bulldogs back in the game.

Despite leading by more than 20-plus, the Cardinals stayed in front of the Bulldogs and ran towards a 88-73 victory.

Shelvin Mack paced all scorers with 25 points, but also added seven rebounds. Howard, who was in early foul trouble, came alive in the second half and is one of the main reasons why the Bulldogs were able to pull close to the lead.

After scoring two points in the first half, Howard exploded for 21 second half points. Howard ended with 23 points, and nine rebounds.

Rakeem Buckles, pulled in the second double-double of his career with a 17 point, 11 rebound performance to lead Louisville to victory.

Four other players were in double-figures for the Cardinals; Terrence Jennings (13), Mike Marra (11), Preston Knowles, and Elisha Justice both scored 13 apiece.

The Cardinals could surprise a lot of people this season. They forced a No. 18 Butler team to turn the ball over 17-times, and commit 31 total fouls, many which came under one minute left to play.

Nonetheless, the key statistic of the game can be place on the 18 assist to 27 made field goals. The Cardinals move the ball very well on offense, and at least seven players had more than two assist.

The Bulldogs are the third ranked team to lose today following the Virginia Tech Hokies, and Florida Gators.

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Jared Sullinger and Buckeyes defeat No. 10 Florida on the Road.

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Jared Sullinger was not the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2010 recruiting class, but did play like one of the best freshman, or possibly the best post player in College Basketball.

The No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the No. 10 Florida Gators commandingly 93-75.

Freshman Sullinger led the Buckeyes with 26 points, 11 rebounds for his second straight double-double.

David Lighty also came up with 26 points, and added three rebounds, and two assist.

The Buckeyes were able to overcome a three-point halftime deficit (41-38) and used their powerful inside game as they rolled to victory.

Kenny Boynton paced the Gators with 21 points, two rebounds. Chandler Parsons (13), Vernon Macklin (12), and Erving Walker (15) were the other Gators in double-figures.

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Week 1 of the 2010-11 College Hoops Season – The Week in Review and What Week 2 Holds

Posted by CoHoops Marc Daley
Like a lot of my writing peers I have to put some music on to properly set the mood for my spiel. I hate it when people say they like all kinds of music. When I hear this, I challenge them to whip out their iPods and locate some polka, or Gregorian chants, or Zamphir's Greatest Hits Volume 1. I do have a variety of genres in my playlist, so the average person is probably going to find something to their liking, unless you really like pan-flute music and nothing else.

With that in mind, I will do my best to organize my thoughts on the college hoops season by using the titles of some of the songs on my playlist. Sometimes, I may use a particular artist or genre for the week. Other times, it might just be a random scattershot, so you could see Spoon, Motorhead, Miles Davis and Lupe Fiasco all hanging out in the same week.

"The Way We Get By" – Spoon

  • The final score of Syracuse's first two outings show blowout victories (Northern Iowa by 22 and Canisius by 19). However, the Orange weren't so sweet in the first half of either contest, leading by a long-range shot at halftime in both cases. Jim Boeheim was less than pleased with his bench's efforts and has said that his team will go as far as his starters will take them. I did see some things that made me think this is a little bit of Boeheim's usual dour post-game comments. Freshman guard C.J. Fair has hit 75 percent of his shots so far and backup center Baye Moussa Keita ate enough glass to make a circus performer respectfully bow. However, Fab Melo, the most hyped member of the recruiting class, has fouled out of each game and he needs to avoid that before they meet with Michigan State on December 7, their first true test of the season.
  • Regardless of your opinion of the Enes Kanter decision it's obvious that Kentucky will go as far as they can shoot (and that includes the freebies, Coach Calipari – nine for 23 won't feed the bulldog). Terrence Jones used his athleticism against East Tennessee State to snare a double-double but the Wildcats can't use him in the middle against bigger, more seasoned opponents. They also can't count on making half of their three-pointers like they did against the Bucs. Barring a change of heart, it looks like they'll be primarily the William Butler Yeats of the Top 25 ("the centre cannot hold").
  • They haven't rebounded, shot, or passed well but I have to give it up a little bit for the Oregon Ducks. Since they're likely drinking the same water as the football team they must be using those same good vibes to start 3-0. OK, so they haven't beaten a team from a major conference but Denver should contend for Sun Belt top honors and Cal-Santa Barbara has a good shot at snagging the Big West automatic bid come March. Not bad for a team that is picked by many pundits and squids to bring up the rear of the Pac-10.

"Changes" – David Bowie

  • Back in the days when hair metal was king, the first Bush ran the White House and East and West Germany became reunited the Iowa Hawkeyes were known for being a consistent Top 10 team (and were thought to be a no.1 contender at one point in the late 80s). Now they're known for being in steady decline since they forced Dr. Tom Davis out and getting a slap on the wrist courtesy of a Hollywood power couple. They made yet another coaching change by hiring former Siena head honcho Fran McCaffrey but they had the same result they've had for most of the millennium. This time, South Dakota State started things off with a whimper by beating the Hawkeyes at home by ten. I can see four probable wins on their non-conference slate but they probably won't win more than three in the Big Ten, so if this team reaches double digits in the victory column at the end of the year it would be a surprise.
  • Gardner-Webb won't get their fifteen minutes this year by knocking off Charlotte but I wonder if the 49ers didn't overstep their bounds by getting rid of Bobby Lutz. Alan Major has a solid background (he was on Thad Matta's staff for years) but Lutz had this team in the postseason consistently and there were some seasons where they were considered the fourth-best team in the state of North Carolina (no small feat with Duke, UNC and Wake Forest residing on Tobacco Road). They weren't picked to be a factor in the A-10 this year and it looks like Major has a major rebuilding job ahead.
  • Let's face it – Mike Rice could have beaten Rutgers with his Robert Morris squad of last season. By double digits. This year Rice has the unenviable task of leading the Scarlet Knights. They started off by only snagging 28 rebounds against Princeton (who are picked to contend for the Ivy title, but still) in an overtime loss where their biggest lead was a point. Don't be surprised if they start off 0-2 when they face an underrated Fairfield squad on Monday.

"Midnight to Midnight" – Psychedelic Furs

  • Not only does Tuesday feature three matchups between ranked teams but it's a part of what is the greatest day of college basketball that doesn't fall in March. ESPN's 24 hours of basketball will give you that feeling of insomnia so bad that you forget how to get the office the next day. Once you do get there, you realize you're wearing a plastic grocery bag as underwear and you brushed your teeth with shave gel. Totally worth it.
    So let's look at the best of the marathon.
    • The best time to locate a TV close to the restroom is from four to eight p.m. Eastern time. Ohio State and Florida tip off in the closing stanza and look primed to re-take their place among the college hoops elite (though don't look for them to meet up in the national championship like they did in 2007). Before that, Kansas State tries to build on last season's abundance of speed and facial hair against a Virginia Tech squad that might actually get to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the tournament expanded in 1985.
    • The best way to attack this day? True, you could go hardcore and load up on espressos and biscotti for the sunrise matchup of Stony Brook-Monmouth but the only people who will probably catch that donnybrook are the cast of "Jersey Shore" since they'll be coming back from a festive night of harassing bar patrons. Instead, skip the Monday night football game and the round of Donovan McNabb boos, go to bed early and set your alarm for 2 am for an intriguing contest between St. John's and St. Mary's. Back to bed at four then struggle through some quality time at the office before knocking off early for the doubleheader of ranked teams. After a lovely meal of your favorite convenience foods, doze off in the recliner before waking up at 11 for the San Diego State-Gonzaga matchup.

"Can't Change Me" – Chris Cornell

The MD Top 25 doesn't change this week. Maybe if the Tennessee loss actually counted but since it doesn't we'll just leave things alone. So in case you missed it, here's Week 1's poll, which looks eerily similar to the preseason poll.

  1. Duke
  2. Michigan State
  3. Kansas
  4. Ohio State
  5. Villanova
  6. Purdue
  7. Pittsburgh
  8. Florida
  9. Kansas State
  10. Missouri
  11. Kentucky
  12. Syracuse
  13. Illinois
  14. Memphis
  15. Gonzaga
  16. Baylor
  17. Tennessee
  18. Virginia Tech
  19. Brigham Young
  20. Washington
  21. Butler
  22. North Carolina
  23. San Diego State
  24. Minnesota
  25. Georgetown

2010-11 Preseason All-Americas and Ten Teams To Watch

Posted by CoHoops Marc Daley
Five teams that will be a pleasant surprise:

Georgia. Trey Tompkins looks like a lottery pick and Mark Fox has cleared doubts that he wouldn't be able to recruit in the SEC following a very successful stint in Nevada. The SEC East is once again the best of the two divisions and the Bulldogs, who probably won't compete for top honors, should make the dance for the first time since their surprise run in 2008.

Saint Louis. The Billikens are traditionally one of those teams that the big schools hate to play. Think of them as a poor man's Wisconsin. Rick Majerus is a perfect fit for this program as they don't get the name recruits on a regular basis (with the exception of Larry Hughes earlier in the millennium) but he still turns them into tough competitors. Richmond and Temple will grab the A-10 headlines but expect these guys to be in the thick of the race.

Florida State. I'm not completely sold on North Carolina making a return to elite status but I am sold on the re-emergence of the Seminoles. Leonard Hamilton is one of the most underrated coaches in the business and he has a front line that most of his ACC brethren would love to have. If Derwin Kitchen or Luke Loucks step up their game at point they could finish in the top three of the conference.

St. John's. It's not the 1980s with Mullin or even the late 90s with Felipe Lopez but there's a reason Steve Lavin left the comfort of TV land for this gig. Nine seniors are led by D.J. Kennedy and an unspectacular but serviceable front line will give their bigger counterparts everything they have in the paint. Look for the Johnnies to return to the Dance for the first time since 2002.

Loyola Marymount. The ultimate phoenix project. Before last season, the Lions had won a total of eight games in the previous two years. Max Good has resurrected this program in a hurry. Two starters are first-team all-conference and they didn't even have to run around like waterbugs on crack to get the job done. St. Mary's will probably take a step back so LMU should be poised to grab that second West Coast NCAA bid.

Five teams that will be an unpleasant letdown:

Texas. Rick Barnes would be the perfect All-Star coach: he can recruit all the name players but he rarely gets them to play well as a unit. Once again, the Longhorns are loaded with four and five star recruits. Once again, they could have big problems at the point guard position, which means a bunch of kids who have never been told no will be unable to share the ball and accept the fact they have to do dirty work in order to win.

Mississippi State. Conversely, Rick Stansbury gets the most of the talent he has but it seems that this year he is depending too much on a rare prize recruit. I'm not sure how much of a prize Renardo Sidney will be, though. By the time he hits the hardwood he won't have played competitive basketball in nearly two years. If he disappoints this will be a perimeter-oriented team that may not even win a mediocre SEC West.

New Mexico. I have to give the Lobos' fanbase credit for their passion even though their program hasn't come close to sniffing the Final Four in their history. Last season was a great run that ended with a thud in the second round of the Dance. This season the big studs are gone and they are hoping a former UCLA malcontent can step in and be the star. That doesn't seem likely. It looks like it's back to NIT land.

Murray State. It's not that the Racers won't return to the Dance as the Ohio Valley representative but the expectations for this bunch are a bit high. Seriously, Sweet 16? The issues with that dream are depth and the element of surprise. Everybody knows about the Racers now and will be prepared, especially some of their OVC foes (and half the league is actually decent).

Wichita State. Besides death and taxes you can count on the Missouri Valley Conference to whine about deserving teams not getting into the Dance. I say we get Lee Ermey to throw some Kleenex at them and call them jackwagons. Likely, the Shockers (or Missouri State) will run roughshod over the teams in the Little Sisters of the Poor conference, point to their inflated 12-0 record, stumble in conference play, end up with 21 wins, then cry after Selection Sunday. GET OVER IT.


First Team

JaJuan Johnson, Purdue (Player of the Year)
LaceDarius Dunn, Baylor
Kyle Singler, Duke
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
E'Twaun Moore, Purdue

Second Team

Scotty Hopson, Tennessee
Elias Harris, Gonzaga
Jacob Pullen, Kansas State
Austin Freeman, Georgetown
Trey Tompkins, Georgia

Third Team

Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
Nolan Smith, Duke
Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech
Jimmer Fredette, Brigham Young
Isaiah Thomas, Washington


Brandon Knight, Kentucky
Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
Kyrie Irving, Duke
Trey Ziegler, Central Michigan
J.J. Sullinger, Ohio State
*Josh Selby, Kansas
*Enes Kanter, Kentucky

*Selby and Kanter have yet to be cleared to play this season.

2010-11 Preseason Top 25

Posted by Marc Daley
  1. Duke. The J.R. Ewing of college hoops is back to defend their title with Paul Bettany playing the role of Kyle Singler while Jennifer Connolly stays home to watch the kiddos. Nolan Smith steps out of the shadows of Jon Scheyer to become the prominent backcourt stud while the Plumlee brothers add intangibles up front. If Seth Curry provides 75% of the scoring he did at Jerry Falwell Tech and Kyrie Irving lives up to the Lady Gaga-like hype the Devils should be as good as advertised but it doesn't look like there'll be a dominant force in the 2010-11 college hoops galaxy.
  2. Michigan State. Continuing a familiar theme in East Lansing, the Spartans look to go back to the Final Four for a third straight year. A lot of it depends on Kalin Lucas' health but at least Tom Izzo came to his senses and realized he didn't want to endure a season of being Not Hot in Cleveland. Derrick Nix, Garrick Sherman and frosh Adreian Payne are frontcourt factors who could tip the scales in a championship matchup with the Dookies.
  3. Kansas. Bill Self wakes up with nightmares of Ali Farokhmanesh draining a jumper from Dolly Dagger-land but the security blanket that is Marcus Morris should send him back to a peaceful slumber. Josh Selby's eligibility is the X-factor. If he gets to play pencil in the Jayhawks for a trip to Houston. Without him, they are probably second to the in-state rivals who ply their trade in the Little Apple.
  4. Ohio State. This might raise some slight eyebrows, and if Robbie Hummel hadn't become college hoops' answer to Greg Oden the Boilers would be the Big Ten representative in the top four. Don't discount the Buckeyes. Evan Turner is dazzling in Philly now but Buford, Lighty and Lauderdale will form an incredible five-man unit with Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas. They just need a conductor to run the show.
  5. Villanova. Speaking of things cheesesteak-related, the Two Coreys (not those guys from the 80s who had a creepy fondness for Michael Jackson) will actually have a frontcourt to feed the orange to. Pena, Yarou and Sutton are joined by JayVaughn Pinkston, who gives them a tailor-made small forward. Don't be surprised to see these 'Cats in the Final Four for the second time in three years.
  6. Purdue. I'm not sure if someone is sticking pins in a Robbie Hummel doll. He seems like a nice kid. Stop it. Anyway, E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson form a stellar inside-outside combo. Terone Johnson might be counted on to run the show from day one but a deep bench is ready to help fill in the blanks. They should contend with the Columbus crew and the East Lansing elite for Big Ten honors.
  7. Pittsburgh. Much like the city where they ply their trade, the Panthers aren't always pretty to watch. When you play them, you will leave battered, bruised and likely humbled. One has to wonder if they'll finally break through to elite status and get themselves off the list of the best programs to never make the Final Four. Look for Dante Taylor to possibly follow teammate Ashton Gibbs as the most improved player in the Big East.
  8. Florida. It's been a while since the Gators found themselves in the rarefied air. Honestly, if Billy Donovan hadn't gone back-to-back someone else would probably be leading the troops in Gainesville. Now they're poised to take back the SEC. All five starters come back but one or two freshmen need to step into primary bench roles if the Gators are truly going to come back to the forefront.
  9. Kansas State. I like the beard (not on me. Beards on bald guys makes it look like they have hair on upside down). However, without super-speedster Denis Clemente, Jacob Pullen will be a huge focus of every rabid backcourt defender in the country. The locals in Manhattan are counting on Freddy Aspirilla to add frontcourt presence but Rodney McGruder or Will Spradling might prove to have more impact on the Wildcats' fortunes.
  10. Missouri. Lurking in the shadows of the plains is a team that was moribund (aka piss-poor for those of you scoring at home) for much of the first decade of the new millennium. Mike Anderson has the Tigers roaring again. If one of Paul Pressey's kids can contribute to a lineup that has great inside-outside balance they could equal their 2009 Elite Eight finish. Unlike Pittsburgh, who are also trying to get to the rare Final Four air, this team is one where you have to save the bathroom breaks until the commercial break as they are fun to watch.
  11. Kentucky. Remember the last Memphis team John Calipari had? (I would hope so, it was only two years ago.) They ripped through Conference USA only to lose to (cue eerie music) Missouri in the Sweet 16. Like this year's Wildcats, they had a heck of a recruiting class. This year's Wildcats reminds me a lot of that Memphis team. Enes Kanter is being compared to Nelson Mandela by rabid UK fans (a bit much, if you ask me) and is the obvious X-factor of a talented, but inexperienced bunch.
  12. Syracuse. Fab Melo tries to the second "Fab Melo" in recent Orange history. If he lives up to expectations he could be better than Rony Seikaly (at the very least he'll be better than Craig Forth or Andre Hawkins). Andy Rautins is gone but Brandon Triche, Scoop Jardine and Mookie Jones still form a solid backcourt. Jim Boeheim will continue to look miserable as he nears his 850th win.
  13. Illinois. Every year it seems like a team that was hanging out in the netherworld of the NIT makes a huge jump back into the good graces of the college hoops galaxy. I know some people are thinking the Tar Heels, but the Illini look more poised to make the return. Six players who started at least 14 games come back and are joined by a top recruiting class which includes the younger brother of Champaign legend Luther Head.
  14. Memphis. Josh Pastner has wanted to be a top coach since he could utter the word "coach" from his drool-stained toddler lips. Congrats, Josh, you've come a long way from looking like Mike Bibby's tag-along friend in 1997. They got snubbed by the committee last year but a monster recruiting class combined with underrated veteran Wesley Witherspoon means a likely return to the Dance.
  15. Gonzaga. Wasn't last year the year the Zags were supposed to fall? Somewhere Mark Few is laughing along with the rest of the Spokane Hippie Brigade. Seriously, these guys look like a bunch of heads who got bored after a Widespread Panic concert and decided to shoot some hoops but Steven Gray, Elias Harris and Co. will once again vie for the title of the best program in the West.
  16. Baylor. OK, they have a guy who is considered by some pundits to be the best player in the college hoops galaxy. But that same player is dealing with some off-the-court issues and the only other proven scorer didn't start a game last season. Top-10 recruit Perry Jones could be this year's Ekpe Udoh and will likely bolt for the pros as well after one year. It all depends on how long (or if) LaceDarius Dunn will be out of service.
  17. Tennessee. They might be the surprise team this year. They finally broke through to (somewhat) elite status last year and return one of the best frontcourts out there, bolstered by the addition of phenom Tobias Harris. Scotty Hopson is a one-man backcourt gang but doesn't have to be thanks to a deep bench. Now if Bruce Pearl can just stay legal for less…
  18. Virginia Tech. Malcolm Delaney starred in relative obscurity in the college hoops galaxy (think of him as Pluto in this scenario) and he's joined by the rest of the starting lineup from last season. Florida transfer Allen Chaney and heralded recruit Jarell Eddie add depth to a team that probably won't challenge Duke for top Tobacco Road honors but should finish a solid second – as long they can shoot straight.
  19. Brigham Young. Jimmer Fredette introduced himself during the NCAA tournament and then Mormon nation breathed a collective sigh of relief when he announced he was coming back. (I know the Osmonds' oxygen intake caused a slight gale force wind when Fredette made the announcement). The Cougars need someone to step up in the frontcourt (where's Michael Smith or Shawn Bradley when you need them?)
  20. Washington. Abdul Gaddy was supposed to be the perfect complement to Isaiah Thomas last season. Like the rest of the Pac-10 he fell way short. I don't see that happening again. Matthew Bryan-Amaning looks ready to explode this year in the pivot and Tyreese Breshers could be the Huskies' answer to Rick Mahorn if he can keep his emotions in check. Another Sweet 16 finish, unlike last season, won't be a surprise.
  21. Butler. They'll miss Gordon Hayward a lot. Ronald Nored and Zach Hahn simply aren't going to provide the offense to keep teams from doubling up on Shelvin Mack. Matt Howard and his awful facial hair will keep frontcourts honest but a return trip to the championship game would be much more miraculous than last year's run.
  22. North Carolina. I don't see why everyone is suddenly celebrating the Tar Heels' return to glory. John Henson and Larry Drew still need to show me consistency night after night, though Harrison Barnes looks like the best candidate to take Freshman of the Year honors in the college hoops galaxy.
  23. San Diego State. The Mountain West is actually better than some BCS conferences (say, Pac-10?). Part of the proof is the Aztecs, who look primed to actually win an NCAA tournament game for the first time in program history. Four starters come back but the key will be last year's sixth man Chase Tapley, who steps in as the new starter.
  24. Minnesota. Tubby Smith likes to use nine or ten players but may not have that luxury this season. Still, the six that are likely to play the bulk of the minutes have all proven they can play in the Big Ten. The freshman class doesn't look spectacular, but Smith has never been a recruiter of studs and still manages to find one or two in the bunch.
  25. Georgetown. Yeah, they lost Greg Monroe. Yeah, they got blitzed by a bunch of outside shooters from Athens. Yeah, they'll be back this year with a vengeance. Unlike past Hoya teams, this team usually shoots exceptionally well and Austin Freeman will carry the torch for diabetics that Adam Morrison used to carry before he warmed the bench and got a championship ring.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Duke Crushes Princeton at home, 97-60

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Duke Blue Devils (1-0) came into the game defending their National title won a year ago after defeating the Butler Bulldogs.

The Blue Devils started the season with the pesky Princeton Tigers (1-1) that are coming off a win against Rutgers in their season-opener.

However, the momentum did not carry over into Cameron Indoor Stadium.

After acquiring a 42-28 halftime lead, Duke picked things up and opened their title defense with a 97-60 win.

Kyrie Irving, the freshman guard, had the most impressive night accumulating 17 points, nine assist, four rebounds, two steals, and turned the ball over one time.

The Blue Devils had five players in double-figures with Seth Curry, the transfer from Liberty coming up with 14 along with Andre Dawkins 12 off the bench.

Nolan Smith lead all scorers with 22 points, and Kyle Singler added 16 points.

However, more impressively the Blue Devils defense forced 27 turnovers, 17 coming in the first half, which resulted in many fast break points.

The Blue Devils also hit 14-of-26 three point attempts, and ended the game shooting 53 percent from beyond the arc.

Princeton picked up their first loss of the season, and continues to allow a lot of scoring. There were two players in double-figures for Princeton, both Ian Hummer and Dan Mavraides; Hummer with 14, and Mavraides lead Princeton with 16.

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Can the Ohio St. Buckeyes Compete for a National Championship this Season?

Posted by CoHoops Samuel Sica
The Ohio State Buckeyes have not won a championship since 1960 and I believe that this could be the year that Ohio State makes a serious threat in breaking that streak. 

Ohio State has four out of their five starters returning from last season with Evan Turner leaving for the NBA.

Turner was the key player for the Buckeyes last season and his absence will be felt immensely because no one player can fill the shoes of Turner but as a whole, Ohio State can fill that void and make believers out of everyone by doing what they accomplished in their season opener against North Carolina A&T. 

I understand that Ohio State will have to play against teams that are tougher than North Carolina A&T but with the core players that they have I believe they will be a team to watch to compete for the championship this season.

The starters that Ohio State has returning from last season include William Buford, David Lighty, Jon Diebler, and Dallas Lauderdale.

The Buckeyes also have added some talented players to go along with their core four starters with the additions of Deshaun Thomas, Jared Sullinger, and Aaron Craft

The freshmen have already turned heads as Sullinger had an impressive double-double in his Buckeye debut by scoring 19 points to go along with 14 rebounds.

 Thomas led the team in scoring with 24 points off the bench in his debut. Aaron Craft also made his presence known by scoring 8 points to go along with 9 assists in his debut.

The Buckeyes will face a big challenge in their second game of the season when they head down south to the Sunshine State to face the Florida Gators.

Florida is ranked number eleven in the polls and is the only ranked team that the Buckeyes will face until they play Illinois in late January.

In my opinion, Ohio State has a favorable out-of-conference schedule but they will face some tough competition once they start Big Ten play at the end of December.

Ohio State is one out of the five teams that are currently ranked in the top 25 teams in the nation with the other four being Michigan State (2), Purdue (8), Illinois (16), and Wisconsin (24).

I believe the Buckeyes will win the Big Ten championship as well as make it into the Championship game in the NCAA tournament because of the two big men that play underneath the basket in Lauderdale and Sullinger. 

Both players are taller than 6-8” and the rest of the team is no slouch either as all player are at least 6 feet tall. Ohio State has an extreme height advantage in my opinion, and that will create favorable matchups for the Buckeyes once they start their in-conference schedule.

Ohio State will also be a threat to win it all this season because of the sheer experience factor since the Buckeyes have four of their five starters returning from last season.

The Buckeyes are a well coached team and under the tutelage of Thad Matta, the Ohio State freshmen will be ready to play game in and game out. Ohio State will be ready to play once the tournament begins in March and do not be surprised if the Buckeyes are the champions when it is all said and done.

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