Your Really Late College Basketball “Preview”

20 12 2009

So we managed to get all kinds of busy over the last three weeks, thus explaining the lack of posts. But no worries, we’re back just in time for the holidays with some thoughts on college basketball. We meant to do an actual preview on the topic, but since most teams are at least a third of the way through the year, we’re going to do the bullet point thing with the top 25 and some of our favorite teams. Let’s get it started.

John Wall - Well Worth The Price of Admission

– We’ll start with one of the blue bloods of college basketball, the Kentucky Wildcats. We’re actually surprised that a team this young is playing this well, but we still think there’s some dents in the armor. They’ve played two good teams, UNC in Lexington and Connecticut at MSG, and both have been really really close games. They nearly blew a massive lead against a UNC that’s not built for a big comeback. From what we’ve seen in the couple of games we’ve watched, they’re way to reliant on John Wall (who is living up the hype so far). It seems like Patrick Patterson disappears late in the game, and  DeMarcus Cousins seems to be a bit of a loose cannon. We don’t think a team this young will win a National Championship (or go to the Final Four), but at this point tune in to watch John Wall, and try not to any grease from Calipari on you.

– Does anyone think Purdue is really a top 4 team? We know it’s early, but does this really look like a #1 seed in March? The overrated rant could go the same for Florida. These teams haven’t really played anyone (Purdue escape Tennessee, while Florida squeaked by a young Michigan State team and was promptly demolished by Syracuse). They’re not terribly deep, they don’t have a true game breaker, and they’re kinda soft inside. Purdue feels like a 3 or a 4 seed right now, Florida maybe a 5. Rankings wise, both of these squads are overrated.

Sorry Gator Fans...These Guys Aren't Walking Through That Door.

– Conference Thoughts: The Big 10 is crazy deep, while the Big 12 seems like Kansas, Texas, and bunch of mediocre to bad teams. The Pac 10 and the SEC are terrible, but the Pac 10 is worse off since they don’t have anybody at the level of Kentucky or even Tennessee. We’ll put the over/under on tourney bids from these conferences combined at 8. That’s out of a possible 24 teams. Is that bad? It’s not good.

– Lastly, an update on our favorite team, the Indiana Hoosiers. Right now, they’re a whole lot better than we thought they’d be. They’re surprisingly competitive, and some of the kids look real good. Maurice Creek looks like a future stud, and Verdell Jones has progressed well from the inexperienced mess we watched all to often last year. We’d like to see a little more assertive play out of Tom Pritchard, along some more playing time for Jordan Hulls and Matt Roth (Devan Dumes is a great story and all, but we’re playing for the future, so get the juco senior off the floor). We could see them winning 6-8 conference games. Based on what we’ve seen, they should be able to beat Iowa, Penn State, and should be able to play with Northwestern. The other wins are coming from us guessing that they might surprise one of the middle of the pack teams (Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, maybe even Ohio State without Evan Turner) when those teams travel to Assembly Hall.

Along with Maurice Creek, This Guy Will Be A Star.

That’s all we’ve got for now, as we’ve got a pressing engagement of the NFL on the couch. Hit us up with your thoughts in the comments, and take confidence that we’re back.


Box Score Browsing – Thursday Night

19 11 2009

Sorry for the late post tonight, we were traveling for most of the day. This will be a regular post when we’re burning the late evening oil. We’ll look at and give knee jerk reactions on most of the box scores of the action on that night. Essentially what we’d be doing anyway, only with pictures!

CBB: (21)Dayton 63, (19) Georgia Tech 59. We’re still transitioning into college hoops mode, but why is Tech ranked? Gani Lawal is good, Derrick Favors is supposed to be good, but who else is on this team? Good win for Dayton, particularly on an off night from Chris “Top Flight” Wright (8 points on 2-8 shooting).

CBB: (5) Kentucky 102, Sam Houston State 92. Kentucky’s got offense, 100 points proves that, but where is the defense. Sam Houston state should win the Southland conference, and make the tournament by virtue of the auto-bid, but giving up 92? Kentucky also got zero points from their bench. Games like this raise some red flags for us. Defense and depth win national championships. In other observations, huge night for DeMarcus Cousins – going off for 27 points and 18 boards in 27 minutes.

CBB: (24) Syracuse 95, (12) California 73. Wow from Syracuse. Didn’t expect anything like this. Nice to see the hyped Iowa State transfer Wesley Johnson play well (17 pts on 7/12 shooting, 11 boards). We would have liked to see more from the massive ‘Cuse frontline of Onuaku and Jackson (combined 20 points and 7 boards). Those guys should be able to push around a smaller team like Cal. Still, hard to find too many faults in a 22 point win.

CFB: Colorado vs. Oklahoma State (in progress). Looking over the numbers from this game, one question jumps to our minds…What happened to Kendall Hunter? One of the OSU “triplets” along with Zac Robinson and Dez Bryant, Hunter ran for 1,500+ yards and 16 TD’s last year. Going into tonight, ESPN project Hunter will finish with merely 264 yards. He missed 5 games with an injury in the middle of the year, but still. His average has dipped by nearly 3 YPC. We’re guessing he’s not fully healthy, or Dez Bryant being on the field really took commanded the focus of the defense. [UPDATE: Tonight’s game just went final. Ok. State prevails, 31-28. Kendall Hunter finished with 11 carries for 47 yards, 4.3 yards/carry]

– We were going to do a small write up on the NFL game tonight, but it’s not exactly riveting. With 3 minutes left, Miami is leading Carolina 24-14. It would appear that Ricky Williams will finish with over 120 rushing yards and two TD’s. Carolina has been running well with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, but Jake Delhomme is playing poorly (currently 16/33 with a pick). We didn’t even watch this game, because the NFL Network is on approx 9 televisions nationwide.

– Quickly, some thoughts on the NL Cy Young announcement today. We’ll throw up our reaction, and leave it for you to ponder. Any of the three candidates (Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, and Tim Lincecum) could have won and we wouldn’t have taken a major issue, but we think the voters got it right by giving it to Lincecum.