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Creighton Bluejays 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 10, 2011 in Conference Notes

Creighton Bluejays (23-16, 10-8)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. F Doug McDermott
Sr. G Antoine Young
Jr. C Gregory Echenique
So. G Jahenns Manigat
Jr. G Josh Jones

Important departures:

Kenny Lawson Jr.: 9.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg
Darryl Ashford: 4.4 ppg
Kaleb Korver: 4.3 ppg

Percent returning:

Starts: 64.1 percent
Minutes: 60.8
Scoring: 72.3 percent
Rebounding: 60.1 percent

Additions:

Creighton has a very strong list of incoming freshmen. Center Geoff Groselle joins the Bluejays from Plano West High School, Texas, after breaking his high school’s record for blocks and rebounds in a season. Groselle was considered one of the top 25 prospects in Texas. Avery Dingman broke his school’s record for points in a season with 597 as a junior at Branson High School, Mo. Then the guard broke it again with 705 points in his senior campaign. Rounding out a fearsome trio is guard/forward, Nevin Johnson, who also considered Bradley and Wichita State.

Toughest nonconference match ups:

Nov. 30 at San Diego State

Outlook:

The preseason hype is there in Omaha, and it should be. Three players who averaged double figures in scoring last season return for Creighton. The Bluejays also had two players sit in the MVC top ten for scoring and rebounding last season, with all of them returning. So it should come as no surprise that Creighton is on the verge of its first top 25 ranking since 2006-07. How the bench and newcomers perform will determine whether it’s the Bluejays or Indiana State hoisting the conference crown in March though. Outside of the starting lineup, there’s not a lot of experience sitting on the bench. Nevertheless, look for Creighton to dance this season, as head coach Greg McDermott makes it back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since he led Northern Iowa there in 2006.

Prediction: Second

Next: Drake Bulldogs

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Red Storm Prey on Freshman Mistakes

by - Published November 7, 2011 in Columns

With seven freshmen and nine newcomers on the roster, St. John’s will probably suffer through a fair share of mistakes made by inexperienced players this season. But on opening night, the Red Storm thrived off the miscues of an opponent’s young point guard.

St. John’s overcame a rough first half in which the Red Storm fell behind William & Mary by seven points. After the break, St. John’s amped up the pressure, and the Tribe’s freshman point guard, Marcus Thornton, couldn’t handle it. Thornton finished with seven of William & Mary’s 21 turnovers.

Sophomore Juco transfer Nurideen Lindsey was a frequent tormentor of Thornton. One of the Red Storm’s much-heralded newcomers, Lindsey did a little bit of everything, … Continue Reading

Welcome back, hoops!

by - Published November 7, 2011 in Full Court Sprints

The 2011 2K Sports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic kicks off the games that count in the standings tonight.

We have three games on tap tonight, two of which you can find on ESPNU if you’d like a change of pace from the Eagles and Bears on Monday Night Football. Here’s who’s in action tonight.

  • William & Mary at St. John’s, 7 pm ET
  • Eastern Kentucky at Mississippi State, 8 pm ET
  • Valparaiso at Arizona, 9 pm ET

The finals of the tournament will feature those three major conference teams plus Texas A&M in New York’s Madison Square Garden Nov. 17-18. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see at least one of those teams drop a game in the early rounds before reaching the Big Apple. In fact, the Big Apple’s own St. John’s could be in danger tonight, as the Red Storm start 2011-12 with nearly a complete roster makeover while the Tribe return almost all of last season’s team.

We’ve got an upset watch on opening night!

Boston College 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

Boston College Eagles (21-13, 9-7)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Gabriel Moton
So. G Danny Rubin
Jr. G Matt Humphrey
Fr. F Ryan Anderson
Fr. C KC Caudill

Important departures:

Reggie Jackson: 18.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.5 apg
Joe Trapani: 14.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.8 apg
Corey Raji: 12.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.6 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 8.7 percent
Rebounding: 9.1 percent

Additions:

Matt Humphrey, junior guard transferred from Oregon
Ryan Anderson, ESPNU four-star freshman power forward from Long Beach, Calif.

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: at Providence
Toughest conference stretch: Jan. 7-14 (at North Carolina, vs. Clemson, vs. Virginia Tech)

Outlook:

In his first season at the helm in Chestnut Hill, coach Steve Donahue propelled Boston College into the top half of the conference’s standings. En route, he helped turn Reggie Jackson into a bona fide star. Under Donahue’s tutelage, Jackson erupted for 18 points per game, and he guided the offense with nearly five assists per game.

For a second consecutive year, the Eagles won’t have lofty expectations. However, it would take a miracle for Donahue to get this team to more than five ACC wins. Boston College loses more than 90 percent of its scoring and rebounding, and nine of the 15 players on the roster are freshmen.

Prediction: 12th

Next: Clemson Tigers

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Clemson Tigers 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

Clemson Tigers (22-12, 9-7)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Andre Young
Sr. G Tanner Smith
Sr. F Bryan Narcisse
Jr. F Milton Jennings
Jr. F Devin Booker

Important departures:

Demontez Stitt: 14.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.3 apg
Jerai Grant: 12.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 0.8 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 57.7 percent
Rebounding: 66.1 percent

Additions:

Bernard Sullivan, No. 83 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman power forward from Davidson, N.C.

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: at Arizona
Toughest conference stretch: Jan. 31-Feb. 4 (at Virginia, at Virginia Tech)

Outlook:

Clemson returns a very talented lineup and faces a relatively favorable conference schedule that should help the Tigers return to the NCAA Tournament this season. The Tigers must replace the contributions of Demontez Stitt in the backcourt and Jerai Grant in the frontcourt. However, their absence will give Tanner Smith and Milton Jennings a chance to shine this year.

In addition to Jennings and Smith, coach Brad Brownell will count on Devin Booker to anchor the Tigers’ offense. Booker was second on the team in rebounds last year, and he’ll need to continue to grab six to eight rebounds per game while boosting his 8.1 ppg closer to 12 or 13 ppg.

Prediction: Fourth

Next: Duke Blue Devils

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Duke Blue Devils 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

Duke Blue Devils (32-5, 13-3)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Fr. G Austin Rivers
Jr. G Seth Curry
Jr. G Andre Dawkins
Jr. F Ryan Kelly
Jr. F Mason Plumlee

Important departures:

Nolan Smith: 20.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.1 apg
Kyrie Irving: 17.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.3 apg
Kyle SIngler: 16.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.6 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 47.2 percent
Rebounding: 67.4 percent

Additions:

Austin Rivers, No.1 Rivals.com and ESPNU five-star freshman combo guard from Winter Park, Fla.
Michael Gbinije, No. 35 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman small forward from Richmond, Va.
Quinn Cook, No. 38 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman point guard from Washington, D.C.
Alex Murphy, No. 45 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman small forward from Southborough, Mass.
Marshall Plumlee, No. 79 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman power forward from Arden, N.C.

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: at Ohio State
Toughest conference stretch: Feb. 2-8 (at Virginia Tech, vs. Miami, at North Carolina)

Outlook:

Coach Mike Krzyzewski has to replace a couple of veteran leaders in Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler in addition to freshman sensation Kyrie Irving. Duke fans must feel shafted after Irving started on fire last season, then injured his toe and never returned to form. Duke faltered in the Sweet 16 last season, and the Blue Devils will have much lower expectations this season.

However, that might make the Blue Devils even more dangerous than last season. As usual, Coach K has a loaded recruiting class, headlined by Austin Rivers, Quinn Cook and Michael Gbinije. Add those talented youngsters to a lineup that already includes Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins and the Plumlee crew, and you have a team ready to compete at the top of the ACC standings.

Prediction: Second

Next: Florida State Seminoles

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Florida State Seminoles 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

Florida State Seminoles (23-11, 11-5)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Jeff Peterson
Sr. G Deividas Dulkys
Jr. G Michael Snaer
So. F Okaro White
Jr. C Bernard James

Important departures:

Chris Singleton: 13.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.2 apg
Derwin Kitchen: 10.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.6 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 69.3 percent
Rebounding: 70.9 percent

Additions:

Jeff Peterson, senior point guard transferred from Arkansas
Kiel Turpin, junior power forward transferred from D-II Lincoln College
Antwan Space, No. 91 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman small forward from DeSoto, Texas
Terry Whisnant, No. 103 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman shooting guard from Cherryville, N.C.

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: at Michigan State
Toughest conference stretch: Jan. 7-14 (at Clemson, at Virginia Tech, vs. North Carolina)

Outlook:

Under coach Leonard Hamilton, the Seminoles have perennially been one of the top defensive teams in the country. Even without uber-athlete Chris Singleton, Florida State figures to continue its defensive dominance this season, with Bernard James leading the way. Florida State has good height throughout its lineup, forcing opponents to shoot outside the lane, and no one shot well beyond the arc against the Noles last season.

The question will be whether the Seminoles can generate enough offense to win some ugly, low-scoring affairs. Senior transfer Jeff Peterson will be a major part of that answer. The team could turn to Peterson to play point guard after he graduated from Arkansas last season and transfered to Tallahassee as a player eligible to join the team immediately. Hamilton will need Peterson to play well, and he’s got to hope that Michael Snaer, Deividas Dulkys and Luke Loucks practiced their jump shots all summer. None of the team’s top returning guards shot better than 40 percent from the field last season.

Prediction: Fifth

Next: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (13-18, 5-11)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Mfon Udofia
So. G Brandon Reed
Jr. G Glen Rice Jr.
So. F Kammeon Holsey
So. C Daniel Miller

Important departures:

Coach Paul Hewitt: 255-187 overall record, 189-160 record with Yellow Jackets, 72-104 ACC record in 11 seasons at Georgia Tech.
Iman Shumpert: 17.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.5 apg
Brian Oliver: 10.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.5 apg
Maurice Miller: 6.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.4 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 51.6 percent
Rebounding: 64.2 percent

Additions:

Brandon Reed, sophomore guard transferred from Arkansas State
Julian Royal, No. 125 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star power forward from Alpharetta, Ga.

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: vs. Alabama
Toughest conference stretch: Jan. 21-Feb. 1 (at Clemson, vs. Miami, at North Carolina, at Florida State)

Outlook:

After Paul Hewitt took Georgia Tech to the 2004 championship game and proved that he could attract elite talent to Atlanta, Yellow Jacket fans just waited for another Final Four run. It never materialized, and the team dismissed Hewitt after another disappointing season. Brian Gregory now takes over with a decent amount of talent left in the cupboard.

Gregory will need to get solid players like Mfon Udofia, Glen Rice Jr., and Kammeon Holsey to buy in to his game plan. If they do, Georgia Tech could quickly move out of the cellar, possibly into the thick of the ACC teams competing for a final NCAA Tournament bid. Besides the existing lineup, Gregory gets the services of Brandon Reed, an elite scorer who transferred from Arkansas State.

Prediction: Ninth

Next: Maryland Terrapins

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Maryland Terrapins 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

Maryland Terrapins (19-14, 7-9)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Terrell Stoglin
So. G Pe’Shon Howard
Sr. G Sean Mosley
Jr. F James Padgett
Sr. F Berend Weijs

Important departures:

Coach Gary Williams: 668-380 overall record, 461-252 record with Terrapins, 192-156 ACC record in 22 seasons at Maryland.
Jordan Williams: 16.9 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 0.6 apg
Cliff Tucker: 9.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.2 apg
Dino Gregory: 9.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 0.8 apg
Adrian Bowie: 8.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.5 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 38.8 percent
Rebounding: 33.3 percent

Additions:

Nick Faust, No. 48 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star shooting guard from Baltimore

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: vs. Notre Dame
Toughest conference stretch: Jan. 25-Feb. 4 (vs. Duke, vs. Virginia Tech, at Miami, vs. North Carolina)

Outlook:

Life after Gary Williams begins now for Maryland. The legendary Terrapins’ coach called it a career after last season, and it seems like good timing. With Jordan Williams bolting for the NBA and several starts graduating, Maryland is losing about two-thirds of its scoring and rebounding. That puts new coach Mark Turgeon in the tough spot of giving anxious fans some hope for the future while building toward that future.

Mark this prediction: Turgeon will win in Maryland. The former Texas A&M coach has assembled a great coaching staff that has roots in the fertile Washington, D.C, recruiting grounds. Although Williams brought a national championship to College Park, his inability to keep top talent close to home rankled the fan base. Turgeon might have a rough year this season. But Terrell Stoglin is a budding star, and Pe’Shon Howard will provide a nice change of pace for Stoglin. Within a couple of years, Maryland should be back near the top of the standings. It just won’t be this season.

Prediction: 10th

Next: Miami Hurricanes

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Miami Hurricanes 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

Miami Hurricanes (21-15, 6-10)

 

Editor’s note: This post was corrected to update information about Julian Gamble’s injury sustained in August. 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Malcolm Grant
Jr. G Durand Scott
Jr. G Garrius Adams
So. C Kenny Kadji
Jr. C Reggie Johnson (when healthy)

Important departures:

Coach Frank Haith: 129-101 overall record, 43-69 ACC record in seven seasons at Miami.
Adrian Thomas: 9.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.8 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 87.2 percent
Rebounding: 89.8 percent

Additions:

Trey McKinney Jones, junior shooting guard transferred from UMKC
Kenny Kadji, sophomore center transferred from Florida

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: vs. Memphis
Toughest conference stretch: Feb. 6-11 (at Duke, vs. Virginia Tech, at Florida State)

Outlook:

Jim Larranaga is in for a rough ride. The University of Miami faces all kinds of uncertainty in the aftermath of the Nevin Shapiro investigation that uncovered dirty recruiting practices that primarily affected the Hurricanes football program but also implicated former coach Frank Haith. That might be more of Missouri’s problem in the long term. But Larranaga could be facing the prospects of leading a team on probation, depending on how everything falls out.

Until then, though, Larranaga has a chance to deliver a special season to Coral Gables. Miami has possibly the best backcourt in the ACC with senior guard Malcolm Grant and junior guard Durand Scott leading the way. Junior Garrius Adams is a talented wing player to help Grant and Scott stretch the court for the Canes’ interior big men: Kenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson. Kadji will need to take the primary lead inside until January while Reggie Johnson recovers from a knee injury sustained during a pickup game. The frontcourt suffered another blow when Julian Gamble tore his ACL in August, and he will likely miss the entire season. With a relatively favorable ACC schedule, the Hurricanes should be in decent position for a run toward the top of the standings by the time Johnson returns to the lineup.

Prediction: Third

Next: North Carolina Tar Heels

Back to ACC preview

College Basketball Tonight

COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, who will be joined by former Manhattan and Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show will air on AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on every Sunday from Selection Sunday to the Final Four. You can listen to the show here.

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2013 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: St. Andrew's
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Sept. 12: Putnam Science Academy
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Sept. 23: New Hampton School
Sept. 24: Brimmer and May
Sept. 25: Proctor Academy
Sept. 26: Notre Dame Prep and Cushing Academy
Sept. 29: Worcester Academy and Vermont Academy
Oct. 6: Charlestown High School and Milton Academy
Oct. 13: Tabor Academy
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