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Weber State Wildcats 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2011 in Conference Notes

Weber State Wildcats (18-14, 11-5)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Damian Lillard
Jr. G/F Scott Bamforth
Sr. F Kyle Bullinger
Sr. F Darin Mahoney
So. C Kyle Tresnak

Important departures:

Lindsey Hughey: 12.4 ppg, 2.5 apg, 5.2 rpg, 1.4 steals per game, 50 3-pointers made per game
Trevor Morris: 9.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1 block per game

Top returnees:

Bullinger: 11.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 54 3-pointers per game
Bamforth: 12.4 ppg, 2.8 apg, 78 3-pointers per game
Mahoney: 5.2 rpg, 1.1 blocks per game, 1.1 steals per game

Additions:

Lillard: Medical redshirt (19.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg)
Frank Otis: transfer from Southern Methodist

Schedule highlights:

Toughest nonconference match up: at Utah State or at California.

Hardest conference stretch: at Northern Colorado and at Montana to end regular season.

Outlook:

Here’s how Weber State didn’t win its third consecutive Big Sky regular-season conference title: Damian Lillard got injured nine games into the season.

Yes, Northern Colorado went on a tear, and Montana played exceptional, but 2010-11 produced Randy Rahe’s second-worst record during his coaching career. Lillard scored nearly 20 points a game in nine straight, and the production, while very good, dropped off when he was out injured. It helped that the scoring was spread among a quartet of players – between 315 and 398 points scored for Morris, Bullinger, Bamforth and Hughey – which will make the team that much stronger this year. But Lillard, the Big Sky MVP in 2009-10 and a two-time first-team all-conference member, is the straw that stirs the drink, the key to the ignition…you get the point. Bamforth and Bullinger are great second and third options, especially when someone drives and kicks it to them beyond the arc — they posted a combined 128 3-pointers last season — and Bullinger and Mahoney provide most of the glasswork.

Prediction: First, 14-2 Big Sky record

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East Carolina Pirates 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

East Carolina Pirates (18-15, 8-8)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Fr. G Paris Roberts-Campbell
Jr. G Corvonn Gaines
Jr. G Erin Straughn
So. F Robert Sampson
Sr. F Darius Morrow

Important departures:

Jontae Sherrod: 15.6 ppg 3.6 rpg

Additions:

Two-star SG Paris Roberts-Campbell

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 39.6 percent
Rebounding: 55 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: vs. UMass Dec. 6
Key conference stretch: at Marshall Feb. 11, at UCF Feb. 18, at Memphis Feb. 22, vs. UAB Feb. 25

Outlook:

East Carolina finished 8-8 in C-USA last season, and much of the Pirates’ talent has left. It’s hard to picture them doing much better than 11th place this season.

Prediction: 11th

Next: Houston Cougars

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Houston Cougars 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

Houston Cougars (12-18, 4-12)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Darian Thibodeaux
So. F Alandais Harris
Jr. F Kirk Van Slyke
So. G Donald Brooks
So. F Rakim Stevenson

Important departures:

Maurice McNeil: 13.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg
Adam Brown: 12.6 ppg, 3 apg, 42.3 percent from 3-point range

Additions:

Four-star PF TaShawn Thomas
Three-star SG Jherrod Stiggers

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 36.3 percent
Rebounding: 44.9 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: at Arkansas Nov. 18
Key conference stretch: vs. Tulsa Jan. 4, at UTEP Jan. 7, at UCF Jan. 11, vs. Memphis Jan. 14

Outlook:

Houston finished a measly 4-12 in C-USA last season. Add to that the facts that they lose several key players and that their star recruits haven’t qualified, and you have the recipe for a last place C-USA team.

Prediction: 12th

Next: Marshall Thundering Herd

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Marshall Thundering Herd 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

Marshall Thundering Herd (22-11, 9-7)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G DeAndre Kane
Sr. G Damier Pitts
Sr. G Shaquille Johnson
Sr. F Dago Pena
Jr. C Nigel Spikes

Important departures:

Tirrell Baines: 12.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg
Johnny Thomas: 9.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg

Additions:

Two-star PF Jamir Hanner
Two-star SG Devince Boykins
Two-star SG Chris Martin

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 63.9 percent
Rebounding: 57.2 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: at Syracuse Dec. 6
Key conference stretch: vs. UAB Jan. 25, at Memphis Jan. 28

Outlook:

Marshall didn’t have the best finish in C-USA last season. The Thundering Herd tied for sixth in conference play. Don’t let that fool you into writing them off this year. Marshall proved to be a difficult opponent for its conference rivals, and, thanks to a trio of talented guards, led by DeAndre Kane, Marshall should easily be the No. 2 team in C-USA.

Prediction: Second

Next: Memphis Tigers

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Memphis Tigers 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

Memphis Tigers (25-9, 10-6)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Joe Jackson
So. G Will Barton
Fr. F Adonis Thomas
Sr. F Wesley Witherspoon
So. F Tarik Black

Important departures:

Will Coleman: 7 ppg, 4.5 rpg

Additions:

Top 10-ranked SF Adonis Thomas
Juco C Stan Simpson

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 88.3 percent
Rebounding: 85.5 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: Michigan, Nov. 21
Key conference stretch: at Marshall Feb. 25, vs. UCF Feb. 28 and at Tulsa March 3

Outlook:

Memphis didn’t quite live up to the hype last season. Early on, the team played disjointed, as should be expected from a freshmen-laden team. During conference play, Memphis proved that it could beat the best teams in C-USA. Unfortunately, they also proved that they could lose to the worst teams in C-USA.

Once the C-USA tournament rolled around, Memphis finally seemed to click. It’s no coincidence that the team looked much better once Joe Jackson started playing under control. Jackson ended up earning the tournament MVP award, and Memphis won the tournament, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. They lost their NCAA tournament game by one point to an Arizona team that made the Elite Eight. Expect Memphis to dominate C-USA this season and put together a deeper run in the Big Dance.

Prediction: First

Next: Rice Owls

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Rice Owls 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

Rice Owls (14-18, 5-11)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Fr. G Dylan Ennis
Jr. G Tamir Jackson
Sr. G Connor Frizzelle
Jr. F Arsalan Kazemi
Sr. F Lucas Kuipers

Important departures:

Cory Pflieger: 4.3ppg, 1.4 apg
Julian Debose: 5.6 ppg, 4 rpg

Additions:

Three-star PG Dylan Ennis
Three-star SG Julian DeBose

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 74.8 percent
Rebounding: 71.1 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: at Texas A&M Dec. 22
Key conference stretch: vs. UAB Jan. 18, vs. Tulsa Jan. 21, at Memphis Jan. 25

Outlook:

Rice returns its most valuable players, including pro-prospect Arsalan Kazemi. This should allow them to finish better than 10th in C-USA, as the Owls did last season, but it’s not enough to get them into the top half.

Prediction: Seventh

Next: Southern Methodist Mustangs

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Southern Methodist Mustangs 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

Southern Methodist Mustangs (17-14, 8-8)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Jeremiah Samarippas
Sr. G Rodney Clinkscales
Fr. G Jalen Jones
Sr. F Robert Nyakundi
Fr. C Cannen Cunningham

Important departures:

Papa Dia: 18.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg
Mike Walker: 6.9 ppg

Additions:

Three-star C Cannen Cunningham
Two-star SF Jalen Jones

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 41.9 percent
Rebounding: 39.4 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: at Ole Miss Jan. 3
Key conference stretch: vs. UAB Feb. 15, vs. Marshall Feb. 18

Outlook:

SMU finished last season 8-8 in conference play. The loss of Papa Dia will make improving on those results next to impossible. To have a successful season, SMU needs big production from its freshmen.

Prediction: Eighth

Next: Southern Miss Golden Eagles

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Southern Miss Golden Eagles 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

Southern Miss Golden Eagles (22-10, 9-7)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Angelo Johnson
Maurice Bolden
Torye Pelham
Josimar Ayarza
Keith DeWitt

Important departures:

Gary Flowers: 18.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 40.7 percent from 3-point range
D.J. Newbill: 9.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Additions:

Three-star PF Keith DeWitt
Two-star C Christian Robbins

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 30.7 percent
Rebounding: 40.8 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: at Ole Miss Dec. 16
Key conference stretch: at Memphis Jan. 11, vs. UAB Jan. 14, vs. Marshall Jan. 21

Outlook:

Southern Miss was the team everyone expected to give Memphis a fight for the conference crown last season. Memphis didn’t live up to the hype, and neither did Southern Miss. They finished fifth in C-USA. Losing Gary Flowers and D.J. Newbill will only make things harder.

Prediction: Ninth

Next: Tulane Green Wave

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Tulane Green Wave 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

Tulane Green Wave (13-17, 3-13)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Jordan Callahan
Sr. G Trent Rogers
Jr. G Kendall Timmons
So. F Kevin Thomas
Jr. G Ben Cherry

Important departures:

Kris Richard: 11.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg
David Booker: 7.5 ppg, 4 rpg

Additions:

Two-star SF Trevante Drye
Two-star PG Ricky Tarrant

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 43.9 percent
Rebounding: 43.5 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: at Syracuse Dec. 22
Key conference stretch: vs. Memphis Feb. 15, at UAB Feb. 18

Outlook:

Tulane finished last in C-USA last season. Luckily for the Green Wave, other conference members will be weaker. We’ll see if they capitalize on the opportunity to move up the standings.

Prediction: 10th

Next: Tulsa Golden Hurricane

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Tulsa Golden Hurricane 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

Tulsa Golden Hurricane (19-13, 11-5)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Scottie Haralson
So. G Jordan Clarkson
Fr. F Rashad Smith
Sr. F Joe Richard
Sr. F Steven Idlet

Important departures:

Justin Hurtt: 20 ppg, 2.4 apg
Bryson Pope: 6.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.3 apg

Additions:

Two-star C David Wishon

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 62.6 percent
Rebounding: 82.6 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: vs. Western Kentucky Nov. 17
Key conference stretch: at UAB Feb. 29, vs. Memphis March 3

Outlook:

Tulsa finished the regular season tied for second place in C-USA with UTEP, just one game behind UAB. Coach Doug Wojick always finds a way to keep Tulsa in the top half of C-USA. It helps to be on the weak side of the conference, but losing Justin Hurtt makes it significantly harder.

Prediction: Fifth

Next: UAB Blazers

Back to Conference USA preview

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