Posted on: June 26, 2010 5:23 pm
 

2010-2011 Big Ten Basketball Preview

This article starts the probably premature preview of the top conferences in America for the next basketball season. While I realize that a lot can happen, the cores of the teams are pretty much set in stone. Here's my Big Ten top five teams.

One of the top conferences from last season looks to keep its competitiveness and great talent throughout.

1. Purdue

Despite the loss of Chris Kramer, the defensive leader, Purdue will return stars Jajuan Johnson, E'tuan Moore and Robbie Hummel back from his injury.

Matt Painter will have his scrappy defense ready to go, and the inside-outside play of Johnson and Hummel looks to be unstoppable.

2. Michigan State

After last year's Final Four run, it seemed Tom Izzo was all but gone and ready to go to Cleveland.

However, he came back.

The Spartans return stars Kalin Lucas, Devin Roe, Draymond Green and Korie Lucious. Having the core of a Final Four team back is always a great sign. Look for Purdue and Michigan State to be in a tight race all season.

3. Ohio State

Despite losing the AP Player Of The Year in Evan Turner, the Buckeyes still return the likes of David Lighty and William Buford.

Ohio State also brings in one of the top recruits and my Big Ten Freshman of the Year prediction in Deshaun Thomas.

While Thomas was in the chase for Indiana High School's scoring record, he came up short because his team failed to go far in the tournament.

However, the addition of Thomas won't exactly be a replacement for Evan Turner.

4. Illinois

Seven footer Mike Tisdale and Demetri McCamey, last season's leading scorer, come into the season with high expectations.

With another consistent scorer and rebounder in Mike Davis, the Illini will look to stay competitive throughout the Big Ten season.

Look for Bruce Webber to try and sneak into the NCAA Tournament after coming up just short last season.

5. Wisconsin

While their style of play might be the most boring to watch in the NCAA, Bo Ryan always finds a way to keep them in contention and I doubt it changes next season.

The Badgers return their leading scorer, Jon Leuer, who shot 52% from the field last season while averaging 15 PPG.

The supporting cast will consist of foward Keaton Nankivil and guard Jordan Taylor.

It's hard to blow out a team like Wisconsin because of their defense and the way they use the shot clock. And, of course, good luck beating them at home.

Origianlly Written By Collin O'Connor on Bleacher Report 

Posted on: June 25, 2010 4:55 pm
 

Why Cousins is the Pearl for the Kings Crown

I know that the guards coming out of John Calipari's system are usually the ones to get, but this year his big man can come in and make a huge impact in Sacramento.

 

After grabbing a guard from Coach Cal in last season's draft, Tyreke Evans, the Kings selected another one from under his wing in DeMarcus Cousins.

 

The 5th overall pick stands at 6'11 and weighed in at 292.

The scouts rave about his excellent skill level. Cousins has the ability to put the ball on the floor and can score at will.

However, the greatest aspect about this pick is the upside for Cousins.

 

While he did seem to be a bit immature last season for Kentucky, that can only get better. Also, wait until he drops a few pounds and gains a bit more muscle.



If he commits to conditioning and working harder, he can only get better.

 

Coming into next season, it's looking great for Kings fans. With last season's Rookie of the Year, Cousins can add a great one-two punch to go with Evans.

 

And, despite winning only 25 games last season, the Kings look to have a bright future with those two leading the way.

 

The Kings also picked up Hassan Whiteside with the 33rd overall selection.

 

Some teams rated Whiteside as the top true center in this year's draft class. His huge wingspan is what allowed him to lead the NCAA in blocks last season.

 

On the contrary, the problem with Whiteside is his strength. The 235 pounder needs to bulk up if he plans to play with NBA centers.

 

However, the future looks to be bright in California's capital. It was a good night for Kings fans.

Posted on: June 19, 2010 1:45 pm
 

Collegiate Hoops: Coaches With Something to Prove

Roy Williams, North Carolina

I get that repeating in college basketball is hard, especially when you lost someone with arguably the best collegiate career of all time.

However, after two straight Final Four appearances, an NIT bid isn't good enough for the fans in North Carolina.

The Tarheels 2009-2010 campaign was one to forget. A 10-6 conference record is the worst since Williams' first year in 2002.

This type of season shouldn't be happening with the amount of talent they have on the roster. The more I look at it, the more confident I become with their ability to bounce back.

 

Tim Floyd, UTEP

After all of the sanctions coming about at USC with O.J. Mayo, Floyd is getting a breath of fresh air coming to Texas El Paso.

While he was successful at USC, hoisting an 85-50 record, USC vacated all of its 2007-2008 wins because of his ineligibility.

UTEP took a huge risk hiring him after the Mayo controversy. This season won't be the telling point, but he does have something to prove the next couple years.

 

Tom Crean, Indiana

After losing every player on the team except Kyle Taber, Indiana head coach, Tom Crean, knew he was in for a tough ride. Former Coach, Kelvin Sampson's actions turned the once proud program into a mediocre one. However, Crean took the job, expecting he can turn this team around.

And now, two years into his tenure, Crean posts a 16-46 record which is the worst record over two years in Indiana University history.

While IU fans are giving him some room, he needs to get them back to the top half of the Big Ten.

Jim Calhoun, UCONN

While he wasn't there for part of the season, an 18-16 record is definitely not good enough for Connecticut.

Also, this offseason he admitted to NCAA violations.

This upcoming season is a big one for the Huskies, as they need to bounce back from last season's mediocre performance

Posted on: June 18, 2010 5:04 pm
 

Is Tom Crean on the hot seat?

After losing every player on the team except Kyle Taber, Indiana head coach, Tom Crean, knew he was in for a tough ride. Former Coach, Kelvin Sampson's actions turned the once proud program into a mediocrity. However, Crean took the job, well expecting to turn this team around.

And now, two years into his tenure, Crean posts a 16-46 record which is the worst record over two years in Indiana University history.

The question is: how long does IU give him?

Crean came into Bloomington known as a very strong recruiter and can excel in public relations. However, his top recruiting class in the 2009-2010 season only improved the win total by 4. Is that really what IU wants right now?

With Brad Stevens excelling over at Hinkle, and former player, Steve Alford doing a great job at New Mexico, one can't help but starting to think that they could be potential replacements.

It all depends on what IU wants to do.

Stevens has shown that recruiting in Indiana can be very successful. Eleven of Butler's players in their Final Four run came from the basketball town, including stars Gordon Hayward and Matt Howard.

On the other hand, Alford, who was allegedly a candidate for the coaching job in their previous search set the New Mexico record for most wins in the first three years at the head position. He also would be a very charasmatic recruiter, and could have an edge being a beloved alumni from Indiana University.

Only time will tell if Coach Crean can return the Hoosiers back to their glory days. However, fans in Bloomington are getting a little antsy and want to start winning. Whether it will be him, Alford, Stevens, or someone else turning this program around, the fans just want it to be done.
Posted on: June 17, 2010 8:09 pm
 

Why Purdue is next season's team to beat

Despite going down much earlier than expected last season in a 70 to 57 loss to the Blue Devils of Duke, the Boilers are ready to make a run at next season's Big Ten Title.

Heading into the Big Ten tournament last year, it looked as if Purdue was the team to beat until star player Robbie Hummel went down. He is and always has been their catalyst so, of course, it pretty much deflated all the hopes of making a tournament run.

However, the Boilers are back with the main core of their team from last year's successful regular season. They return Moore and Johnson after declaring from the draft and backing out, and Hummel is, obviously, coming back from the injury. Also, look for incoming Sophmore John Hart and D.J. Byrd to have an impact on the upcoming season.

The one arguement, though, could be the loss of four time Big Ten All-Defensive Team player, Chris Kramer.

One of the aspects that the team from Lafeyette seemed to play at an elite level was their defense, and the defense leading to offense and easy baskets. While Kramer may be gone, a huge part of that ball hawking defense, they'll still continue to play defense with tenacity and grit.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 16, 2010 7:54 pm
 

Why It's The World's Sport

For me, I hate when people diss soccer. What if people in Mexico dissed basketball? You'd stand up for it, right? Especially me, because I live in Indiana. I mean, just because I don't like a certain sport doesn't mean I'm going to sit here and dog it all day because I have nothing better to do.

Sure, soccer gan get it boring. Do I personally think it is? Sometimes, yeah. But isn't basketball, well bad example, but football and baseball can get boring, too.

While I do agree that some changes could be made to improve the sport, it is what it is. If you want more scoring, watch high school soccer, little leagues. I don't know. But don't dog the sport that the world loves just be you don't like it.

There's three things that a great sport needs to be successful.

1) The abillity to use your athleticism in a very competitive way.

2) A chance for rivalries, clutch moments, where stars shine.

3) And the support, not only money, hype, and fans showing up. But people loving the game.

The world gives this sport all three. The U.S. seems to only give it the first two.
Category: Soccer
Tags: MLS, Soccer, World Cup
 
Posted on: June 13, 2010 11:05 am
 

Are we back to the old Redlegs?



I can't get this out of my head. Ever since I was little, I've been a Reds fan. And ever since I was little, they sucked. So, why's this year different. I know, the pitching's better, we're hitting more average with some power, rather than all power and no average, but we have the worst manager, and one of the youngest teams in baseball.

I'll admit, every season, I'll tell my brother that the Reds are winning the division. (He's a Cubs fan, we're from Indiana so our baseball fanhood is a little messed up.) But, did I really think it was going to happen? No. Did I think we have a chance? Not really, well to win the division. I know there's a possibility to get into the playoffs, but I never thought it would be Cincinnati and the St. Louis Cardinals going back and forth all season with Chicago in the back.

My question for you is, will the pitching hold up? What will happen when we do run into some injuries? I guess what I'm trying to say is: I'm excited, but will this last?
Posted on: June 10, 2010 8:59 am
 

Why the Super Conferences are a good thing

It's sort of like when the NCAA Men's tournament expanded from 32 to 64 teams. Sure, not a lot of people liked it, but it's still the best tournament in college sports, if not all sports. To me, the super conferences for college football will be just as exciting.

So hypothetically, let's think that there's 6 conferences. Every fan of collegiate football has always wanted to see a playoff. If the top two teams come from each conference, say the winner of each the two divisions in each conference makes the playoffs, we have a 12 team like the NFL. The BCS could still come in and see the top two teams from each coast. (The East and the West will be the two sides of the bracket with three conferences on each side.) And they each get byes. Leaving us with a playoff just like the NFL.

Now, I'm not saying that this is going to happen, but it isn't such a farfetched idea if the super conferences do come to alignment. And I think it would make for a great college football season and post season.
Category: NCAAF
 
 
 
 
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