View Full Version : My annual basketball preview

07-16-2008, 07:23 PM
I did this in a real hurry. I'd appreciate all of the constructive criticism as possible so I can make the neccessary adjustments. This is just my opinion;)

1.North Carolina-Last years Final 4 loss to Kansas was a huge blow to all the Blue and White faithful. So you ask, how can a team overcome that? Easy, retain the reigning POY Tyler Hansbrough and keep soon to be Junior phenoms Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, and perhaps the best 6th man in the nation Danny Green. Add in a stacked recruiting class that inlcudes names such as Ed Davis, Tyler Zeller, Larry Drew, and Justin Watts. Even in the competitive ACC it doesn't take a genius to figure out who the team to beat is.

2.Uconn-Forget the first round blunder against San Diego back in March. This team is back and poised to make a run. AJ Price's knee will certainly be in question, but he'll be fine by the time conference season rolls around. He should be 100% before the season begins anyway. Hasheen Thabeet will be a force to be reckonend with down low. His 7-3 frame will root other guys out of the way. Dynamic incoming recruit, PG Kemba Walker will make valuable contributions for this team.

3.Pittsburgh-Can anyone argue that Jamie Dixon hasn't been one of the most surprising coaches over the past couple of seasons. Most expected him to fail after inheriting Pitt from Ben Howland when he went to UCLA. Wrong, all Dixon has done is been keeping Pitt a threat and once again challenging for not only the Big East title, but the NCAA as well.

4.Louisville-Losing David Padgett hurts. Gaining Samardo Samuels and Terrance Jennings doesn't. Add in Terrance Williams, Edgar Sosa, and one of the best coaches around and they're poised for a Final 4 run. Oh, did I mention they have potential POY Earl Clark on their team. Pitino may face his best shot at winning a title during his tenure at Louisville. It'll be interesting to see how things unfold.

5.Notre Dame- Watch out Notre Dame is poised for a run at the title. They retain reigning Big East Player of the Year in Luke Harangody. Kyle McAlarney is one of the nations biggest shooting threats as well. Notre Dame has a great combination of role players. It wouldn't shock me one bit to see the Irish cutting down the nets next April.

6.Purdue- Who would have thought this team would have accomplished anything last season? They were young, very young. Thanks in part to E"Twaun Moore and Robbie Hummel they were able to take the Big Ten by storm. Expect to see Purdue competing with the best of them come conference time. 4 good recruits will only enhance the Boilermakers' chances of accomplishing something special.

7.Duke- Last year was certainly a disappointment for Coach K and the Blue Devils. They were as good as anyone for positions 1-4 but down low they had no one capable of playing at a major conference D-1 caliber. After nearly being the laughing stock of the entire NCAA they escaped what would have been a devastating blow to 15 seed Belmont. Only to lose to West Virginia in the 2nd round. Mason Plumlee should make significant contributions for this Blue Devil team, but someone needs to develop a more serious inside presence in order for the Blue Devils to contend late in the tourney.

8.Michigan State- The last time we saw this MSU team was at the hands of an embarrassing defeat to Memphis during the Sweet 16. They also lose fabulous Point Guard Drew Nietzel. That's the bad news. The good news is that they retain every other significant player including Big 10 player of the year candidate Raymar Morgan and prized recruit Delvon Roe. With the talent that Tom Izzo will bring I would expect nothing less than a serious run at an Elite 8 run.

9.UCLA- How do you follow-up 3 consecutive Final 4 runs and losing core players from your team to the NBA lottery? They lose Westbrook, Love, and Mbah A Moute to the NBA draft, but will retain veteran shooting guard Josh Shipp and all-american point guard Darren Collison. They have an absolute monster recruiting class filled with anything you could ask for. It'll help ease the pain for their losses and make a 4th consecutive final 4 trip a little more realistic for Ben Howland and company.

10.Oklahoma- They lose one of the best names in college basketball(Longar Longar) They get one of the best recruits in all of the land though in Willie Warren. Blake Griffin will return for his Sophomore season and will raise his stock even more to a top 10 pick. Tony Crocker is another double-digit weapon to worry about for this dangerous Sooner squad.

11.Georgetown-Jonathon Wallace and Roy Hibbert were both great contributors who'll be dearly missed by John Thompson and the rest of the Hoya faithful. They'll retain both Jessie Sapp and Dejaun Summers and will get a great replacement for Roy Hibbert, Greg Monroe.

12.Tennessee-Tennessee loses one of the best 3 point shooters in NCAA history (Chris Lofton) and his counterpart (JaJuan Smith). To make matters worse Duke Crews and Ramar Smith, both highly touted recruits from the 06 class both were kicked off. But there is a bright point for the Vols. They'll retain Tyler Smith, a player of the year candidate, and gain there top recruit ever in Scotty Hopson. Redshirt Freshman Cameron Tatum is expected to compete for a starting spot and they add JUCO All-American point guard Bobby Maze who's hopefully overcame his troubles. Once again, the Vols look to win back-to-back SEC Titles.

13.Memphis- Freshman phenom Derrick Rose went first in the draft to the Bulls and Chris Douglas-Roberts has also forgone his college eligibility for a chance at the league. Antonio Anderson and Robert Dozier are the returning starters and a top-notch recruiting class will also find its way into Memphis. Tyreke Evans will shine in Coach Cal's system. How will they respond from last year's title game collapse? I guess we'll just have to wait till the season starts won't we.

14.Gonzaga- The Zaga nation received great fortune when they learned of veteran point guard Jeremy Pargo's decision to stay in school. With him in tow they should dominate the WCC and make some noise in the NCAA Tournament. Along with Pargo they have a stellar recruiting class coming in and core players such as Matt Bouldin, Josh Heytfeldt, and Austin Daye.

15.Kansas-Bill Self finally overcame the hurdle. He was able to take his team to a final 4 and then on to a championship. The people in Kansas will be very excited at how they can defend that title in the upcoming season. They'll need to be patient though. After losing nearly every major contributor from last years squad to the NBA they'll retain Sherron Collins and bring in an absolute stacked recruiting class. They may struggle as the year kicks off, but one thing's for sure. They'll be a tough out and there prospects look even better in 2010.

07-16-2008, 07:24 PM
16.Florida-Gone is Maurice Speights, but they keep everyone back from a young team that contended for a NCAA Tourney berth last seasons. Nick Calethas will headline the attack and Billy Donovan will come through for the Gator fans as they look to return back to their champion form. Look for them to give Tennessee a serious run for an SEC title.

17.Arizona State-Herb Sendek is making NC State pay for terminating him from the ACC. The Pac-10 looks to be the 2nd best conference and Arizona State will look to make a real run in the tourney. James Harden and Jeff Pendograph look to lead the way for the Sun Devils this season.

18.Arizona-Brandon Jennings decision to leave to not attend Arizona and go straight to the professional ranks has Lute Olson changing his philosophy on one-and-done players. Lute missed all of last season, but he has a solid team around him even with the loss of Jennings. The loss of Jerryd Bayless will hurt, but Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger, and Nic Wise will win Arizona a lot of games. Injuries could be a problem because due to Bayless and Jennings not playing they have no depth at the guard position.

19Texas- This is a top 3 team if DJ Augustin would have stayed in school. It was a good decision for him to move on though. They benefit greatly from AJ Abrams decision to stay in Austin for another year. Damion James, Gary Johnson, and Connor Atchley will all have to play significant roles if the Horns want to contend in the Big 12 this season.

20.Villanova-Nova was strong in the tournament last season and they return pretty much everyone. Lead by Scottie Reynolds the Wildcats will be a force to reckon with in the loaded Big East conference. Daunte Cunningham, Corey Stokes, and Corey Fisher will all stride in Jay Wright's system at Villanova.

21.USC-One may ask how in the world to possibly replace OJ Mayo? Enter Demar DeRozen who's expected to pick-up right where OJ left off. Tim Floyd has another great recruiting class on its way out west and once again they'll be in the big dance. Taj Gibson, Dwight Lewis, and Daniel Hackett will all see time in the lineup for the Trojans.

22.Davidson-Who could have envisioned what the Davidson Wildcats could have accomplished last year. They were a 3 pointer away from making a trip to the final 4 and eliminating eventual champ Kansas. Bob McKillop benefits the most from the magic as he's now got an extension through 2016. They lose fabulous point guard Jason Richards but the best shooter in the nation will stay for his Junior year in Stephon Curry. Expect Davidson to contend again this season.

23.UNLV-Lon Kruger has some great talent to work with this season and we all know how he fairs when he has the tools to get a job done. Beas Hamga will be an interesting prospect to see suit up for UNLV. Don't be surprised for this to be the George Mason of the 2008-2009 season.

24.Marquette-Tom Crean is gone to Indiana, but Marquette will have Dominic James, Wesley Matthews, Jerel McNeal, and Lazar Howard to compete in the Big East.

t25.West Virginia-What do you know, another Big East team. Bob Huggins had one of the best coaching performances in the nation last year and upset Duke to make a Sweet 16 run. They'll lose they're all-everything Joe Alexander who exploded at the back half of the season, but Devin Ebanks will be fun to watch with Da'Sean Butler and Alex Ruoff. The Mountaineers will be fun to watch this season.

t25.Wisconsin-Is there a coach that gets as much out of his players as Bo Ryan? Every year he takes average players and wins the Big 10 with them. Watch out for the Badgers to make yet another run this season.

My top 10 recruits for the class of 08

1.Brandon Jennings(Europe)

2.Tyreke Evans

3.Demar DeRozen

4.BJ Mullens

5.Jrue Holiday

6.Greg Monroe

7.Scotty Hopson

8.Samardo Samuels

9.Eliot WIlliams

10.Delvon Roe

My All-American Team 1st Team

G-Darren Collison

G-Stephon Curry

F-Tyler Hansbrough

F-Luke Harangody

C-Hasheem Thabeet

My All-American Team 2nd Team

G-Gerald Henderson

G-Ty Lawson

F-Tyler Smith

F-Earl Clark

C-Blake Griffin

My Honorable Mention

Kyle Singler(Duke) Scottie Reynolds(Villanova) Tyreke Evans(West Virginia) Patrick Patterson(Kentucky) AJ Abrams(Texas) Nick Calethas(Florida) Demarr DeRozen(USC) Wayne Ellington(UNC)

My All-SEC

G-Chris Warren

G-Devan Downey

F-Tyler Smith

F-Patrick Patterson

C-AJ Oglivy

The top 5 conferences

1.Big East(toughest conference ever)



4.Big 12


t5.Big 10