Morning Five: 01.09.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on January 9th, 2013

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  1. That groan you heard yesterday was collective sound released by everybody involved with college basketball as the NCAA released the first version of the RPI for this season. We had several posts on our microsites detailing which teams are probably ranked too high and too low in the RPI and although there is plenty of time for the formula to work itself out (read: match what writers and fans feel is correct) it always has seemed strange that the NCAA has clung to this system as its computer metric to help create the bracket for the NCAA Tournament. As Jeff Eisenberg points out the computers do not necessarily agree on how to rank teams and points out five prominent differences between the RPI and KenPom rankings. In the end we can take solace in one thing–at least it isn’t the BCS.
  2. With what is most likely their toughest in-conference game (a trip to North Carolina State) next Duke may be without the services of Ryan Kelly, who injured his right foot in their win against Clemson last night. According to Andy Katz, the initial x-rays were inconclusive so Kelly and the Blue Devils are awaiting the results of a CT scan today to determine the extent of the injury. As you may remember this is the same foot that Kelly injured at the end of last season that cause him to miss the ACC Tournament and their season-ending upset loss in the NCAA Tournament to Lehigh. We never bought into the idea that Kelly was Duke’s best player, but he may be their most versatile player and for a team that is not particularly deep that could be a much more significant loss than you would otherwise expect.
  3. Starting conference play with one of your best players sidelined by injury is never a good thing as Louisville will have to do as Chane Behanan is expected to be out for a little over a week after spraining his ankle in practice on Monday. Fortunately for the Cardinals their next two opponents are Seton Hall and USF so they should not need Behanan’s services to get by those teams. Things get a little trickier after that as they travel to Connecticut on January 14, which would be the early estimate for when Behanan can return, before a showdown at home against Syracuse on January 19. Behanan is expected to be back by the time they play the Orange, but it is unclear if he will be back to 100% or if he will be tentative pushing off his injured ankle when he comes back.
  4. After missing last season with an ACL tear in his left knee, Laurence Bowers had returned to put up career high averages in points and rebounds, but his comeback appears to have been put on hold as Bowers injured his right leg and while the severity of the injury is unknown initial reports indicate that it may be a sprained medial collateral ligament pending a MRI today. If that is the case, Bowers could miss a significant amount of time although any speculation on the duration would be premature. Fortunately for Bowers and the Tigers they do get a little bit of a break in their schedule until their showdown with Florida in Gainesville on January 19. While all three of these injuries are unfortunate it would be particularly difficult for Bowers to essentially miss most of two seasons with unrelated injuries.
  5. Now that college football season is finally over we can forget about the mock BCS standings and instead focus on various bracket projections including two of the most prominent, which come from Andy Glockner and Joe Lunardi, who both released their latest iterations yesterday. While Lunardi does not offer online explanation of his bracket, Glockner provides his analysis by conference, which we assume will not be enough to appease the legions of fans wronged by his mock bracket. We won’t get into the details of the seeding and potential match-ups at this point other than to say that the competition to get into the Indianapolis region will be extremely competitive. We will point out that it is interesting how few “locks” there are at this point and it could lead to some very interesting mid-major tournaments as teams battle for at-large bids.
nvr1983 (1290 Posts)


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