That’s Debatable: New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by rtmsf on January 5th, 2010

Each week RTC will posit a That’s Debatable question or topic that is relevant to the world of college basketball.  Sometimes whimsical, sometimes serious, we’ll post the thoughts from our core editing crew (in 200 words or less), but we’ll also be expanding to include our contributors and correspondents as appropriate throughout the season.  We also invite you, the readers, to join us as we mull over some of the questions facing the game today.  Feel free to send us your takes and/or leave them in the comments below.

This Week’s Topic: If you haven’t noticed, it’s 2010.  What New Year’s Resolution would you offer to someone associated with college basketball this year?

Zach Hayes – editor/contributor, RTC

Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins should make it his New Year’s Resolution to cool his jets during games. Whether it’s pouting on the bench, complaining about a whistle or letting his emotions nearly cause a riot one minute into a rivalry game, Cousins can prove a detriment to his team’s ultimate goal if he continues to let his bipolar attitude impact his play. We know that Cousins is a damn good player, a double-double machine that complements teammate Patrick Patterson down low and who put up an 18/18 against Louisville this past Saturday. Unfortunately, he should have been tossed before compiling those numbers when his forearm shiver caught Louisville’s Jared Swopshire in a bout of frustration going for a loose ball. More than once coach John Calipari has had to babysit the unstable Cousins rather than focus on coaching. If the emotional freshman can channel his intensity flying for rebounds and finishing with authority rather than throwing elbows, Kentucky could be on their way to the ultimate prize.

John Stevens – editor/contributor, RTC

My resolution is for John Calipari, and that’s for him to promise never to say that this Kentucky team is “lucky to be 15-0,” and that they “really should be 9-6,” like he was quoted as saying yesterday.  He’s made statements similar to that one a couple of times earlier this year, too.  That’s a pretty playful little move.  I don’t think it’s true, and I don’t think Coach Calipari thinks it’s true.  There’s no need for this self-abnegation.  Yeah, he’s got to keep his team humble and in check, but with the talent he has on that team (and some of the opponents they’ve faced at home), I don’t think anyone thinks the 15-0 is a matter of luck.  And let’s be honest, it might not get this good again.  In addition to losing seniors Perry Stevenson and Ramon Harris, in all likelihood, Kentucky will lose Patrick Patterson, DeMarcus Cousins, and John Wall next year.  They’ll still be fine next year, especially if Calipari goes out and recruits like he usually recruits.  So, Coach, we all understand that you have to stay hungry and humble and get your team to think as such, but you don’t have to tell us that it’s luck that you’re not 9-6.  Lehigh is 9-6.  You’re not Lehigh.  And by all means… enjoy it while it’s here!

rtmsf – editor/contributor, RTC

I’m going to offer a resolution to everyone’s favorite awshucks-ter, Roy Williams.  It’s nothing new, but the down-homey thing is really starting to grate on people me. We all know that you’re a super-competitive and fiery coach who wants nothing more than to stick it to Coach K, Chicken Wing Gary, the KU fans who still harp on you leaving seven years later, World Wide Wes, the old bag who cut you off on the way to practice, etc.  There’s nothing wrong with it.  Drop a few more F-bombs during games and throw a few more loudmouth fans out of the building.  Embrace who you are.  Let.  It.  Out.  The stress of keeping all that hostility inside of you can’t be good for the soul, and who knows, it might even make you more human (and therefore, likable).  We can’t imagine you’d win any  more games than you already do now, but what fun is winning it all every five years if you can’t cock around like a cross between Tiger at the Encore XS and Don Draper’s liver?

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That’s Debatable: Revisiting the Butler-Xavier Fiasco

Posted by rtmsf on December 23rd, 2009

Each week RTC will posit a That’s Debatable question or topic that is relevant to the world of college basketball.  Sometimes whimsical, sometimes serious, we’ll post the thoughts from our core editing crew (in 200 words or less), but we’ll also be expanding to include our contributors and correspondents as appropriate throughout the season.  We also invite you, the readers, to join us as we mull over some of the questions facing the game today.  Feel free to send us your takes and/or leave them in the comments below.

This Week’s Topic: What do you think about the whole Butler vs. Xavier fiasco at the end of their game over the weekend?

Crawford Wasn't Happy About the Decision to End the Game

Crawford Wasn't Happy About the Decision to End the Game

zach hayes – editor/contributor, RTC

When the crazy ending occurred and throughout the interminable review by the officials, I was convinced there was no way the officials could end the game without giving Xavier at least a chance for a miracle shot. For the officials to determine that a certain amount of time came off the clock with a stopwatch and end the game based on that ruling seems like a total reach. But taking a step back and reviewing the rule and the play, the officials did properly end the game. It was simply bad luck on Xavier’s part because if Hayward had released the ball just a split second longer, the Musketeers would have benefited from the rule and a riot may have ensued at Hinkle. It’s unfortunate to end such a dramatic and important game on a controversial ending directly involving the officials, but given the wild circumstances, the referees handled it properly.

john stevens - editor/contributor, RTC

The way I see it, the referees did what they could in that last bit where they got out the stopwatch and tried to figure out how much, if any, time should be remaining.  If the rule book allows them to do that, I realize it’s not a perfect solution but it’s the best way to correct that kind of error.  If they figure that there would have been a negative time balance left had there been “proper” timekeeping, then that’s just how it is.  I wonder, though, how much time is lost in the use of a stopwatch?  An official would have to have perfect reflexes to use a stopwatch and accurately determine how long such a stoppage lasted.  Even if there’s just .01-.02 seconds lost, any team would want any fraction of a second they could get.  Even if Xavier had been awarded the entire final 1.2 seconds to get off a shot, we’re talking about a last-second heave.  But they deserve the chance.  There are ways to prevent this problem in the future, but in this case I think the zebras got it…well, as right as they could get it.

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That’s Debatable: Where Does Uber-Frosh John Wall Rank?

Posted by rtmsf on December 15th, 2009

debatable

Each week RTC will posit a That’s Debatable question or topic that is relevant to the world of college basketball.  Sometimes whimsical, sometimes serious, we’ll post the thoughts from our core editing crew (in 200 words or less), but we’ll also be expanding to include our contributors and correspondents as appropriate throughout the season.  We also invite you, the readers, to join us as we mull over some of the questions facing the game today.  Feel free to send us your takes and/or leave them in the comments below.

This Week’s Topic: Kentucky’s John Wall has burst upon the scene as not only one of the best freshmen in America this season, but possibly one of the best we’ve seen around these parts in quite some time.  How good is he relative to some of the other great freshmen of recent vintage?  He’s the best freshman since whom and why?

 

Wall's World: We're Just Living In It (AP/Ed Reinke)

Wall's World: We're Just Living In It (AP/Ed Reinke)

 zach hayes – editor/contributor, RTC

Kevin Durant. I know I’m not exactly digging into the history books with this one, but Durant was a totally dominant scorer in his only year in Austin, as well as one of those players you absolutely cannot miss if he’s on TV that night. His final numbers in 2006-07 were incredible: 25.8 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 47% FG, 82% FT, 40% 3pt. Rarely in college basketball do you see a player surpass the 45%/80%/40% trifecta. Durant completed the task in his freshman season. The only argument against Durant is that his Longhorns flamed out early in March; I’d blame that falter on a weak/young supporting cast that relied on Durant to completely carry that team. Plug Durant on John Wall’s Wildcats and the national championship trophy would be a lock to return to Lexington.

nvr1983 – editor/contributor, RTC

Is this a joke? Am I the only college basketball fan who isn’t fully aboard the John Wall bandwagon? I know he exceptionally talented, but he is still very rough around the edges. For every jaw-dropping play he makes (and there have been several) there are a half dozen turnovers. This isn’t exactly shocking since Wall has only played nine games, but for some reason everybody is willing to overlook his carelessness because of his ridiculous athleticism and his penchant for hitting big shots. I get the infatuation with his potential, but before I anoint him “The Next Big Thing” I want to see him dominate. I am talking a 37/23 like Durant put up against Texas Tech (in regulation!) back when Bob Knight was still roaming the sideline in Lubbock. Wall gives us glimpses of his ability to dominate, but he hasn’t put it together for a long enough stretch to have me put him at that level yet. Wall may never put up similar numbers because of the DDM and the fact that Wall has more talented players around him than Durant did, but I’m going to wait for a little more consistency out of Wall before I even consider him in the discussion of the all-time freshmen.

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That’s Debatable: How Will OSU Do Without Evan Turner?

Posted by rtmsf on December 8th, 2009

debatable

Each week RTC will posit a That’s Debatable question or topic that is relevant to the world of college basketball.  Sometimes whimsical, sometimes serious, we’ll post the thoughts from our core editing crew (in 200 words or less), but we’ll also be expanding to include our contributors and correspondents as appropriate throughout the season.  We also invite you, the readers, to join us as we mull over some of the questions facing the game today.  Feel free to send us your takes and/or leave them in the comments below.

This Week’s Topic: How do you expect Ohio State to handle the loss of NPOY candidate Evan Turner for up to two months after his back injury over the weekend?

zach hayes – editor/contributor, RTC

I expect Ohio State to have an incredibly difficult time recovering from this devastating injury. No player meant more to his team than Evan Turner. Now Thad Matta is left with P.J. Hill and Jerimie Simmons at the point guard position for two months. Not only that, but Turner was the Buckeyes’ best passer and their most reliable rebounder. Turner will likely miss six crucial games – at Butler, at West Virginia in the non-conference and four Big Ten road games in 21 days against tournament teams in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Purdue. Without Turner, the Buckeyes will probably be decided underdogs in all six of these games which could have garnered quality wins on their resume. Unless Jon Diebler and William Buford get extremely hot from outside, Ohio State could be trending more towards the bubble than the top-15 the rest of the way.

john stevens – editor/contributor, RTC

I’m not sounding the death knell on Ohio State just yet.  Obviously they’re better with Evan Turner, but this is where that whole Thad Matta recruiting prowess comes into play.  This is a deep team of talented players, illustrated by the fact that they have ten guys who average over ten minutes a game.  They know the value of shot selection, as they’re currently second in the nation in FG%.  Jon Diebler has played excellent basketball so far, and now guys like William Buford, Jeremie Simmons, and Dallas Lauderdale will have to play a few more minutes and hit a couple more shots.  But I’m putting the spotlight squarely on David Lighty.  When he went down last year, it really hurt this team, but they carried on.  This is his chance to pay them back.  Diebler and Lighty are still a tough duo and, assuming Turner doesn’t come back early, only have to get to early February without him.  Then, Turner will return to a squad of more empowered players.  Certainly they’d love to have him now, but if Matta convinces his team to use the Turner injury as a rallying point, they could be even tougher come March.

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That’s Debatable: What We’ve Learned…

Posted by rtmsf on December 1st, 2009

debatable

Each week RTC will posit a That’s Debatable question or topic that is relevant to the world of college basketball.  Sometimes whimsical, sometimes serious, we’ll post the thoughts from our core editing crew (in 200 words or less), but we’ll also be expanding to include our contributors and correspondents as appropriate throughout the season.  We also invite you, the readers, to join us as we mull over some of the questions facing the game today.  Feel free to send us your takes and/or leave them in the comments below.

This Week’s Topic: Now that we’re through the majority of the early-season tournaments and the calendar has turned to December, what have you learned from the first several weeks of the season?

zach hayes – editor/contributor, RTC

I’ve learned that the Big Ten may be actually be overrated for once. Purdue picked up a quality win against Tennessee and Michigan State survived Gonzaga at home, but it was a very rough week overall for the conference. Michigan barely beat a Creighton team that ended up losing to Iona and finish in 8th place at the Old Spice Classic, then were crushed by Marquette and fell to Alabama. Illinois saw their freshmen guard duo take some serious lumps in stunning defeats to a down Utah team and Bradley. Minnesota fell to both Texas A&M and Portland in Anaheim. Northwestern’s stock dropped with Kevin Coble’s season-ending injury and their two wins this weekend over two likely-NIT teams in Notre Dame and Iowa State in Chicago aren’t that impressive. Penn State fell to UNC-Wilmington and Tulane in Charleston two weeks ago when Ohio State got demolished by a flawed North Carolina squad. The prevailing thought around college basketball is that the Big Ten can’t play up to the level of other conferences like the ACC, Big East and Big 12. While this year was supposed to change that notion, it has, frankly, only done the opposite for the conference as a whole. Winning the ACC/Big Ten Challenge for the first time would certainly change some people’s minds, including myself.

john stevens – editor/contributor, RTC

I’ve learned that, as of right now, the last ten teams listed in any Top 25 you can find are an absolute crap shoot.  If you examine the few polls we’ve had this season, you’ll see that pretty much everyone agrees on the first 15 teams, and after that… we don’t know.  It’s chaos.  I can’t remember a season where we’ve seen such craziness in the bottom half of the polls.  This week’s AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls are great examples.  In the AP, six of the bottom 11 teams are different from the previous week, five in the ESPN/USA Today.  California sits at #25 in the ESPN poll, #37 in the AP.  Four of the new teams in the AP poll LOST last week but still got in (two in the Coaches’), while unbeaten Oklahoma State sits at #26 in both.  This is all something to celebrate rather than lament, as it just means that there are more really good teams out there than a Top 25 poll can accommodate.  I’ll gladly buy any stock in Siena, Dayton, and Mississippi State if anybody’s selling, and you can come see me again in March.

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That’s Debatable: Coaches Giving Thanks

Posted by rtmsf on November 24th, 2009

debatable

Each week RTC will posit a That’s Debatable question or topic that is relevant to the world of college basketball.  Sometimes whimsical, sometimes serious, we’ll post the thoughts of our core editing crew (in 200 words or less), but we’ll also be expanding to include our contributors and correspondents as appropriate throughout the season.  We also invite you, the readers, to join us as we mull over some of the questions facing the game today.  Feel free to send us your takes and/or leave them in the comments below.

This Week’s Topic: Thanksgiving week is upon us, and families everywhere around the country will come together to give thanks for the numerous people and things important to them.  What will some of the nation’s top college basketball coaches give thanks for during this week of reflection and thought?

nvr1983 – editor/contributor, RTC

One of the people who should be thankful this Thanksgiving is Thad Matta. When last season ended two of his players were contemplating leaving school early to go to the NBA: B.J. Mullens and Evan Turner. While Mullens was the more highly rated recruit, he hadn’t quite lived up to those expectations. Although Turner was no slouch in high school (he was a 4-star recruit), he didn’t come to Columbus with the same expectations. By the end of last season, both players we predicted to be mid- to late-first round picks. As you all know Mullens decided to leave school early and ended up being selected #24 overall by the Mavericks before being traded to the Thunder where he is averaging 3 PPG and 1 RPG in 15.8 MPG. Turner decided to stay in Columbus for at least one more season and is the early favorite for National Player of the Year after starting the season averaging 21.8 PPG (on 59% FG), 14.8 RPG, 6 APG, and 1.8 SPG for the Buckeyes. If Mullens had stayed and Turner had left OSU wouldn’t be a top 25 team, but because the roles were reversed they could be a top 10 team.

rtmsf – editor/contributor, RTC

While many coaches across the land will give thanks this week for a top recruit or a big win or still having a paying job, BYU coach Dave Rose will be thankful that he’s still around to coach his team.  You see, on June 17 of last summer, Rose was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and as far as pancreatic cancers go, his wasn’t the worst kind, but seeing those two words together (“pancreatic” and “cancer”) is never a good thing.  He had emergency surgery the very next day to remove part of his spleen and pancreas, and after a quick recovery, he now sits as the head coach of a strong 3-0 team with aspirations to win the Mountain West and make some noise in this year’s NCAA Tournament.  Oh, and did I mention that all tests show that he is completely cancer-free?  BYU feels so highly about Rose that the school gave him a 5-year extension through the 2014 season, showing their faith in both his coaching acumen as well as his health.  There’s no greater gift than the one of life, and Rose is undoubtedly living each day as if it were his last — now that’s something to be thankful for!

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That’s Debatable: Whither the 1-and-Done Rule?

Posted by rtmsf on November 17th, 2009

debatable

Recently Buzz Bissinger wrote an op-ed in the NYT about the 1-and-Done Rule in college basketball.  He feels that he has been duped by David Stern and the NBA for selling him on warm and fuzzies like player maturity and higher education when, in reality, the NBA just wanted the free marketing and player development that college hoops provides.  John Gasaway at Basketball Prospectus responded to his piece by saying that the NBA age-limit rule was always about the gift-wrapped marketing of college stars like Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose for the NBA, and that’s all it was ever about.  Well, duh, but it brings us to this week’s topic, as the debate rages on among the hoops cognoscenti.   

This week’s topic: What should be done, if anything, about the 1-and-Done Rule?

come on guys

nvr1983 – editor/contributor, RTC.

I am torn on this issue. As much as I love seeing the 1-and-Dones in a college uniform, I do miss the continuity of college basketball from the early 1990s. It used to be fun to watch players develop from talented but inconsistent freshmen into steady seniors. Players always left early, but it was usually after their junior year and even then it was typically only great NBA prospects, not borderline NBA guys who are hoping they can dupe some NBA team into giving them a $2-3 million contract, which based on what I’ve seen from NBA players in the news lately should last them all of a year.  From a political and legal perspective I think the rule is a travesty as there is not a good reason for a player to have to spend one year in college particularly at an age that they can vote (sometimes making horrible decisions) and go to war (and potentially die). Still it is the NBA’s product so they can decide what to do, but I think they should either go all-in (4 years of college) or have a laissez-faire approach (let the NBA teams decide who they want).

john stevens – editor/contributor, RTC.

The statistics in the Bissinger piece show that the One Year Rule that keeps high school prep stars from directly entering the NBA draft has had no real positive effects for the kids themselves, but it does help the colleges (a year of service by star players) and the NBA (a year of free marketing of these possible eventual stars).  If we really want to make rules in the kids’ best interests, I think you have to either: 1) let them play straight out of high school if they want to take that risk, or 2) if they enroll in college, have them stay a minimum of three years.  Staying three years will help develop “mid-level” players that need the time in college to improve, and it will result in more college degrees for these kids, since some players do fulfill all the requirements for graduation within three years.  If unfinished, players who complete the three years would then find it easier to finish degrees after or even during their professional careers, or realize how much they love the college experience and stay for the fourth year in order to win a title, finish a degree, or both.

zach hayes – editor/contributor, RTC.

For the college game? It’s tremendous. For the kids involved? I’d be more than a little bit ticked off if I were in their shoes. But since I’m not, and a college basketball fan through and through, I love the rule where every high school player must spend a year in the college ranks. Why wouldn’t I? We never would have been able to see Kevin Durant work his magic at Texas, or Michael Beasley shatter Kansas State and Big 12 records, or Kevin Love lead UCLA to another Final Four. What fan of our game isn’t excited to see John Wall or Derrick Favors toe the hardwood this season in the intense atmosphere of college basketball? While I truly feel that high school prospects should be able to enter the NBA Draft without going to school (it’s fair, admit it), let’s just say I’m not complaining. The college game thrives when the ultra-hyped high school seniors shine on the collegiate stage, even for one year. And any rule that helps college basketball I’m all in for. The riches of the NBA can wait.

rtmsf – editor/contributor, RTC.

After KG opened the preps-to-pros floodgates in 1995, every borderline prospect with a broken jumper and a lack of sense of the incredible skill level required for the NBA were coming out.  But even beyond the HS stars, it began infecting the college game to the point where bench players on not very good teams thought they too were ready for the L.  A free market dictates that a person has a right-to-work, but the NBA has never been a truly free market (otherwise, teams could simply sign players at any time without regard to age, salary cap or the equitable distribution of talent known as the draft).  The NBA sets the rules for its employees, and David Stern has decided he’d rather have marketable stars who are further along the development curve than the raw products they were once getting.  I can buy and support that line of thinking, but it also needs to go one step further.  The rule needs to expand to two years (age 20).  The way it’s currently set up is just too disruptive for the schools involved with these players, and the development between Y1 and Y2 of college is often substantial (Blake Griffin,anyone?).

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That’s Debatable: What Excites Us About the 2009-10 Season

Posted by rtmsf on November 8th, 2009

debatable

That’s Debatable is a new feature that we’re rolling out this season.  Each week we plan on pulling out a theme or topic relevant to the 2009-10 season.  Some weeks it might be embarrassingly whimsical and other weeks serious and muted.  It totally depends on what the relevant news and issues are that surround the game each week.  Our editors and primary writers will contribute most weeks, but often we’ll ask other friends, writers and correspondents to send us something if they’re particularly well-suited for that week’s topic.  To make it palatable, each writer’s argument will be limited to 200 words: brevity will be just as important as the points being made.  We hope to have fun with it and encourage you to join us in the comments.

This week’s topic: What Excites You About the 2009-10 Season?

zach hayes – editor/contributor, RTC.

I’m most looking forward to the return of the great rivalries that college basketball provides. Whether it’s the powder blue of the Tar Heels marching onto the Cameron Indoor floor, the Georgetown grays battling down low with the orange of Syracuse, or the Jayhawks walking into the pandemonium of Manhattan, Kansas, I cannot wait for these rivalry flames to be sparked yet again. It’s not just the major conferences that provide hatred and bitterness: what about Xavier and Dayton doing battle for the A-10 title this year, Northern Iowa and Creighton as MVC foes atop the standings or Nevada and Utah State out west? Think about the individual rivalries that could bloom this season: Luke Harangody banging with Samardo Samuels inside, Edgar Sosa trying to contain John Wall and Robbie Hummel looking to stay with Evan Turner in the midwest. Even the coaching rivalries will spark up: John Calipari vs. Bruce Pearl, John Calipari vs. Rick Pitino, John Calipari vs. Jim Calhoun… you get the picture. What makes college basketball so fun is the intensity and passion. Nothing exemplifies those two qualities more than these historic rivalries.

rtmsf – editor/contributor, RTC.

And so it begins.  Within a matter of a few hours we’ll hear the first squeaks of rubber against hardwood, we’ll smell the popcorn wafting through the air, and we’ll feel the all-t0o-familiar mixed pangs of pride, sentimentality and adrenaline as we get to know these institutions all over again.  For people like us, today is Christmas without the tree or Easter without the Bunny.  But the presents are better.  Instead of an ugly tie and processed marshmallow candy we don’t need, the presents are getting to know the next-gen players like John Wall, Derrick Favors and Lance Stephenson.  It’s wondering which teams will come out of literally nowhere like Washington State in 2007, Drake in 2008 or Missouri in 2009.  It’s breaking down schedules and trying to figure out creative ways to match family vacations with top ten matchups.  It’s dreaming of 6 OTs and upset Saturdays and a 24-hour orgy of televised hoops.  This season, as every season, the cellophane-wrapped newness excites us with its pristine, shiny facade.  Anything is possible.  Everything is possible.  What excites us about the 2009-10 season?  Its existence.  Let’s tip it off and watch the beauty unfold, shall we?

john stevens – editor/contributor, RTC.

“Preseason” tournaments.  Big Monday.  Conference challenges.  Bill Raftery referencing lingerie.  Philadelphia’s Big 5.  The joy of Gus Johnson.  The late-night west coast game (in the East).  Mid-majors.  Kalin Lucas.  Buzzer-beaters.  Championship Week.  Verne Lundquist and Len Elmore.  The sounds of rubber on hardwood and leather through string.  Majors.  A screaming Gary Williams.  The concurrent holiday season.  Dick Vitale.  The love/hate of Duke.  The (presumed) resurrection of Kentucky.  The defending-champ entitlement of Carolina.  The hope of Purdue, Texas, ButlerLuke Harangody.  The perseverance of Miss Andrews.  Low-majors.  Rihards Kuksiks‘ shooting form.  Conference play.  Kyle Whelliston’s Mid-Majority (and Bally).  Dance teams.  Gordon Hayward.  Road trips to games.  Student sections.  The early-season importance of Dayton-Creighton.  The enormity of Duke-UNC.  The new Spring.  Bubbles.  Selection Sunday.  Burst bubbles.  The first two rounds.  The Four.  Monday night.

This is about one hundredth of what I could write.  I’m excited about this season in the same way that I get excited in those minutes waiting in an airport before a relative or a good friend steps off the plane.  It’s the return of something I love, and because it’s been gone for so long.

nvr1983, editor/contributor, RTC.

Two things stick out for me: Kentucky’s freshman class and the potential emergence of a mid-major as a threat in March/April.

  • Kentucky’s freshmen have been one of the major stories of the offseason after Kentucky fired Billy Gillispie and hired John Calipari who had put together one of the top recruiting classes since Michigan’s famed Fab 5. Although Calipari lost Xavier Henry to Kansas when he moved to Kentucky, his incoming class with Patrick Patterson might be enough to get him a chance to face Henry in April.
  • While college basketball has a tournament that college football fans can only dream about that gives the little guy a chance it seems like the talk of the rise of the mid-major has been premature. In the past five years only one mid-major (outside of Memphis) that was feared coming into March has advanced to the Elite 8 (#3 seed Xavier in 2008). While Gonzaga (all hype in March since Casey Cavalry’s sophomore season) and George Mason (one fluky run) are nice I am looking for something more substantial. Right now the top candidates are Butler, Dayton and Siena. I’ll be watching to see if someone steps up.
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