Get to the Point: Season Preview Edition

Posted by zhayes9 on November 7th, 2011

Zach Hayes and Brian Otskey are both RTC contributors and will converse on various pressing issues around college basketball all season long. Follow them on Twitter at @zhayes9 and @botskey.

Zach: The interminable college basketball offseason is on the brink of conclusion. I don’t know about you Brian, but when 7 PM rolls around tonight and St. John’s tips off against William & Mary on ESPNU, my life will become exponentially better.

There’s potential powerhouse teams in Chapel Hill, Lexington, Storrs and Columbus. Numerous lottery picks opted for another year on campus over jumping ship to the pros early. There’s a breadth of developed, refined seniors lining rosters of expected contenders. Until resolved, the NBA lockout will shine a bright spotlight on the college game. The Big East is once again stacked at the top, while wide open races will render the Big 12 and Pac-12 intriguing all season long. Needless to say, this is shaping up to be quite the memorable season.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss North Carolina right off the bat. As soon as Harrison Barnes decided to spurn the NBA, expectations for Carolina vaulted to national championship or bust. Just nine months ago, the unranked Tar Heels lost at Georgia Tech by 20 to fall to 12-5 following a season that ended in the NIT. It’s been a remarkable turnaround in short order. Do you see any future pitfalls for this team? One has to be the lack of a backup point guard in case Kendall Marshall goes down. The other is outside shooting. Carolina made just 33% of their threes last season, but they have plenty of candidates to improve on that mark, from Barnes to a healthy Reggie Bullock to touted freshman P.J. Hairston. The third would be the one-and-done nature of the NCAA Tournament. Anything can happen in one 40-minute contest. Just ask Ohio State, a dominant team across the board a year ago that lost just two games at Purdue and Wisconsin during the regular season, but fell to a peaking Kentucky team in the Sweet Sixteen.

Carolina has to go into 2011-12 considered the best team in the nation, but I picked Kentucky to take home the title in my preseason Bracketology. I didn’t make the pick just because I like being contrarian and rebellious. I made the pick because I firmly believe that John Calipari finally has the ideal mix of experienced returnees and ultra-talented freshman to take the crown. Terrence Jones is bulked up, mature, focused and ready to be a Lamar Odom-type mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses. Doron Lamb shot 48% from three… as a freshman. I love the glue guy skill set that Darius Miller brings, even though the reigning SEC Tournament MVP can be so much more. I know what you’re thinking: freshman point guard. Gerry McNamara says hello. Marquis Teague is the real deal, blessed with a blazing first step and tremendous court vision. He’s also more of an ideal point guard for the dribble-drive motion offense that Calipari prefers than Brandon Knight, who was involved in much more high screening action to utilize his strong outside shot.

Terrence Jones' return is one reason Zach is bullish about Kentucky

Your thoughts on North Carolina and Kentucky? Can anyone seriously defend picking any other team in the nation to hoist the trophy in Indianapolis next April over these two?

Brian: You read my mind. Not only is Kentucky’s point guard a freshman, six of the eight players expected to see major minutes are freshmen or sophomores. You know I’m big on experience and to me that trumps talent in certain (not all) situations. I know many will disagree with that line of thinking. There are exceptions to every rule. Obviously this is a talented team and you’d be nuts not to put them in the preseason top three. However, don’t underestimate the loss of DeAndre Liggins and Josh Harrellson. Liggins was clearly Calipari’s best defender while Harrellson did all the dirty work in the paint. Terrence Jones can’t do all the rebounding by himself so somebody has to contribute in that regard with Harrellson out of the picture. It may not be much of a problem with Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kyle Wiltjer coming in but I think it’s unreasonable to expect freshmen, even as talented as this group is, to consistently put forth that effort. They’ll need some time to adjust to the speed of the college game. Kentucky will go far in the postseason but I will most likely not pick them to win it all. When the pressure cranks up, even the most talented freshmen will get nervous. That’s what I think will hold UK back in the end.

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Get To The Point: SEC Edition

Posted by Brian Otskey on August 15th, 2011

Throughout the summer RTC contributors Zach Hayes and Brian Otskey will discuss the hot topics — or whatever comes to mind — around each major conference in college basketball.  This week, they tackle the SEC.  For the entire summer series focusing on each of the six power conferences, click here.

Brian: While football dominates the conversation when it comes to the SEC, most basketball fans know there is some quality hoops played in this league as well. The 2011-12 version of SEC basketball is no exception as three teams (Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Florida) should be top 25 mainstays while a fourth (Alabama) has the potential to make quite a bit of noise in its own right and crack the rankings. New coaches begin major rebuilding projects at Arkansas and Tennessee while LSU and Auburn should improve from disastrous seasons. There’s a renewed sense of optimism at Mississippi State but Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina have to start over after losing key contributors from last year. The SEC looks to be a very strong league at the top but full of intrigue from #1 to #12.

The Overall Top Four SEC Teams Will Receive SEC Tourney Byes Next Season

Perhaps the biggest news this offseason was the decision to scrap the East/West divisional format and rank the teams 1 through 12. In my opinion, this is the best setup and will result in better balance throughout the conference. However, the SEC athletic directors did not change the scheduling format for this coming year at their spring meetings back in early June. If it were up to me, I would have done away with the divisions and changed the schedule at the same time. What we will have this year is akin to what the Big 12 used for years before losing two of its members. While that isn’t the end of the world, it’s a bigger deal in the SEC. The three strongest teams resided in what was the East division while many of the weaker programs competed in the SEC West. With the scheduling format remaining the same for one more year, Alabama looks to be the biggest beneficiary. The Crimson Tide will play 10 games against Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi and Mississippi State while seeing Florida, Kentucky and Vanderbilt only once. While some of the West schools should be a bit better than they were, none will come close to matching what the top three East clubs bring to the table. Alabama went 12-4 in conference play last year and that would have been good enough for second place in the new setup. Does anyone really think Alabama was the second best team in the conference last season? I have nothing against Alabama but that simply wasn’t the case. I just don’t see why the conference ADs made this knee-jerk decision to dump the divisions without changing the schedule. Waiting one year and working it all out would have been the better approach. The East teams will benefit from playing each other twice (better RPI) but I’d like to see the league go to an 18-game schedule eventually. The rumblings about a true round-robin 22-game slate sound nice, but 22 conference games seems like too much to me. I’d label that as good in theory but unrealistic in a 12-team league.

My pick to win the league is Kentucky. John Calipari brings in his best recruiting class ever with four 5-star players heading to Lexington. With returnees Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Darius Miller and Eloy Vargas on board, UK is primed for a monster season. I expect Marquis Teague to take the reins at the point fairly easily while Anthony Davis and Kyle Wiltjer headline the front court. Kentucky also has the luxury of the versatile Jones who, with added strength and quickness, can expand his game even further. He’s got an incredible shooting touch for a man of his size but I’m more interested to see how much better he gets in the paint with Davis now by his side to relieve some of the pressure. Despite all of this, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist may be Calipari’s best recruit. This kid is the type of player that scouts drool over, able to slash and take it inside or step out and knock down a mid-range shot. He needs to work on his shooting from behind the arc but Kidd-Gilchrist is an incredible athlete who will contribute right away on the defensive end as well as on the glass. Kidd-Gilchrist will bring a strong work ethic and commitment towards getting better to Kentucky and the Wildcats will reap the benefits all season long. I expect Kentucky to be one of the few national championship contenders despite all of their youth.

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Get To The Point: Pac-12 Edition

Posted by zhayes9 on July 22nd, 2011

Throughout the summer RTC contributors Zach Hayes and Brian Otskey will discuss the hot topics — or whatever comes to mind — around each major conference in college basketball.  This week, they tackle the expanded Pac-12.  For the entire summer series focusing on each of the six power conferences, click here

Zach: Let’s face it: it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) conference since the 2008-09 season when players like Darren Collison, James Harden, Jon Brockman, Chase Budinger and Taj Gibson starred, or even dating back to the year prior when a Kevin Love-led UCLA team edged the Lopez twins, upstart Washington State and O.J. Mayo’s USC Trojans for the title and a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Every conference, even powerhouse leagues like the Big East and ACC, will occasionally suffer through dry spells in talent in today’s early entry era, and this league just happened to hit a lull when notable blue-bloods UCLA and Arizona struggled simultaneously. This even led to discussions regarding whether the Pac-12 could realistically be a one or two bid representative. Sure, there was actually some quality basketball played out West, but fans of this conference secretly hoped for a renaissance sooner than later.

Most had their eye on the 2011-12 season for just that moment. The plan was for UCLA to be rebuilt and reloaded, Arizona competing nationally under Sean Miller, Washington’s Isaiah Thomas entering his senior season and proud programs like Stanford and Oregon back on track. Unfortunately, this road to success has hit some potholes. Malcolm Lee and Tyler Honeycutt both decided to remain second round picks rather than continue their UCLA careers. Derrick Williams blossomed from unheralded to underrated to #2 overall pick and understandably bolted from the desert. Klay Thompson saw his stock rise and departed Pullman. In a more controversial move, Stanford’s Jeremy Green did the same. The biggest hit was Isaiah Thomas leaving Washington and ultimately being selected #60 overall. The Pac-12 had a chance to make a significant move up the conference ladder in 2011-12. While improvement is still in the cards, I’m left wondering this summer what could have been.

Miller spurned Maryland to remain in Tucson

The debate this offseason will be whether Arizona or UCLA should begin the year as the favorite to take home the conference crown. Arizona lost Williams and their enigmatic but ultra-talented point guard MoMo Jones to a transfer closer to home, but enter the crown jewel of Sean Miller’s top recruiting class since taking the gig in Josiah Turner. Turner is most comfortable in attack mode, penetrating the defense and utilizing his tremendous court vision to find open teammates. Miller is blessed with plenty of ammo both in the backcourt with Kyle Fogg, Kevin Parrom, Jordin Mayes, Brendon Lavender and four star freshman Nick Johnson joining Turner, as well as in the frontcourt with Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry back in the fold joining two more talented newcomers. The issue for Miller won’t be depth, but rather finding that one impact player that can score 17-18 PPG per night and take/make the big shots when the chips are down. Whether it’s Fogg, Parrom, Hill, Perry or another candidate, one of these former secondary cogs must make a significant leap forward or Arizona will be a collection of enviable talent, but one without the singular on-court leadership of Williams. If Arizona can’t do so, UCLA could very well bring the title back to Westwood because I firmly and confidently believe Josh Smith develops into one of the best big men in the college game next season.

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Get To The Point: Big Ten Edition

Posted by zhayes9 on July 11th, 2011

Throughout the summer RTC contributors Zach Hayes and Brian Otskey will discuss the hot topics — or whatever comes to mind — around each major conference in college basketball.  This week, they tackle the Big Ten.  For the entire summer series focusing on each of the six power conferences, click here

Brian: Lots of folks give the Big Ten grief every year for its slower tempo and meat grinder games. I, for one, love the Big Ten. Fundamentally sound basketball, efficient offense and hard-nosed defense has always appealed to me and all three reside in this conference pretty much every year. The Big Ten (or is it 12?) welcomes a new team this year as the Nebraska Cornhuskers joined this venerable league effective last week. Everyone knows Nebraska joined for football but this addition gives the league an even number of 12 teams and a basketball team that, while it may not do so in the short term, has the potential for some long term success. While I wouldn’t go so far to say Nebraska is the proverbial “sleeping giant,” this is a program with a pretty good coach and a new arena opening up in a couple years. The Cornhuskers have never won a game in the NCAA Tournament but they did manage to get there five times in the 1990′s. If Nebraska can establish its identity early on in its tenure with the Big Ten, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the program have some decent success down the road.

As for the coming season, Ohio State has to be the clear favorite. The Buckeyes return Jared Sullinger, who’s been working on expanding his game (a frightening proposition for opponents), along with William Buford, Aaron Craft, DeShaun Thomas and Jordan Sibert. Thad Matta welcomes yet another strong recruiting class, led by center Amir Williams, forward LaQuinton Ross and guard Shannon Scott, among others, giving the Buckeyes a strong rotation that should result in a solid top ten ranking all year long. Ohio State is in a position where they could run away with the Big Ten regular season title. I could see Michigan and maybe Wisconsin or Purdue making a run at the men from Columbus but I don’t feel there is another team in this league that can hang with Ohio State on a nightly basis.

The big fella is back for the Bucks

Despite losing Darius Morris to the NBA, I still like Michigan to finish near the top of the conference. It’s taken John Beilein some time to build a solid program in Ann Arbor but was there ever any doubt? Not in my mind. The Wolverines have made two of the past three NCAA Tournaments after going 11 years without an invite. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jordan Morgan bring a solid inside-outside threat to the table while the backcourt has depth with Stu Douglass, Zack Novak and Matt Vogrich, a player who should move into a larger role for this team in 2011-12. Michigan’s backcourt will be bolstered further by freshmen Trey Burke and Carlton Brundidge. The latter can be a big time scorer in Ann Arbor down the road but the biggest question for Michigan is replacing Morris at the point. Beilein has a decision between Burke or a few veterans. This choice could very well go a long way towards determining the Wolverines’ fate this season.

Do you see Ohio State running away with the Big Ten or will another team keep pace with them? I like what Michigan, Purdue and Wisconsin have on their rosters this season but I’m not seeing enough talent there to surpass the Buckeyes.

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Get To The Point: Big East Edition

Posted by zhayes9 on July 1st, 2011

Throughout the summer RTC contributors Zach Hayes and Brian Otskey will discuss the hot topics — or whatever comes to mind — around each major conference in college basketball.  This week, they tackle the Big 12.  For the entire summer series focusing on each of the six power conferences, click here

Zach: It’s fair to say the Big East is smack dab in the proverbial wheelhouse for both of us. It’s the conference we’ve watched since our earliest years, the conference with the premiere tournament on the biggest stage, the conference whose history and unforgettable players will be forever etched in our memories. Despite disappointing NCAA Tournament results outside of national champion Connecticut, last season may have been the banner year for Big East hoops, quite the label bestowed on a conference that’s rivaled the ACC and Big 12 since the turn of the century. In all probability, 11 teams would have earned a trip to the Dance even without expansion, and Big East representatives lined the rankings from November to March.

While it’s a near impossibility the conference can match last season’s incredible depth with players like Kemba Walker, Ben Hansbrough and Brad Wanamaker departing and teams such as Villanova, Notre Dame and Georgetown sustaining significant personnel subtractions, don’t shed a tear for this conference. It still should be the best in the land next season. What makes 2011-12 even more enticing is the lack of a clear-cut frontrunner. Reasonable arguments can be made for Syracuse as the preseason favorite with their entire team other than Rick Jackson back in the fold. Louisville lost their heart and soul in Preston Knowles, but their deep roster, style of play and breakout potential equals a formidable unit. After winning the title, does Connecticut claim the honor by default? What about the steadiest of steady programs in Pittsburgh, especially given the last-second return of Ashton Gibbs.

My choice is Syracuse. I have one major reservation and his name is Scoop Jardine. His decision making can be head-scratching and shot selection at times perplexing, but he’s still a playmaker and a good Ying to Brandon Triche’s Yang, a more steady presence in that backcourt. Many viewed Kris Joseph as a breakout candidate heading into last season and he didn’t necessarily make that expected jump into stardom, but he markedly improved his jumper and still has first round talent. On top of that patented zone, Syracuse should also possess outstanding depth, buoyed by another outstanding recruiting class led by 7-footer Rakeem Christmas in the middle, attacking combo guard/future star Michael Carter-Williams and sharpshooter Trevor Cooney. The bench will be formidable with the scoring punch of Dion Waiters, C.J. Fair and James Southerland. Losing double-double machine Rick Jackson stings, but there’s more than enough to replace his production.

Boeheim and Jardine Together Again

Brian: While last season was certainly a stellar year for the Big East, I’d still rank 2008-09 ahead of 2010-11. The Big East earned three #1 seeds that year and while no conference team won the national championship, that was the strongest conference I’ve ever seen in my time following college basketball. Last year’s version benefited from a weaker national landscape and seized the moment. It was the perfect storm for a large number of bids from this mega-conference.

As for the coming season, I too have Syracuse pegged as the favorite. As you mentioned, the Orange return everyone sans Rick Jackson and Jim Boeheim has put together yet another solid recruiting class. Joseph will continue to improve and star in this league while Jardine should be a heady senior point guard despite his bi-polar play in recent years. I really like Brandon Triche not only opposite Jardine but also on the defensive end. He’s the type of guard (while not at the level of an Andy Rautins) who can stretch out and disrupt an opponent on the wings. Syracuse will score plenty of points but they’ll have to play defense in order to win the league. With Triche and company on the perimeter, the versatile Joseph patrolling the wing and Christmas/Melo anchoring the paint I think Syracuse will be more than adequate defensively. That will be a big reason why they win the league if they’re so fortunate.

Louisville can give Syracuse a run but I think the Orange just have a bit too much. The more I think about Connecticut, the more I think they can win the conference. Jeremy Lamb is a star in waiting and I’m looking for a big improvement out of Shabazz Napier and Alex Oriakhi. With Kemba Walker no longer around, there’s a void to be filled in Storrs. Lamb looks to be the guy but I wouldn’t be surprised if Oriakhi steps up and becomes the next great UConn low post presence. One thing is for sure: the Syracuse/Connecticut rivalry will be must-see TV yet again next season.

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Get to the Point: Big 12 Edition

Posted by Brian Otskey on June 16th, 2011

Throughout the summer RTC contributors Zach Hayes and Brian Otskey will discuss the hot topics — or whatever comes to mind — around each major conference in college basketball. Our second edition features the Big 12, a conference still fairly strong at the top but undergoing some major changes elsewhere.  For the entire summer series focusing on each of the six power conferences, click here

Brian: About this time last summer, the Big 12 appeared to be on the precipice of extinction. Colorado had accepted an invitation to join the Pac 10 (now Pac 12) and Nebraska departed immediately thereafter to join the Big Ten. With Texas strongly leaning towards jumping ship for the Pac 10, long time Big 12 basketball goliath Kansas, along with four other member schools, was going to be left out in the cold by the machine that is big time college football. Thanks to a last-ditch effort by conference commissioner Dan Beebe, the Big 12 was saved and will continue on with 10 members. While football drives the bus in collegiate athletics, Beebe enhanced Big 12 basketball by cutting some dead weight and keeping Texas in the fold. By dangling the carrot of a Longhorn television network in front of the Texas brass, the Big 12 as we know it was saved for the foreseeable future. This coming season marks the beginning of a new era in Big 12 basketball history. Gone are Colorado and Nebraska, the 16-game unbalanced schedule, a multitude of players from top teams and four coaches who have moved on, some for better and some for worse. In 2011-12, the Big 12 conference welcomes four new head coaches, each inheriting a unique situation and an 18-game round-robin schedule where all 10 league teams will play each other twice both at home and on the road. Frank Haith and Billy Kennedy will take over for Mike Anderson and Mark Turgeon at Missouri and Texas A&M respectively, inheriting rosters built for immediate success, while Lon Kruger and Billy Gillispie have major rebuilding jobs ahead of themselves at Oklahoma and Texas Tech after their predecessors were forced out.

Self Has Reached the Mountaintop Numerous Times in the Big 12

For the last seven seasons, the path to the conference title has gone through Lawrence, Kansas. The Jayhawks should be the favorites until proven otherwise but there is a strong case to be made for a different team to capture the Big 12 crown for the first time since 2004. Who that team could be, however, is up in the air. Texas seemed to be the one at first but the NBA draft and graduation have severely hurt the Longhorns. Rick Barnes welcomes stud recruit Myck Kabongo and five other newcomers but I’m not sure that will be enough to vault Texas to the top of the league standings. Baylor may be the most talented team in this league after Perry Jones’ surprising decision to return to school but persistent questions at the point guard position and off-court distractions for Jones could prevent the Bears from reaching new heights. Missouri returns a loaded roster but Frank Haith was not the most inspiring hire after Mike Anderson left for his dream job at Arkansas. The Tigers have tons of talent and one of the best home court edges in the country but a dismal end to last season coupled with the difficult adjustment from Anderson’s “40 minutes of hell” to Haith’s more disciplined system give me doubts about this team’s ability to win a conference title. Texas A&M returns budding star Khris Middleton along with David Loubeau but I’m not sure that’s enough to win a regular season championship. Jamal Branch will be a terrific addition but the Aggies aren’t deep enough in my estimation.

In short, this is a conference going through a major transition period. It will still be very good but I wouldn’t expect an elite Big 12 like we’ve seen in some years past. The race for the conference title will be fascinating with many teams in the mix but I’d still favor Kansas despite major personnel losses in Lawrence. Do you see any of these teams finally jumping the Jayhawks? Can someone from the bottom half of the league (maybe Oklahoma State) take advantage of the uncertainty and make a significant leap into the top half?

Zach: We really are entering a new era in the Big 12. There’s a different coach pacing the sidelines in Columbia, College Station, Lubbock and Norman. There’s a shiny new round-robin schedule that provides the fairest way to determine a league champion. Perennial bottom-feeders Nebraska and Colorado have moved on, rendering this league even more difficult to navigate top to bottom. Players that lined all-league teams from a season ago — Tristan Thompson, Marcus Morris, Jacob Pullen, Jordan Hamilton, Alec Burks, Lace Dunn — are long gone. Kansas and their seven consecutive Big 12 titles appear more vulnerable in 2011-12 than any other year during that commendable stretch. There are more questions than answers when you survey the conference landscape creating intriguing possibilities.

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Get to the Point: ACC Edition

Posted by zhayes9 on June 10th, 2011

Throughout the summer RTC contributors Zach Hayes and Brian Otskey will discuss the hot topics – or whatever comes to mind – around each major conference in college basketball. The debut edition focuses on the ACC, which has seen plenty of coaching turnover and one program emerge as a potential powerhouse next season.  For the entire summer series focusing on each of the six power conferences, click here

Zach: We’d be remiss if our ACC edition of Get to the Point didn’t begin with North Carolina.

Maybe it’s just me searching for hype and excitement during the doldrums of summer, but there’s absolutely no reason why next year’s Tar Heels outfit can’t rival or even surpass the UNC squad of two seasons ago, not only in terms of win-loss record and winning a title next April, but also how they took teams to the woodshed when they’re able to impose their style of play. Kendall Marshall may not be equipped with a jet pack like Ty Lawson, but he’s more than comfortable pushing in Roy Williams’ preferred secondary break and finding Harrison Barnes on the wing or drawing the defense and dumping in to John Henson for an easy finish. Much like 2009, this Heels squad has the firepower and the talent level to drop 100 points on more than one occasion, to go on 20-2 spurts before the under-16 timeout, to leave your jaw on the floor in amazement at this well-oiled machine.

What’s really scary for the rest of the ACC and college basketball? Kendall Marshall told Andy Katz the other day that there’s going to be an even more concerted effort to lock down defensively. He realizes no team other than maybe Kentucky can match UNC point-for-point next season when they’re firing on all cylinders, so the only facet that can derail Carolina is substandard defense. And this is coming from a team that finished sixth in defensive efficiency last season! There’s first round talent across the board. There’s an assembly line of knockdown shooters on the wings. There’s a budding star in McAdoo to come off the bench. And a Hall-of-Fame coach is directing this dream roster from the bench. Plus, with Duke losing two indispensable seniors and the #1 pick in June and the rest of the ACC mired in a down cycle, it’s shaping up to be a perfect storm for Carolina. Undefeated? No. That’s not happening. 2-3 losses, a #1 seed and a national title? Realistic goals in Chapel Hill, in my opinion.

Carolina’s Barnes spurned the NBA for a title shot

  

Brian: There isn’t any doubt in my mind that Carolina is the team to beat next season not just in the ACC but nationally as well. Roy Williams has all the pieces in place to win his third title on Tobacco Road. Top quality point guards take you far in this game and Kendall Marshall should be able to carry this team deep into the postseason. With a trip to the Elite Eight already under his belt, Marshall may be regarded as the best point man in the college game by the end of his sophomore season. His court vision and ability to run the break makes him an indispensable asset for UNC. Marshall has a terrific basketball IQ and should even improve with additional experience. As great as Marshall is, I think the key to North Carolina winning a national championship is Harrison Barnes. If he can play at the level he exhibited towards the end of last season, his somewhat surprising decision to return to Chapel Hill this spring could very well result in a celebration on Bourbon Street for the Tar Heel faithful next April. Barnes is the proverbial matchup nightmare possessing height and the talent to fill it up from deep. I can’t really think of any team in the ACC that can match up with this stud sophomore.

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