Morning Five: 04.16.12 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on April 16th, 2012

  1. Even though there were a handful of players who could be considered potential early entry candidates after the April 10 soft deadline and before the April 29 hard deadline most of them were considered sure things to declare for the NBA Draft. Perhaps the most significant of those players who could have been realistically considered as being on the fence was Bradley Beal. On Friday, the Florida freshman ended any speculation as he announced that he would be declaring for the NBA Draft. Beal’s departure adds to the extra space in the once crowded Gator backcourt, but unlike some other individuals there really is no addition by subtraction as the Gator’s will miss Beal’s dynamic mix of talent. As for Beal, expect to see him gone in the first ten picks and more likely in the top five depending on what order teams are drafting in.
  2. The exodus from Storrs continued late last week as Alex Oriakhi announced that he would be transferring to Missouri from the imploding Connecticut program. Oriakhi, who will be able to play immediately next season for Missouri after Connecticut’s 2013 NCAA Tournament ban was upheld, will be part of an entirely different Tiger team than the one that you saw this season as a significant portion of the team graduated while they are bringing in a handful of talented newcomers. Oriakhi should be able to mitigate some of the problems that the Tigers had on the inside last season, but it will be up to Frank Haith to reinvent the team with its new pieces.
  3. With Trent Johnson headed to TCU, the administration at LSU did not waste much time finding his replacement as they hired Johnny Jones, the head coach at North Texas, to replace him. Although Jones was not LSU’s first choice he should appeal to many LSU fans as a former player and two Final Four appearances at the school (one as a player and another as an assistant under Dale Brown). Jones also lead North Texas to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances as a head coach. Jones does inherit a decent LSU team, but he also leaves behind a solid North Texas team including Tony Mitchell, who had stated his intent to come back to North Texas for his sophomore season, but that may change with a new coaching staff to play under next season.
  4. Florida International may not have had much success on the court recently, but they know how to move the needle with their coaching hires. After firing Isiah Thomas, the school has decided to name Richard Pitino as its next head coach. Richard, who is best known as the son of Rick and was acting as an assistant at Louisville, will be taking his first job as a head coach at the age of 29, which might seem young until you consider that his father got his start at the age of 26 at Boston University although that was a very different era. When Isiah left he claimed that the pieces were in place for the next coach to succeed so the onus on Richard now.
  5. It seems like every few months a rumor comes to life about Larry Brown taking over as the head coach at some destination whether it is in the NBA, college, or even high school. The latest rumor, and one that has been picking up a lot of steam, is that Brown might become the next head coach at Southern Methodist. On the surface it seems ludicrous having a Hall of Fame coach, one who has titles at both the NCAA and NBA levels and perhaps more importantly one who will be 72 before the season starts, take over at SMU, a school that lacks any recent basketball success. It is also a school that will be heading to the Big East in 2013. Given Brown’s age and his tendency to have relatively short stays, his coaching staff could be a big story and we have heard several prominent names mentioned as potential assistants. Still we are having a hard time getting our heads wrapped around Brown being the head coach at SMU and the likely media circus that would follow.
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NCAA Tournament Tidbits 03.21.12 Edition

Posted by Brian Goodman on March 21st, 2012

The NCAA Tournament is here and there’s more news, commentary and analysis than any of us can possibly keep up with. To make things a little easier, we’ll bring you a list of daily links gathered about teams in each of the four regions all the way through the Final Four.

West Region

South Region

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Still Plenty of Questions Surrounding Gators

Posted by rtmsf on February 29th, 2012

David Changas is an RTC correspondent. He filed this report after last night’s Florida-Vanderbilt game in Nashville.

As the college basketball regular season draws to a close, talk of bubbles being popped and which teams will secure #1 seeds dominates the conversation. What does not get discussed as much is the teams that are solidly in the field, but who no one expects to hear much from once the Big Dance arrives. One such team is the struggling Florida Gators. After dropping their second road contest in a row to Vanderbilt on Tuesday night, the Gators are staring at the likelihood of ending the regular season with three consecutive losses.

For Better Or Worse, Billy Donovan's Crew Lives By The Three-Point Shot (AP)

Mighty Kentucky comes to the O’Connell Center on Sunday in the regular season finale seeking a perfect SEC record (assuming a home win over Georgia Thursday night). From what the Gators have shown us in their last two outings – and from what Kentucky has shown us over the past two months – there is little reason to think the Wildcats won’t achieve conference perfection. A look at Florida’s resume shows very few wins over quality teams. The Gators have handled most of the teams they should have beaten – Tennessee (twice) and Georgia notwithstanding – but home victories over Florida State and Vanderbilt and a road win against an Alabama team playing without its two best players are the only wins the Gators have over NCAA Tournament-bound teams.

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Set Your TiVo: 01.27 – 01.29

Posted by Brian Otskey on January 27th, 2012

Brian Otskey is the Big East correspondent for RTC and a regular contributor. You can find him @botskey on Twitter. See bottom of the post for the Official RTC Star System.

There aren’t too many big time matchups on the schedule this weekend but it’s still a decent slate of games to keep you occupied.

Mississippi State @ #12 Florida – 1:30 PM EST Saturday on ESPN FullCourt/ESPN3.com  (***)

Florida May Struggle to Contain the Mississippi State Big Men

  • It has gone largely unnoticed but Florida has won six of its past seven games since losing at Rutgers in December. The Gators bring the top-rated offensive efficiency to the table and are a threat to win any game they play because of it. However, Billy Donovan’s team is thin up front and lacks the lockdown defense elite teams exhibit. Against Mississippi State, Florida could very have major problems dealing with the Bulldogs’ front line. Patric Young attempted double figure shots for only the fifth time this season against Mississippi on Thursday. Without a go-to guy in the post, Florida’s offense revolves around Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton with Brad Beal and forward Erik Murphy, a pick-and-pop specialist. Florida will attempt plenty of threes, connecting 40.7% of the time. Scoring from outside shouldn’t be a major problem against Mississippi State but stopping the Bulldogs inside will be.
  • Rick Stansbury has a huge advantage in this game with Arnett Moultrie and Renardo Sidney in his frontcourt. Florida can’t match those two players and the Bulldogs should be pounding the ball inside all day long on Saturday. However, Dee Bost has to be able to create and get into the lane in order to get Moultrie and Sidney going early and often. If Bost isn’t able to penetrate Florida’s defense, the Gators can pack it in and dare Mississippi State to beat them from the outside. Of more concern to Stansbury has to be his defense. In SEC play, the Bulldogs are allowing opponents to shoot 43.4% from beyond the three point arc. If Florida shoots anywhere near that percentage, it’s likely going to be a long afternoon at the O-Dome for the visitors from Starkville.
  • In order to steal an important road win, the Bulldogs have to rebound and score in the paint as well as in transition off long rebounds since neither team turns the ball over much. Fast break points will be at a premium in this game but whichever team wins that category will have an advantage. However, the most important part of Mississippi State’s game plan has to be defending the three point line. If the Bulldogs can’t, they won’t win in Gainesville. Even with all that said, this is a game Mississippi State can win with a strong effort. Florida needed a second half rally to defeat Ole Miss in its last game and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Mississippi State could spring the upset.
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Set Your TiVo: 12.16.11 to 12.18.11

Posted by Brian Otskey on December 16th, 2011

Brian Otskey is the Big East correspondent for RTC and a regular contributor. You can find him @botskey on Twitter. See bottom of the post for the Official RTC Star System.

With Dead Week mercifully over, we finally have some good games to enjoy this Saturday despite Sunday being a very slow day in the hoops world.

#6 Baylor @ BYU – 2:00 PM EST Saturday on BYU TV (****)

Perry Jones Leads Baylor into Provo Saturday (AP)

  • The Bears have had difficulty on the road in past seasons but they already passed one important test, demolishing Northwestern in Chicago a couple weeks ago. This game, however, will be an even better measure to see where the highly-rated Bears are really at. The Marriott Center is a notoriously difficult place to play but Baylor has a clear talent edge in this game. BU welcomes Gary Franklin, now eligible after the first semester, to an already highly skilled roster. Franklin didn’t play all that well at California last season but he was a four star recruit out of high school. He should help the Bears out at the point guard position, a place where turnovers are still an issue. Baylor averages 16 turnovers a game and that will be dangerous playing on the road against a team like BYU that likes to push the pace. 5.8 of those 16 turnovers come from the point guard position so Scott Drew is hoping that Franklin can help handle the ball. How Franklin will fit in alongside Pierre Jackson and A.J. Walton remains a question mark.
  • BYU’s top six scorers are all 6’5” or taller, an important factor against the length and athleticism of Baylor’s front line. Noah Hartsock, Brandon Davies and Charles Abouo do the bulk of the damage for Dave Rose, as those three are his top scorers and rebounders. Hartsock in particular has been outstanding, scoring in double figures in every game thus far. All three will have to play well in order for BYU to pull the upset because Baylor’s front court is strong, deep and talented. With Quincy Acy blocking 3.3 shots a game, BYU’s big men should find it more difficult to score inside on Saturday. The Cougars have to get their outside game going as well. Baylor’s defense is very average against the three and BYU has three big deep threats, Abouo, Stephen Rogers and Brock Zylstra. Going up against the top-ranked interior defense in the nation, BYU needs its outside shots to fall in order to win. However, the Cougars can’t afford to settle for threes if they aren’t falling. They must get something going in the paint, even against such a strong defense, in order to balance out their offense.
  • This is an important game for both clubs. Baylor has played only two teams of note so far while BYU’s best win is over a mediocre Oregon team. Baylor shoots well (49.1% FG) but the biggest difference this season has been its defense. The Bears allow only 33.3% shooting inside the arc and their defensive efficiency has been terrific. Both teams get most of their offense from their respective front courts but Baylor may have the ultimate edge with Cory Jefferson off the bench. He adds some scoring punch and, more importantly, rebounding and depth for the Bears. For the Cougars to win, they’ll have to force turnovers to get points in transition because it’ll be awfully tough to score inside in the half court. In addition to making its threes, BYU must rebound well and get to the line while putting the Baylor big men in foul trouble. However, BYU ranks #295 in free throw rate and Baylor doesn’t foul too often. Although BYU rarely loses at home, this is a game Baylor can win. There are some who still doubt the Bears but a win here would put them on their way towards legitimate national recognition.

Texas A&M vs. #10 Florida (at Sunrise, FL) – 2:30 PM EST Saturday on FSN (***)

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Checking In On… the SEC

Posted by Gerald Smith on December 14th, 2011

Gerald Smith (@fakegimel) is the RTC correspondent for the Southeastern Conference. 

Reader’s Take

 

The Week That Was

  • That’s Why You’re Mad: Kentucky was seeing red on Saturday as they dropped a game to Indiana. Coaches across the country (especially in the SEC) had a good look at the blueprint to upset Big Blue: Hot outside shooting, strong post play, and good interior defensive positioning to take charges on driving Wildcats. Much has been made about Terrence Jones‘ malaise and Marquis Teague‘s resurgence. Although the Wildcats have plenty of time to lick their wounds the pride of being the last undefeated SEC team was trampled by the Hoosier faithful rushing their court.
  • Desperately Seeking 3-Goggles: Another SEC power-team also had its pride damaged last week. Dayton exploited Alabama’s weakness — awful three-point shooting — to pull off a 74-62 upset. Though the Crimson Tide’s next game yielded a better result (64-52 win over Detroit), the three-point shooting woes continued (2-15 vs. Detroit, 10-58 the last four games). Coach Anthony Grant was counting on one or more of his freshmen guards — Trevor Lacey, Rodney Cooper and Levi Randolph — to provide the outside shooting. None of them have risen to the challenge yet. Alabama will be particularly vulnerable to upsets from streaky-shooting teams until they find a solution to their outside shooting woes.

The Iron Has Been Unkind To Trevor Lacey's Three-point Shooting. (Credit: Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE)

  • Big: A pleasant surprise in the SEC this season has been the play of Mississippi State’s Arnett Moultrie. The transfer from UTEP, averaging 17.1 PPG and 11.2 RPG, is exceeding the expectations set for him. Unfortunately the 6’11″ forward is battling with knee tendinitis. He has missed three games for the Bulldogs, including yesterday’s 75-68 victory over FAU. Moultrie will hopefully be ready for Mississippi State’s next series of games which include two away games, including a tilt at #6 Baylor.
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SEC Morning Five: 12.09.11 Edition

Posted by Brian Joyce on December 9th, 2011

  1. Sebastian Pruiti wrote an excellent piece on the pros and cons of Kentucky‘s Anthony Davis, complete with boxes and arrows. Pruiti breaks down how Davis has been able to excel at offensive rebounding, while remaining somewhat limited in defensive rebounding. Davis averages almost three offensive rebounds per game, using his speed and athleticism to chase down the Wildcats’ missed shots on the offensive end. However, those are not the same skills needed to box out an opposing player. Davis’ improvement was noted in the article by showcasing his effort against North Carolina, but effort doesn’t always grab defensive rebounds. Look for Davis to continue to improve over the course of this season as he is tested by stronger low post threats.
  2. Florida may have beaten Arizona 78-72, but the game easily could have gone the other way. Up three with 3.9 seconds left, Billy Donovan instructed Gator forward Casey Prather to foul Arizona forward Solomon Hill for a one-and-one situation. Instead, Hill was ruled to be in the act of shooting and was given three free throws to tie the game.  “He did exactly what we wanted to do,” Donovan said. But of course Donovan and the Gators didn’t agree with the call. “Nobody agreed with the call but you just have to turn around and start focusing on overtime,” Florida guard Brad Beal said. “Basically, just staying composed and playing basketball.”
  3. Freshman BJ Young has stepped in to fill much of the scoring void left by injured Arkansas forward Marshawn Powell. Young scored a career-high 28 points against defending national champion Connecticut. He is averaging 15.4 points per game thus far this year, while shooting an even 50% from the field. Coach Mike Anderson is hoping opposing defenses don’t just zero in on Young. “We have some other options,” Anderson said. “And so hopefully those other options are clicking like he was clicking the other night.” So far for the Razorbacks, those other options haven’t been able to get going on the offensive end.
  4. John Calipari has coached a number of talented teams in his career, but this year’s Cats may be Cal’s best. A rundown of Kentucky’s roster is enough evidence, but it’s Kentucky’s team defense that makes this claim legitimate. The Cats are holding opposing offenses to 32% shooting from the field, and easily outrebounding opponents on the season. While the author calls Kentucky’s game with Indiana on Saturday a “test”, it might be more of a practice run for the true test at the end of this month with in-state rival and top 10 team, the Louisville Cardinals.
  5. Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury has to be happy with the production off the bench from forward Wendell Lewis. Lewis averaged 3.7 points and 3.8 rebounds a game last year, but has increased his numbers to 5.8 points and 5.1 rebounds this year. Bulldogs’ forward Arnett Moultrie gave Lewis some confidence when Lewis needed to step in for the injured Moultrie. “This is your time to step and show the coaches you can play,” Moultrie told Lewis, who showed what he was capable of with 11 points and 11 rebounds, which was good enough for his first career double-double. Lewis has to be knocking on the door of a starting role with starter Renardo Sidney struggling to find his role. Sidney is averaging 8.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game for the 8-1 Bulldogs.
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SEC Set Yer TiVo: 12.5.2011 Edition

Posted by Gerald Smith on December 5th, 2011

SEC Set Your TiVo will take a look ahead at each week’s key games. See bottom of the post for the Official RTC Star System.

Two days. The SEC has given us two whole days of no basketball action. Take Monday and Tuesday to spend time with your significant other and/or children. Tell them you love them and that you enjoy their company. Then on Wednesday night, you have a choice: Shall you spend an unprecedented third day with the people-that-you-love-the-most-after-March? Or is there a game that needs to be seen?

Arizona at Florida – Wednesday, December 7, 7 PM on ESPN3 (***)

Arizona is still trying to figure things out this season. Sean Miller has started eight different players, most recently removing center Kyryl Natyazhko from the starting lineup. In Saturday’s 53-39 win over Northern Arizona, the Wildcats featured a three-guard set featuring Kyle Fogg (11 PPG, 41.4% 3FG), Jordin Mayes (7.4 PPG) and Nick Johnson (10.8 PPG, 46.4% 3FG). That leaves 6’7″ Jesse Perry (10.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG) and 6’6″ Solomon Hill (12.4 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.1 assists per game) in the frontcourt.

Patric Young identifies aliens and subliminal advertising using the eyewear provided by Billy Donovan (Photo via John Raoux / AP)

In the paint, Arizona may find themselves outmatched. 6’9″ Patric Young and 6’7″ Will Yeguete played up to their size in a losing effort against Syracuse. If 6’10″ forward Erik Murphy can contribute — he’s been cleared to play — Arizona will have a tough time covering all the locations from which Murphy can score. Arizona must not over-commit to interior defense or else Kenny Boynton, Bradley Beal and Erving Walker will bomb away. Arizona has one of the best three-point defenses in the country even though they allowed 8-12 3FG shooting in a 61-57 loss to San Diego State.

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SEC Morning Five: 11.14.11 Edition

Posted by Brian Joyce on November 14th, 2011

  1. Senior point guard Brad Tinsley’s minutes were limited in Vanderbilt’s shocking demise against Cleveland State on Sunday. The Vandy offense looked out of sync, and as a result, they were pressured into 21 turnovers. Tinsley was bothered by a hand injury that was aggravated during the Oregon game a couple of nights ago. “Brad’s hand has been an issue,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said in his postgame press conference. “I didn’t ask him how the hand was feeling (today).” It seems unclear whether Tinsley sat during crucial minutes of the game because of his defensive liability or because of the injury. This will remain a situation to keep an eye on. One thing remains clear, Tinsley will have to stay in front of quicker guards defensively in order to stay on the floor in the future.
  2. Vanderbilt’s surprising loss has the critics out in full force. Some tabbed the ‘Dores as a team that didn’t belong in the top ten. And well, they won’t be for long. Gary Parrish of CBS Sports isn’t hitting the panic button just yet, because it is November after all. And the Commodores are without Festus Ezeli. Parrish acknowledges, however, that this loss doesn’t help the perception that Vandy is in fact overrated. A 71-58 loss to Cleveland State looks bad, but Vanderbilt has time to correct its mistakes.
  3. Arkansas’ 83-63 win over USC Upstate started the Mike Anderson era for the Razorbacks, but the biggest storyline was the attendance in Bud Walton Arena for that game. Anderson’s first game brought in 10,500 fans, but he believes this is only the beginning. “This is a style of basketball that hasn’t been played here in a while,” Anderson said. “There is potential here, but we have to keep working. We are by no means where we want to be.” As long as Anderson continues winning and playing an exciting brand of basketball, the attendance numbers will continue to grow in Fayetteville.
  4. The SEC had many outstanding freshmen take the court this past weekend, and they generally didn’t disappoint. The CBS Eye on College Basketball blog took a look at the first glimpse of the nation’s best freshmen, and all five SEC freshmen on the top 20 list scored in double figures. Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague impressed in a blowout win against Marist. Davis scored 23 points, grabbed ten rebounds and earned five blocks in a high flying display of athleticism. Florida’s Brad Beal scored 14 points, and Georgia’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope pushed the Bulldogs to victory with 15 points. These young stars are already looking good, and it was only their first game in a college uniform. Just wait until they become truly adjusted to the college game and their new teams.
  5. It wasn’t all about the freshmen this weekend though. Some sophomores were turning in impressive performances as well. Tennessee is looking for a scorer in the Cuonzo Martin era, and they may have found him. Sophomore point guard Trae Golden lit up UNC Greensboro for a career high 29 points in a game where he was 10-14 from the field with six rebounds and nine assists. His performance has Martin and the Volunteers excited that they may have found the offensive weapon that they so desperately need. But if we’ve learned anything from this opening weekend, it is still very early and a lot can change over the next few weeks and months.
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Inconsistencies in SEC Preseason Awards Overshadows Positives

Posted by Brian Joyce on November 10th, 2011

The SEC Men’s Basketball Coaches Preseason All-SEC Awards were released yesterday, and they demonstrate the ridiculousness of preseason awards by demeaning the entire process. In a season where there is more talent in the SEC than any year in recent memory, the inconsistencies among the coaches’ decisions is troubling. The 2011-12 SEC Coaches first and second teams are as follows:

First Team All-SEC

  • G Dee Bost, Mississippi State
  • G Kenny Boynton, Florida
  • C Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt
  • F JaMychal Green, Alabama
  • G John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
  • F Terrence Jones, Kentucky
  • G/F Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt
  • G Erving Walker, Florida

Hey, Where Are the Freshmen SEC Stars Like Brad Beal?

Second Team All-SEC

  • F Reginald Buckner, Ole Miss
  • G Doron Lamb, Kentucky
  • G Darius Miller, Kentucky
  • F Tony Mitchell, Alabama
  • F Marshawn Powell, Arkansas
  • G Trevor Releford, Alabama
  • G Gerald Robinson, Georgia
  • F Renardo Sidney, Miss. State
  • F/C Patric Young, Florida

I have three major issues with this list:

  1. An All-Conference award team should consist of five players. Not eight. Not nine. Five. This is not an environment where everyone receives a trophy, and we should honor as many players as possible. Placing eight players on the first team and nine on the second team devalues the prestige of receiving the honor in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »
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SEC Fresh Start: Mike Rosario

Posted by Brian Joyce on November 7th, 2011

The Fresh Start series will profile a new coach or eligible transfer who will make an impact in the Southeastern Conference this season. The next player in the series is former Rutgers guard and new addition to the Florida Gators backcourt, Mike Rosario. 

Mike Rosario is accustomed to being the star. He was the star at Rutgers where he averaged 16.2 PPG in his freshman season and 16.7 PPG in his sophomore year.  As much as Rosario was scoring for the Scarlet Knights, though, his team wasn’t winning. Both of his seasons with Rutgers were losing campaigns, including winning a total of only seven Big East games in both years combined. For Rosario, transferring elsewhere represented a chance to win.

Mike Rosario looks so much better in Florida colors.

The Florida Gators represented greener pastures for Rosario. Florida will count on Rosario to be a leader for a team that has Final Four hopes, but that doesn’t mean it will be without scrutiny. Head coach Billy Donovan said, “Rosario is playing every second of practice but what happens when something doesn’t go well? That will be the true test.” The test is already in full effect. Rosario is part of a crowded backcourt with several stars. Returnees Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker both averaged over 14 PPG last year, while newcomer Brad Beal could be the best shooter of the four and figures to start alongside Boynton and Walker. Can Rosario deal with coming off the bench as a role player when he has been so accustomed to having the ball in his hands? Rosario certainly believes he is ready to take on the challenge.

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SEC Morning Five: 10.24.11 Edition

Posted by Gerald Smith on October 24th, 2011

  1. The LSU athletic department has a message for its basketball fans: A. B. C. Always. Be. Closing. LSU Athletics has partnered with adverCar, a marketing company that specializes in vehicle advertising. Participants can earn income from adverCar by having a decal attached to their personal vehicle containing an advertisement for the LSU basketball season. Perhaps former Tennessee Coach Bruce Pearl might be interested in getting Vols fans to apply car ad decals for his new line of recliner furniture.
  2. The Tennessee squad themselves are going back to an old-fashioned method of training: hitting post players with brooms. A recent practice report highlighted assistant coach Jon Harris‘ use of a broom to help teach his post players how to score and adjust for taller defenders. If we hear of Harris conjuring comets as part of a fast-break drill, Tennessee might have a magical season ahead.
  3. Another way to produce magic on the basketball court is to recruit some really talented freshmen. This season the Southeastern Conference has four representatives on the Wayman Tisdale Award preseason watch list. The award is given by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association to the nation’s top freshman at the end of the season. Florida guard Brad Beal joins a Kentucky threesome of Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague on the watch list. Beal will need to crack a starting Gator rotation of experienced guards to be able to claim the award away from one of the Wildcats or the eight other non-SEC freshmen included on the watch list.
  4. While Beal has to wait for his shot at the Wildcats in Rupp Arena, a former Gator is getting another shot to drive Big Blue fans crazy. Former Florida wing Corey Brewer joins a host of current and former NBA players as Villans to the Big Blue All Stars tonight in Rupp. The game is the marquee match-up for the traveling group of former Wildcat players that includes Enes Kanter, the Turkish big man who was ruled ineligible for NCAA competition last season. Brewer is the only SEC member of the Villains group; apparently Brewer’s former Florida teammate Joakim Noah is too busy with his training regimen to join the party.
  5. Back in Gainesville, the sun shines bright on one old Kentucky foe. Florida coach Billy Donovan is expected to sign a contract extension that will lengthen his coaching tenure with the school for another five years. The new deal includes the two guaranteed years and the optional third year on his current contract, then adds an additional couple of years. Once he signs, Donovan will be locked in until the 2015-16 season — a twenty-year tenure at UF for a two-time National Championship winner. Donovan is worth every penny if he can lead Florida to a return appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight or better this season.
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