RTC Conference Primers: #18 – Mid-American Conference

Posted by nvr1983 on October 18th, 2011

This conference primer was prepared by the RTC staff. If you are knowledgeable about the MAC and have an interest in becoming the correspondent for this league, please e-mail us at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Reader’s Take I

 

Top Storylines

  • The Freshman Grow Up. After having 15 freshman start for MAC teams last year, this year promises a more balanced, less chaotic version of basketball as many of those freshmen will have matured (although we know that is not always the case). With increased experience, the MAC promises to offer a higher quality of basketball with less inconsistency across its teams. It also bodes well for the conference’s futures as many of these players are expected to be four-year players so even if the conference is not loaded this year it has the potential to be very strong in another year or two.
  • Three Team Battle at the Top. While the MAC has traditionally been a wild conference, there appears to be three teams this year — Akron, Kent State, and Western Michigan – as the class of the conference. While the Zips and Golden Flashes return quite a bit of experience and waged a hard-fought game in the conference tournament finals that was decided on a last second block, the Broncos field a young team with plenty of potential. They are probably a step below the other two teams, but this trio is most likely several levels above the rest of the conference.

Can Akron Do It Again? (AP/M. Duncan)

  • Can the MAC Get an At-Large? As mentioned earlier, the conference has traditionally been a wild one, which means that the team that wins the regular season will not necessarily win the conference tournament (Kent State the past two years). The question is whether a team from the MAC can establish a strong enough regular season resume to earn an NCAA at-large bid. The truth is that we aren’t sure, but at least the three teams already highlighted are trying to play good non-conference schedules, which should boost their strength of schedule come Selection Sunday. Western Michigan has the toughest schedule with a home game against Temple (November 17), at Purdue (November 23), at Gonzaga (November 26 listed as a “neutral site” game in Spokane), at Detroit (December 8), at Oakland (December 23), and at Duke (December 30). Akron has games at Mississippi State (November 9), home against Detroit (November 26), at West Virginia (November 28), and at home against Virginia Commonwealth (December 29). Kent State isn’t quite as impressive, but still has games at West Virginia (November 15) and at Utah State (November 22).
  • How Bad Will Toledo Be? We usually don’t like kicking a team when it is down, but the Rockets might end up having one of the worst teams in Division I this year. Last year they were 4-28 overall and 1-15 in the conference while finishing 344th in Division I in scoring and that was before they had their scholarships cut from 13 to 10 due to poor APR scores and they lost their top returning scorer Malcolm Griffin and Hayden Humes to transfer and Justin Moss retired after being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart). So basically this team is going to be really, really bad.
Share this story

Morning Five: 12.22.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on December 22nd, 2010

  1. After Josh Selby’s impressive performance last Saturday against USC, KUSports.com took the time to size up his competition for national FrOY.  From what we’ve seen so far (and excluding Duke’s Kyrie Irving from the argument), the list of the top freshmen in the country looks like this: 1) Jared Sullinger, Ohio State; 2) Terrence Jones, Kentucky; 3) Perry Jones, Baylor; 4) Harrison Barnes, UNC; 5) Brandon Knight, Kentucky.
  2. Marquette’s Buzz Williams and USC’s Kevin O’Neill have agreed to play a game in Milwaukee next season, with the obvious storyline being the return of O’Neill to the school where he got his first head coaching job in the late 80s.  The only catch is that it won’t actually count —  affixing onto the trend of some schools to play scrimmages closed to the public and media before the season begins, the two teams will hook up next fall at the Al McGuire Center in lieu of an exhibition game.
  3. Semester break always means mid-year transfers.  A couple of notables came out of the Northeast yesterday, as Seton Hall sophomore forward Ferrakohn Hall announced he was leaving the program, effective Tuesday.  The Memphis native averaged 5/3 in ten games so far this season, but it was clear to insiders that he was having trouble fitting into new coach Kevin Willard’s system.  Across the Hudson River, sophomore guard Quincy Roberts announced he is leaving St. John’s after seeing his playing time dwindle this season, the first under new head coach Steve Lavin.  Roberts missed the entire 2009-10 season with migraines, so we hope that he’s managed that difficult medical condition and will land somewhere else with a fresh start.
  4. Over the weekend, Kent State’s second-best scorer Carlton Guyton (12.7 PPG) was suspended indefinitely for felony theft where he allegedly took a woman’s car without her permission.  The woman is also alleging some kind of sexual assault against Guyton, but police have not yet charged the player with a crime to that effect.  The Golden Flashes are 9-3 after defeating Youngstown State on Tuesday night, but let’s hope for the sake of everyone involved that this is some kind of a misunderstanding between friends and lives aren’t ruined here.
  5. This is a fascinating article from the Omaha World-Herald about Nebraska’s difficulties as a football-dominant school in attracting fans to come out to its basketball games.  The Huskers are now 10-2 but home games so far this season are only playing at 41% of capacity at the Devaney Center.  Not much was expected from Doc Sadler’s team that went 2-14 in the Big 12 race last season, but learning that a major conference school with 23,500 students has fewer than a thousand student season ticket-holders (935 to be exact) is borderline criminal.  The chance to see Kansas, Texas, K-State and Mizzou passing through Lincoln this season should be enough for many students to justify the paltry $2 per game cost for season tickets.
Share this story

Boom Goes The Dynamite: ESPN’s 24 Hours Of Hoops Marathon 2010

Posted by jstevrtc on November 15th, 2010

PUT. THAT COFFEE. DOWN.

For the third year in a row, ESPN is bringing us what we consider one of the great television events on the sports television calendar, the 24 Hours of Hoops Marathon. That means that for the third year in a row, I’ll be live-blogging the whole thing from start to finish — and this year, we’re climbing this hoops blogger’s Everest without supplemental oxygen. That is to say…I’m going caffeine-free. More importantly, here is the schedule of games for this year’s marathon (all times Eastern):

  • 12:00 midnight — Miami (FL) at Memphis (ESPN)
  • 2:00 am — St. John’s at St. Mary’s (ESPN)
  • 4:00 am — Central Michigan at Hawaii (ESPN)
  • 6:00 am — Stony Brook at Monmouth (ESPN)
  • 8:00 am — Robert Morris at Kent State (ESPN)
  • 10:00 am — Northeastern at Southern Illinois (ESPN)
  • 12 noon — Oral Roberts at Tulsa (ESPN)
  • 2:00 pm — La Salle at Baylor (ESPN)
  • 4:00 pm — Virginia Tech at Kansas State (ESPN)
  • 5:30 pm — Marist at Villanova (ESPNU)
  • 6:00 pm — Ohio State at Florida (ESPN)
  • 7:30 pm — Miami (OH) at Duke (ESPNU)
  • 8:00 pm — Butler at Louisville (ESPN)
  • 9:30 pm — Belmont at Tennessee (ESPNU)
  • 10:00 pm — South Carolina at Michigan State (ESPN)
  • 11:00 pm — San Diego State at Gonzaga (ESPN2)
  • 11:30 pm — Pacific at UCLA (ESPNU)

The first attempt at this resulted in some hallucinations and arrhythmias as the hour got late (I had been up for 16 hours before starting the live blog) and I required a few caffeine-laden beverages. Last year, we had a technical glitch that kept us on our toes, but the live blog survived. This time, to raise the standard yet again, I’ll be sans caffeine. I know that without a webcam (we’re not that kind of site) you have no reason to believe that I’m not pounding sodas and cappuccinos and Five Hour Energy drinks by the blender-full. Since I believe RTC is the only site that’s done this all three years, well…you’ll just have to trust me. After two years, I think our relationship is in that kind of place. I hope you’ll join us right here (the live blog will continue in this post) a few minutes before midnight. Now, for my pre-live-blog meal. How’s a little turkey and wine sound?

11:47 PM Monday — Here we go. The high-def at the RTC Southern Compound is rockin’. We’ve checked the router and the internet connection to the building (which bit us in zee buttocks last year), and it appears solid. The football game is all but over (as it has been since halftime). Let’s go.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story