Boom Goes the Dynamite: 03.13.09

Posted by rtmsf on March 13th, 2009


Hello hoops fans, and welcome to our first weekday version of your favorite semi-live journal, Boom Goes the Dynamite.  We’re still feeling the effects of that six-overtime Goliath of a game last night, but we’re caffeinated and ready to rock with you all day while we move through what is traditionally the best day of the conference tournament weekend.  It’ll be hard to top what we saw yesterday, though.  Here are a few of the games you should be tracking; as you can see, today is an absolute blockbuster:

  • ACC – UNC vs. Virginia Tech – Noon, Maryland vs. Wake Forest – 7pm, Duke vs. BC, 9:30pm
  • Patriot – American vs. Holy Cross – 4:45pm
  • Big 10 – Michigan St. vs. Minnesota – Noon, Illinois vs. Michigan – 6:30pm, Purdue vs. Penn St. – 9pm
  • Big East – Louisville vs. Villanova – 7pm, Syracuse vs. West Virginia – 9pm
  • Big 12 – Baylor vs. Texas – 7pm, Oklahoma St. vs. Missouri – 9:30pm
  • Mountain West – San Diego St. vs. BYU – 9pm
  • Pac-10 – Arizona St. vs. Washington – 9pm, USC vs. UCLA – 11:30pm
  • SEC – Florida vs. Auburn – 9:45pm

Another couple of PSAs before we get started.  Be sure to check the site throughout the weekend, as we’ll be doing these BGTDs each day, in addition to a revised bracketology on both Saturday and Sunday, all leading to a liveblogging of the Selection Show on Sunday.  We’ll also be putting up the information for RTC’s Second Annual Bracket Challenge later this afternoon.

12:20 pm. Let’s get started here.  UNC looks flat so far against Virginia Tech, and they should, given that Ty Lawson is over on the bench sitting next to Roy Williams.  He is dressed, though, so it wouldn’t surprise us if his Big Toe makes an appearance.  That crafty Roy – always using the element of surprise.  Or something like that.

12:27 pm.  Over at the Big Ten, Minnesota is leading Michigan State 22-20 in a high-scoring game.  Yes, we said high-scoring and Big Ten in the same sentence.  Wow, ESPN is already re-showing the Syracuse-UConn game on ESPN Classic.  Tivo time.  If these two games get worthless, we’re definitely moving back over there.

12:33 pm. They’re really hyping that game from last night – looks like they’re going to show the whole thing on ESPNU at 3pm.  Getting back to business here, Virginia Tech looks poised right now, playing like a team that wants to keep playing in March should be playing.  Carolina looks a little flat, but the question will be whether they can still make a patented run with Lawson sitting.

12:42 pm. Most of the ACC people are annoyed with the conference tournament being in Atlanta this year, but we think it’s refreshing that it’s not in the same old tired venue of Greensboro or Charlotte again.  The home-state advantage that Carolina gets in those two building is ridiculous.  Speaking of advantage, it looked like UNC was about to make a run until Va Tech came down and hit two consecutive threes.  Ed Davis is going to be a player someday.  He has really nice touch around the rim, and his per-40 rebounding average is in the 15 rpg territory!

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Make Your Case: Kansas State Wildcats

Posted by nvr1983 on March 5th, 2009

makecaseAs part of our ongoing quest to provide you with the best college basketball coverage in the nation, we have enlisted the help of some of the finest team-specific bloggers on the planet to help us. With the NCAA Selection Show coming up on March 15th there are still several teams on the proverbial “bubble”. We figured it might be interesting to see what kind of nonpartisan arguments these bloggers could make for their team deserving a spot in the NCAA tournament. We welcome any discussion of their arguments and praise or criticism of their reasoning in the comment section. If your team is on the “bubble” and you would like to submit something, please contact us at

Kansas Statesubmitted by TB at Bring On The Cats.

Kansas State Profile
Record: 19-10
RPI: 72
Record vs. RPI Top 50: 3-5
Record vs. RPI Top 100: 5-7
Best Wins: Missouri (home), Texas (road), Texas A&M (road), and Cleveland State (road)
Worst Loss: Oregon

After Tuesday night’s loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, K-State’s chances at receiving an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament are smaller than ever. Still, because the proprietors of RTC asked me to make K-State’s case, and because I’m an insufferable homer (OK, not really), I’m going to do my best. Also, ESPN’s Andy Katz still has us in consideration, so it’s still worth looking at what K-State needs to do.

As you can probably tell from the profile above, K-State’s non-conference schedule is bereft of, well, anything. The best teams we played in the non-con schedule were Kentucky, Iowa, and Cleveland State, and we only managed to defeat CSU among those teams as we dropped two-point decisions to both UK and Iowa. You might be wondering why I don’t have Iowa listed in the “Worst Losses” category, considering they’re at 105 in the RPI and 14-15 (4-12 Big 10). At the time, Iowa was at full strength, whereas later in the season several key players would lose time to injuries or suspensions. The Hawkeyes were never going to challenge for the Big 10 title, but they were a decent team at 11-4 before Cyrus Tate’s injury, and had decent wins over Northern Iowa and Iowa State.

Anyway, that one loss doesn’t change things for K-State. Given that we inexplicably lost to woeful Oregon and didn’t have a big win in the non-conference, we needed to separate ourselves in conference play. With wins over Missouri, Texas (on the road), and Texas A&M (on the road), we gave ourselves a chance. But with last night’s loss to Oklahoma State, the best we can hope for is a tie for fourth place in the Big 12 at 9-7, a tie we will win by virtue of our head-to-head win over Texas. The problem is, with Texas, Texas A&M and, to a lesser extent, Oklahoma State having more impressive non-con resumes, we needed to have a clearly superior conference resume to even the playing field. While our conference run still stacks up favorably with all our intra-conference bubble competition, we failed to clearly distinguish ourselves.

One thing that plays in K-State’s favor that wouldn’t have been true in the recent past is the strength of the Big 12 North this season. Coming into this week, the unofficial divisions were 14-14 against each other, but after Kansas’s inexplicable loss to Texas Tech and Colorado’s continued woefulness, the South now owns a 16-15 advantage. But with KU owning wins over Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M; Missouri owning wins over every South opponent it has played, and K-State picking up road wins over Texas and Texas A&M, it’s clear the North is not the South’s little brother this season. If you compare the records of the teams from each division, you will notice that the South did not fare markedly worse against itself as compared to its record against the North, indicating the South didn’t beat each other up and pick off easy wins against the North. The divisions actually appear to be pretty evenly matched.

  • Oklahoma: 4-2 North, 8-1 South (Oklahoma State remaining)
  • Texas: 2-3 North (@ KU remaining), 7-3 South
  • Oklahoma State: 4-2 North, 5-4 South (@ OU remaining)
  • Texas A&M: 3-2 North (Missouri remaining), 5-5 South
  • Kansas: 9-1 North, 4-1 South (Texas remaining)
  • Missouri: 7-3 North, 5-0 South (@ Texas A&M remaining)
  • Kansas State: 5-4 North (Colorado remaining), 3-3 South
  • Nebraska: 5-5 North, 2-3 South (@ Baylor remaining)

(Note: I omitted the bottom two teams from each side because, really, does anyone care what Baylor, Texas Tech, Iowa State and Colorado did? Yeah, me neither.)

So, our last shot at an at-large bid is to impress in the conference tournament. If K-State does manage the four seed, it will likely play Texas in the 4/5 game on Thursday in Oklahoma City. A win there would be a big resume boost and would affirm the earlier win in Austin, not to mention giving the Wildcats a third shot at KU on Friday. The Jayhawks will be the top seed in the Big 12 and are one of the hottest teams in the country right now, Wednesday night’s debacle in Lubbock notwithstanding. If K-State could somehow come away with the win there, they would have two impressive wins on the last weekend and would be playing in the conference tourney finals on Saturday. Of course at that point, you might as well just win the title game and eliminate all doubt, but it would at least give us a chance. Beyond the two impressive wins, our “Last 12” record would be 9-3 at that point, another selling point to the committee.

Undoubtedly, K-State is still in the “Work Left to Do” category, and at this point it’s probably more like “A Whole Lotta Work Left to Do.” However, using the scenario outlined above, I believe it’s possible for K-State to remain in consideration for one of the last at-large berths. A win over Colorado would push K-State to 20-10 overall, and two games in the conference tournament, likely against Texas and KU, could push the record to 22-10 with impressive wins on the last weekend of the season. Given that other bubble teams aren’t exactly making huge statements right now, either, a late run could impress the committee. While we’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt K-State if Texas A&M and Oklahoma State would lose this weekend – their opponents are Missouri and Oklahoma, respectively – and go quietly into the night at the conference tournament in Oklahoma City.

Share this story

Make Your Case: Providence Friars

Posted by nvr1983 on March 5th, 2009


As part of our ongoing quest to provide you with the best college basketball coverage in the nation, we have enlisted the help of some of the finest team-specific bloggers on the planet to help us. With the NCAA Selection Show coming up on March 15th there are still several teams on the proverbial “bubble”. We figured it might be interesting to see what kind of nonpartisan arguments these bloggers could make for their team deserving a spot in the NCAA tournament. We welcome any discussion of their arguments and praise or criticism of their reasoning in the comment section. If your team is on the “bubble” and you would like to submit something, please contact us at

Providencesubmitted by Dave at

Right now, the Providence Friars deserve an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament. The big reason? 10 conference wins (possibly 11 if they can knock off Villanova on the road Thursday night) in arguably the “Greatest Conference in the History of the Universe” (or something like that). While it’s true the Friars have a few warts in their computer numbers, it can be argued that they have no bad losses. Providence has done a great job beating all the teams it should have, and have also picked up a few signature wins along the way.

Technically One Bad Loss
The one loss that is going to be consistently brought up come Selection Sunday is the Friars’ first game of the season against Northeastern. However, there is a perfectly cromulent reason for this loss. First off, this was the debut of the new Providence coach Keno Davis, who was bringing an entirely new system to a veteran team who mostly played 3 years under former coach Tim Welsh. Things obviously took some time to gel, and I have no doubt in my mind that PC would defeat Northeastern soundly if they came back to THE DUNK today. Another huge turnaround from how this team performed against Northeastern and early on in the season is a healthy Sharaud Curry.

Rust be Gone
Point guard Sharaud Curry missed all of last season due to a broken foot. In most of the non-conference schedule this year, Curry was clearly not himself. His quickness wasn’t quite there, and he had several poor shooting nights (averaged only 8 PPG shooting shot 30% including 1/8 FG and 2 points versus Northeastern). However in Big East conference play, Curry has arguably been Providence’s MVP. In 17 conference games, Curry is averaging 13.9 PPG, ranks #1 in FT% (87%), #2 in three-point FG% (44%), and #3 in assist/turnover ratio (2.5). A healthy Sharaud Curry clearly makes a difference on this team, which is why the early season non-conference losses should not be so heavily weighted.

The 10 Wins
For most of the Big East season, everyone was quick to point out how Providence had not beaten anyone of note in the conference. However, nobody seems to want to give them credit for what they have done on the road. The Friars are a solid 4-4 away from home in Big East games (with a chance to get to 5 Ws against Nova), beating Cincinnati, Seton Hall, USF, and Rutgers. While those teams aren’t the powerhouses of the conference, winning on the road in the Big East always tough — just ask Georgetown and Cincinnati after last night. Combine that with an amazing win versus #1 Pittsburgh and another big home win against #15 Syracuse, PC has performed very well in the BBBE (Big Bad Big East). They are guaranteed to finish in the top half of the standings, which should count for something.

The Biggest Blemish: RPI

  • As of Wednesday morning, Providence has an unsightly 69 RPI ranking. The team is hurt by a few things:
  • The aforementioned home loss to Northeastern. As recently posted, “Don’t you dare lose at home: The story of the ‘new’ RPI”
  • Playing fellow Rhode Island teams Bryant (#304 in RPI) and Brown (#314) are just murder on PC’s RPI. Throw in another team over 300 (Dartmouth at #310), and the RPI is going to take a big hit.
  • I don’t trust RPI as far as I can throw it, but hopefully the committee doesn’t put too much stock into it.

The Friars could also be penalized by their 3-7 record versus teams in the RPI #26-100 (which could surely change in the last two weeks as teams move in and out). Four of those losses came early on during the non-conference schedule. However, a 7-5 record over the last 12 Big East games proves just how different this Friar team is than they were back in November/December.

I think it’s clear that this team belongs.

Share this story

Conference Over- and Underachievers

Posted by jstevrtc on January 28th, 2009

John Stevens is a featured writer for Rush The Court.  His column appears on Tuesdays throughout the season.

All right, now we’re talking.  We’re several games into conference play, now, and the leagues are starting to take shape.  We’ve known the fates of some teams for a long time, both the good (your Carolinas and Dukes, Oklahomas and UConns, etc), and the bad (no need to pile on, here).  The most interesting part of it all, to me, are those teams which are doing a little better than they expected and may be making tenuous hotel reservations for a very large dance in March…and others that are becoming quickly aware that they are only one or two losses away from being tossed into the dustbin of NIT-worthiness.  Even worse, many squads are realizing that they may not even have THAT to worry about, that there will be no post-season, that the only thing they have waiting on them after the basketball season is over is — horror of horrors — going to class.
Many teams know this is all they have to look forward to in March. (photo credit:

So who’s not behaving like we expected?  Who has both surprised and disappointed us, in terms of conference play?  Without further delay, I give you…our early-conference edition of Over- and Underachievers.


Overachiever:  Virginia Tech (14-5, 4-1)

As much as their win over then-#1 Wake Forest turned heads, I think people were just as surprised (at least I was) that they avoided the usual post-big-victory letdown by going to Miami (FL) four days after the Wake win and knocking off what I still think is a very capable Hurricane squad.  I know it’s early.  But right now it’s the Hokies who sit second in the conference, a game behind new national #1 Duke.  Victories like the ones they’ve enjoyed so far can sometimes set the tone for a great season, or they can make you overconfident so that you screw up the rest of your conference schedule.  We’ll see how far they can take it, but you’ve got to give them props to this point.
Greenberg and Vassallo, Overachievers. (photocredit:

Underachiever:  Georgia Tech (9-10, 0-6)

Whew.  What happened here?  After starting 7-2, something happened just before Christmas and the Jackets just haven’t gotten up from it.  Maybe the competition just got a little better, but with all the talent on this team and a coach like Paul Hewitt there’s just no excuse for going one-for-2009.  Their only victory of this year?  A 5-point win at home against Georgia, a bottom-feeder team in a terrible SEC.  To be completely honest, I’m already tired of talking about them.  Maybe next year Derrick Favors will bring the antidote this program needs.

Big 12

Overachiever:  Missouri (17-3, 4-1)

Hands up, who had Missouri at 17-3 after 20 games?  Yeah, me neither.  The Tigers have great individual talent but have succeeded this year by being the epitome of unselfishness, which has led to efficiency.  They average 19.4 assists per game (2nd nationally), just a ridiculous number.  The only question mark…only three true away games so far.  Probably the only reason they aren’t well-entrenched in the Top 25 right now.
Missouri’s DeMarre Carroll, a large human, happy about overachieving. (photo credit:

Underachiever:  Texas A&M (15-5, 1-4)

That 14-1 start was lookin’ pretty good, then conference play started.  12 assists per game just isn’t going to get it done (248th in the nation).  Donald Sloan averages the most dimes per game on this team at a mere 3.2.  We’re pretty sure Mark Turgeon is a fine coach, but right now the Aggies are giving the NCAA Tournament committee reasons to deny them entry in March.  They’d best learn to stay afloat for the rest of Big 12 play.

Big East

Overachiever:  Marquette (18-2, 7-0)

Winners of 10 straight.  RPI of 15.  7-0 in a monster conference.  The coolest thing about Marquette is that they’ll beat you any way you wish to get beaten — they can play slow, half-court basketball and cut you to pieces, and they’re also more than happy to outrun you and get it up near triple-digits.  And Monday night was telling — I bet Maurice Acker followed Kyle McAlarney to class today.  McAlarney couldn’t have gotten have rid of him even if he’d cut the brake lines on Acker’s car.  The Jerel McNeal/Wesley Matthews/Lazar Hayward three-headed monster has turned into one of the most fearsome in the game.  DO NOT forget this team when filling out your bracket in the office pool in a month and a half.

Underachiever:  Seton Hall (10-9, 1-6)

The Pirates raised some eyebrows when they started off 9-3 including wins versus Southern Cal and Virginia Tech, and then — sense a trend, here? — conference play began.  Boom, six straight losses.  I think the Georgetown game really showed us something closer to who the real Seton Hall team is, but this conference is going to end up being just too vicious overall for them.


Overachiever:  Kentucky (16-4, 5-0)

According to a number of my Wildcat connections, before this season, UK supporters were basically ready to give Billy Gillispie another “free-pass” sort of season, inasmuch as a coach can actually have that at Kentucky.  Doesn’t look like Gillispie needs it.  This team is an interesting statistical mix.  They rank 3rd in the country in FG% (50.2%) and 2nd nationally in FT% (79%).  We know about the potency of the Jodie Meeks/Patrick Patterson tandem.  Defensively, they hold opponents to 36.4% a game from the field, which is 3rd best in the nation; and they rank second in the country in blocks per game with 7.5 (and, oddly, second in the conference as well behind Mississippi State’s 8.0/game).  So…great offense, great defense…what’s the problem?  Well, how about 18.1 turnovers per game?  That’s 338th out of 341 Division One teams.  Egad.  Nobody — even Kentucky fans, I don’t think — saw Kentucky improving this fast with so many unknowns starting the year.  Clean up the turnovers and you’re a top five team.
Class of the SEC? We’ll see… (photo credit:

[Ed. note:  since this was written, Kentucky was defeated by Mississippi on Tuesday night to give UK its first loss in the conference and take them to 5-1.  I think, however, that UK still qualifies for Overachiever status in the SEC so far for reasons outlined above.   –J.S.]

Underachiever:  Arkansas (12-5, 0-4)

If you look at the win-loss pattern on Arkansas’ schedule, you’d say, “Yep, conference play, again.”  I don’t think you can’t say that, here.  It’s baffling, because in an eight-day span less than a month ago, John Pelphrey’s Razorback squad knocked off both Texas and Oklahoma, not exactly a couple of pansies.  It makes absolutely no sense that beginning conference play in a WAY-down SEC (6th in conference RPI, and probably falling) would cause Arkansas any problems at all, but here they sit at 0-4 in the conference, including an inexcusable 22-point home court butt-smoking at the hands of Auburn.  Arkansas is another team that is just loaded with great athletes, and if they straighten up a little the committee will remember those two earlier big wins.  Arkansas reminds me of Avril Levigne.  I’m pretty sure there’s something attractive there…but they’re doing whatever they possibly can to screw it up and make themselves ugly.
Avril has a message for Mr. Stevens (photo credit:

This is not a complete list, by any means.  But I think it shows us how breezing through questionable non-conference opponents might not be the best recipe to impress the committee, as attractive as it is to post a nice big number in the pre-conference ‘W’ column.  Everyone knows that late losses simply mean more, that the committee likes you to finish strong.  You can’t allow yourself to be a conference underachiever.  Conference play will give you a bellyache if all you’ve been doing is loading up on cupcakes.

Share this story

BCS Conference H2H (thru 12.25.07)

Posted by rtmsf on December 26th, 2007

We’d originally hoped to track this better than we have throughout the pre-conference slate, but sometimes life gets in the way. A little over a month ago, we noted that the ACC and Pac-10 were leading the early charge with several marquee wins over the other BCS conferences. How has that changed in the interim?

BCS h2h 12.25.07


Data Source:


  • The Pac-10 and ACC continue to lead the way, showing 1-2 in overall winning pct., with the ACC earning a commanding record against other BCS conferences (28-14), while every other league has struggled to reach .500. Most impressively, the ACC has a winning record against every other league but the Pac-10 so far this season (1-1). The Pac-10 has only lost eight games against mid- and low-major teams thus far. This comports with the RPI and Sagarin computer rankings, which has these two leagues in the top three in both measurements.
  • Overall, the SEC has proven to be a joke thus far. Sure, the league can beat the low-majors (it certainly plays enough of them), but a 13-20 record against the other BCS conferences shows that this league just isn’t very good this year. It currently holds only one winning record against a BCS opponent – 5-4 versus the Big East.
  • The other three leagues – Big 10, Big 12, Big East – all have shown to be various grades of average. The Big 12 has the advantage over the other two at this point, with its 21-20 record against the other leagues, but it tends to lose more often to mid-majors than the others.
  • Quick rankings based on solely this measure: 1) ACC (h2h record is impressive); 2) Pac-10 (only loses to BCS teams); 3) Big 12 (generally good across the board); 4) Big East (more teams = more bad teams to bring it down); 5) Big 10 (sigh… 3-10 v. the ACC, again); 6) SEC (may not be better than the MVC or A10 this year).

Marquee Win to date

  • ACC – Duke 77, Marquette 73.
  • Big East – Pittsburgh 65, Duke 64.
  • Big 10 – Michigan St. 78, Texas 72.
  • Big 12 – Texas 63, UCLA 61.
  • Pac-10 – UCLA 68, Michigan St. 63.
  • SEC – Ole Miss 85, Clemson 82.

Ugliest Loss to date

  • ACC – American 67, Maryland 59.
  • Big East – Dayton 70, Louisville 65.
  • Big 10 – Wofford 69, Purdue 66.
  • Big 12 – Stephen F. Austin 66, Oklahoma 62.
  • Pac-10 – Mercer 96, USC 81.
  • SEC – Gardner-Webb 84, Kentucky 68
Share this story

The West Side is the Best Side…

Posted by rtmsf on June 9th, 2007


2Pac was right after all

Quite a bit was made last season of a renaissance in the quality of basketball in the Pac-10 conference, as it ended the season as a top three conference in both the RPI and Sagarin ratings in addition to earning a record six NCAA bids for the conference and enjoying the prestige as the only conference with multiple teams in the Elite Eight (Oregon and UCLA). There has always been a surplus of talent on the west coast, especially in the Seattle and SoCal areas, but it was largely characterized by players opting to play for an eastern school just as often as staying home to play for State U. This has been changing over the last five years, however, as new coaches such as Lorenzo Romar at Washington, Tim Floyd at USC, Tony Bennett at Wazzu and Ben Howland at UCLA have endeavored and succeeded in keeping as many of those talents as possible close to home. This is no more evident than in some of the recruiting wars over the last couple of years that resulted in top ten players such as Spencer Hawes (Washington), twins Brook & Robin Lopez (Stanford), Kevin Love (UCLA) and Brandon Jennings (Arizona) signing to play in the Pac-10 (notable exception: Lake Oswego’s (OR) Kyle Singler to Duke).

Steve Lavin

Lavin’s former conference is on the rise

Still, we were a little surprised when Rivals released its top ten players at each position for the 2007-08 season, and the Pac-10 claimed by far the most players, with thirteen of the top fifty. This is especially remarkable given that the league is losing all-conference performers Arron Afflalo (UCLA), Aaron Brooks (Oregon), Marcus Williams (Arizona) and Nick Young (USC) to the NBA next season, while it welcomes likely top fifty players Kevin Love and OJ Mayo (USC) to the league. With talent like this staying on the west coast, we should expect another great season from the Pac-10 conference next year. Somewhere Steve Lavin’s hair gel is celebrating.

The ACC and Big East have seven players each on the list; the SEC has six, and the the Big 12 has five of the top fifty players. The Mountain West and Conference USA both have three of the top fifty, outperforming the Big 10 (again), who only has two. The Colonial (Eric Maynor – VCU), Horizon (AJ Graves – Butler), Missouri Valley (Randal Falker – S. Illinois) and Southern (Stephen Curry – Davidson) conferences each have one top fifty player returning. Below is the list including multiple-player conferences:

Rivals 2007-08 Top 50 Players

You probably noticed that we shaded the teams with three top fifty players returning next season – Stanford, UCLA, UNC, Kansas. It’s certainly no coincidence that three of those will begin next year in the top five of the polls, and the fourth, Stanford, will probably be knocking on the door of the top ten.

Thoughts –

  • Where is all the Big Ten talent? Having less players on this list than CUSA and the Mountain West is cause for alarm, and helps to explain why only one Big Ten team played into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament last season. Where are the usual stables of talent at Michigan State and Illinois? Aside from the yeoman’s work that Matta is putting into recruting at OSU, the rest of the Big Ten has signed only two top thirty prospects during the last three recruiting cycles – Joe Krabbenhoft of Wisconsin in 2005, and Eric Gordon of Indiana in 2007. An influx of coaching talent has entered the league (Tubby Smith at Minnesota and Kelvin Sampson at Indiana), but without the players to accompany those moves, the Big Ten is going nowhere fast.
  • Nitpicks. We probably would have found a place for the following players: Derrick Low (Washington St.), Edgar Sosa (Louisville), Jerel McNeal (Marquette), and Patrick Beverley (Arkansas). Expect each of these players to be all-conference performers in their respective leagues next season. We also have a sneaky feeling that guys like DaJuan Summers (Georgetown), Deon Thompson (UNC), Derrick Caracter (Louisville) and JaJuan Smith (Tennessee) will make a solid case to be on this list next season.
  • Surprises. NC State’s future looks bright with two young big men, Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley, returning for Sidney Lowe’s team. Alabama should be much improved next year as well, assuming Ronald Steele gets healthy (he was on many preseason all-american teams last year but struggled with tendinitis and ankle injuries that largely derailed Bama’s season). Apologies to the Mountain West, but who are Stuart Creason and Luke Nevill? Their inclusion on this list shows that the depth of talent at the center position in the college game is ridiculously thin.
  • Instant Impact Players in 2007-08. This list next season will be populated by the likes of OJ Mayo, Eric Gordon, Kevin Love, Michael Beasley (Kansas St.), Derrick Rose (Memphis) and Anthony Randolph (LSU).
Share this story