- Basketball Prospectus: The statistically inclined need to check out this piece looking at shot creation for North Carolina last season (and as a side note, I have literally no idea how I never linked to their earlier piece on “clutch” shooting). Basically the article looks to quantify Kendall Marshall‘s importance. For instance, take Tyler Zeller‘s mid-range jumper: 100% of his made shots are assisted! Marshall on the other hand had 0% of his mid-range shots assisted, but 100% of his threes were. It’s a fascinating piece and just another reason to order the College Basketball Prospectus.
- American Way Mag: Everyone’s favorite Young Jeezy quoting college basketball analyst gives an excellent preview of the rapidly approaching season. No surprises at the top with North Carolina sitting just above Kentucky. Jay Bilas on the impact of the one-and-done era: “Fifteen years ago, you and I could’ve sat down at the Final Four and we would have had a really good idea of who the top ten teams in the country were going to be the next year. We’d know exactly who would be the preseason All-Americans. […] Now, you can’t.” Bilas’ alma mater, Duke, is lumped in his second tier with Vanderbilt and Louisville.
- Washington Post – Terrapins Insider: The NCAA finally ruled on Alex Len‘s eligibility. Len has to sit out ten games “based on NCAA rules governing amateurism.” The only vague hint about what that might mean came from Athletic Director Kevin Anderson: “It has been a difficult situation in light of Alex’s educational pursuits.” While the athletic department hasn’t decided whether it will appeal the NCAA’s decision, this is great news as far as Maryland’s conference outlook. Len gives the Terrapins desperately needed size. The other good news is that he will be able to practice with the team until he’s officially cleared December 28 against Albany.
- ACCSports.com: With Duke and North Carolina’s consistent presence at the top of college basketball (both have finished the season ranked in the Top Ten of the AP poll 15 of the last 27 seasons), having to play and recruit against them every year is a daunting task. But Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton welcomes the challenge: “In my opinion, that’s an advantage for everybody in the ACC. What better challenge could you ask for?” Hamilton has a pretty talented team of his own this season that I’ll bet gives both Tobacco Road powers everything they can handle.
- ESPN: Speaking of taking on Tobacco Road, Mark Gottfried is taking it by force. In case you missed it yesterday, Gottfried added another top recruit to NC State’s already strong 2012 class in TJ Warren, a great scoring small forward. With the addition the Wolfpack’s recruiting class for next year has surpassed both of its rivals in the Research Triangle (it includes two five-star and one four-star recruits so far). According to Evan Daniels of Scout.com, they may still have a couple of more recruits to add.
And for Wake Forest fans looking to relive the glory days, I present Chris Paul (and his family) on Family Feud! (h/t Ball Don’t Lie)