Archive - Article
November 23rd, 2015
The national scene will come into a bit sharper focus this week by way of tournaments in Hawaii and Southern California.
The Maui Invitational, which tips Monday morning in Lahaina, has a field that includes No. 3 Indiana and No. 14 Kansas, as well as an intriguing opening-round game late Monday night pitting UCLA and UNLV.
The championship game is set for Wednesday night.
Last season produced a NBA Draft record 13 “one-and-done” players selected in the 1st round. All 14 freshmen that entered the 2015 draft are currently on NBA rosters at this point in time. The impact of freshmen at the top of the draft was substantial with 9 of the first 15 picks.
The 2015-2016 season is upon us, and once again, the Big Ten is right in the thick of the discussion of conference superiority. Seeking to pick up where it left off, getting a nation-high 7 NCAA Tournament bids (tied with the Big 12), the conference could potentially be even stronger this year, thanks to an influx of talented freshmen, including 16 of ESPN’s top 100 recruits. Maryland, in its second season in the Big Ten, is already receiving hype as a potential national title contender, the Michigan and Indiana schools return several key players and are all likely to get
Big East basketball is back and while six teams (Butler, Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, Villanova and Xavier) made it to the NCAA tournament, this is in no way a powerhouse conference filled with star-studded teams. Last year, Villanova won the conference by four games and the Wildcats look to win their third straight Big East Title. Although this is a deep conference, the question remains: can anybody compete with Villanova in the Big East?
1. Villanova Wildcats
2014-15 Record: 32-2 (16-2)
It’s not even a week into the 2015-16 college hoops season and some very compelling matchups are staring us smack-dab in the face.
A “Final Four-flavored” double-header in The United Center in Chicago will tip off at 7:30 (ET) with Kentucky against Duke, with Kansas and Michigan State next up at 10 or so. Yes, that would be a nifty set of semifinals on Final Four Saturday (April 2) in Houston.
Heading into the 2015-2016 college basketball season, the ACC figures to be one of the deepest and most entertaining conferences in the country. The conference is three-deep in terms of teams that can legitimately win the conference and challenge for a national championship. Those include the defending national champions Duke Blue Devils, the North Carolina Tar Heels, and the Virginia Cavaliers. With that said, there are plenty of intriguing teams behind the big boys that can make noise with winning seasons and deep tournament runs in March.
A late bloomer, Vanderbilt 7-foot junior center Damian Jones shined in front of NBA scouts this summer at the Nike Academy and won the individual match up with Utah sophomore 7-footer Jacob Poeltl. He flashed high level explosiveness and athleticism, blocking shots and finishing at the rim. He also measured extremely well at 7-foot-0 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan. Most encouraging was that he displayed a developing face up game with the ability to knock down mid-range and even outside shots, consistently.
The European professional basketball season has officially started over the last couple of weeks, with national leagues beginning. Euroleague will starts October 15th, so it's time to make an overview on the top international prospects potentially available for the next NBA draft. We have intentionally left out the players that are too young to declare this year or most likely won’t declare until 2017 (i.e. Hartenstein, Ntikilina, Zubac, Slavica, Arapovic).
Dragan Bender (’97, 7-0, PF, Croatia, Maccabi Tel Aviv)