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January 28th, 2015
It’s a cold Thursday evening in downtown Atlanta. It is early December in the Georgia State University Sports Arena. The Panthers are on the floor warming up as are their opponents for the evening, the Green Bay Phoenix out of the Horizon league. I look to my left and see former UNC Coach and current Indiana Pacers scout Matt Doherty. I look to my right and see former NBA guard and current New Orleans Pelicans scout Anthony Johnson.
There is a boatload of upper-tier matchups across the country this week, among them being:
Texas at No. 14 Iowa State and Syracuse at No. 15 North Carolina (Monday), No. 12 Maryland at Ohio State (Thursday) surprising Oregon State at No. 5 Arizona (Friday), as well as No. 8 Wichita State at No. 12 Northern Iowa and UNC at No. 10 Louisville (both Saturday).
But Duke hooks up in the most high-profile whoppers of the week in Atlantic Coast Conference action – both on the road.
A couple of powerhouses who had endured “struggles”, of late, were back to putting the hammer to foes last week.
The Wildcats from Lexington and Tucson won their four games by a collective margin of 105 points.
And another set of Wildcats – these from Philadelphia – went to 17-1 as Villanova continued to play as if intends to methodically pull away from the rest of the Big East Conference pack.
Conference play is underway, with a higher level of competition allowing prospects to really make an impression on scouts. Some freshmen hit the wall, while some players begin to hit their stride. Here are a few who have excelled and others who are showing some wrinkles over the past week or so.
Justin Anderson 6-6 225 SF Virginia Jr.
By Lukas Peng
After Ohio State's surprising blowout of Oregon in last night's BCS title game, the college focus shifts to basketball. Here's an updated look at our first round projection with descriptions of each of the prospects.
And then there were two . . . Except, there were almost zero – as in unbeaten college basketball teams.
The Duke Blue Devils (87-75 at North Carolina State) were tagged with their first loss on Sunday afternoon – a day after the nation’s top-two squads in the Power 16, Kentucky and Virginia, pulled themselves out of tough jams at Texas A&M and Notre Dame, respectively.
How long will those unbeatens remain standing?
From January 4th to 6th C.B. L’Hospitalet held the second of the four qualification tournaments (Rome, Kaunas and Belgrade the other venues), of adidas Next Generation Tournament. The winner was the Spanish team from Real Madrid in the final game over their eternal rival FC Barcelona, after having crushed every opponent during the three days of competition.
Here it is a list of the prospects that showed the most potential, in a tournament that lacked elite NBA prospects:
Luka Doncic (1999, 6’6”, SG, Real Madrid, Slovenia)
By Lukas Peng
The majority of people in the basketball world assumed Emmanuel Mudiay's playing days in China where long over. Everyone expected him to go back home, rehab and get ready for pre draft workouts. However the latest update has him practicing with the team and it looks like he will be ready to return to action soon.
The best conference in the country – the ACC, although those in support of the Big 12 could make a viable argument – features some dandy matchups in the next week.
And the North Carolina Tar Heels, who have won their past five games by an average margin of 21.6 points, will be playing host to two of them. Coach Roy Williams’ crew takes on No. 11 Notre Dame on Monday night and then No. 7 Louisville Sunday afternoon.