Archive - Jan 2014 - Article
Monday is a big day for “rivalries” – old, and, potentially new.
The traditional varieties features Oklahoma State (No. 11 in this week’s Power 16) taking on Oklahoma in a Big 12 game in Norman, and Villanova (No. 12) visiting Georgetown in a Big East clash.
A new rivalry could be on the verge of blossoming in the “new-look” ACC, where a newcomer – Pittsburgh (No. 8) – plays host to long-time conference power Duke.
From January 3th to 5th C.B. L’Hospitalet held the second of the four qualification tournaments (Rome, Kaunas and Belgrade the other locations), of Nike Junior International Tournament. The winner was Spanish team Real Madrid, as they defeated Unicaja in the finals. Highly regarded prospect Domantas Sabonis, missed the tournament, as he is part of the Malaga senior team (he would have played for Unicaja if present). Here is a list of prospects that showed the most potential during this event.
There are some terrific college hoops rivalries going these days.
And one of the best of those – that between the Big Ten Conference’s Michigan and Michigan State – is set to resume on Saturday in East Lansing.
The Spartans hung onto their No. 4 slot in the updated Power 16 while the Wolverines returned (at No. 16) while taking a seven-game winning streak into their conference game at No. 14 Iowa Wednesday night.
It should be among the most compelling of matchups this weekend.
It's mid-January and Conference play has begun. While there's still a lot of basketball yet to be played and there will be a lot of movement left on the draft board, things are beginning to take shape. Joel Embiid has leapfrogged the "Big 3" and now appears in the driver seat to be the first pick of the 2014 draft. He not only shows tremendous upside, but has become an impact player. Jabari Parker has finally shown that he is human and is struggling but looks like an excellent player to build an NBA team around.
As I’ve cautioned so many Arizona fans over the past weeks, things will continue to play out.
And that’s what happened, with Ohio State dropping a couple of Big Ten contests while the Wildcats continued lopping off Pac 12 opponents and moving atop this week’s Power 16 ratings.
And I caution again: Don’t get too comfortable in that top spot with three other unbeatens (Syracuse, Wichita State and Wisconsin) and at least a couple of one-loss clubs (Michigan State and Villanova) nipping at their heels, uh, paws.
When a team begins the process of looking into a potential prospect, the franchise delves into all manners of the player's on the court and off the court persona in hopes of mining any attributes that may foretell success or failure in the burgeoning career of their future selections. No team wants to be left feeling hollow and unsatisfied by a draft pick for whom their fatal flaw- be it character or otherwise- becomes the impediment preventing both the player, and subsequently the team, from reaching higher levels of success.
With the majority of the non-conference slate out of the way, teams and players can now focus on conference play. It is throughout conference play that elite players really start to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. You are going to get every team's best shot every night because the games mean something with regards to conference pride and that little thing that every team wants called a Conference Championship at the end of the season.
From December 27th to 29th in Stella Azzurra Rome the first of the four qualification tournaments took place (L’Hospitalet, Siaulai and Belgrade the other venues), of Nike International Junior Tournament. The winner of the event was the Spanish team of Cajasol Seville in the final game against the home team of Stella Azzurra Rome. Here is a list of the prospects that showed the best potential, in a tournament that lacked elite NBA prospects.
Richard Freudenberg (1998, 6’8”, SG, Bayern Munich, Germany)
The Big Ten Conference flexes its collective muscles this week.
The best conference in the country – or so it has appeared that way through November, December and the first few days of 2014 – has a couple of scintillating matchups on tap.
*Unbeaten – and No. 1 in these ratings – Ohio State visits once-beaten (and No. 5) Michigan State Tuesday night and;
*Illinois (No. 16) takes on unbeaten host (and No. 7) Wisconsin Wednesday evening.