Archive - Article
November 26th, 2014
The top of this year's draft is beginning to shape up similar to last year's, with a big three having emerged on our Top 100 Big Board and then a major drop off. Many in the media have anointed Jahlil Okafor as the certain top overall pick. He's obviously a very polished and safe pick who will excel as a low post scorer, and if the draft were held today that might be the case.
Does the Atlantic Coast Conference possess the strongest collective group of teams in college basketball this season?
That can’t be answered, definitively, until March.
But, after the first 10 days of the 2014-15 season, there are five teams from the conference – North Carolina, Virginia, Duke, Louisville and Miami – in the first Power 16 ratings.
We all know how dominant the SEC is in football. Just turn on ESPN at any point during the college football season and every analyst on every show just gushes about the "dominance" that the conference has on the rest of the world. But, what most people miss is how consistent the SEC is in terms of basketball, at least when it comes to the teams at the top. The SEC has had a Final Four participant in 5 of the last 9 seasons, including 2 last year. They have won three National Championships during that same span, something that no other conference has done.
Last year’s NBA Draft proved to be historic for the Big Ten. The conference hadn’t seen that many players selected in the first round since 1990. For review, the ’90 Draft incldued: 5th pick – Kendall Gill (Illinois), 9th – Willie Burton (Minnesota), 10th – Rumeal Robinson (Michigan), 13th – Loy Vaught (Michigan), 16th – Terry Mills (Michigan). That comes to a cumulative draft average between the 10th and 11th pick among those five selections. That’s insane.
By Lukas Peng
The inaugural season is in the books for the American Athletic Conference, and the UConn Huskies represented the AAC with a national title. Last season was marked by the enormous chasm between the five subpar AAC teams and the five tournament-caliber AAC teams who battled for the conference title all season long. In the end, the regular season conference title, the conference tournament title, and the national title went to three different teams in the conference. But all of that is behind us now, and the conference lineup looks a little different this season.
Last season the Big 12 was regarded as the deepest conference in college basketball. With 7 teams making the NCAA tournament, and 1 qualifying for the NIT, there was virtually never an easy game once the conference season started. This year the mid conference depth takes a step back, but the power at the top of the league is staggering. Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Iowa State are all Final 4 contenders, and Kansas State isn’t far behind. Baylor and Oklahoma State are in the mix for post season play, and even TCU has made major strides when compared to last season.
Karl Anthony Towns has become one of the small handful of candidates to be the #1 pick in the 2015 draft. We were able to catch up with Karl before the 2014 Hoop Summit. He had a reputation to uphold after impressing with his poise, maturity and skill set displayed during the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit. Being the lone returnee came with increased expectations to show the Hoop Summit regulars something new and improved.
2014 NBA draft had a considerable amount (13) of international prospects selected, with 5 first rounders (Dario Saric, Jusep Nurkic, Clint Capela, Bruno Caboclo, Bogdan Bogdanovic) and 8 second rounders (Inglis, Jokic, Tavares, Antetokounpo, Micic, Gentile, Dangubic, Labeyrie), a clear sign that international basketball continues to be growing. With the international competitions just starting, here’s a look at the next batch of top international talents coming from outside the US.