- November 2, 2015 at 9:45 pm #12181
North Carolina No. 1 in AP preseason poll
Nov 2, 2015
North Carolina is ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press preseason men’s basketball poll for a record ninth time.
The Tar Heels return four starters and nine of their 10 top scorers from the team that reached the round of 16 in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
1st – North Carolina received 35 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel in the poll released Monday.
2 Kentucky with 10 first-place votes
3 Maryland (14)
4 Kansas (5)
5 – Defending National Champion – Duke
6 Virginia (one first-place vote)
7 Iowa State
8 – Oklahoma
10 Wichita State
13 Michigan State
19 Notre Dame
to round out the AP Top 25.
November 2, 2015 at 9:47 pm #12182
- This topic was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by admin.
Four Live Long-Shot Futures bets to win the 2015-16 NCAA tournament
By Jason Logan
Betting the NCAA basketball futures market could be as simple as take Kentucky every year. The Wildcats opened last year’s NCAA tournament odds at 7/1 and nearly paid out with an undefeated run all the way to the Final Four, before bowing out to Wisconsin.
Kentucky is among the favorites again for the 2015-16 NCAA national championship, with oddsmakers at the Westgate Superbook opening UK at 10/1 along with Duke and Virginia.
However, if you’re looking for a massive score come March Madness, these four teams below could be live long shots to win the national title in 2016.
Michigan Wolverines (40/1): The Wolverines were bitten by the injury bug this past season and didn’t get to play to their potential. Michigan lost Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton and could return both as well as Spike Albrecht, Zak Irvin, and Ricky Doyle. The Wolverines were the 18th youngest team in the country and will have a ton of experience back for 2015-16. Big Ten giants Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Ohio State are expected to take a step back, opening the door for Michigan.
Baylor Bears (40/1): There’s a bad taste in the mouths of those down in Waco following Baylor’s Round of 64 exit from the NCAA this March. The Bears bring back their active frontcourt, which dominated the boards, and is expected to return five of their top seven talents from this past season. Iowa State (15/1), Kansas (15/1) and Oklahoma (30/1) are ahead of BU in the futures odds as well as early projected Top 25 rankings, but the Bears will be tournament tough out of a stacked Big 12.
Texas A&M Aggies (75/1): Thanks the NBA’s age limits, freshmen rule the roost when it comes to college ball. The best players in the country are first-year phenoms and the Aggies will have plenty of them in 2015-16. Billy Kennedy hit the bricks hard this past year and lures the No. 3 recruiting class in the country to College Station. Texas A&M adds a lot of beef around the basket and brings back Jalen Jones, Alex Caruso, and Danuel House.
UCLA Bruins (100/1): Go ahead. Count UCLA out. People lost their damn minds when the Bruins made the cut on selection Sunday then proceeded to stun the nation with a run to the Sweet 16. Steve Alford is a terrific coach and returns his son Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton, giving UCLA a steady backcourt. The Bruins will have Aussie star Jonah Bolden eligible and bring in the 19th-ranked recruiting class in the nationNovember 2, 2015 at 9:49 pm #12183
Gonzaga lands four-star guard
Nov 2, 2015
Guard Zach Norvell announced he has committed to Gonzaga’s 2016 recruiting class.
A four-star recruit out of Simeon High School in Chicago, Norvell is a 6-foot-4 left-guanded guard who was ranked as the No. 93 prospect in the country by Rivals.com. He joins a strong recruiting class that already included four-star big men Zach Collins and Killian Tillie.
“After long months of recruitment I would like to proudly say I have committed to Gonzaga University,” Norvell wrote on his Twitter account Monday.November 3, 2015 at 10:08 am #12220
Early look at 2016 NCAA Tournament
By Ethan Back
Odds to Win 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship
North Carolina 9-to-1
Iowa State 15-to-1
Michigan State 30-to-1
Miami FL 40-to-1
Notre Dame 40-to-1
Wichita State 40-to-1
NC State 60-to-1
Ohio State 60-to-1
Texas A&M 75-to-1
Florida State 100-to-1
San Diego State 100-to-1
West Virginia 100-to-1
Ole Miss 200-to-1
Rhode Island 200-to-1
South Carolina 200-to-1
Boise State 300-to-1
Northern Iowa 300-to-1
Old Dominion 300-to-1
Arizona State 500-to-1
George Washington 500-to-1
Illinois State 500-to-1
Kansas State 500-to-1
Mississippi State 500-to-1
Oklahoma State 500-to-1
Oregon State 500-to-1
Penn State 500-to-1
St. John’s 500-to-1
St. Mary’s 500-to-1
Stephen F. Austin 500-to-1
Cal Irvine 1000-to-1
Central Michigan 1000-to-1
Louisiana Tech 1000-to-1
New Mexico State 1000-to-1
Wake Forest 1000-to-1
We’re still a long ways away from the 2015-2016 season, but it’s never too early to look ahead to next March. The super early odds are out, and here’s a look at some of our favorite bets:
North Carolina (9-to-1) – The Tar Heels are the early favorites to win the 2016 NCAA tournament, but at 9-to-1 they still offer plenty of value. UNC will return all four of its double-digit scorers from the 2014-15 season, and the only significant departure from the team will be J.P. Tokoto, a terrific athlete and defender, who has opted to forgo his senior season and enter the NBA Draft. Even with his loss, Roy Williams may very well have the most talented team in the nation, led by G Marcus Paige (14.1 PPG, 4.5 APG, 94 3FGM), F Brice Johnson (12.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 56.6% FG), and C Kennedy Meeks (11.4 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 56.2% FG). Additionally, G Justin Jackson (10.7 PPG) came on extremely strong at the end of the season, averaging 15.0 PPG while shooting 53.1% from the field during UNC’s run to the Sweet 16, and he could propel the Tar Heels to the title in 2016.
Maryland (12-to-1) – G Melo Trimble (16.2 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.3 SPG) entered the season as a heralded recruit, but he was not expected to emerge as one of the Big Ten’s best players right away. After an exceptional freshman campaign, he will be back to lead an interesting core for Maryland, which includes talented veterans and newcomers. F Jake Layman (12.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG) will provide experience in his senior season, F Robert Carter, who sat out this season after transferring from Georgia Tech, where he averaged 11.4 PPG and 8.4 RPG in 2013-14, will be expected to make an immediate impact, and incoming freshman C Diamond Stone, a 6’10” McDonald’s All-American, could be the dominant big man the Terps need to put them over the top. If you like Maryland’s chances, now is the time to take action, as they could bring in Drexel transfer and Baltimore native G Damion Lee (21.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.5 SPG), an outstanding shooter, which would surely force Vegas to revise the current 12-to-1 odds.
Iowa State (15-to-1) – Third-team AP All-American F Georges Niang (15.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 3.4 APG) is returning to Ames for his senior season, which bodes well for Iowa State’s national title chances. Niang is one of the most versatile players in the nation, and he will lead a veteran-laden core composed of G Monte Morris (11.9 PPG, 5.2 APG, 50.7% FG), F Jameel McKay (11.0 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.4 BPG, 58.3% FG), and G Naz Long (10.1 PPG, 77 3FGM) in 2015-16. The Cyclones will be bolstered by their usual haul of transfers, including G Deonte Burton (6.4 PPG, 1.3 SPG) from Marquette and G Hallice Cooke (8.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.5 APG) by way of Oregon State. Fred Hoiberg will have his group ready to make amends for this past season’s embarrassing tournament loss against UAB, which will serve as a point of motivation come March Madness in 2016.
Gonzaga (20-to-1) – After the graduation of Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr., and Byron Wesley, there will be plenty of questions surrounding Gonzaga’s backcourt in the buildup to the 2015-16 season. Gonzaga’s frontcourt, however, will be just silly, returning consensus second-team All-American F Kyle Wiltjer (16.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 54.0% FG, 46.6% 3FG), C Przemek Karnowski (10.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 62.2% FG), and the immensely talented F Domantas Sabonis (9.7 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 66.8% FG). The West Coast Conference should be a breeze for the Bulldogs, which could allow whoever starts in the backcourt to gain confidence and familiarity with their big men. If you believe in Mark Few’s abilities to coach an inexperienced tandem of guards, the 20-to-1 odds look to be a bargain.
Wichita State (40-to-1) – This pick hinges entirely on the return of both Gs Fred VanVleet (13.6 PPG, 5.2 APG, 4.5 RPG, 1.9 SPG) and Ron Baker (14.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 80 3FGM) for the 2015-16 season. If either of the two (or both) enters the NBA Draft, Wichita State has no real chance to be a major factor come tournament time in 2016, but if they are both back, then the Shockers will have the nation’s best starting backcourt. The graduating duo of Darius Carter and Tekele Cotton leaves a big hole to fill in the frontcourt, but Wichita State has had success in the past relying on its guards. As Tyus Jones and Grayson Allen demonstrated this season, March Madness is often won by guards, and at 40-to-1, the Shockers are a value pick.November 4, 2015 at 1:36 pm #12434
Eyes of Texas on Shaka Smart
October 28, 2015
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Shake Smart ignored the lure of bigger basketball programs for years to stay at Virginia Commonwealth.
Then Texas called.
The hottest young coach in the country since leading the Rams to the Final Four in 2011 was soon heading south deep into the heart of football country, to try to lift a potential basketball giant to new heights.
Texas wasn’t exactly dormant, just impatient. The Longhorns were an NCAA Tournament fixture in 17 years under Rick Barnes, who had even delivered a Final Four and two other trips to the regional finals.
But Texas had grown stale with early tournament exits in recent years. Barnes was fired and Smart was hired – both moves by athletic director Steve Patterson, who himself was forced out a month ago – to pump some energy into Texas.
Hired in early April, Smart has had several months to settle into his new environment and size up his roster and he prepares to bring his up-and-down-the-court style to the rugged Big 12.
”I think your biggest challenge in your first year is always implementing your philosophy, your way of doing things,” Smart said. “People want to use the word `culture.’ Whether you’re taking over a veteran team or a younger team … Everyone is new to what you’re going to do at that new institution.”
One key veteran who chose to stick with Smart was junior point guard Isaiah Taylor, who considered leaving for the NBA when Barnes was fired. His former teammate, Myles Turner, didn’t wait. Turner announced he was leaving the day after Barnes was fired and was drafted No. 11 overall.
Taylor said he came back to boost his draft potential and likes what he sees in Smart’s style of play. There was no recruiting pitch, just a promise of exciting basketball.
”He just said, whatever I do, he supports me. He didn’t convince me to come back,” Taylor said. ”It’s more fun, just knowing he trusts me. He really doesn’t give us limitations on offense.”
Strong promised the Longhorns will play ”fast.”
”First and foremost, we want to be aggressive, connected and enthusiastic,” Smart said. ”The identity has to come first before the style of play. In terms of basketball, we certainly want to play faster than maybe they did in the past. We want to take advantage of some of the speed of our guards.”
A few things to watch at Texas this season:
BACKCOURT SPEED: Taylor is a veteran who can pick apart defenses with his drives to the basket. Last season’s leading scorer will be paired with freshman Kerwin Roach, who Smart said could potentially be the best player on the team.
”In Isaiah Taylor and Kerwin Roach, we have two of the quicker guards in college basketball,” Smart said. ”Now, we’ve got to utilize that quickness and make the most of it.”
DEFENSIVE MUSCLE: If the Longhorns had a reputation under Barnes, it was their muscular defense. How that changes under Smart will be a curiosity for the entire Big 12. Last season, Texas was ranked No. 4 nationally in field goal defense (39 percent) and finished second in blocks (265).
SIZE MATTERS: Despite losing Turner, the Longhorns haven’t sacrificed any size. Texas still brings a lot of beef with 6-foot-10, 290-pound Cam Ridley, 6-11 shot blocker Prince Ibeh, and 6-10 sharp-shooter Conner Lammert. And they add 6-8 Shaquille Clear, a Maryland transfer who promises he’ll be ”nasty” by the opening tip this season.
”He has an edge in him and we want to cultivate that,” Smart said.
FAR FROM HOME: Texas opens the season Nov. 13 against Washington in Shanghai, China, then plays in a Thanksgiving week tournament in the Bahamas. And there’s a road trip to Stanford before Christmas.November 8, 2015 at 10:43 am #13340
2015-16 Season Snapshot
November 8, 2015
The blue bloods have reloaded. New contenders are rising. More talented freshmen are ready to shine.
The college basketball season is upon us and this one, as always seems to be the case, is loaded with intrigue.
To get you ready, we’ve got a rundown of the top teams and players, best games and a whole lot more:
Maryland. Melo Trimble and the loaded Terps are eyeing Maryland’s first NCAA title since 2002.
Kentucky. Another year, another loaded freshman class.
North Carolina. The Tar Heels were the preseason No. 1 in the AP poll for a record ninth time. They might have a hard time staying there with senior guard Marcus Paige out three to four weeks with a broken hand, but watch out once he’s healthy.
Kansas. Mix of experienced players, talented freshmen has the Jayhawks thinking big.
Duke. The defending national champions have reloaded and are ready for another deep run.
Virginia. Never count out a team that plays D like the Cavaliers.
Ben Simmons, F, LSU. Top recruit coming out of high school could be the top player in college basketball by season’s end.
Paige, G, North Carolina. At his best in the clutch, will be looking to make up for lost time.
Kris Dunn, PG, Providence. Decision to hold off on the NBA makes the Friars a whole lot better.
Kyle Wiltjer, F, Gonzaga. Back to the basket, out on the wing, driving to the basket – he can do it all.
Ron Baker, Wichita State. Don’t be surprised if he and Free VanVleet get the Shockers back to the Final Four.
Skal Labissiere, F, Kentucky. Could be the No. 1 pick in next year’s NBA draft, will be a matchup nightmare until then.
BEST NON-CONFERENCE GAMES
No. 3 Maryland at No. 1 North Carolina, Dec. 1. If Paige is back in time, this matchup of former ACC rivals could be epic. Should be good anyway.
No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 5 Duke, Nov. 17. A meeting that could be the preview for the 2016 national championship game.
No. 4 Kansas vs. No. 13 Michigan State, Nov. 17. Going to be some double feature at the United Center in Chicago.
No. 11 Villanova at No. 6 Virginia, Dec. 19. The battle between Villanova’s shooters against Virginia’s defenders should be fun to watch.
No. 12 Arizona at No. 9 Gonzaga, Dec. 5. Could be the best game out West all season.
Louisville at No. 2 Kentucky, Dec. 26. Almost not worth mentioning – a given to be a top game every year.
UNDER THE RADAR PLAYERS
Kyle Collinsworth, G, BYU. One of the nation’s top all-around players probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves from playing out West.
E.C. Matthews, G, Rhode Island. One of the nation’s best shooting guards averaged nearly 17 points per game last season.
DeAndre Bembry, G/F, St. Joseph’s. Could end up being an NBA first rounder after strong sophomore caught scouts’ attention.
AJ English, G, Iona. Was the only player in the nation to average 20 points, five assists and five rebounds last season.
Craig Bradshaw, G, Belmont. Made a name for himself against Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. Expect to hear from him some more.
Shaka Smart, Texas. Havoc in the Hill Country. Should be fun.
Bobby Hurley, Arizona State. Former Duke point guard has added some buzz to the Sun Devils after successful run at Buffalo.
Rick Barnes, Tennessee. Took about 10 seconds for the Vols to snap him up after firing from Texas.
Ben Howland, Mississippi State. He’ll have his work cut out for him with the Bulldogs, but already has successful turnarounds at Pittsburgh and UCLA on his resume.
Chris Mullin, St. John’s. Best player in school history tries to get the program back on track.
Avery Johnson, Alabama. Former NBA point guard and coach stirring up plenty of excitement in Tuscaloosa.
8-1-Odds for Kentucky to win the national championship, according to Vegasinsider.com. Duke is second at 17-2.
2-Times North Carolina has been ranked No. 1 in the preseason and won the national title, in 1982 and 2009.
11-Straight Big 12 titles by Kansas.
22.2-Points per game by Northwestern State’s Zeek Woodley, Division I’s top returning scorer.
30-Seconds of the new shot clock, a rule change expected to spur scoring and speed up the game.
1,018-Career victories by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, most all-time.
CONTENDERS FUTURE ODDS
North Carolina 10/1
Michigan State 18/1
U Conn 25/1
Iowa St 28/1
Wichita St 28/1
Florida State 70/1
Notre Dame 85/1
NC State 90/1
Miami, Fl. 110/1
Ohio State 110/1
San Diego St 110/1
Texas A&M 110/1
West Virginia 110/1November 9, 2015 at 11:13 pm #13583
Duke lands No. 1 recruit Giles
Nov 06, 2015
Forward Harry Giles, the top recruit in college basketball for 2016, announced Friday that he will attend Duke.
The 6-foot-9, 230-pound Giles made the announcement on ESPN after it was revealed the day before that he will miss the remainder of the 2015-16 season at Oak Hill Academy (Virginia) because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Giles suffered the injury while driving to the basket in the season opener Tuesday night.
Giles chose coach Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils over Kentucky, Kansas and Wake Forest.
“I felt like Duke was the place for me,” Giles said on ESPN. “Every time I go to Duke it feels like home. Every time I sit down and talk to Coach K it’s a special feeling. Every time we talk, it’s always the same feeling, it feels great.”
Giles will undergo knee surgery, and the recovery time from an ACL tear is up to 12 months. Giles suffered a torn meniscus in his knee in June 2013.
Giles’ decision also was influenced because of his relationship with ESPN No. 2 recruit Jayson Tatum, the St. Louis-area star committed to Duke and Giles’ teammate in international play. Both players were part of an under-19 group that won a gold medal for USA Basketball in Greece at this summer’s world championship.
“We were roommates in USA Basketball this past season,” Tatum told ESPN. “When you spend over 30 days together, you either grow closer or apart. We got closer.”
Duke has now landed the nation’s No. 1 player in two of the past three seasons. The top player in the 2014 class, Jahlil Okafor, led the Blue Devils to a national title in 2014-15 before being drafted No. 3 overall by the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers this year.November 11, 2015 at 10:29 pm #13938
George Mason suspends Holloway 6 games
Nov 11, 2015
George Mason announced seniior guard Patrick Holloway has been suspended for the team’s first six games of the season due to academic issues.
Holloway was second on the team averaging 10.9 points per game last season and led George Mason with 40 three-pointers made.
George Mason plays five road games following Friday’s season-opening home game against Colgate.
“We have high expectations for our basketball program, which include an overall commitment to academics, attend all classes, and follow team policies. Patrick has not met those responsibilities,” new head coach Dave Paulsen said in a statement. “Since we play five consecutive games on the road, I cannot in good conscience allow Patrick to miss more class time. He needs to prove that he can manage his responsibility as a student-athlete.”November 11, 2015 at 10:29 pm #13939
Northwestern’s Law to miss season
Nov 11, 2015
Northwestern forward Vic Law will miss the 2015-16 season due to a shoulder injury that will require surgery.
Coach Chris Collins said Law initially injured the shoulder over the summer and it continued to get worse. The recovery is expected to take 4-6 months.
“Making this decision was difficult, but it is absolutely the right one for me and for my team,” Law said on the school’s website. “I’m focused on staying positive, working hard and getting back on the court as quickly as possible. I’m excited to contribute to this group from the sidelines and my teammates know that nobody will be pushing them harder than I will this year.”
Law, who averaged 7.0 points and 4.8 rebounds as a freshman last season, was also fifth in the Big Ten shooting 44 percent on three-point attempts.
“We’re certainly disappointed for Vic,” Collins said in a statement.
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