Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Week Ahead

With the holiday tournaments over, the college basketball season is hitting high gear and individual games – not tournaments – are the must-see events. Led by the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, this week is loaded with several top-notch battles and plenty of games between teams we could see in the NCAA Tournament come March. Monday saw a nice comeback by Virginia over Minnesota, but Tuesday is when the week really kicks off.

Georgia Tech at Northwestern (Tuesday): Georgia Tech struggled at the outset, but its perimeter-oriented lineup has bounced back. Northwestern and John Shurna will be in the mix.

Boston University at Kentucky (Tuesday): Boston University was the America East favorite, but the Terriers won’t have nearly enough for Kentucky.

Mississippi at Miami (Fl.) (Tuesday): Both of these teams have had their ups-and-downs so far this season, although neither was expected to be in the Big Dance.

Ohio State at Florida State (Tuesday): One of the best games of the week, Florida State’s big and experienced frontcourt will be a contrast to Ohio State’s deep and talented perimeter.

Georgetown at Missouri (Tuesday): This game will be a contrast of styles, with Georgetown’s Princeton-esque offense and Missouri’s “Fastest 40 Minutes” up-tempo style.

North Carolina at Illinois (Tuesday): Both teams might have been somewhat overrated at the outset after not making the NCAA Tournament last year. A win here would go a long way.

Long Beach State at Washington (Tuesday): A West Coast battle between one of the Big West’s contenders and the Pac-10 favorite. Washington had some offensive struggles in Maui.

East Tennessee State at Dayton (Wednesday): ETSU was one of my mid-major sleepers before the season, but it is struggling right now. Dayton has been a huge question mark.

Florida at UCF (Wednesday): Intrastate battle between an established program and one on the rise. UCF is undefeated this season; could it knock off the Gators and pick up in-state supremacy.

VCU at South Florida (Wednesday): VCU impressed a lot of people with its performance in the NIT Season Tip-Off, while South Florida has been up-and-down so far.

Richmond at Old Dominion (Wednesday): Another intrastate battle, this one between private schools in Virginia. Will Kevin Anderson and Kent Bazemore be matched up with one another?

Indiana at Boston College (Wednesday): This game might not stand out on paper, but Indiana is 6-0 right now and Boston College has shown some potential with a win over Texas A&M.

North Carolina State at Wisconsin (Wednesday): One of these programs consistently underachieves, while the other is constantly underrated. NC State has more talent, but Wisconsin is better coached.

Purdue at Virginia Tech (Wednesday): This game looked a lot more attractive before Robbie Hummel suffered another injury and Virginia Tech struggled mightily. With that said, Malcolm Delaney and E’Twaun Moore will be a great match-up.

BYU at Creighton (Wednesday): BYU had a couple of great escapes in the last week, and Creighton will not be a pushover. Will Jimmer Fredette need some more late-game heroics?

Western Kentucky at Vanderbilt (Wednesday): Both of these teams have gotten off to interesting starts, and should have a nice battle. WKU has NBA prospects in its frontcourt; Vanderbilt has solid balance.

Maryland at Penn State (Wednesday): Not the best of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge games, but Penn State has a guy who can carry them in Talor Battle. Jordan Williams should dominate down low.

Michigan State at Duke (Wednesday): Had Michigan State not lost to Connecticut last week, this would be a battle between No. 1 and No. 2. The Spartans have some kinks to work out; Duke is rolling.

Saint Mary’s at San Diego State (Wednesday): A very underrated game between two of the best teams on the left coast. San Diego State’s big-time frontcourt will be tested by SMC’s terrific backcourt.

Arizona State at Baylor (Thursday): Not surprisingly, Baylor has really taken a step forward with the return of Lace Dunn from suspension. Arizona State nearly won the Great Alaska Shootout.

UCLA at Kansas (Thursday): Two of the greatest programs of all-time will do battle, although Kansas has been one of the more impressive teams in the country, while UCLA has struggled.

Missouri at Oregon (Thursday): Another chance for Missouri to show off its “Fastest 40 Minutes” against a thin and inexperienced Oregon team. This one could get ugly.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday, Nov. 26 Breakdown

Wisconsin vs. Boston College: Boston College pulled off a nice win over Texas A&M on Thursday, but Wisconsin is a different animal. Jon Leuer vs. Joe Trapani should be a fun battle. Prediction: Wisconsin 69, Boston College 57

UCLA vs. VCU: VCU had some momentum heading into its game against Tennessee, but fell late in the second half. UCLA has had some injury problems, but the Bruins have options across the board. Prediction: UCLA 76, VCU 71

Oklahoma State vs. Virginia Tech: This game last year would have featured a tremendous individual battle between Malcolm Delaney and James Anderson. Instead, Delaney and co. should roll. Prediction: Virginia Tech 81, Oklahoma State 69

Villanova vs. Tennessee: This will come down to the guard match-up. Tennessee has received inconsistent perimeter play, while ‘Nova has some of the best guards in the country, led by Corey Fisher. Prediction: Villanova 76, Tennessee 68

California vs. Notre Dame: California has surprised some this season, destroying New Mexico last week and knocking off Temple last night. Notre Dame defeated Georgia last night. Jorge Gutierrez will have to slow down Ben Hansbrough or Tim Abromaitis. Prediction: Notre Dame 71, California 65

Michigan vs. Syracuse: Simply put, Michigan won’t be good this season. With that said, Darius Morris and Tim Hardaway Jr. have been solid. Syracuse’s Rick Jackson has been dominant so far. Prediction: Syracuse 75, Michigan 60

Temple vs. Georgia: Both teams suffered disappointing losses last night, but this one should be good. Lavoy Allen and Trey Thompkins will do battle down low, while Travis Leslie and Juan Fernandez are very good on the perimeter. Prediction: Temple 70, Georgia 63

Ohio vs. Kansas: Ohio knocked off Georgetown in last year’s NCAA Tournament, and the Bobcats have the pieces to scare Kansas. D.J. Cooper needs a big game for Ohio. The Morris twins will be tough for Kansas. Prediction: Kansas 84, Ohio 71

Saint Mary’s vs. Texas Tech: Despite the loss of Omar Samhan, Saint Mary’s is 5-0 with Mickey McConnell leading the way. Texas Tech has been solid on the perimeter, but they need more from Mike Singletary. Prediction: Saint Mary's 81, Texas Tech 72

UNLV vs. Murray State: Two of the best non-BCS teams in the country, both could be in the second-round come March. UNLV is loaded across the board, while Murray State is balanced and plays great defense. Prediction: UNLV 73, Murray State 66

Weber State vs. Arizona State: Weber State has suffered a couple of double-digit losses this year, but Damian Lillard is a stud. Arizona State has been led by Trent Lockett, averaging nearly 20 points. Prediction: Arizona State 74, Weber State 65

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday, Nov. 24 Predictions

Prediction Record: 17-6 (ATS: 4-11-1)

  • Michigan State vs. Washington (-1): Prediction: Michigan State 74, Washington 71
  • VCU vs. Tennessee (-3.5): Prediction: Tennessee 77, VCU 69
  • UCLA vs. Villanova (-5): Prediction: Villanova 75, UCLA 67
  • Kentucky vs. Connecticut (+5): Prediction: Kentucky 79, Connecticut 72
  • La Salle vs. Missouri (-10): Prediction: Missouri 85, La Salle 68

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Week Ahead

With two weeks, including the always-entertaining 24-hour ESPN marathon, under our collective belts, opinions are starting to form about various teams across the country. Although the season is still very young, every game matters come Selection Sunday – and this week has several games we might look back at in March.

Gonzaga vs. Kansas State (Monday): Both teams are looking to prove something in this one, with Gonzaga losing last week to San Diego State and Kansas State struggling against Presbyterian. It will be interesting to see how Curtis Kelly does in his first game back from suspension.

Marquette vs. Duke (Monday): Duke will be the heavy favorite in this one, but don’t sleep on Marquette. The Golden Eagles have a match-up nightmare in Jimmy Butler and several solid perimeter players. A freshmen battle at the point between Kyrie Irving and Vander Blue will be fun.

Old Dominion vs. Xavier (Monday): The finals of the Paradise Jam will be an interesting battle. Old Dominion played Georgetown tough before losing, and beat Clemson by one yesterday. Xavier has dealt with injuries and other problems, but it found a way to beat Seton Hall on Sunday.

Maui Invitational (Monday – Wednesday): While not as loaded as the past couple of years, it is still one of the perimeter tournaments. The best first-round game is Wichita State vs. Connecticut, but Michigan State, Kentucky and Washington are also in the field. Will be competitive.

Butler at Siena (Tuesday): Two of the best mid-major programs in the past several years, but both are down this season. Siena has struggled somewhat, while Butler was blown out at Louisville last week. I’m interested in seeing how scoring machine Clarence Jackson fares against Butler’s Ronald Nored.

CBE Classic Championship/Third-Place Game (Tuesday): If Kansas State and Duke win their respective semifinal battles, we will have a title game between two top-five teams. If that’s the case, then a semifinal match between Gonzaga and Marquette is also a top-notch game.

Cancun Challenge (Tuesday – Wednesday): It’s not a loaded field, but there is the potential for a competitive game in the championship of the “Riviera Division” if La Salle and Missouri advance. La Salle played Baylor tough, and Aaric Murray could prove to be a tough match-up for Missouri.

Villanova vs. UCLA (Wednesday): One of the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Villanova rolled past Marist and Boston University, while UCLA handled Pepperdine and Pacific with relative ease. It will be interesting to see if Malcolm Lee plays; without him, UCLA could struggle on the perimeter.

VCU vs. Tennessee (Wednesday): The other NIT Season Tip-Off semifinal. VCU blew out Winthrop and Wake Forest to advance to New York, while Tennessee struggled in close wins over Belmont and Missouri State. VCU is one of the CAA favorites, and they have a chance to take down the Volunteers.

Great Alaska Shootout (Wednesday – Saturday): This should be St. John’s tournament to lose. The only other team that could take them down is Arizona State, who will face a tough semifinal game against Big Sky favorite Weber State. It’s not a loaded field, but there are some intriguing storylines.

Georgia at Notre Dame (Thursday): Don’t be surprised if both of these teams are on the bubble come Selection Sunday. Georgia has struggled so far this season without star big man Trey Thompkins, although they’ve pulled out some close wins. Notre Dame is rolling, led by Ben Hansbrough.

76 Classic (Thursday – Sunday): Don’t overlook this tournament. A semifinal match-up between Murray State and UNLV could pit two of the best non-BCS teams in the country against one another. On the other side, Virginia Tech is the favorite to get to the title game, but the Hokies have question marks.

Old Spice Classic (Thursday – Sunday): Georgia – Notre Dame is the best first-round game in the event, although Temple, Wisconsin and Texas A&M are all teams with a chance to make the NCAA Tournament. A match-up between Temple and Wisconsin in the championship game will feature Jon Leuer vs. Lavoy Allen.

NIT Season Tip-Off Championship/Third-Place Game (Friday): I’m predicting that Villanova knocks off UCLA and Tennessee defeats VCU, so there are some interesting potential match-ups. Both ‘Nova and Tennessee have plenty of perimeter talent, while UCLA and VCU are two more possible NCAA teams.

Arizona at Kansas (Saturday): Kansas won’t have Josh Selby yet, so Arizona has a chance to knock off the Jayhawks. Derrick Williams is one of the most underrated players in the country, and the Wildcats are playing well right now. Williams against Marcus Morris will be a great personnel battle.

Legends Classic Championship (Saturday): The Legends Classic wasn’t the best field of the preseason tournaments, but Syracuse vs. Georgia Tech or UTEP could be an intriguing championship game. However, the bottom line is that neither team has the frontcourt to compete with the Orange.

Florida at Florida State (Sunday): A big-time in-state battle. Florida was blown out in the second half by Ohio State last week, but bounced back with a win over Morehead State. Florida State won each of its first four games by between 20-25 points. Chris Singleton has been an absolute stud so far.

Friday, November 19, 2010

National Prep Showcase

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – I’m at the National Prep Showcase, held at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Conn. It’s easily the best prep tournament of the high school season. It features 23 of the best prep school teams in the country, and well over 100 Division-I recruits in the 21 games. Here's a link to the match-ups: National Prep Showcase.

I will be posting noteworthy updates gathered from the Showcase, and I will also be still keeping up with the latest in college basketball news. My predictions will be back today as well.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday, Nov. 17 Predictions

Prediction Record: 14-5 (ATS: 3-9)

  • Missouri State at Tennessee: Prediction: Tennessee 76, Missouri State 68
  • Boston University at Villanova: Prediction: Villanova 81, Boston University 67
  • Murray State at Mississippi: Prediction: Murray State 67, Mississippi 65
  • Utah State at BYU: Prediction: BYU 70, Utah State 66

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tip-Off Marathon Predictions

Prediction Record: 0-0 (ATS: 0-0)

With ESPN kicking off its college basketball coverage with a 24-hour marathon of college hoops coverage, I've decided it's time to get started with my daily game predictions. As I did the last few years, I will be predicting games with the spread, and will post my prediction record, both straight up and ATS. If my score seems close to the spread, it's purely coincidence – I enter my predictions, then add the spread at the end.

Note: For tonight, I will predicting each game in the ESPN marathon; normally, I select the top games of the night to predict.

  • Miami (Fl.) at Memphis (-6.5): Prediction: Memphis 73, Miami (Fl.) 62
  • St. John’s at St. Mary’s (-4): Prediction: Saint Mary’s 70, St. John’s 65
  • Central Michigan at Hawaii (OFF): Prediction: Hawaii 68, Central Michigan 61
  • Stony Brook at Monmouth (OFF): Prediction: Stony Brook 65, Monmouth 54
  • Robert Morris at Kent State (OFF): Prediction: Kent State 75, Robert Morris 68
  • Northeastern at Southern Illinois (-3.5): Prediction: Southern Illinois 63, Northeastern 57
  • Oral Roberts at Tulsa (OFF): Prediction: Oral Roberts 78, Tulsa 75
  • La Salle at Baylor (-15.5): Prediction: Baylor 82, La Salle 66
  • Virginia Tech at Kansas State (-6.5): Prediction: Kansas State 71, Virginia Tech 64
  • Marist at Villanova (OFF): Prediction: Villanova 86, Marist 57
  • Ohio State at Florida (-1.5): Prediction: Florida 69, Ohio State 66
  • Detroit at Syracuse (-17): Prediction: Syracuse 80, Detroit 62
  • Miami (Ohio) at Duke (-25.5): Prediction: Duke 89, Miami (Ohio) 60
  • Saint Joseph's at Penn State (-12): Prediction: Penn State 71, Saint Joseph's 56
  • Butler at Louisville (-1): Prediction: Butler 64, Louisville 59
  • North Dakota at Wisconsin (OFF): Prediction: Wisconsin 85, North Dakota 52
  • Belmont at Tennessee (OFF): Prediction: Tennessee 79, Belmont 69
  • South Carolina at Michigan State (-15.5): Prediction: Michigan State 77, South Carolina 60
  • San Diego State at Gonzaga (-4.5): Prediction: Gonzaga 79, San Diego State 74

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Notebook: Dunn suspended three games

Baylor guard LaceDarius Dunn will be available for the Bears on Nov. 22, as it was announced on Friday that the 6-foot-4 senior will be suspended for three games.

Dunn had been suspended indefinitely following an arrest last month in which he allegedly broke his girlfriend’s jaw, despite the woman disputing the police reports.

“The good thing is we are excited about when he comes back,” head coach Scott Drew said. “As good as he looks on the sideline, we know he’s better on the court.”

Dunn shot 41.9 percent from 3-point range last season, averaging 19.6 points and 4.8 rebounds. With Tweety Carter and Ekpe Udoh gone from last season’s team, Baylor needs Dunn to return and provide scoring punch.

The Bears won their first game without Dunn, beating Grambling State, 87-52. Starting point guard A.J. Walton was serving a one-game suspension. Forwards Quincy Acy and Anthony Jones led the way in the victory, combining for 37 points and 22 rebounds.

Kendrick dismissed from Memphis

It looks like the drama surrounding Jelan Kendrick and Memphis is now resolved, as the school announced on Saturday that they would be dismissing the freshman.

Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com first reported the news.

Kendrick was a McDonald’s All-American last season, but he has had problems since he arrived on the Memphis campus. He was not allowed to go with the team on their exhibition trip to the Bahamas in the summer, and then was suspended by head coach Josh Pastner in the preseason after threatening a teammate.

Last week, according to Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Kendrick was temporarily removed from practice on Thursday for “disruptive behavior” and then suspended for Friday’s game after getting in an argument with a Memphis coach during the pregame shootaround.

"Coach and I met and we were like at a crossroads. So we talked. It was a short and respectful conversation and we agreed that it would probably be best that we parted ways," Kendrick said. "I made my share of mistakes, but I love the fans and my teammates and I'm sad that we are where we are. But it's probably for the best."

Memphis won its first game of the season on Friday, defeating Centenary, 104-40. Five players scored at least 13 points, led by freshman Antonio Barton’s 17 points and four assists.

Chennault out 8-10 weeks

Wake Forest opened its season with a double-digit loss to Stetson at home on Friday, and then received more bad news when new head Jeff Bzdelik announced that Tony Chennault would miss eight-to-10 weeks with a broken foot.

Chennault, a 6-foot-1 freshman from Philadelphia, is the team’s only true point guard and impressed in the loss. He had six points and three assists in just 13 minutes before the injury.

Chennault had missed most of the preseason recovering from a stress fracture in the same foot.

Without him, C.J. Harris will likely have to take over the primary ball-handling and playmaking duties. He is far more comfortable off the ball, but freshman J.T. Terrell (26 points Friday) is not capable of being a point guard. It will be a long season in Winston-Salem.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pe'Shon Howard follows elite footsteps

Over the past few years, there have been a couple of freshmen point guards to announce their arrival on the national scene immediately.

There was Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn hitting a deep 3-pointer to beat Saint Joseph’s in the 2007 NIT Season Tip-Off.

There was John Wall last year, going coast-to-coast and hitting a step-back jumper with 0.5 seconds left to beat Miami (Ohio).

And now there is another freshman point guard following in their footsteps – and it is not Kyrie Irving or Brandon Knight.

It’s Pe’Shon Howard.

“It’s great,” Howard said Thursday by phone. “I talked to John Wall last week, and it’s just really good. It’s only the second game of the season, though, with about 30 games left. So I’m just trying to get better.”

The Los Angeles native who played at Oak Hill Academy had the best moment of the young season on Wednesday night, when he nailed a mid-range jumper with 4.6 seconds left to beat Charleston, 75-74.

“I was just trying to get a good shot,” Howard said. “I knew I could either pass, or get a foul. But I had an open shot and I took it.”

“He never flinched and that is hard to do for a freshman,” head coach Gary Williams said after the game.

Howard has been a key factor for the Terrapins in their first two games, dishing out eight assists in the opener against Seattle and finishing with 14 points and four assists in Wednesday’s battle.

Like most newcomers, Howard overcame some rookie jitters.

“The first game I was nervous,” he said. “I couldn’t stand in one place, but I settled down at halftime. I think we all did, we picked it up towards the end of the game. We started out sluggish, and we did again last night.”

On the last couple of possessions, though, Howard showed the confidence of an upperclassman. He knocked down a 3-pointer to get the Terrapins within striking distance in the final minute, then hit the game-winning shot.

His poise stems from his performance in summer workouts and his smooth on-court attitude.

“Ever since the summer, when we were playing pick-up, I’ve been confident,” Howard said. “I think the guys have noticed that since then. My game is maturing, and I wanted the ball in my hands [on the last play]. I stay aggressive and don’t worry about mistakes, and just try to stay prepared.”

Howard flew under the radar during his high school days, not ranking in many top-100 lists or garnering constant recruiting coverage.

Despite that, his composure and demeanor while playing for Oak Hill could have tipped people off to his tremendous start in college.

“It’s a completely different game, but it prepared me,” Howard said. “I had to take shots in big games.

“People mature at different stages, and my last year at Oak Hill, I was getting better. At the end of the year, I guess we’ll see if I was underrated.”

Although he came off the bench in the first two games of the season, it might not be too long before Howard gets a spot in the starting lineup. If he continues to play like he has, it will be impossible to keep him off the court.

“He is a great point guard,” Williams said. “I really trust him, and he has confidence in himself.”

After last night, Williams and the rest of the Terrapins have confidence in Howard, too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rodriguez pops for Kansas State

On a fairly boring first day of the Early Signing Period, uncommitted point guard Angel Rodriguez spiced things up with a college decision.

The 5-foot-11 Rodriguez announced that he will attend Kansas State, choosing the Wildcats over North Carolina State and Louisville.

“It was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make, with any of my Miami Tropics players,” Rodriguez’s AAU coach, Art Alvarez, said. “All the coaches were working very hard on him, and he made the decision at about 2:00 a.m. We told him to sleep on it, and then about 30 minutes ago, he made his final decision.

While it comes as no surprise that the connection that Kansas State head coach Frank Martin has to the Miami area played a factor, there was one interesting curveball -- Rodriguez does not plan on signing a letter-of-intent until the late signing period.

“He gave them a verbal commitment but he is going to wait to sign,” Alvarez said. “We’re going to see what happens after the season. They’re ranked No. 3 in the preseason, so we’re going to see what happens with Frank [Martin] and everything in April.”

With Jacob Pullen leaving after this season, and no other point guards on the roster, Rodriguez has a chance to make an immediate impact.

“He’s a pure point guard, but, in the same token, he’s a scoring machine,” Alvarez said. “He’s a clone of J.J. Barea, the backup point guard for the Dallas Mavericks [and former Tropics point guard], and he has a chance to come in and play right away. He brings all that to the table.”

DeAndre Daniels and teammates waiting to sign

In this era of early commitments and constant recruiting, IMG Academy does things differently.

“Our guys don’t worry about recruiting for the first half of the year,” IMG Director Andy Borman said. “They focus on their academics and getting better. We hold off schools and coaches until 2011, even though we have a lot of coaches calling and coming to watch us.”

Borman added that none of his players will take any visits until schools begin conference play in January.

One of those players is DeAndre Daniels, a former Texas commit who will be the most sought-after player after the early signing period.

“His decommitment had nothing to do with Texas, it had everything to do with DeAndre,” Borman said. “He’s not worried about schools right now, he’s worried about getting better.”

Kansas has been to the Florida school to watch Daniels, while UCLA plans on coming next week. Memphis, Oregon and Texas have also been on campus, while West Virginia, North Carolina State, Baylor and Florida are also recruiting him heavily.

Phil Greene, who blossomed on the AAU circuit while playing on Mean Streets with Anthony Davis, is getting better and better.

“Man, he’s good,” Borman said. “He’s clearly a high-major.” Borman added that Greene is averaging 28 points and 11 assists through the first eight games of the season.

As for recruiting, Kansas, Oklahoma State, St. John’s, West Virginia and many others are showing interest.

Two more Chicago products that played on Mean Streets are beginning to generate significant buzz at IMG as well.

Jamari Traylor is a 6-foot-8 forward who plays above the rim, while Shayok Shayok is a Canada native who is active defensively.

Borman mentioned Xavier, Arizona State and Washington as schools interested in those two prospects.

With all the talent on the roster, expect IMG to be a regular stop on the recruiting trail for college coaches come January.

Todd Mayo blowing up, Cassell reclassifying?

Angel Nunez and Khem Birch aren’t the only high-major prospects at Notre Dame Prep this season.

Todd Mayo, who played last year at Germantown (Tenn.), is “exploding,” according to coach Ryan Hurd.

Right now, the schools coming at him the hardest are Marquette, Baylor, Marshall, Hofstra, UNLV and Memphis.

“Once we play in Connecticut next week, in front of all those coaches, he’s going to explode,” Hurd said. “I expect him to be one of the most sought-after guards in the country in the spring.”

Mayo will sign during the late period.

Another rising guard is Sam Cassell Jr., who transferred from St. Frances Academy (Md.).

Hurd said that he would likely reclassify to the class of 2012.

“He and his father both think that’s the best thing for him,” Hurd said.

New Jersey guard Myles Davis has already decided to reclassify to 2012.

Greene not planning to sign early

One player who raised his stock in a major way this summer was Phil Greene, who played with Mean Streets on the AAU circuit.

Greene transferred to IMG Academy (Fla.) before his senior season, and has not decided where he will play his college basketball.

“He is not signing [yet],” his mother said.

The 6-foot-3 guard has a long list that includes Oregon, Oregon State, West Virginia, St. John’s, Bradley, DePaul, South Florida, Oklahoma State, Nebraska and UTEP.

Greene has previously mentioned DePaul, St. John’s and West Virginia as his top three.

Chris Bryant will decide mid-season

Chris Bryant is not getting caught up in the hype of the early signing period, and plans on taking his time.

“Probably mid-season,” Bryant said when asked when he would decide.

The 6-foot-7 forward from Rickards (Fla.) is considering South Florida, Marquette, Florida State, UNC-Wilmington, Alabama and TCU.

He has not yet planned any visits, but would like to take some trips soon.

Van Nes will wait, has a wide-ranging list

An intriguing prospect that will still be on the board after the early signing period is Vince Van Nes, a 6-foot-11 England native.

Van Nes currently plays at Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.) for head coach John Carroll.

“Van Nes will wait,” Carroll said Wednesday.

He holds offers from Colorado, Fairfield, Florida International and others, with Wake Forest, Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Washington State showing interest.

Carroll said Van Nes visited Fairfield and FIU, with an unofficial to Wake Forest this past summer.

Freddie Wilson waiting on Seton Hall

When it was reported earlier today that Seton Hall was no longer recruiting Eli Carter and Carter was no longer considering the Pirates, most people were wondering where Seton Hall would turn for backcourt help.

Apparently the answer is Freddie Wilson.

When reached by text, Wilson said he hopes to sign during the early period.

“I’m waiting on them,” he said, referring to Seton Hall.

It looks like the Pirates might get another guard during the signing period after all.

Angel Rodriguez deciding tonight

The point guard garnering a lot of attention this week is Angel Rodriguez, a 5-foot-11 point guard from Florida.

Rodriguez is currently considering Kansas State, Louisville and North Carolina State, and is not sure whether he will sign in the next week or wait until the spring.

“We are going to decide tonight or first thing tomorrow morning,” Art Alvarez, Rodriguez’s AAU coach with the Miami Tropics, said.

Rodriguez attends Dr. Michael M. Krop (Fla.).

Jarrod Davis to reclassify?

Jarrod Davis created a stir in the summer when it seemed he had committed to Seton Hall, and is making news again with the possibility of reclassifying to 2012.

The 6-foot-6 swingman from Lakewood (N.J.) won’t make up his mind until after the season, but there is a chance he will end up in the class of 2012.

“I want to get stronger, more in shape, make sure every aspect of my game is sharp and I’m just ready,” Davis said.

While his commitment to Seton Hall jumped the gun, he is currently considering Siena, Pittsburgh, Middle Tennessee State, Missouri and Mississippi.

Huntington Prep pair blowing up

Huntington Prep constantly churns out high-major prospects from abroad, and this year will be no different.

Coach Rob Fulford currently has two seniors who are seeing their stock rise – but won’t sign until the spring.

Ibrahima Djimde, a 6-foot-9 big man from Mali, is “blowing up,” Fulford said. High-major schools are beginning to get involved.

On the perimeter, a Nigeria native, Maurice Aniefolk, has a very impressive list.

“Maurice has West Virginia, UCLA, Arizona State, Marquette, Cincinnati and Ole Miss,” Fulford said.

Neither has any visits planned, and since Huntington starts its season Wednesday, don’t expect any progress to be made for a couple of months.

Josh Richardson will wait to sign

Josh Richardson was an underrated prospect on the AAU circuit for Athletes First, and his list is expanding.

Richardson, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Santa Fe (Okla.), is currently considering Mississippi, Providence, Missouri State, Wichita State and Northeastern.

“Nobody is really out in front,” he said. “I’m still open."

Richardson has no visits set yet.

Jeremiah Davis will sign this week

Jeremiah Davis is set to make up his mind.

He will sign on “Friday, when he gets home with parents,” Huntington Prep (W.Va.) coach Rob Fulford said.

The 6-foot-2 guard is likely to decide between two schools.

"Looking like Cincinnati and Oklahoma State," Fulford said. "No official to Oklahoma State, just Cincinnati. [He's] discussing with family on Friday evening and will make the call."

Chol to sign in February

Angelo Chol, one of the top uncommitted big men left on the market, has a date targeted for when he wants to sign – but it won’t be this week.

“February 17th,” Chol said.

“I’m still with the same five schools: Alabama, Arizona, Washington, Kansas and North Carolina,” he added.

The 6-foot-8 forward from Herbert Hoover (Calif.) has taken visits to Alabama and Kansas so far. He has one planned to North Carolina in January.

Williams has one visit, will sign next week

The signing day fun won’t end this week for one school, as Amir Williams plans on signing next week.

“Next Wednesday,” Williams said.

The 6-foot-9 center from Detroit Country Day (Mich.) has a visit to Ohio State this weekend.

He is also considering DePaul, Florida, Purdue and Michigan.

Madden saga not over

Rashad Madden’s signing day saga is not over yet.

After originally saying he wanted to wait until the spring, then changing his mind and announcing he will sign Friday, it is up in the air again.

“My cousin is in jail right now, and won’t get out until March,” Madden said. “Out of respect for him, I want to wait. He's never seen anything like this.”

He did say the plan is still to sign on Friday, but he won’t make his final decision on whether to sign or not until tonight or tomorrow morning.

The 6-foot-5 guard is committed to Arkansas.

Kareem Canty looking at four

Kareem Canty’s stock rose on the spring and summer circuit with the Long Island Lightning, and he parlayed that into several high-major offers.

Don’t expect Canty to make a decision in the coming weeks, though.

“As of right now, I’m still undecided,” he said. “I will commit midway through my season.”

The 6-foot-1 point guard is considering Alabama, Seton Hall, Arizona and UNLV.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Preseason Bracket Breakdown


2010-2011 Preseason Bracket

Breakdown by Conference

  • ACC (6): Duke, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Florida State, Maryland
  • Big East (8): Pittsburgh, Villanova, Syracuse, Georgetown, West Virginia, Marquette, Notre Dame, Seton Hall
  • Big Ten (6): Michigan State, Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin, Northwestern
  • Big 12 (6): Kansas State, Kansas, Missouri, Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M
  • Pac-10 (3): Washington, Arizona, UCLA
  • SEC (6): Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt
  • Atlantic-10 (4): Temple, Xavier, Richmond, Dayton
  • Conference-USA (2): Memphis, Southern Miss
  • Mountain West (4): San Diego State, BYU, New Mexico, UNLV
  • West Coast (2): Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount

One-Bid Conferences (21): America East (Boston University); Atlantic Sun (East Tennessee State); Big Sky (Weber State); Big South (Coastal Carolina); Big West (UC Santa Barbara); Colonial (Old Dominion); Horizon (Butler); Ivy (Princeton); MAC (Ohio); MAAC (Fairfield); MEAC (Morgan State); Missouri Valley (Wichita State); Northeast (Quinnipiac); Ohio Valley (Murray State); Patriot (Lafayette); Southern (Wofford); Southland (Stephen F. Austin); Summit (Oakland); Sun Belt (North Texas); SWAC (Jackson State); WAC (Utah State)

  • Last Four In: Seton Hall, Texas A&M, Southern Miss, Loyola Marymount
  • Last Four Out: Saint Mary’s, Connecticut, Minnesota, St. John’s
  • Next Four Out: Oklahoma State, Miami (Fl.), Colorado, New Mexico State


  • National Champion: Kansas State
  • National Runner-up: Duke

  • Final Four: Pittsburgh
  • Final Four: Ohio State

  • Elite Eight: Michigan State
  • Elite Eight: Washington
  • Elite Eight: Florida
  • Elite Eight: Illinois

  • Cinderellas: San Diego State, Murray State, Wichita State, Fairfield
  • Busts: Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky