Friday, March 27, 2015

News On The Horizon 3/27/2015


NJIT Party Continues With Win Over Cleveland State--Big Apple Buckets
The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 24, 2015--Hoopville
New Jersey Tech continues to make a run in the CIT, as the Highlanders moved to the quarterfinals by defeating Cleveland State 80-77 when Ky Howard hit a three-pointer with 19.7 seconds left. Also advancing are Evansville-an 83-68 winner at Eastern Illinois-and Kent State, which won at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 69-65 in a back-and-forth game.
Izzo's staff worked diligently to alter plan vs. UVA--The Detroit Free Press
"We never play defense quite that way," junior Bryn Forbes said. "Usually, we jump to the ball and stay in the gaps. As guards, we weren't doing that. We were having our bigs being the nail (help) man in the middle. So when their guards would drive, (MSU's post players) would step up. We changed a lot, and it worked."
Team effort gives MSU win over Virginia in tournament--The Detroit Free Press
Alvin Ellis and Marvin Clark Jr. each chipped in 11 minutes – Clark playing power forward with Dawson at small forward for a stretch, in a lineup shift for Izzo – and Bryn Forbes had his second straight key contribution in an NCAA game.

Forbes played "the best defense of his life," Izzo said, and he also scored seven points. He hit his only three-point try, a second-half swish to make it 37-25 MSU. On the play, Valentine led Forbes to a spot, a chemistry moment between two childhood friends.
...
Valentine needs five points on Friday to reach 1,000 for his career. Trice, Dawson and Forbes already have 1,000 points, though Forbes scored most of his in his first two seasons at Cleveland State.
Fatherhood, family illness top concerns for MSU's Forbes--The Detroit Free Press
Seidel: Forbes has made 'giant strides' since joining MSU--The Detroit Free Press
MSU vs. Oklahoma in NCAAs: Scouting report, pick--The Detroit Free Press
Benches

Oklahoma's top reserve is guard Frank Booker, a 6-4 guard who aids the pressure defense and is third on the team with 36 three-pointers. The Sooners also get help from 6-1 guard Dinjiyl Walker and forwards D.J. Bennett and Khadeem Lattin. MSU's bench has been huge in the past few weeks, though Bryn Forbes' surge is more recent than that. Matt Costello will be important in this game inside, and the Spartans need Marvin Clark Jr., Alvin Ellis and perhaps Colby Wollenman to give good minutes. If the Spartans can get some mileage out of their depth, they'll be better late.

Edge: MSU
Niyo: Bryn Forbes finally feeling at home for MSU--The Detroit News
CSU Basketball Notebook: Cleveland State visits NJIT Monday night for second-round CIT matchup--Cleveland State Hoops
Vikings Fall at NJIT, 80-77, in CIT Second Round--csuvikings.com

Growing up basketball: Son of a coach, Ackerman felt destined to pursue game--Varsity Press
'Thunder' looks back--Varsity Press
Howard MVP, Wilson most improved at awards dinner--Varsity Press

Season over, Titans rest, reflect--Varsity Press

'Rad' stays positive despite firing--Varsity Press

Athletes: Private lives in the public eye--Oakland Post
FELDER FINALIST FOR LOU HENSON AWARD--ougrizzlies.com

The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 22, 2015--Hoopville
Reports are that Illinois-Chicago is set to hire former Wyoming head coach and current Indiana assistant Steve McClain as its next coach. It sounds like a good move. McClain was 157-115 while coaching Wyoming from 1998-2007 and often had entertaining teams.
Steve McClain hired as new UIC basketball coach--Press Row Sports
New UIC coach Steve McClain sets expectations high--The Catch and Shoot
Keifer Sykes to participate in NCAA dunk contest--The Catch and Shoot
Indiana associate coach named head of UIC men’s basketball--UIC News
New Flames basketball coach ready to win next year--UIC News
McClain fanning the Flames--Whoosh!Net
UIC Hires Steve McClain as 11th Head Men's Basketball Coach--uicflames.com
UIC Welcomes MBB Coach Steve McClain at Wednesday Press Conference--uicflames.com

Keifer Sykes will be in Final Four dunk contest--Green Bay Press Gazette
Brian Wardle a potential candidate for Bradley job--Phear The Phoenix
New Resch Center scoreboard coming soon?--Phear The Phoenix
Sykes to Participate in State Farm College Slam Dunk Championship--GreenBayPhoenix.com
Keifer Sykes Named to NABC All-District 12 First Team--GreenBayPhoenix.com

NCAA Tournament first week review: few upsets, but history-rich programs remain--Hoopville
The real upsets in this year’s tournament are largely missing, and that’s ok. What makes the tourney the lovable, all-encompassing event that it is are not just the upsets, but the near upsets. It’s the way it consistently settles (or at least should settle) arguments that the champion of the Big West or Horizon League can’t compete with middling teams from the ACC or Big Ten, much less top 25 squads from those conferences.

No, teams like Buffalo, Harvard, Northeastern, UC Irvine, Valparaiso and Wofford didn’t win their first round games. But they were right there down to the final minute and literally came within a possession or two of pulling off wins. The bottom line is the bottom line, but if one peels the onion back even a little, they know the truth. Every one of those teams belonged, and all of them provided exciting moments, even if they didn’t give many the ultimate sugar high of a surprising win.
Tennessee basketball: Top candidates to replace Donnie Tyndall--The Sporting News
Sources: Bobby Hurley Still Planning to Interview at DePaul (UPDATED)--Zagsblog
Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew will also interview at DePaul in the coming days, sources confirmed to SNY.tv.
...
Drew, 40, is 94-42 in two seasons at Valparaiso, including a 28-6 record this past season and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
DePaul coaching search could come down to Bobby Hurley, Bryce Drew--The Post-Tribune
Valparaiso to fill with inside hole with Derrik Smits, Daniel Relvao--The Post-Tribune
Griffith sets state basketball ticket sales--The Post-Tribune
VU's Drew up for coaching award: Valparaiso University's Bryce Drew is one of 16 finalists for the Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year Award, given to the top mid-major coach.

Drew led the Crusaders to a school-record 28 wins, Horizon League regular-season and tournament titles and an NCAA tournament berth.

The award will be presented at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 3 at the Final Four in Indianapolis.
Andrew grad Jubril Adekoya changes roles, earns Horizon League honor--The Post-Tribune
Valparaiso coach expects everyone, himself included, to return next season--The NWI Times
Drew shares thoughts on Maryland and the future--Inside VU Sports
Drew Named Finalist for Hugh Durham Award--valpoathletics.com
Valpo Basketball Preview--valpoathletics.com
Drew Named Region Coach of the Year; Peters An All-Region Selection--valpoathletics.com

Men’s basketball: LeCrone address HL changes--The Guardian

Keene & Vaughn leaving YSU men’s program--WKBN
Keene, Vaughn to leave YSU basketball progam--Youngstown Vindicator
Departures cause huge void for YSU--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle

UIC Hires Steve McClain as Men's Basketball Coach--Horizon League Network
CSU Falls in Second Round of CIT--Horizon League Network
GB's Sykes to Participate in State Farm College Slam Dunk Championship--Horizon League Network
Oakland's Felder and Green Bay's Sykes Named Finalists for Lou Henson POY Award--Horizon League Network
Seven Horizon League Players Earn NABC All-District Honors; Bryce Drew District 12 Coach of the Year--Horizon League Network

Sunday, March 22, 2015

News On The Horizon 3/22/2015


MSU notes: Bryn Forbes with crucial minutes off bench--The Detroit Free Press
Vikings Continue Play in CIT on Monday at NJIT--csuvikings.com

UIC to hire Indiana assistant Steve McClain as head coach--CollegeBasketballTalk
Illinois-Chicago hires IU assistant Steve McClain as head coach--Sports Illustrated
Illinois-Chicago set to hire Steve McClain--Mid-Major Madness
Indiana assistant Steve McClain accepts UIC head coaching job--The Catch and Shoot

Phoenix, Princeton similarly stingy, tough teams--Green Bay Press Gazette
UWGB falls short against Princeton in NCAA tournament--Green Bay Press Gazette
Phoenix no match for bigger Tigers inside--Green Bay Press Gazette
Phoenix return home after NCAA Tourney loss--Green Bay Press Gazette
Green Bay in the Big Dance: Scouting Princeton--GreenBayPhoenix.com
On the Road with the Phoenix: Part II--GreenBayPhoenix.com
Green Bay Falls to Princeton in NCAA Tournament Battle--GreenBayPhoenix.com

The Morning Dish – Friday, March 20, 2015--Hoopville
The Midwest includes what on paper is the very best first round game of them all with West Virginia going against Buffalo. The Bulls will need to handle the WVU pressure, but also keep an eye on UB’s defense as well, which is very good. Maryland opens with Valparaiso, and don’t overlook this game, either. Champions from top 15 conferences almost always are tough outs, and though they are offensively challenged, the Crusaders are good enough defensively to take this one down to the wire. Also in Omaha, Kansas opens against a New Mexico State team that has been injury-riddled this year but is still athletic and tall enough to cause trouble, and Wichita State plays Indiana in a game that will be dominated by guards. The Shockers’ being tourney tested would figure to be a difference, but is no guarantee for a team that can really struggle at times offensively. And if Yogi Ferrell gets going, this one could quickly sway in the Hoosiers’ favor.
The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 21, 2015--Hoopville
West Virginia will take on No. 4 Maryland, who held off No. 13 Valparaiso 65-62 behind a balanced attack that saw three Terrapins score 14 points, including Melo Trimble, who added ten rebounds.
Rushed Reactions: #4 Maryland 65, #13 Valparaiso 62--Rush The Court
Pregame Shootaround: 16 more games on tap for Friday--CollegeBasketballTalk
UPSET WATCH
...
No. 13 Valparaiso vs. No. 4 Maryland, 4:40 p.m. (TNT): Bryce Drew is no stranger to upsets and has a chance if he can slow down Maryland guards Melo Trimble and Dez Wells. The Crusaders have the size up front to make this tight.
Tourney Snacks: Recapping Day 2 of the NCAA Tournament--CollegeBasketballTalk
BLOWN CALL OF THE DAY: No. 4 Maryland 65, No. 13 Valpo 62

This is becoming all too familiar of a theme in this tournament. This time, it’s Varun Ram avoiding a whistle as he raked the arms of Keith Carter as he tried to get off a desperation, last-second three.
No. 4 seed Maryland gets a stop on the final possession in knocking off No. 13 seed Valparaiso--CollegeBasketballTalk
Breaks go against underdogs in chalk-filled Day 2 of NCAA tournament--Sports Illustrated
Valparaiso's shot at another first-round buzzer-beater didn't go as well--The Dagger
Day 4 Open Thread + Picking The Lines--Basketball Predictions
Maryland (-4.5) over Valparaiso: This is a popular upset, and tightly so. Maryland is the weakest 4 seed and Valparaiso is a strong 13 seed. Pomeroy has the spread at only 2. What makes me nervous about taking Valparaiso is that their biggest strength is the paint. 6'9" Alec Peters is their best player, and their offense is heavily dependent on offensive rebounds. Maryland isn't a great defensive rebounding team, but they were fairly good (6th best in the Big Ten), and more importantly they are massive. Five of the ten guys in their regular rotation are 6'8" or larger. I think that they force Valparaiso to hit outside shots to beat them.
No new March memory for Bryce, Homer Drew as Valpo falls to Maryland--USA Today
Bryce Drew and Bobby Hurley hope to create more March magic--USA Today
Maryland holds off Valparaiso 65-62 with late swipe--CBS Sports
Illinois-Chicago to hire Indiana assistant Steve McClain as head coach--Eye On College Basketball
Friday's Viewer's Guide: Will Day Two repeat Day One's epic action?--Eye On College Basketball
No. 13 Valparaiso vs. No. 4 Maryland (-4.5); 4:40 ET, TNT: This tournament marks the 17th anniversary of Bryce Drew's shot to beat Ole Miss in 1998. Can he lead the Crusaders back to the promised land as a coach? It's possible. However, they'll need to slow down Melo Trimble and Dez Wells on the perimeter to do so, and that could be a tall task. But if they can control the glass on both ends like they have all season as well as get some timely shots from Alec Peters, they could pull off a bit of a surprising win. It's also worth mentioning that Maryland has won 10 of its 11 games decided by six points or fewer, which is likely unsustainable going into the future. Can that luck keep up?
Night Court: Chalk city as nearly every higher seed wins on Friday--Eye On College Basketball
Maryland also wins on controversial call at end over Valpo.

The Terps came away with a 65-62 win against Valparaiso, but under some strange circumstances. With 14 seconds left, Valparaiso inbounded the ball and ran some putrid end of game offense. With about three seconds left in the corner, Keith Carter went up for a jumper and this happened.

That's little-used walk-on Varun Ram making what amounted to be a huge defensive play, but ultimately one that was a foul and went uncalled. Who knows if Valpo makes the free throws in that late-game situation, but it sure would have been nice for them to have gotten the chance.

Regardless, this was a game that ended up staying close solely due to timely 3-point shooting from the Crusaders. Valpo only shot 36 percent from the field for the game, but ultimately 12 3-pointers kept them in the game and gave them a real chance to tie or even win it late. Maryland got 14 points each from Dez Wells and Melo Trimble, but rather it was the 14 points from Jared Nickens that played the pivotal role. Even though he only had two in the second half, his four 3s in the first half really turned the game and not only slowed a big Valpo run, but also gave Maryland momentum to get going.
2015 NCAA Tournament recap: Valparaiso's final effort fails to get Crusaders past Maryland--Mid-Major Madness
Valparaiso loses in devastating fashion at NCAA Tournament--The Catch and Shoot
VU fans proud of Crusaders despite first-round loss--The Post-Tribune
Valparaiso falls to Maryland 65-62--The Post-Tribune
Valparaiso battles Maryland, narrowly misses upset--The Post-Tribune
Valparaiso acknowledges effort, but vows return to NCAA tournament--The Post-Tribune
CRUSADERS NOTEBOOK: Columbus turns into a family affair for the Carters--The NWI Times
Clock strikes midnight for Crusaders--The NWI Times
Missed opportunities end Valparaiso’s record season--The NWI Times
Crusaders expecting to make return trip to NCAA tournament--The NWI Times
Columnist prediction for Valparaiso vs. Maryland--The Torch
March Madness in the Midwest--The Torch
Crusaders lose close game in second round of NCAA Tournament--The Torch
Peters Eclipses 1,000-Point Mark in 65-62 Loss to Maryland--valpoathletics.com

Losing season serves as motivation for Valparaiso--The Torch

Women’s basketball: Raiders season ends in WNIT 1st round--The Guardian
Women Fall to Toledo in WNIT First Round--wsuraiders.com

Ex-YSU standout Perry had to adjust to Australia--Youngstown Vindicator
Looking back, ahead at YSU men’s program--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle

Schlegel says farewell as YSU women fall in WNIT--Youngstown Vindicator
End of the road--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Future looks bright for Penguins--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle

Valparaiso Falls to Maryland in NCAA Tournament, 65-62--Horizon League Network

Youngstown State Falls to Duquesne in WNIT First Round--Horizon League Network
Green Bay Set to Face Princeton Saturday--Horizon League Network
Green Bay Falls to Undefeated Princeton in NCAA Touranment--Horizon League Network

Thursday, March 19, 2015

News On The Horizon 3/19/2015


Late Night Snacks: All of Wednesday’s other tournament action--CollegeBasketballTalk
CIT
...
Team of the Day: Cleveland State

The Vikings blew out Western Michigan of the MAC on Wednesday night, 86-57. Charlie had 28 points and seven assists to lead the way, while Anton Grady chipped in with 21 points, 14 boards and six assists.
Cleveland State Vikings vs Western Michigan Broncos CIT Recap: Charlie Lee Catches Fire To Down Broncos 86-57--Hustle Belt
NCAA scouting report: Can MSU hold off talented Georgia?--The Detroit Free Press
Benches

Bum left foot or not, expect Gaines to give it everything he has for the Bulldogs. Adrenaline can be a powerful medicine. Georgia also gets quality play from freshman big man and former MSU recruiting target Yante Maten and 6-7 junior forward Cameron Forte. Senior Taylor Echols provides some backcourt depth. The Bulldogs will miss guard Juwan Parker (Achilles) who will dress and be available for emergency use only. MSU could use more shooting from Bryn Forbes, who hit some big ones against Wisconsin after a quiet stretch. Marvin Clark Jr. is locked in as a quality backup for Dawson, while Alvin Ellis has been improving. And Costello has been MSU's best center all season. Colby Wollenman is ready if MSU gets in foul trouble.
Wojo: Wipe slate clean — It's Tournament time--The Detroit News
Izzo invests in his teams emotionally and laments the transitory nature of the game, from the one-and-done recruits to the loose transfer rules that allow players to jump. He plays it, too — Bryn Forbes, a transfer from Cleveland State, has been a valuable addition — but is it good for the sport? Kentucky has lost freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Nerlens Noel, Julius Randle and James Young to the first round of the past few NBA drafts, and has more possible first-yeahttp://www.cleveland.com/sports/college/index.ssf/2015/03/cleveland_state_falls_to_michi.htmlr departures — Karl-Anthony Towns, Trey Lyles, Devin Booker.
Cleveland State falls to Michigan in WNIT, 72-50--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland State rolls past Western Michigan in CIT, 86-57--Cleveland Plain Dealer
CSU Hits 13 Three's in 86-57 Win at Western Michigan--csuvikings.com

Women’s Basketball Falls At Michigan In WNIT First Round--csuvikings.com

Titans Receive Valuable Financial Management Lesson From The EKS Group--detroittitans.com

'Looks favorable' for Martez Walker to be on Oakland's team--The Detroit News

The Morning Dish – Thursday, March 19, 2015--Hoopville
Also in the NIT, Arizona State and Vanderbilt also pulled off mild surprises on the road, while Illinois State also eliminated Wisconsin-Green Bay 69-56.
Lee's 18 points lead Illinois State, 69-56 in NIT--CBS Sports
UWGB's Keifer Sykes scores his own rap song--Green Bay Press Gazette
UWGB's season ends in another NIT loss--Green Bay Press Gazette
Green Bay's 2015 Season Ends with Loss at Illinois State--GreenBayPhoenix.com

NCAA sendoff for UWGB women is Thursday--Green Bay Press Gazette
VIDEO: A Look Back at Green Bay in the NCAA Tournament--GreenBayPhoenix.com
Follow the Phoenix at the NCAA Tournament--GreenBayPhoenix.com
Green Bay Ready for NCAA Tournament First Round Game vs Princeton--GreenBayPhoenix.com

Valparaiso, Bryce Drew ready to make fresh NCAA tournament memories--Washington Post
Valparaiso’s Alec Peters savors first trip to NCAA tournament--Washington Post
Valparaiso’s Keith Carter: From Heartbreak to Happiness--One Bid Wonders
NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.18.15 Edition--Rush The Court
In Valparaiso, the Drews are “more than just basketball royalty, they are the first family.” Having already won three regular season Horizon League championships, coach Bryce Drew loves being a part of the program that has family – including himself – has given so much to over the years.
2015 NCAA tournament: Midwest region analysis and capsules--USA Today
13. Valparaiso

Nickname: Crusaders. Location: Valparaiso, Ind.

Record: 28-5, 13-3. Bid: Horizon champ.

Last appearance: 2013, lost to Michigan State in Round of 64.

Coach: Bryce Drew, 0-1 in one appearance.

Overview: Valparaiso struggled with injuries but till won the league regular-season title before fending off determined Green Bay in the conference. Now fully healthy and loaded with confidence, the Crusaders will be a favorite to become a Cinderella and pull off tournament magic reminiscent of when their coach was playing for Valpo.

Twitter:@ValpoBasketball

Did you know? Valparaiso once boasted the "world's tallest basketball team." A group of men who were too tall to join the military during WWII came to play basketball at Valparaiso.

Starters: C Vashil Fernandez, 6-10, Sr. (6.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.0 bpg), F Alec Peters, 6-9, So. (16.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg), G Tevonn Walker, 6-1, Fr. (10.2 ppg), G E. Victor Nickerson, 6-8, Jr. (6.2 ppg), G Darien Walker, 6-3, Jr. (10.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg).
Valparaiso vs Maryland--CBS Sports
Valparaiso players are well aware of 'The Shot': NCAA Tournament 2015--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Valparaiso goes from under radar to trendy NCAA upset pick--The Post-Tribune
Valparaiso defense doesn't plan to deviate from regular-season course--The Post-Tribune
VU campus ready to dance--The Post-Tribune
Valparaiso following similar script from previous Maryland encounter--The NWI Times
Bryce Drew continuing the family business--The NWI Times
VALPARAISO NOTEBOOK: Valparaiso’s voice calling for good outcome--The NWI Times
Size matters for the Crusaders--The NWI Times
Crusaders make final preparations for Big Dance--The NWI Times
Valparaiso Game Notes - 2015 NCAA Tournament vs. Maryland--valpoathletics.com
Crusaders Spend Thursday in Final Prep For Maryland--valpoathletics.com

YSU ready for tall challenge in Duquesne--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Women’s Basketball Prepares for WNIT--The Jambar
Penguins Fall to Duquesne in First Round--The Jambar
YSU's Season Ends With 72-54 WNIT Loss to Duquesne--ysusports.com

CSU Rolls in CIT Opener; GB Falls in NIT First Round--Horizon League Network
Valpo To Begin NCAA Tournament Play Friday Versus Maryland--Horizon League Network

Cleveland State Falls to Michigan in First Round of WNIT--Horizon League Network

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

News On The Horizon 3/18/2015

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, March 18, 2015--Hoopville
Side Dishes:
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Five games were played in the CIT. South Carolina Upstate edged James Madison 73-72 in an excellent matchup, while three road teams won. Most notably, Eastern Illinois outran Oakland 97-91, while Louisiana-Lafayette won at Incarnate Word 83-68.
...
The remaining seven first round games will be played tonight in the NIT. Good matchups include St. Mary’s hosting a Vanderbilt team that was underappreciated this year, as well as Illinois State hosting Wisconsin-Green Bay. Colorado State shouldn’t even be in the NIT, and its reward for being there is a pairing with a good South Dakota State team. St. Francis (N.Y.) also makes its first postseason appearance since the 1963 NIT when it faces Richmond in a first round game.

Waters Named Finalist for Ben Jobe Award--csuvikings.com

Late Night Snacks, non-NCAA tournament edition: Tulsa, Murray State advance in Postseason NIT--CollegeBasketballTalk
TARRED

1. Oakland’s Kahlil Felder

Felder was outstanding in a losing effort the the Golden Grizzlies, finishing with 37 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists in a 97-91 loss to Eastern Illinois in the CIT.
Central Michigan, Oakland ousted from tournaments--The Detroit Free Press
Eastern Illinois 97, Oakland 91

Reggie Smith scored 26 points and Trae Anderson 19 as Eastern Illinois beat Oakland in a first-round CollegeInsider.com tournament game at Rochester.

The Panthers (18-14) shot 55% (33-for-60), including 48.4% (15-for-31) from three-point range. Oakland hit 45.9% (34-for-74), 27.8% (10-for-36) on three-point tries.

Kahlil Felder had 37 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds for Oakland (16-17). Dante Williams added 19 points and five rebounds. Corey Petros scored 12 for OU, which had an 11-game home win streak snapped.

In a big of good news for OU, Felder's alley-oop to Tommie McCune was the No. 8 play on "SportsCenter's" Top 10 on Wednesday morning:
Tuesday's roundup: Seasons over for CMU, Oakland--The Detroit News
Oakland falls to Eastern Illinois in first round of CIT--The Oakland Press
Eastern Illinois ends Oakland’s season with 97-91 defeat in CIT Tournament opener--Press Row Sports
Eastern Illinois ousts Oakland in first round of CIT--Oakland Post
EIU OUTSCORES OAKLAND, 97-91, IN CIT OPENER--ougrizzlies.com

UWGB men focus on season's positives--Green Bay Press Gazette
Green Bay Opens NIT at Illinois State on Wednesday--GreenBayPhoenix.com

Spend Your Lunch Sending the Phoenix off in Style--GreenBayPhoenix.com

In Valparaiso, Terps will see a similar team on Friday--Baltimore Sun
2015 NCAA Tournament Players to Watch – Part 2--Hoopville
Alec Peters, So. F, Valparaiso
After a promising freshman season, he was even better this year, leading the Crusaders in scoring and rebounding while shooting 46 percent from long range.
And these are your Cinderellas …--CollegeBasketballTalk
BUT WHO CAN’T?

1. No. 13 Valparaiso: Valpo can beat Maryland. Let me just get that out of the way right now. They’re a very, very good team defensively in the half court, one that is going to give Maryland’s back court of Dez Wells and Melo Trimble issues. There are times where the Terp offense essentially boils down to allowing those two guards to try and beat their defenders one-on-one, and that will not be an easy thing to do against the Crusaders. If they can bet past Maryland, however, I hate their matchup against West Virginia, who, assuming Juwan State actually is healthy, should be Buffalo. Valpo’s point guard situation is in flux due to injuries, and that is a nightmare scenario when playing against a team that thrives on forcing turnovers.
Valparaiso star Peters has dealt with heartbreak on and off the court--The NWI Times
Valparaiso becoming second home for the Second City--The NWI Times
Valparaiso Game Notes - 2015 NCAA Tournament vs. Maryland--valpoathletics.com

Women’s basketball: Raiders begin WNIT play--The Guardian

For YSU women, WNIT carries bigger challenge but more prestige--Youngstown Vindicator
YSU’s Schlegel has different perspective in this WNIT game--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

News On The Horizon 3/17/2015


Wojo: Inconsistent ways leave MSU hard to predict--The Detroit News
It's a solid group that doesn't create off-court headaches, just a few on-court heartaches. Give Izzo and his staff credit, because after sitting at 15-8 on Feb. 7, the Spartans got on a roll, and almost every player has shown improvement. Matt Costello has developed into a rugged presence, and freshman Tum Tum Nairn Jr. has provided a spark in the starting lineup. Marvin Clark Jr. and Bryn Forbes are capable of big moments, too.
Vikings Open CIT at Western Michigan on Wednesday--csuvikings.com

Cleveland State Women's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule--College Sports Madness
Women’s Basketball Earns WNIT At-Large Bid--csuvikings.com

Detroit fires women's basketball coach Rademacher--The Detroit Free Press
Titans Announce Change Of Leadership In Women’s Basketball Program--detroittitans.com

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 17, 2015--Hoopville
Tonight’s Menu:
...
Five more games happen in the CIT. Eastern Illinois is at Oakland, James Madison travels to South Carolina Upstate, Bowling Green is at St. Francis (Pa.), Norfolk State plays at Eastern Kentucky and Louisiana-Lafayette goes to Incarnate Word, which makes its first D-I tourney appearance.
CMU, OU find motivation after not making NCAAs--The Detroit Free Press

Hirings and firings: 2015 college basketball coaching changes--Eye On College Basketball
Illinois-Chicago

Out: Howard Moore. Moore was let go for a lack of on-court success, according to athletic director Jim Schmidt. And honestly, it's not a huge surprise. UIC never really showed any consistent modicum of success under Moore, going 49-111 in his five seasons at the helm with only one winning season (2012-13). The Flames went 10-24 this year with an upperclassman-laden roster, and didn't show a ton of progress following the winning year two seasons ago. One other thing worth mentioning: the Flames do have three top-400 recruits coming in next season according to 247Sports. That's an impressive haul for a school the size of UIC, and it'll be interesting to see if they stick around with the switch.


Hagemeister Park to Host Men's Basketball Viewing Party on Wednesday--GreenBayPhoenix.com

Green Bay Women's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule--College Sports Madness
UWGB women face unbeaten Princeton in NCAA opener--Green Bay Press Gazette
Green Bay to Face Undefeated Princeton in First Round of NCAA Tournament--GreenBayPhoenix.com

Buffalo, Eastern Washington among teams capable of springing an NCAA Tournament upset--CollegeBasketballTalk
Another possibility that will receive attention: No. 13 Valparaiso over No. 4 Maryland

Mark Turgeon’s team has put together a very good year, winning 27 games and finishing second in the Big Ten with Melo Trimble, Dez Wells and Jake Layman leading the way. But they have what could be a difficult matchup given the Crusaders’ front court talent. Bryce Drew’s team rebounds more than 35 percent of its missed shots on the season, with Alec Peters, Vashil Fernandez and Jubril Adekoya being solid offensive rebounders. Add in the fact that the 6-foot-9 Peters can score both inside and out, and an upset is possible here.
Complete Midwest Region Analysis--Basketball Predictions
Maryland/Valparaiso is another game where you need to think seriously about the upset. The Vegas spread is only at 5 points, and it's there for a reason. In fact, Pomeroy has the spread at only 3. Maryland went 11-1 in games decided by six points or fewer, and they are decidedly weaker than their resume. Valparaiso, meanwhile, is good enough that they could have contended for an at-large bid if they had a better schedule and a little bit more luck in close games. The test for Valparaiso is going to be scoring points against this defense, though. Alec Peters was a dominant power scorer in the Horizon League, but Maryland's front line is much bigger and more physical than anything in the Horizon League. And I'm not sure Valparaiso has the ability to shut down Dez Wells and Melo Trimble. Maryland was only 10th in the Big Ten in offensive efficiency, but they should be able to score enough points with Wells and Trimble that Valparaiso is not going to be able to win this game with 55 points (it's been more than a month since Valparaiso scored more than 63 points in a game, and their last four wins have all come with 60 points or fewer). So I think Maryland does escape here, though it would be a little bit of karma if they lose on the final play of a game after so much luck in close games all season long.
2015 NCAA Tournament Super Seeds: Best team on every seed line--Eye On College Basketball
13. Valparaiso is one of the few teams to hold Green Bay's Keifer Sykes in check this season, so I'll give the Crusaders a shot to lock down Melo Trimble. There is no individual star that will capture your attention, but the balanced and consistent winning under Bryce Drew (oh yeah, I guess he's the name you'll recognize here) with two tournament trips in four years is impressive.
2015 NCAA Tournament's five most likely Round of 64 upsets--CBS Sports
5. No. 13 Valparaiso over No. 4 Maryland

Reasons to pick the upset: Maryland has been one of the most fortunate teams in America this season, winning 10 of its 11 games decided by six points or fewer. Now, part of that is due to the presence of Melo Trimble, a terrific free-throw shooter who can close out games at the line. But still, they would not be expected to win over 90 percent of their games within two possessions. So maybe Maryland's patten of good fortune combined with solid late-game execution runs out here?

There's also the matchup against Valparaiso, which is a bit interesting. Maryland is an average defensive rebounding team and a poor offensive rebounding team. The Crusaders do a good job of controlling the glass on both ends. The Terps' defense also doesn't force turnovers or steals, which is the place where the Crusaders tend to struggle most on offense. So if the Crusaders can control the boards and limit turnovers, they would probably be halfway home to an upset. It would just come down to making shots against the more athletic Terps. Given that Valpo knocked down 38 percent of its 3-point attempts this year, I might take my chances on that.

Reasons to pick the favorite: Maryland has a really good perimeter-based player -- Jake Layman -- to match up with Valparaiso's terrific stretch-four Alec Peters. If Layman can control that matchup against Peters and slow him down with his mix of size and athleticism, Valpo would need other guys to step up who might not be able to do so. Also, simply put, Maryland is an extremely athletic, talented team. The Crusaders haven't seen a backcourt this season (sorry, Green Bay and Keifer Sykes) that can match the Terps' ability to get into the lane and make plays. The question will be whether Trimble and Dez Wells can finish over Vashil Fernandez or get him into foul trouble, as he has turned into an excellent rim protector. Given that I think there is a strong chance the Terps can neutralize the Crusaders' advantage inside, this is a tough one to call.
Cinderella Suggestions--Define Mid-Major
(13) Valparaiso - If one of these teams is able to run their offense efficiently, they will win the game. Neither team averages 70 points per game, so scoring could be at a premium. If Valpo is able to play the defense they have been playing against Horizon League competition against Maryland, they will be right in this game. The Crusaders give up just 59.3 points per game and hasn't given up more than 76 points in a non-overtime game all season. These teams are going to struggle to score, so if one team can get their players to the rim, they will win the game.
State again dancing as 5 teams make tourney--Journal Gazette
Valparaiso's Drew adds another chapter to family legacy--Associated Press
Here Are 10 Potential Cinderellas You Should Consider Picking In Your NCAA Tournament Bracket--Uproxx Sports
No. 13 Valparaiso

28-5, No. 63 KenPom, No. 50 RPI, plays No. 4 Maryland in Midwest Region

No stranger to the Cinderella role, Valpo won 10 of their last 11 games (including the Horizon Tournament) to close out the year, including a pair of wins over both Cleveland State and Green Bay. The Crusaders are extremely dangerous from beyond the arc and have an eclectic and long team that could pose some matchup problems against Maryland. Somehow Valparaiso managed to do a good job of shutting down Keifer Sykes, Green Bay’s terrific guard, in the teams’ three meetings, and that same type of defense against Maryland’s Melo Trimble, one of the best freshmen in all of college basketball, will be critical.
As usual, Valparaiso is a tournament threat--Fort Wayne News-Sentinel
Indiana college teams back dancing again in NCAAs--Fort Wayne News-Sentinel
Valparaiso (28-5) will forever be known for Bryce Drew's last-second shot to beat Mississippi in 1998. Guess what, fans of how time flies? He's the coach now, following in dad Homer's footsteps. The No.13 seed Crusaders will need an upset of No.4 seed Maryland for people to get to know Alec Peters (16.7 ppg), Darien Walker of Chicago or Tevonn Walker of Montreal.

Personally, I don't know how anyone wouldn't want to root for a team with a player named E. Victor Nickerson.
Previewing Maryland-Valparaiso with a Valpo beat reporter--Baltimore Sun
Andrean product Nick Davidson has adjusted to reduced role at Valpo--The Post-Tribune
No. 13 seed Valparaiso hopes to conjure own magic against Maryland--The Post-Tribune
VU's Nick Davidson representing the region in the Big Dance--The NWI Times
Comparing the current Valparaiso team to the 2012-13 squad--The NWI Times
Comparing the Crusaders: Views from Horizon League coaches--Inside VU Sports
Simulating the Crusaders: 2013 vs. 2015--Inside VU Sports
Crusaders to Depart for NCAA Tournament at 10am Wednesday Morning--valpoathletics.com

Wright State Women's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule--College Sports Madness
Wright State makes WNIT field--Dayton Daily News
Women Fall at Green Bay in OT; WNIT Awaits--wsuraiders.com
Women Travel to Toledo for First-Ever WNIT Game--wsuraiders.com

Penguins face Duquesne in WNIT game at home--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
YSU Women To Host Duquesne In First Round of WNIT--ysusports.com

Green Bay to Face Princeton in NCAA Tournament--Horizon League Network
Cleveland State, Wright State and Youngstown State Notch Bids to WNIT--Horizon League Network

Monday, March 16, 2015

News On The Horizon 3/16/2015

Selection Sunday morning: One projection of NCAA Tournament field--Hoopville
Wisconsin-Green Bay: If Miami is a candidate, what about the Phoenix, who won convincingly on the Hurricanes’ home floor? GB is 3-5 against the top 100 and has three sub-100 losses, so the chances are slim & none, but wouldn’t dismiss 100%.
Midwest Region packed with 5 Indiana schools--USA Today
Valparaiso (28-5), the No. 13 seed, opens play Friday against No. 4 Maryland on Friday in Columbus, Ohio.

The Crusaders won both the Horizon League regular-season and tournament titles, giving the school its second NCAA berth in three years. But they have lost six straight tourney games since Bryce Drew led Valparaiso to its only Sweet 16 appearance in 1998, and Drew, now the coach, is hoping the least experienced team in his league can pull off another stunner this week.

If things work out, it could be an all-Indiana regional round.

"We do try to get as many teams as close to their natural region as possible," NCAA selection committee chairman Scott Barnes said. "It's quite a big jigsaw puzzle. That worked out well this year in that case."

Those who grew up playing high school and college basketball around the state, like Drew, love the concept.

And those who were imported from neighboring states are eager to see how they do, too.

"Almost half of the bracket is from Indiana, so I'd say there's a good chance one of those teams sneaks through," Valparaiso forward Alec Peters said. "Hopefully, it's us."
2015 NCAA tournament: Midwest region analysis and capsules--USA Today
13. Valparaiso

Nickname: Crusaders. Location: Valparaiso, Ind.

Record: 28-5, 13-3. Bid: Horizon champ.

Last appearance: 2013, lost to Michigan State in Round of 64.

Coach: Bryce Drew, 0-1 in one appearance.

Overview: Valparaiso struggled with injuries but till won the league regular-season title before fending off determined Green Bay in the conference. Now fully healthy and loaded with confidence, the Crusaders will be a favorite to become a Cinderella and pull off tournament magic reminiscent of when their coach was playing for Valpo.

Twitter:@ValpoBasketball

Did you know? Valparaiso once boasted the "world's tallest basketball team." A group of men who were too tall to join the military during WWII came to play basketball at Valparaiso.

Starters: C Vashil Fernandez, 6-10, Sr. (6.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.0 bpg), F Alec Peters, 6-9, So. (16.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg), G Tevonn Walker, 6-1, Fr. (10.2 ppg), G E. Victor Nickerson, 6-8, Jr. (6.2 ppg), G Darien Walker, 6-3, Jr. (10.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg).
Bracket overview: Why in the world did Dayton get sent to Dayton?--CBS Sports
When the RPI doesn't matter: I lead with this category every Selection Sunday. It never disappoints. What you need to know is that no power-five school with a top-58 RPI was omitted this season, but eight non-power-five schools with top 58 RPIs were -- specifically Colorado State (28), Temple (34), Tulsa (45), Old Dominion (46), Iona (51), Green Bay (54), Richmond (56) and Louisiana Tech (58). This means the two best RPIs omitted belonged to non-power-five schools for the 11th straight year, which again shows that a good RPI can save you if you're from a power-five league, but it won't help much if you're not.
...
Four Round of 64 games I can't wait to watch: Butler-Texas, Wichita State-Indiana, Utah-Stephen F. Austin, Maryland-Valparaiso
Putting the bracket in order: Ranking the field 1-68--CBS Sports
53. Valparaiso: Valpo is good, but I hate its draw. Good news is this team is a mix of old and young, and Bryce Drew is a tremendous coach.

Free throws, turnovers key to MSU tourney run--The Detroit Free Press
Know your role

Izzo has talked all season about each player doing his job, and Michigan State has been at its best when the support players are doing just that. Junior Bryn Forbes is one of the conference's best 3-pointer shooters and scored a season-high 21 points in a loss at Wisconsin while freshman point guard Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn is 8-3 as a starter. Sophomore Alvin Ellis and freshman Marvin Clark were huge in the win over Indiana as Ellis scored a career-high 16 and Clark added 14 points. And over the last several games, junior center Matt Costello has been playing his best basketball, recording 11 blocks in the last five games and averaging 8.4 points in his last seven games.
Niyo: Spartans hit Dance floor with spring in step--The Detroit Free Press
Saturday, it was Marvin Clark Jr. and Matt Costello providing the spark. Sunday, it was Costello again, with eight points, four rebounds and two blocks on Kaminsky, who might be the national player of the year. It was also Bryn Forbes shaking off a 4-for-22 shooting slump with big first-half minutes (seven points, three assists) and even some solid help defense.
Cleveland State's Grady, Lewis and Lee earn All-Horizon League honors--Cleveland State Hoops
Cleveland State accepts bid into CIT for second straight year--Cleveland State Hoops
Cleveland State to play at Western Michigan in CIT tourney--Cleveland State Hoops
CSU to Play at Western Michigan in CIT First Round--csuvikings.com

Oakland to open CIT by hosting Eastern Illinois--The Detroit Free Press

GAME 33: OAKLAND HOSTS EIU IN CIT TOURNEY OPENER--ougrizzlies.com

Phoenix men draw Illinois State in NIT opener--Green Bay Press Gazette
Green Bay will face Illinois State in the NIT--Phear The Phoenix
Horizon League expansion "probable"--Phear The Phoenix
Green Bay Earns At-Large Selection into the NIT--GreenBayPhoenix.com

UWGB women earn NCAA berth with OT win--Green Bay Press Gazette
Green Bay Wins Overtime Thriller to Claim NCAA Berth--GreenBayPhoenix.com

Six names to watch in DePaul's coaching search--Chicago Tribune
Forde Minutes: Big Dance Edition--Yahoo Sports
BRACKET WRECKERS

Teams from outside the brand-name leagues that can do some March damage:
...
Valparaiso (18). Champion of the Horizon League brings a tall, tough, disciplined team into the Dance that has won 10 of its past 11 and has held six of its past seven opponents to 55 points or fewer. Methodical bunch that doesn't figure to be fazed by a big-name opponent.
Ranking the Most Likely Cinderellas in the 2015 NCAA Tournament--Bleacher Report
Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Overview--College Sports Madness
Upset Alert!

Maryland got a four seed, which is great, but their first round matchup against the vastly underrated Valparaiso Crusaders is not one they should take for granted. Valparaiso or “Valpo” are the number one overall seed from the Horizon League. The Horizon League may not boast the same competition as the Big East or ACC, but it does play host to some solid programs including Green Bay, Oakland, and of course: Valparaiso. The Crusaders are a bit one dimensional on the offensive end, constantly playing through versatile forward Alec Peters. Peters can do it all for the Crusaders. He can shoot outside at an elite level (46.2% three point percentage), draw pressure inside (16.7 ppg), and is a force to be reckoned with on the glass (6.8 rebounds per game). Considering Valparaiso lost only five games on the season (four of those were on the road), the Terps would be foolish to look over the Crusaders.
Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Midwest Round of 64 Game Breakdowns--College Sports Madness
#4 Maryland vs. #13 Valparaiso (Columbus, Ohio)

Maryland has had a great year, but now it is time to see how far this team can go with such a young roster. Melo Trimble leads a trio of freshmen guards who have had a huge impact for this team. Trimble leads the squad with 17.3 points per game and also dishes out 3.1 assists per game. The potential trouble for the Terrapins against Valparaiso is that Trimble and Dez Wells score a lot of points by attacking the basket. Valpo has shot blocking specialist Vashil Fernandez standing in the paint. He has blocked three shots per game this year and will alter countless others. The Crusaders do have quite a few scoring options, most notably forward Alec Peters and guards Darien Walker and Tevon Walker, but they will struggle to keep up with Maryland.
Area grads are difference makers for NCAA-bound teams--The Post-Tribune
Sowing RPI seeds

In spite of Valparaiso's 28-5 record it could not hope for anything higher than an 11th or 12th seed in the Big Dance because of strength of schedule issues.

The Crusaders carried an RPI rating of 51 — six ahead of Indiana — as of Saturday, but is saddled with the weakest SOS of any Horizon League team. Among the top 100 RPI listings by Rivals.com Saturday only North Dakota State, Sam Houston State, UC-Davis and Murray State were worse than VU's 223 rating. Compare that to Indiana's 23 or Purdue's 73.

Early double-digit losses to Missouri and New Mexico also weakened VU's case, especially since the 8-23 Tigers were saddled with their worst record in years while the visiting Lobos (15-16) dealt VU its only home loss.

Scheduling is an inexact science, which Coach Bryce Drew considers the toughest part of his job. Predicting RPIs can be tricky in that respect.

"You can have a bad year when it doesn't work out," he said. "You're trying to get a balance. You don't want your kids to be traveling too much in November and December. It's a fine line, but I'm sure (SOS) does factor into it."
Valparaiso surprised by nearby matchup with Maryland--The Post-Tribune
Indiana teams await Selection Sunday fate--The NWI Times
Opponent the single biggest recipe for success in NCAA tournament--The NWI Times
Valparaiso draws Maryland to open NCAA tournament--The NWI Times
Valparaiso gets familiar NCAA foe in Maryland--The NWI Times
Crusaders Heading to Columbus, Play Maryland to Open 2015 NCAA Tournament--valpoathletics.com
Crusaders, Terrapins to Face Off at 3:45 p.m. CT on Friday--valpoathletics.com
Ticket Information for NCAA Tournament--valpoathletics.com

Raiders fall in Horizon League title game--Dayton Daily News
Women’s basketball: Raiders force overtime, fall in title game--The Guardian
Women’s basketball: Raiders’ title hopes fall short in overtime--The Guardian

Youngstown State Women's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule--College Sports Madness

Valparaiso to Face Maryland in NCAA Tournament--Horizon League Network
Green Bay Receives At-Large Selection in NIT--Horizon League Network

Green Bay Punches Ticket to NCAA Tournament--Horizon League Network