Tuesday, January 26, 2010

News On The Horizon 1/26/2010

Red Line Lounge, Week 11--The Mid-Majority

KW: Greetings, Hoops Nation. Before we get started in the Red Line Lounge this week, we all just want to send out our best wishes to our friend, Samford head coach Jimmy Tillette. Coach Tillette had a seizure on the bench at UNC Greensboro on Saturday, and is stabilizing in an area hospital. He is the only "outsider" to have ever been given the official keys to the Princeton system; not only is he a true student of the game, he's a student of the filmography of Keanu Reeves as well. Get well soon, Coach! OK, where am I? New Jersey! I can't see Damon through all the hot heat of this torrid basketball action... Damon... Damon... you there, buddy?

DL: You sure it's heat from the basketball action... or is your rental car overheating? Either way, YES, I'm here! I'm back in our capital city after fine weekend of hoops in Chi-city. I could feel the heat in UIC's Pavilion from the moment the flame was traditionally lit on the court Saturday afternoon. The heat transferred as well, but not to the home-standing Flames. Butler, specifically Gordon Hayward, was hott all game long, and the Bulldogs won their 8th straight game. Now they're 9-0 in the Horizon League... three games up on the field. Let's just say it... it's ooooovah.

KW: I'll spot Butler a loss or two later on, but you're right. See you in March!
DL: There's another team up there in that quadrant of Hoops Nation, who's actually beaten Northeastern, boasting an impressive win streak. That'd be Siena. I remarked earlier this year that Siena had been underwhelming due to their inability to beat any of the big names on their schedule (Georgia Tech, Northern Iowa, Temple, St. John's) during the non-conference season. However, that win against Northeastern looks pretty good these days. Anyway, the Saints have won 11 in a row, and are 10-0 in the MAAC after getting past Loyola (Md.) and Manhattan this week. The only problem Siena could run into is a team with great guards that don't cough the ball up, as the Saints tend to force a lot of turnovers. If any team can take care of the ball against Siena, and force them to play half-court defense, they could give the Saints a run. It could actually end up being a team like Niagara or Rider (both still host Siena) that hand the Saints their first MAAC loss this year.

KW: Agreed on all counts. We'll be talking more about BracketBusters in future weeks, but Butler could very well end up being that guard-heavy team you speak of.

Butler continues climb in polls--Indy Star Butler Insider

College basketball: Catching up with Lincoln Park's Jeremy Montgomery at Cleveland State--The Chicago Tribune
Viking is player of the week: Local College Newswatch--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Former CSU Star Makes It To NBA: Cedric Jackson to Sign with Cavs--The Cauldron
Current Horizon League Standings--Let's Go Vikes!
Cleveland State’s Cole Named Men’s Basketball Player of the Week--Let's Go Vikes!
Cleveland State's Cole named Men's Basketball Player of the Week--csuvikings.com
Vikings Host Youngstown State--csuvikings.com
Men's Basketball Locker Room Project Nearly Complete--csuvikings.com

CSU Basketball: Men Beat Green Bay, Women Get Past YSU, Vikings Take Doubleheader--The Cauldron

Vikings Head Back on The Road For Contest at Wright State--csuvikings.com

Jasmine Bailey Named Horizon League Player Of The Week--uicflames.com

Loyola needs to play to its strengths--ChicagoNow.com

UWGB notebook: Women's basketball drops to No. 24 in poll--Green Bay Press Gazette

Green Bay, Butler and Bellin Health Partner for Jan. 29 Coaches vs. Cancer Breakfast--uwgbathletics.com

Franklin Can't Do it Alone in Attempted Ohio Road Sweep--Milwaukee Panther Tracks

TMM A.M. - January 25, 2010--The Mid-Majority

Looking to the Midwest: Although the Missouri Valley and Horizon League both have crystal clear front-runners, they each have a single team which is coming on strong and making a push to put themselves in contention for a top-half finish. In the Valley, that team is Drake. After starting 0-4 in the MVC, the Bulldogs won five straight games thanks in large part to a player we've not mentioned much at all this season. Josh Young is one of the Valley's best, but has been suffering through a bit of a down year, averaging just 13.2 points per game compared to 15.9 and 15.2 his sophomore and junior seasons. In his last three games, however, he's putting up 18.7 points per game. This past week the Bulldogs avenged an earlier loss to Wichita State, and have a real test this Wednesday when they face Northern Iowa. Drake's turnaround can be attributed to a sharp increase defensively since November. MVC opponents are shooting less than 28% from the 3-point line, and committing 14 turnovers per game against them. Both of those numbers are tops in Valley in conference games.

In the Horizon League, Valparaiso is in a very similar situation. They've won four in-a-row and are now 5-4 in the League. Once opponents began getting familiar with the fact that Brandon Wood is a fantastic player (leading the HL in scoring at 18.6 points per game), his teammates have stepped up and taken some of the pressure to score off his shoulders. 5th-year senior, Brandon McPherson, and 1st-year Iowa State transfer, Cory Johnson have solidified the Crusaders as one of the best offensive teams in the League. Despite just being one game above .500, Valpo has a legit shot at moving all the way up to the 2-spot if they can figure out how to win on the road this season. This week they're at Milwaukee and Green Bay, which will prove to be a very difficult challenge

This could be a good week for Raiders--Dayton Daily News

Cleveland State's Cole named Men's Basketball Player of the Week--The Horizon League
Men's Basketball Weekly Release #11--The Horizon League
UIC Student Section – Good Efforts in Bad Conditions--Horizon League Network

Bailey named Women's Basketball Player of the Week--The Horizon League

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