Even the first week of the season will have games that matter for Tournament resumes (even on that opening night of November 7th we'll have a pair of games with two quality teams: Arizona vs Valparaiso and St. John's vs William & Mary).
But for now, I owe you a new bracket projection. As always, this is my projection of where the final bracket will end up on Selection Sunday:
8. BUTLER (HORIZON)
Other teams with a decent shot to get onto the bubble:
..., Cleveland State, Detroit, ...
Other teams I'm keeping my eye on:
..., Valparaiso, UW-Milwaukee, ...
College Basketball Preview: What current players will pursue a coaching career (become a glorified townie)?--Searching for Billy Edelin
Ray McCallum (Detroit) - The McDonald's All-American decided to play for daddy at a mid-major school. And while he'll likely get a shot at the NBA, you gotta think there's a coaching position waiting for him back on campus if things fall through. Perhaps it's a classic example of nepotism, but if the Titans win the Horizon this season (and three preseason all-conference players means they most certainly can), dad might just owe a job to son.
Ronald Nored (Butler) - There's no bad joke to tell here about townies being analogous to college basketball assistant coaches. Nored is genuinely a head - not assistant - coach in waiting. Just watch any interview he has ever given, and read up on the work he's doing with the next generation of players in Indianapolis. He's incredibly smart, well spoken and loves the game. Frankly, there's a far more redeeming career manning the sidelines waiting for Nored than globetrotting to continue his playing career.
College Basketball's 50 Can't Miss Non-Conference Games For 2011-2012--Ballin' is a Habit
36. Butler at Indiana (Nov. 27)
Neither team figures to be ranked come game day, but that will hardly limit the intrigue surrounding this meeting between the Hoosiers and the new darlings of the Hoosier state.
30. Louisville at Butler (Nov. 19)
A likely top ten team (the Cardinals), the two-time defending national runners-up (the Bulldogs), and one of the sport's most legendary venues (Hinkle Fieldhouse); there's nothing not to like here.
26. Butler at Gonzaga (Dec. 20)
The original mid-major darling versus the program that has done what the 'Zags never could...twice. Expect to hear "you can't really call these guys 'mid-majors' anymore" at least 950 times on Dec. 20.
Butler gets to work after two runner-up finishes--The Chicago Tribune
Khyle Marshall Interview--Brandon Gaudin
Six freshman add a new twist to Butler basketball--Fox 59
Brad Stevens interview--TheNewsSentinelVideo
Utah Jazz: Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker wants NBA to play--Deseret News
He was stoked about the late-season emergence of Gordon Hayward last spring, and he has an optimistic outlook about the mixture of the team's talent and promising pieces.
Butler picked pre-season favorite to win Horizon--The Indy Star
Butler picked to win Horizon League hoops crown--The Indy Star
Preseason picks? They never add up at Butler--Indy Star Butler Insider
Butler Picked As Horizon League Favorite--ButlerSports.com
D'Aundray Brown's return to health buoys CSU preseason practice: NE Ohio College Basketball Insider--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Butler is preseason pick for Horizon League hoops title, CSU is third--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Midnight Madness: It's basketball time--The Cauldron
Cleveland State Picked to Finish Third in Preseason Poll--Cleveland State Hoops
Harmon Named to Preseason All-League First Team--csuvikings.com
Vikings Tabbed Second In Horizon League Preseason Poll--csuvikings.com
2011-12 season preview: Top 100 players in college basketball--CBS Sports
74. Ray McCallum (sophomore guard, Detroit). Coming off a strong freshman campaign for his dad, Little Ray knows how to play. High IQ, makes his teammates better and scores when necessary. — J.G.
Detroit Mercy picked second in Horizon League preseason basketball poll--The Detroit Free Press
UDM's Ray McCallum gets Horizon preseason honor--The Detroit News
Titan Television Package Grows to a Dozen--detroittitans.com
McCallum Picked Preseason Player of Year, Three Titans on All-Horizon League First Team--detroittitans.com
Titans in the Community--detroittitans.com
Horizon League Rolls-out Preseason Honors Beginning Tuesday--detroittitans.com
Titans Selected Seventh, Shayok Named To Second Team As HL Releases Preseason Poll--detroittitans.com
Seniors Bailey and Green Named to Preseason All-League Teams--uicflames.com
Compression Shorts--Loyola Phoenix
Junior forward Ben Averkamp has been named to the Preseason Second Team All-Horizon League, according to a poll of media, sports information directors and coaches. Averkamp averaged 12 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. He started all 31 games a year ago, the only Loyola player to accomplish that feat.
Averkamp, the highest-scoring sophomore in the Horizon League last season, is the first Rambler to be named to a Preseason All-League team since J.R. Blount back in 2008.
Men's Basketball Blog Entry #1: Jordan Hicks--LoyolaRamblers.com
Averkamp Named Preseason Second Team All-Horizon League--LoyolaRamblers.com
Men's basketball: UWGB picked 6th in Horizon League preseason poll--Green Bay Press Gazette
UWGB men picked 6th in Horizon League preseason poll--UWGB Basketball
Men’s basketball strives for success--UWGB Fourth Estate
Brown Named to Preseason All-Horizon League Second Team--uwgbathletics.com
Men's Basketball's Green and White Scrimmage Set for Saturday--uwgbathletics.com
Midnight Mania excites fans for season--UWGB Fourth Estate
Wojta Named First Team All-League Selection in Horizon League Preseaon Poll--uwgbathletics.com
UWM picked to finish fourth in Horizon League--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Panther Madness a resounding success--PantherU
Panthers Picked Fourth As Williams, Meier Earn Preseason All-League Honors--uwmpanthers.com
The Madness is back--UWM Post
Rodriguez Named To Preseason All-League Second Team--uwmpanthers.com
Hutton: Tweeting without thinking is a problem--The Post-Tribune
My Horizon League preseason ballot--Off The Mark
All-Horizon League plus preseason poll--Off The Mark
Michigan State welcomes Valpo transfer for 1-and-done stint--The NWI Times
Transition doesn't faze Tom Izzo--The Detroit News
Appling primarily will be the point while senior transfer Brandon Wood plays shooting guard. How freshmen Travis Trice, Branden Dawson and Brandan Kearney figure into the rotation — as well as redshirt freshman Russell Byrd — will determine which big men play and for how long.
"I'm just trying to learn my team a little bit," Izzo said. "I'm trying to learn how good Wood can be and if he plays the two and Appling plays the point, and (Dawson) plays the three, that could be one thing.
"So I'm trying to figure out how good is Wood, how good is Trice, and how good is Dawson?"
Crusaders Tabbed Fifth in Preseason Poll; Broekhoff Named to Second Team--valpoathletics.com
Adams Named Preseason Second Team as Horizon League Announces Preseason Poll--valpoathletics.com
WSU basketball transfer making up lost time--Dayton Daily News
Previewing WSU opponents: Idaho--Wright State University Sports
Raider Connection Q&A: Gary Waters, Cleveland State basketball coach--Wright State University Sports
Wright State picked 8th in Horizon League preseason poll--Wright State University Sports
Former WSU standout Duggins starting fast overseas--Wright State University Sports
Previewing WSU opponents: Central Michigan--Wright State University Sports
Wright State’s top returning scorer to miss 3-4 weeks with injury--Wright State University Sports
Previewing WSU opponents: Loyola--Wright State University Sports
Wright State women picked 3rd, senior named preseason first team--Wright State University Sports
Women Picked Third in Horizon League Poll--wsuraiders.com
YSU men picked for seventh in Horizon--Youngstown Vindicator
Butler Chosen Favorite for Third Straight Year; Detroit's McCallum Voted Player of the Year in Preseason Poll--Horizon League Network
Green Bay Tabbed to Win, Brown Chosen Player of the Year in Women's Basketball Preseason Poll--Horizon League Network