Tuesday, November 8, 2011

News On The Horizon 11/8/2011

The Other 26: Season Preview & Top Ten--Rush The Court
Conference Media Day Recap: 31-in-all--Ballin' is a Habit

The Horizon League

It should come as no surprise that the Butler Bulldogs are the favorites to win the Horizon League. Brad Stevens' crew is coming off yet another National Championship game loss, but should remain as the cream-of-the-crop in the League. Detroit could be a viable threat to Butler's throne, but with the preseason departure of Eli Holman, it may be an up-hill struggle for the Titans.

Coaches/Media Poll:
Butler (28), Detroit (19), Cleveland State (2), Milwaukee (1), Valparaiso, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Youngstown State, Wright State, Loyola (IL), Illinois-Chicago

All-Conference Team:
Ray McCallum – Guard, Soph., Detroit
Trevon Harmon – Guard, Sr., Cleveland State
Eli Holman - Forward/Center, Sr., Detroit
Chase Simon – Guard, Sr., Detroit
Kaylon Williams – Guard, Sr., Milwaukee

Player of the Year:
Ray McCallum – Guard, Soph., Detroit

Butler will use $2,000 allowance--The Indy Star

Kent men, CSU women win: College Basketball Roundup--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Vikings Defeat Case, 85-42 In Final Exhibition Contest--csuvikings.com

Gary Akbar Commits to Cleveland State--Cleveland State Hoops
Vikings Host John Carroll in Lone Exhibition Game--csuvikings.com

2011-2012 Season Preview: What's the opposite of a "sleeper"?--Ballin' is a Habit

Horizon League: Detroit
Preseason Ranking: 2nd Place
Where we ranked them: 2nd Place
Why we think they won't do as well as expected:
When Eli Holman left the program two months ago, it was a huge blow to the Detroit program. He was the guy that would put them over the edge this year. Ray McCallum may be the team's star, but Holman was their top front court producer, averaging nearly a double-double per game. In a mid-major conference like the Horizon League, having an elite big-man can put a team over the edge. The Titans won't be terrible this season, they'll be somewhere around the top four or five. But without Holman up front, they will struggle to assert themselves as legitimate contenders for the Horizon League crown

The Top 50 Players in College Basketball For 2011-2012--The Big Lead

26. Ray McCallum, Detroit – Part of a heartwarming father-son story. Was a stud recruit coveted by the big boys, but opted to play for his father at a mid-major. I’m already picking them to cover in a 1st round NCAA tourney game.

College Basketball Preview: The top 10 non-BCS conference teams--Searching for Billy Edelin

7. Detroit

It’s a long-tail superlative you wouldn't expect to have multiple suitors, but Detroit, as promising as they are this season, sits just behind Creighton as the #1 "Best non-BCS conference team whose best player is the son of the coach." Head coach Ray McCallum lured his McDonalds All-American son Ray Jr. away from a more prominent program to be part of what could be a special year at Calihan Hall. With Butler incredibly vulnerable, it’s Detroit who could claim the Horizon League throne.

Metro + state: Draymond Green, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Ray McCallum named to Naismith watch list--The Detroit Free Press
McCallum Adds to His Preseason Accolades--detroittitans.com
The Countdown Begins-- Dick Vitale Back in Calihan Hall--detroittitans.com

Flames Wrap Up Exhibition Season versus Lake Forest Tuesday--uicflames.com
Men's Basketball Tops Foresters, 57-33--uicflames.com

UIC Women's Basketball Set to Host St. Xavier--uicflames.com
UIC Wins Lone Exhibition Game, 73-48 over St. Xavier--uicflames.com

WLUW to carry Loyola basketball games--Daily Herald
UPDATED: Loyola (Chicago) Shorthanded: Jordan Hicks Out 6-8 Weeks--LU Wolf Ball
Men's Basketball Blog Entry #3: Jordan Hicks--LoyolaRamblers.com
WLUW To Carry All Loyola Men's Basketball Games In 2011-12--LoyolaRamblers.com

Women’s basketball receives preseason ranking--UWGB Fourth Estate

Basketball: Stipend will be applied to athletes--Green Bay Press Gazette

Men’s basketball sinks the Vikings--UWGB Fourth Estate
2011-12 Inside Phoenix Basketball to Begin Monday, Nov. 28--uwgbathletics.com
Green Bay Phoenix Inside the Schedule: Non-Conference--uwgbathletics.com

Horizon League at a glance--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
UWM has eyes on Horizon--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
UWM Panthers roster 2011-'12--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Panthers top Parkside 67-59 in exhibition opener--UWM Post
A simple request--PantherU

Panthers women’s basketball team appears hungry--UWM Post

Set Your TiVo: Opening Night--Rush The Court

Valparaiso @ #11 Arizona – 9pm EST pm ESPNU (**)

Both Arizona and Valparaiso lost their top two scorers from a year ago. Arizona is without Derrick Williams and Momo Jones and Valpo is without Brandon Wood and Cory Johnson. The differences between the two teams however are the remaining players on Arizona’s bench and the talent Sean Miller has been able to bring in to replace his stars. Keep an eye on Arizona freshmen Josiah Turner. If the freshman point guard can push the ball against Valpo’s Erik Buggs without making too many freshman mistakes, Arizona will likely run away with this one in the McKale Center.
Valparaiso’s Ryan Broekhoff is an excellent shooter, sporting a 61.8% eFG last year (44.8% from three). However, it is unclear where the team’s scoring will come from beyond him. Arizona on the other hand is quite balanced offensively and has two super freshmen in Turner and Nick Johnson to step in to fill the scoring gap left by Williams and Jones. The Crusaders will need several more scoring threats, including Kevin Van Wijk (5/2) on the inside, to be remotely competitive.
Bryce Drew, as the new head coach at Valparaiso, will be at the helm of a team for the very first time. The talent gap between Valpo and Arizona may be too much for Drew’s team to overcome in his debut, but Arizona is not without its question marks after an exhibition loss to Division II Seattle Pacific on October 27. Arizona struggled with turnovers and rebounding in that game and is still looking for a go-to scorer. Valpo will have to overcome the talent gap with hustle. If the Crusaders can get to the loose balls, hit the boards, and convert turnovers into points, they can follow Seattle Pacific’s upset with an upset of their own. However, it is difficult to imagine a Sean Miller-coached team making the same mistakes in a game that counts.

11/7 Monday's Pregame Beat: And so it begins...--Ballin' is a Habit

9:00 pm: Valpo @ No. 16 Arizona: This is also an incredibly interesting matchup. Arizona has quite a bit of hype heading into this season. They have a loaded recruiting class and return a number of key pieces from last season. But they are also heading into the year with a very young team that will be without Derrick Williams, Momo Jones and, at least until his gunshot would heals, Kevin Parrom.

Those vaunted expectations -- the top 20 rankings, the Pac-12 championship predictions -- looked silly last week when Arizona lost to Seattle Pacific in an exhibition game. I will be looking for two things as they take the floor tonight: 1) Will Josiah Turner and/or Jordin Mayes provide the Wildcats with a steadying force at the point and 2) Will anyone -- Angelo Chol, Sidiki Johnson, Kryrl Natyazkho, Jesse Perry -- be able to provide a scoring, rebounding and/or defensive presence in the paint?

Opening Night!... Arizona, St. John's & Mississippi State Win--Basketball Predictions

#16 Arizona 73, Valparaiso 64
This truly was a close game. In fact, if Valparaiso could have hit an outside shot they might have won this one. For the game, Valpo was only 5-for-21 behind the arc, despite having an a slew of open shots. Starting just before the end of the first half, they actually went more than ten minutes of game time without hitting a field goal at all. That said, Arizona's superior athleticism and physicality did seem to wear Valparaiso down in the second half. The star for Arizona was Jesse Perry, who dominated the paint with 14 points and 10 rebounds. I'll reserve a little judgment on Perry, though, because Valpo's front line isn't the most formidable. It will be interesting to see if Perry can continue this play against a bigger opponent. Arizona will get a strong opponent on Wednesday night in Duquesne. Valparaiso's next game will be at Georgia Southern, though their next strong test should be Akron, on November 18th.

Hello, season; a rundown for tonight's games--CBS Sports

Valparaiso at Arizona, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Sean Miller (pictured) and the Wildcats will be without Kevin Parrom, who is still recovering from a gunshot injury and veteran big man Alex Jacobson (back), who hasn't played much in his career - but may have gotten some time because he knows the system, unlike young bigs Sidiki Johnson and Angelo Chol.

Bryce Drew and Valpo won't have the services of Vashil Fernandez and Dino Jakolis - two freshman who haven't been cleared yet by the NCAA. Fernandez is a long 6-foot-10 forward from Jamaica while Jakolis hails from Croatia.

After the Buzzer: Coaches vs. Cancer, Indeed…--Rush The Court

Three Dollops of Hoopsurdity.
Kyle Fogg’s Summer School. During the Arizona-Valpo game tonight, commentator Miles Simon reported that senior guard Kyle Fogg’s shooting regimen during summer school was borderline ridiculous — he attempted a total of 39,132 shots, making 26,414 (67.5%). If you presume ten weeks of summer school, that averages out to over 500 shots per day, or, in other words, a healthy dose of ice and ibuprofen for his shooting arm. Hey, maybe it worked — Fogg shot 6-8 tonight and tallied 16 points in the Arizona win over Valparaiso.
Tonight’s Quick Hits…
Coaches vs. Cancer, Indeed. The CvC Classic serves to raise awareness and dollars to fight cancer, and tonight’s games were particularly well-suited for this campaign. St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin spent his team’s first game at his home (texting the announcers, apparently) as he continues to recover from prostate cancer surgery, while new Valparaiso head coach Bryce Drew is dealing with cancer diagnoses in both of his parents, Homer and Janet. Whew.
Arizona’s Vaunted Freshmen. The two players we were most interested in seeing tonight were Arizona’s Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson, and while Turner struggled in a starting role (1-6 FG), Johnson (14/6/3 assts) appeared completely at ease with his first game as a Wildcat. The surprise player of the group, though, was forward Angelo Chol, a player whose activity and hustle we already love (6/6/4 stls/5 fouls). Arizona is going to have some struggles this season as roles are defined among all the role players, but if we know anything about Sean Miller, he will definitely find a way to make it work.
Bryce Drew’s Debut. Aside from his wardrobe choice, it was good. His team did not seem at all intimidated by a visit to the McKale Center and stayed steady enough to go into the half down only two points. A second half run where Arizona used its superior quickness to speed up the game proved fatal for the Crusaders’ hopes for an upset, but all things considered, we found Valpo to be a much more impressive mid-major on this night than Tony Shaver’s W&M.
… and Misses.

Early Season Sloppiness. This is what happens when we start playing games a mere 24 days after practice begins. Tonight’s three games resulted in a combined 82 turnovers with the Arizona-Valpo game topping out at 33. The sole exception among the six teams was St. John’s, who managed only four miscues against William & Mary, although that was probably more a function of the Tribe’s conservative defense than anything else.
Bryce Drew’s Light Blue Blazer. Really not sure what the young coach was thinking in his first official game on the sidelines, but his choice of a light blue blazer was rather hideous. Check the photo here to see it for yourself.

Perry does it all in UA's opening-night win--YardBarker
Arizona 73, Valparaiso 64: Great - for 8 minutes--Arizona Daily Star
Valparaiso at Arizona: Will Drew's crew give the Wildcats a run for their money?--Arizona Desert Swarm
Quick react: Arizona Wildcats drop Valpo 73-64 to open season--Arizona Desert Swarm
Crusaders tease fans again with close one--The Post-Tribune
Arizona 73, Valparaiso 64--Off The Mark
No. 16 Arizona beats Valparaiso in opener--The NWI Times
VU basketball can take positives from loss to No. 16 Arizona--The NWI Times
Meet the 2011-12 Michigan State Spartans--The Detroit News

G Brandon Wood

Senior, 6-2, 190

Kokomo (Ind.)

An athletic shooting guard who has NBA-type range. The senior transfer is an experienced player who has had some of his best games against the top teams in the country. Can move over and spell Keith Appling and Travis Trice at point guard. Still adjusting to the increased level of play after coming over from Valparaiso. Has been an inconsistent shooter and needs to look for his shot more.

Updated: Valparaiso Opens Their 2011-2012 Season Against Arizona--Valpo Daily
Valparaiso vs Arizona: Recap Notes--Valpo Daily
Arizona Gets Win Over Valparaiso, 73-64--Valpo Daily
Valparaiso vs. Arizona Tonight!--SectionEE
ESPN Piece on the Drews--SectionEE
Arizona game notes - 1st half--SectionEE
Game Wrap Up: A tale of two halves--SectionEE
Frustrating Season Opener--SectionEE
Crusaders Drop Opener at #16/16 Arizona--valpoathletics.com

Raiders guard Vest suffers sprained ankle--Dayton Daily News
WSU among the best in not turning over the ball--Dayton Daily News
Previewing WSU players: Matt Vest, sophomore guard--Wright State University Sports
Raider Connection Q&A: Ray McCallum, Detroit basketball coach--Wright State University Sports
Previewing WSU players: Armond Battle, junior forward--Wright State University Sports
First Billy Donlon Show of the Year Tonight--wsuraiders.com

Horizon League will add $2,000 scholarship increase in men’s, women’s basketball--Wright State University Sports
Wright State’s Week: Men’s and women’s basketball seasons begin--Wright State University Sports
Wright State Hosts Basketball Luncheon--wsuraiders.com

After a record season, physical Fox key for WSU women--Dayton Daily News

2011-2012 Non-Conference Basketball Primer--Black Shoe Diaries
Bench players key for YSU--Youngstown Vindicator

Promotions, Giveaways, Game-Day Activities Highlight Basketball Schedule--ysusports.com

YSU women open with test--Youngstown Vindicator

2011-12 Men's Basketball Media Guide Now Available--Horizon League Network

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