Friday, December 16, 2011

News On The Horizon 12/16/2011

Checking In On… the Horizon League--Rush The Court

What happened to Butler?--Run The Floor
Utah Jazz sign Howard to one-year deal; A.K. era ends--Deseret News

Gordon Hayward and C.J. Miles have been battling for the small-forward starting job during camp. Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin has been positive about their play, even though he calls them "natural" shooting guards. Jeremy Evans is also hoping to see time in the 3 spot.

The Jazz are looking at Howard's signing as adding depth and improving their chances to succeed, not as a possible hindrance to the progression of Hayward and Miles.

"Those guys have got to compete," O'Connor said.

Howard, Hayward and Miles could also see playing time as shooting guards, competing with veteran Raja Bell and rookie Alec Burks for time there.

Jazz hope free agent Josh Howard can rebound in Utah--Salt Lake Tribune

Howard will compete with Gordon Hayward and C.J. Miles for playing time at the 3. The Wake Forest product joins veteran Earl Watson as the team’s main free-agent signings.
Howard’s addition creates immediate issues. The Jazz had weighed the positives of adding Howard versus the desire to get more playing time for Hayward and Miles. While either can slide down to shooting guard, it’s now more unlikely both will start for the Jazz at the 2 and 3.

Utah Jazz: How tall is rookie center Enes Kanter?--Salt Lake Tribune

Position war

Raja Bell, C.J. Miles, Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks, among others, are battling for time at shooting guard and small forward. But with Corbin often running three-team sets featuring five players during practice, Bell said it’s too early to get a feel for who’ll start at the wing positions. As of Wednesday, the veteran guard said he’d been on a different team with different people every day since training camp began.

“[Corbin’s] just trying to find chemistry and see who looks good together,” Bell said. “I’m sure they’re charting which teams win the most and what combinations cause that.”

As Washington Wizards rebuild around John Wall, owner Ted Leonsis seeks ‘destination’ status--Washington Post

There could be 10 players on the team who are 25 or younger, including Andray Blatche and draft picks Jan Vesely of the Czech Republic, Chris Singleton of Florida State, and Shelvin Mack of Butler.

Wizards’ Flip Saunders looking for ‘popcorn’ players as preseason debut approaches--Washington Post

Even though Singleton, Veseley and Shelvin Mack, the 34th overall pick, are rookies, the newest member of the team is Ronny Turiaf, who joined the Wizards from the New York Knicks on Saturday in a multi-team deal. Turiaf has played with the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State and the Knicks over his six years in the NBA.

Butler recruit Dunham a throwback: He's a scoring machine--The Indy Star
Butler-Purdue preview gallery--The Indy Star
Butler ends finals week with Purdue test--Victory Firelight
On this day 4 years ago - Dec 15, 2007--Butler Blue Fever
Butler (4-6) Faces Purdue (9-2)--Butler Blue Fever

Butler Welcomes Marian To Hinkle

Bracketology 101 Exam Week: Central Mid-Majors--Blogging the Bracket

Legitimate At-Large Hopes
Cleveland State Vikings (10-1, 9-1 vs. Division I)
It looks like Butler's reign over the Horizon League may be coming to an end after an unprecedented five seasons, and the Vikings, who won an NCAA game in 2009 themselves, appear to be the team in best position to take advantage. Gary Waters' team made headlines on Opening Weekend by grabbing a surprisingly easy 13-point win at Vanderbilt. Since then, they've won nine of ten, though the loss is a bit of a headscratcher, as this year's Hofstra squad isn't anywhere near as good as last year's edition. They've also mastered the close win, as a 22-point victory at Rhode Island is their only Division I win since the Vandy game that they claimed by more than five points. While one has to wonder if Cleveland State's luck will hold up during the Horizon season, it's also important to note that the Vikings have only played three home games, meaning they've gone a staggering 7-1 in road and neutral site games so far, a stat that definitely boosts their at-large case.

Plenty of the teams who will battle the Vikings for the Horizon auto bid, though. Milwaukee (8-3, 7-3 vs. Division I) and Green Bay (5-6, 3-6 vs. Division I) join the Vikings at the top of the Horizon, with all three having won both of their preview-window games in early December. However, the Panthers, top seed in the 2011 Horizon Tournament, look more likely to stay near the top. Milwaukee missed an opportunity Tuesday night, when they couldn't quite complete a comeback against Wisconsin at home. Valparaiso (7-3, 5-3 vs. Division I), who opened the conference season with an overtime win over Butler, is another title threat.

On the negative side, preseason favorite Detroit (5-7, 3-7 vs. Division I, 0-2 Horizon) has yet to live up to the hype, even if they did beat St. John's at home last Monday. As for Butler (4-6, 3-6 vs. Division I, 0-1 Horizon), they'll need to make a miraculous over the final months of the season (for example, a sweep of Purdue, Gonzaga, and Stanford over the next week) to get back in the conversation. Of course, they could always claim a bid via the Horizon League Tournament title.

Miami Heat back on court in scrimmage game--Miami Herald

James’ beard has grown Abraham Lincoln-like, Udonis Haslem has shed the cornrows, Chris Bosh has added upper body bulk. There were new faces among the reserves, including the very promising Norris Cole. The Heat will sport a new all-black uniform in its wardrobe.
The Heat wants to play faster. Cole, the rookie from Cleveland State, not only pushed the pace during the scrimmage but he is pushing starting point guard Mario Chalmers in practice.

“I don’t want him ever to take the pedal off the metal,” coach Erik Spoelstra said of Cole, who scored 21 points. “He’s got young legs, quick legs. When we watched film of him he bounced off the screen with his speed and coast-to-coast ability.”

The rookie was asked what it was like guarding James and he responded with a smile and said, “Help defense.”

Miami Heat, rookie Norris Cole get going at scrimmage--Miami Sun-Sentinel
Norris Cole’s “coming out party” with the Miami Heat--Through the Arch
Cleveland State's Norris Cole shines in Miami Heat's scrimmage--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Vikings Return to Action at South Florida on

Detroit (5-7) vs. 17th Ranked Mississippi State (10-1)--Titans Update
Another Ranked Opponent
New Episode of Detroit Titan Court Report Debuts

Titans To Tangle With IPFW On

UIC (3-6) Battles Central Michigan (4-5)--Flame Fanatic
Flames Wrap Up Road Swing at Central Michigan
CMU Game to Air on; WIU Pre-Game Show will Feature Andy

Loyola Looks For Back-To-Back WIns When It Hosts Chicago State

Eichler Taking Advantage of Opportunities, Becoming a Complete

Panthers finally get to enjoy comforts of home--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
To play or not to play…--PantherU
Postgame Report: Milwaukee vs. Chicago State--Panther Blog Zone
Milwaukee Rolls Past Chicago State,
Milwaukee Women Welcome Toledo For Sunday

Milwaukee's Bigtime Second Half Rebound Not Enough to Topple #14 Wisconsin--Milwaukee Panther Tracks
Panthers Back On Campus For Saturday Tilt With Nebraska

Women's Hoops Heads to Ball State Following Final

Thursday's Shootaround: Princeton game-winner, Cincy bounces back--Ballin' is a Habit

Cincinnati 78, Wright State 58: The Bearcats looked like a different team on Wednesday night than they have all season long, and its not just because their starting front court began serving a six-game suspension. Cincinnati was running the floor, they were hitting threes and they were focused. They looked like a team that knew their season was in dire straits, that knew this was when they had to decide whether they were going to accept the label of just "a bunch of thugs" or go out and change that line of thinking. Sean Kilpatrick finished with 20 points and JaQuon Parker, playing just his second game of the season, added 14 in the win. As a team, Cinci was 14-32 from three.

Big East Basketball Wrap-Up: Cincinnati And DePaul Win, South Florida Falls On Wednesday--Big East Coast Bias

Cincinnati 78, Wright State 58: In the first game for the Bearcats since the brawl with Xavier in the 2011 Crosstown Shootout, Cincinnati played without suspended players Yancy Gates (third leading rebounder in the Big East), Octavius Ellis, Cheikh Mbodj and Ge'Lawn Guyn. The Bearcats didn't miss a beat against Wright State by using a 17-2 run to start the game to end up with 43 points in the first half. The game was never close even though the Raiders outscored Cincinnati in the second half. Cincy's Sean Kilpatrick led all scorers with 20 points. Four other players scored in double figures for Cincinnati. For more on the game, see the recap at Down The Drive.

WSU's Mays may miss OU game with concussion--Dayton Daily News
UC coach: Raiders' future is bright--Dayton Daily News
Wright State leading scorer could miss Saturday’s game with concussion--Wright State University Sports
Bearcats spank Raiders
The Best of Times, the Worst of Times--The Guardian
Raiders Add 1660 AM to Network; Butler Game
Raider Host Ohio Saturday

NCAA to change women’s basketball RPI calculations--Dayton Daily News
Women earn hard fought victory over Southern Illinois--The Guardian

Men's Basketball Continues Road Trip at Toledo Saturday

Women's Basketball Resumes Play Sunday at

The Barbar Shop: Finding Comfort at the Nutter Center--Horizon League Network
Bevy of Men's Basketball Over Weekend--Horizon League Network

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