5. Horizon League (58-52)
Versus Pomeroy top-50: 2-15 (Butler 2-2)
Versus top-25: 0-14
It's unclear who's on top of the Horizon. Butler (6-7) has made a late charge with attention-grabbing wins over Stanford and Purdue following head-scratching losses to Ball State and Evansville. Meanwhile, Milwaukee's losses are all against top-50 teams, and Cleveland State (11-2) runs the most efficient defense in the conference, at 0.92 ppp.
No offense is ranked higher than 100th among the teams in the Horizon (at 1.04 ppp, Valparaiso is ranked 100 by Pomeroy).
Roosevelt Jones Wins the StatSheet Horizon Freshman of the Week - December 26th, 2011--Butler Blue Fever
I Am the 83 Percent--The Mid-Majority
Jazz still need to figure out who's their alpha dog--Deseret News
The Jazz open the season tonight, having addressed some pressing issues. In the last 18 months, they've added players who can fill more than one position, such as Josh Howard, Al Jefferson and Gordon Hayward. They've become bigger by picking up Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. And they got deeper by bringing on Earl Watson and Alec Burks.
What the Jazz haven't resolved is who should be their alpha dog. Right now, there is no team leader. They govern by committee. If a player has something to say, he just says it. There's nobody really there to set him straight.
Favors is too inexperienced and soft spoken. Josh Howard is too new and his future with the Jazz unclear. C.J. Miles is too laid back, Watson too temporary, Gordon Hayward too agreeable, Enes Kanter too, well, Turkish.
Utah Jazz: It'll be a wild, bumpy 'Route 66' for Jazz this season--Deseret News
But, realistically, unless everything falls into place and guys like Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap, Devin Harris, Raja Bell, Josh Howard, Miles and Jefferson exceed expectations, it looks like this "Route 66" will wind up with something more in the neighborhood of a 31-35 finish.
New season a fresh start for Utah Jazz--Deseret News
That Jazz team is an interesting combination.
It features a handful of exciting youth who offer hope for the future in Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Enes Kanter and Jeremy Evans.
Utah Jazz biographies--Deseret News
GORDON HAYWARD (SF)
6-foot-8, 210 pounds
2nd season; 21 years old
Role: Guard/forward looks to pick up where he left off as rookie, giving team added outside shooting, defense and athleticism.
Quote: "Excited, ready to get this under way — definitely. After watching the games (Sunday), it makes you want to play basketball. It'll be good to finally start playing."
Utah Jazz’s 2011-12 season will highlight battle of veterans, youth--Salt Lake Tribune
Will Utah’s offense again feature a methodical half-court, inside-out attack that saw power forward Paul Millsap and center Al Jefferson combine to average 35.9 points and 17.3 rebounds during the 2010-11 season? Or will second-year coach Tyrone Corbin gradually open up the Jazz’s offense in the attempt to increase outside scoring options and take inside pressure off his bigs, in turn giving more freedom to everyone from Harris and C.J. Miles to Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks?
But what could separate the 2011-12 Jazz from last season’s failure is depth, which is mainly derived from youth. Howard and Jamaal Tinsley should improve Utah’s standing at small forward and point guard; Miles finally appears comfortable with the idea of consistency; and the emergence of potential young stars such as Derrick Favors and Hayward could give Corbin a variety of options to choose from in the nightly attempt to exploit matchup advantages.
Utah Jazz notes: Tyrone Corbin knows who is starting, but he’s not saying--Salt Lake Tribune
If Al Jefferson starts at center and Devin Harris opens at point guard, Corbin’s biggest decisions will be Gordon Hayward or C.J. Miles at small forward and Paul Millsap or Derrick Favors at power forward.
Corbin could start Hayward and Miles and bring veteran shooting guard Raja Bell off the bench, but he might want Bell to open as the primary defender on Kobe Bryant.
Kragthorpe: Jazz’s rebuilding starts at home--Salt Lake Tribune
The Jazz’s 18-23 road record tied for the 11th best in the NBA, more than adequate for a playoff team. But they were only 21-20 at home, tied for 22nd. Beyond that, only a few memorable performances came at home: The Jazz scored the game’s last 11 points against the Lakers, Deron Williams and C.J. Miles combined for 58 points against Orlando, and Gordon Hayward scored 34 points in the finale against Denver.
The Jazz do have a promising future, with Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks and the potential of two more lottery picks in 2012. The issues are how long it will take them to get back to the playoffs, just how bad they will get before getting better and how their fans will view them during that process.
We’ve seen these Wizards before--Washington Post
John Wall is still flying upcourt at warp speed, trying to see if the fourth-youngest team in the league can catch up with him. They can’t, which is part of the problem.
You almost wish rookie point guard Shelvin Mack played alongside Wall on occasion just to slow the tempo down, so that many of the half-court set Wizards could contribute offensively.
Norris Cole makes his NBA debut--Cleveland State Hoops
Vikings Return to Action at Toledo on Wednesday--csuvikings.com
Titans Add Ellisha Crosby To Fall Class--detroittitans.com
After Holiday Break, Loyola Resumes League Play Versus Wright State--LoyolaRamblers.com
Loyola To Hold Toy Drive At Wright State Game Thursday--LoyolaRamblers.com
Panthers Return To Action With League Contest At Valparaiso--uwmpanthers.com
Late signees powering Wright State--Dayton Daily News
Week 7 Horizon League Power Rankings: Butler adding statement wins--Dayton Daily News