Tuesday, February 28, 2012

News On The Horizon 2/29/2012

Bring it On--The Mid-Majority
Championship Week: Day 2 Preview--Beyond the Arc
Previewing the Madness: The Horizon League--Beyond the Arc
Detroit 80, Loyola of Chicago 71--Associated Press
Butler 70, Wright St. 52--Associated Press
Today's Specials: NCAA implications galore--Eye On College Basketball

Three things to keep an eye on:
The Horizon League tournament gets started on Tuesday night, with four first round games to tickle your fancy. The most intriguing? Let’s go with Green Bay vs. Youngstown State (7:05 p.m.).

Tuesday Truths--Basketball Prospectus

Horizon: Why Rob Jeter won't be humming "Hakuna Matata" anytime soon

W-L Pace PPP Opp. PPP EM
1. Cleveland St. 12-6 62.9 1.08 0.95 +0.13
2. Valparaiso 14-4 62.9 1.05 0.99 +0.06
3. Detroit 11-7 65.0 1.06 1.02 +0.04
4. Youngstown St. 10-8 63.3 1.04 1.01 +0.03
5. Butler 11-7 63.8 0.96 0.94 +0.02
6. Milwaukee 11-7 64.2 0.99 0.97 +0.02
7. Green Bay 10-8 65.8 1.03 1.02 +0.01
8. Wright St. 7-11 61.4 0.93 0.96 -0.03
9. UIC 3-15 62.2 0.96 1.08 -0.12
10. Loyola 1-17 59.0 0.92 1.09 -0.17

AVG. 63.0 1.00

The Horizon tournament gives its top seed the luxury not only of being waved through to the semifinals but also of playing that semifinal game on their own home floor. (Assuming they win in the semis they get to play the title game there too.) That sounds great for the top seed in theory, but in practice it requires some logistic agility from all parties. You don't know who that top seed is until late February, of course. This year it's Valparaiso, but had it been Milwaukee, as it was last year, a very interesting situation would have arisen. The Panthers play their home games at U.S. Cellular Arena, and this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday the place is booked for Disney on Ice. Reports that league officials had a contingency plan in place to combine the two events could not be confirmed, but, oh, the possibilities. Imagine Valpo star and Horizon POY Ryan Broekhoff taking it strong to the rim, only to be denied by Pumbaa and Timon. In non-The Walt Disney Company and Affiliated Companies news, any noise made by the Horizon in the field of 68 will come squarely under the heading of a rather sizable surprise. Then again I would have said the exact same thing 365 days ago.

Slam dunk champion is focus of attention at Jazz practice--Deseret News

Evans was still exulting over Saturday night's victory highlighted by his "double-dunk" with teammate Gordon Hayward, which probably earned him the trophy.
RISKY DUNK: Evans said he only started practicing his dunks a couple of days before the contest.

He said he and Hayward, who have been buddies ever since they joined the Jazz as rookies last season, had an hour to work on their dunk at the arena night from about 2 a.m to 3 a.m. early Saturday morning.

"I give him all the props because if he wasn't there, I don't know what I would have done," Evans said. "I never tried it before — I think I completed it twice before out of seven or eight tries. So we really took a risk.."

Utah Jazz: Team to honor Evans for dunk title--Deseret News

Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors, the Jazz's two participants in the rookie-sophomore Rising Stars Challenge, will also be recognized before the game.

"We celebrate our successes," Rigby said, "and it deserves to be celebrated."
Hayward and Favors both scored 14 points in their game, nicely representing themselves and the organization. Like Evans, Favors was a late replacement for an injured player. He replaced the Spurs' Tiago Splitter.

Evans had to part ways with the trophy he won after his three dunks, including an impressive second slam in which he jammed in two basketballs after leaping over sitting assist man Gordon Hayward.

Utah Jazz: Bell a no-go tonight vs. Kings--Deseret News

Veteran Josh Howard will again get the starting nod in the small forward position, with second-year small forward Gordon Hayward moving over to the shooting guard spot.

Utah Jazz are no Kings of the road after loss in Sac-Town, 103-96--Deseret News
Utah Jazz-Sacramento Kings: Report card--Deseret News

GUARDS: Devin Harris was splendid, scoring 18 points while dishing seven assists against zero turnovers. His counterpart, Isaiah Thomas, scored 18 points and had eight assists but committed five turnovers. Gordon Hayward joined Harris in the backcourt in place of the injured Raja Bell and shot an effective 5-10 from the field but let Marcus Thornton score 21 points on equally efficient shooting. Grade: B

Utah Jazz: Millsap, Bell 'doubtful' for tonight--Deseret News

If Millsap and Bell can't go, it's likely the Jazz's starting lineup would be Devin Harris, Gordon Hayward, Josh Howard, Derrick Favors and Al Jefferson.

Monson: If the Jazz are serious about winning, they have one road to take--Salt Lake Tribune

If the Jazz have no veterans who can be the kind of leaders they need, what’s the problem with allowing Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward that opportunity? Build on the formula to win, don’t waste time. There’s no dishonor in giving increased minutes to the youngsters, or at least mixing their minutes in more generously, as a means of expediting their growth. It’s visionary, possibly losing a few more games now and winning more than a few more next season. And who knows … those youngsters might be a revelation, sooner rather than later. If they stumble a bit, one more high draft pick is sweet compensation.

Jazz hope to snap four-game losing streak against Houston--Salt Lake Tribune

Howard and Favors will join Al Jefferson, Devin Harris and Gordon Hayward in the starting lineup.

Bulter Advance To Second Round Of Horizon Tournament, Beating Wright State 70-52--SB Nation Indiana
Butler moves on in Horizon League tourney with 70-52 win over Wright St.--The Indy Star
No touching Butler's Smith in 2nd half against Wright State--The Indy Star
First game often toughest one--Indy Star Butler Insider
It’s now or never for Butler--Victory Firelight
Big second half keeps BU alive (+Audio)--Victory Firelight
On this day 13 years ago - Feb 28, 1999--Butler Blue Fever
Butler Gets Win Over Wright State, 70-52--Butler Blue Fever
StatSheet Projects Butler as CIT Team: 02/29/2012--Butler Blue Fever
Charity benefits local non-profits--Butler Collegian
Men’s basketball: Men drop Raiders--Butler Collegian
Athletics revenue continues to increase--Butler Collegian
Butler Beats Wright State, Advances To Second Round Of Horizon League Tournament--ButlerSports.com

Women’s basketball: Wisconsin trip results in two defeats--Butler Collegian
Bulldogs Host Detroit Thursday Night--ButlerSports.com

Defense driving Miami Heat’s torrid stretch--Miami Herald

Battier, who Spoelstra said fits into Miami’s defensive approach “as if he had been in our system for a long time,” is one of four players who are essentially rookies in Miami’s defensive system. Battier and Norris Cole are in their first season with the Heat, while Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller missed much of last season with injuries. Naturally, once everyone got healthy, it took some time for the players to understand their roles.

Stung by upset loss, Akron looks to claim MAC regular-season title at home Wednesday vs. Buffalo--Cleveland Plain Dealer

On the hunt: Cleveland State coach Gary Waters would not confirm that senior D'Aundray Brown (groin) will available for Saturday's Horizon League tournament semifinal game at Valparaiso against an opponent to be determined. Waters said the Vikings, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, are preparing as if the 6-4 senior will not be available.

In other news, Waters said CSU is seeking a point guard to bring in next season. The coach said he also expects to have two new post players for next season and perhaps as many as five or six new faces total.

The Vikings, who have four seniors graduating, announced three signed players in the early signing period, added 6-11 Chris Brown (Oregon) as a midseason transfer, and have at least two other players already orally committed.

Waters said academic issues could determine which of the players, signed or not, land on campus.

CSU dominates Wright State 77-55--The Cauldron
Vikings to Play Detroit or Youngstown State in League Semifinals--csuvikings.com

Detroit wins in tourney opener--Fox Sports Detroit
The NC-Double-Eh Schedule - Feb. 28--Here is where the men are playing today ...
7:00pm Wright State @ Detroit - Before his 8 points in the Detroit win over Youngstown State Saturday, Jason Calliste was working in six consecutive double digit scoring games. He's only missed double digits only three times in 2012 and is averaging 12.3 points in his last six and the Titans are 5-1 in that span. Since this is the last regular season game I would think that he'd be looking to end on a high note.

Eli Holman leads Detroit Mercy in Horizon League tournament first-round victory over Loyola--The Detroit Free Press
Tuesday's state basketball: Detroit Mercy opens Horizon League tournament with victory--The Detroit News
Holman’s 20 guide Detroit past Loyola (Ill.) 80-71--The Oakland Press
Detroit Gets 80-71 Win Over Loyola (Chicago)--Titans Update
Ramblers rocked--Varsity Press
Titans Upend Loyola, 80-71, In First Round Of Horizon League Championship--detroittitans.com
Fan Bus Headed to Valpo!--detroittitans.com

High hopes--Varsity Press
Titans Hit The Road To Close Out The Regular Season--detroittitans.com

Milwaukee downs Flames in Horizon tournament--The Chicago Tribune
Flames’ season ends with thud--Whoosh!Net
UIC Drops One To Milwaukee, 68-55--Flame Fanatic
Listen to UIC's First-Round HL Tourney Contest LIVE on UICFlames.com!--uicflames.com
Milwaukee Eliminates UIC From Horizon League Tourney, 68-55--uicflames.com

Flames Begin Final Homestand against Milwaukee on Thursday--uicflames.com

Ramblers ousted from Horizon tournament--The Chicago Tribune
Loyola (Chicago) Flops In 80-71 Loss to Detroit--LU Wolf Ball
Loyola's Season Comes To End With Hard-Fought, 80-71 Loss At Detroit--LoyolaRamblers.com

Ramblers Open Final Homestand Against No. 11 Green Bay--LoyolaRamblers.com

Men's basketball: Youngstown knocks UWGB from Horizon tourney--Green Bay Press Gazette
Game #30: UWGB at Youngstown State, Horizon League Tournament first round (live updates)--UWGB Basketball
On this day 8 years ago - Feb 28, 2004--Phoenix Fever
Youngstown State Gets Win Over Green Bay, 77-60--Phoenix Fever
Green Bay Starts Slow, Drops Tourney Opener at YSU--uwgbathletics.com

No. 11/11 Green Bay Wraps up Regular Season Play on the Road--uwgbathletics.com
Wojta Named to Naismith Midseason 32--uwgbathletics.com

UWM puts out the Flames--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Local ties in the Horizon League--PantherU
Black and Gold douse Flames; Butler next--PantherU
Milwaukee Beats UIC, 68-55--UWM Update
Video: Milwaukee Opens Tourney Play With UIC--uwmpanthers.com
Fast Start Sparks Panthers To League Tourney Win Over UIC--uwmpanthers.com
Tickets Available For Weekend League Tournament Games At Valpo--uwmpanthers.com
Panthers Head To Valpo For Second Round Showdown With Butler--uwmpanthers.com

Panthers Look To Stay On Hot Streak, Open March At UIC--uwmpanthers.com
Video: Assistant Cameron Tucker Previews Final Week Of Regular Season--uwmpanthers.com

No. 18 Indiana 70, No. 5 Michigan State 55: Notes, quotes from Tuesday night's loss--The Detroit Free Press

Missing wings: Green was the only player to score in double figures. Austin Thornton had eight. Keith Appling had six. Branden Dawson had three. Brandon Wood didn't score. Green made 10 of 17 shots from the field (59%). The rest of the team shot 10-for-34 (29%). If MSU hopes to make a run in the tournament, Green will need someone else to make shots. Dawson and Appling had been doing that lately. But Dawson -- and Wood -- seemed lost in the atmosphere at times. Green called Assembly Hall the toughest place to play in the conference.

Coach Tom Izzo on Tuesday's loss: 'We didn't play Spartan basketball'--The Detroit Free Press

Appling is still learning to play point guard. Guard Brandon Wood, who didn’t score and threw up an airball on a free-throw attempt, is still learning how to thrive consistently under Big Ten pressure. And freshman wing Branden Dawson is still learning how to defend on the perimeter.

Michigan State needs quick adjustment to win Big Ten title outright--The Detroit News

But on Tuesday at No. 18 Indiana, those aspects deserted No. 5 Michigan State. Combine that with poor play from the guards and subpar defense from the big men, and the Spartans head into the final game of the season with more questions than answers.
Can Brandon Wood play consistently, including making big shots on the road?
...Appling shot 2-for-6 and had three critical turnovers while Wood missed all five of his shots and had an air ball from the free-throw line.

Wood's play has been sporadic, at best, and after the game, Izzo simply said, "Brandon Wood struggled a little bit."

But he had his harshest criticism for Appling.

All Conference PPS 2012--Section EE
Valpo Returns to Action Saturday in HL Semifinal--valpoathletics.com

Women’s basketball: Wright State visits Valparaiso--The Post-Tribune
Women's Hoops Begins Final Homestand Thursday Night Hosting Wright State--valpoathletics.com

Raiders finish ‘humbling’ season--Dayton Daily News
Second-half start sinks the Raiders--Dayton Daily News
Wright State’s season ends with 70-52 loss to Butler--Wright State University Sports
WSU men drop first-round decision at Butler--Fairborn Daily Herald
Wright State Loses To Butler, 70-52--Rowdy Review
Men Drop First-Round Decision at Butler--wsuraiders.com

Never-Made-the-NCAA-Tournament Club, 2/29/12--Sippin' On Purple
Eargle-nomics: YSU tops Green Bay--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Youngstown State Beats Green Bay, 77-60--Guin Report
YSU basketball fans flourish with wins--The Jambar
Fast Start Lifts Penguins to 77-60 Win Over Green Bay--ysusports.com
Horizon League Tournament Second-Round Information--ysusports.com

Closing out victories a struggle for YSU--Youngstown Vindicator
Women's Hoops Ends Regular Season With Eyes on Home Tournament Game--ysusports.com

Home Teams Cruise Into Second Round--Horizon League Network

News On The Horizon 2/28/2012

Championship Week(s) Central--Hoopville

Horizon League

Top seed: Valparaiso. The Crusaders won 11 of their final 13 Horizon League games and have a 5-1 record against the top four teams in the conference.

Tournament stakes: Although Valparaiso has three good wins against Akron and Cleveland State — twice against the Vikings — the Crusaders almost certainly wouldn’t get an at-large bid if they slip in the semifinals or championship game. The same is true of Cleveland State, which would have received at-large consideration before an injury-induced five-game slide.

Spoiler alert: No. 5 Butler. Outside the season finale at Valparaiso, the Bulldogs have been on fire recently, especially on defense. Only two opponents in eight games this month have scored more than 60 points and only one team scored more than one point per possession. And does anyone ever want to see Butler in a win-or-go-home tournament at this time of year?

Predicted champ: No. 2 Cleveland State. The Vikings get to avoid Butler, if the Bulldogs find a way into the semifinals. If the two meet in the championship, it’d be Butler’s fourth game in a week as opposed to Cleveland State’s second, and it’d be in Cleveland. Meanwhile, Cleveland State’s press was effective against Valparaiso in two losses to the Crusaders. The offense just failed the Vikings. If D’Aundray Brown is healthy after recuperating from a groin injury, Cleveland State should look more like the team that started 20-4 rather than the one that finished 2-5. That’s gambling a lot on a gimpy groin, but this senior will do everything he can to get out there and lift the Vikings to their first NCAA Tournament since 2009.

2012 Horizon League Tournament Preview--Run The Floor
Champ Week: Setting up Week 1--ESPN

Horizon League

When: Tues., Feb. 28, through Tues., March 6
Where: First round at higher seeds; second round and semis at 1-seed Valparaiso; championship at highest remaining seed.

The favorite: Valparaiso has climbed to the top of the Horizon League with a 47.2 percent shooting clip from the field, No. 1 in the league. Ryan Broekhoff (14.8 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and Kevin Van Wijk (14.4 ppg) have anchored that offensive attack. Van Wijk, however, has been hampered by a knee injury in recent weeks.

The top challengers: Cleveland State looked like the league favorite entering the conference slate, but the Vikings have won just two of their past seven games. A groin injury has kept D'Aundray Brown (2.6 spg) out for seven of the team's past eight games. Milwaukee, Butler and Detroit all finished the regular season at 11-7. Butler, the surprising star of the past two NCAA tourneys, has to win the Horizon League tournament title to get an invitation to this year's Big Dance. But the Bulldogs have built up momentum -- they've won five of their past six games. Detroit has the league's top scoring offense (72.3 ppg). Milwaukee defeated Valparaiso 57-55 on Dec. 29.

Three players to watch: Ronald Nored (5.3 apg) has competed in the past two national title games, so he has the leadership skills that will be crucial for the Bulldogs. Ray McCallum Jr. (15.1 ppg) has been up and down for Detroit, but he can prove that he's a star in the conference tournament. Kendrick Perry (16.8 ppg) leads the league in scoring and could shift this tournament for No. 6 seed Youngstown State.

My pick: I realize they aren't the favorites and are very vulnerable, but I'm not going to bet against the Bulldogs. They finished fairly strong and they're mentally equipped for the challenge, considering their past two postseasons and Brad Stevens' coaching ability. Butler. Again.

A Tempo-Free Look at the Horizon League’s Award Winners--Horizon League Hoops
Loyola, UIC hope to finish strong--The Chicago Tribune
2.28 Championship Week Update--Anonymous Eagle

Kurt Kragthorpe: Jazz can’t give up on this season quite yet--Salt Lake Tribune

So the answer is just gradually increasing the minutes for Favors and Kanter. On the wings, the Jazz eventually should start Alec Burks and bring Gordon Hayward off the bench. That would help both of them, because Hayward’s game will expand only when he becomes a bigger part of the offense, such as playing with the second team.

Jazz notes: Utah coach Tyrone Corbin glad Kings staying in Sacramento--Salt Lake Tribune

Because Howard played so well, there’s a chance Corbin will start Howard even if Bell can play. Another option would be starting Howard and Bell and bringing Gordon Hayward off the bench.

Non-Conference Opponents Update: February 27--Hammer and Rails

Butler Bulldogs - 18-12, 11-7 Horizon, RPI: 119 - Oh Butler, it was all right there for the taking. A win at Valpo in a game the Crusaders had nothing to gain would have given you the No. 2 seed and a bye to the Horizon semifinals. Instead, your five game win streak was snapped 71-59. Now the Bulldogs have to host Wright State tomorrow night before going to the Horizon quarterfinals at Valparaiso. Butler swept Wright State and a Horizon tourney win that gets them into the Dance would put Butler's profile above the 100 line, but that is much harder now.

Butler guard Ronald Nored named Horizon League's first two-time Defensive Player of the Year in basketball--The Indy Star
Men's college basketball preview: Wright State at Butler--The Indy Star
Butler's Nored named Horizon's top defender--The Indy Star
Horizon’s NCAA streak could end--Indy Star Butler Insider
Roosevelt Jones is Runner-Up for the StatSheet Horizon Freshman of the Week - February 27th, 2012--Butler Blue Fever
Butler Finishes the Season Against Wright State--Butler Blue Fever
Ronald Nored, Roosevelt Jones Earn All-League Honors--ButlerSports.com
Butler Hosts Wright State In League Tournament--ButlerSports.com

WBB: Tour of Lambeau Field--ButlerSports.com

The rising: Erik Spoelstra pushes for 'next level' for Heat--South Florida Sun Sentinel

The Heat not only have developed consistency on both ends of the court, but also in the rotation. Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier enter late in first quarters, followed by Norris Cole and then Mike Miller, only foul trouble altering the sequence.

Semi Final Viking Voyage to Valpo--Let's Go Vikes!
3 Vikings Awarded With All League Honors--Let's Go Vikes!
Anton Grady Wins the StatSheet Horizon Freshman of the Week - February 27th, 2012--Vikings Ball
Harmon, Brown and Grady Earn All-League Honors--csuvikings.com

Detroit Mercy opens Horizon League tourney play tonight vs. Loyola--The Detroit Free Press
Detroit Mercy rambles into conference tournament on upbeat note--The Detroit News
Detroit Closes Their 2011-2012 Season Against Loyola (Chicago)--Titans Update
McCallum and Holman Earn Horizon League Honors--detroittitans.com
Detroit Hosts Loyola in HL Tourney Opener--detroittitans.com

Take Note, Women's Basketball Game Time Change For Saturday At Valparaiso--detroittitans.com

Talton honored by Horizon League--Whoosh!Net
UIC Closes Their 2011-2012 Season With Milwaukee--Flame Fanatic
Flames Begin Postseason Run at Milwaukee Tuesday Night--uicflames.com
Gary Talton Named to Horizon League's All-Newcomer Team--uicflames.com

Kiara Strickland's Standout Senior Season--uicflames.com

Loyola (Chicago) Closes Their 2011-2012 Campaign With Detroit--LU Wolf Ball
Ramblers Open Horizon League Championship At Detroit Tuesday Night--LoyolaRamblers.com

Ben Averkamp Named Second Team All-Horizon League--LoyolaRamblers.com

Tonight's Horizon League tournament game preview--Green Bay Press Gazette
Men's basketball: UWGB's Brown, Sykes collect Horizon hardware--Green Bay Press Gazette
Rob Demovsky column: Blowout changed UWGB's fortunes--Green Bay Press Gazette
UWGB's Brown named to first team, Sykes to all-newcomer team--UWGB Basketball
Alec Brown is Runner-Up for the StatSheet Horizon Player of the Week - February 27th, 2012--Phoenix Fever
Green Bay Closes the Season Against Youngstown State--Phoenix Fever
Sykes' Homecoming Week Culminates with Player of the Week Honor--uwgbathletics.com
Brown, Sykes Collect Horizon League Postseason Honors--uwgbathletics.com
Horizon League's Hottest Team Opens Tourney Tuesday at YSU--uwgbathletics.com

Women's basketball: UWGB's Wojta earns fifth player of week award--Green Bay Press Gazette
Wojta Earns Horizon League Co-Player of the Week Honors--uwgbathletics.com
Wojta Playing at High Level as Regular Season Play Winds Down--uwgbathletics.com

Horizon tournament champs? Why not UWM?--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Valparaiso Travel Guide--PantherU
Tony Meier Wins the StatSheet Horizon Player of the Week - February 27th, 2012--UWM Update
Milwaukee Closes Their 2011-2012 Season With UIC--UWM Update
Meier Claims Horizon League Co-Player Of The Week Honors--uwmpanthers.com
Williams Captures All-League Honors, Allen On All-Defensive Team--uwmpanthers.com
League Tourney Starts Tuesday With Panthers Hosting UIC At Klotsche--uwmpanthers.com

Tucker Shares Horizon League Player Of The Week Honors--uwmpanthers.com

Three variations on a Michigan State 1-4 stack--Run The Floor
Broekhoff named Horizon League Player of the Year; Drew Coach of the Year--The Post-Tribune
Valparaiso hopes home-court advantage will make the difference--The Post-Tribune
Broekhoff, Drew earn Horizon League's top honors--Off The Mark
Valpo's Kenney should be OK--The NWI Times
Experience pays off for Valpo transfers--The NWI Times
Previewing the Horizon League tournament--The NWI Times
Broekhoff named Horizon League Player of the Year; Drew earns Coach of the Year--The NWI Times
VU, NWI officials prep for economic jolt from Horizon League tourney--The NWI Times
Ryan Broekhoff Receives Honorable Mention for the StatSheet Horizon Player of the Week - February 27th, 2012--Valpo Daily
Broekhoff Named HL Player of the Year; Drew Coach of the Year--valpoathletics.com

Valpo-Detroit Women’s Hoops Moves Start Time Saturday--valpoathletics.com

Mays named Newcomer of the Year n Horizon League--Dayton Daily News
Wright State tourney opens at Butler--Dayton Daily News
Wright State junior named Horizon League Newcomer of the Year--Wright State University Sports
Wright State Finishes Their 2011-2012 Campaign Against Butler--Rowdy Review
Mays Named Newcomer of the Year; Second Team--wsuraiders.com

Never-Made-The-NCAA-Tournament Club, February 28, 2012--Sippin' On Purple
Youngstown State university men’s basketball | More news and notes--Youngstown Vindicator
Perry earns Horizon League honors--Youngstown Vindicator
Green Bay, YSU meet for third time tonight--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Eargle, Perry honored by league--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Youngstown State Finishes Their 2011-2012 Season With Green Bay--Guin Report
On this day 13 years ago - Feb 28, 1999--Guin Report
All or nothing--The Jambar
Kendrick Perry, Damian Eargle Earn Horizon League Postseason Awards--ysusports.com
No. 6 Men's Basketball Hosts No. 7 Green Bay in Horizon League First Round--ysusports.com

Green Bay's Sykes, Milwaukee's Meier Share Player of the Week Accolades--Horizon League Network
Horizon League Announces Men's Basketball Award Winners--Horizon League Network
First Round Kicks Off With Memorable Rematches--Horizon League Network

Milwaukee's Tucker and Green Bay's Wojta Named Co-Women's Basketball Players of the Week--Horizon League Network

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Men's Final Seeding 2/26/2012

Scores from 2/25/2012:

Green Bay 71 UIC 63
Cleveland State 77 Wright State 55
Detroit 76 Youngstown State 74
Milwaukee 78 Loyola 69

Seed Team Conf 1st round matchup
---- ---------- ---- -----------------
#1 Valparaiso 14-4 Double-bye; Host 2nd/3rd Rds.
#2 Cleveland State 12-6 Double-bye
#3 Detroit 11-7 Hosts #10 Loyola
#4 Milwaukee 11-7 Hosts #9 UIC
#5 Butler 11-7 Hosts #8 Wright State
#6 Youngstown State 10-8 Hosts #7 Green Bay
#7 Green Bay 10-8
#8 Wright State 7-11
#9 UIC 3-15
#10 Loyola 1-17

Valpo swept CSU, is 1-1 against YSU, swept Butler, split with Milwaukee, and swept Detroit.
CSU split with YSU, Butler, and Milwaukee, and swept Detroit.
YSU split with Detroit, swept Milwaukee, was swept by Butler.
Detroit swept Butler, split with Milwaukee
Butler split with Milwaukee.


Valpo - Won: Detroit, CSU, Butler, UIC, Loyola; Lost: none
CSU - Won: UIC, Loyola, Detroit; Lost: Valpo
Butler - Won: Loyola, WSU, YSU, UIC; Lost: Detroit, Valpo
Detroit - Won: Butler, Loyola, Green Bay, WSU; Lost: Valpo, CSU
YSU - Won: Loyola, Milwaukee; Lost: Butler
Milwaukee - Won: Green Bay, UIC, Loyola; Lost: YSU

Valpo has secured the 1 seed, CSU the 2 seed, WSU the 8 seed, UIC the 9 seed, and Loyola the 10 seed without any need for tiebreakers.

Detroit, Milwaukee, and Butler are tied for 3rd at 11-7. From the above, Detroit swept Butler and split with Milwaukee, and Milwaukee split with Butler, so Detroit wins the tiebreaker (3-1) for the 3 seed, Milwaukee (2-2) gets the 4 seed, and Butler (1-3) gets the 5 seed.

Youngstown State and Green Bay are tied for 6th at 10-8. They split with each other. They both split with #1 Valpo and #2 CSU. Youngstown State split with #3 Detroit while Green Bay was swept by the Titans, so YSU gets the 6 seed and Green Bay the 7 seed.

This Tuesday, #3 Detroit hosts #10 Loyola, #4 Milwaukee hosts #9 UIC, #5 Butler hosts #8 WSU, and #6 YSU hosts #7 Green Bay.

News On The Horizon 2/26/2012

Madness 2012 Horizon All-Conference Teams--College Sports Madness

Video: Jeremy Evans dunks two balls at once over Jazz teammate, wins Slam Dunk Contest--Ball Don't Lie

But things got better for Evans in the second round, thanks to a little help from Jazz teammate Gordon Hayward and the introduction of a second ball.

Ranking the 2012 dunk contest, dunk-by-dunk--Ball Don't Lie

1. Evans jumps over Hayward and throws down two balls on the alley-oop. The dunk contest has gone on for enough years that dunk creativity, at least when it doesn't involve props, now primarily involves pasting together aspects of past dunks to create something new. So Evans gets credit for this attempt — covered more extensively by Dan Devine here — which combined the basic dunk of jumping over someone, the even simpler idea of taking an alley-oop, and the old-school decision to throw down two balls. It was something we hadn't seen before, and he did it with enough power to make a statement about his abilities. It would've been better if he'd done it on the first try, but, on a bad night, this dunk is possibly the only one that will be remembered years down the line.

Utah Jazz: Jeremy Evans ready to put his energy into Sprite Slam Dunk contest--Deseret News

"Earl couldn't make it," Evans said of competing with his favorite alley-oop partner Watson. "He's going to be in Los Angeles with his daughter. So I'm hoping he has a good time out there and hopefully I can do it without Earl this time."

However, since Evans' Utah teammate Gordon Hayward was participating in Friday's Rising Stars Challenge all-star game for NBA rookies and second-year players, there's a possibility that the Jazz swingman might also make an appearance to help Evans' effort.

"I think it's going to be pretty exciting to go and watch him go out and do his thing," Hayward said. "I know Utah was trying to get him to go regardless, and so here he is going the last minute, it should be fun.

Jeremy Evans comes out on top as slam dunk champ--Deseret News

The second round featured an impressive slam by Evans, who put two balls through the hoop, while receiving assist from teammate Gordon Hayward, who who sat in a chair near the goal.

Butler to host Wright State in Horizon League tournament--The Indy Star
Tough path for Butler in HL tourney--Victory Firelight
Wacky Weekend Ends Regular Season Play, Butler Takes No. 5 Seed into Horizon League Tournament--Butler Blue Fever

No. 12 Green Bay Runs Past Butler--ButlerSports.com

Miami Heat has a bigger NBA All-Star presence--Miami Herald

Miami bumped its total from four participants in last year’s All-Star Weekend to six this year. Mario Chalmers, who took part in the Foot Locker 3-Point Contest, and rookie Norris Cole, who participated in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, were first-time honorees. The Heat’s James Jones won the shootout last year, but was eliminated in the final round Saturday.

ASK IRA: Is Norris Cole worthy of a starting role?--South Florida Sun Sentinel
Cleveland State's closing home victory offers a chance for tournament redemption: Terry Pluto--Cleveland Plain Dealer
A small change in lineup pays off for Vikings' Jeremy Montgomery: Cleveland State Insider--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland State rolls over Wright State, clinches No. 2 seed in Horizon tournament--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland State 77, Wright State 55--Cleveland State Hoops
Cleveland State Pounds Wright State, 77-55--Vikings Ball
StatSheet Projects Cleveland State as NIT Seven Seed: 02/26/2012--Vikings Ball
Vikings Clinch No. 2 Seed With 77-55 Win Over Wright State--csuvikings.com

Vikings Fall At Wright State--csuvikings.com

The NC-Double-Eh Stats - Week 15--
Raptors HQ


Devoe Joseph, Oregon - 35.0

Hernst Laroche, New Mexico State - 32.5

Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga - 31.7

Kris Joseph, Syracuse - 31.1

Tyler Murray, Wagner - 31.0

Justin Edwards, Maine - 31.0

Ty Nurse, Texas Tech - 30.8

Jason Calliste, Detroit - 30.2

Harouna Mutombo, Western Carolina - 29.7

Myck Kabongo, Texas - 29.1

Horizon League tournament: Titans open at home vs. Loyola on Tuesday--The Detroit Free Press
Saturday's state basketball: Detroit Mercy beats Youngstown State in regular-season finale--The Detroit News
Detroit Holds Off Youngstown State, 76-74--Titans Update
Titans Clinch Third Seed in HL Tourney with 76-74 Win at YSU--detroittitans.com
Titans to Host HL First Round Game Tuesday--detroittitans.com

Allen, Jones honored--Varsity Press
Titans skate past Penguins--Varsity Press
Titans Edge Youngstown State, 67-64, On Senior Day--detroittitans.com

UIC loses, will be No. 9 seed in Horizon tournament--The Chicago Tribune
Sykes! Phoenix spoils Senior Day--Whoosh!Net
Green Bay Beats UIC, 71-63--Flame Fanatic
Flames Fall to Green Bay; Head to Milwaukee for Horizon League First-Round--uicflames.com

Flames Late Rally Falls Short in a 70-66 Loss to Loyola--uicflames.com

Averkamp's 16 points not enough for Loyola in loss--The Chicago Tribune
On this day 6 years ago - Feb 25, 2006--LU Wolf Ball
Loyola (Chicago) Loses To Milwaukee, 78-69--LU Wolf Ball
Loyola Can't Overcome Hot-Shooting Milwaukee In 78-69 Loss--LoyolaRamblers.com
Horizon League Men's Basketball Championship Bracket Set--LoyolaRamblers.com

King, Hot Start Propel Ramblers Past UIC, 70-66--LoyolaRamblers.com

Men's basketball: Sykes gets hot, UWGB stays hot--Green Bay Press Gazette
Green Bay Beats UIC, 71-63--Phoenix Fever
Sykes Takes Over in Homecoming Win at UIC--uwgbathletics.com

Women's basketball: Led by its senior star, No. 12 UWGB beats Butler--Green Bay Press Gazette
No. 12/12 Green Bay Owns Sole Possession of Regular Season Crown--uwgbathletics.com

Fast start carries Panthers over Loyola--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee outpaces Loyola, gains No. 4 seed--PantherU
Milwaukee Gets 78-69 Win Over Loyola (Chicago)--UWM Update
Weekend Postgame Report - Milwaukee @ UIC/Loyola--Panther Blog Zone
Meier Scores 26 As Panthers Finish Regular Season With Win At Loyola--uwmpanthers.com
Panthers Start Preparations For League Tourney Opener With UIC--uwmpanthers.com

Panthers' defense doesn't rest--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Postgame Report: Milwaukee vs. Valparaiso--Panther Blog Zone
Panthers Use Dominant Defensive Effort In Win Over Valpo--uwmpanthers.com

My take on Horizon League All-Conference Awards--The NWI Times
Predicting the HL tournament: PPS--Section EE

Valpo Falls in Final Road Contest at Milwaukee--valpoathletics.com

WSU to face Butler in league tournament--Dayton Daily News
WSU closes month with lopsided loss--Dayton Daily News
Wright State closes regular season with 77-55 loss to Cleveland State--Wright State University Sports
Cleveland State Gets Big Win Over Wright State, 77-55--Rowdy Review
Men Drop Regular-Season Finale at Cleveland State--wsuraiders.com

Women Score 100, Hit 15 Threes--wsuraiders.com

YSU ready for tournament--Youngstown Vindicator
Penguins fall, 76-74--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
YSU’s Perry paces Horizon League--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Youngstown State Tripped Up Late By Detroit, 76-74--Guin Report
Penguins slated to host tournament game despite loss--The Jambar
Men's Basketball Drops 76-74 to Decision; Will Host Green Bay on Tuesday--ysusports.com
Athletics Department Announces Ticket Office Hours For Horizon League Tournament Game--ysusports.com

YSU women fall at Detroit, 67-64--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Women's Basketball Falls Short at Detroit, 67-64--ysusports.com

Field Set for 2012 Horizon League Men's Basketball Championship--Horizon League Network

Green Bay Clinches Regular Season Title in Women's Basketball--Horizon League Network

Saturday, February 25, 2012

News On The Horizon 2/25/2012

Weekend Preview: St. Mary’s traveling to USF highlights the mid-major slate--Beyond the Arc

Five more mid-major games to keep an eye on

Fri. Butler @ Valparaiso, 7 p.m. (ESPNU): Valpo is the Horizon League champ, but they have been playing less-than-perfect basketball down the stretch. With Cleveland State looking like a different team without D’Aundray Brown, the surging Bulldogs are all of a sudden a trendy pick to win the league’s automatic bid, which they will need if they want to go dancing.

Today's Specials: WVU needs win vs. Marquette--Eye On College Basketball

Another one to watch: Butler at Valparaiso (7 p.m., ESPNU). Valparaiso has already clinched the regular-season title, but the favorite heading into the conference tournament could be Butler. The Bulldogs have won five in a row to move to 11-6 in the league, and could finish in second. Butler has been playing very solid defensively, but it will need to defend the 3-point line and avoid silly fouls. Moreover, it needs to hit outside shots.

Utah Jazz: Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward part of victorious Rising Stars squad--Deseret News
Shep Talk: Wither the Jazz go?--KSL.com

Assuming I'm right, and the playoffs aren't in the Jazz future, it is the responsibility of the franchise to prepare their young and talented players for the years ahead. Guys like Derrick Favors, Kanter, Gordon Hayward and Burks should be getting a major bump in playing time as the season moves on. The argument I always hear is, "But the vets give you the best chance to win right now." That logic only works if you're winning. The Jazz are a .469 team and playing guys strictly because they're vets only impedes the maturation of the guys that will be the team's future stars. I've said many times that Jazz fans are ready to deal with some losing as long as they can see that the future is bright.

Trivia answers? Here’s even more about the Jazz’s Gordon Hayward--Salt Lake Tribune
Jazz’s Hayward, Favors already enjoying NBA All-Star spotlight--Salt Lake Tribune
All-Star Notes: Jazz’s Jeremy Evans dreams of capturing dunk crown--Salt Lake Tribune
Jazz’s Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors shine bright in Rising Stars Challenge--Salt Lake Tribune
Butler Vs. Valparaiso: Bulldogs Look To Salvage Pride Against Horizon Leading Crusaders--SB Nation Indiana
Butler Vs. Valparaiso Final Score: Crusaders Slow Down Bulldogs In 71-59 Win--SB Nation Indiana
Indiana College Basketball: Purdue, Butler, and Indiana Road Warriors This Weekend--SB Nation Indiana
Butler loses season finale to Valparaiso--The Indy Star
Get ready for Tuesday (probably)--Indy Star Butler Insider
Butler falters at Valpo (+Audio)--Victory Firelight
Butler Tripped Up By Valparaiso, 71-59--Butler Blue Fever
Start Stops Bulldogs At Valparaiso--ButlerSports.com

Bulldogs Take On No. 12 Green Bay--ButlerSports.com

Miami Heat’s Norris Cole impresses in Rising Stars Challenge--Miami Herald
Miami Heat’s Mario Chalmers inspired by doubts, challenges--Miami Herald

Pushed by rookie Norris Cole, playing healthy for the first time in two years and trusted, finally, as the team’s starting point guard, Chalmers entered the All-Star break leading the Heat in three-point shots (68). That’s more than the combined three-point total for Mike Miller (30) and Shane Battier (61).

Cleveland State's D'Aundray Brown returns today, hopes to stick around for Horizon League Tournament--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland State 77, Detroit 64--Cleveland State Hoops
Cleveland State Finishes Their 2011-2012 Season With Wright State--Vikings Ball
Vikings Host Wright State in Regular Season Finale--csuvikings.com

Vikings Travel To Wright State For Final Regular Season Road Contest--csuvikings.com

Detroit Closes Their 2011-2012 Season With Youngstown State--Titans Update
Titans Still in Hunt for Three Seed Saturday at YSU--detroittitans.com

Senior Day Has The Titans Hosting Youngstown State--detroittitans.com

Saturday's matchup: Green Bay at UIC--The Chicago Tribune
UIC Finishes Their 2011-2012 Season With Green Bay--Flame Fanatic
Flames Host Green Bay on Senior Day Saturday--uicflames.com

Women's Basketball Welcomes City-Rival Loyola on Saturday--uicflames.com

Saturday's matchup: Milwaukee at Loyola--The Chicago Tribune
Loyola (Chicago) Finishes Their 2011-2012 Season With Milwaukee--LU Wolf Ball
Loyola Closes Out Regular-Season Versus Milwaukee Saturday--LoyolaRamblers.com

Men's basketball: Today's UWGB preview--Green Bay Press Gazette
Horizon League Tournament seeding scenarios--UWGB Basketball
Green Bay Closes Their 2011-2012 Season Against UIC--Phoenix Fever
Green Bay Looks to End Season with Win at UIC--uwgbathletics.com

Women's basketball: Today's UWGB preview--Green Bay Press Gazette
Green Bay Hosts Butler in Regular Season Home Finale Saturday--uwgbathletics.com

The Importance of sustaining momentum--PantherU
Milwaukee Closes Their 2011-2012 Season With Loyola (Chicago)--UWM Update
Panthers Close Out Regular Season Saturday At Loyola--uwmpanthers.com

Milwaukee Closes Home Slate With "Senior Day" Against Valpo--uwmpanthers.com

Blogger Spotlight: The Only Colors on Michigan State’s stiff defense, Draymond Green’s superior play and more--Beyond the Arc

Q: Past Draymond Green – who’s clearly headed for an All-America spot and is still undervalued – who’s the Spartans’ most essential player? Appling? Wood? Payne? Could they survive an injury to anyone (except Green) and still make the Final Four?

A: The key word here is essential, because there’s depth at many positions: Payne and Derrick Nix combine to make one heck of a center we like to call Derrick Payne, Brandon Wood’s done a great job filling in at the wing; ditto for Austin Thornton who’s made a quantum leap in his ability, going from role player to starter in seemingly days.

However, the one position where there’s currently a distinct drop off in ability is at point guard, and that makes Keith Appling the most essential. The other two players who could possibly run the point, Travis Trice and Brandan Kearney, are both inexperienced and lack the weight needed to play effectively in the Big 10 currently, though it should be said Kearney has earned his keep as a defensive presence. If Appling goes out this team either has to use one of the freshmen, Wood, or even Draymond as a point guard, and then the offense gets a bit dodgy.

Butler needs a little help--The Post-Tribune
With pressure off, Valpo rolls over Butler--The Post-Tribune
Butler at Valparaiso, Feb. 24, Live Blog--Off The Mark
Valpo solidifies top Horizon seed with win over Butler--The NWI Times
Van Wijk shines in VU's regular-season finale--The NWI Times
Live from the ARC: Valparaiso vs. Butler (MBB)--Inside VU Sports
Valparaiso Wins 71-59 Over Butler--Valpo Daily
StatSheet Projects Valparaiso as NCAA Tournament Bubble Team 16 Seed: 02/25/2012--Valpo Daily
Game Wrap Up: Sending a Message--Section EE
SectionEE's Post Season Awards--Section EE
Crusaders Cap Regular Season With Coast-to-Coast Win Over Butler--valpoathletics.com

VU women’s preview capsule--The Post-Tribune
Valpo Closes Road Slate Saturday at Milwaukee--valpoathletics.com

WSU vs Cleveland St. preview--Dayton Daily News
Wright State learns tourney foe today--Dayton Daily News
Wright State Finishes Their 2011-2012 Season With Cleveland State--Rowdy Review

Eargle: YSU’s sultan of swat--Youngstown Vindicator
Eargle sets benchmark for blocks in Horizon--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Youngstown State Closes the Season Against Detroit--Guin Report
Men's Basketball Hosts Detroit on Senior Day in HL Game of the Week on ESPN3.com--ysusports.com

Women's Basketball Heads to Detroit on Saturday--ysusports.com

Myriad of Scenarios in Play During Final Weekend--Horizon League Network
Valpo Caps Historic Regular Season with Win Over Butler--Horizon League Network