Friday, February 17, 2012

News On The Horizon 2/17/2012

No. 11 Green Bay women rout Cleveland State
The NC-Double-Eh Schedule - Feb. 16--Raptors HQ

And here is where the ladies are playing today ...
7:00pm Green Bay @ Cleveland State - Green Bay's Megan Lukan has scored in double digits in her last two games and is averaging 11.5 points, 3 assists and 5 rebounds in that time only missing 5 minutes of action. The Phoenix are currently ranked in the Top 25 and Lukan sudden offensive spark (she averages just over 6 points) could be needed against Cleveland State.

Indiana College Basketball: Purdue Vs. Michigan State Headlines Weekend--SB Nation Indiana

Indiana State at Butler - 2pm Saturday

This BracketBusters game doesn't have at large implications, but Butler has won three in a row and may be peaking at the right time to win the Horizon League Tournament. The Sycamores would like to replicate last season's surprising run to the NCAA Tournament with the automatic bid from the Missouri Valley Conference, and Wednesday's overtime win over Illinois State could provide a spark. The winner of this one will be able to carry momentum into the final week of the regular season.

Valparaiso at Loyola Marymount - 9pm Friday

Valpo likely won't get an at large bid to the NCAAs, but facing Loyola Marymount from the solid West Coast Conference can provide a nice confidence boost. This is another Bracket Busters game, and ESPNU will have it on national television for the Crusaders.

The Breakdown: Purdue And The 2012 NCAA Tournament--Hammer and Rails

The two bad losses, Butler and Penn State, are holding steady. Butler has a chance to climb into the top 100 with a strong finish. They are currently at No. 119, but if they win their final three regular season games and the Horizon league Tourney (very possible) the "bad" stigma can go away by climbing into the top 100.
Non-Conference rooting interests - If you're looking for teams to keep an eye on outside the Big Ten, Temple, Miami, Iona, and Butler are the big four.
Finally, we have Butler. If The Bulldogs are putting it together finally we need them to continue it so they get above the 100 line on RPI. They can still finish second in the Horizon League, which gives them a bye to the semifinals of the conference tournament, which will likely be played at Valparaiso.

Jazz notebook: Hayward has a couple of great fans — his mom and dad--Deseret News
Utah Jazz: Jeremy Evans not invited to NBA's Slam Dunk Contest--Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — It looks like Gordon Hayward will be the sole Utah Jazz player at All-Star Weekend.
Hayward will play in the Rising Stars Challenge, which includes 18 top rookies and sophomores on teams that will be drafted tonight by Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal. That game will be played on Friday, Feb. 24, two days prior to the All-Star Game.
As for Utah's sole participant, Hayward said he doesn't have any preferences as to which team he ends up on or what players he's aligned with in his game. He's appreciative of making the list and looks forward to the weekend, but he isn't sold on the change of format the NBA made to split up first-year and second-year players. Not that he's complaining.

"I wish it was still Rookies vs. Sophomores. I think that's kind of cool to be able to go against rookies — rookies go against sophomores," Hayward said. "It's cool to be involved, so it doesn't matter."

Jazz Thunderstruck in Oklahoma City, lose 111-85.--Deseret News

"Each game is very important," Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward said after a scoreless, 16-minute outing. "So I think we just got to learn from this one and try to move on. It's just very frustrating."
"I'm not going to blame it on fatigue," Hayward said. "I think it's just not acceptable whatever the reason was. We're professionals, so back-to-back-to-back is our job. We've got to be prepared. We've got to be able to play."

Utah Jazz notebook: A Jeremy will be at NBA festivities, but not Jeremy Evans--Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Gordon Hayward will be the sole Utah Jazz player at All-Star Weekend.
Evans' teammates were disappointed that the Jazz's push to get the athletic leaper into the contest didn't pan out.

"I was sad," Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward said.
Evans said extra time will allow him to fine-tune his dunks, too.

"There's always next year," Hayward said.

Let the #LetJeremyDunk2013 campaign begin.
FLYING SOLO: Hayward will play in the Rising Stars Challenge, which now includes 20 top rookies and sophomores after the NBA added that other Jeremy (the Linsanity one) and Miami's Norris Cole. That game will be played on Friday, Feb. 24, two days prior to the All-Star Game.

As for Utah's sole participant, Hayward said he didn't have a preference as to which team he ended up on or what players he's aligned with. He wasn't complaining, but he isn't sold on the change of format the NBA made to split up first-year and second-year players.

"I wish it was still Rookies vs. Sophomores. I think that's kind of cool to be able to go against rookies — rookies go against sophomores," Hayward said. "It's cool to be involved, so it doesn't matter."

The 21-year-old was picked up by Charles Barkley in the draft.

Other members of Team Chuck:Kyrie Irving (Cavs, R); DeMarcus Cousins (Kings, S); Paul George (Pacers, S); Derrick Williams (Timberwolves, R); MarShon Brooks (Nets, R); John Wall (Wizards, S); Tiago Splitter (Spurs, S); Kawhi Leonard (Spurs, R); Evan Turner (76ers, S).

Team Shaq:Blake Griffin (Clippers, S); Jeremy Lin (Knicks, S); Ricky Rubio (Timberwolves, R); Greg Monroe (Pistons, S); Markieff Morris (Suns, R); Kemba Walker (Bobcats, R); Landry Fields (Knicks, S); Norris Cole (Heat, S); Brandon Knight (Pistons, R); Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers, R).

Hayward when asked about being the only Utah player at All-StarWeekend: "No pressure, but I'll try to do my best to try to represent the Jazz."

Utah Jazz face key four-game stretch--Salt Lake Tribune

“We have to shake off the road trip and do the things that made us successful in the first place,” swingman Gordon Hayward said. “We just have to focus on the next game. Washington is a tough team, so we need to be ready to play.”

The reunion

On Friday night, Hayward will face off against his former teammate at Butler, Shelvin Mack, a reserve guard for Washington. This is the first time the two will play against each other as professionals. But matchups at the Indianapolis pro-am and open gyms at Butler were wars, according to Hayward.

“We really go at it,” said the second-year starter. “He’s very competitive, and so am I. It will definitely be good to see him. I’m excited.”

Monson: Four on the floor — time for the Jazz to be pros--Salt Lake Tribune

3. Team unity.

It takes no Freud to know that the Jazz are royally ticked at one another at the moment. After a completely explicable road loss to Oklahoma City after an inexplicable loss to New Orleans, which had a collection of nine available players, the total sum of which couldn’t have won the Estonian League, the Jazz locker room is a mess.

Let’s see if we’ve got this straight: Al Jefferson thinks the Jazz aren’t bringing enough effort. Paul Millsap doesn’t believe the Jazz even know what’s wrong. Raja Bell knows what’s wrong but doesn’t think anybody cares about his opinion. Gordon Hayward doesn’t want to use being tired as any kind of excuse. Corbin thinks the Jazz were tired on that back-to-back-to-back roadie, and that everything’s going to be OK.

Yeah, the Jazz are OK, the world’s crazy. It’s time for the Jazz to start doing what they’re told to do on the court, executing with the players who are given the minutes, and quit whining and worrying about anything else. There’s a fragile balance on this team with veterans and youngsters and too much looking out for individual concerns. The belief here is that Corbin should quit fiddle-faddling around with the minutes of players such as Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks — and give them the floor time they need to become stars. It was ridiculous the other night, when the Jazz were getting rolled by the Thunder, that Favors got only 17 minutes.

Make the commitment to the young, talented players, coach them up and allow them to blossom sooner rather than later. Sprinkle in the veterans, and if those vets complain too much about their minutes, give them the what-for, plain and simple. Or trade ’em.

Better for the players to give whatever they’ve got in whatever minutes they get, to run the floor, set hard screens, make crisp passes, move the ball to where it needs to go, and flat-out play hard.

Next generation: Butler University announces Blue III, third in mascot line--The Indy Star
Butler Hosts Indiana State In Sears BracketBuster

Bulldogs Crush Loyola

New York Knicks’ Jeremy Lin, Miami Heat’s Norris Cole added to Rising Stars roster--Miami Herald
Akron men's basketball team thinking big as BracketBusters date with Oral Roberts looms--Cleveland Plain Dealer

Cleveland State (20-7), in the midst of a three-game losing streak, will host Drexel (22-5), in its BracketBusters game, 11 a.m. Saturday on ESPNU.

While CSU's at-large chances now look slim, topping a Drexel team on a 14-game winning streak would go a long way toward getting the Vikings back on track.
As for Cleveland State, the Vikings just need a victory, as getting back on track, in coach Gary Waters' eyes, reopens CSU's postseason opportunities.

"Win this game and it can really help you," he said. "That will prepare us for the next three [Horizon League] games, and those three games are vital. It's still on us."

Ohio State women's team, without Samantha Prahalis, pounds Indiana: College Basketball Roundup--Cleveland Plain Dealer

No. 11 Green Bay 90, Cleveland State 59 Julie Wojta scored 23 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out five assists as the Phoenix (22-1, 12-1 Horizon League) beat the Vikings at the Wolstein Center.

Wojta grabbed eight offensive rebounds as Green Bay scored 18 second-chance points and outscored Cleveland State, 42-26, in the paint.

Cleveland State (9-16, 4-10) shot just 38.9 percent (21-of-54) from the field and committed 17 turnovers. The Phoenix scored 24 points off those errors.

Cori Coleman led the Vikings with 21 points.

Coleman Scores Career-High 21, But CSU Falls To Green Bay,

Trip to Wisconsin works out for Detroit Mercy women's hoops--The Detroit Free Press
UDM Falls At Wright State In High Scoring

"Cardio for a Cause"--Detroit Titans Blog

Flames can’t hold lead after good start--Whoosh!Net

Flames Record 16th Win in a 54-43 Triumph at Ticket Special For Loyola Men's Basketball Is Available
Ramblers Seek Fifth Straight Non-Conference Win, Head To Bradley

Loyola Stumbles At Butler,

Women's basketball: Phoenix assumes control in 2nd half, beats Cleveland State--Green Bay Press Gazette
Phoenix Scores Season High in 90-59 Win at Cleveland

Second-half rally rescues Panthers--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Prudently planning personnel--PantherU
Postgame Report: Milwaukee at Youngstown State--Panther Blog Zone
Panthers Use Second-Half Comeback To Extend Win Streak Over

Women’s basketball: Valparaiso falls minus Timmerman--The Post-Tribune
Short-handed VU women fall back into last-place tie--The NWI Times
UIC Snaps Valpo’s Win

Ten BracketBuster teams casual fans need to know more about

No. 5 – Valparaiso (19-9, 12-4 Horizon)
BB Opponent: 2/17 @ Loyola-Marymount, 9 p.m. on ESPNU

The Crusaders are coached by Valpo legend Bryce Drew, famous for his March Madness-defining buzzer-beater against Ole Miss in the 1998 NCAA Tournament. The 2012 Crusaders are atop the Horizon League standings, but may have to finish the season without their best player, Kevin Van Wijk, who suffered a knee injury earlier in the month. But Australian import Kevin Broekhoff anchors an experienced bunch looking to win the school’s first Horizon League title.

Night Court: Duke, FSU with late comeback wins--Eye On College Basketball

On tap:

It's Friday. That means Ivy league hoops is the focus -- along with a couple of BracketBuster games.
2) Valparaiso at Loyola Marymount - LMU is coming off a big road win at Saint Mary's.

Valparaiso heads west for BracketBuster--The Post-Tribune
VU's Van Wijk staying home for BracketBuster contest--The NWI Times
Michigan State 69, Wisconsin 55: Notes, quotes from Thursday's win--The Detroit Free Press

DEPLETED BENCH: Freshman point guard Travis Trice didn't play because of a sprained ankle. He wore a boot and street clothes as he cheered from the bench. Brandon Wood suffered a strained shoulder in practice Tuesday and didn't pick up a ball until just before the tip. He played 16 minutes. Coach Tom Izzo said the effort showed how much Wood, a transfer, was beginning to understand what was required at MSU.
IN FRESHMAN HE TRUSTS: When Izzo learned Thursday morning that Trice couldn't go and that Wood would be limited, freshman Branden Kearney became the next perimeter option off the bench. Kearney played 19 minutes and took one shot -- he missed -- but his defense on star Jordan Taylor and the rest of the Badgers' guards was invaluable.

Michigan State dominates Wisconsin, back in tie for Big Ten lead--The Detroit News

Senior guard Brandon Wood, who injured his shoulder in practice earlier in the week, did play and finished with two points in 16 minutes.

To a man, Michigan State refuses to relent--The Detroit News

Mark down March 4

And that's why there's no telling just how far this Michigan State team can go from here. The Spartans are tied atop the Big Ten standings with Ohio State, the team they just beat in Columbus on Saturday night.

If they can survive this stretch of five games in 13 days — made tougher by injuries to guards Travis Trice (ankle) and Brandon Wood (shoulder) — they could be hosting the Buckeyes with a chance to win the outright title at the Breslin Center on March 4.

WSU women move into 2nd place in league--Dayton Daily News
Women Defeat Detroit

Wright State trying to inspire optimism--Dayton Daily News

Good start, bad finish for Youngstown State--Youngstown Vindicator
Milwaukee's Second-Half Comeback Derails Penguins,

Fight for No. 2 Seed Draws Tighter after Thursday Night in Women's Hoops--Horizon League Network

Valpo, Cleveland State Highlight Matchups in Sears BracketBusters X--Horizon League Network

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