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?

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

Bulldogs Take On No. 12 Green

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

Vikings Travel To Wright State For Final Regular Season Road

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

Senior Day Has The Titans Hosting Youngstown

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

Women's Basketball Welcomes City-Rival Loyola on

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

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

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

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

Milwaukee Closes Home Slate With "Senior Day" Against

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

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

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

Women's Basketball Heads to Detroit on

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

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