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

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