7. Valparaiso: The Crusaders will have one of the best frontlines at the mid-major level with Ryan Broekhoff and Kevin Van Wijk returning and Indiana transfer Bobby Capobianco becoming eligible. Valpo could have won the Horizon last season if it wasn’t for some bad luck with injuries and the flu.No surprises in preseason Horizon League picks--Run The Floor
Player to know: Broekhoff and Van Wijk combined for 29.0 points and 13.7 boards last year.
Can’t-miss game: The Crusaders travel to New Mexico (Dec. 2nd) and St. Louis (Dec. 8th) within the span of a week, but their most interesting game might be dates with Cleveland State and Detroit in league play.
14. Detroit: Detroit will be one of the favorites to win the Horizon as Ray McCallum, one of the most talented players at the mid-major level, is back for another season. He’ll likely be the the league’s Preseason Player of the Year.
Player to know: McCallum is an easy pick, but keep an eye on uber-athletic wing Doug Anderson, who does things like this.
Can’t-miss game: Detroit plays a loaded schedule, but the highlight will probably be at trip to the Carrier Dome to take on Syracuse on Dec. 17th.
3-point shot: More time for BC rebuild--College Basketball Nation Blog
3. The Horizon League will lose national recognition with the departure of Butler to the Atlantic 10. But if this is a one-bid league in March, then the top schools vying for the bid can’t complain. Valparaiso and Detroit would have had a legitimate shot to knock off Butler in the regular-season chase and in the conference tournament. Now, neither has to sweat it one bit. Valpo was picked to win the league, with Detroit on its tail. The Titans have the player of the year in Ray McCallum Jr. And the good news for the Horizon League is that the entire all-league first team returns from last season (which says a bit about Butler’s problems in 2011-12). McCallum is joined by Valpo’s Ryan Broekhoff and Kevin Van Wijk, Youngstown State’s Kendrick Perry and Green Bay’s Alec Brown.Nonconference schedule analysis: MWC--College Basketball Nation Blog
Toughest: at Washington (Nov. 24), at Colorado (Dec. 5)
Next-toughest: Montana (Nov. 9), at Denver (Nov. 21), Las Vegas Classic (Dec. 22-23), St. Bonaventure (Jan. 5)
The rest: Chadron State (Nov. 15), Northern Colorado (Nov. 26), Evansville (Dec. 1), at UIC (Dec. 8), North Florida (Dec. 17), CSU-Bakersfield (Dec. 19), Adams State (Dec. 29), UTEP (Jan. 2)
Toughest: at Marshall (Nov. 24), at Washington (Dec. 8), at Oregon (Dec. 31)
Next-toughest: at Pacific (Dec. 4)
The rest: at UC Irvine (Nov. 10), Cal State-Fullerton (Nov. 16), Green Bay (Nov. 17), Southern Utah (Nov. 18), UC Davis (Nov. 28), Drake (Nov. 30), Cal Poly (Dec. 11), San Francisco (Dec. 15), Cal State-San Marcos (Dec. 21), Yale (Dec. 28)
Toughest: Paradise Jam (Nov. 16-19 in Virgin Islands), at New Mexico State (Dec. 19), at Cincinnati (Dec. 27), at Saint Louis (Dec. 31)
Next-toughest: Davidson (Nov. 12), at Indiana State (Dec. 1), USC (Dec. 5), Valparaiso (Dec. 8), New Mexico State (Dec. 15), South Dakota State (Dec. 22)
The rest: Idaho (Nov. 23), Portland (Nov. 25), Mercer (Nov. 28)
Toughness scale (1-10): 8 -- This is one of New Mexico's best schedules ever. The Lobos usually don’t test themselves to this level because of the need to play so many home games at the Pit. The road swing to Cincinnati and Saint Louis will be as tough a trip as the Lobos have had under coach Steve Alford in the nonconference. The NMSU series is always brutal. The home games against Davidson, USC, Valpo, Mercer and South Dakota State are all smartly scheduled against teams that should be vying for bids. Indiana State will be a gritty affair. The Paradise Jam is open for the Lobos to win as UNM is clearly the best team in the field. Facing off with George Mason in the second game and UConn in the final would help the computer numbers.
Viking Madness at Cleveland State on Oct. 13--csuvikings.com
VIDEO: Highlights From 2012-13 Horizon League Men's Basketball Media Day--LoyolaRamblers.com
Men's basketball: UWGB picked for third in Horizon--Green Bay Press Gazette
Nonconference schedule analysis: Pac-12--College Basketball Nation Blog
Toughest: at BYU (Dec. 8)
Next-toughest: at SMU (Nov. 28), Boise State (Dec. 5)
The rest: Williamette (Nov. 9), Sacramento State (Nov. 16), Idaho State (Nov. 21), Central Michigan (Nov. 23), Wright State (Nov. 24), at Texas State (Nov. 30), SMU (Dec. 18), Cal State Northridge (Dec. 21), College of Idaho (Dec. 28)
Toughness scale (1-10): 1 -- Teams coming off of a 6-25 season shouldn’t be expected to schedule a tough nonconference slate, so we’ll cut Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak a break this season -- and probably next season, too. The Utah Thanksgiving Tournament features Central Michigan, Wright State and Idaho State, all of whom had losing records last season. And yes, Utah is playing SMU two times, once at home and once on the road.