Tuesday, March 17, 2015

News On The Horizon 3/17/2015

Wojo: Inconsistent ways leave MSU hard to predict--The Detroit News
It's a solid group that doesn't create off-court headaches, just a few on-court heartaches. Give Izzo and his staff credit, because after sitting at 15-8 on Feb. 7, the Spartans got on a roll, and almost every player has shown improvement. Matt Costello has developed into a rugged presence, and freshman Tum Tum Nairn Jr. has provided a spark in the starting lineup. Marvin Clark Jr. and Bryn Forbes are capable of big moments, too.
Vikings Open CIT at Western Michigan on Wednesday--csuvikings.com

Cleveland State Women's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule--College Sports Madness
Women’s Basketball Earns WNIT At-Large Bid--csuvikings.com

Detroit fires women's basketball coach Rademacher--The Detroit Free Press
Titans Announce Change Of Leadership In Women’s Basketball Program--detroittitans.com

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 17, 2015--Hoopville
Tonight’s Menu:
Five more games happen in the CIT. Eastern Illinois is at Oakland, James Madison travels to South Carolina Upstate, Bowling Green is at St. Francis (Pa.), Norfolk State plays at Eastern Kentucky and Louisiana-Lafayette goes to Incarnate Word, which makes its first D-I tourney appearance.
CMU, OU find motivation after not making NCAAs--The Detroit Free Press

Hirings and firings: 2015 college basketball coaching changes--Eye On College Basketball

Out: Howard Moore. Moore was let go for a lack of on-court success, according to athletic director Jim Schmidt. And honestly, it's not a huge surprise. UIC never really showed any consistent modicum of success under Moore, going 49-111 in his five seasons at the helm with only one winning season (2012-13). The Flames went 10-24 this year with an upperclassman-laden roster, and didn't show a ton of progress following the winning year two seasons ago. One other thing worth mentioning: the Flames do have three top-400 recruits coming in next season according to 247Sports. That's an impressive haul for a school the size of UIC, and it'll be interesting to see if they stick around with the switch.

Hagemeister Park to Host Men's Basketball Viewing Party on Wednesday--GreenBayPhoenix.com

Green Bay Women's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule--College Sports Madness
UWGB women face unbeaten Princeton in NCAA opener--Green Bay Press Gazette
Green Bay to Face Undefeated Princeton in First Round of NCAA Tournament--GreenBayPhoenix.com

Buffalo, Eastern Washington among teams capable of springing an NCAA Tournament upset--CollegeBasketballTalk
Another possibility that will receive attention: No. 13 Valparaiso over No. 4 Maryland

Mark Turgeon’s team has put together a very good year, winning 27 games and finishing second in the Big Ten with Melo Trimble, Dez Wells and Jake Layman leading the way. But they have what could be a difficult matchup given the Crusaders’ front court talent. Bryce Drew’s team rebounds more than 35 percent of its missed shots on the season, with Alec Peters, Vashil Fernandez and Jubril Adekoya being solid offensive rebounders. Add in the fact that the 6-foot-9 Peters can score both inside and out, and an upset is possible here.
Complete Midwest Region Analysis--Basketball Predictions
Maryland/Valparaiso is another game where you need to think seriously about the upset. The Vegas spread is only at 5 points, and it's there for a reason. In fact, Pomeroy has the spread at only 3. Maryland went 11-1 in games decided by six points or fewer, and they are decidedly weaker than their resume. Valparaiso, meanwhile, is good enough that they could have contended for an at-large bid if they had a better schedule and a little bit more luck in close games. The test for Valparaiso is going to be scoring points against this defense, though. Alec Peters was a dominant power scorer in the Horizon League, but Maryland's front line is much bigger and more physical than anything in the Horizon League. And I'm not sure Valparaiso has the ability to shut down Dez Wells and Melo Trimble. Maryland was only 10th in the Big Ten in offensive efficiency, but they should be able to score enough points with Wells and Trimble that Valparaiso is not going to be able to win this game with 55 points (it's been more than a month since Valparaiso scored more than 63 points in a game, and their last four wins have all come with 60 points or fewer). So I think Maryland does escape here, though it would be a little bit of karma if they lose on the final play of a game after so much luck in close games all season long.
2015 NCAA Tournament Super Seeds: Best team on every seed line--Eye On College Basketball
13. Valparaiso is one of the few teams to hold Green Bay's Keifer Sykes in check this season, so I'll give the Crusaders a shot to lock down Melo Trimble. There is no individual star that will capture your attention, but the balanced and consistent winning under Bryce Drew (oh yeah, I guess he's the name you'll recognize here) with two tournament trips in four years is impressive.
2015 NCAA Tournament's five most likely Round of 64 upsets--CBS Sports
5. No. 13 Valparaiso over No. 4 Maryland

Reasons to pick the upset: Maryland has been one of the most fortunate teams in America this season, winning 10 of its 11 games decided by six points or fewer. Now, part of that is due to the presence of Melo Trimble, a terrific free-throw shooter who can close out games at the line. But still, they would not be expected to win over 90 percent of their games within two possessions. So maybe Maryland's patten of good fortune combined with solid late-game execution runs out here?

There's also the matchup against Valparaiso, which is a bit interesting. Maryland is an average defensive rebounding team and a poor offensive rebounding team. The Crusaders do a good job of controlling the glass on both ends. The Terps' defense also doesn't force turnovers or steals, which is the place where the Crusaders tend to struggle most on offense. So if the Crusaders can control the boards and limit turnovers, they would probably be halfway home to an upset. It would just come down to making shots against the more athletic Terps. Given that Valpo knocked down 38 percent of its 3-point attempts this year, I might take my chances on that.

Reasons to pick the favorite: Maryland has a really good perimeter-based player -- Jake Layman -- to match up with Valparaiso's terrific stretch-four Alec Peters. If Layman can control that matchup against Peters and slow him down with his mix of size and athleticism, Valpo would need other guys to step up who might not be able to do so. Also, simply put, Maryland is an extremely athletic, talented team. The Crusaders haven't seen a backcourt this season (sorry, Green Bay and Keifer Sykes) that can match the Terps' ability to get into the lane and make plays. The question will be whether Trimble and Dez Wells can finish over Vashil Fernandez or get him into foul trouble, as he has turned into an excellent rim protector. Given that I think there is a strong chance the Terps can neutralize the Crusaders' advantage inside, this is a tough one to call.
Cinderella Suggestions--Define Mid-Major
(13) Valparaiso - If one of these teams is able to run their offense efficiently, they will win the game. Neither team averages 70 points per game, so scoring could be at a premium. If Valpo is able to play the defense they have been playing against Horizon League competition against Maryland, they will be right in this game. The Crusaders give up just 59.3 points per game and hasn't given up more than 76 points in a non-overtime game all season. These teams are going to struggle to score, so if one team can get their players to the rim, they will win the game.
State again dancing as 5 teams make tourney--Journal Gazette
Valparaiso's Drew adds another chapter to family legacy--Associated Press
Here Are 10 Potential Cinderellas You Should Consider Picking In Your NCAA Tournament Bracket--Uproxx Sports
No. 13 Valparaiso

28-5, No. 63 KenPom, No. 50 RPI, plays No. 4 Maryland in Midwest Region

No stranger to the Cinderella role, Valpo won 10 of their last 11 games (including the Horizon Tournament) to close out the year, including a pair of wins over both Cleveland State and Green Bay. The Crusaders are extremely dangerous from beyond the arc and have an eclectic and long team that could pose some matchup problems against Maryland. Somehow Valparaiso managed to do a good job of shutting down Keifer Sykes, Green Bay’s terrific guard, in the teams’ three meetings, and that same type of defense against Maryland’s Melo Trimble, one of the best freshmen in all of college basketball, will be critical.
As usual, Valparaiso is a tournament threat--Fort Wayne News-Sentinel
Indiana college teams back dancing again in NCAAs--Fort Wayne News-Sentinel
Valparaiso (28-5) will forever be known for Bryce Drew's last-second shot to beat Mississippi in 1998. Guess what, fans of how time flies? He's the coach now, following in dad Homer's footsteps. The No.13 seed Crusaders will need an upset of No.4 seed Maryland for people to get to know Alec Peters (16.7 ppg), Darien Walker of Chicago or Tevonn Walker of Montreal.

Personally, I don't know how anyone wouldn't want to root for a team with a player named E. Victor Nickerson.
Previewing Maryland-Valparaiso with a Valpo beat reporter--Baltimore Sun
Andrean product Nick Davidson has adjusted to reduced role at Valpo--The Post-Tribune
No. 13 seed Valparaiso hopes to conjure own magic against Maryland--The Post-Tribune
VU's Nick Davidson representing the region in the Big Dance--The NWI Times
Comparing the current Valparaiso team to the 2012-13 squad--The NWI Times
Comparing the Crusaders: Views from Horizon League coaches--Inside VU Sports
Simulating the Crusaders: 2013 vs. 2015--Inside VU Sports
Crusaders to Depart for NCAA Tournament at 10am Wednesday Morning--valpoathletics.com

Wright State Women's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule--College Sports Madness
Wright State makes WNIT field--Dayton Daily News
Women Fall at Green Bay in OT; WNIT Awaits--wsuraiders.com
Women Travel to Toledo for First-Ever WNIT Game--wsuraiders.com

Penguins face Duquesne in WNIT game at home--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
YSU Women To Host Duquesne In First Round of WNIT--ysusports.com

Green Bay to Face Princeton in NCAA Tournament--Horizon League Network
Cleveland State, Wright State and Youngstown State Notch Bids to WNIT--Horizon League Network

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