Tuesday, March 22, 2005

NCAA Basketball: Post Season Awards


1st Team
Utah F Andrew Bogut: 20.6 ppg 12 rpg 2.4 apg 1.9 blk 64% FG
NBA scouts have known about Bogut before he stepped on campus at Utah, but he has delivered this year enough to merit a first overall selection in the NBA draft. The Aussie has the 7 foot frame with great instincts to go along with superior physical ability.

Kansas F Wayne Simien: 19.4 ppg 11.1 rpg 54% FG 83% FT
While Kansas came up short this year in the tournament, Simien was s beast inside all season. Simien will end his career in Kansas with 2 Big XII
championships and two trips to the Elite 8.

Wake Forest G Chris Paul: 14.9 ppg 6.6 apg 4.4 rpg 2.4 stl 49% 3 pt
Paul is perhaps the most complete guard in the country. He can create scoring opportunities at will and has a knack for hitting big shots. Coming off this stellar season, look for Paul to make an impact next year after being a high lottery selection.

Illinois G Deron Williams: 12.4 ppg 6.6 apg 3.7 rpg 37% 3 pt
Williams led the Big 10 in assists for the second straight season, and helped Illinois to a 32-1 regular season record and both Big 10 championships. He makes this team go, whether starting the break or handling the offense in the halfcourt set. Combine that with his improved shooting ability, and Williams is one of the most difficult back court matchups in the country.

Duke G JJ Redick: 22.6 ppg 3.1 rpg 2.6 apg 42% 3 pt 93% FT
Redick will leave Duke as the All-Time leader in NCAA free throw percentage, as well as establishing himself as one of the NCAA's best 3 point shooters. This year Redick added some slashing and driving ability to his game, which was a huge step up from his previous days as strictly a spot up shooter. It allowed him to draw contact and get to the line, where he is virtually automatic. JJ is also the heart and soul of a Duke team thats starters average 33 minutes played per game.

Player of the Year: Andrew Bogut

2nd Team
Syracuse F Hakim Warrick: 21.2 ppg 8.2 rpg 55% FG
UNC F Sean May: 16.7 ppg 10.9 rpg 55% FG
Oklahoma St. F Joey Graham: 17.7 ppg 6.4 rpg 2.0 apg 47% 3 pt 88% FT
Arizona G Salim Stoudamire: 18.6 ppg 2.2 rpg 1.9 apg 51% 3 pt 91% FT
UNC G Raymond Felton: 12.0 ppg 7.3 apg 4.0 rpg 2.3 steals 44% 3 pt

3rd Team
Boston College F Craig Smith: 18.0 ppg 8.5 rpg 1.7 apg 51% FG
Mississippi St. F Lawrence Roberts: 16.9 ppg 10.9 rpg 1.9 apg
Louisville F Francisco Garcia: 15.9 ppg 4.3 rpg 3.9 apg 36% 3 pt 87% FT
Illinois G Luther Head: 15.7 ppg 4.0 rpg 3.7 apg 47% FG 41% 3 pt
Washington G Nate Robinson: 16.6 ppg 4.6 apg 3.9 rpg 1.7 steals 37% 3 pt

Mid Major All Americans

1st Team
Gonzaga F Ronny Turiaf: 16.6 ppg 9.3 rpg 1.8 blk 52% FG
Vermont F Taylor Coppenrath: 25.0 ppg 8.8 rpg 2.0 apg
New Mexio F Danny Granger: 18.3 ppg 8.5 rpg 2.3 apg 44% 3 pt
Gonzaga G Adam Morrison: 17.9 ppg 5.9 rpg 2.6 apg 49% FG
So. Illinois G Darren Brooks: 14.7 ppg 5.0 rpg 4.3 apg 2.7 steals

2nd Team
Pacific F Christian Maraker: 13.3 ppg 6.4 rpg 39% 3 pt 83% FT
Nevada F Nick Fazekas: 21.5 ppg 9.4 rpg 1.6 blk 34% 3 pt
Niagra F Juan Mendez: 23.5 ppg 10.6 rpg 1.3 apg 2.1 blk
Temple G Mardy Collins: 18.0 ppg 5.7 rpg 3.7 apg 2.9 steals
Vermont G TJ Sorrentine: 18.6 ppg 4.2 apg 3.3 rpg 40% 3 pt

All Freshmen Team

Texas G Daniel Gibson: 14.5 ppg 4.1 apg 3.7 rpg 1.8 steals 40% 3 pt
Memphis G Darius Washington Jr.: 15.6 ppg 3.9 rpg 3.4 apg 40% 3 pt
UNC F Marvin Williams: 11.3 ppg 6.5 rpg 1.1 steals 47% 3 pt
UCONN F Rudy Gay: 11.7 ppg 5.8 rpg 1.9 blk 46% 3 pt
Indiana F DJ White: 13.3 ppg 4.7 rpg 2.1 blk 58% FG

Sunday, March 06, 2005

NCAA Basketball: Wild Sunday Tips off Championship Week

Championship week got jump started on Sunday with 2 of the top 3 teams losing and Duke pushing #2 UNC to the limit in Chapel Hill. Illinois has been toppled, but can't be cast aside based on a road loss on senior day, and niehter can Kansas or Oklahoma St., two others that suffered bad losses this weekend. One thing we do know is that there are already, these conference champs already have their tickets to the Big Dance: Central Florida, Penn, Winthrop, Eastern Kentucky and UT-Chatanooga. None of these teams figure to factor at all in the tourney, but can relax a lot more than some power conference teams who sit squarely on the bubble. The key for the teams like Maryland, Georgia Tech, Indiana etc. is for favorites in smaller leagues to win their tournaments, so a mid-major cinderella doesn't steal their spot at the dance by giving a league like the MAC, MVC or America East an extra bid. Perfect example is Southern Illinois being bounced out of the Missouri Valley tourney by Southwest Missouri St. By this time next week we will have the brackets in front of us and the real debate will be on. Until then, Illinois remains on top, and this is how the rest of the top 10 shakes down.

Top 10 (*previous ranking)
1. Illinois (30-1) (1)
2. North Carolina (26-3) (2)
3. Wake Forest (26-4) (3)
4. UCONN (21-6) (5)
5. Louisville (26-4) (7)
6. Boston College (24-3) (4)
7. Kentucky (23-4) (8)
8. Gonzaga (24-4) (NR)
9. Kansas (22-5) (6)
10. Duke (22-5) (NR)

just missed: Oklahoma; Arizona; Pacific; Oklahoma St
dropped: (9) Oklahoma St.; (10) Syracuse

Mid Major Power 5
1. Pacific (24-2) (2)
2. Utah (23-4) (4)
3. Nevada (24-5) (5)
4. Southern Illinois (26-7) (3)
5. Vermont (23-6) (NR)

Bubble Trouble
You can't avoid talking about the bubble this time of year, and everyone has their opinions on who is in and who is out. As of right now these are the teams I feel have solidified LOCK status for the NCAA tourney:
ACC - UNC, Wake Forest, Duke
Big East - UCONN, BC, Syracuse, Villanova, Pitt
Big 10 - Illinois, Michigan St., Wisconsin
Big XII - Oklahoma, OK St., Kansas, Texas, Texas Tech
CUSA - Charlotte, Cincy, Louisville
Pac 10 - Arizona, UCLA, Washington, Stanford
SEC - Kentucky, Alabama, Miss St, LSU, Florida
Other Locks - Gonzaga, Southern Illinois, Nevada, Pacific, Utah

Here are some teams from major conferences that I believe still have more work to do in their conference tournaments to earn a bid.(next to the team is what I feel they need to solidify a tourney birth)

- Indiana (15-12) + Minnesota (20-9) (needs to make Big 10 Final)
- West Virginia (18-9) (2 wins in Big East tourney)
- Depaul (18-9) (maybe one win, 10-6 in CUSA this year should be enough)
- St. Mary's (24-7) (should be in, but making WCC final would be real nice)
- Notre Dame (17-10) + Georgetown (16-11) (very least make Big East final)
- Texas A&M (19-8) (2 wins in Big XII tourney)
- Maryland (16-11) + Georgia Tech (17-10) (at least one ACC win)
- Virginia Tech (15-12) (2 ACC tourney wins)

If a team was not on either list, then that means I think the selection committee sees the only way of any other team getting in, is winning their conference tournament.

Next week I will have my awards for the season as well as tourney upsets and hot teams to look for.