EJSIC College Basketball Top 25 – 2012-13 Pre-Season

Pre-Season | Week 1

YAY BASKETBALL! The time has finally arrived for the first EJSIC College Basketball Top 25. I know the season hasn’t started yet, but opinions are totally better than facts. I think.

Remember that this poll is generated via a combined ballot from the polls submitted by EJSIC Message Board posters. If you would like to have your poll included in the combined ballot, post it on the Message Board in the appropriate thread. If you can’t find the thread, you probably shouldn’t be voting…

So… Without further ado… Here’s our poll.

1) Louisville (9) – 295
2) Kentucky (1) – 274
3) Indiana (1) – 259
4) Ohio St – 252
5) Kansas – 245
6) NC State – 224
7) Michigan – 207
8) Arizona – 198
9) Duke – 197
10) Florida – 195
11) UCLA (1) – 191
12) North Carolina – 164
13T) Syracuse – 144
13T) Michigan St – 144
15) UNLV – 117
16) Creighton – 107
17) Baylor – 101
18) Memphis – 95
19) San Diego St – 85
20) Missouri – 80
21) Gonzaga – 58
22) Wisconsin – 49
23) Notre Dame – 47
24) Murray St – 30
25T) VCU – 22
25T) Texas – 22

Others Receiving Votes: Ohio (17), St. Louis (16), Florida St (15), Tennessee (12), Pittsburgh (9), Kansas St (8), Cincinnati (6), St. Mary’s (4), St. Joe’s (3), Marquette (3), Drexel (2), Texas A&M (2), New Mexico (1)

EJSIC College Basketball Previews: Drexel Dragons

NOTE: We will be previewing select college basketball teams for the upcoming season. The following Drexel preview was submitted by EJSIC poster Eric D. If you would like to preview a team for the EJSIC, send us an email or post it here on our message board.

Drexel Dragons
Philadelphia, PA, Colonial Athletic Association

Last Season: 29-7(16-2), Lost to Umass in NIT Quarterfinal

Notable Players Gone: Sammie Givens

Notable Players Returning: Damion Lee, Frantz Massenat, Derrick Thomas, Chris Fouch, Dartaye Ruffin, Daryl McCoy, Aquil Younger, Kazembe Abif.

Notable Newcomers: None

Preseason Ranking: I’ve seen anywhere from 25 – 35

Preseason Bracket Projections: ESPN projects Dragons as a #9 seed in the East, CBS Sports projects Dragons as a #9 seed in the South

Early Season Tournament: DirecTV Classic, facing St. Mary’s in Round 1

Projected Starting 5: PG: Frantz Massenat, SG: Derrick Thomas, SF: Damion Lee, PF: Dartaye Ruffin, C: Daryl McCoy 6th Man: Chris Fouch

Can Bruiser Flint build on last season’s success at Drexel?

Preview:

The Dragons come into the year with a chip on their shoulder after having being left out of the NCAA Tournament last year despite the fact they had 27 wins in the regular season and conference tournament. Expectations have not been higher in the Bruiser Flint era, and for good reason as they return 6 of their 7 leading scorers from last year’s team.

The Dragons feature CAA Preseason player of the year in Frantz Massenat to run the point, along with fellow 1st team all CAA preseason selection in Damion Lee. To add to the back court depth, Flint also can run out all CAA honorable mention Chris Fouch off the bench for instant offense. And don’t sleep on Derrick Thomas’ production either, who was suspended for the CAA Tournament last year and was a crucial piece for the Dragons all season. The front court will have to replace the steady and reliable Sammie Givens, but Dartaye Ruffin and Daryl McCoy are primed for break out seasons in their new roles.

This could be a very special year for the Dragons, ala Murray State last year, they have the experience, coaching and schedule to have a very successful season this year and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996.

2012-2013 Regular Season Record:
26-3(17-1 CAA Record ahead of GMU, ODU and Delaware)

Postseason:
#1 Seed in the CAA Tournament: 3-0
#6 Seed in NCAA Tournament
Sweet 16 – Lose to Syracuse

EJSIC College Basketball Previews: Minnesota Golden Gophers

NOTE: We will be previewing select college basketball teams for the upcoming season. The following Minnesota preview was submitted by EJSIC poster Eric D. If you would like to preview a team for the EJSIC, send us an email or post it here on our message board.

Minnesota Golden Gophers
Minneapolis, MN, Big 10 Conference

Last Season: 23-15(6-12), Lost to Stanford in NIT Championship

Notable Players Gone: None(Ralph Sampson doesn’t count)

Notable Players returning: Trevor Mbakwe, Rodney Williams, Andre Hollins, Austin Hollins, Julian Welch, Joe Coleman, Elliot Eliason, Andre Ingram

Notable Newcomers:
Wally Ellenson – 3* SG from Rice Lake, WI
Charles Buggs – 3* PF from Arlington, TX

Preseason Ranking: Most have the Gophers anywhere from 25-30

Preseason Bracket Projections: ESPN projects Gophers as #7 seed in the East. CBS Sports projects Gophers as a #6 seed in the West.

Early Season Tournament: Battle for Atlantis, face Duke in Round 1

Projected Starting 5: PG: Andre Hollins, SG: Austin Hollins, SF: Joe Coleman, PF: Rodney Williams, C: Elliot Eliason, 6th Man: Trevor Mbakwe

Trevor Mbakwe looks to elevate the Golden Gophers in the B1G.

Preview:
Expectations haven’t been higher in the Twin Cities entering the season since Tubby came to Minnesota in 2007. The Gophers will return all 5 starters from the group that led them through the NIT as well as a potential All-American candidate in Mbakwe, with early reports indicating that he will be coming off the bench to start the year, following successful ACL surgery last year.

The season will really hinge on the guard play, and how well they improved over the summer. Former 4* star recruit Andre Hollins showed his potential during the NIT run and is set up to have a very good Sophomore year. Look for Joe Coleman to play more consistently after a very up and down Freshman season. As well as Austin Hollins, who is the Gophers best perimeter threat, but needs to play more physical on the defensive side of the ball. I’m also really looking forward to Freshman SG Wally Ellenson coming off the bench who projects to be the best shooter off the bench this year and could be a big asset for the Gophers. The Gophers should have one of the best front courts in college basketball with Rodney Williams(a projected 2nd rounder), Mbakwe(a projected 1st rounder) and then able big bodies in Elliot Eliason, the return of a healthy Mo Walker(missed all of 2011-2012) and PF Andre Ingram.

One thing the Gophers need to improve on in 2012-2013 to be a top 3 team in the B1G, is to improve on late game situations. The Gophers blew a ton of close games down the stretch in which they lead late, and made games much closer than they should have been in games they ultimately won, the MTSU and Washington games come to mind in the NIT run.

2012-2013 Regular Season Record:
22-9 (11-7 B1G Record, behind IU, Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State)

Postseason:
#5 seed in B1G Tournament: 0-1 Record
#7 seed in NCAA Tournament
Round of 32 – Lose to Syracuse

EJSIC College Basketball Previews: Creighton Bluejays

NOTE: We will be previewing select college basketball teams for the upcoming season. The following Creighton preview was submitted by EJSIC poster lostjayhawk. If you would like to preview a team for the EJSIC, send us an email or post it here on our message board.

Creighton Bluejays
Omaha, NE, Missouri Valley Conference

Last season: 29-6 (lost to North Carolina in the round of 32)

Notable players gone: Antoine Young

Notable players returning: Doug McDermott, Gregory Echenique, Grant Gibbs, Jahenns Manigat, Ethan Wragge, Josh Jones, Austin Chatman, Avery Dingman, Will Artino

Notable newcomers: Nevin Johnson, Geoffrey Groselle, Andre Yates, Isaiah Zierden

Preseason Rankings: Mostly in the 14-20 ranking area. A couple of publications had CU around 10, but most of the reputable organizations predict Creighton in the lower teens nationally.

Can Doug McDermott can the Bluejays to new heights this season?

Preview:
The loss of PG Antoine Young to graduation is big, but Chatman is a better defender and extremely quick. He saw a lot of meaningful playing time at the end of last season.

Despite what North Carolina fans think, Creighton needs become more physical and aggressive defensively, especially on the perimeter. They were extremely bad nationally in regards to points allowed, and always let the opponent’s best player go off for a high scoring game. In order to be relevant nationally this season, they need to improve considerably on the defensive end.

I think Creighton will do a better job of using Grant Gibbs this season. While everyone will key on McDermott and Echenique (who spent the summer playing for the Venezuelan national team), Gibbs is the glue holding the team together. He is pretty much a triple-double waiting to happen, with one of the best assist to turnover ratios in the country. However, Gibbs has bad knees, and wore down at the end of last season. Expect his minutes to be limited (20-25 min/game) until conference season.

Will McDermott match his numbers (23.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 61.0 fg pct., 49.5 3-pt fg pct.) from last season? I don’t think so, mainly because every opponent will double him. This means that others need to step up. Expect Wragge, Jones, Manigat, and Dingman to fill in additional scoring with perimeter shooting.

2012-13 regular season record prediction:
27-4 (16-2 to win Missouri Valley ahead of Illinois State, Wichita State and Northern Iowa)

Postseason:
3-0 in MVC Tournament
#5 seed in NCAA tournament
NCAA Sweet 16 appearance

Final record: 32-5

Eric D’s 2012 NBA Mock Draft

First Round
1. Anthony Davis  PF
Kentucky, Freshman
2. Harrison Barnes  SF
North Carolina, Sophomore
3. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist  SF
Kentucky, Freshman
4. Bradley Beal  SG
Florida, Freshman
5. Andre Drummond  C
Connecticut, Freshman
6.
Trade (Via Nets)
Thomas Robinson  PF
Kansas, Junior
7. Perry Jones  PF
Baylor, Sophomore
8. Jared Sullinger  C
Ohio State, Sophomore
9. John Henson  PF
North Carolina, Junior
10.
Trade (Via Timberwolves)
Damian Lillard  PG
Weber State, Junior
11. Jeremy Lamb  SG
Connecticut, Sophomore
12. Terrence Ross  SF
Washington, Sophomore
13. Dion Waiters  SG
Syracuse, Sophomore
14. Tyler Zeller  C
North Carolina, Senior
15. Royce White  PF
Iowa State, Sophomore
16.
Trade (Via Knicks)
Quincy Miller  SF
Baylor, Freshman
17. Kendall Marshall  PG
UNC, Sophomore
18.
Trade (Via Jazz)
Austin Rivers  SG
Duke, Sophomore
19. Terrance Jones  PF
Kentucky, Sophomore
20. Evan Fournier  SG/SF
International
21. Meyers Leonard  C
Illinois, Sophomore
22.
Trade (Via Clippers)
Tony Wroten  PG/SG
Washington, Freshman
23. John Jenkins  SG
Vanderbilt, Junior
24.
Trade (Via Lakers)
Fab Melo  C
Syracuse, Sophomore
25. Arnett Moultrie  PF
Mississippi State, Junior
26. Marquis Teague  PG
Kentucky, Freshman
27. Scott Machado  PG
Iona, Senior
28. Andrew Nicholson  PF/C
St. Bonaventure, Senior
29. Moe Harkless  SF
St. John’s, Freshman
30.
Trade (Via Spurs)
Jeff Taylor  SF
Vanderbilt, Senior

The ball is in your court, Mr. Stern

During Sunday’s Miami Heat – Indiana Pacers playoff game, ESPN interviewed Commissioner David Stern who watched the game from court-side. Stern was asked about Pacers coach Frank Vogel who called the Heat the biggest “floppers” in the league which led to a $15,000 fine.

Stern defended the fine, but expressed his agreement with the underlying policy behind Vogel’s comments. The NBA, and basketball in general, faces a major issue in flopping. Stern labeled it not even a legitimate play.

Amen! Finally, someone in the power structure of a sport admits that flopping is a serious problem which should be eliminated from the game (take cue, soccer; someone please stand up and stop the insanity on the pitch).

Flopping took center stage in one of the NBA’s best first round series between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers. Players such as Chris Paul, Blake “Flake” Griffin, and Reggie Evans continuously flailed their limbs and landed on their asses in the seven game series.

Grizzlies’ forward Zach Randolph called the Clippers the biggest floppers in the league “by far” on the Doug Gottlieb Show on ESPN Radio (see all of his comments in the same link above). Below, you can see one example of Clippers’ superstar Chris Paul falling to the ground with minimal contact after grabbing a rebound. In another video, Reggie Evans of LA’s basketball step-child exaggerates contact after setting a screen.

Sir Flops-a-Lot Paul

And the invisible uppercut to Reggie Evans’ chin

The Clippers are not the only ones. Manu Ginobli of the San Antonio Spurs is well-known for his disgraceful flopping prowess. It’s a league-wide epidemic affecting superstars and role players. It’s out-of-control.

At one point earlier this season in a game between the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks, former NBA coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy embarked on a two minute diatribe against flopping (video below). Van Gundy’s the voice you heard at the end of the Evans’ flop clip above. He’s a well known anti-flopping advocate and an important voice in the war on embellishment.

It’s time to take a hard-line approach on flopping. It cannot be tolerated. Violators should face stiff penalties designed to strongly discourage such action and rid the disease from the game of basketball.

Referees are able to stop flopping by making the requisite calls. However, all potential incidents should be subject to post-game review by the NBA. Offenders should be fined and suspended games. If you want to play, play the right way.

For example, first time offenders, aside from in-game fouls, would be subject to a $10,000 fine and a one game suspension after a post-game review by the NBA. Secondary offenders would be subject to a $25,000 fine and a three game suspension. A player who commits a third offense must pay a $50,000 fine and miss five games. Any further violation should result in a $100,000 fine and a ten game suspension.

David Stern, it’s time for you to set a precedent. Exterminate this nasty disease from the game of basketball. It’s better for the sport, the players, and the fans. You made your feelings public, now it’s time to act on them.