Friday, November 25, 2005

Teams 20-16

20. Memphis [Conference USA]: C 6-9 Waki Williams, PF 6-8 Joey Dorsey, SF 6-7 Rodney Carney, SG 6-4 Antonio Anderson*, PG 6-0 Darius Washington:

Bench: 6-10 Simplice Njoya~, 6-9 Shawne Williams*, 6-8 Robert Dozier*, 6-5 Chris Douglas-Roberts*, 5-10 Andre Allen**, 6-11 Kareem Cooper*, 6-0 Clyde Wade**, [6-10 Almamy Thiero~]

Coach: Jon Calipari

Indiana Fan’s take:

I’ll say this for coach Cal. He continues to get the recruits. The Tigers will have the athleticism to stick with anyone, but can they get the big wins that will demonstrate they are true contender? John Calipari had the Tigers in the NCAA tourney last season. All he needed was Darius Washington to make his free-throws at the end of regulation in the C-USA championship game. And it didn't happen. But this year, such dramatics shouldn't be needed as the talent Coach Cal has assembled should overwhelm the much weaker C-USA and clinch an at-large bid if not the automatic one. But a lot of personnel losses, dismissals, and the health issues of Joey Dorsey have sapped the Tigers' depth. Even though they have top 5 talent, I still wouldn't rate them in the top ten.

Newcomer to watch: Both Shawne Williams and Robert Dozier could be a real lift off the bench at a couple of positions, but Calipari is in an enviable position of having room to play a lot of talented freshmen without having to have them produce big. Antonio Anderson or Chris Douglas-Roberts may be called to play starters’ minutes with the Fall dismissal of 2-guard Jeremy Hunt, ‘though.

Top returning players: Carney (16ppg/5rpg/1.2apg), Washington (15.4ppg/3.6rpg/3.8apg/1.7spg), Dorsey (4.6ppg/6rpg/1.2bpg), W. Williams (3.2ppg/2.3rpg),

Major Losses: Sean Banks (14.5ppg/5.8rpg/1.9apg), Anthony Rice (10.6ppg/2.7rpg/2apg), Duane Erwin (7.5ppg/6.3rpg/1.3apg/1.5bpg), Hunt (9.5ppg/3.5rpg/2.7apg)

19. Iowa [Big Ten] C 6-11 Erik Hansen, PF 6-7 Greg Brunner, SF 6-5 Adam Haluska, SG 6-3 Mike Henderson, PG 6-2 Jeff Horner:

Bench: 6-8 Doug Thomas, 6-9 Alex Thompson~, 6-5 Nathan Skinner*, 6-3 Carlton Reed, 5-11 Tony Freeman*, 7-0 Seth Gorney~, 6-7 J.R. Angle~, 6-11 Kurt Looby*

Coach: Steve Alford

Indiana Fan’s take:

The Hawkeyes do the least when the most is expected of them. This was the worst at-large team in the NCAA’s last year. This season they have great 1-2-3 punch with Greg Brunner inside, Adam Haluska on the wing, and Jeff Horner at the point, but that is literally all the production they can get. Carlton Reed & Mike Henderson could do nothing with the extra minutes & shots when Pierre Pierce finally got booted, and I wouldn't excpect the recruits to do that much either. They'll be good, perhaps even top 25 good, but will Steve Alford ever make it the Sweet 16 with Iowa? This may be his last chance.

Newcomer to watch: Nathan Skinner might contribute , but the real onus is on Tony Freeman both play major minutes and to create for Haluska and Horner.

Top returning players: Horner (14ppg/4.5rpg/5.5apg/1.6s), Brunner (14.7ppg/8.3rpg/1.9apg/ 1.2spg/1bpg), Haluska (14.2ppg/4rpg/1.6apg/1s)

Major Losses: Pierre Pierce (17.8ppg/5.2rpg/4.2apg/2.5spg)

18. Washington [Pac-10]: C 6-8 Mike Jensen, PF 6-6 Jamaal Williams, SF 6-6 Bobby Jones, SG 6-5 Brandon Roy, PG 6-4 Joel Smith:

Bench: 6-8 Artem Wallace*, 6-7 Jon Brockman*, 6-5 Harvey Perry*, 6-4 Brandon Burmeister, 6-1 Ryan Appleby**, 6-0 Justin Dentmon*, 6-9 Hans Gasser~, 6-5 Roburt Sallie*, 6-7 Zane Potter~, 6-7 Matt Fletcher~, 7-0 Joe Wolfinger*

Coach: Lorenzo Romar

Indiana Fan’s take:

At least Brandon Roy returned, but the NBA draft robbed coach Romar of both his All-American (Nate Robinson) and his blue-chip recruit (Martell Webster). The Huskies won't be a Final Four threat anymore, but should still be okay with the returnees and freshmen Artem Wallace, Harvey Perry, and Justin Dentmon. Point guard is a minor concern, but Dentmon, 6-4 Joel Smith, or Florida transfer Ryan Appleby should be able to make it work. Everything else, looks to be solid, if unspectacular. Coach Romar needs Mike Jensen to get well ASAP, ‘though, as the freshmen bigs will welcome the playing time, but Washington needs veteran post players when it heads to other PAC-10 arenas.

Newcomer to watch: Artem Wallace and Jon Brockman should see some major minutes inside behind Jensen and Williams. Brockman especially is the sort of hard-nosed leave it all-on-the-floor energy guy you want coming off the bench.

Top returning players: Roy (12.8ppg/5rpg/2.2apg), Jones (11.2ppg/5.6rpg/1.7apg), Williams (9.9ppg/3.6rpg), Jensen (6.3ppg/4.1rpg)

Major Losses: Nate Robinson (16.4ppg/3.9rpg/4.5apg/1.7spg), Tre Simmons (16ppg/4.8rpg/1.6apg), Will Conroy (9.4ppg/3.3rpg/6.4apg)

17. Stanford [Pac-10] C 6-10 Matt Hayarsz, PF 6-5 Fred Washington, SF 6-6 Dan Grunfeld, SG 6-4 Tim Morris, PG 6-2 Chris Hernandez:

Bench: 6-10 Peter Prowitt~, 6-8 Larry Hill*, 6-8 Taj Finger~, 6-4 Anthony Goods*, 6-2 Jason Haas, 6-1 Mitch Johnson*, 6-1 Mark Bradford~, 6-7 Evan Moore~, 6-0 Carlton Weatherby**

Coach: Trent Johnson

Indiana Fan’s take:

The Cardinal will be tough again, but when Matt Hayarsz gets in foul trouble, they’ll be toast. Hernandez is a great college point, and Matt Hayarsz will be one of the better big men in Division I, and Dan Grunfeld ought to return to fill up the stat sheet from the wing. But there's little beef or rebounding inside, and anytime Hayarsz gets in foul trouble, this squad is going have some serious rough stretches. Depth overall is a concern, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Coach Johnson got less out of the freshmen and redshirts than he is expecting. But that trio could carry any club a long ways, and with a defensive-minded school like Stanford, the combo will be one that no one will want to face in March.

Newcomer to watch: There’s no question that if Larry Hill can contribute at the 4-spot, he’ll be starting.

Top returning players: Grunfeld (17.9ppg/5.5rpg/1.8apg), Hernandez (15.2ppg/2.1rpg/4apg/ 1.7spg), Hayarsz (12.1ppg/9.1rpg/1apg/1.2bpg), Morris (7.4ppg/1.8rpg)

Major Losses: Rob Little (9ppg/6.1rpg), Nick Robinson (8.2ppg/4.6rpg/2.2apg)

16. Nevada [Western Athletic]: C 6-11 Nick Fazekas, PF 6-7 Mo Charlo, SF 6-5 Marcelus Kemp**, SG 6-3 Kyle Shiloh, PG 6-3 Ramon Sessions,:

Bench: 7-0 Chad Bell, 6-9 Jeremy Mayfield*, 6-7 Denis Ikovlev*, 6-3 Seth Taylor, 6-3 Lyndae Burleson**, 6-1 Curry Lynch~, 7-0 David Ellis~, 6-7 Richie Phillips*

Coach: Mark Fox

Indiana Fan’s take:

The Wolfpack, led by sweet shooting center Nick Fazekas, should accept nothing less than getting to the NCAA tourney’s second weekend. Marcelus Kemp, who had to redshirt last year, should be ready to help and fully back into form by the start of the conference season. Look for his shooting on the wing to be syncretic with Nevada's offense. Unfortunately, unless Nevada loses in the WAC tournament, they’ll be the only representative for their conference. Fazekas is an amazing center, rarely seen in today’s college game, and Ramon Sessions looks primed to explode this season. There’s a lot to like here, and I think this is one of the most consistently overlooked squads in the preseason prognostications.

Newcomer to watch: Jeremy Mayfield may be asked to play more than he’s ready for, as Fazekas has very little help inside now. Juco Denis Ikovlev will be given a chance to show off his outside shooting, which is important considering the Wolfpack’s 3-point woes last season.

Top returning players: Fazekas (20.7ppg/9.4rpg/1.6bpg), Charlo (9.4ppg/3.5rpg/2.1apg), Sessions (9ppg/3.8rpg/5.2apg), Shiloh (5.3ppg/2rpg/2.8apg)

Major Losses: Kevinn Pinckney (12.5ppg/7.7rpg/1.2apg), Jermaine Washington (6.7ppg/5.2rpg/ 1.5apg/1.1bpg)


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