By: Michael Almonte
Selection Sunday is right around the corner as teams are jocking for seeding and playing their best basketball. Four teams are gaining some serious momentum as we head down the stretch toward March Madness.
The Wichita State Shockers currently ranked No. 15 are playing their best basketball at the right time and ended conference play on an eight game winning streak that clinched the Missouri Valley regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. With a record of 26-4, the Shockers are poised for a deep run in the big dance and will rely on their three seniors in Garrett Stutz, Joe Ragland and Toure’ Murry. The Shockers will be playing in March Madness for the first time since losing in the Sweet 16 to George Mason in 2006. (more…)
By Tim Donohoo
Five players have made significant contributions thus far in aiding their school towards ACC supremacy in March.
Terrell Stoglin (Maryland): 6-1 sophomore guard from Tucson, Arizona:
Has the ability to carry an offense by himself. Made All-ACC Freshman squad last year and leads the conference in scoring this year (21ppg). He can score anywhere from the parking lot in. Loves to drive and is very quick. He can break the press on his own and is a scrappy floor leader who impressed as a freshman (11ppg, 3apg). Has found consistency this year, averaging 21ppg, 3rpg and nearly two assists per outing. Has scored in double figures in every game but one this season. Tossed in 33 versus Miami (Fla.), Feb. 1. (more…)
By: Tim Donohoo
The youth of the Southeastern Conference is rising to the top this year. School’s are jockeying for position as conference and national tournaments are upon us. Two freshmen are improving game by game as the season progresses and a sophomore is among the player’s to watch in the SEC.
Anthony Davis (Kentucky),6-10 Freshman forward out of Chicago, Illinois: What can you say about this big man? Two years ago, Davis was a 6-3 guard. Two years and seven inches later he was selected a pre-season All-America pick and is part of a Kentucky front court which is very explosive– and he still has the guard type skills. A major force inside the paint and can score, defend and rebound. Very athletic and versatile. The top rated recruit in the nation is the son of a former NBA player and is regarded as one of the top power forwards in the country. This season he has accumulated 22 double figure scoring games and tallied 23 points in his first collegiate game versus Marist (more…)
By Tim Donohoo
Many unproven underclassmen, recruits and transfers were forced this season to make significant improvements and contributions during the inaugural Pac-12 Conference season. These five have risen to the occasion:
Solomon Hill (Arizona), 6-6 junior forward from Los Angeles, California: “Sugar” Hill is one of the top small forwards in all the land. He started 59 games in his first two seasons in Tucson and is a versatile, all conference type of talent. He has accumulated 19 double figure scoring games this season, including a 28 point outburst versus Washington (Jan. 28). He has great experience and was crucial late last season for U of A, which achieved a perfect 17-0 record at the McHale Center in 2010-11. Hill is destined for the next level. A very intelligent basketball player who can play the post position as well as beyond the arc. He played his best basketball late last season and it has carried over in 2011-12. He is second in the Pac-12 in rebounding (8rpg) including a 14 rebound game against Colorado (Feb. 9). He can dish the ball as well with a seven assist contest versus New Mexico State (Nov. 29). He has nine double-doubles on the season. 2010-11 Stats: 8 points per game, 4 rebounds per outing and 48 percent field goal accuracy. 2011-12 Stats: 12 points per outing, 8 rebounds a game and 50 percent field goal percentage. (more…)
By Michael Almonte
Expect the unexpected when the NCAA tournament arrives as any team on any given day can pull the major upset and jump-start a magical ride during the dance. The last few years the mid-majors teams have showed they can play and beat the best in the nation. Go back to 1990 when Loyola Marymount made its emotional run to the Elite Eight or 1999 when Gonzaga became Gonzaga during that tournament march to the Elite Eight. The tide turned in 2006 when George Mason advanced to the Final Four and opened the gate for Butler and VCU. Butler came within a bounce in 2010 of winning the National Championship and last year you had one National Semifinal that pitted VCU against Butler. (more…)
By Tim Donohoo
Five players have observers of Big Ten basketball mesmerized with their play this season. A conference which has its fans stopping to take notice of the league’s best and improving athletes.
By Tim Donohoo
Five players have stepped up big this season for their squads in vying to reach the post season on a high note in the Big 12 Conference.
Thomas Robinson, Kansas (6-10 junior forward, Washington D.C.)
He dominates in the low post area and is an explosive finisher near the hoop. Kansas is going for its 8th consecutive Big 12 Conference regular season title and this eventual NBA pick is the main cog in getting them there. He is learning from a fine teacher in Danny Manning, a former KU great who hoisted the national championship trophy back in 1988. A pre-season honorable mention (more…)