Tuesday, October 31, 2006

NCAA Top 25--Who Just Missed the Cut?

I posted earlier on the first NCAA's Coaches Poll for Men's Basketball. The earlier post was about new teams in the Top 25, compared to the last poll of last season. In that post, I suggested some of those teams would get beaten by some of the teams on the outside looking in of the top 25. Let's look at some of those teams. Just for some sense of scale, #1 Florida received 772 points, and #25 Nevada received 101 points.

1. Gonzaga (88 points) --Obviously the loss of shootin', drivin' and cryin' Adam Morrison made plenty of coaches think that this team won't be as good as it was last year. And it probably won't be. But coaches seem slow to (real slow, frankly) to realize that this isn't a program that relies on one star player and then disappears for a few years. Who was talking about how great Adam Morrison was 2 or 3 years ago? No one--we were all fixated on Gonzaga's upperclassmen then. This is officially a real program, and they reload. This team has guys who were injured last year who figure to make a difference, some underclassmen who will play, not counting superstar recruit Theo Davis, possibly out all year with a shoulder injury, who will be replaced by the lankiest 7 footer you've seen since Sean Bradley. And laugh and scoff, but Sean Bradley was dominant in college. Also, look out for their tranfers to kick in after the end of the first semester, getting quality players from Kansas and BYU. Of course, this is a Jesuit school, and the news that the Head Coach may own Back Taxes due to a clerical error may set the school spinning out of control!
Preseason rundown from the hometown paper

2. Wichita State Shockers! (78) Last year, the Missouri Valley Conference landed 4 teams in the Tournament, causing some people to question the new focus on Mid-majors. Digger Phelps, I believe, was one of those people, who graciously ate his words when both The Shockers and Bradley made it into the Sweet 16. Bradley isn't anywhere to be seen on pre-season rankings, and perhaps that's fair. Creighton is ranked above Wichita mainly because of seriously Bad-ass Guard Nate "Don't Fake The" Funk. Wichita is getting some implicit "You got lucky" rankings here, as their team is damn solid. It's only late October, but I don't know if anyone will beat this headline for double entrende status: "Valley Likes the Shockers" . I bet it does!
Preseason rundown from the hometown paper

3. Louisville (77) I find Louisville sitting here in someways to be the most suprising team not in the 25. Louisville has gotten better each successive year in the last 3 years, and Kentucky has gotten worse. How is it that going into the season that coaches like Kentucky better than Louisville? (and they most certainly did think that way when assigning their votes). First of all, you know they are good when their home page has a flash load! That's awesome! Secondly, we are beginning to start the Pitino era of recruiting, which is a huge difference between the Pitino era of coaching. He's recruited fast, athletic players, and then some heavy guys who he has worked into the ground, and made them fast and athletic, too. I predict that Lousiville absolutely buries a couple of ranked teams, possibly sooner, but definitely later. Absolutely no one will want to play them in the post-season.
Preseason rundown from the hometown paper, I mean Propaganda Unit

Other teams that will move up in the month or so: Southern Illinois (Don't best against the Salukis!), San Diego State, Air Force, Michigan State.


Badcock said...

I don't know which "state" is Wichita, but I guess I must count myself a fan. Even though it's football season, it's good to know that come Feb-March, I can root for the Shockers .

It's a lifestyle. TWO IN THE PINK, ONE IN THE STINK!

Miwacar said...

There are pictures out there of their cheerleaders giving the shocker hand gesture. It's awesome.

Anonymous said...

As a Missouri Valley Alum, I cannot overstate the danger of a cheerleader willing to give you the "Shocker."

Zach Landres-Schnur said...

i'm sure the zags will be ranked within a few weeks. that arena is impossible for opponents to win in and mark few is one of the best coaches in the college game.

now that that's out of the way, yeah, the shocker. pretty cool.