Here's what I sent Mike Rothstein:
- Jimmer Fredette (BYU)
- Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)
- Kemba Walker (Connecticut)
Posted on: February 8, 2011 12:11 pm
I just submitted my top three National Player of the Year candidates for the AnnArbor.com straw poll.
Here's what I sent Mike Rothstein:
Posted on: January 27, 2011 4:51 pm
Just landed back home after a two-day trip for Kansas-Colorado and San Diego State-BYU.
I saw two nice games and three top 10 teams.
It got me thinking: Are there any relevant teams I haven't seen in person this season?
(But not many.)
Turns out I've seen 15 of the top 20 teams in the latest AP Top 25 poll. The only exceptions are Connecticut , Texas, Villanova, Minnesota and Washington, which makes me wish I would've gone to last month's game between the Longhorns and Huskies in Austin. Live and learn, right? Anyway, what my eyeballs tell me is that you'd be wise to start any Final Four picks with Ohio State and Kansas, and probably Duke too (especially if Kyrie Irving returns before the NCAA tournament). After that, who knows? A fourth possibility could be Texas, Kentucky, Pittsburgh or either of the teams (SDSU and BYU) I watched late Monday. For now, though, I'd go with a Final Four like this:
(Bolded teams are teams I've seen in person this season.)
4. San Diego State
9. Brigham Young
13. Texas A&M
15. Notre Dame
Posted on: January 24, 2011 3:29 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2011 3:31 pm
There's always one voter who wants to be different for the sake of being different.
That voter usually ends up getting Poll Attacked.
(I hope it was worth it, Ron.)
Let's do this!
(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com.)
Associated Press poll: Duke might be America's best team, might win the national title, might finish the season ranked No. 1. Who the hell knows? But voting the Blue Devils No. 1 right now is just as silly as voting anybody but the Blue Devils No. 1 in the preseason, because there's nothing tangible to back up such a vote. For the millionth time, the games have to matter. And by any measuring stick the only team that can be voted No. 1 right now is Ohio State ... unless you just love San Diego State. Honestly, I would not ridicule anybody for ranking SDSU No. 1 because the Aztecs are obviously good and possibly great, and there's no stain on their resume to hold against them. Want to hold their schedule against them? Fine. I'm OK with that, too. That's why I have the Aztecs fourth, because they do lack quality wins. But any defense of SDSU can start with, "Yeah, but nobody has beaten them," and that's an obviously difficult thing to counter. So I guess what I'm saying is that you can do whatever you want with San Diego State, and you'll hear nothing from me. Rank them first or fourth or eighth. I'm cool with it.
But what I'm not cool with is Duke at No. 1.
How can that be justified?
The Blue Devils do have a stain on their resume, specifically that 66-61 loss at Florida State.
Beyond that, Ohio State has better wins than Duke.
Seriously, take a look:
Knowing all that, how could anybody rank Duke ahead of Ohio State?
Answer: I have no idea.
But I'd love for you to email Ron Morris from The State newspaper in South Carolina and ask him.
He's the lone AP voter ranking Duke ahead of Ohio State.
Perhaps he knows something the rest of us don't.
Or, more likely, he doesn't know any of the stuff I just referenced.
Coaches poll: I loved Baylor in the preseason.
Loved LaceDarius Dunn. Loved Quincy Acy. Loved Perry Jones. Loved the potential. But then the season began and Baylor started taking bad losses, and the Bears haven't done anything to offset them to date, which is why I can't comprehend -- neither can ESPN's Eamonn Brennan, by the way -- how some coach is still voting the Bears on his Top 25 ballot. The Bears are 13-5 with four losses to teams currently unranked in the coaches poll (Gonzaga, Iowa State, Washington State and Florida State) and one loss to a currently ranked team (Kansas). And their best win is a home win over unranked Oklahoma State. So while there might come a day when Baylor again deserves to be on a Top 25 ballot (I still like the potential of the roster), that day is most certainly not to day. So shame on the coach who voted Baylor 25th ... unless, of course, the guilty party is Baylor coach Scott Drew.
In that case, hey, I understand.
Posted on: January 22, 2011 7:59 pm
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Ohio State's win over Illinois here at Assembly Hall early Saturday pushed the Buckeyes' record to 20-0 overall, 7-0 in the Big Ten. Let the record show that I'll be shocked if anybody catches them in the league standings, but I'm not ready to talk perfection just yet.
Could OSU do it?
Sure, I guess.
I mean, the Buckeyes are halfway there already, and Jared Sullinger is awesome. But Ohio State still has road games at No. 14 Purdue, No. 15 Minnesota and No. 18 Wisconsin, and I can't imagine anybody -- Duke, Pittsburgh, the Miami Heat, anybody -- going 3-0 on those games. Beyond that, I just watched Kansas lose at home for the first time since February 2007. And if KU can lose at home, anybody can lose at home.
In other words, the odds remain stacked against perfection.
But 38-2 with a national title?
Yeah, I could see that.
Posted on: January 22, 2011 10:22 am
Edited on: January 22, 2011 7:37 pm
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- I'm at Illinois for today's game against Ohio State. It's the first of three games over the next five days during which I'll see all three remaining unbeatens in person in road games against formidable opponents.
My schedule looks like this:
Posted on: January 12, 2011 11:38 am
AnnArbor.com's Mike Rothstein is conducting a National Player of the Year straw poll for the third straight season.
Fifty-five writers submitted ballots with their top three choices.
My ballot looked like this:
Click this link to check it out.
Posted on: December 18, 2010 4:58 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2010 6:04 pm
Now the kid is banking 30-footers.
So I guess it's time to add "makes insane jumpers at the end of halves" to the list of things Jared Sullinger can do, and it might be getting easier to just make a list of things he can't do. Like play point guard. I'm still operating under the belief that Ohio State's sensational freshman cannot play point guard. He seems too big. But at this point, who could say for sure? Sullinger has done pretty much everything else through 10 games this season.
Ohio State dominated South Carolina on Saturday.
The Buckeyes won 79-57.
It was another impressive performance from the team that seems most likely to challenge Duke. But the story, more than anything else, was once again Sullinger -- OSU's 6-foot-9 forward who scored 34 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and finished the first half with a 30-footer that must've had South Carolina coach Darrin Horn looking for a white towel to toss on the court. I mean, have we really reached the point where Sullinger has to be guarded out to 30 feet? If so, forget about it. Because we already know he can't be handled within 10 feet, and good luck keeping him off the boards.
Sullinger is now averaging 18.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game this season.
He's already been named the Big Ten Player of the Week twice.
He's been the league's Freshman of the Week four times.
Those numbers should move to three and five when the league announces this week's winners. Odds are they'll go to four and six next week because, well, Sullinger is tremendous. Just tremendous. And though I'm not ready to call him completely unstoppable quite yet, I sure haven't figured out a way to stop him. Best I can tell, neither has anybody else.
Posted on: November 23, 2010 12:08 pm
Tonight should be a great night to settle in and watch hoops on television.
I'll be flying to Orlando for the Old Spice Classic.
So hopefully my flight has reliable WiFi.
Either way, here's what's on tap: