Tag Archive: #2


Big Ten Brutes


It’s no lie that the Big Ten is a tough conference.  The Big Ten currently has 5 teams ranked in the top 25 (ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll) and 1 team receiving votes.  To me this is impressive.  Only the  Big East has more ranked teams with 8, and that’s out of a 16 team conference.   I would be surprised to see the Big Ten  pick up any more ranked teams starting conference play.  The Big Ten is going to beat the crap out of each other…literally.  As for the Big East, I see them losing ranked teams as conference play continues.

When I look at the Big Ten a few teams stick out to me.  Of course Purdue, Michigan State, and Ohio State.  Some might be questioning my mentioning of Michigan St.  Yes, it’s true that they’ve only posted a sub par 9-4 record but remember their strength of schedule.  Tom Izzo even said that he was concerned with the amount of miles he was putting on his team traveling wise earlier this season, let alone the opponents they were playing (Duke, Uconn, Syracuse, and Texas who are all ranked).  Michigan State is and will continue to be a tough team to beat.  A lot of people seem to be selling Purdue short still.  That’s fine, I like flying under the radar.  Flying under the radar with a #10 rank isn’t heard of very often.

Ohio State.  Here’s where I’ll probably upset some readers but it’s my blog and this is how I roll.  I don’t see Ohio State holding on to their #2 ranking or even maintaining a top ten rank.  I think Sullinger is relied upon too much by the Buckeyes and this will hurt them come conference play.  The Big Ten is full of top notch big men and I think this will get to Sullinger and frustrate him.  Let me not fail to mention that Ohio State hasn’t played anybody! I see the Buckeyes flopping like a fish out of water once they get into conference play.

I also want to mention some teams to keep an eye out for in the Big Ten.  Illinois(#20), Wisconsin, Michigan, and Northwestern.  Illinois and Wisconsin always find themselves at the top of the conference making runs at the conference title.  Bo Ryan will have his Badgers ready to go every Big Ten game especially at home.  Illinois, let’s face it.  They figure out ways to win better than any other team in the Big Ten.  That’s what they do.  Michigan and Northwestern, well they make me nervous every time my Boilermakers play them. They have players and the ability to upset any team any night.  These two teams are no push over wins for anybody.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see either of these teams finish in the top 5 of the conference.

And…let’s not forget the ferocious Minnesota Gophers.  Currently ranked 21st I see them not winning the conference but making things interesting.  I think the Gophers, led by Coach Tubby Smith, have the potential to beat just about anybody.  They too make me nervous when they play Purdue.  After all, it was at Minnesota where Robbie Hummel tore his ACL! The Boilers ended up winning that game but it was ugly.  Penn State also has the potential to stir things up and make things interesting in the Big Ten.

Due to the tough schedule of the Big Ten I think this year your conference champion will have anywhere from 3 to 4 losses.  Plus, basketball (like all sports) is a funny game and anything can happen.  Here’s how I think the Big Ten will play out:

1-Purdue, 2-Michigan State, 3-Wisconsin, 4-Illinois, 5-Northwestern, 6-Ohio State, 7-Minnesota, 8-Indiana, 9-Michigan, 10-Penn State, 11-Iowa

I also see the Big Ten sending 7, if not 8 teams to the big dance.  Because of how this conference will pan out I think the seeds that these teams earn won’t represent how good they actually are.  And going on a gut feeling I see Wisconsin winning the Big Ten Tournament.

 

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Josh Selby a Hero?


Josh Selby came up big in his debut again USC scoring 21 points.  Selby is the second highest scoring freshman in Kansas history. Xavier Henry scored 27 against Hofstra last season in his debut.  To continue the history lesson, Wilt Chamberlain put up 52 big ones in his debut but was a sophomore.  It’s no lie that Kansas fans love Josh Selby but does he really deserve all the praise he’s receiving?

I’ll let it be known that I love Kansas basketball.  When I was little, probably six or seven years old, I saw them play on television and thought their mascot was cool and became an immediate fan.  Since then my two favorite teams have been Purdue and Kansas, respectively.  In all my posts I will do my best to not be biased in any way.  So far I’ve done a post on Duke, who I despise with all my heart, and feel like I did a good job at not being biased.  With that said I will now address whether or not Selby deserves all the hype and praise.

It’s hard to deny the fact that Selby had an outstanding performance in his debut.  He put up 21 points, pulled in 5 boards(all defensive), and had 1 assist.  What’s most impressive about Selby’s performance are his 5 triples including the go ahead 3 he hit with 26 seconds to go in the game.  He was also 6 of 7 from the free throw line.  For all the mathematically challenged that means all of Selby’s points came from the charity stripe and from behind the arc, no 2-pointers.  Only seeing him play once isn’t enough to make an educated guess as to whether or not this will be a problem or that it’s a flaw in his game.  However, at this stage I’m not concerned by him not hitting any 2-pointers.

I was very surprised with Selby’s poise throughout the game.  The first time he touched the ball he turned it over but was absolutely amazing from there on out.  He went on to hit 2 consecutive 3’s and had 10 points at halftime, which led the team.  Kansas fans were definitely pleased with their freshman phenom’s debut up to that point.  If they only knew how much more happy he would make them.  For those of you who do not know why this was Selby’s debut he was suspended by the NCAA 9 games for accepting impermissible benefits.  I said it in my Duke post that Kansas thus far has been the only consistent team that I think would give Duke a run for their money this point in the season and that was before Selby was in the lineup but, they needed Selby more than ever today.

I also want to point out USC’s effort today. I still think Kansas is a very solid team and I don’t see them losing anytime soon.  Hats off to the Trojans.  They played a terrific game and with a few bounces of the ball the other way they walk away with the victory.  Kansas is now 10-0 (1-0 with Selby playing) and ranked #3 in the nation.  If they continue playing the way they have I can see them moving up to the #2 spot once conference play starts (I’ll talk about #2 Ohio State in a post very soon to come).  It’s very apparent that Josh Selby is the player he was projected to be (most highschool recruiting sites had him ranked as the top recruit for this freshman class).  I wouldn’t say he “saved” the Jayhawks today but he definitely hit shots when they needed him to to help catapult the Jayhawks to another win.

So, is Josh Selby a hero? Does he deserve all the hype and praise? I definitely think he deserves all the hype, he showcased his talents and abilities today and put on a very convincing performance.  I look forward to watching this diaper dandy throughout the rest of the season. For his performance today I would say he does deserve the praise.  Here’s a kid who made an honest mistake, paid the price, and was able to hold his emotions in check and put up 21 points and hit the game winning shot.  Is he a hero? For the time being he’ll be whatever Kansas fans want him to be.  If they consider him a hero for his showing today then so be it.  I personally think it’s too soon to say and I said earlier that I don’t think he “saved” the Jayhawks today.  But, who am I to take away this Kid’s amazing day and whatever praise that may come with it…