With the NBA Season in serious jeopardy & the college SBNation blogs... Are far more focused on the football season(Go Ducks). So I decided to start a thread talking about college basketball this year, if it goes well I'll continue the posting. Perhaps a chance to allow Blazers Edge to have at least some actual Basketball-Talk(EuroLeague has helped) while the NBA Lockout continues. I'll mention a few games I think are worth watching, so you can avoid the others that can be as exciting as watching paint dry(looking at you, Butler).
#2 Kentucky Wildcats VS #11 Kansas Jayhawks(Watch on ESPN at 6PM Pacific Time)
Two legendary powerhouse programs. Two prolific college coaches in John Calipari & Bill Self. While Kansas brings a solid team to the table The teams are both loaded with talent, but there is a legitimate case for calling Kentucky the most talented team in the country the last several seasons. The name Calipari & the word Recruiting have essentially became a synonym. This year alone he added four 5-Star recruits to the team. Forwards Anthony Davis, Michael Gilchrist & Kyle Wiltjer. In addition to Point Guard Marquis Teague, who is the younger brother of the Atlanta Hawks starting PG Jeff Teague. The team is lead by sophomores Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb who returned to Lexington & passed on millions in the NBA draft(Looking like a real savvy move now). Whenever I see Kentucky(or previously Memphis) play, I contemplate whether or not Coach Cal & his dribble-drive offense will ever try(or be given an opportunity) to make a comeback in the NBA. He would have an established relationship with all of his former players, perhaps being able to lure potential free agents.
Kansas's team is loaded with upperclassmen trying to make names for themselves, after being role players in previous years. Seniors Tyshawn Taylor, Conner Teahan & Juniors Thomas Robinson, Travis Releford, with Jeff Withey at center. Not nearly the raw talent Kentucky has, but they all have several years in Bill Self's system. It will be interesting to see how the System VS Talent aspect of this game plays out.
#8 Florida Gators VS #3 Ohio State(Watch on ESPN2 at 5PM Pacific Time)
While the previous matchup was about legendary programs, these two have had most of the success in recent years. With Florida winning two straight championships under Billy Donovon in the last decade & Ohio State making a run at the title, along with several deep tournament runs under head coach Thad Matta. Florida is led in the front lines by Patric Young, a sophomore power forward. On the perimeter, two junior guards Kenny Boynton & Mike Rosario. A player to keep your eye on is Erving Walker, the 5'8" Sparkplug.
Ohio State rolls out a lineup with one of the most dominant post players in the country, the power house Jared Sullinger. Aaron Craft runs the point & plays relentless defense. 4 year guard William Buford stretches the floor as the best 3 pt shooter on their team. Beyond that, the Ohio State lineup is a bit muddled right now. No matter what, Billy Donovon VS Thad Matta is typically a game you will always want to tune in to & is happening... Now !
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Tomorrow, November 17th 2011:
Maryland VS #15 Alabama – ESPN2 at 2PM PT
Texas A&M VS Missisipi St – ESPN2 at 4PM PT
St. Johns VS #16 Arizona – ESPN2 at 6:30PM PT
(for Duck fans, U of O plays Eastern Washington on Comcast sportsnet at 7pm PT)
November 19th 2011:
Penn State VS #2 Kentucky – ESPN3 9AM PT
7 Louisville VS Butler – ESPN3 11AM PT
20 Vanderbilt VS North Carolina State – ESPN3 3:30PM PT
Texas VS Oregon State – Longhorn Network 6PM PT
After that the 21st should be a big day for college ball too.