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A Too Early Look at 2013/2014 Big Ten Basketball – Part 2

…In which we examine the expected top-half of next year’s Big Ten conference. Part 1 is here. 5. Iowa Gone: Eric May (5 ppg, 3.8 reb) Reinforcments: Nothing of relevance for 2013/14. What returns: Everything. Iowa has slowly built from Fran McCaffery’s first season, a last place conference finish, to a solid NIT performance last year, to the NCAA bubble in 2013. 2014 marks their return to the NCAA tournament. Iowa is lead by rising senior Roy Devyn Marble, and rising junior Aaron White. Marble is a plus scorer from anywhere on the floor, excepting a nightmarish five game stretch in 2013 during which he shot 21% from the floor and found himself benched for the entire second-half and overtime in their heart-breaking loss at the Kohl Center. White is a foul magnet, getting to the line seven times a game, and one of the league’s most reliable low-post scorers. At this point, these two players likely are what they are, but they’re undeniable assets. The team will need reserves Josh Oglesby and Zach McCabe to recover 2012 form, but the largest area for growth, comes from 2012’s four-star recruits: returning starting PG Mike Gesell and returning starting C Adam Woodbury. Gesell ran hot and cold as a

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A Too Early Look at 2013/2014 Big Ten Basketball – Part 1

With the Big Ten regular- season wrapped up, and most clubs’ lot already cast for the NCAA Tournament, the NIT, or long off-seasons of introspection, we felt an opportunity to look into the future, and gauge the trajectory of our conference. Which teams have peaked? Which teams are on the rise? Which will implode? With a look at recruiting and a little early-entrant prognostication, we’re here to give you a look forward at what next year holds for College Basketball’s premier top-to-bottom conference. The Uncompetitive 12. Nebraska Gone: Dylan Talley (14.3 ppg, 5 reb), Brandon Ubel (11.3 ppg, 6.7 reb), Andre Almeida (4.9 ppg, 4 reb, 1.7 blk) Reinforcements: A cadre of 3-stars, but guards Nick Fuller (top 150 to Scout and 24/7) and Tai Webster (top 120 to ESPN and 24/7) have some moderate hype What Remains: Dreck. Things go from bad to worse in Lincoln, where the Huskers lose their leading scorer and facilitator (Talley), their leading rebounder and third leading scorer (Ubell), and two chief shot-blockers (Almeida and Ubell). Ray Gallegos is the leading returning scorer, but he takes nearly 14 shots a game to score 12 points as it is, ideally you’d be taking shots away from him, but he’ll likely end up taking

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Summer Olympics Day 12: Basketball, The Quarterfinals

Group play in the Olympic tournament largely held the status quo most expected – the eight teams we picked to advance are the eight teams in the quarterfinal round. However, some interesting developments occurred, particularly in Group B. Most surprising is the malaise of the Spanish team – losing a three point contest to Russia after taking a 17-point first quarter lead, and blowing a 9-point fourth quarter lead to Brazil for a second loss. Sandwiched between the two losses was a one-point win over the lowly British, a game in which they nearly blew a 13-point fourth quarter lead. As the Spanish have struggled, the Russians surprisingly jumped to the forefront behind Andrei Kirilenko – narrowly edging both Spain and Brazil before falling, oddly, to the Australians in a game that ultimately meant nothing for either team. The Quarterfinals promise to dish up three intriguing historical rivalries for our viewing pleasure, along with a sleeper for the United States.   #1 Russia vs. #4 Lithuania The history here is rich – two former Soviet States, one the successor to most of that nation’s history, the other having supplied most of the Soviet basketball stars in the nation’s history. Historically, Lithuania is the power here

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