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crote
06-17-2008, 06:52 PM
Katz released his new top 25 now that the deadline to declare has passed. Some highlights (or lowlights, depending on how you view it):

He has us at #6, up from #13 the day after the title game (not sure what changed, maybe he thought we'd lose some guys).

The Heels are #1, and Katz suggests that it would be absurd to even consider putting anyone else there (probably correct).

The only other ACC teams in the top 25 are Miami (#8!) and Wake (#25). VPI and Clemson are "Under Consideration." Davidson clocks in at #24.

The Link:

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?columnist=katz_andy&id=3446170

CameronCrazy'11
06-17-2008, 07:00 PM
I was also really surprised to see Miami at #8. I'm going to be skeptical until I see them win some key games. It does look like the ACC figures to be stronger overall next year.

pfrduke
06-17-2008, 07:11 PM
I don't want to accuse Andy Katz of not watching a lot of basketball, because I'm sure he does, but my guess is that Miami is here because he only watched them play when they beat Duke. That's the only possible justification for calling Dwayne Collins a "legitimate scorer in the post." Collins had an absolute career day against us - 26 on 12 of 14 from the floor. But he scored in double figures just 11 times in 34 games, including just twice after that 26 point job, and averaged ~8 on the season. In March, he scored just 33 points on 13 of 36 from the floor over 7 games. He's not a guy who creates his own offense - he scores on offensive rebounds (which he's pretty good at) and drive-and-dish opportunities (which McClinton is decent at creating).

Miami will be good next year, and likely a top half ACC team again. But #8 is pie in the sky, and justifying it, at least in part, on Collins' scoring ability is plain silly.

CDu
06-17-2008, 07:22 PM
I don't want to accuse Andy Katz of not watching a lot of basketball, because I'm sure he does, but my guess is that Miami is here because he only watched them play when they beat Duke. That's the only possible justification for calling Dwayne Collins a "legitimate scorer in the post." Collins had an absolute career day against us - 26 on 12 of 14 from the floor. But he scored in double figures just 11 times in 34 games, including just twice after that 26 point job, and averaged ~8 on the season. In March, he scored just 33 points on 13 of 36 from the floor over 7 games. He's not a guy who creates his own offense - he scores on offensive rebounds (which he's pretty good at) and drive-and-dish opportunities (which McClinton is decent at creating).

Miami will be good next year, and likely a top half ACC team again. But #8 is pie in the sky, and justifying it, at least in part, on Collins' scoring ability is plain silly.

I think Katz is overrating Miami and you are probably underrating them a bit (maybe). Miami will return everyone of importance other than Anthony King. They beat Duke, beat Clemson, nearly beat Texas, and won 23 games. They should be in the top four in the ACC and probably the Top-25 nationally. They could sneak up further with good fortune.

Perhaps that's what you meant by top half of the ACC, but I think they'll leapfrog Va Tech (who benefited from a fluffy schedule) and Clemson (who lost some key players). I think they were better than their ACC record would indicate. Consistency was their problem last year. If they play to their ability, they're a top 15-20 team I think.

miramar
06-17-2008, 08:21 PM
I saw the Miami game, at least when I wasn't covering my face over the horror of it all, as well as several other UM games. I just don't see all the talent Katz mentions. I don't want to take anything away from them, but Duke got down by 20 because they were just standing around and giving the impression that they had never met each other, much less played basketball together. Even then, Duke made up 19 points at the end and almost pulled it out.

wolfpackdevil
06-17-2008, 11:36 PM
I think the hurricanes could contend for the ACC title next season

there returning collins, asbury, graham and hicks. Also one of the best shooters and intimidators in the country, Jack McClinton

There also bringing in two 5 star recruits, in Reggie Johnson and DeQuan Jones, a PF and a potential SG or SF

so there really stacked for next season, and probally the most athletic team in the country except maybe unc.

it should be a fun year, but i would love to see a final four, of Duke, Miami, UNC, and NC State

DevilDan
06-18-2008, 01:20 AM
I like the #6 spot (or lower) in the early going. I want us to play the new guys early, and develop our FRONTCOURT somehow, even if it means a loss or two in the first six weeks of the season--it could be worth it, to get Czyz and Plumlee some court time and confidence. I'd much rather see 10-12 guys contributing in Jan-Mar, rather than trying to get 35-38 minutes out of 7 guys down the stretch.

It would be great to put our game together slowly, then knock off the #1 team come January...

gw67
06-18-2008, 07:11 AM
CDu is on the mark re Miami. Their perimeter players – McClinton, Dews, Hurdle, Asbury, Rios and highly regarded freshman, Jones, are comparable to the Duke perimeter players. In fact, they are better shooters from long range and the foul line. Their inside players – Collins and Graham, as bolstered by freshman, Johnson, are tough and physical. Collins is an impressive physical specimen. He is tall and strong and is the best jumper among returning big men in the conference. Like Henderson of Duke, Katz probably thinks that he will blossom this year. I expect that his stats will improve but the Canes are a perimeter-oriented team who don’t feed their big men. I expect them to improve over last year and be a top 25 team but they will miss King’s inside defense.

gw67

roywhite
06-18-2008, 08:44 AM
I'm skeptical about Miami challenging for the conference or making much of a mark nationally. Though they do have good talent, they seem to be so inconsistent and not steady in late game situations. They somehow managed to give a game to NC State in the last few seconds that they had won, and almost lost a huge lead vs Duke.

Something is lacking---not sure if it is PG play or possibly coaching. To be fair, they are a very dangerous team and will be difficult to beat, especially at their homecourt.

rockymtn devil
06-18-2008, 09:23 AM
Miami's ranking in large part has to do with what that team did in March. After beating St. Mary's pretty easily in the first round of the NCAAs (a game no one thought they'd win), the Hurricanes made a huge comeback against Texas and nearly knocked them off. Watching that game, you got the sense that if they played 5 more minutes Miami would've been in the Sweet 16. With just about everyone returning, expectations will be high.

Should they start the season #8? No. Are they capable of becoming a top-10 team? I think so. If Miami can put out a consistent product, they'll clearly be the third best team in the ACC.

JasonEvans
06-18-2008, 02:13 PM
I like the #6 spot (or lower) in the early going. I want us to play the new guys early, and develop our FRONTCOURT somehow, even if it means a loss or two in the first six weeks of the season--it could be worth it, to get Czyz and Plumlee some court time and confidence. I'd much rather see 10-12 guys contributing in Jan-Mar, rather than trying to get 35-38 minutes out of 7 guys down the stretch.

It would be great to put our game together slowly, then knock off the #1 team come January...

Not to nitpick but it impossible for 7 guys to play 35+ minutes as you mention. I would also add that, even down the stretch last season, no one on Duke was playing those kind of minutes. I am fairly sure that not a single player on last year's team logged 35+ minutes in any of the ACC tourney or NCAA tourney games. The notion that we did not use our bench is absurd based on last season.

At the same time, I don't for a moment think that we are going to be playing 10-12 guys significant minutes next year. Coach K is going to decide upon 7 or 8 guys who deserve the majority of the minutes and then maybe 1 or 2 more who get some spot duty. Trying to make a 10-man rotation work is simply not worth it and is not successful in the long run.

--Jason "sorry to divert the interesting Miami conversation with a tired conversation about depth-- please continue ;) " Evans

gw67
06-18-2008, 02:23 PM
I expect Katz to come out with a list of prospective All Ameican players for next year. After reading the Katz article on the top teams, you could put together a pretty good group of first team All Americans from those teams:

Hansbrough
Griffin
Budinger
Collison
Curry

Others from the top teams who will probably be in the running include Haragody, Harden, Lawson, McClinton, Collins, Jennings, Reynolds, Hummell, Clark and Young. I expect Henderson and Singler to shine but the Devils should have too much balance for one of their players to make All American.

gw67

greybeard
06-18-2008, 02:29 PM
I don't enjoy watching Miami play. They play thug ball. Brought the football "U" to the hardwood, is all. If the refs call the game more tightly against them, which is more likely now that they have some cred, they will be less effective.

Even if they were to win it all, no one would watch a single game of theirs to see them play, except maybe the kids' parents. Not good for the game.

CDu
06-18-2008, 02:29 PM
Not to nitpick but it impossible for 7 guys to play 35+ minutes as you mention. I would also add that, even down the stretch last season, no one on Duke was playing those kind of minutes. I am fairly sure that not a single player on last year's team logged 35+ minutes in any of the ACC tourney or NCAA tourney games. The notion that we did not use our bench is absurd based on last season.

At the same time, I don't for a moment think that we are going to be playing 10-12 guys significant minutes next year. Coach K is going to decide upon 7 or 8 guys who deserve the majority of the minutes and then maybe 1 or 2 more who get some spot duty. Trying to make a 10-man rotation work is simply not worth it and is not successful in the long run.

--Jason "sorry to divert the interesting Miami conversation with a tired conversation about depth-- please continue ;) " Evans

Sorry to nitpick your nitpick, but it IS actually possible to have 7 guys average 35+ minutes. You just have to play double-OT in pretty much every game. ;)

Aside from that, I agree that lack of depth was a red herring last year when seven guys averaged 15+ minutes and two others averaged 9-10 minutes each. I agree that we'll probably see 7-8 guys get 15+ minutes each with the rest of the team splitting up the remaining ~20 minutes per game or so.

sagegrouse
06-18-2008, 02:33 PM
Sorry to nitpick your nitpick, but it IS actually possible to have 7 guys average 35+ minutes. You just have to play double-OT in pretty much every game. ;)

Aside from that, I agree that lack of depth was a red herring last year when seven guys averaged 15+ minutes and two others averaged 9-10 minutes each. I agree that we'll probably see 7-8 guys get 15+ minutes each with the rest of the team splitting up the remaining ~20 minutes per game or so.

Jason, CDu:

The way you get MPG to add to more than 200 is through injuries -- i.e., people appearing in games for only a part of the year.

sagegrouse
'King of the nitpickers'

Jaymf7
06-18-2008, 04:02 PM
Or you could just platoon like in baseball. Paulus plays 40 minutes per game but only in weekday games and Nolan gets the weekends. Lance against against private universities and Zou versus state schools. Pair Scheyer and EMail (original ACC schools versus additions, bias in favor of Scheyer), and Hendo and the rest of the bench. Let Singler play every minute of every game. Just like that, we have 8 players averaging 40 minutes (although playing in half the games). A deep team indeed!

DevilDan
06-18-2008, 05:10 PM
Good Job, Guys. I'm just a old hick from Greensboro--if it goes above the magic number of 10 fingers + 10 toes, my math suffers. . . ha ! OK, let me put it a different way. By January, I'd like to see our 7-8 solid players, plus 3-4 more who have played significant enough minutes to be confident and contributing to our game.

We have a pattern of looking and playing "GASSED" near the end of the season. My hope is that Coach K, Wojo, Chris and Nate can bring enough guys along in time, so that the grind hasn't taken its toll on our nucleus (Scheyer/Singler/Paulus/Henderson) come February.

If at that point Gerald drives the lane, busts a move, draws a 2nd defender, then at the last second, floats one above the rim that Plumlee slams thru, THAT will perk me up. If by then Czyz can get an offensive rebound and a put back with authority, NOW we're talking. With high hopes, only 5 months to go. GO BLUE DEVILS !

El_Diablo
06-18-2008, 06:18 PM
We have a pattern of looking and playing "GASSED" near the end of the season. My hope is that Coach K, Wojo, Chris and Nate can bring enough guys along in time, so that the grind hasn't taken its toll on our nucleus (Scheyer/Singler/Paulus/Henderson) come February.

I agree that the players have looked gassed towards the end of the season, but I don't think changing a few mpg will really have much effect on a player's fatigue towards the end of the season. What I think fatigues players more over the long term is practice. It happens more frequently, lasts longer, and is usually more tiring than the actual games.

Sharing the game minutes will certainly help with confidence and experience, though, so I hope Czyz and Plumlee can log some solid minutes in November and December.

El_Diablo
06-18-2008, 06:58 PM
But back to the discussion on Katz's rankings:

I too was a little surprised to Miami ranked so high. I think they should be in the top 20, maybe even top 15. With all the defections, Kansas may be a little of a reach at #23, but I guess it's fair to give them "the benefit of the doubt" until they prove otherwise.

But overall I think Arizona State (at #12) is the most overrated team in this list. Are they really better than Texas?

SMO
06-18-2008, 07:40 PM
To change the conversation a little (if that's OK), what does everyone think about L'ville in the top 5? Seems high considering the loss of Padgett and Caracter. Is their returning core strong and are their newbies going to be that good? They've been mentioned as a very strong team several times now but I'm not convinced, although I don't know their roster that well.

CDu
06-18-2008, 08:03 PM
To change the conversation a little (if that's OK), what does everyone think about L'ville in the top 5? Seems high considering the loss of Padgett and Caracter. Is their returning core strong and are their newbies going to be that good? They've been mentioned as a very strong team several times now but I'm not convinced, although I don't know their roster that well.

That is a good question. I don't think very highly of Louisville's backcourt. I think so much of what made them tick last year was due to Padgett. Losing him and Caracter is a BIG dent in their team. They do replace Caracter and Padgett with two five-star PF (both listed among the top-20 seniors), so they'll still be big. But I think their backcourt will hurt them.

That said, I think they were a legitimate elite-8 team last year, and so many of the teams ahead of them took major losses as well. So I guess it's not unreasonable.

SMO
06-18-2008, 08:36 PM
That said, I think they were a legitimate elite-8 team last year, and so many of the teams ahead of them took major losses as well. So I guess it's not unreasonable.

You make a good point that a lot of teams lost significant players and experience. I wonder if this year has fewer true contenders than 07/08. I think UNC, Pitt, UCLA and Duke all have a very good shot but who else is a true Nat'l Championship contender? UCONN? It seems wide open beyond the top few teams whereas last year I wouldn't have been shocked if some good teams like G'town, L'ville, or Pitt went on a run in March to win it all.

JasonEvans
06-18-2008, 09:50 PM
To change the conversation a little (if that's OK), what does everyone think about L'ville in the top 5? Seems high considering the loss of Padgett and Caracter. Is their returning core strong and are their newbies going to be that good? They've been mentioned as a very strong team several times now but I'm not convinced, although I don't know their roster that well.

Caracter is not that big a loss in my opinion. He will easily be replaced by the two stud PFs coming in (Samardo Samuels and Terrence Jennings - both are Mickie Dees). Combine them with Terrence Williams and Earl Clark (who would have been a first rounder for sure if he had stayed in the draft) and you've got probably the most athletic front-line in the country. The Cards will be murder on the boards against most teams.

The key will be their backcourt. If Jerry Smith, Edgar Sosa, and Andre McGee perform well then they deserve to be a top-5 team.

--Jason "I am torn on the 'Ville -- I am not sure they are top-5, but then again I am not sure I can name 4 or 5 teams better than them" Evans

Turk
06-19-2008, 03:06 PM
The head scratcher for me is ND at #4. I haven't seen them much but they didn't impress me last year; I have a hard time seeing them that high in the rankings...

Behind the Holes, I like Pitt, UCLA, Memphis, and Louisville in the second tier, with Duke, Mich St, and I guess the rest of Katz's top 10 trying to get into the mix...

I think Tyreke Evans will step in for Memphis and they'll be in the Top 5 conversation throughout the season...

A lot of these teams will run hot and cold... I'd slot Louisville ahead of ND. Miami is unpredictable too - I've seen them play very well and then terribly... A buddy of mine is a Miami grad and knows ACC hoops - he doesn't like Coach Heath; he attributes Miami's late run at Texas in the tourney as bad Rick Barnes coaching...

Bob Green
06-21-2008, 01:19 AM
Gary Parrish has released his Top 25 and he has Duke at # 4:

http://cbs.sportsline.com/collegebasketball/story/10871330?sssdmh=dm4.251333

Miami is listed at # 17 and Wake Forest just missed out.

miramar
06-21-2008, 09:52 AM
Gary Parrish has released his Top 25 and he has Duke at # 4:

http://cbs.sportsline.com/collegebasketball/story/10871330?sssdmh=dm4.251333

Miami is listed at # 17 and Wake Forest just missed out.

That Miami ranking seems far more reasonable to me.