Tag:The Bandwagon
Posted on: November 18, 2009 11:45 am

Firing Up "The Bandwagon" 11/18/2009

As usual we’ll start with a review of the teams already apart of my bandwagon:

Florida State (ACC) 1-0

Connecticut (Big East) 3-0

As always, let me know what you think below.  Tell me what you think of teams already in my bandwagon.  Tell me which teams are apart of your bandwagon.  Try to guess which seven teams will round out my bandwagon.  Let’s get some interaction going. 

I’m moving onto the representative from the SEC.  The experts say the South East is much improved, but I’m not yet buying into that thought.  Kentucky is Memphis of the last several years, only in a tougher conference – so they’ll lose a few games.  After Kentucky its Tennessee, whom I like as well, they’ve got three or four possible All-SEC performers.  However, the team who is joining my bandwagon is neither of these teams, but it is a recent back-to-back champion. 

Florida (SEC) 1-0

The argument I’ve heard against Florida is that they lost their top player, their top scorer, their top playmaker – of course all of whom all Nick Calathes – how can they be better.  It was the same for Connecticut and partly the same with Florida State – with the loss of Toney Douglas.  Throw out all comparisons to last year.  It’s a new season anything can happen.   The talent as a whole is down, in my opinion.  Florida is one of the most solid team’s I’ve come across.  They return sophomore Alex Tyus, who will shift to hi natural power forward position this year, he will likely lead the team in rebounds and could lead them in scoring as well – he averaged 12.5 ppg his freshmen year.  Also returning is 5-8 sophomore guard Erving Walker , who averaged 10.1 ppg last year despite playing in Calathes’ shadow – and it was a literal shadow, Calathes is 6-6 to Walker’s 5-8, ha!  Junior Chandler Parsons is a personal favorite of mine.  He led the team with fourteen points in their season opener.  His emergence will be a key determinant in Florida’s season.  Joining the above three holdovers is top recruit Kenny Boynton, a 6-2 off guard who will immediately step in as one of the team’s top scoring threats, he scored twelve in the opener.  Helping out the front court is Georgetown transfer Vernon Macklin, who will step in at the five to provide defense, rebounds and some low post points; he scored thirteen and grabbed eight rebounds in the first game.  He’s an excellent complement to Tyus.  Senior forward Dan Werner will also contribute; he averaged 8.9 ppg and 4.9 rpg last season in a starting role.  Freshmen Erik Murphy, a 6-10 forward, whom rivals.com likens to former Gator Matt Bonner .  I really like this Gators team; they’re good in the frontcourt with depth there and they’re good in the backcourt, admittedly with less depth.  The question is, are they great anywhere?  I tend to think that frontcourt of Tyus, Macklin and Parsons is great.  Florida will get a couple of early tests as they take on Florida State November twenty-forth, they go to #2 Michigan State on November twenty-seventh and take on another “great” frontcourt in Syracuse, at home, December tenth.  Other than those three games they coast to SEC season, when they go to Vanderbilt on January ninth.  It’s my impression that they will lose all three early tests and go into SEC season 10-3, which isn’t bad, but they’ll be without a good win.  Stealing one of those games, most likely either Fla. St. or Syracuse at home, would go a long way to ensuring their March plans. 

Posted on: November 17, 2009 10:50 pm

Firing Up "The Bandwagon" 11/17/2009

Welcome back to The Bandwagon .  Before I reveal the second team on my early/pre-season bandwagon, let’s first look at those teams already on it:

Florida State 1-0

As always, let me know what you think of my bandwagon picks thus far and be sure to include your own bandwagon picks at the bottom of the page; I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Now are you ready for my next bandwagon team? 

Connecticut 3-0

There is a strange vibe surrounding the Big East this year.  It seems that the usual leaders of the conference have taken a step back -- I mean you Connectut, Pittsburgh and Louisville -- while Villanova and West Virginia have both taken a big step forward.  At least the experts seem to think so.  I'll admit 'Nova and West Virginia do deserve some buzz, but I think the experts are making a mistake by overlooking some of the conferences top programs, such as Connecticut.  When I made my selections, I was under the impression that UCONN was ranked lower than thirteenth – thus making them a bolder pick.  I still feel they belong here though.   It could be argued that Connecticut lost more following last season than any other team (North Carolina and Pittsburgh may be the only competing teams).  However, Jerome Dyson returns, he’s scored better than nineteen ppg through the team’s first three games while also leading the team in assists.  Kemba Walker is lightening-quick and will provide adequate scoring, while reserving his ability to explode in some games.  Stanley Robinson is a tall 6-9 with great athleticism, everybody is expecting him to burst out this season and thus far he has.  Helping out this threesome – and 6-9 senior forward Gavin Edwards – are three freshmen ranked better than seventy-fifth by rivals.com .  Amongst the newcomers is Alex Oriakhi, a 6-9 center, who’s presence will be felt immediately on defense and on the boards – he leads the team in rebounds through three games averaging just more than ten a game.  Joining him is 6-7 forward Jamal Coombs-McDaniel and off-guard Darius Smith, who is of the Kemba Walker mold.  Suffice to say, the Huskies have a good mix of young and old on this year’s team.  I understand they lost a lot; it is tough to imagine this team is better – especially after that game against Hofstra, right? – but give this team time and they’ll scare any team in the top ten.  Looking at the schedule, Connecticut should cruise through their first five.  On December ninth they’ll play Kentucky, at home, giving this team its first true test.  If the younger players can learn to contribute offensively by then, I say they take that game to remain undefeated heading into Big East play at Cincinnati on December thirtieth. 

Posted on: November 16, 2009 2:54 am

Firing Up "The Bandwagon" (11/16/09)

"The Bandwagon" is simple: throughout the season [college hoops] I will periodically name teams whose bandwagons I am officially jumping on (or off).  These are teams I think of in high esteem, teams I think are on the rise, or are at least an interesting sleeper team.  To start the college basketball season off right, I have choosen ten teams whose bandwagons am either starting or jumping on -- they will be released throughout the early part of the week.  I will monitor the performance of these teams, and continuously reevaluate whose bandwagon I'm on -- and in some cases driving, right?  To start the season off right, I am on the bandwagon of at least one team in each of the six BCS conferences.  My pre/early season thoughts on each of these bandwagon teams will accompany their selection.  Feel free (and please do) let me know what you think of my selections and post whose bandwagon you are on as well. 

Florida State (ACC)

Many experts say its a down year for the ACC this season, they instead favor the top heavy Big 10 and Big 12, but the ACC is incredibly deep this season.  In part because of the Seminoles.  Florida State returns a pair of guys in the frontcourt: the 7-1 Solomon Alabi, a highly skilled big man and Chris Singleton, a 6-9 sophmore, who I have yet to get a good read on.  The front court will have to be a strength this season after Florida St. lost top guard Toney Douglas.  They do return three guards, however, including 6-4 junior Derwin Kitchen who will at least share ball-handling responsibilities, he is a good rebounder - averageing 4.6 rpg in 08/09 - and will look to up his shooting this season as well.  The other two holdovers are: Luke Luocks, a 6-5 sophmore point guard and Deividas Dulkys a 6-5 shooting guard who makes his mark behind the arc (not intentionally looking to rhyme).  Joining them in the backcourt is one of my favorite freshman in all of college basketball this season -- and perhaps the biggest reason for the Seminoles' inclusion on this list -- Michael Snaer.  Snaer is a 6-5 shooting guard with explosive scoring ability and athletism.  He can get it done by getting to the basket or from outside.  He will be this team's leading scorer.  I absolutely love this team's size.  I realize "it's all about the guard-play", but oversized players at three positions [with Alabi, Kitchen and Snaer at the 5, 1 and 2] should cause a lot of teams some problems.  I question, however, this team's depth and possibly more importantly, their ball-handler -- I prefer both Snaer and Kitchen off the ball.  Florida State has a fair non-conference schedule.  They'll play four early road games, including @ fellow bandwagon team, Florida and @ Ohio State.  At worst this team goes 5-2 before going to Georgia Tech on December 20th to kick off their ACC season, but I think they can easily handle an unexperienced Florida team this easy in the season.  Ohio State will be the real test, the Buckeyes are experienced and skilled, and perhaps most importantly at home.  However, if they can take that road game, or maybe even play tough and stay in it till the end, I think they will have turned some heads going into conference play.  This team is not better without Toney Douglas -- they're better with Michael Snaer

So, what do you think of my first bandwagon

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com