We released our all-freshman teams today.. and I thought it would be interesting to see how our preseason predictions compared to the now. Below are our
Preseason National Rookie of the Year
Kevin Durant - SF, Texas, 6-10
Preseason First Team CHN All-Freshman
Paul Harris - PG, Syracuse, 6-4
Chase Budinger - G/F, Arizona, 6-7
Kevin Durant - SF, Texas, 6-10
Spencer Hawes - C, Washington, 6-11
Greg Oden - C, Ohio State, 7-0
Preseason Second Team CHN All-Freshman
Tywon Lawson - PG, UNC, 5-11
DJ Augustin - PG, Tennessee, 5-11
I tend to usually think that the media and the public overrate Duke.. but suddenly the Blue Devils are underrated. Perhaps the most underrated team in the country.
First off, they will make the NCAA Tournament. Lets all just calm down. The #10 Pomeroy, #14 Sagarin, #18 RPI, and #26 AP team will make the NCAA Tournament. If the Tournament started today, not only would they make it, but they'd still probably deserve a 5 or 6 seed.
The ACC is solid. Look at Maryland.. just 4-6 (8th) in conference play, but they'd probably be the 3rd best team in the Big Ten. Look how they beat Illinois in Champaign and Michigan State on a neutral court. There's only a few easy games in the league.. and the problem for Duke is that they don't have the lower tier teams left on the schedule. Only BC, GT, Clemson, Maryland, and UNC left.. and only 2 of those 5 are at home. So going 3-2 or better in those games will be very hard, especially since you figure the game at UNC is basically a guaranteed loss. But I think they'll win the road game at BC, then the home games against Maryland and GT which would put them at 8-8 in the league. That should still be good for a very favorable seed.
Polls on Monday were relatively standard.. perhaps the placement of Notre Dame and Michigan State were most interesting. The Spartans received 87 votes in the Coaches Poll, good for 25th spot, while Notre Dame was right behind with 57 votes. In the AP Pol though, Notre Dame was 20th, a full 16 spots ahead of the 36th ranked Spartans. Whats odd is that the placement of these teams doesn't correspond to any sort of Big Ten/Big East bias in the polls. Despite the slap to 8-1 Notre Dame in the Coaches Poll, fellow Big Ten team UCONN is ranked 11th, 3 spots ahead of its spot in the AP. Further, despite the love for MSU in the Coaches Poll, Wisconsin is a spot lower at 5th in the Coaches..
I'll be honest, I'd never heard of Stephen Curry before this week. The son of former NBA star Dell Curry is a freshman for the Davidson Wildcats. He wasn't even considered the best player on his high school team, but the 6-0 guard came into today's game against Missouri averaging 23 points, 7 boards, and 4 assists per game. In a close loss to the Tigers in Columbia this afternoon, he finished with 16 and 6 assists. Curry's biggest problem is turnovers, as he's more of a combo scoring guard trying to play some point and doing too much with the ball. Still, the baby faced scorer has a great stroke, a knack for getting the ball in the hoop, and the potential to be a major force in the Southern Conference with a little more experience and physical maturity.