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Horizon League Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horizon League

CigarBoy

CigarBoy takes a look at the teams in Horizon League and reviews what will happen in 2002-2003 season. As an added bonus CigarBoy even tells you how they will finish and which players to keep an eye on.

 

The 2002-2003 season has the Horizon League looking stronger from top to bottom than at any other time in recent memory. Considering the returning players from UWM, Detroit, UIC and the new players added by UWGB and Wright State, the Horizon League fans should be in for a lot fun and possibly an unpredictable season.. When this year is said and done, the Horizon League’s RPI will be in the 10, 11 or 12 range. As in the past it will be a guard-oriented league. In the Horizon League the question is not does a team have a center? But does the team have someone who can score in the paint?

 

1. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee      Bruce Pearl-coach

Led by Clay Tucker and Ronnie Jones, the Panthers play a running, pressing style. They play deep into the bench should go ten or eleven deep. Last year they invested a lot of playing time in young players and now those players have some experience. One of the keys will be the return of 6’ 6’’ James Wright., who red-shirted last year.

 

2. University of Detroit-Mercy      Perry Watson-coach

This is a program that has so much success that they are to the point where it is about the program and not the players. In other words, they are just reloading. Key senior is guard Willie Green who was injured last year. Also a successful Titan team will get a big year from Terrell Riggs a 6’6” forward who is a good rebounder and scorer around the basket. Look for the Titans’ trademark of tough man-to-man defense that produces tough stops in crucial situations to set the pace for this team.

 

3. Wright State       Ed Schilling-coach

Ed Schilling’s Raiders will be a senior dominated team for the first time in his coaching career. Lead by 6’3” Venard Hollins and 6’8” Seth Doliboa who should be much stronger with fifthteen pounds of additional muscle he gained during the off season. Should be a more pressing style of play and look for a very disciplined team-oriented offense. Will play deeper into the bench than in past years.

 

4. University of Illinois-Chicago      Jimmy Collins-coach

The Flames are probably the most talented team in the league. They have a freewheeling offense that relies on dual penetration, three point shooting and pressure defense. Players to watch include Cedrick Banks and Martell Bailey. A key component will be the 6’ 9” Joe Scott who was red shirted last year. This is potentially a very dangerous team.

 

5. Butler      Todd Lickliter-coach

Look for the Bulldogs to be a much different team from the nationally ranked team of last year. They lost Rylan Hainge and Thomas Jackson. They do return 6’ 10” Joel Cornette and guard Brandon Miller. Look for them to again to be a defensive-minded, unrelenting, never give up team. They still know how to win.

 

6. Loyola    Larry Farmer-coach

The Ramblers are a very interesting team. They got hot at just the right time last year. But after a hot start they kind of meandered through the second half of the season before turning it on in the conference tournament. The key to this team is senior guard David Bailey and how well the other players feed off of him. This will determine how good this team will be. In supporting roles are 6’ 8” Corey Minnifield and 6’ 4” Louis Smith. Look for a UCLA type of high-post offense and a switching man-to-man defense that will sometimes press. .

 

7. Cleveland State      Rollie Massimino-coach

The Vikings have to fill two huge holes left by the departure of Theo Dixon and Jamal Harris. They do return junior point guard Jermaine Robinson. But they lack a proven scorer. Who will do the scoring is anybody’s guess? They will continue to play a multi-defensive scheme that is constantly changing and setting up the fast breaks.

 

8. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay    Todd Kowalczwk-coach

The new-look Phoenix have a new coach and a new arena. They are returning 6’ 10” Greg Babcock who is one of the most improved players in the Horizon league. They also return sophomore Kalix N’diaye. Two new faces are Marshall Williams 6’, Julian Schultz 6’ 6” and Mike King 6’ 8” is returning after missing last year with an injury.. How well the players adjust to a new system, a new coach and a new arena will help determine the kind of year they will have.

 

9. Youngstown State      John Robic-coach

The Penquins return 6’ 7” Brian Radakovich and get JUCO player Adam Baumann who is 6’ 8”. The point guard position is wide open. How well that position is filled will go a long way toward determining how good this team will be. They run a pattern offense with lots of plays and they usually shoot their fair share of 3-pointers.

 

CigarBoy’s First Team

-Clay Tucker UWM

-David Bailey Loyola

-Seth Doliboa WSU

-Terrill Riggs Detroit

-Ronnie Jones UWM

 

CigarBoy’s Second Team

-Venard Hollins WSU

-Brandon Miller Butler

-Joel Cornette Butler

-Willie green Detroit

-Cedrick Banks UIC

 

CigarBoy’s Honorable Mention

-Greg Babcock UWGB

-Martell Bailey UIC

-Joe Scott UIC

 

CigarBoy’s Player of the Year

-Clay Tucker UWM

 

CigarBoy’s Writer of the Year

-CigarBoy


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