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Horizon League Directory

Horizon League

by Vince Pellegrini Jr.

February 25th, 2003

The Horizon League has seen their fair share of great scorers, athletic little men, and plenty of big bodies in the conference this year. I will attempt to break down the league into five positional categories with my pick for the Horizon's best.

        Let's start with the point guard position. Each team has a gem at the lead spot. Wisconsin-Green Bay features Matt Rohde, a 6'2 sophomore, who shows signs of becoming a good decision maker and could be a first teamer before too long. Rohde has an excellent outside game. Wright State's Vernard Hollins will not take a back seat to anyone. Hollins is a 6'2 senior who has a motor. He averaged over fifteen points per game as a junior and he's over that mark this season. Youngstown State has first year starter Marlon Williamson who led the Horizon League in steals. Marlon is the first player in Penguin history to have over 100 assists and 50 steals in a single campaign. The only thing is is that Smoke, as he's called, is a senior and he will be missed in Youngstown. The two top clubs have two of the best points in Brandon Miller for Butler and Ronnie Jones for Milwaukee. Miller is a six foot senior who can defend and find the open man while penetrating. The 5'9 Jones has a nice touch from outside. Vince's pick for Horizon League point guard: Loyola of Chicago's David Bailey. He is a talent. He doesn't play like he's 5'8 instead he plays like he's 7'8. Bailey can make you look stupid with his wicked dribbling skills. When he's not breaking ankles, he's leading the break or stopping somebody on defense.

        Moving along to the shooting guard spot, one man who comes to mind right off the bat is Butler's Darnell Archey. The 6 foot 1 senior set the division one record for most free throws made consecutively. But he drains three's at will. He has one of the nicest touches in the entire country. He is smooth. Youngstown State's sophomore phenom Doug Underwood took games over with his ability to find the hole. In a game against Illinois-Chicago, he was trading baskets with Cedrick Banks. That's something else to be in the same sentence as Cedrick.. Banks is only a junior but he's been the team's leading scorer the last two campaigns. A year ago, he was dropping trey's on Hollis Price of Oklahoma in the big dance. This year, he's been literally unstoppable. He paralyzes defenders in their tracks when they try to guard him. Every team that faces Detroit has their problems finding someone to guard Willie Green. The 6'4 Titan was pegged as the Horizon League's best pro prospect in some preseason magazines. He has surely shown that in more ways than one. Vince's pick for Horizon League's shooting guard: Clay Tucker of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Tucker has a swagger about him. No matter who's heckling this guy he still finds a way to get his points. He is one heck of a free throw shooter and an even better equalizer to an opposing team's run. He gets my nod just above Green and Banks because of the way he has led his team to victory after victory. The nation saw what he is capable of in this past Saturday's contest at Southern Illinois.

        The Horizon League is known for guard play not for the bruising bodies down low. However, there are a few centers who stand above the rest. Loyola has a swatting machine in Demetrius Williams. The Ramblers were looking for someone to replace the rebounding and shot blocking of Silvije Turkovic and Ryan Blankson, well they got that in Demetrius (and Paul McMillan). Williams played outstanding ball late in the year. He's still a bit raw but that will be something that coach Larry Farmer will work with him in the off season. Wisconsin Green Bay has one of the nicest inside games in the league with 6'10 senior Greg Babcock. He has been tremendous throughout his stellar career. It was tough to keep him out of my pick because of how fluid he plays. YSU got a nice pickup in the off season by getting Adam Baumann from Yavapai Junior College in Arizona. The Scottsdale native was undersized at 6'7 but he found a way to get numerous double doubles and was the team's top charity stripe shooter. The Panthers have 6'11 junior Nathan Mielke in the low block. He has come a long way in a year. Last year, team's would love to see him there but now coaches dread the sight. Mielke plays with a lot of fire sometimes that's a disadvantage but for the most part, Bruce Pearl has to be very happy with his big man. Vince's pick for Horizon League's center: Butler's Joel Cornette. The 6'10 senior could be listed as a power forward or a center but he is the real deal. Cornette can handle the ball in the open court. He has a nice touch from the midrange. He can beat you to the hoop. He poses a lot of challenges against opposing defenders. Oh, I left out his aggression on defense. Cornette is a major problem for teams across the country.

        Staying with the big men, how about the league's power forwards. Wisconsin Green Bay leans on 6'8 Mike King. He also plays the center spot. Sat out last year with a back injury. This season, though, he is back and he has played harder than ever. He is a bruiser. A big body. Tough around the hoop. The Ramblers look to 6'6 Paul McMillan to go at the hoop to get those offensive rebounds. McMillan is a junior college transfer who led the Horizon in double doubles. He gives Bailey an option in the post where Ryan Blankson did last season. McMillan has the potential to become even better if he practices on his free throw shooting. The Flames have gotten exceptional play out of their four in Armond Williams. He is a Clarence Weatherspoon type player. That is high praise because the Spoon lit it up for Southern Miss on defense and on offense when he was in college. That is exactly what this junior gives Illinois-Chicago. Cleveland State Coach Rollie Massimino will sure miss his 6'8 power guy, Tahric Gosley, next year. He was a powerhouse some games for the Vikes but he was nonexistent in others. Gosley put on a show on February 13 against Youngstown State when he went for 18 points and 17 boards. Vince's pick for Horizon League's power forward: Wisconsin-Milwaukee sophomore Dylan Page. The 6'8, 225 pounder has been a nice surprise for Coach Pearl. He gives the Panthers that needed inside game to go along with Tucker and Jones on the outside. Page is averaging well over 12 points better than he had a year ago.

        To finish out my Horizon League awards we must take a look at the small forward spot. The Penguins 6'6 junior TeJay Anderson picked up the slack this season for the loss of front court starters, Stephen Flores and Jimmy Moore. Anderson didn't get as many look as he would have liked but he was an integral part of the team's success. Rebounding. Slashing to the hoop for a two. He needs to focus on his outside game. He could be very dangerous next year. Detroit's Terrell Riggs could be listed at a different position but being that the Titans are so athletic I thought this would be the best way of describing him. Riggs was motown's number two hit behind Green. The 6'7 senior showed signs this year of dominance near the hoop. One of the rising stars in the Horizon this year was Butler's Mike Monserez. The junior put together a nice off season of practices to get himself ready for the 2002-03 campaign. Boy oh boy, did he ever look ready this year.  Monserez really opened a lot of eyes. Vince's pick for Horizon League's small forward: Wright State's Seth Doliboa. Well, Seth went from being Cain's little brother to being the man this year. Doliboa scored over thirty on several different occasions. Although the season didn't go as planned the six foot seven junior was a player who could take over the game with his outside shooting ability and his long arms on the defensive side of the ball.

        Here's a recap of my picks and second team honors.

First Team
PG- David Bailey, Loyola
SG- Clay Tucker, UW-Milwaukee
C- Joel Cornette, Butler
PF- Dylan Page, UW-Milwaukee
SF- Seth Doliboa, Wright State

Second Team
PG- Vernard Hollins, Wright State
SG- Cedrick Banks, Illinois-Chicago
SG- Willie Green, Detroit
PF/C- Greg Babcock, Wisconsin Green Bay
PF- Paul McMillan, Loyola
Sixth Men
SF/PF- Armond Williams, Illinois-Chicago

E-Mail the Author: Vince Pellegrini Jr.




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