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MAILBAG

Columnists | Message Board  | Monday Mailbag Archive

By Joel Welser

jwelser@collegehoops.net

February 27th, 2006

 

College Basketball: Weekly Mailbag

 

Each week, CHN college basketball expert Joel Welser opens up his mailbag to answer fan questions.  At the end, Joel also includes some timely college basketball tidbits.  If you'd like to ask Joel a question or if you'd like to read past editions, check out the Monday Mailbag archive.

 

- Check out Joel's new daily Broadcast Basketball Blog.

 

Joelís Monday Mailbag

 

Joel,

Iím filling out my conference tournament brackets for a little practice for the big one, but am having some trouble with the Horizon League.  Who do you like in the Final Four of the Horizon Tournament?

 

From Lee,

Indianapolis, Indiana

 

Iím glad Iím not the only one that fills out conference tournament brackets for fun, well usually for fun.  No questions on the Big South Tournament?

 

Wisconsin Milwaukee and Butler get byes to the semifinals, so they are obviously in.  I like Detroit to slip by Loyola to reach the semifinals.  The Titans won at home by six over the Ramblers and lost on the road by five.  That is a tight game, which will be tough to call; however, Detroit has a little more momentum heading in with victories in four of their last five games.  In any event, the winner loses to UWM.  On the other half of the bracket, UIC should be facing Wisconsin Green Bay for the right to play Butler in the semi-finals.  I like the Flames to upset UWGB.  Itís hard to pick against UWM to win it all in Milwaukee.  The Panthers only lost one conference home game, but that was just a couple weeks ago against UIC.  I hate to stick by the seedings, but the Panthers take it over Butler in the finals.

 

Joel,

What is going on with Northern Iowa?  Are they still going to be in the tournament?

 

From Abe,

Minnesota

 

Losing four of their last five is painful to watch, but I still think they are in at the moment.  There is a good chance that the Panthers will lose their opening game in the MVC Tournament against Missouri State, who just beat them in Iowa a few weeks ago.  If they lose there and we end up with a bunch of teams stealing automatic bids (A-10, Colonial, C-USA, Patriot are a few places to look out for that), they might have to sweat it on Selection Sunday.  They should still make it, but the bigger issue is what was a hot #5 seed, is now a tired, struggling and undersized #10 seed. 

 

Joel,

Does Quincy Douby have a viable shot at being selected in this year's draft if he comes out early?

 

From Lou,

Montclair, NJ

 

I'm going to defer to CHN Draft expert Shawn Siegel for this one:

 

Thanks for the question Lou.  Douby's having perhaps the most underrated season of anyone in the country.  I recently discussed Rutger's 24.7 ppg scoring star in the Daily Dribble.  In the last 23 years only 5 players have led the Big East in scoring at over 24 ppg: Chris Mullin with 24.9 in 83-84, Eric Murdock with 27.2 in 90-91, Donyell Marshall with 25.7 in 93-94, Allen Iverson with 25.4 in 95-96, and Troy Bell with 27.8 in 02-03.  The NBA Draft track-record of those big-time Big East scorers is definitely in Douby's favor.  However, his game is most like Bell in that he's a scorer in a skinny point guard's body, and Bell has played in a whopping 6 NBA games.  Returning for his senior season could only help Douby's chances.  He needs to step-up his 3 pt %, his ball-handling ability, and cut down on the turnovers.  Obviously, at 180 pounds, you'd like to see him gain strength and weight as well, but with his frame, I just don't see his body ever becoming NBA-quality.  Still, with his speed and scoring ability, some team in the 45 to 60 range could take a stab at him over other college guards like Taquan Dean, Sean Dockery, and Rashad Anderson.

 

Have a question?  Ask them on the easy form at the Monday Mailbag Homepage.  Weíll post and answer as many as possible.  Please include your first name and home state and put Monday Mailbag in the email title. 

 

Joelís Thoughts of the Week

We are so close to conference tournament time.  The fun begins on Tuesday with the Horizon League, Big South and Ohio Valley tournaments tipping off at the site of the higher seeds.  Five of the Horizon Leagueís nine teams ended the season at a smooth 8-8 record, which will make that a very interesting tournament, and seemingly unfair.  Wright State with a record of 8-8 has a road game in the opening round, while Wisconsin Green Bay, also 8-8, found themselves with the #3 seed and a bye to the quarterfinals.  I hope somebody at Wright State has reviewed the tie-breaker rules.  I did a couple weeks ago, but donít remember anything about a five-way tie.

 

Think the regular season ends this upcoming Sunday?  Think again.  Princeton hosts Penn on Tuesday, March 7th amidst the plethora of conference tournament games, well that day is really the calm before the storm.  With three games to go, Penn holds a two game lead on the Tigers.  There is a chance, a slim one, that the winner of that game will represent the Ivy League in the NCAAs.  Both Princeton and Penn visit Brown and Yale leading up to that showdown.

 

The Mid-American Conference has divisions, but donít separate the divisions for the conference tournament, besides granting the top team on each side one of the four byes to the quarterfinals.  Donít be surprised if no team from the West makes it to the Final Four of the conference tournament.  Iíll take Kent State, Akron, Miami (OH) and Ohio over Western Michigan or Northern Illinois just about any day, if the brackets allow that to be possible.

Have a question?  Ask them on the easy form at the Monday Mailbag Homepage.  Weíll post and answer as many as possible.  Please include your first name and home state and put Monday Mailbag in the email title. 

 

 

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