NCAA Tournament 2015: Full Betting Odds For March Madness

A Very Late Half Season Prospect Report

Hi all.
Firstly apologies for the lateness of this write-up. I've been pretty busy with life and school so I could not make my original deadline for game 41. If you haven't seen my first prospect check-in you can find it here although it obviously out of date now.
I feel it is important to add as a disclaimer that obviously I am far from a professional scout, nor have I really seen any of these players in action outside of a few games here or there. This means that the basis of my analysis is points which obviously don't always paint the full picture for a player, but its all I have to go on.
Anyway without further ado, let's take a look at some prospects.

AHL

It has not been smooth sledding for the Comets, as the team has been more or less buried under a mountain of injuries. It seems like half the team at any given time is made up of players on tryout contracts. Despite this adversity, the Comets have managed to keep their heads above water, thanks in part to some excellent goaltending, and stellar play from the players still in the lineup. The Comets sit 4th in the Northern Division.
Guillaume Brisebois (D 66th overall 2015)
Height: 6’3 Weight: 190 Hometown: St. Hilaire, Quebec
Age: 20
GP G A Pts
40 1 6 7
It has been a pretty promising campaign for Guilamme Brisebois. The first year pro has added 5 more assists since our last check-in and leads the Comets in games played with 40. Brisebois has been thrown directly into the deep-end, partially out of necessity, and he's performed admirably given the circumstances.
Michael Carcone (RW undrafted, signed 2016)
Height: 5’10 Weight: 170 Hometown: Ajax, Ontario
Age: 21
GP G A Pts
35 9 7 16
After a sluggish start, Michael Carcone has really picked up the pace. He's added 8 goals and 6 assists since the last check-in. As one of the few healthy Comets through the wave of injury, Carcone's improved play is definitely a part of why the Comets have managed to hold a positive record despite their bad luck. Carcone has provided the Comets with some solid secondary scoring, and he's shown some good growth in his game.
Cole Cassels (C 85th overall 2013)
Height: 6’1 Weight: 180 Hometown: Dublin, Ohio
Age: 22
GP G A Pts
36 4 11 15
Are we finally seeing the emergence of Cole Cassels? At the time of the last write-up, Cassels had one solitary point, and I questioned whether he even had a future in the organization after this season. Since then, he's put up 4 goals and 10 assists in 28 games. The third-year pro has struggled to adapt to the American League after ending his junior career with a Memorial Cup win, but his 14 points are already a career best for Cassels. This hot streak is a long time coming for the Hartford native and it's really nice to see some signs of life at least from Cassels. If you remember the son of former Canuck Andrew Cassels missed the start of his season with an upper-body injury sustained during pre-season. I'm not getting my hopes too high yet for Cassels, but this improvement is an exciting development, to say the least.
Jalen Chatfield (D Undrafted, Signed 2017)
Height: 6’0 Weight: 188 Hometown: Ypsilanti, Michigan
Age: 21
GP G A Pts
39 0 5 5
Without access to any real advanced stats, it's very difficult for me to discuss a player like Chatfield, since he plays a very defensively sound game and doesn't make much noise in the offensive zone. The first year pro left the pre-season with much fan-fair after playing a stretch of very excellent games. If not for a very crowded blueline, I wouldn't have been surprised if Chatfield would have been given a few NHL games at the start of the season. He's still looking for his first pro-goal, but if the Comets official Twitter is to be believed, Chatfield has been starting on the top pairing along with veteran blue-liner Patrick Weircoch for the past while which obviously is a very good look for the young defender. Chatfield is an attractive option for the team going forward on the blueline, especially if Chris Tanev gets moved out of town since they play a very similar style of game. Overall a very promising start for the young Michiganian.
Thatcher Demko (G 36th overall 2014)
Height: 6’4 Weight: 195 Hometown: San Diego, California
Age: 21
GP W L OTL SV% GAA
28 16 7 3 0.929 2.28
If you ask me, Thatcher Demko has been the Canucks' prospect MVP this season, and yes I know Kole Lind and Elias Pettersson exist. The second-year pro has been the deciding factor in keeping the Comets afloat despite all their struggles. Demko's save percentage and goals-against average sparkle, especially when compared to his pipes partner Richard Bachman's rather ghastly 3.34 GAA and 3.34 SV%. Demko is top ten in SV% (4th), GAA (7th) and wins (5th) in the AHL, and it's just recently been announced that he, along with Reid Boucher, will be Utica's representatives at the AHL all-star game this coming Sunday and Monday. Utica is actually the host city of the game this year, so that should be extra fun for Demko to play in front of home fans. I think most people expected Demko to be good, being such a high rated goalie, but I'd bet that few expected him to be this good this early. Demko is developing at an extremely fast rate, and it is honestly not that far outside the realm of possibility that he ends up as Vancouver's starting goaltender by the end of next season. Everyone should be very exciting for this young man's future.
Nikolay Goldobin (RW/LW 27th overall 2014, Acquired 2017)
Height: 5’11 Weight: 185 Hometown: Moscow, Russia
Age: 21
With Utica:
GP G A Pts
22 7 18 25
With Vancouver:
GP G A Pts
14 2 2 4
Probably one of the most debated players in the Canucks or.nganization, the middle frame of the season certainly had its ups and downs for Goldobin. Not long after the last check-in, the injury bug hit Vancouver even worse, and Goldobin was called up. There were some good things and bad things that I saw during Goldy's 14 game stint in the NHL, which is a career high for him in terms of games played. The young Russian's talent is obvious, he's got great hands and clear offensive instincts. One needs to look no further for an example of Goldobin's offensive talents than his absolute beauty of a goal against the Kings, where he had Norris winner Drew Doughty searching for his jockstrap in the rafters after Goldobin walked him. That goal is going to be on end of season highlight reels across the country and was definitely the best moment of Goldobin's last NHL stint. There were definitely problems with Goldobin's stint as well. He still struggles defensively, he can tend to look invisible sometimes, and he certainly took a shift or two off here and there. Coach Green certainly didn't mince his words when he commented on Goldobin's poor practice habits early into his call-up. Speaking of, Travis clearly doesn't have a very long leash on Goldobin and he frequently found himself watching the game from the press box or riding the pine in the third period. While this is certainly frustrating for many fans, who see his tantalizing offensive game and want to see what he could do with a lot of ice time, in my opinion at least the tough love is good for Goldobin's game. Consistency has been Goldobin's biggest problem and he needs to learn to round out his game if he wants to be a full-time NHL player. Coming into the bye week with a lot of injured players returning to the lineup, Goldobin was sent back down to Utica, in order both to make room and to keep getting Goldobin ice time during the week-long break. I imagine that once some roster moves are made during the trade deadline period, Goldobin will find himself back up with the big club, but in the meantime, he needs to keep working at his game in Utica. Since returning to the Comets, Goldobin has factored in 4 of the 5 games he's played, so clearly, he's got a fire under him.
Joe Labate (LW 101st overall 2014)
Height: 6’5 Weight: 205 Hometown: Eagan, Minnesota
Age: 24
GP G A Pts
31 6 5 11
It's been an up and down season for Joe Labate. The oldest Canucks draft pick left in the system, at age 24, Labate probably is what he is at this point. What Joe Labate is, in my mind at least is a big bodied, gritty forward, who will probably, unfortunately, remain an AHL/NHL tweener. Labate suffered an injury much like seemingly everyone else on the Comets earlier in the season. Labate's 6 goals tie him with his goal total from last season in a few fewer games, and he is on pace to pass his last season's point totals, although he only played about half the season due to his extended stay with the Canucks. Labate's biggest attribute, however, is his, well... bigness. Labate leads the Comets in penalty minutes by quite a considerable margin, and he's clearly using his physicality and size to his advantage. I don't know what the future holds for Labate, his age is quickly fazing him out of the "prospect" classification, but due to his size and toughness, he might be a decent piece to hold onto as a depth player.
Yan-Pavel LaPlante (LW 62nd overall 2013, signed 2016)
Height: 6’0 Weight: 183 Hometown: Chateauguay, Quebec
Age: 22
GP G A Pts
5 0 1 1
Things have gone from bad to worse for Laplante, as he actually has not played a single game since our last check-in. According to this tweet by Comets play by play voice Andy Zilch, Laplante has suffered an upper-body injury and is out for an indefinite amount of time. Laplante has one more year under contract with the Canucks after this one, hopefully, it will one where he can actually play.
Zack MacEwen (C Undrafted, Signed 2017)
Height: 6’4 Weight: 202 Hometown: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Age: 21
GP G A Pts
37 4 16 20
While Demko may be my MVP, Zack MacEwan gets my vote for the biggest surprise of the season. The hulking centre from PEI was a big question mark heading into the season, having just been signed along with Jalen Chatfield as an overger out of the Q. So far though, MacEwan has been one of the Comets best players, and as one of the Comets few healthy players during the injury-pocolypse that was the month of December, he played a major role in keeping the team in the hunt. Due to the injuries, MacEwan found himself playing a pivotal role on the team, anchoring the first line. MacEwan has been on the first line since late December with a revolving door of linemates, although with Michael Chaput returning to the Comets, I imagine MacEwan will be bumped down to the second line. MacEwan could actually have a few more goals than he currently does as well, he's fourth on the team in shots on goal, and is shooting currently at a very low 6.1 percent, meaning that if his shooting percentage averaged out, you'd see a few more goals from MacEwan at least. All in all, a very impressive showing from the rookie, who's quickly proving the naysayers wrong.
Evan McEneny (D Undrafted, Signed 2014)
Height: 6’2 Weight: 201 Hometown: Hamilton, Ontario
Age: 23
GP G A Pts
11 2 5 7
It's a tough time for Evan McEneny right now as just one season removed from his break-out year he's suffered a knee injury that will keep him on the sidelines for five months. This means that his season is effectively over. The Ontarian has one more year left on his contract, so hope is not lost for the young defender. This is now the second season that McEneny will likely lose to injury as his 2011-12 season with Kitchener lasted just two games before injuring this very same knee. Some bad luck for sure.
Griffen Molino (C Undrafted, Signed 2017)
Height: 6’0 Weight: 185 Hometown: Trenton, Michigan
Age: 23
GP G A Pts
25 2 3 5
Yet another Comet affected by injury, Molino has just recently gotten back from a lower-body injury after missing a few weeks. The speedy winger has not really factored on the point sheet too much picking up a goal and 3 assists since our last check-in. Molino has never been a very prolific scorer even back in college, so his somewhat poor counting stats aren't super surprising. Molino is one of the few Comets prospects with NHL experience, so even though he is a first-year AHL player his experience with the Canucks last season will likely help him. Thanks to his 5 game audition last season, Molino's only got this year left on his contract, although he will still be an RFA. I don't think Molino's overall ceiling is that high, however, it's never a bad thing to have a player with his kind of speed in the organization, especially in the new speed orientated NHL.
Ashton Sautner (D Undrafted, signed 2015)
Height: 6’0 Weight: 195 Hometown: Flaxdale, Saskatchewan
Age: 23
GP G A Pts
36 2 8 10
Now in his third AHL season, Ashton Sautner is on pace for his best statistical season. The defender was actually once a fairly decent scorer in the WHL with Edmonton, although you'd never know it by looking at his AHL numbers so far. Sautner was one of the many Comets to go down with an injury in December, but I believe he is back now, although it can be hard to figure out since the Comets don't tweet anything outside of their starting lineup. It's always good to see an improvement from a player, hopefully, Sautner can keep it up.

ECHL

There aren't many prospects on the Canucks' ECHL affiliate, just the two defenders. In Kalamazoo's first season back affiliated with the Canucks after only one year away, the team is doing okay. They are above 500 and currently sit fourth in the central division.
Anton Cederholm (D 145th overall 2013)
Height 6’2 Weight: 210 Hometown: Helsingborg, Sweden
Age: 22
AHL:
GP G A Pts
12 0 0 0
ECHL:
GP G A Pts
11 1 2 3
Due to the mountain of injuries with Utica, Cederholm made his AHL debut in November. The big Swede went pointless in his 12 games, and was reassigned back down to Kalamazoo on the 19th. Cederholm has never been anything close to an offensive defenseman, and scouts have wondered if his footspeed is good enough for today's game. I keep the tone of these write-ups mostly positive, since I like any good fan want all of our prospects to succeed but after so much time since being drafted with such little real successes, I have to wonder if Cederholm doesn't just pack it up and go back to home to Europe after this season ends. He has previously played in the SHL last season after being loaned there by the team.
Mackenze Stewart (D 186th overall 2014)
Height: 6’4 Weight: 215 Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Age: 22
AHL
GP G A Pts
2 0 0 0
ECHL
GP G A Pts
26 3 6 9
Perhaps one of the most unique prospects in the Canucks system, the seventh round pick has intrigued and confused Canucks fans since his draft day. I say this both because of his incredibly unlikely personal journey to being drafted, and because despite his very low numbers and perceived little upside he was given an ELC. Indeed Mackenze Stewart, who's name's lack of an I confuses even further, has a very scrutinzed figure in Canucks prospect watchers. For those who are unaware of Stewart's story, he was deaf until getting a life-altering surgery to restore his hearing later on in his childhood. Because of his impairment, Stewart didn't begin playing organized hockey until the age of 12, much later than almost anyone who has made it as far as he had. In that way, the fact that Mackenze Stewart is a professional hockey player at all is nothing short of remarkable and a great example of what perseverance and hard work can do. Stewart's story gets even more intriguing when you consider that his last season's point totals were a career high for him, not just for the ECHL but for as long as his statistics have been recorded. This means that Stewart recorded more points his first season in the ECHL last year than he ever did throughout his entire junior career. Not only that, but Stewart is on pace to beat his last season's point totals. This is a very interesting trend, throughout his career Stewart continued on a slow but steady path of improvement. The Calgarian is still a very long shot from ever suiting up for an NHL game, but his continued progression is very fascinating to see. If Stewart does continue to defy the odds and somehow makes it, I think he'll be one of the greatest stories in recent memory.

CHL

Matt Brassard (D 188th overall 2017)
Height: 6’2 Weight: 197 Hometown: Barrie, Ontario
Age: 19
Playing with: Oshawa Generals (OHL)
GP G A Pts
45 11 19 30
Matt Brassard is having a pretty good season. The seventh rounder from this most recent draft is on pace to pass his last season point total. The Barrie native has been extremely solid for the Generals, leading the team in defensive scoring and being second in plus/minus. Brassard's 30 points are actually good for 11th in scoring among defensemen in the OHL. So far its been a very optimistic start for Brassard, especially for a seventh round pick. Since Brassard will be 20 by the end of the year, he will be eligible for the Comets next season should the Canucks want to sign him
Cole Candella (D 140th overall 2016)
Height: 6’1 Weight: 196 Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario
Age: 19
Playing with: Sudbury Wolves (OHL)
GP G A Pts
46 3 23 26
After an injury shortened draft season, and an adismal draft +1 year, Candella was a struggling prospect coming into this season. In the offseason he found himself dealt from the Hamiliton Bulldogs to the Sudbury Wolves, which was predictied to be a better team before the season began. It seems that the Wolves have been a pretty good fit for the Mississauga native, he's already put up a career high in points this season, despite the fact that his team is one of the worst in the OHL. Nice to see some improvement from the 19 year old.
Michael DiPietro (G 64th overall 2017)
Height: 6’0 Weight: 200 Hometown: Amherst, Ontario
Age: 18
Playing with: Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
GP W L OTL SV% GAA
36 21 12 1 0.920 2.59
Michael DiPietro is following up a storybook season with an even better season. The Spitfires starter has put up his best save percentage so far, and is almost certainly going to surpass his number of games won this season as well. DiPietro's absurdly good 9.20 save percentage is tied for first among goalies who have played in at least 20 games and his goals-against average is also good for third in the OHL. The reigning Memorial cup winners have lost a lot of the talent from last season so they are not likely to be as competitive, as Windsor currently sits fourth in the West Division. This actually more impressive for DiPietro as he has less support from the team in front of him. Most assumed that DiPietro would be one of the goalies for Team Canada at the World Juniors, although unfortunately he was cut. Luckily, DiPietro is still eligible for the team next year, and he is much more likely to make the team now that Carter Hart, who played spectacularly for Canada will no longer be eligible.
Jonah Gadjovich (LW 55th overall 2017)
Height: 6’2 Weight: 209 Hometown: Whitby, Ontario
Age: 19
Playing with: Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
OHL:
GP G A Pts
22 15 11 26
Canada (WJC):
GP G A Pts
7 2 1 3
It's been a very good season for Gadjovich. He's been signed to his first NHL contract, got to represent his country, and continued to play very well for Owen Sound. The big winger has missed quite a few games, first with an injury early in the season, then due to the World Juniors, and now because of an illness. Because of these missed games, it's unlikely that he will catch his lofty point totals from last season, but with how many milestones Gadjovich has achieved this year, I'm sure it doesn't bother him too much. As I mentioned before, Gadjovich got the chance to wear the red and white this winter, he was the only Canucks draft pick that made the team out of the three that were invited. He played a mostly defensive role for Canada, although he did manage to put up three points and help bring the gold back home to Canada. With Jonah being signed to an ELC, don't be surprised to see him in the AHL as soon as next season.
Kole Lind (C/RW 33rd overall 2017)
Height: 6’1 Weight: 178 Hometown: Shaunavon, Saskatchewan
Age: 19
Playing with: Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
GP G A Pts
38 24 42 66
Kole Lind is having a monster season, although if you're reading this you're probably well aware as Lind has been the 1talk of the Canucks corner of the internet. The Saskatchewan native is currently tied for 10th in league scoring and is riding a 16 game point streak. Not surprisingly Lind leads the Rockets, who are also first in the BC division in scoring. Lind's point totals would likely be even higher if not for a bought of mono he faced earlier in the season. Lind was a hopeful for Team Canada, but unfortunately, he was cut from the team. While surely disappointing for Lind, the cut just seemed to piss him off. Lind play picked up considerably since being cut, in fact, he scored a hat trick his first game back since training camp. That's the kind of push back you want to see.
Brett McKenzie (C 194th overall 2016)
Height: 6’1 Weight: 194 Hometown: Vars, Ontario
Age: 20
Playing with: Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
With North Bay (OHL)
GP G A Pts
31 9 14 23
With Owen Sound (OHL):
GP G A Pts
9 2 3 5
A runner-up for the OHL MVP award, some were assuming that McKenzie would be playing in Utica this season so it was a bit of a surprise when the centre was sent back to the OHL. This season has been a regression for McKenzie, after scoring at a point per game pace last season for North Bay. McKenzie was recently traded from the struggling North Bay to Owen Sound, and he was for a time at least playing on a line with fellow Canucks prospect Jonah Gadjovich as well as with Vegas first-rounder Nick Suzuki. It's a bit disappointing to see that McKenzie has been regressing, especially considering he's in his last year of junior when most players have their statistically best years.
Jakob Stukel (LW 154th overall 2016)
Height: 6’0 Weight: 192 Hometown: Surrey, British Columbia
Age: 20
Playing with: Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
GP G A Pts
47 22 15 37
It's been an average season so far for Jakob Stukel. The Surrey native is seemingly a very streaky scorer, although he has been trending downwards pointwise since his draft year, which obviously isn't a promising sign. Calgary is not a very good team this season, currently sitting third last in the league. One good thing for Stukel is that he is leading his team in scoring, meaning that both of our prospects in the WHL are leading their respective teams in scoring.

USA

Adam Gaudette (C 149th overall 2014)
Height: 6’1 Weight: 182 Hometown: Braintree, Massachusetts
Age: 20
Playing with: Northeastern University (NCAA)
GP G A Pts
24 17 19 36
There have been a lot of prospects to get excitied about this season, and it's lead Adam Gaudette to maybe take a step out of the spotlight in the minds of the collective Nucks fans consciousness. While Pettersson, Lind, and Demko's performances have left us floating on a cloud of optimism never felt in this city before, Gaudette has still continued to do his thing. The Massachusetts native has shot up the depth chart since being drafted in the 5th round back in 2015. Now in his third collegiate season, he's been one of the best players in the NCAA. Gaudette leads both his team Northeastern, and the entire NCAA in scoring and is currently a candidate and presumably is going to be a finalist for the Hobey Baker award for the best colligate player. Gaudette was a strong consideration for USA hockey to play on the Olympic team in South Korea although he ultimately was not chosen. With Gaudette now in his third year, the team really needs to try to sign the centre now, to avoid the possibility that he could depart the organization through free agency after his fourth season.Of course, nothing is official until the ink is dry, but Gaudette's recent comments on TSN 1040 should put any major fears of Gaudette leaving to bed as Gaudette repeatedly mentions his desire to play for the team that drafted him, and even went so far as to say that he would be open to signing a contract this season. Meaning that we could see Adam in a Canucks jersey before the end of the season.
William Lockwood (RW 64th overall 2015)
Height: 5’11 Weight: 172 Hometown: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Age: 19
Playing with: University of Michigan (NCAA)
GP G A Pts
16 4 7 11
USA (WJC)
GP G A Pts
3 0 0 0
It was a great start to the season for Will Lockwood, he was leading his university in scoring, and then he was selected to the US world junior team. He was getting some attention at the tournament as well, until in the outdoor game against Canada Lockwood went down hard and looked to be hurt. Lockwood wouldn't play again in the tournament, and then was diagnosed with a seperated shoulder shortly after the tournament ended. He had previously injured his shoulder and thus couldn't play during the Young Stars tournament. This is a tough blow for Lockwood, who was performing quite well this season. His shoulder injury is expected to end his season.
Jack Rathbone (D 95th overall 2017)
Height: 5’10 Weight: 177 Hometown: West Roxbury, Massachusetts
Age: 18
Playing with: Dexter School (USHS)
GP G A Pts
0 0 0 0
Cape Cod Whalers U18 (MHSL)
GP G A Pts
8 4 0 4
Rathbone's high school season has yet to begin, so he's returned to his midget team. Rathbone's situation does confuse me a little bit. He's decided to stay at home one more year in part to remain close to his little brother with autism, and thus I guess his high school team has allowed him to play for them again, despite the fact that I'm almost certain he's no longer in high school. 4 goals in 8 games is alright, he's playing major midget which is probably the lowest calibre of the leagues that all the Canucks prospects are in. Rathbone will be attending Harvard next season, so that will give us a much better picture of the kind of player that he is.

Europe

Rodrigo Abols (C 184th overall 2016)
Height: 6’5 Weight: 192 lbs Hometown: Riga, Latvia
Age: 22
Playing with BIK Karlskoga (Allsvenskan)
GP G A Pts
7 2 3 5
with Orebro HK (SHL)
GP G A Pts
26 0 0 0
After 26 games of being a non-factor for Orebro, Abols was reassigned down to the Allsvenskan. He's faired quite a bit better down there than he was up in Orebro. He's tied a career high in points in a men's league with 5, although the last time he played in a men's league it was for Dynamo Riga in the KHL, so the calibre was probably a bit higher. Abols, who was a standout at Canucks training camp three years ago has certainly struggled to adapt to the pro game, after coming over from the QMJHL. The Latvian currently plays on the worst team in the Allsvenskan.
Jonathan Dahlen (C 42nd overall 2016, Acquired 2017)
Height: 5’11 Weight: 176 Hometown: Ostersund, Sweden
Age: 20
Playing with Timra IK (Allsvenskan)
GP G A Pts
31 20 17 37
We go from the worst team in the Allsvenskan to the best as Jonathan Dahlen's Timra IK is dominating Sweden's second tier and is looking likely to be promoted back to the SHL next season. The person spearheading this domination has been Dahlen, who despite missing seven games due to mono leads his team scoring by a fair margin. Dahlen was reportley given multiple offers to sign with SHL teams but he's chosen to remain in Timra. It's more than understandible why he would chose to do this, as he surely wants to see how far this team can go. The former Senators draft pick was traded to Vancouver for Alex Burrows and has been a very solid player in his native Sweden. Look for Dahlen to make his North American debut next season.
Kristoffer Gunnarsson (D 135th overall 2017)
Height: 6’1 Weight: 205 Hometown: Boras, Sweden
Age: 20
Playing with: Frolunda HC (SHL)
GP G A Pts
38 0 0 0
If you came expecting points this entry and Kristoffer Gunnarsson are not for you. His career professional points total in 2, which he recorded last season in the Allsvenskan. Despite his total lack of offense, the big bodied Swede is clearly doing something right as he 's managed to stick with Frolunda without being sent down, something he's struggled to do at other points in his career. Gunnarsson is far away from the spotlight in Frolunda as he shares the blueline with likely 1st overall pick (and possible future Canuck) Rasmus Dahlin.
Lukas Jasek (RW 174th overall 2015)
Height: 6’00 Weight: 165 Hometown: Trinec, Czech Republic
Age: 20
Playing with: HC Liberec Bili Tygri (Czech)
GP G A Pts
38 7 9 16
With HC Benatky nad Jizerou (Czech 2)
GP G A Pts
4 1 3 4
Lukas Jasek has just kept on chugging. The Czech forward did have a bit of a slip, and was sent down to the Czech second league, but has since been called back up to his top league team. According to key Canucks prospect watcher Ryan Biech, Jasek has looked like a completely different player this season, much more improved. Jasek was one of Canucks Army and other advanced stat sites favourite prospects so it is interesting to see that he is slowly improving. Jasek could still very much be a hidden gem.
Olli Juolevi (D 5th overall 2016)
Height: 6’2 Weight: 182 Hometown: Helsinki, Finland
Age: 19
Playing with TPS Turku (Liiga)
GP G A Pts
25 6 11 17
With Finland (WJC)
GP G A Pts
5 1 3 4
After a difficult start to the season, the 2016 5th overall pick has made big strides in his first year playing against men. Juolevi is currently third in defensive scoring for TPS, and thanks to his late start as well as the World Juniors has played some 20 games less than some of his teammates. The rookie is currently being coached by former Canuck Sami Salo, who recently appeared on Vancouver radio and was optimistic about Juolevi's progress this season. As mentioned, Juolevi also represented Finland at the World Juniors in Buffalo where he finished (hehe) tied for third in scoring and looked good alongside Finland's very stacked blueline. The World Junior tournament has been a Jekyll and Hyde situation for Juolevi, in his first tournament he played incredibly well, and his performance helped to raise his draft stock. In his second tournament, he served as the captain for Finland, however both he and his country had an absolutely disastrous tourney, finishing at the bottom of their division and having to play to avoid being relegated to the second tier. After that national embarrassment, Juolevi came into this year's tournament with mixed expectations, he'd been stripped of the captaincy and didn't even wear a letter for Finland, which is disappointing but not surprising as surely the Finnish team wanted to distance themselves from their last performance. From what I saw of Juolevi, he didn't play as well as his first tournament, nor as poorly as his second. I think this performance is more indicative of Juolevi as a player. He looked confident and poised, he was steady in his own end and was effective on the breakout. While there were a few glairing defensive errors, all in all I thought he was one of Finland's better players. Juolevi was in consideration to make Finland's Olympic team as well, although he was ultimately not selected.
Petrus Palmu (RW 181st 2017)
Height: 5’6 Weight: 179 Hometown: Joensuu, Finland
Age: 20
Playing with: TPS Turku (Liiga)
GP G A Pts
44 11 13 24
Petrus Palmu is having a pretty decent season, especially as a rookie. As I mentioned, Salo recently discussed both Juolevi and Palmu on the radio, and while he did have some good things to say about Palmu, he also mentioned that he needs to work on consistency. Palmu is top 5 in scoring in the Liiga and is seventh in scoring on TPS. So all in all, really not a bad season thus far for the Finn.
Elias Pettersson (C 5th overall 2017)
Height: 6’2 Weight 161 Hometown: Ange, Sweden
Age: 19
Playing with: Vaxjo Lakers (SHL)
GP G A Pts
31 13 25 38
With Sweden (WJC)
GP G A Pts
7 5 2 7
There isn't much I can possibly say about Elias Pettersson that hasn't already been said. Petterssson has been one of the most discussed topic in the collective Canucks zeitgeist. The Swedish centre has absolutely tore up the Swedish league, and he's scoring at a historic pace for a rookie. Before the World Juniors, Pettersson was actually leading the SHL in scoring, but obviously since he's missed so many games because of the tournament he's no longer leading the league. He's still however fifth in scoring despite missing some games. Pettersson also plays for an incredibly stacked team, as Vaxjo is first place in the SHL with a considerable 16 point lead over the second place team. Pettersson also looked incredible for Sweden at the World Juniors. Playing on the top line with Rangers prospect Lias Andersson and Buffalo prospect Alex Nylander, the three of them pulled team Sweden all the way to the Gold medal game where they ended up losing in a heartbreaker to a last minute goal by team Canada. That top line lead the way in scoring, and all three finished with 7 points in 7 games, which lead the team. Like Gaudette and Juolevi, Pettersson was considered but not selected for the Olympics. Couldn't ask for a better season so far from the 2017 5th overall pick, and it's going to be very exciting to see what the future holds for this young man.
Nikita Tryamkin (D 66th Overall 2014)
Height: 6’7 Weight: 265 Hometown: Yekaterinburg, Russia
Age: 23
Playing with: Yekaterinburg Avtomobilist (KHL)
GP G A Pts
49 9 16 25
In his first season back home after leaving the Canucks, Nikita Tryamkin has been having an amazing season. The mammoth Russian defender left many fans heartbroken after he decided to return to his native Yekaterinburg instead of re-signing in Vancouver. Tryamkin has found a new level to his game, exploding offensively like he never has before. He leads his club in defensive scoring and also wears the A for the team. Funny enough, one of the things that Vancouver was criticized for was trying to make Tryamkin a meaner more physical player and that was pointed to as a reason why he left, however he leads his team in penalty minutes by a massive margin, already having over 100 PIM. In fact, he leads the entire KHL in penalty minutes. This is an aspect of his game that has never been there before, and it must be a little frustrating for management to see that he has seemingly found his meanness after being so critical of the team for trying to make him this type of player. Tryamkin played in the KHL all-star game and was a consideration for the Russian err excuse me.... Neutral Athlete from Russia Olympic team but was not selected. Now you may be thinking, well randomj77 this is great for Tryamkin but what does it have to do with the Canucks outside of making me feel sad? Well, hope is apparently not all lost as Tryamkin's agent and KHL manager has stated that he would possibly have an interest in returning to Vancouver someday. Additionally many perceptive fans have noticed that Tryamkin does keep tabs on the Canucks on Instragram, and will like a post or two occasionally. It's far from a sure thing, but I along with many fans hold hope that our big Russian baby will return to us someday.
Dmitry Zhukenov (C 114th overall 2015)
Height: 6’00 Weight: 178 Hometown: Omsk, Russia
Age: 20
Playing with: Omsky Yasterby (MHL)
GP G A Pts
17 4 12 16
With Avangard Omsk (KHL)
GP G A Pts
10 1 0 1
Since being sent down, Dmitry Zhukenov has been an extremely effective offensive player. The Omsk native was a QMJHL star last season but opted to return home rather than remain in North America. He struggled to find his footing with Avangard but since being sent down to the MHL (the Russian AHL) he has gone nearly a PPG. It's good to see that Zhukenov has been able to perform at a professional level, although only time will tell if the team will be able to convince him to come to North America.
Hope you enjoy my write-up, it took a little longer than expected to finish, but hey hopefully it provides a bit of extra Canucks content during the lull of the All-star break. Please note that I wrote this over multiple days so I think the AHL stats are already 2 games old, but I didn't want to wait any longer to post. I believe all other stats are up to date as of 4:30 PST on January 26th.
Thank you so much for reading if you made it this far!
submitted by randomj77 to canucks [link] [comments]

"How Bad Could It Be?" - A Great Big Long Look at Team Canada 2018

If you're a Team Canada fan, I'm sure you had the same reaction I did when the NHL stonewalled the idea of top-tier pro players in the next Olympics - a feeling of dread, some minor chest pains, and a couple of stray tears.
After hearing the news, I had one big question – how bad could it be? Would Canada get crushed? Would every team be affected equally by the NHL block? Will I wind up drinking myself to death next February?
I did some research and made my conclusion – it's not going to be as bad as you may think.
To back that up, I made a detailed list of players who may possibly don the maple leaf at next year's Olympics.
It isn't easy to make a new national team from scratch. You can't just take a roster from the Spengler or Deutschland Cup tournaments and call it a day. Those rosters are usually just picking players from one or two European leagues at a time – they aren't the best we can do.
I'll admit, the talent pool for Canada is pretty shallow once you get out of the NHL. Most of Canada's elite players are under contract with NHL teams, leaving them ineligible to play (there's no word yet if players on NHL contracts playing with farm teams or in junior can play, but that would create one hell of a mess. We're going to assume here that any player with an active NHL contract, whether it's entry-level, two-way or whatever, will be ineligible.)
So let's make a trip to the Island of Misfit Toys, and see what Canada has to work with.
Before we go over the possible choices, here's some extra context for the Not-Quite-Ready-For-Prime-Time Skaters.
The last time Canada was unable to bring NHLers to an Olympics was the 1994 games, held in Lillehammer, Norway. Canada boasted players such as Paul Kariya, who was still a freshman with the Univ. of Maine, and Petr Nedved, who was out of the bigs in the midst of a contract dispute.
The bulk of the roster was made of AHL/NHL tweeners and junior players who hadn't yet made their mark on the hockey world. Players like Todd Hlushko and Chris Kontos played big minutes, and Corey Hirsch played every minute of the tourney in net.
Nonetheless, Canada made it to the gold medal game, losing to Sweden in the shootout when the world met a kid named Peter Forsberg. There's a precedent for a cobbled-together team of scraps winning a medal.
Here's some quick info on the likely makeup of the 2018 team.
Let's start with the forwards.

FORWARDS

Brandon Kozun
Will be 27
5'8, 172
Los Angeles, CA (moved to Calgary as a kid)
Lokomotiv (KHL)
Barring any changes, Kozun will be a crucial part of the Canadian team. He never got his due in the NHL, getting four points in 20 games in bottom-six minutes with a bad Leafs team. His small stature was always going to hold him back in the show. Since leaving to the KHL's larger ice surfaces, he's taken off. 49 points in 58 games last season, 56 in 59 this year, with point-per-game playoff performances. The kid's got game, and a guaranteed KHL contract next season, getting rid of any potential NHL complications. To make things sweeter, Kozun's been money every time he's ever worn a Team Canada sweater, getting 7 points in 6 World Junior games and adding two assists at this year's Deutschland Cup.
Jason Akeson
Will be 27
5'10, 185
Orleans, ON
Binghamton (AHL)
Akeson is fast as hell. He's got terrific playmaking skills, and his defensive coverage is okay. The main reason he's never been able to stick in the NHL is simple: he's 5'10, 185, and not strong on the puck. Three big concerns, though: he's never been able to produce in the NHL, scoring only one goal in 15 games; he's never played for Canada before; and he faired poorly in his lone big-size outing, getting only 5 points in 17 games in a KHL stint. He's coming off a barnburner of a year with the Binghamton Sens on an AHL deal, where he's nearly hit a point-per-game. While his performance has been great, he's vulnerable for what I'm going to call a “deal and steal” - he may be offered an NHL deal and accept, therefore making him ineligible for the Games.
Mason Raymond
Will be 32
6'1, 179
Cochrane, AB
Unsigned
Hockey fans always knew he had speed to burn. Had offensive upside, too, with two NHL seasons of 40+ points. Not the toughest or strongest player, but given open space, he could be important. Has Spengler Cup and Word Championship experience. Raymond will be a wildcard – he hasn't played professional hockey this season, choosing instead to take care of his wife, who's been suffering from Lyme disease. Personal matters aside, he is clear to play, contract-wise and his skill set could benefit the team if he isn't rusty.
Dan Paille
Will be 33
6'0, 196
Welland, ON
Brynas (SHL)
Paille is long past his best-before date, granted. But the former World Junior Captain and Spengler Cup champ can still pull his weight in a bottom-six role. Paille took his game to Sweden this year, where he helped push a stalling Brynas squad into the playoffs. Paille's calling card is his work ethic and energy level, and he still has decent speed. He will fill a leadership role with the team, if selected, possibly serving either as captain or an assistant. To make things slightly better, he plays his best hockey under pressure, winning a Stanley Cup, an OHL title and two World Junior medals to go with the Spengler Cup title.
Jordan Szwarz
Will be 26
5'11, 201
Burlington, ON
Providence (AHL)
Szwarz has no Team Canada experience on any level and has never played for a full season on big ice. He has won no major awards and hasn't impressed on an NHL level – 4 goals and no assists in 35 games. So, why is he on the list? Simple – he's scored the most points of any Canadian on an AHL contract this season under age 30, getting 52 points in 60 games. His contract is up this summer, however, and his high level of play could mean a deal and steal.
Gilbert Brule
Will be 31
5'11, 187
Nizhnekamsk (KHL)
It's probably been a looooong time since you've read that name. Yes, I assure you I'm serious. First of all, Gilbert Brule is alive. Secondly, he's actually been pretty good in Russia. He finished this season with 32 points in 37 games with Nizhnekamsk, after getting 10 points in 16 games with Zagreb. Most importantly, he's already got a contract for next year with the team, keeping him eligible. He's still got some energy, speed and offensive touch – whether he can stay healthy, though, is the biggest question.
Max Talbot
Will turn 34 during Games
5'11, 181
Lemoyne, QC
Lokomotiv (KHL)
Talbot was the captain of this year's Canadian team at the Deutschland Cup, which is not nothing. Since he left the NHL last year, Talbot has found a home along Brandon Kozun with Loko, with 36 points this year. Talbot has taken on more of a leadership role with Loko and the Deutschland Cup team, and if he's picked, he'll likely do the same in Korea. Talbot has experience with big ice, having played in Finland during the last lockout and playing this season in Russia. He's also played for Canada before, both at the U17s and World Juniors. Oh, and he's got a Cup-winning goal.
Justin Azevedo
Will be 29
5'7, 174
West Lorne, ON
Kazan (KHL)
Azevedo is living proof that good things can come in small packages. The former CHL player of the year has been in Europe for five years now, spending most of that time with Ak Bars Kazan in the KHL. While his offensive output decreased this year, his compete level hasn't. He can thread the needle with a good pass and possesses an incredible set of hands. He's used to the big ice and played U17 and U18 hockey for Team Canada. He's as close to a lock for this team as we can get.
Francis Pare
Will be 30
5'10, 190
Lemoyne, QC
Geneve-Servette (NLA)
Pare won't be in danger of a deal-and-steal; he's already signed Russia for next year. The former KHL All-Star, Gagarin Cup champion, QMJHL MVP and Calder Cup winner grew up in the same town as Max Talbot, and now has a chance to play with him again. Pare was on this year's winning Canadian team at the Spengler Cup. Pare can play all three forward positions, and can protect the puck quite well, despite his size.
Curtis Valk
Will turn 25 during Games
5'9, 170
Medicine Hat, AB
Utica (AHL)
Valk is another small dynamo. He's had a good year with Utica, going 69-16-28-44 this year on an AHL contract. Potential deal-and-steal aside, he's a dark horse pick for two reasons – he's never played for Canada and ever set foot on European ice. That being said, he's versatile, able to fit anywhere on the top four lines and can find the net.
Wojtek Wolski
Will turn 32 during Games
6'3, 220
Zabrze, POL (grew up in Toronto)
Magnitogorsk (KHL)
Wolski is a rare quantity – a big forward who's proven to be useful on big ice. He's spent four years in Siberia, literally, putting up better point totals each year until this season. Then, things changed. Wolski broke his neck in an ugly head-first collision with the boards early in the year, wiping him out for the season. He hasn't played since. If he's healthy, his knowledge of big ice play and his incredible individual skill will be useful, as well as his size and surprising toughness. If he can't suit up, Canada will need to hunt hard for a similar player.
Luke Adam
Will be 27
6'2, 207
St. John's, NL
Mannheim (DEL)
A poor man's Wojtek Wolski, Adam is adapting well to the European game. He spent his first year on big ice with the German league's Adler Mannheim, where he put up good offensive numbers. Adam was dominant at the World Juniors for Canada seven years ago, with 8 points in 6 games, but never got it going long-term in the NHL. He's under contract for another two seasons.
Andrew Ebbett
Will be 35
5'9, 176
Vernon, BC
Bern (NLA)
This is a bit of a reach, but hey – this whole team is a bit of a reach. Ebbett is doing fine in Switzerland with a good team but is getting up there in age. He's a jack of all trades, but master of none. His main attraction is how he played at this year's Spengler Cup. Wearing the maple leaf for the first time, Ebbett tore ass in Davos, scoring 8 points in 5 games. Don't count him out – pencil him in for a depth spot.
Matt Ellison
Will be 34
5'11, 231
Duncan, BC
Minsk (KHL)
Two-way player with tonnes of European and big ice experience. He's been in Europe since 2008, playing in the KHL and NLA. Ellison is a Swiss Army Knife on skates, playing all three forward spots and shifting his game to what is required. He's even got some offensive upside, flirting with point-per-game numbers for the past three years in the K.
Bud Holloway
Will be 29
6'0, 214
Wapella, SK
Skelleftea (SHL)
I want to see him make it, just so Canada can be represented by someone named Bud. Bud signed a deal with Montreal in 2015, hoping for an NHL shot after tearing apart Europe for four years. He didn't stick, but led his AHL team with 61 points, then left for the K before going back to Sweden. Holloway has played 16 games for Canada and has won two Swedish titles. He's got some size, strength, and can lead a team into battle if needed. He could be a great tool for Team Canada.
Derek Roy
Will be 34
5'9, 187
Ottawa, ON
Chelyabinsk (KHL)
Two seasons removed from being an NHL 30-point scorer and a decade from his point-per-game peak, Roy will not be – or at least, should not be – relied on as an offensive threat. His main purpose would be as an experienced leader. Roy played at the World Juniors, World Championship, Spengler and Deutschland Cup, and has done well in each. His current play isn't encouraging. He's coming off a KHL season where he scored only 22 points in 65 games. Even by our new, much lower standards, that still sucks.
Rob Klinkhammer
Will be 31
6'3, 214
Lethbridge, AB
Minsk (KHL)
Klinkhammer has made a good niche for himself in the K as a power forward, finishing with 38 points and 65 penalty minutes. Nobody's ever going to mistake Klink for a top-flight sniper, but he will certainly be useful in a bottom six role. He's deceptively fast for his size, possesses good hockey IQ and can use his size to win crucial corner battles. His biggest hurdle: he's never played a second for Team Canada at any level. For a player with his skill set, that's not surprising, but it might be enough to keep him off the ice in PyeongChang.
Nick Petersen
Will be 28
6'3, 196
Wakefield, QC
Berlin (DEL)
Five years in Germany have treated Petersen pretty well. A larger player, he can play a strong puck-possession game and his skating isn't bad. He's strong in front of the net. All these things could help him make the final squad – especially since there don't seem to be a lot of players Petersen's size in contention.
Kevin Clark
will be 30
5'9, 172
Winnipeg, MB
Brynas (SHL)
He's scrappy, and fast as hell and can find the net quick. The biggest knock on Clark is his size. Even on this team, which will likely be shorter than average, Clark is basically fun-sized. His Spengler and Deutschland Cup experience and four full seasons abroad will be important for his bid for ice-time.
That's 19 players. I don't know who will be named, but given the state of affairs, I'd expect most of them to be on Team Canada in PyeongChang.
There are some other options at forward, including CHL stars who haven't signed contracts with the teams that drafted them. WHL scoring whiz Adam Brooks hasn't signed with the Leafs yet, and Erie Otter set-up man extraordinaire Taylor Raddysh hasn't yet hooked up with Tampa. Despite being picked last summer by Florida and Buffalo, Adam Mascherin and Cliff Pu also haven't signed. If none of the four signs a deal before next February, they're all good to go.
Draft-eligible players like Nolan Patrick, Gabe Vilardi, Owen Tippett, Nick Suzuki and Mike Rasmussen could also join in. However, I wouldn't bet on most of them hitting the ice in Korea – no team will wait until late February to sign a lottery pick, after all.
I've got my eye on two NCAA players, too. Union Dutchman Spencer Foo will be heading into his senior year, while Dylan Sikura will do the same with Northeastern. Foo led all Canadian college players with 62 points in 38 games (yes, you read that right) while Sikura ended with 57 points in 38 games. Foo is undrafted - the Hawks snagged Sikura with a late pick in 2014. Since both are active college players, neither has an NHL contract.
So that's the forward corps. Let's move back, shall we?

DEFENSEMEN

Marc-Andre Gragnani
Will be 30
6'3, 205
L'Ile-Bizard, QC
Minsk (KHL)
Gragnani will likely be the defensive anchor for this team. He's played at the U18 level and at the World Championships for Team Canada and has three seasons of big-ice play under his belt. Excellent on the powerplay when given space, which he will have in abundance. Has decent speed, terrific passing skills, and isn't afraid to use his size when needed.
Chris Lee
Will be 37
5'11, 185
MacTier, ON
Magnitogorsk (KHL)
On the surface, Lee is everything you're always taught to avoid in a defenseman. He's small, not very physical, and can sometimes make mistakes in his own end. He's poised to be one of the team's oldest players, too. So what's the biggest thing about Lee? Offense. He's 100% pure, unbridled power-play energy, and has two Gagarin Cups to show for it. Lee's been a hockey journeyman since his college days, but scored more than a point-per-game as a defenseman on a KHL club that could challenge a few NHL sides. He's played in two Deutschland Cups, giving him a small, but not ignorable, amount of experience.
Ryan O'Connor
Will be 26
5'11, 192
Hamilton, ON
HIFK (FIN)
Another smaller defender, O'Connor has four years of European play under his belt and is a key figure on one of Finland's top teams. He has a solid two-way game and some U18 Team Canada experience. Unlike Lee, O'Connor is a good hitter and can defend himself against bigger players if needed. One wildcard issue comes up in his past, however – O'Connor was once suspended in junior for a doping offence. While that was long ago and he's long since paid his debt, it may be a red flag to those picking the team, especially under strict IOC doping standards.
Colby Robak
Will be 27
6'3, 194
Gilbert Plains, MB
Utica (AHL)
Robak is currently on an AHL deal with the Canucks' farm team in Utica. While he hasn't impressed in limited NHL time, the defensive-minded Robak has had a good year with Utica, with 25 points in 58 games at the time I wrote this. The deal-and-steal issue is up in the air. He played for Canada's U18 team but has little experience with big ice and his footspeed might be a problem.
Jonathon Sigalet
Will be 32
6'1, 203
Vancouver, BC
Frolunda (SHL)
Great skater with good size, a good physical player, and decent at both power plays and penalty killing. Sigalet spent this year with Frolunda in Sweden, where he's still in the thick of a playoff hunt. He played with the U18 Canada program in 2004 but only made his second appearance this season at the Deutschland Cup. Sigalet did okay, finishing with two points in three games, but his defensive play caught the eye of national team Svengali and former Olympic coach Dave King. King knows talent when he sees it – expect this guy to be in the mix.
Geoff Kinrade
Will be 32
6'0, 185
Nelson, BC
Nizhnekamsk (KHL)
Seven-year European veteran Kinrade knows how to play big-ice defence. It's as simple as that. Another of King's favourite sons, Kinrade managed to help out some pretty bad teams in Zagreb before getting his due with better KHL squads. Kinrade has Spengler and Deutschland Cup experience, which will prove valuable. Kinrade's skating, passing, two-way game and physical play will be his biggest calling cards.
Mark Katic
Will be 28
5'10, 181
Timmins, ON
Skelleftea (SHL)
Katic will be one of the top skaters on a team full of good skaters. That will be his way in, along with being able to play well both on the power-play and penalty kill. Katic is one of those mythical talents who just never got the call – after an incredible offensive season in the AHL as a 22-year-old, Katic missed most of the next year hurt before bolting for Europe. A former Canada U17 and U18 player, Katic also has Spengler and Deutschland experience, as well as five good years in Europe.
Andre Benoit
Will be 34
5'11, 192
St. Albert, ON
Malmo (SHL)
Benoit is another small, smooth-skating offensive defender. What sets him apart from the others is that he's been able to produce in the NHL. Benoit pumped in 28 points in bottom-four minutes on a below-average Avs team three years ago, but a bad run in Buffalo and getting stuck in St. Louis sent him back to Europe.
Chay Genoway
Will be 31
5'9, 176
Morden, MB
Jokerit (KHL)
I know, another small defenseman on the wrong side of 30 – stop me if you've heard this before. Genoway will be stuck in the pack, much like Benoit and the others, with his spot depending on his own performance in the run-up to the event. Genoway's earned rave reviews from Dave King, however, which could be big for him making the final team.
Mat Robinson
Will be 31
5'9, 185
Calgary, AB
Dynamo Moscow (KHL)
Last little guy, I swear. Robinson will be one of the best options out of the Lollipop Guild logjam that's forming on the Team Canada defence. Robinson is a two-time KHL All-Star who runs one of the league's top power-play units. He doesn't make many mistakes defensively. He'll be an interesting figure to watch.
Stefan Elliott
Will be 27
6'1, 190
Vancouver, BC
Kazan (KHL)
Holy crap, a defenseman who's taller than six feet? AND he doesn't completely stink? Well, don't ask too much. He's an okay two-way option, but hasn't played well for Canada in the past and hasn't adapted well to the big ice. If he makes the team, expect him to be on the bottom pair.
Dante Fabbro
Will be 19
6'1, 192
New Westminster, BC
Boston U (NCAA)
Here's a wildcard who could legitimately earn a spot. Fabbro tore up the college ranks and had a strong World Junior performance this year. He's still eligible for this year's World Juniors but may find himself on the biggest stage. He's got few weak points in his game, including his skating, shot, and in-zone defence. The deal-and-steal problem exists, though. If he signs with Nashville this summer, he's out, and Canada will have to look elsewhere for a young D talent.
Shawn Lalonde
Will be 27
6'1, 205
Orleans, ON
Koln (DEL)
One key thing held Lalonde back from the NHL – he was a Blackhawks defensive prospect at a time where making Chicago's roster was tougher than walking across the Atlantic. Five years later, Lalonde has become one of Europe's top defenders. He's topped 30 points in every season he's played in Germany, and usually tops 100 penalty minutes. Lalonde has played four games in his career for Team Canada, each as a teenager at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament. He can fit anywhere in the defensive scheme for the team, which will be very, very valuable.
Cam Barker
Will be 31
6'3, 218
Winnipeg, MB
Astana (KHL)
Just hear me out, okay? Barker's experience with Team Canada is more extensive than most people on this list, having played 18 games for the team at various levels. He's done rather well since leaving for the KHL. He can play physically and can play solid offence. Two problems will follow him, though – his less-than-stellar speed and his occasionally sloppy defensive play.
Top prospects Callan Foote, Nic Hague, and Junior A prodigy Cale Makar could all stand a legitimate chance of making the final squad, especially the first two, who can adapt to shutdown roles. Makar, another undersized offensive defenseman, stands less of a chance than the others, but shouldn't be ruled out.

GOALIES

Ben Scrivens
Will be 31
6'2, 181
Spruce Grove, AB
Minsk (KHL)
Not the best goalie in the world, but on this limited list, he's a damn fine option. Scrivens fared well as a Team Canada netminder at the 2014 Worlds and is coming off a strong season in the crease for KHL side Dinamo Minsk. The main issue with Scrivens, obviously, is consistency. On any given night, one of two Scrivens' can show up: either the one who can steal you a game and make 50+ saves, or the one who lets in goals from the red line. He's a high-risk, high-reward proposition.
Danny Taylor
Will be 31
6'0, 198
Plymouth, GBR (grew up in Ontario)
Novosibirsk (KHL)
Taylor, much like several of the other players on this list, has put up good numbers everywhere he's played – OHL, ECHL, AHL, DEL, SHL, and now the KHL – but never broke through. He played his first Team Canada hockey at this year's Deutschland Cup. He's also coming off an incredible season in the KHL, where he finished with a .936 SV% over the full season. He's got a terrific butterfly and glove and moves quickly around the crease.
Barry Brust
Will be 34
6'2, 227
Swan River, MB
Slovan (KHL)
There really isn't a goalie around quite like Batshit Barry. He's an old-school guy who plays on reflex, great puck-handling and high-risk moves, and isn't afraid of some fisticuffs. Think a poor man's Hasek with Ron Hextall's mean streak. He'd be very fun to watch, but could easily become a liability for the team. He's only played for Canada once, at this year's Deutschland Cup, where he didn't do well.
Tanner Jaillet
Will be 24
5'11, 174
Red Deer, AB
Univ. of Denver (NCAA)
This one's off the board, but an interesting choice. He's young, he's small, but he gets results. The former Fort McMurray Oil Baron goalie is finishing up his junior year with the Denver Pioneers, where he stoned the whole country cold, giving up less than two goals per game and winning the NCHC goalie of the year award. He's also been a key part of getting his team to the Frozen Four,
Kevin Poulin
Will be 27
6'2, 205
Montreal, QC
Astana (KHL)
Poulin started the year playing semi-pro in Quebec but spent the rest of the season with the KHL's lone Kazakh team. Poulin is one of the youngest legitimate options on the table, but he's never played for Canada and had a fairly lousy season. His experience with big ice is negligible, and his NHL experience hasn't been great.
Chet Pickard
Will be 28
6'2, 216
Winnipeg, MB
Iserlohn (DEL)
A former World Junior and first-round flameout, Pickard has found order in the German League. Pickard first headed to Europe after a disastrous season in the ECHL five years ago and has settled in well. He's a big goalie who uses his frame well. He's not that fast, but his agility problems are offset by terrific position. He may have an outside shot at the gig, depending on his performance next season.
Leland Irving
Will be 29
6'0, 176
Barrhead, AB
KooKoo (FIN)
Irving suited up this season for a team with one of the best names in hockey. Irving was briefly the 'next great hope' for Canadian goaltending, backstopping Team Canada both at the World Juniors and the Canada-Russia Super Series (not so super if you're Russian, as it turned out). Irving never stuck in the NHL, but he may be able to use his solid positional game to earn a spot on the squad – if he can focus and give up fewer timely goals.
Now, I can understand if you read all that and thought, “Dear God... this is awful.” First off, it actually isn't as bad as you think. Secondly, if NHL help is needed, there have been some players who have intimated that they'd be willing to go.

REBELS

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Mark Scheifele, Kris Letang and Carey Price have all come out in support of playing in PyeongChang and future Olympics. None have explicitly said they would break league rules to play – they'd be foolish to do that – but if there's a possible way to smuggle them out, Hockey Canada will find it.
In addition to these four possible insurgents, there are multiple players whose contracts run out this year who may be willing to make a move.

POTENTIAL FA's

Joe Thornton and Chris Kunitz both have Olympic golds from Sochi, and each is getting up there in age. Despite a great year, Kris Versteeg isn't guaranteed an NHL contract next year. Daniel Winnik and Mike Ribeiro are both serviceable vets who will look for work, while Curtis McElhinney could become a candidate in the crease.
In addition to those guys, Jonathon Drouin, Scott Laughton and Gabriel Bourque all have expiring deals, and while they'll likely be re-signed or joining an NHL team, you never know.

IN CONCLUSION

I don't pretend to know who Hockey Canada is looking at for the next Olympic team. All I know is that these are likely the best guys to fill that void, in absences of NHL players. I don't think it'll be the end of the world - in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Canada got onto the podium with a roster like this.
Keep in mind, the NHL block will hurt countries like the US, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic and Germany just as much as Canada. Besides, the thought of seeing players who would not be able to play for their countries under normal circumstances could make for very entertaining play.
So, to answer the question I asked myself waaaaay up there at the top - you know, "how bad could it be?"
The short answer is it'll be alright. You just read the long answer.
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Terker's Top 25 Previews: #5 Iowa St Cyclones

Iowa State Cyclones
2014-15: 25-9 (12-6 in Big 12 play, tied for 2nd place), defeated Kansas to win the Big 12 tourney title, lost to UAB in the Round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament
Head Coach: Steve Prohm (First year)
Projected Starting Lineup
PG Monte Morris - 6'2", 175 Junior: 11.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 5.2 apg
SG Hallice Cooke - 6'3", 190 Sophomore: 8.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.5 apg @ Oregon St in 2013-14
SF Nazareth Mitrou-Long 6'4", 210 Senior: 10.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.0 apg
PF Georges Niang - 6'7", 225 Senior: 15.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.4 apg
C Jameel McKay - 6'9", 220 Senior: 11.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.4 bpg
Key Bench Players
G Matt Thomas - 6'4", 195 Junior: 4.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.7 apg
F Abdel Nader - 6'6", 230 Senior: 5.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.7 apg
Key Newcomers
G Jordan Ashton - 6'4", 191 Junior: 16.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 44% 3FG @ JuCo
G/F Deonte Burton - 6'4", 240 Junior: 6.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.1 spg career @ Marquette
F Brady Ernst - 6'8", 215 Freshman: Unranked 3-star prospect
F Simeon Carter - 6'9", 210 Freshman: Consensus Top 300 prospect
........................................................................................
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; and then came the heartbreak. 2014-15 was yet another tremendously successful season for Iowa St under hometown star and head coach Fred Hoiberg. The Cyclones spent big chunks of the season ranked in the Top 10, haymakered a handful of elite squads over the course off the year, and won the Big 12 tournament title over 10-time defending Big 12 regular season champ Kansas.
Then the Cyclones lost in stunning fashion to UAB in the first round of the NCAA tourney. And their star-making run towards the Final Four - which, make no mistake, was the goal for ISU last season - came crashing to a halt before it had even begun.
A couple of months later, Hoiberg was gone, having taken the Chicago Bulls head coaching job. It was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for Hoiberg, a former NBA Champion as a player with the Bulls.
And while Iowa St fans by and large respect Hoiberg's decision to follow his dream, it leaves wounded hearts back home in Ames. And Hoiberg isn't the only individual who has departed from the program this summer; improving Greek center Georgios Tsalmpouris turned pro in Europe, sophomore-to-be Clayton Custer transferred out of the program, and highly-regarded but troubled 4-star freshman guard Nck Niskowiak will not end up enrolling in the school due in part to legal issues.
That is a lot of adversity for a program which - so very recently - looked as though it was irreversibly on the rise. The hope is, though, that Hoiberg left enough grade-A ingredients in the cupboard for Iowa St to make another run deep into March.
Hoiberg's replacement is Steve Prohm, late of Murray St. Prohm has spent just four years as a head coach prior to taking this job with the Cyclones, but they have been four very successful years. Prohm helped current Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy to build up Murray St into a consistent force in the Ohio Valley, and once Kennedy moved on, Prohm was tabbed to lead the Racers. With an NCAA Tournament win to his credit - along with four straight OVC league titles - Prohm has been courted by high major programs before Iowa St came calling. Now, Cyclone fans are expecting their new coach to help this stacked roster deliver on its vast potential.
Make no mistake: these Cyclones are, on paper, one of the five best teams in America. And after the way last season ended - and playing without their star coach - they've got a big 'ol chip on their shoulders.
Georges Niang is the main attraction on this talented, multi-skilled team. A forward whose game has evolved throughout his career at ISU, Niang is poised to follow in former teammate Melvin Ejim's footsteps as Big 12 Player of the Year. Niang is as versatile as any post player in America, combining great hands, a guard-like feel for the offense, a reliable jumper and an ever-expanding array of moves in the post. Niang can man the controls of ISU's offense, be it out of the high post or in transition. Last season, he made 40% of his triple tries and sank 101 free throws (81%). He's a unique player who sets the pace for the Cyclone offense whether he's operating on the perimeter or in the paint. The backboard is Niang's friend and he's a tremendously versatile scorer inside, where his quickness and creativity more than compensate for a lack of ideal height.
Niang spoke of his decision to pass up a chance at the NBA draft during the summer, saying that he wanted to return to Ames in hopes of rewriting last season's disappointing script. "I didn't want to go out this way," the Cyclones' veteran leader said. "I didn't want to leave my mark like that." Niang and his veteran teammates know that the only way to ease the pain of last season's tourney loss is to come back with a vengeance in 2015-16.
Jameel McKay was a revelation for the Cyclones after becoming eligible midway through last season. It had been a few years since Iowa St had featured a serious rim protector, and McKay filled the bill while also proving to be a devastating option when finishing around the rim. He's a tremendous force on the glass, and posted five double doubles in the team's final 10 games. He is one of the more athletic offense-to-defense big men in the country, and McKay thrives on transition opportunities whether he's blocking a shot or finishing a lob. With a more reliable face-up jumper, McKay could become an even more dangerous scorer. He's already one of the toughest covers in the Big 12 and figures to make life truly difficult for most defenders as a senior. And his presence at the back end of Prohm's defense will continue to be invaluable. In recent years, Iowa St's up-tempo attack and smallish lineups have left them somewhat vulnerable in the paint defensively. While McKay isn't a massive banger, he can cover up dribble penetration by erasing shots.
On the perimeter, the Cyclones lose scoring guard Bryce Dejean-Jones but return a terrific starting duo and two talented newcomers. Monte Morris and Naz Long have been together leading ISU's attack for the past two seasons, and each brings a different but vitally important element. Morris is a classic point guard; he posted 176 assists against just 38 turnovers last year (he's at 310:66 for his career, which is preposterous), made 75% of his foul shots, and spearheads the Cyclone defense with his two steals per game. Morris took a huge step as a scorer last season, and his 11.9 points per game ranked second on the team. He scored in double figures 24 times, and averaged 14.7 points over the team's final 11 games. Morris is rapidly growing into one of the finest point guards in the nation, and could take the next step as an All-American type of player this year. Proud owner of a dangerous three point shot and one of the best nicknames in sports history - Threesus of Nazareth - Long is one of the country's most prolific sharpshooters. He splashed 77 triples a year ago, and knocked down three or more deep shots in a game 13 times last season. Entering his senior year, Long has improved his numbers every season of his career in Ames - as a junior, he became more adept at using his dribble to set up looks when defenders over-committed on his shot fakes. Long is a great weapon to help spread the floor in the Cyclones' multi-threat offense, and well, I'll just leave this here.
The new faces are Hallice Cooke (formerly of Oregon St) and Deonte Burton (who once played for Marquette). While Cyclone fans will have to wait until December to get a look at Burton, he brings huge offensive potential and a powerful dribble drive game. He's a powerfully-built wing scorer who loves to take it towards the goal, and during his transfer year off, Burton has worked on his handle and outside shot. He could well earn a starting spot when he's able to hit the court for the Cyclones, but even if he comes off the bench he should emerge as a key secondary scorer. Cooke is a more well-rounded guard who enters his sophomore year looking to be the team's 6th man. He didn't look out of place on a Beavers team which needed him to score right away as a freshman, and he even made a great 45% of his three point attempts. He's a willing and able playmaker who should fit well as a player whose skillset is somewhere between Moore and Long.
Dustin Hogue is is big loss for the Cyclones, as the graduated forward provided a vital presence defensively, energetically, and on the glass. Abdel Nader, a former Northern Illinois star turned transfer turned bench player, will look to seize a major role before he has to battle Burton for minutes. Nader can do a little bit of everything, but sometimes wasn't a good matchup and he didn't always play a constant role last year. He's got range out to the three point arc, but as an undersized frontcourt player, Nader needs to make far more than 22% of his deep shots. If he can emerge as a more consistent offensive presence, Nader could end up playing a significant role for Prohm's second unit. Rounding out the experienced reserves, Matt Thomas returns for his junior campaign looking to finally prove himself. A touted recruit, Thomas has always carried a reputation as a dangerous outside shooter. And he's got the stroke and the quick release to become a devastating weapon from the outside. So far, though, consistency has eluded Thomas. While the Cyclones have enough shooting, it would be great if Thomas can make better than 33% from deep. That will allow ISU to continue breaking apart defenses from the perimeter even when Long isn't in the game.
Burton and Cooke won't be the only new faces in Ames this year, but they will be by far the most prominent. JuCo guard Jordan Ashton isn't likely to carve out a big role immediately, but he is a strong outside shooter who can handle the ball. Ashton has good size, and with the experience gained in a reserve role this year, he could make a larger impact down the road. Freshmen forwards Simeon Carter and Brady Ernst also come aboard, but it's possible that one or both could redshirt. Carter is long and rangy with good potential on the defensive end. He's athletic and could become a nice reserve big man who can get up and down the court. Ernst is a do-it-all interior player whose recruiting star fell a bit after he suffered a knee injury in high school, but he should develop into a secondary scoring option at worst.
There is nothing not to like about this Iowa St team from a talent and production standpoint. There are shooters, scorers, playmakers, and energetic reserves who will wear down opponents for a full 40 minutes. This team should be highly motivated, having lost the man who brought them together, and having tasted the bitter loss to UAB last season. It's possible that Iowa St will meet UAB early in the upcoming season, at a non-conference tournament. If that scenario plays out, you can bet the Cyclones will be out to make a statement.
Prohm has once again inherited a roster from his predecessor which is ready-made to win big. Even so, the Cyclones' new coach is in a somewhat tricky situation. He is replacing a man who, in just under a decade as a player and coach combined, built a one-of-a-kind legacy at Iowa St, and Prohm's teams must live up to a very high standard. Likewise, Prohm must make this team his own if he is to lead this program forward. That means the Cyclones' new boss will have to walk a fine line between attempting to fix something which isn't broken, and attempting to put his own stamp on what is, now, his team.
If the veterans, newcomers, and new coaching staff can find equilibrium, this season will be very special. It's been 72 years since Iowa St reached the Final Four, but these Cyclones have the kind of aspirations which end in San Antonio.
Iowa St basketball has come to a crossroads. To Cyclone fans, the only proper way to savor the memory of the Mayor's journey would be for the team he built to hang a banner in Hilton Coliseum's rafters. These Cyclones have, on paper, everything you could ask for in a national title contender. If everything comes together, this could be the greatest season in Iowa St basketball history.
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Terker's Top 25: #4 Kentucky

Kentucky Wildcats

Last Year: 27-9 (13-5 in SEC play, conference co-champions), lost to Indiana in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament
Head Coach: John Calipari (8th year)
Projected Starting Lineup
PG De'Aaron Fox - 6'3", 185 Freshman: Consensus Top 10 prospect
SG Malik Monk - 6'4", 191 Freshman: Consensus Top 10 prospect
SF Isiah Briscoe - 6'4", 210 Sophomore: 9.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.1 apg
PF Derek Willis - 6'9", 224 - Senior: 7.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.8 bpg
C Edrice 'Bam' Adebayo - 6'10", 240 Freshman: Consensus Top 10 prospect
Key Bench Players
G Dominique Hawkins - 6'0", 193 Senior: 2.3 ppg, 0.8 rpg, 0.5 apg
G Mychal Mulder - 6'4", 188 Senior: 0.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.3 apg
F Sacha Killeya-Jones - 6'11", 215 Freshman: Consensus Top 25 prospct
F Wenyen Gabriel - 6'11", 210 Freshman: Consensus Top 25 prospect
F Tai Wynyard - 6'10", 238 Freshman: Redshirt 2015-16
C Isaac Humphries - 7'0", 246 Sophomore: 1.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.7 bpg
......................................................................
Kentucky lost eight more games last season than they did two years ago. For most teams, an eight-game dip like that would constitute a major step back. For head coach John Calipari's program, an eight-game dip was still good enough to earn a share of the SEC crown as well as an SEC tourney title.
Most coaches in the country could earn themselves a five-year extension with a 'step back' season such as Calipari just experienced.
The Wildcats are, as always, retooling the roster due to an exodus of extraordinary talent to the NBA Draft. And, as always, Calipari is welcoming one of the most ridiculously star-studded freshman classes imaginable to help fill the gaps in his lineup. Seriously. All five of UK's new recruits are five-star prospects. Change is synonymous with Kentucky as much as with any program in America, but once again Kentucky seems to be changing for the better.
De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk are the crown jewels of Calipari's radiant freshman haul, and the new guard duo is going to lead the way for Kentucky from the word go. Fox is a point guard whose explosive quickness, court vision, and feel for both running offense and controlling tempo have already led to comparisons with former Calipari point guard John Wall. The comparisons have been so frequent and noticeable since Fox signed with Kentucky, that the new point guard was even asked about being compared to NBA star Wall. "I don’t feel like it’s ever bad to be compared to someone like that, it just gives you really high expectations," says the star freshman. Fox has great size, speed and the highly developed two-way game to be a 30+ minute star from the moment he steps onto the court for UK. Calipari sees Fox not only as the right guy to drive the Wildcats' offense, but a spearhead for what could become a very aggressive, pressing defense. With keen instincts along with great hands and feet on defense, Fox is going to be a terrific stopper right away. Fox isn't yet the purest shooter around, but he can get the job done by getting into the lane and creating. As he becomes a more polished offensive player, Fox could emerge as a real superstar because of his ability to affect the game on both ends. Monk projects as a hand-in-glove fit as the off-guard beside Fox. Monk is bigger, longer and bouncier than Fox, and should be on the finishing end of feeds from Fox in transition early and often. Already a mixtape superstar, Monk brings Kentucky stunning natural athleticism. He can soar from seemingly anywhere for a dunk, and Monk is adept at using his dribble to slash inside the paint. Monk can show a physical edge near the rim and is a potentially lethal outside threat. The thing which makes Monk more dangerous than maybe any player in the 2016 class is the fact that opponents must fear both his ferocious jams and pull-up triples on the break. If Monk can show that he's as complete an offensive player as it appears he has become, he could potentially become the best newcomer not just in the SEC, but on any college roster in the nation.
The frontcourt is receiving a hyper injection of talent as well, with three exciting newcomers who will vie for the primary minutes. Bam Adebayo looks like the surest bet to start and should make a huge impact. With prototype NBA size - he stands 6'10", 240 with a 7'2" wingspan - Adebayo is mobile and athletic with a developing offensive skillset. Explosive around the rim and capable of running the court, Adebayo does his best work on the glass at both ends of the court. While he possesses a good feel for quick post-ups and has shown a nice hook shot, Adebayo is undoubtedly at his best when he's using his frame and instincts to hunt rebounds. Adebayo is going to spend a great deal of time at the foul stripe, and he'll need to knock down his freebies. Defensively, Adebayo is a capable rim protector who can cover for mistakes with his quickness, long arms and leaping ability. As his timing and awareness on the defensive end develop, Adebayo could emerge as a huge force at the back end of Kentucky's defense. He'll need to play smart and avoid picking up fouls due to his physical stule, but Adebayo has everything a coach could look for in an instant-impact post player. Joining Adebayo will be forwards Wenyen Gabriel and Sacha Killeya-Jones. Smooth and versatile, Killeya-Jones has the skills of a wing player in a 6'11 frame. After experiencing a growth spurt as a high-schooler, he has gone from a perimeter player into a potentially excellent stretch-4. Having just turned 17 years old in mid-October, Killeya-Jones offers extraordinary potential for growth both as a player and, well, literally. Klleya-Jones has added considerable muscle during the summer and Calipari is excited about his potential as multi-purpose scoring threat. With a good outside jumper, Killeya-Jones can turn defenses inside-out or simply slash to the rim and finish with authority. Gabriel is a lanky scoring forward who can do some of the same things as Killeya-Jones and could potentially play beside him if Calipari wants to go big for stretches. With a good jump shot, ballhandling skills and a nice dribble-drive game, Gabriel looks the part of a complete scoring forward. Gabriel also boasts a developing overall repertoire, as he shows good awareness and playmaking ability on offense. With great size and the potential to play some on the wing, Gabriel has already been compared to lanky, do-it-all NBA wings like Nicolas Batum or Giannis Antetokounmpo. If his potential truly lies on the high end of that spectrum, Gabriel could become an indispensable force for the Wildcats sooner rather than later.
While hype is justified for the new kids in Lexington, Calipari will still expect major contributions from a handful of returning veterans. Isiah Briscoe is an excellent all-around offensive player, and he could be a perfect fit with UK's new guards. Last season, it appeared that Briscoe may be a one-and-done freshman and NBA lottery pick. While he didn't quite validate those expectations, Briscoe still had a very solid debut season. Capable of creating offense for teammates by distributing the ball in the halfcourt or by forcing turnovers and starting the break, Briscoe seems like he'll mesh well with Monk and Fox. Briscoe isn't much of a shooter, and it's that more than anything which kept him from earning top NBA Draft accolades. While his jumper is a work in progress, Briscoe simply has to improve at the foul stripe immediately in order to take advantage of his physical style in the paint. A repeat of Briscoe's 44/14/46% slash line would be a big disappointment, but as a sophomore it's likely that Briscoe will be a more well-rounded offensive player. Best of all, Briscoe's physical defense on the wing should be great when paired with Monk's athleticism and Fox's speed and instincts. Senior big man Derek Willis has earned more playing time in Lexington, and the veteran stretch-4 will look to finish his career as a starter for Kentucky. After developing as a deep reserve for two years, Willis emerged as a nice face-up shooter who could space the floor for Calipari's offense. Willis slashed 48/44/89% from the floor and, with so many distributors around him and more intimidating scorers for the opposition to worry about, Willis should continue to be a really nice changeup for the Wildcat offense. His shooting ability should blend nicely with Adebayo, and if Willis can be an impact defender he could earn enough minutes to average double figures.
Dominique Hawkins is a senior shooter who is looking to finally find consistency and a prominent bench role. Hawkins is small and doesn't boast freakish athletic ability, but he can catch and shoot as well as any backup guard around. The thing is, Hawkins has never been efficient enough to earn a big spot in the rotation. Even so, Hawkins is a savvy player who can expect to play at least 10 minutes per game again -especially if he finally starts knocking down 3's consistently. Isaac Humphries has a chance to play a big role as the team's only true center. The Australian import was a reserve last season and showed good potential as a rim protector and rebounder despite his lack of above-the-rim explosiveness. Humphries lacks a dominant offensive skill, but should carve out a larger role now that he's got a year of experience. With solid hands and developing post moves, Humphries needs only to improve his footwork to take the next step as a player. Mychal Mulder is a senior guard who played sparingly after transferring in from the JuCo ranks a year ago. He has size and a decent feel for the game, but the Canadian guard shot poorly in his limited minutes a year ago and will have to fight for his role this year as well. Redshirt freshman Tai Wynyard is expected to make a real run at playing time up front now that he's eligible. An import from New Zealand, Wynyard is a physical presence in the paint who gets after it at both ends of the court and especially on the glass. The son of a pair of world-champion wood choppers - seriously - Wynyard has a rugged approach to the game, and while he isn't an explosive athlete like Adebayo or Monk, Wynyard projects as a very useful four-year player for UK. If he can stay out of foul trouble, Wynyard will carve out a role immediately with his rebounding and tenacity while the rest of his game develops.
This looks like a classic Calipari Kentucky team. The Wildcats are loaded with a diverse array of elite talents and enough veteran versatility to blend into a Final Four contender. If Fox, Monk and Briscoe mesh immediately, they could comprise the nations best backcourt trio. If Adebayo can play 25+ impact minutes at the 5 while Willis, Gabriel and Killeya-Jones provide opposing defenses with a host of matchup problems, the frontcourt will be a nightmare to game-plan against. This team should be outstanding defensively, because there are outstanding defenders at nearly every position. This team should score at the rim and in transition, but it could be the outside shooting which determines Kentucky's true potential. If Briscoe and Fox knock down jumpers, opponents will have no chance most nights. Once again, Kentucky has its sights set on a national title. It will be hard to keep the Wildcats from attaining that goal if everything comes together.
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Terker's Top 25: #21 Rhode Island

Rhode Island Rams

Last Year: 17-15 (9-9, 7th place in A-10 play), did not participate in a postseason tournament
Head Coach: Dan Hurley (5th year)
Projected Starting Lineup
PG Jarvis Garrett - 6'0", 175 Junior: 12.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.7 apg
SG Jared Terrell - 6'3", 220 Junior: 13.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.6 apg
SF E.C Matthews - 6'5", 210 Junior: 16.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.0 apg in 2015-16
PF Kuran Iverson - 6'9", 217 Senior: 9.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg
C Hassan Martin - 6'7", 232 Senior: 12.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.5 bpg
Key Bench Players
G Stanford Robinson - 6'4", 200 Junior: 3.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.2 apg @ Indiana in 2014-15
G Christion Thompson - 6'4", 190 Sophomore: 3.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.1 apg
F Nikola Akele - 6'7", 211 Sophomore: 2.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 41% 3FG
F Cyril Langevine - 6'7", 225 Freshman: 3-star prospect
F/C Andre Berry - 6'8", 260 Junior: 3.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 68% FG
C Mike Layssard Jr - 6'9", 275 Freshman: Consensus Top 200 prospect
C Michael Tertsea - 6'10", 230 Freshman: 3-star prospect
.................................................................................
Rhode Island may have had its season partially derailed by injury last season, but the Rams are healthy now and loaded. With superstar guard EC Matthews back from a redshirt season and a deep cast of young stars, head coach Dan Hurley has a team that looks like the early favorite to not only win the Atlantic 10 championship, but make Hurley's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. That's on paper.
On the court, the Rams will have to be better overall than they were a year ago. URI started out with a marginal non-conference performance, never really got above .500 in A-10 play, and then suffered an upset loss in the first round of the A-10 tourney to miss out on a postseason invite altogether. Much of that must be attributed to the absence of Matthews, because he was the man - and should re-assume the mantle. It can't be overlooked, though, that the team struggled without him and couldn't defend well enough to gut out some close games. Now that Hurley finally has the star-studded starting lineup he's worked so hard to assemble, though - plus talented newcomers to add quality depth - expectations are huge for this talented team.
Matthews is the picture of a high-major, NBA-style scoring guard. With good size, length, quickness and explosive scoring potential, Matthews returns as one of the leading contenders for A-10 Player of the Year. He will be looking to show improved consistency on his deep jumper after the year off rehabbing the torn ACL in his right knee, but there is nothing Matthews can't do. A capable distributor and slashing, attacking scoring wing, Matthews should be the go-to guy for this veteran team, and he'll keep the offense flowing now that he knows there are talented scorers around him. Jared Terrell and Jarvis Garrett are a contrasting duo at the guard spots. Garrett is a quick and crafty point guard who isn't scared to go get his own shot, and the junior knocked down a much-improved 42% from downtown a year ago. Garrett will look to cut down on turnovers this season and make better decisions on the defensive end as well. When he's at his best, Garrett can manipulate the tempo of a game by himself and get everyone involved on the offense with timely feeds and by creating on the fast break. Terrell is a strong defensive presence on the perimeter, and last year showed a lot more scoring ability to boot. With a developing overall offensive game, Terrell projects as a complete 2-guard and one of the best in the nation now that Matthews is back to take some scoring pressure off of him. Likewise, Terrell can help Garrett initiate some offense, freeing his diminutive partner to get good looks for himself. Each of the URI guards should be better this year because each now presents mismatch potential. Few teams will have the versatility to match up defensively with the Rams' backcourt, and Hurley is counting on that fact to springboard this team into the national spotlight.
Up front, Hassan Martin returns for his senior season as one of the most productive forwards in the conference and easily one of the A-10's most intimidating shot blockers. Martin has struggled at times with turnovers and consistently with foul trouble. When he was on the bench due to fouls last season, it proved too much for the Rams to overcome sometimes without Matthews to rely on. Now that the post depth is improved around Martin, Hurley knows he will have a chance should Martin pick up some early personals - yet he wants 30+ minutes from his veteran star. Martin has some range on his jumper but has always done most of his damage inside. He posted a 57% mark from the field as a junior, and if Martin can knock down more than 61% of his freebies he'll have a chance to be a 15 ppg guy. It's not a sure thing who will start beside Martin, but the options Hurley now has could allow the coach to mix and match lineups or simply play the hot hand. Former JuCo transfer Andre Berry didn't play for a chunk of last season but produced some clutch performances when he did see the floor. He's got the size and rebounding ability to contribute significantly. Freshman Mike Layssard Jr has even more size, plue shot blocking potential and the post-up skills of a player who could become the team's starting pivot as soon as this year. Layssard Jr projects as the star of the frontcourt next season, though, and Hurley is excited to see what the imposing freshman can do on the offensive end. Nigerian import Michael Tertsea is another talented freshman who stands 6'10 with good mobility and defensive instincts. He and Layssard Jr provide Hurley with an intriguing 1-2 duo for the future, but Tertsea may need to prove he's physically ready for high-major competition before he can play major minutes, while Layssard Jr will only rise up the depth chart if he's able to stay out of foul trouble and keep his weight in check. Returning sophomore Nicola Akele is a versatile Italian forward who ended up playing almost 15 minutes per game last year, and he flashed an enticing deep jumper to go with his good size and athleticism at the forward spots. Cyril Langevine has size and skill of his own, but the freshman forward may be road-blocked to start by his classmates and the experience in front of him.
The best bet to fill the fifth starter's role, though, is Kuran Iverson. He is this team's most versatile x-factor and Iverson certainly took enough steps last season to warrant prime minutes. With great length and leaping ability, Iverson is an effective shot blocker and rebounder who can also step out and bury a three if opponents don't respect his jumper. Iverson gives Hurley a great contrast look beside the more paint-oriented Martin, and the duo should prove a nearly impossible cover for many teams on URI's schedule this season. Iverson is part wing, part stretch-4, and if his evolution in and around the painted area continues, Iverson may emerge as a star in his senior season. Hurley will look to a pair of talented guards to provide lineup flexibility and secondary scoring off the bench. Stanford Robinson is newly eligible this season, while Christion Thompson played a role off Hurley's bench last season as a freshman. Robinson is a good all-around guard who can defend, distribute, and score both in transition and halfcourt offenses. A former 4-star recruit at Indiana, Robinson has honed his skills during the year off and is now hungry to live up to his prospect status and carve out a key role. He should provide great depth behind Hurley's top trio at guard, but he'll have to fight off Thompson for the prime minutes. Thompson showed good potential as a freshman, but he needs to be more assertive and improve upon a 36/33/60% slash line. Still, Thompson is fearless and able to guard multiple positions defensively, while adding an aggressive style to the offense when he's on the court.
Rhode Island is a team which must prove itself on the court, but the assemblage of talent Dan Hurley welcomes to fall practice is enough to make the Rams a preseason Top 25 squad. The backcourt is star-studded and the frontcourt had immense potential. This team has more raw talent than anyone in the Atlantic 10 conference, and there is no reason the Rams should not challenge for the league crown and a cushy seed in the NCAA Tournament. Everyone knows about Matthews and Martin by now, but there is so much more to this team. Robinson should be one of the nation's best 6th men, while the young bigs will have a chance to flash their skill while opponents fall over themselves trying to guard Martin and Iverson inside and out. With a clean bill of health, and more consistency on the defensive end, Rhode Island is set to make a return to the national stage in style.
submitted by terker to CollegeBasketball [link] [comments]

Texas A&M Legacy of Failure, Episode VII, Part I: Maybe He'll Finally Shut Up Now

Howdy!!
Previous Episodes;
Episode I,
Episode II,
Episode III,
Episode IV,
Episode V,
and Episode VI.
Well. I’ll keep the intro this time pretty short. This episode is a little different from the rest, in that while sports are still a focus, the meat of this episode has to do with the rot that is growing at an alarming pace at my beloved school. It is also LONG, and it does conclude my 41-page, 18,000 word shitpost. When we last left, A&M was beginning to re-order its priorities further towards money above all else in the form of swelling costs and enrollment numbers. To anyone who wants to take this shitpost and turn it into a video or x-post it somewhere else, you have both my blessing and my encouragement. My whole goal with this script was to reach people with it. Mr. Tree, I'd like to thank you once more for the inspiration to write this, and should you ever want to make a bet, I'm all ears. To the other mods in this shitposting hellhole, I thank you again for tolerating this weekly flood of garbage. It's over now. I'd also like to thank you, the reader, and all the subs in this place, for turning this little slice of Reddit into a genuinely fun place to hang out and learn things I never thought I'd care about. I've learned about lolcows the world over in sports and gaming that I never would have discovered thanks to this place. Thanks BMacky for making this mess. Thanks Selke for sticking around with me when no one was here. Thanks Vette, Notumbre, Felix, and ProjectSaint for helping this place grow, and ribbing me when my teams kick me in the balls. Let's hope the next thousand subs is as good as this thousand.
2010s And here we are. This decade has been one of mistakes and decline for A&M as a whole, and I would wager it has been the worst for A&M since the 1950s. The university is absolutely packed. A&M is one of the 3 biggest universities in the country. The bus system went from bogged down to completely broken. The buses are now so unreliable due to lack of drivers and high demand on the more popular routes that there isn’t really a point to using them. Even among the shortage of drivers, starting pay refuses to rise over $9.75 an hour, there are frustrating hurdles to actually getting hired, and seniors are not allowed to drive. Dorms are filling up to the point where they can’t even house most of the freshmen anymore.
And what is the University’s response? Let’s flood the school with even more students, many of whom are from overseas and don’t give a damn about any of the values and traditions that make A&M different from any other college! And what about the rats in the MSC and the roaches in Sbisa? What about the goddamn lead in the engineering buildings’ water systems? They tested it, declared it lead free in 2015, and then mysteriously shut off the water afterwards for “further testing” in 2016. Long story short, the quality of student life takes a serious hit these years.
In addition, prices for everything – tuition, housing, food, books, you name it – have risen off the charts. While A&M may be affordable compared to private or out-of-state universities, it still takes tens of thousands of dollars of student loans to get anywhere near a degree unless you are rich enough (or your parents are) to buy the education outright or poor enough to get financial aid. A&M’s tone-deaf administrators brag about never having more scholarships than before – which, I will grant, is true -- but when the cost of everything keeps rising and there are thousands more students to compete for the scholarships each year, it isn’t anything more than lip service.
And let’s review some sports for a second here. The first player everyone will think of is Johnny MLG AIRHORN HONK Football. But he is exactly the opposite of what an Aggie is supposed to be: an Aggie should be a man of high repute both on and off the field. It isn’t a requirement by any requirement of the NCAA, but A&M is supposed to be about more than just athletic skill. The dude was an off-field basketcase. He was born to an extremely wealthy family and wasn’t raised right. The warning flags were as red and loud as Kyle Field on gameday. Where do you draw the line, A&M? Is the conduct by this tool acceptable because he generates you shit-tons of money but students selling tickets to former students so that they can pay the goddamn rent, keep the lights on, afford your ever-more frequent tuition hikes, or just get some fucking food money is unacceptable because “muh Aggie values?” Where is the fucking consistency?! And even if you want to make excuses because he did win the Heisman, that still doesn’t explain why we tolerated the cancers at QB that came immediately after Manziel.
And then… oh dear Lord. This stadium rebuild. $450 Million for an increase in 20,000 seats! How many new seats are made for the legendary twelfth man, for the students that yell and stand eternal, making Kyle Field deafening to play in? 36. Fucking 36. THIRTY. SIX. That’s it. Sports passes? They’ve now doubled in cost AND you only get to see half the games! And two of those games will be against some low-rent FCS school that A&M paid to be there! And all the while, the reconstruction of the horrifically overcrowded student Rec center takes years beyond its deadline and almost no real progress is made during the Kyle Field reconstruction project.
And one last thing. Let’s bring up the 100-odd year old elephant carcass in the room -- the rivalry against t.u. I hate the Longhorns. And their greed in insisting upon the Longhorn network is noted in countless other articles, videos, and media across the internet. It isn’t just “lol aggy gonna aggy” when Nebraska, Mizzou, and Colorado tell you to eat shit too. You nearly killed the Big 12, and you need to thank TCU, Oklahoma State, and OU for keeping the Big 12 from turning into the AAC. Truth be told, there are probably Longhorn fans who can sum up the rampant fuckery of their administration far better than I can. And to those of you Longhorn fans that have maybe read this (presumably for the understandable schadenfreude) along the way that believe the rivalry is better off dead, and that Oklahoma was always the one you wanted, let me remind you that it’s not goodbye to OU in that godawful excuse for a fight song you insist on bleating like a bunch of mentally stunted goats. It’s goodbye to A&M. You hate us. You hate us in a different way than OU. You would be sad to see Oklahoma become a punchline because it would deprive you of a solid rivalry. The truth is, your rivalry with OU justifies you, whereas what you want to see A&M do is suffer and collapse to become that funny little maroon punching bag you had back in the 60s. I have got enough Longhorn friends and family to have a decent idea as to what each rivalry means. You want Oklahoma to be a 1-loss team that loses to you. You want A&M to be a 12-loss team that loses to you. And the feeling is very much mutual. The Charlie Strong years were so long-overdue for you. It is high time that you suffer a decade of genuinely crap sports. Not just football. You deserve a good decade of misery in a sports desert, because at least then when you have some success again, you’d have the fanbase intensity that’s gone missing in recent years . Consider that the Strong years were the worst years for Texas football in roughly half a century. And Kansas memes aside, your worst year was still 5-7 in that span. Yet pundits like this chode insist you are one of the longest suffering sports fanbases. Oh yes, 12 years of drought must be so, so difficult. Please.
But I am getting off track. Our administration has been equally as responsible for bitching about the network, and then about unequal revenue sharing. A&M’s administration tried to have their cake and eat it too, and whaddya know, it cost the world of college sports one of the greatest rivalries in the nation. While the overall record is heavily skewed in favor of Texas, it had been more or less even rivalry since the 70s, filled with every kind of craziness on both sides that makes college sports great: victorious triumphs, tragic heartbreakers, seasons spoiled by the underdog, and all sorts of vengeance. Similar to the rise of A&M from backwards military school sliding into irrelevance to one of the biggest public universities in the nation, the rise of this rivalry went from an OU-OKST style rivalry into a fierce and evenly matched competition, in all three major sports and in many others. And our high-ups not only just pulled the plug on it, but refuse to revive the rivalry as it enters rigor mortis. Ask yourselves. Buckeye fans, would you not be outraged with your university if you stopped playing Michigan? Georgia fans, if your administration killed off the Florida rivalry, would you not be livid and demand immediate change? This is a rivalry on that level. What I fear is becoming a university with no clear #1 rival anymore. I fear the fate of Nebraska-Oklahoma. Go back and watch the early 70s or the 1990s matchups of these two gridiron titans. It is criminal to see that rivalry dead (and whaddya know, Longhorn greed was a root symptom there too), and it is criminal to watch this rivalry die. Nebraska has been listless since that rivalry began to die. We have no rival like that in the SEC, unless we want to relegate ourselves to being the Capitals to LSU’s Penguins. No matter what we do, the hate isn’t there in the same way on the other end -- t continue the analogy, the Pens fans have the Flyers. Similarly, LSU is always going to be looking eastward at the end of the day, not toward us, when the hate consumes them. I cannot believe it would have to come to this, but let’s look at the ever-shining beacon of legislative achievement that is the state of Alabama. They have a law that forces Bama and Auburn to play. Governor Abbott, make this happen for the good of the citizens of the state of Texas, and make sure the game is never held in goddamn Jerryworld. I want to go to DKR and get jeered at, and do the exact same when they come to Aggieland.
I could keep ranting about the crap this university has pulled for a while. And I will. But let’s cut to the recent years in A&M sports choking and get it out of the way for the sake of completion. As you might imagine, yeah yeah yeah there is no real success this decade in football, basketball, or baseball, even though ever more obscene amounts of money are pumped into the programs…But the failures, as is longstanding Aggie Tradition, shine brightly and brilliantly. Let’s just get this over with.
2010 Well, the basketball team looks promising. And a strong showing in the Big 12 conference, coming in as the runner up to a perennial powerhouse Jayhawks squad. Let’s go to the Dance as the 5 seed!
First round Way to beat Utah State like you were supposed to. Up next is Purdue. Can you please not choke away this one?
Second Round Let’s go out and win this one for Derrick Roland, boys! (Do not look up this injury if you have a weak stomach…woof) A matchup for the ages against a 4th seed Purdue squad looking to prove itself just like we are.
OT After blowing a 7-point lead in the half, the score is notched at 55. You’re in this somehow with 10 seconds left at 61 apiece. Time for a key defensive stop – WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF DEFENSE IS THAT KRAMER JUST WALTZED IN FROM THE POINT FOR A LAYUP Ok just get down the court and get off a three, there’s still time aaaand…. Off the rim.
Baseball Another 43 win season. What does that even matter at this point.
Regional finals Get assblasted by Miami in the deciding game 10-3!
Football Alright! Up 21-7 at the start of the 2nd half against a good Oklahoma State team and 3-0!
15 minutes later Allow 21 points in one quarter of play and lose 38-35. Lose the next two games until the coaching guys remove their heads from their asses and play Ryan Tannehill. Respond with six straight wins and a resounding victory over Texas and one of the most exciting games in an absolutely bonkers Kyle Field crowd against Nebraska! Enjoy the ensuing Bo Pelini meltdown! Too bad you can’t win the bowl against LSU, but hey it’s not like you’ll have to play them every year or anything! All in all, this is one of the better years in A&M history, and it is STILL riddled with failure when it really counts.
2011 What was that I just said? Yeah nevermind, we’re going to the SEC! Surely we can make the leap from a mediocre Big 12 team to a good SEC team! Much like Mizzou, Nebraska, and Colorado, we mostly got tired of the Longhorns trying to be greedy as hell and put the screws on the rest of the conference. That being said, if we had actually tried putting more effort into funding a Big 12 Network instead of taking our ball and going east like a petulant six year old, maybe a 117-year rivalry wouldn’t have had to die. I want to stab myself for saying this. While the wonderful assholes in burnt orange being their greedy selves had much to do with the split, A&M has handled the split about poorly as possible as discussed at length above, which, honestly… what else would one expect from the A&M admins in the new millenium?
Basketball Another stellar season! Let’s go dancing again! The good news is that you didn’t choke in the 2nd round… because you lost in the 1st to Florida State.
Baseball Well well well. Another 40+ win season, a tie for Big 12 Champs, blah blah blah…
Regionals Meh, you beat Wright State and Seton Hall. Tell me when you beat a real team.
Finals Solid shutout against Arizona. But you’ll just choke in the Super-Regionals…
Super-regionals Holy Shit. A resounding and clutch bounceback win against Florida State! YOU GUYS ACTUALLY MADE IT TO THE CWS AND DIDN’T CHOKE!!! YEEEEEEEEEAAAAHHHHH WE’RE GOING TO OMAHA!!!! I CAN FEEL IT. THIS IS THE YEAR!
CWS first round You couldn’t even win one fucking game. It’s really my fault for buying in at this point.
Football The Big 12 shits on your season as a parting gift. The cherry on top is a knife in the back over what would have been a win over Texas, in what was still a game for the ages. I hope your leg develops gangrene, Justin Tucker. Go fuck yourself.
2012 Due to a tremendous talent loss and a coaching change to Billy Kennedy, the basketball team regresses heavily.
Baseball After a 43-win season, you choke to TCU in the 2nd round of the regionals. Remember that team.
Football New(ish) coach in Kevin Sumlin for $5 million a year. And we have this small dude named Johnny at the helm. A freshman QB and a new, tough-as-nails conference? Jeez, I’d hope for a 5 win season here.
Week 1 The SEC era in Kyle field begins with a tough loss to Florida. But considering how good UF has been and what we are working with, perhaps things won’t be too bad this year.
A few weeks later Wow, a ranking and 5-1! Not half bad! We wiped the floor with Arkansas and beat Ole Miss and LA Tech to boot! We might not be the doormat of the SEC after all!
1 week later Congratulations, you STILL Can’t beat LSU.
November 10, 2012 Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my…no way. We won’t do this. We can’t do this. It won’t happen. MLG AIRHORN MONTAGE OH MY GOD! JOHNNY DID IT! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!!!!
Johnny B. Goode intro
montage of wins over rest of 2012 season including monster revenge win over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, as expectations launch into the stratosphere
2013 Coach Kennedy makes a small improvement to the team, but Aggie hoops has a way to go before it can compete with the best in the SEC.
Baseball Congratulations, you once again fail to get past the regional! This time, get mauled by Oregon State!
Football Oh, what a year this was. Expectations were sky-high. We had Johnny Football. Sure, he’s rapidly becoming an off-field basket case, but the dude was electric! A rising coach, 5 studs on the O-line, and a true star in Mike Evans to bail Johnny out when he made a risky throw. Two easy wins over Rice and Sam Houston State, and fresh into our rematch in Kyle Field with Alabama.
2013_Aggies_Defense.exe not found
Oh come on, not this again! The appalling defense proves too heavy an anchor for Johnny Football to pull behind him and A&M loses to every ranked opponent it plays in the regular season. At least that comeback from 28-10 against Duke was a lot of fun to watch. Johnny Manziel, meanwhile, leaves for the greener pastures of the NFL. Surely he won’t regret this!
Plays 2014 Draft footage, with a visibly disgusted Manziel at he realizes his fate is now to watch his career die in the Factory of Sadness Well then.
2014
Basketball A small improvement in the records again towards the middle of the pack in the SEC. The tough schedule might make the record look suspect, but this team wasn’t too bad.
Baseball Congratulations, you once again fail to get past the regional! But to add insult to injury, its to those God-damn Longhorns in the deciding game!
Football The radioactive off-field issues of Johnny Manziel morph into the radioactive off-field issues of Kenny Hill! We as a fanbase will always be responsible for the travesty that was the nickname “Kenny Trill”, and it is a sin we must carry with us to our graves. But who cares about that?! A&M is 5-0 and ranked 6th overall! This could finally be the --
3 weeks later 59-0. Fifty. Nine. To. NOTHING. Oh, and lose another two out of the last five (including another defeat to LSU) to end the season 8-5.
2015 The Aggies make it to the NIT this year, and improve once more to the SEC, but this program still isn’t all that much of a power player this year.
Baseball
Groundhog day clock After winning 50 games and making it to the super-regionals, don’t just get eliminated in the final game by TCU, but do so in 16 innings to ratchet up the BAS just a little bit more!
Football Pay John Chavis shit-tons of money to fix the defense! Clearly, all Sumlin needs to win is a good Defensive Coordinator. Meanwhile, the radioactive issues of Kenny Hill morph into the radioactive issues of Kyle Allen AND Kyler Murphy! Two locker-room cancers for the price of one at the same position? We can't lose! Wait, there’s some Jalen kid who was born and raised in Houston and really really wanted to be an Aggie? Fuck that scrub, he’ll never make it in college ball!
October All right! We’re ranked 5-0 again and ready to take revenge on Alabama! Final Score: A&M 23, Alabama 20, Kyle Allen -21. Finish the year by losing 5 of 8 and ending up 8-5 again, including ANOTHER painful loss to LSU!
2016 Coach Kennedy has finally put this team into the spotlight! We’re going dancing again, boys!
First round Way to crush Green Bay. Next!
Second Round Well, it looks like we decided to underperform. We’re down 12 against Northern Iowa. Good luck to them, it’ll be fun to watch the cinderella...no way.
No way.
No. FUCKING. WAY!
OH MY GOD HOW THE WHAT THE WE WON WHAT IS THIS THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN TO US OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD WE GOT PAST THE SECOND ROUND!!!! GOODBYE BAS, HELLO SWEET 16!!!!
Sweet 16 Get curbstomped by Oklahoma! Honestly, Northern Fucking Iowa could have done better. We had no business being here, even though we were the 3 seed.
Baseball
Groundhog day clock After winning almost 50 games and making it to the super regionals, again, get eliminated in the final game by TCU….AGAIN.
Football Pay Noel Mazzone shit tons of money to fix the offense! Clearly, all Sumlin needs to win is a good Offensive Coordinator. And holy Shit. You guys actually have a non-cancerous Quarterback in Trevor Knight AND you are 6-0 AND you are (somehow) ranked #4?! Let’s see how the bed gets shat in THIS year!
December Lose five of the last seven and get whatever specks of dignity left on this joke of a team destroyed by LSU and Kansas State!
2017 Regress heavily back into the swamps of basketball mediocrity!
Baseball
Breaks Groundhog day clock This time you don’t choke in the Super Regionals! You’re going to the College World Series Aggies! WHOOP!!!
Ghosts of Groundhog day clocks layered over one another Get eliminated immediately by WHADDYA KNOW, THE FUCKING HORNED FROGS! AAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!
Football Ok, put up or shut up, Kevin Sumlin. It’s been 4 years since Manziel magic and your team is incapable of maintaining a good show through the 2nd half of the season.
Week 1 Well, you know what! I guess I was wrong! You’re actually running the football, Mazzone has decided not to become a Spav carbon copy, AND the defense looks unstoppable! Oh but my BAS is raging something fierce! Surely A&M can’t fuck up THIS badly!
2nd half Wait. Why are you not running the ball. Why the fuck are you not – what the fuck. WHAT. THE. FUCK! GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA rips A&M shirt off body and into shreds and punches wall. No really, this is actually something I did AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH FUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRK!!!!!!
YOU BLEW A 34 POINT LEAD! A 34. Point. Lead. Even the likes of Andy Reid, the 2017 Atlanta Falcons, and the 1993 Houston Oilers bask in the awe of this utter failure in clock management! And to think that after Hurricane Harvey, and after the other Texas teams performing like flaming excrement, A&M could finally shine once more! This choke job is so bad that UCLA had over a 99.5% chance of losing with FOUR MINUTES TO GO. And we, the fans, paid Sumlin $5,000,000 a year to enjoy the privilege of him looking like a deer in the headlights whenever things don’t go perfectly!
Oh, and to add insult to injury, how is that Kenny Trill guy doing? Oh, he got his head out of his ass and is pillaging Charmin-soft Big 12 defenses? Wonderful. And that Jalen guy Kevin passed on for two QBs that aren’t on the roster anymore? Killing it in Alabama you say? Just fucking dandy.
I have to be honest here. I was in the CFB sub talking with other people watching the game. When we went up 44-10, I said “How will we fuck this one up?”. Three letters to live by, people: B.A.S.
2018 While it’s still awfully early, the basketball team has managed to plummet from #5 in the country to a 6-9 conference record in a matter of weeks. While it looks like they’re now bouncing back, do I have any confidence in them to get anywhere close to new ground in the Dance? C’mon. I await the new and fascinating way in which A&M will let me down this time. I had to post this here because fuck it, let’s stack one last example on the platter.
Oh Christ. Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME. $75 Million GUARANTEED to Jimbo. Way to not learn anything at all from the Jackie Sherrill years, A&M. Oh well. He’s brought in a good recruit haul so far and really, a nine-win season would be eno-
A&M Chancellor John Sharp Presents Jimbo Fisher with a National Championship Trophy dated 20--
I bury my face into my palms and exhale, rubbing my eyes and giving into BAS once more
Chancellor Sharp... Are you that ignorant of our history?! CHAMPIONS 20--?!?! ARE YOU NOT AWARE THAT IT HAS BEEN ALMOST 80 FUCKING YEARS SINCE OUR LAST TITLE? WHY WOULD YOU TEMPT FATE LIKE THIS? HOW IS YOUR HEAD THIS FAR UP YOUR OWN ASS? AND THEN WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF MESSAGE IS IT WHEN INSTEAD OF JUST CELEBRATING A&M-COMMERCE’S NATIONAL TITLE IN D2 AND GIVING THEM THEIR YEAR IN THE SUN, YOU THROW A&M-COMMERCE UNDER THE BUS BY GIVING JIMBO THE EXACT SAME TROPHY FOR DOING LITERALLY FUCKALL?!?! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?! WHAT POSSIBLE GOOD DID YOU THINK THIS WOULD DO? WAY TO MAKE US LOOK LIKE ARROGANT ASSHOLES TO THE NATION, SHARP. WAY TO GO.
Whew. The Aggies put my beloved Nationals and Capitals to shame in terms of disappointment. How on earth do we still have faith in Aggie sports through excruciating loss after excruciating loss? What else is there to say? Here. Let’s let the numbers show the final results!
Basketball:
NCAA Tourney 1st Round: 8-4
NCAA Tourney 2nd Round: 2-4
NCAA Sweet 16: 0-6
Football:
Seasons ranked 15 or higher that ended with 4 or more losses in the 2nd half of the season: 13
Overall record against Texas: 37-76
Overall record against LSU: 20-33
Overall record against Alabama: 2-5
Overall record against Oklahoma: 12-19
NCAA banhammer years: 6
Baseball:
Conference Championships: 22
Qualified for Tournament: 33
Regionals tourney record: 11-22
Super-Regionals tourney record: 3-5
College World Series tourney record: 0-6
College World Series games winning %: 0.143

Total number of cumulative seasons since last Big 3 sports championship: 232.

Furk.
CONTINUED
EDIT: 0-6. FUCKING 0-6.
submitted by TxAg70 to UrinatingTree [link] [comments]

Terker's Top 25: #2 Oregon

Oregon Ducks

Last year: 31-7 (14-4 in Pac 12 play, Conference Champions), won Pac 12 conference tourney, defeated by Oklahoma in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament
Head Coach: Dana Altman (7th year)
Projected Starting Lineup
PG Dylan Ennis - 6'2", 190 Senior: 9.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.5 apg
SG Tyler Dorsey - 6'4", 187 Sophomore: 13.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.0 apg
SF Dillon Brooks - 6'7", 225 Junior: 16.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.1 apg
PF Chris Boucher - 6'10", 204 Senior: 12.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.9 bog
C Jordan Bell - 6'9", 225 Junior: 7.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.8 big
Key Bench Players
G Casey Benson - 6'3", 185 Junior: 6.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.1 apg
G Payton Pritchard - 6'2", 196 Freshman: Consensus Top 50 prospect
F Kevin Smith - 6'7", 202 Freshman: Consensus Top 100 prospect
F/C Kavell Bigby-Williams - 6'10", 245 Junior: 16.8 ppg, 13.6 rpg, 5.9 bpg
F/C Michael Cage Jr - 6'10", 220 Freshman: Consensus Top 100 prospect
.........................................................................
My my, what will these Ducks do for an encore? A year ago, Oregon dominated the Pac 12, winning the conference regular season title before sweeping the field for the league's tourney crown. The Ducks earned a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2007. It was a magnificent season.
Accordingly, opponents should be very, very intimidated by the Ducks: head coach Dana Altman returns six of the top eight players from last season's team. Oh, and Oregon is welcoming a trio of touted freshmen. Oh, and one of the most ballyhooed JuCo transfers in the nation. Oh, and a 6th-year transfer who starter for two years on a high-major contender. Just what will these Ducks do for an encore?
Dillon Brooks is the household name in Eugene, and he returns after considering a leap to the NBA following his sophomore season. Now that Brooks is back, he's the odds on favorite for Pac 12 Player of the Year and a good bet to make the All-American team. Brooks is a strong and versatile scoring wing who can get his shot at any time from just about anywhere on the floor. When matched against smaller players, Brooks bullies them inside the arc. When matched against bigger players, Brooks drops jumpers and then drives to the rack for a basket or foul, or both. He's one of the nation's premiere returning scorers, and if Brooks can add a more consistent 3 ball to his repertoire, he will become virtually unguardable. Not to be overlooked, though, is sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey. A 5-star prospect entering his freshman season, Dorsey fully validated the hype by scoring 15+ in a game 14 times last year and slashing 44/41/71% with a team-high 67 triples. Like Brooks, Dorsey explored his NBA options this spring but ultimately decided to return to Eugene, also. With Dorsey and Brooks leading the charge, Oregon is one of the nations most dangerous offensive teams because virtually no backcourt can boast two defenders capable of matching the contrasting skills of Oregon's high-scoring duo. And yet that is really only the beginning of the problems Altman's team will cause opponents.
The Oregon backcourt is getting a big veteran upgrade now that former Villanova starter Dylan Ennis has been granted a 6th season of eligibility. Ennis has taken a long road to Oregon; the Canadian point guard originally played at Rice, then transferred to Jay Wright's Wildcats. There, he played a variety of roles on a couple of excellent teams. Following his transfer to Oregon, a foot injury kept Ennis out for virtually the entire season last year. With a medical hardship granted, the Ducks now have one of the most experienced point men in the country to help orchestrate the attack. Ennis isn't a star; his career slash line of 41/34/67% and averages of 7.8 points and 3.1 helpers is nothing to make the opposition quake in their boots. And yet Ennis has invaluable experience, shot-making ability, and the handle to keep things steady no matter what type of defense the Ducks may face. He should fit seamlessly as a part of Oregon's rotation, distributing quality looks to the main scorers while keeping defenses honest with his own buckets. Casey Benson, last year's point guard, will not fade quietly into some backup role, however. A year removed from captaining the Ducks to their double Pac 12 title and deep tourney run, Benson has experience and savvy of his own. Benson has never been a dangerous offensive player, but his outside shot improved during his sophomore season. Benson also posted a spectacular 117:24 assist to turnover ratio. Between them, in fact, Benson and Ennis have combined to dish out 510 assists against just 233 turnovers in their career. There will surely be constant competition for prime minutes between these veteran guards, and Altman should rest easy at night knowing he has arguably the most battle-tested and steady duo in America leading his offense. It's borderline overkill that Oregon is welcoming one of the top point guard recruits in the nation, with the addition of freshman Payton Pritchard. A home-grown prospect from West Linn, Oregon, Pritchard is a polished lead guard who can handle the ball, run an offense at various tempos, and knock down jumpers all over the court. A solidly-built guard, Pritchard makes good decisions but sometimes over-dribbles and turns it over inside, but he's going to have the chance to develop for a year behind two great teachers. Pritchard's shooting ability should make him an instant upgrade to Altman's bench, and the freshman should push for more and more minutes as he gains experience.
It's a shame that Oregon doesn't have a traditional big man. Altman's team just settles for a pair of super-freaks with contrasting skills which combine to confusticate opponents near their wits' end. Chris Boucher is a former JuCo import from Canada who was also granted an extra year of eligibility for this season. A 6'10 three point threat, Boucher is also one of the nation's best shot blockers. The versatile Quebecois became a dangerous scorer early on in his Oregon career, helping to stretch defenses. It's no easy task for opponents to find a wing who can contend with the physicality of Brooks and a big with the athleticism and footwork to hang with Boucher on the perimeter. Now that Boucher has experience against the physicality of high-major college ball plus a summer of strength training under his belt, expect the senior forward to operate more effectively inside the paint. If he can take the next step offensively, Boucher will have a chance at serious postseason hardware of his own. Jordan Bell returns for his third year as a starter, and he's a defensive dynamo next to Boucher. Bell is most at home in the paint, anchoring Oregon's defense and finishing good looks from his teammates with considerable abandon. Bell has been taking small steps offensively since his arrival on campus, and this year hopes to make opponents respect his jumper. While Bell is the proud owner of a career 58% mark from the field, his attempts mostly come from very close to the rim, and his 52% career mark at the foul stripe must improve for Bell to take advantage of his improving offensive game. Both Bell and Boucher are fantastic, long-armed and athletic defenders and rim protectors, but the duo must stay out of foul trouble. Last season, Bell and Boucher combined to average 5.4 fouls per game, and one or the other exited a game prematurely six times. Altman's team is fantastically deep, but no coach can afford to see two such impactful players on the bench consistently.
This year's JuCo import, Kavell Bigby-Williams, is more of the classic high-major big man which Oregon has lacked in recent seasons. Williams posted dominant numbers last season at the lower level, averaging 16.8 points, 13.6 boards and an absurd 5.9 blocks per game. It's possible that the Ducks are going to make a run at the NCAA's all-time blocked shots record for a season this year; in 2015-16, Oregon finished 2nd in the nation with 221 total blocks. Bigby-Williams will face stiff competition for minutes, but if the veterans get in foul trouble or he really hits the ground running, the new big man could carve out a significant role early on. Michael 'MJ' Cage Jr is hoping to follow in his father's footsteps. Cage Sr was an All-American at San Diego St, and starred as a dominant rebounder for 14 years in the NBA. Cage Jr will have some time develop at Oregon before following in those footsteps, but Altman's prize new big man has the talent to play right now. Ranked as a Top 50 prospect by some services, Cage Jr played for California powerhouse Mater Dei prep and has a good idea of how to impact a game at both ends of the court. He boasts real high-major athleticism with good hands, scoring instincts and increasing range on his jumper. If Cage Jr can avoid foul trouble and defend at a high level, he could play a lot. The third freshman coming aboard this season is Keith Smith. A lanky, versatile forward with bouncy athleticism, Smith is another prospect from a West Coast prep powerhouse - this time Rainier Beach in Seattle. Smith has been rated a 4-star prospect by some sources, and he'll get to play a bench role this year before likely taking over on the wing if Brooks moves on after his junior year.
Yes, Oregon is loaded. There are shooters, scorers, and shot-swatters all over this roster. There is veteran experience, young talent, grit and athleticism and more than a little been-there-before savvy. This Ducks team already accomplished nearly every goal a team can set, last season. Now, the newcomers and the newly-eligible players are hungry for a taste of that success. And more. This Ducks team has every right to consider a national championship as their true aspiration. Last season's run was fun, but this team is out to make its mark in even more emphatic fashion.
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Terker's Top 25 Previews: #9 Wichita St Shockers

Wichita St Shockers
2014-15: 30-5 (17-1 in Missouri Valley play, regular season conference champs), lost to Notre Dame in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament
Head Coach: Gregg Marshall (9th year)
Projected Starting Lineup
PG Fred Van Vleet - 5'11", 195 Senior: 13.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.2 apg
SG Ron Baker - 6'4", 217 Senior: 14.5 ppg, 4.5 ppg, 2.5 apg
SF Evan Wessel - 6'5", 221 Senior: 4.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.8 spg
PF Rashard Kelly - 6'7", 232 Sophomore: 2.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.4 spg
C Anton Grady - 6'8", 240 Senior: 14.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.4 bpg @ Cleveland St
Key Bench Players
G/F Zach Brown - 6'6", 205 Sophomore: 3.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.4 bpg
F/C Shaq Morris - 6'7", 258 Sophomore: 4.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.8 bpg
C Rauno Nurger - 6'10", 242 Sophomore: 2.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.4 bpg
C Bush Wamukota - 6'11", 234 Senior: 1.1 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 46% FG
Key Newcomers
G Connor Frankamp - 6'1", 175 Sophomore: 2.5 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 0.6 apg @ Kansas in 2013-14
G Tyrone Taylor II - 6'1", 165 Freshman: Consensus Top 250 prospect
G Landry Shamet - 6'4", 185 Freshman: Consensus Top 150 prospect
F Markis McDuffie - 6'8", 190 Freshman: Consensus Top 150 prospect
F Eric Hamilton - 6'9", 220 Freshman: Consensus Top 300 prospect
...................................................................................
Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday have saddled up for one last epic ride, and they've won the gunfight against their fearsome and more numerous foes... Or wait, that's not exactly right. But there's still a great story unfolding out on the high plains.
At Wichita St, senior All-Americans Ron Baker and Fred Van Vleet have decided to put off their NBA dreams for one more season. Soon after their Sweet 16 run last season ended, the veteran duo announced their joint intention to play one more season with the Shockers, and chase one more deep tourney run. Then, their coach, Gregg Marshall, spurned reportedly lavish offers from high major schools so that he could return to pursue another Final Four with his outstanding guards. Yes, for one more season, this famous posse is riding together - and they've got legendary goals in mind.
Following their miracle run to the National Semifinals in 2013, Van Vleet, Baker and Marshall carved their names alongside Ralph Miller, Antoine Carr, Xavier McDaniel and Cliff Levinson in the Shocker pantheon. Last year's victory in a winner-take-all showdown in the NCAA Tournament against Kansas served to further endear the trio to the hearts of the Wichita St faithful. Yet, this team remains hungry for more: and they've loaded up accordingly. Make no mistake; it's Final Four or bust for Wichita St in 2015-16, and no smart person is going to bet against these Shockers.
Baker and Van Vleet are complete guards; both handle well, distribute well, shoot it from deep, put the ball on the floor, get to the foul line, and check their man on the other end. They've been through all the rigors of March, and proven their mettle in ways that many players only get to dream of. By themselves, these two guards would be enough to make Wichita St a threat to advance deep in March. In a perfect world, they would have someone to hurt opponents inside and free up Baker and Van Vleet outside. Maybe a transfer. Maybe a 6'8" banger who could score. Maybe someone like Gabe Blair (6'8" transfer), or Carl Hall (6'8" transfer) or Cleanthony Early (6'8" transfer) or Darius Carter (6'8" transefer) to fill the frontcourt void for this otherwise-elite team.
Turns out, Anton Grady's your huckleberry. That's just his game.
The former Cleveland St big man has averaged 11.3 points, 7 boards, and 1.2 blocks on 50% shooting in his collegiate career. Last year, he posted career-high averages of 14.3 points, 7.9 boards, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. He notched a dozen double-doubles. He got to the foul stripe almost five times per game. And he's decided to transfer out West and play his final collegiate season at Wichita St. With that resume, he's just what the Shockers need to balance out their guards and help lead a strong cast of supporting players. Grady just needs to do a better job of avoiding turnovers and especially foul trouble in order to make the jump from Horizon League to Top 10 contender. Luckily, he's had the summer to grow comfortable in his new digs, and will be able to use the MVC conference season to truly establish his role in the offense.
Joining Grady up front will be tough-minded forward Rashard Kelly, sweet-shooting center Rauno Nurger and powerful post scorer Shaquille Morris. The addition of Grady is perfect for not just WSU's guards, but for the young big men as well. Kelly figures to start at the 4, and has a year of banging against bigger players under his belt now. A solid rebounder and feisty defender, Kelly can score around the basket but needs to work on his jump shot - even so, he canned 4 of his 9 three-point attempts as a freshman. Likewise, Nurger can step out to the 3pt arc and hit shots. He's got to add strength but is being groomed as Marshall's center of the future. With a good feel on the offensive end, Nurger could give the team a look up front that it hasn't seen since Garrett Stutz graduated. And Morris, a potential star as soon as this year, will get to be the first big man off the bench - a role that should be perfect for him at this stage of his career. A big presence both on the court and in the locker room, Shaq Morris is the Young Aristotle of this Shockers squad. He continues to get in better shape, and last year saw the benefits of a redshirt season. As a freshman, Morris posted averages to 5.4 points, 3 boards and 1.1 blocks over the team's final 22 games: those 22 games included the MVC regular season, conference tourney and postseason. If Marshall uses Morris off the bench, he can bring a serious low-post scoring threat to Wichita St's second unit, and should present a real mismatch against opponents on a nightly basis. Morris is developing a comfort level operating with his back to the basket, and projects as a poor man's type of DaJuan Blair. With explosive quickness inside and a 7-foot wingspan to compensate for less-than-ideal height, Morris is a potential star going forward. Rounding out the depth inside is deep reserve Bush Wamukota, who played in 32 games last year but never really carved out a significant role. He's the tallest player on the roster, and Wamukota can run the floor and get on the boards. He didn't make a smooth transition from JuCo last season, though, and committed a foul every six minutes he was on the floor. If Wamukota can defend more efficiently this season, he could double his minutes.
As if that frontcourt trio of Morris, Grady and Kelly plus the two sharpshooting guards wasn't enough, Marshall adds a further pair of potential high-impact guards in transfers Connor Frankamp and Peyton Allen. Frankamp, a former 4-star recruit who defected from Kansas, has to feel that much better about his decision after last season's NCAA clash of Sunflower State squads. He brings a reputation as a strong shooter, but never seemed to fit into the rotation at Kansas. With the Shockers, Frankamp should begin his career as a scorer off the bench. He also has something extra to prove right away, following an offseason DUI arrest. If everything goes according to plan for Frankamp now that he's more established, he should provide a great lift - along with Morris - for Marshall's second unit. Allen had a promising first year at Texas A&M, and he'll help to replace Van Vleet and Bakers' production next year. Unfortunately, he's got to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules.
That's not all Marshall has, though - oh no. The Shockers also return a prototype glue guy in swingman Evan Wessel. A former touted recruit, Wessel has seen injury and a changing roster limit his opportunities somewhat at Wichita St. Rather than transfer or complain, though, Wessel has transformed into a defensive pest, heady ballhandler and high-energy leader who does whatever his team needs from him on a given night. The Wichita native posted career highs virtually across the board last year, and dropped 12 points (on four triples) and 9 boards on Kansas in the NCAA tournament. With good size and all the experience he's gained, Wessel figures to fill a valuable role once more. No matter how much talent the Shockers add around him, Wessel has proven to be a steady and versatile presence, and he's a guy who Van Vleet, Baker, and most importantly Marshall, can trust. Additional depth on the wing is provided by Zach Brown. In just over 10 minutes per game as a frehsman, Brown proved to have solid potential. He posted great percentages; 52% from the floor, 72% from the foul stripe and 42% from 3, in his limited playing time. With a full offseason to get stronger and better, Brown could push for even more minutes. At worst, his presence on the wing gives Marshall a solid 5-man second unit. With Frankamp handling the ball and knocking down shots, one of the freshman wings, Brown as a scoring threat, Nurger spacing the floor and Shaq Morris operating under the basket, Wichita St has the depth to deliver knockout blows after the stars push opponents onto the ropes.
And since, apparently, all of that still isn't enough for Marshall, the Shockers are welcoming a strong crop of four talented freshmen who play four different positions. One of the most touted youngster is bouncy 6'7" forward Markis McDuffie. A star prospect out of New Jersey prep powerhouse St Anthony's, McDuffie turned down SMU, Maryland and VCU to play out on the prairie. Landry Shamet is a scoring guard who committed to the Shockers over offers from virtually every high major team in the midsection of the country. Eric Hamilton is a versatile power forward out of Georgia by way of Sunrise prep in Wichita, continuing Marshall's strong ties to that school. And Tyron Taylor is a 3-star combo guard from the prestigious Hargrave Academy in Virginia, who chose Wichita St over Texas. Competition for minutes behind this team's stars will be absolutely fierce, and the future will be bright going forward with the potential that as many as five underclassmen will make up Marshall's 10-man rotation.
There is little more than really needs to be said about the Shockers: they are a fantastic, deep, experienced and well-rounded college basketball team. They've been to the NCAA Tournament four years in a row, and have won 7 tourney games in those four seasons. They have won 'the Big Game' virtually every time they've earned the opportunity to play in it, against whoever you like. They've won three consecutive conference titles, and they have two All-Americans and consummate star senior leaders in Van Vleet and Baker.
Gregg Marshall has established Wichita St as a legitimate national powerhouse, and with so many talented underclassmen on this team, the success will not simply end once Van Vleet and Baker go on to become 1st Round NBA Draft picks.
Marshall and his outstanding players have built a foundation that will last, and they want this season to be their masterpiece which resoundingly affirms all of the work they've put in making Wichita St great. Another Final Four is not just a dream or a goal for these Shockers: they have all the ingredients necessary to reach the top of the mountain once again.
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College Basketball Picks - YouTube How to Bet on Baseball and Win (MLB Betting Tips - Baseball Handicapping) The Sports Keg - KegCast #29 (LIVE Betting the NCAA Tourney + more) OddsShark Live - NCAA Basketball March Madness Special College Basketball Picks & Tips - YouTube

NCAA college basketball odds, point spreads, and betting lines (ATS, over under, money lines) updated multiple times daily. NCAA Tournament 2015: Full Betting Odds For March Madness. By Greg Price @GP_IBTimes 03/16/15 AT 10:39 AM. Willie Cauley-Stein, left, and the Kentucky Wildcats are huge favorites to win the 2015 NCAA Tournament odds: Round of 64 betting lines, trends, underdogs A look at some of the odds, trends, and biggest underdogs in the NCAA Tournament's Round of 64. By OddsShark Mar 18, 2015, 7:00am EDT In the 2015 NCAA Tournament we are definitely surveying the handicapping landscape laid out by the first set of circumstances. Ever since the Kentucky Wildcats, who entered the 2014 Tournament as an 8th seed, walked off the court of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas as 60-54 losers in the title game to Connecticut last April, John Calipari’s Odds to win 2015 NCAA D1 Men's Ice Hockey - Northeast Regional Boston University +155 Minnesota +175 Minnesota Duluth +200 Yale +750 . Odds to win 2015 NCAA D1 Men's Ice Hockey - West Regional North Dakota -190 Michigan Tech +260 St. Cloud State +500 Quinnipiac +800

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College Basketball Picks - YouTube

Sports Betting Tips: Direct from the WagerTalk TV Studios in Las Vegas host Kelly Stewart talks with sports betting experts Adam Burke and Bryan Leonard who share some of their personal Baseball ... In the wake of selection Sunday, Andrew Avery talks to Jonny OddsShark about some of the early lines you’re going to want to keep an eye on and Jonny’s also got some great tips for you heading ... Jonny OddsShark and Andrew Avery take a look at two good value bets near the top at the of 2019 NCAA Tournament oddsboard and then a pair a bit further down that have a good chance to do some damage. March Madness Betting Tips and How to Make Money Betting the NCAA Basketball Tournament - Duration: 6:39. WagerTalk TV: Sports Picks and Betting Tips 4,736 views. 6:39. March Madness Betting Tips: Direct from the WagerTalk TV Studios in Las Vegas host Marco D’Angelo talks with sports betting experts Teddy Covers and Ralph Michaels on how to make money betting ...