Sunday, November 05, 2006

2006-2007 NCAA Preview

I grew up playing basketball, listening to basketball, watching basketball, eating basketball, sleeping basketball, breathing basketball. It is, without question, my favorite sport. It helped that I really started following sports during the glory days of Michael Jordan and the NBA. I also remember the great memories of watching college basketball. The O'Bannon brothers at UCLA. Miles Simon, Mike Dickerson, and Mike Bibby at Arizona. The Runnin' Rebels of UNLV. The great Duke and UNC rivalries. And the emergence of Gonzaga and the other lovable Mid-Majors. Needless to say, my favorite month of the year is March. Not only do I get March Madness, but Spring Break and St. Patrick's Day as well. And skirt day occasionally falls in March if we're lucky. Guys know what I'm talking about.

Being at a college that grew into a legitimate program while I was there was something I really enjoyed. I saw the senior season of Troy Bell, who became Boston College's all-time leading scorer. That season, Craig Smith had an outstanding freshman season, and eventually became arguably the best power forward in the Big East. Jared Dudley showed up. So did the Sean Williams Block Party. And the program is on the rise, after moving to the basketball superconference of the ACC. It was awesome to be in a collegiate environment like that. I took classes with Craig Smith. Lou Hinnant would go out of his way to say "What up." I shot hoops in the Plex on the same court as Coach Al Skinner.
One of my favorite things about college basketball is following those players once they reach the pros.

I am a Seattle Supersonics fan, and always will be (unless they move to Oklahoma City, then I don't know what I will do). But I follow other teams depending on the players they have. I followed Golden State for a couple years, and now Washington because of Gilbert Arenas, who I loved at Arizona. The same goes for the Knicks and now the Trailblazers because of Nate Robinson and Brandon Roy, who both played at Washington. Kevin Garnett, who is one of my favorite players, didn't attend college... but I was a huge fan of two of his teammates while they were in college: Craig Smith (BC) and Randy Foye (Villanova), both rookies. The Clippers are emerging as one of my favorite teams, due in part to some players I liked in college, including Elton Brand (Duke), Cuttino Mobley (URI), Tim Thomas (Villanova), Chris Kaman (Central Michigan), and Corey Maggette (Duke). And would I really care about the Charlotte Bobcats? If they didn't have Adam Morrison (Gonzaga), I wouldn't. This is one of the reasons I love watching the NBA Draft so much. You better believe that I'm going to go to MSG in June for it this year. One of the perks to living in the city that's so nice, they had to name it twice.

Anyway, onto my preview for the 2006-2007 NBA preview, starting with the RoundyRankings:
  1. Florida
  2. North Carolina
  3. Ohio State
  4. Kansas
  5. UCLA
  6. LSU
  7. Pittsburgh
  8. Georgetown
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Duke
  11. Arizona
  12. Texas A&M
  13. Boston College
  14. Washington
  15. Alabama
  16. Memphis
  17. Georgia Tech
  18. Connecticut
  19. Texas
  20. Kentucky
  21. Syracuse
  22. Marquette
  23. Tennessee
  24. Louisville
  25. Gonzaga
Roundy Award for the Best Player in the Nation
Glen Davis, Senior F/C, LSU

First Team All-Roundy

PG: Mustafa Shakur, Arizona
SG: Brandon Rush, Kansas

SF: Jared Dudley, Boston College
PF: Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina

C: Glen Davis, LSU

Second Team All-Roundy

PG: Dominic James, Marquette

SG: Rodney Stuckey, Eastern Washington

SF: Alando Tucker, Wisconsin

PF: Joakim Noah, Florida

C: Greg Oden, Ohio State

All-Breakout Team

PG: Tyrese Rice, Sophomore, Boston College

SG: Jeremy Hunt, Senior, Memphis

SF: Pierre-Marie Altidor-Cespedes, Junior, Gonzaga

PF: Jon Brockman, Sophomore, Washington

C: Josh McRoberts, Sophomore, Duke

All-Freshman Team

PG: Tywon Lawson, North Carolina

SG: Daequan Cook, Ohio State

SF: Chase Budinger, Arizona

PF: Spencer Hawes, Washington

C: Greg Oden, Ohio State

Freshman of the Year

Greg Oden, C, Ohio State

Defensive Player of the Year

Sean Williams, Jr. F/C, Boston College

Coach of the Year

Thad Matta, Ohio State

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