Posted August 12, 2013

2013 Twitter-style State of the College Basketball union

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With Sean Kilpatrick back in action, can Cincinnati make a splash in the new American Athletic? (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

With Sean Kilpatrick back in action, can Cincinnati make a splash in the new American Athletic? (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Admit it. You’ve been obsessively prepping for last night’s season debut of Breaking Bad. Or brushing up on your English soccer knowledge ahead of Saturday’s season kickoff. Or, heaven forbid, you’ve been watching baseball. Whatever your sports or pop culture interest, it’s likely you haven’t been spending your summer priming yourself for November college basketball.

That’s where we come in.

It’s time for the third-annual Twitter-style State of the College Hoops union. In 140 characters (or less) per team, you’ll quickly be caught up on the most interesting news and team situations from around the nation. Water cooler convos about Walter White? Quickly counter with Aaron White. Trust me, you’ll sound very cool … at least in Iowa City.
(Teams listed in alphabetical order.)

Arizona
Frontcourt talent/size galore. D should be sick. But if T.J. McConnell has to be a pass-first PG and primary shooter, will that work on O?

Arizona State
Zona hype will overshadow surging Sun Devils, who will look to drive their Carson at great speeds. PSU transfer Jermaine Marshall will help.

Baylor
A decade ago, the Bears were banned from nonleague games. Now a “down year” may be 4th in B12. Cory Jefferson will be a highlight staple.

Boise State
Broncos arrived earlier than expected, but how much upside is left? BSU at UK is must-watch. Can Cat frosh track floor-spacing snipers?

Boston College
Stevie D’s steady build worked at Cornell, and it’s starting to simmer in Chestnut Hill. Young team maturing w/ Hanlan/Anderson 1-2 punch.

Butler (Atlantic 10 to Big East)
No more Brad Stevens. No more mid-major label. New coach + BEast + huge TV $$ influx makes this a program to watch and discuss for years.

California
Allen Crabbe a Ewing Theory candidate? Jabari Bird comes in to fill his void and Golden Bears very well could be better this year.

Cincinnati (Big East to American Athletic)
Sean Kilpatrick is back and about 800 shots are available thx to last season’s departures. Hmm. Move to AAC should help very young team.

Colorado
Given program’s history, last season was terrific. Given the Buffs’ talent, it was a bit disappointing. If chemistry gets right, look out.

Connecticut (Big East to American Athletic)
Maybe D-I’s best backcourt trio and a massive chip after last season’s APR-fueled NCAA ban. Should be best program in new league going fwd.

Creighton (Missouri Valley to Big East)
Now HMs can’t avoid the Link. Huge year for the program, with Doug McD (and much more) back. Big season gets recruiting momentum rolling.

Denver (WAC to Summit)
3 reasons: 1) I’m a homer. 2) First legit test for Harvard (in Alaska). 3) Summit move creates H-and-H w/ WIU — 2 slowest teams in D-I.

Duke
Blue Devils’ revamped frontcourt will be driving plenty with the Hood open and a parallel Parker. And probably less erratically than P.J.

Florida
Clearest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC, the Gators (despite personnel losses) have the talent to make a run at (at least) a fourth straight E8.

Georgetown
The behind-the-scenes heavyweight in the new Big East, will the Hoyas be that on the court? Double-digit NCAA seeds everywhere want to know.

Gonzaga
Unfairly painted as chokers, CBB’s Sisyphus begins another push with a more guard-heavy approach. Good thing they have several good guards.

Harvard
May be most talented team in Ivy’s restrictive modern era. BCS-quality frontcourt, good guard depth/talent. UConn, CU roadies = soundchecks.

Indiana
Two top-five picks have departed, and now the Hoosiers need to work on maintaining their revitalized status. The B10 won’t be forgiving.

Iowa
The Hawkeyes have remodeled with a heavy dose of White Marble and their market value is up. Now they need to style their way to the NCAAs.

Iowa State
Georges Niang and Melvin Ejim return, but Transfer U. landed another one in former Marshall guard DeAndre Kane, who will need to be able.

Kansas
The Jayhawks already were reloading with much promising talent, but gettin’ Wiggins with it elevated them to legit national title threat.

Kentucky
From national champs to NIT chumps and back again? Anything’s on the table this year, including 7 1st round picks in June. #bestclassever

La Salle
Southwest Philly Floaters. Fostering L-Train memories. Last year was Sweet. Can Dr. John’s crew map their way through a revamped A-10?

Louisville (Big East to American Athletic)
Russdiculous. Cool Hand Luke. Montrezl. Other elite additions. Defending champs return loaded; you’ll hear “2007 Florida” mentioned a lot.

Marquette
Forget the regional final. No, seriously, please forget it ever happened. Macro view: Buzz has it rolling, but wishes he was feeling Blue.

Maryland
The ACC hasn’t rolled out the welcome mat for the Terps’ final season, and despite losing Alex Len, they won’t be a welcome sight to many.

Memphis (Conference USA to American Athletic)
A step up in class means Pastner and Co. will have to start beating some teams they’re not supposed to. They have the talent to do so.

Michigan
Trey’s gone, but McGary and G-Rob returning make it far from a Crisler crisis. Especially if Spike has maintained his hot hand from April.

Michigan State
2.0 version of last year’s crew should be a F4 threat. If the Spartans downloaded a better Appling, the Green machine will run even better.

Mississippi
No more hashtags, but if Marshall Henderson can find the off-court help he needs, he’s still must-watch TV. #marshallmatters

New Mexico
Noodle(s) on this: 1) The Lobos remain the MWC’s top team. 2) Very little they accomplish before mid-March will matter to most. #sadbuttrue

North Carolina
Guys Roy’s age should be wearing P.J.’s, not suspending them. Despite talent trending upward, the Heels will miss Hairston if he’s gone.

Northwestern
The NCAAless streak may not end this year, but the Cats are trying something novel w/ new head man Chris Collins: Recruiting better players.

Notre Dame (Big East to ACC)
As if the ACC needed another nasty home court advantage, enter the indomitable Joyce Center and an Irish roster primed to do some work.

Ohio State
The Buckeyes are Craft-brewing another B10 contender, with Sam Thompson providing the hops. If LQ comes good, they’ll barely miss Deshaun.

Oklahoma State
Whether or not it was a Smart decision for Marcus to return, the Pokes’ outlook is very bright. Travis can’t a-Ford to waste this chance.

Oregon
Like their mascot brethren, these Ducks have the wings to fly. Whether they stay afloat in the P12 will depend on frontcourt and boardwork.

Pittsburgh (Big East to ACC)
In terms of long-term impact, keeping Jamie Dixon > losing Steven Adams. Even w/ the Pete in hand, tho, this is a tough job in the mega ACC.

Saint Louis
Is the BEast in SLU’s future? Until then, Bills should beast the A-10. Defending champs return four starters, albeit w/o their Kwamain man.

Syracuse (Big East to ACC)
50,000+ for Duke? Boeheim grinding for talent in Vegas? Anything’s possible when the Orange hit the ACC. Including a title at first asking.

Tennessee
Someone has to be the SEC’s third-best team, but Vols should be better than default choice. March into the NCAAs on tap; B4A is big, tho.

Texas
Rick’s last roll? With another bad year looming and in-state talent flooding elsewhere, the Horns’ gig could be the Buzz job next spring.

UCLA
With more commitment than most marriages, Alford-UCLA will be together awhile. Talent remains to win now; must fix local rep to win later.

UNLV
Maybe less talent, but less drama could = more results if Dave Rice improves his handling of another deep roster. #fivetransferstarters?

USC
West Dunk City should be fun in Year 1 and cadge a few upsets. Bigger Q: Is Enfield best-shooting coach in L.A.? #ShowdownWithAlford

Virginia
Why is everyone ignoring the Hoos? Harris is no ordinary Joe and the supporting talent is there for a top-4 ACC finish. #NoCAAteamsthere

Virginia Commonwealth
Leading choice to be The Next Big Thing in mid-major upward mobility, Havoc will reign again on a rejuggled A-10. Would be a Smart choice.

Wichita State
Final Four appearance? Check. Returning a lot of that team? Check. Creighton’s gone? Check. Could be an Early checkmate for the Valley.

Wisconsin
Since Bo knows nothing other than top-four B10 finishes, Bo’s going to finish top four again #metronome. Now about an NCAA upset or two …

5 comments
Robert85
Robert85

Washington could very well win the Pac 12. Yes win it, but thanks for skipping them I guess.

Taylor1
Taylor1

If you think McConnell will be Arizona's leading scorer you haven't done your research.

doghockey
doghockey

@Taylor1 If you think that, at any point in the blurb on Arizona, that it was written that this guy was predicted to be Arizona's leading scorer, well, your comprehension skills are seriously lacking.

Taylor1
Taylor1

@doghockey @Taylor1 McConnell will be the team's best shooter, he shoots over 40% from 3. Why would that be a problem in Sean Miller's motion offense where every player usually touches the ball in a possession. Once he initiates the offense like a true pg he will get many catch and shoot opportunities, that's not a problem for Zona's o it's a huge asset.