College Basketball

Seven things to look forward to in the world of college basketball

The NBA Finals will start tomorrow evening as the Heat and Spurs face off, so before that starts, let’s fit in some college basketball.

7. NBA draft

Tune in on June 27th to watch your favorite college stars move on to the NBA. Despite his ACL injury, Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel is still projected as the number one pick in the draft from numerous online mock drafts. Other potential lottery picks include Kansas’s Ben McLemore, Georgetown’s Otto Porter, and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo.

6. New court designs

First off, take another look at Florida International University’s new court that was released in March.

FIU’s “beach”

However, here are some recent court designs that don’t include a beach scene.

University at Buffalo

State University of New York Buffalo

George Washington University (notice the hashtag on the baseline.)

The George Washington University (notice the hashtag)

University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University

University of California

University of California

5. Transfers who can play right away

The NCAA requires that transferring players have to sit out for a year before they are eligible. However, if a player has already received a degree or wants to transfer closer to home (within 100 miles of their hometown) they can play right away.  Here are some of those eligible transfers.

  •  Antonio Barton  from Memphis to Tennesee. Barton is on track to graduate this summer in July or early August and is looking to make an immediate impact to Tennesee’s roster.
  •  Tarik Black from Memphis to Kansas. Black averaged eight points this season, and has started 60 of 102 games at Memphis.
  • DeAndre Kane from Marshall to Iowa State. Kane ranked 11th nationally with seven assists per game and averaged 15 points.
  • Mike Moser from UNLV to Oregon. Moser, averaging seven points last season, is the fifth senior transfer to head to Oregon in the past three seasons. Apparently Coach Dana Altman was so excited, he spilled coffee on himself upon hearing the news.
  • Evan Gordon, from one season at Arizona State to Indiana. Gordon is originally from Indiana and will enroll in graduate school. He averaged 10 points per game this season.
Former Arizona State University guard, Evan Gordon, looks to bring experience to a young Indiana team. (Getty Images)

Former Arizona State University guard, Evan Gordon, looks to bring experience to a young Indiana team. (Getty Images)

4. Coaching changes

Teams who have had a more than disappointing season are all about bringing in new coaches. CBS Sports has the full scoop on which coach is leaving and which coach is coming in. But perhaps the most intriguing coach change is former KU assistant coach, Joe Dooley, heading to Florida Gulf Coast University, a team that made it to the Sweet Sixteen this year as a 15th seed.  Two new transfers are coming in and four of the five top scorers are returning, so it could be possible that FGCU won’t even be considered a Cinderella team this year.

Joe Dooley accepts the head coaching position at FGCU. (CBS Sports)

Joe Dooley accepts the head coaching position at “dunk city.” (CBS Sports)

3. Conference realignment

All other conferences and teams not on the list have no changes made from the 2012-2013 season.

 

2. 2013 recruiting class

So we’re all drooling over these 18-year-old guys who have never played together a minute in their life. What’s all of the hype? Let’s have the top 3 recruits show us what they’re about.

Andrew Wiggins  (University of Kansas)

Jabari Parker (Duke University)

Julius Randle (University of Kentucky)

Who knows if all of the teams will live up to their expectations? But as college basketball fans, it’s your job to drool over these highlights and create wonderful hypothetical situations to hold you over until the season starts.

1. Old players, new impact.

One of the most important aspects to a great team would be returning, experienced players.

  • Marcus Smart, sophomore at Oklahoma State, was projected to be a top five pick in the 2013 NBA Draft but surprisingly came back for another season. This Big 12 Player of the Year, along with junior Le’Bryan Nash, could prove to be a contender against the Jayhawks and their nine straight Big 12 titles.
  • Speaking of the Jayhawks, a player that is expected to step up this season would be sophomore Perry Ellis. He is expected to grab the starting forward position for KU.
  • Michigan sophomore Mitch McGary is going to take on a new role. The Detroit Free Press reported to he would become a power forward instead of a center. This change in position would allow for more versatility and make the loss of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. easier.
  • The University of North Carolina didn’t have a phenomenal season, like they usually do. But with the with the returns of PJ Hairston and James Michael McAdoo, UNC should be back on their normal game.

Check out the thread on Reddit’s College Basketball forum to see what other users from around the country have to say about potential returning threats.

There’s about four months until the NCAA allows teams to officially practice together (two weeks earlier than the previous seasons!) Get excited, fellow fanatics.

 

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