All Forums > Hoops Dynasty Basketball > Naismith > CCIW Preview, Season 68
8/12/2013 11:16 PM (edited)
1. Martin Luther

Outlook: Defending national champs return another great squad, led by Chad Brown.

2. Illinois Wesleyan

Outlook: This was a tough pick, but IWU had the overall depth advantage over the next team...

3. North Park

Outlook: Weakness at PG an issue, but very good big men.

4. North Central

Outlook: Sargent should help carry a team with lots of freshmen.

5. Elmhurst

Outlook: Less talent but a lot of depth

6. Wisconsin Lutheran

Outlook: Murphy and Greenwood form a phenomenal 1-2 punch.

7. Millikin

Outlook: 4 very good players then meh

8. Augustana

Outlook: Good 7 or 8 man rotation

9. Carthage

Outlook: Lacking big man depth, but has good guards

WRITER'S NOTE: Take spots 5-9 with a grain of salt. Those teams are so close any could finish at any spot.

10. Milwaukee Engineering

Outlook: Lack of talent and/or experience in a lot of spots

11. Northland

Outlook: Youth. Lots of it.

12. Wheaton

Outlook: Large rebuilding job.

8/13/2013 5:27 PM

Chicago, IL – After losing 5 senior starters from an Elite Eight run a year ago, this year’s squad may look a little more like the Vikings from Rock Island with their youth and raw potential.  This will be most evident in the backcourt, as the coaching staff has been unable to pull in a bona fide point guard in the last few recruiting seasons.  The team is full of guards with adequate to above average ball handling and passing, but no true lead guard.  Early foul trouble amongst any of the guards could spell trouble for the team.  Considering the Vikings have long played a vaunted full-court press defense, this is a risky proposition.  The coaching staff will have their job cut out for them massaging minutes out of this crew, especially if they hope to break through to super talented freshman Timothy Wilson and improve his work ethic.

The frontcourt will be a strength with last year’s JUCO recruits locking down the paint.  They may not score too much (even though Bench hit a game-winner in the season opener!), but they will be rebounding and defensive stalwarts.  Both of their rebounding and defensive ratings just turned black after the off-season, so each should continue to improve drastically as the season progresses.  The staff brought in another pair of twin towers this offseason who should eventually be as good or better than Crim or Bench.  Harold Flock will redshirt this season, but the pairing of Flock and Crouse should rival Augustana’s young frontline and provide stellar defense and rebounding for years to come.

North Park administration was surprised to be so highly ranked in the preseason and hopes this year’s team can live up to the hype and the successes of prior teams.  It will be difficult given the youth movement, but the Vikings should fall in right behind Martin Luther in the South division.  That should be good enough for a 7th consecutive NT berth.

8/14/2013 3:38 AM
Rock Island, IL - Augie Nation is on a tear this off season landing highly touted pg C. Acker... Despite Acker's potential to be the best pg Augustana has ever landed, he will back up RS Jr Roland Jackson and Jr 2 guard Larry Cottone. Coach Blackwell addressed the guard spot by adding a couple other guards to the lineup Ron Don and Jacob Guillory. Don should be a good compliment to Acker in the future and word on the street says Guillory is an animal in the gym. Look for Jackson and Cottone to carry a big scoring load for the Vikings this year. The Jacksons are the two team captains this year. Augustana boasts a pretty decent 123 as So. SF Emonds provides depth at the 3 behind veteran SR Jason Jackson. Now we get to the Bash Brothers... Augustana boasts one of the best tandem big men in the game. Alvares and Rogers are expected to both carry this team a long way as they have started every game since their freshmen year together. This team is very interesting givin there lack of seniors, but they have a solid starting 5 with their only depth problem being Ackers lack of experience. This team improves all year and finishes in the hunt for the North Title although a CT title is a little stretch this year as conference powerhouse MLC is the favorite again, I see this team making the NT and then some... Check back next year and you have a NT contender on your hands...
8/18/2013 7:11 AM
New Ulm, MN - The party on campus is just winding down after the Knights' second title in five seasons. When the students awaken from their drunken daze, they'll realize four key contributors to that title team have graduated. However, one key name returns. Chad Brown is only a junior but he might already be the best player in the country. The other returning starter, Charles Marks, should form a nice inside-outside scoring combination with Brown. The key to the season though may be junior Carl Vasbinder. His ceiling isn't far under that of Brown, and now he'll finally get the extended minutes he needs to reach it. By season's end Vasbinder will be the third link in what should be a very potent 1-2-3 scoring punch.

Until then, the offense will struggle, particularly after the loss of both lead guards. Glasper was a great creator as well as a scorer, and the passing of Joseph Wiles really helped the offense run smoothly. Bench scoring will be an issue as well (as in, right now it doesn't exist). That issue should improve as the season progresses and the youngsters develop their scoring skills.

As usual, MLC will hang their hats on defense while the offense comes around. The starting five is one of the best defensive units MLC has seen. Donald Shimp fills Brett Mitchell's old role as lead rebounder, though he doesn't have a partner to rival the devastating Mitchell-Shimp rebounding combo that formed at times down the stretch last year. His backup, Ronald Cosentino, walks on to campus as the most athletic player in MLC history. He's one to watch for the future.

Overall this roster is a step down from last season's group. Brown is ready to take Glasper's role as a championship-caliber superstar, but Freddie was surrounded by a deep, talented bunch that filled their roles perfectly. Chad doesn't have that. It would take a lot of in-season development and a bit of luck to successfully defend the title. But it's been a decade since MLC finished outside the national top 15, and Brown and company are plenty talented enough to keep that streak alive.
8/18/2013 10:56 AM
Kenosha, WI - The biggest story coming out of the Carthage College campus this season is Coach dabighonu's relaxing of his 'forty minutes of hell' scheme.  CC will continue to push the pace on offense with a fastbreak scheme but on defense will employ man-to-man instead of the traditional press.  "I was reluctant to make the change because the skills needed to run fastbreak and press are so similar," said Coach honu.  "However, it is just so hard to get twelve quality guys on the roster that can contribute every single year.  Slowing things down a bit means we don't have to put as much pressure on the freshmen to contribute right away, and can even redshirt a guy or take a walk-on if we have to."  

Another benefit of the change is that the experienced players from last season's surprise CCIW tournament champion squad can play more minutes and will get more of an opportunity to carry the load this year.  The biggest of those is SG/SF Bradford Nagel, a highly-recruited guard who provided perimeter scoring pop off of the bench the past three seasons but will play more at the '3' position this year to take advantage of his growing low-post skills.  How far Carthage goes this season will depend in large part on how far Nagel can take them; however, he is supported by an experienced starting backcourt of Martin Crawford and Mark Rhyne.   Coach honu had particularly strong praise for Rhyne, who is still developing his perimeter game to go with his natural speed and athletic ability.  

The low-post game is a little more of a concern -- Chad Richardson and Chris Upshaw will be the frontcourt starters -- both have some skill but neither is a traditional center.  Coach honu addressed that in recruiting with the signings of Taylor Leachman and Anthony Scales, but both will need some time to develop into effective contributors.  Overall, the new recruiting class is fairly well-balanced, but Carthage has usually struggled in seasons where they have had 5-6 new players added to the roster.  This season's team will probably struggle some as well, particularly with the defensive change thrown into the mix as well.  The general vibe around the program is that a PI bid would be a good accomplishment this season.
All Forums > Hoops Dynasty Basketball > Naismith > CCIW Preview, Season 68

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