*Rankings listed as Current rank, (last week’s rank), team name, (record)*
1. (1) Iowa City West (4-0)
Last week: Beat Keokuk 69-27; beat Cedar Rapids Washington 68-37
This week: Tues: at Cedar Falls; Fri: vs. Cedar Rapids Xavier
2. (2) Dubuque Senior (3-0)
Last week: Beat Clinton 61-56; beat Cedar Rapids Prairie 61-32
This week: Tues: at 4A #10 Linn-Mar; Fri: vs. Cedar Falls
3. (3) Bettendorf (3-0)
Last week: Beat Pleasant Valley 49-34
This week: Tues: at Davenport Central; Fri: vs. Muscatine; Sat: vs. Rock Island (IL)
4. (4) North Scott (4-0)
Last week: Beat Clinton 63-42
This week: Tues: vs. Davenport West; Fri: at Davenport Central; Sat: vs. Moline (IL)
5. (5) Sioux City North (6-0)
Last week: beat Sioux City West 94-82; beat South Sioux City (NE) 78-53; beat Sioux City Heelan 82-73
This week: Tues: at Council Bluffs Lincoln; Sat: at Omaha South (NE)
6. (6) Ankeny Centennial (5-0)
Last week: beat Urbandale 56-33; beat then-4A #7 Waukee 65-50; beat Waterloo West 63-46
This week: Tues: at Marshalltown; Fri: at Ankeny
7. (9) Des Moines North (4-0)
Last week: Beat Des Moines East 78-71; beat Urbandale 72-63
This week: Tues: vs. Des Moines Lincoln; Fri: at 4A #9 Des Moines Roosevelt
8. (7) Waukee (4-1)
Last week: Beat Johnston 56-45; lost to then-4A #6 Ankeny Centennial 65-50; beat then-4A #10 West Des Moines Valley 73-55
This week: Tues: at Fort Dodge; Fri: vs. Southeast Polk
9. (NR) Des Moines Roosevelt (3-1)
Last week: beat then-4A #8 Des Moines Hoover 43-33; beat Indianola 60-50 (OT)
This week: Tues: at Des Moines East; Fri: vs. 4A #7 Des Moines North
10. (NR) Linn-Mar (2-2)
Last week: beat Cedar Rapids Jefferson 61-33; beat Southeast Polk 67-63 (OT)
This week: Tues: vs. 4A #2 Dubuque Senior
<strong>Dropped out:</strong> Des Moines Hoover (8), West Des Moines Valley (10)
*Rankings are listed as Current rank, (last week’s rank), team name, (record)*
1. (1) Harlan (3-0)
Last week: Beat Denison-Schleswig 67-27; beat Blair (NE) 74-46
This week: Tues: vs. Creston; Fri: vs. Council Bluffs Lewis Central
2. (3) Carroll (4-0)
Last week: Beat Denison-Schleswig 65-50; beat ADM, Adel 70-48; beat then-2A #1 Carroll Kuemper Catholic 63-42
This week: Fri: at Perry
3. (5) Clear Lake (4-0)
Last week: Beat Webster City 72-59; beat Hampton-Dumont 68-45
This week: Tues: vs. Bishop Garrigan, Algona; Fri: at Eagle Grove
4. (6) Dallas Center-Grimes (4-1)
Last week: Beat Perry 89-58; beat then-3A #2 Pella 61-49
This week: Tues: at Ballard; Fri: vs. Norwalk
5. (2) Pella (4-1)
Last week: Beat Ballard 65-59; lost to then-3A #6 Dallas Center-Grimes 61-49; beat Fairfield 68-56
This week: Tues: at Bondurant-Farrar; Fri: at Grinnell
6. (7) Solon (4-0)
Last week: Beat Mount Vernon 59-52; beat Mid-Prairie, Wellman 63-62 (OT)
This week: Tues: at Central Clinton, DeWitt; Fri: at Dyersville-Beckman
7. (10) Dubuque Wahlert (3-1)
Last week: Beat Cedar Rapids Jefferson 75-56; beat Waterloo East 71-49
This week: Tues: vs. Dubuque Hempstead; Fri: at Iowa City High
8. (NR) Sioux City Heelan (2-1)
Last week: Beat then-3A #8 Sergeant Bluff-Luton 70-58; lost to then-4A #5 Sioux City North 82-73
This week: Tues: vs. Sioux City East; Fri: at Council Bluffs Jefferson
9. (NR) Western Dubuque (3-1)
Last week: Beat Center Point-Urbana 69-55; beat Williamsburg 60-51
This week: Tues: vs. Maquoketa
10. (4) Cedar Rapids Xavier (3-1)
Last week: Beat Ottumwa 71-48; lost to Dubuque Hempstead 61-49
This week: Tues: vs. Cedar Rapids Jefferson; Fri: at 4A #1 Iowa City West
<strong>Dropped out:</strong> Sergeant Bluff-Luton (8), Waverly-Shell Rock (9)
*Rankings listed as Current rank, (last week’s rank), team name, (record)*
1. (2) Hull, Western Christian (3-0)
Last week: Beat Cherokee, Washington 86-37; beat LeMars 68-62 (OT)
This week: Tues: at Spirit Lake; Fri: vs. Emmetsburg
2. (4) New Hampton (3-0)
Last week: beat then-3A #9 Waverly-Shell Rock 60-41; beat North Fayette Valley 69-31
This week: Thurs: at 2A #9 West Fork; Fri: at Waukon; Sat: at South Winneshiek
3. (5) Western Dubuque, Cascade (4-0)
Last week: Beat Bellevue 72-32; beat Lisbon 70-16
This week: Fri: vs. Mid-Prairie, Wellman; Sat: vs. Platteville (WI)
4. (1) Carroll Kuemper Catholic (3-1)
Last week: Beat Council Bluffs, St. Albert 71-50; beat Council Bluffs Lewis Central 53-39; lost to then-3A #3 Carroll 63-42
This week: Fri: at Creston
5. (6) Sioux Center (3-1)
Last week: Beat then-1A #5 Boyden-Hull 66-63; beat Sibley-Ocheyedan 79-52
This week: Tues: vs. George-Little Rock; Fri: at Sheldon; Sat: vs. LeMars
6. (7) St. Edmond, Fort Dodge (3-0)
Last week: Beat Hampton-Dumont 54-48; beat Algona 70-48
This week: Tues: at Webster City; Fri: vs. Iowa Falls-Alden; Sat: at South Hamilton
7. (3) East Sac County (3-1)
Last week: beat Manson Northwest Webster 72-60; beat OA-BCIG 85-53; lost to then-1A #2 Newell-Fonda 70-62 (OT)
This week: Tues: at Pocahontas Area
8. (8) Rock Valley (4-0)
Last week: Beat George-Little Rock 76-75; beat Sheldon 68-60
This week: Mon: at Okoboji, Milford; Fri: vs. MOC-Floyd Valley
9. (9) West Fork (4-0)
Last week: Beat Britt, West Hancock 84-63; beat Nashua-Plainfield 64-29; beat North Butler 83-48
This week: Tues: at Riceville; Thurs: vs. 2A #2 New Hampton
10. (NR) Prairie City, Monroe (5-0)
Last week: Beat then-2A #10 Pella Christian 61-51; beat South Hamilton 74-65; beat Roland-Story 58-49
This week: Tues: vs. Colfax-Mingo; Fri: at Collins-Maxwell-Baxter
<strong>Dropped out:</strong> Pella Christian (10)
*Rankings are listed as Current rank, (last week’s rank), team name, (record)*
1. (1) West Lyon (4-0)
Last week: Beat Central Lyon 73-53; beat then-1A #5 Boyden Hull 68-47; beat Hills-Beaver Creek (MN) 77-45
This week: Tues: at Sibley-Ocheyedan; Fri: vs. George-Little Rock
2. (2) Newell-Fonda (5-0)
Last week: beat Laurens-Marathon 65-41; beat North Union 66-41; beat then-2A #3 East Sac County 70-62 (OT)
This week: Tues: at OA-BCIG; Fri: at Manson Northwest Webster
3. (3) Dunkerton (4-0)
Last week: beat Tripoli 66-53; beat CAL, Latimer 96-27
This week: Tues: at Northeast Hamilton; Fri: at Meskwaki Settlement School
4. (4) Belmond-Klemme (5-0)
Last week: beat Osage 50-42; beat Garner-Hayfield/Ventura 70-55
This week: Tues: vs. Britt, West Hancock
5. (6) Keota (4-0)
Last week: beat Belle Plaine 68-52; beat English Valleys, North English 80-43; beat WACO, Wayland 68-40
This week: Mon: vs. HLV, Victor; Tues: vs. Sigourney; Fri: vs. Thornburg, Tri-County
6. (7) Lamoni (5-0)
Last week: beat Moravia 89-11; beat North Harrison (MO) 59-17; beat Seymour 85-26
This week: Tues: at Moulton-Udell; Thurs: vs. Mount Ayr; Fri: vs. Mormon Trail
7. (9) LeMars, Gehlen Catholic (5-0)
Last week: beat Akron-Westfield 64-31; beat Hull, Trinity 51-34
This week: Tues: at South O’Brien; Thurs: at St. Mary’s, Storm Lake; Fri: vs. Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn
8. (10) Gladbrook-Reinbeck (3-0)
Last week: beat South Tama 63-44; beat Conrad, BCLUW 64-34
This week: Tues: at Ackley, AGWSR; Fri: vs. West Marshall
9. (NR) Iowa Mennonite (4-0)
Last week: beat WACO, Wayland 67-45; beat Columbus Junction 64-59 (OT)
This week: Tues: at Louisa-Muscatine; Fri: vs. Pekin
10. (8) Easton Valley (3-1)
Last week: Beat Calamus-Wheatland 71-39; beat North Linn 75-40; lost to Northeast, Goose Lake 51-48
This week: Tues: vs. Bellevue, Fri: at Wyoming, Midland
<strong>Dropped out:</strong> Boyden-Hull (5)
In the coming weeks, I will be posted explanations to accompany these early top 10s, but for now, here’s what I’ll be opening the season with come November.
1. Iowa City West
3. Dubuque Senior
4. Sioux City North
5. Des Moines Hoover
6. North Scott
8. Southeast Polk
9. Sioux City East
10. Des Moines North
4. Waverly-Shell Rock
7. Dallas Center-Grimes
8. Clear Lake
9. MOC-Floyd Valley
10. Cedar Rapids Xavier
1. Carroll Kuemper Catholic
2. Hull, Western Christian
3. Sioux Center
4. West Lyon
5. East Sac County
6. Iowa Falls-Alden
7. New Hampton
9. Pella Christian
10. St. Edmond, Fort Dodge
7. Easton Valley (formerly Preston)
8. Ankeny Christian Academy
9. LeMars, Gehlen Catholic
The preseason coaches poll was released this afternoon, and it’s no surprise who the top-ranked team in the country is.
North Carolina was a nearly unanimous choice at #1, garnering 30 of 31 first place votes (Kentucky received the other). The Tar Heels finished last season 29-8, and were just a bucket short of a Final Four trip. They return most of their roster from that team, and they look like the team to beat.
Following the Tar Heels in the top five were Kentucky, Ohio State, defending champion Connecticut, and Syracuse.
The highest ranked “non-BCS” school was Memphis, coming in at #9. The other non-power schools were Xavier (15) and Gonzaga (25).
The Big East led the way with 6 schools ranked in the top 25. The SEC and Big 12 each had 4.
Preseason Coaches Top 25
1. North Carolina (30)
2. Kentucky (1)
3. Ohio State
19. Texas A&M
Others receiving votes: Florida State (108), Texas (107), Michigan State (73), Temple (59), Washington (29), Butler (25), New Mexico (22), Creighton (19), Villanova (18), Purdue (17), UNLV (16), West Virginia (13), George Mason (12), Mississippi State (11), St. John’s (11), Saint Mary’s (5), Virginia (5), VCU (4), Drexel (2), Kansas State (2), Long Beach State (2), BYU (1), Notre Dame (1)
As 2012 point guard Trey Dickerson prepares for his senior season, he’ll be doing it in new surroundings. After Montclair Prep (CA) cut their athletic program, Dickerson transferred to Frederick K.C. Price III School (Los Angeles), where he will finish up his high school basketball career.
Dickerson, a 6’0”, 166-pound native of New York, averaged 17 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds his junior year. At Price, he’ll be playing with recent San Diego State commit Skylar Spencer.
When it comes to recruiting, Dickerson currently holds offers from Loyola (Maryland), Siena and Montana State. Additionally, he believes that offers from Fresno State and San Diego State “may be coming soon.” He plans to make his decision during the late signing period (April 13-May 18).
He says that his biggest asset is his speed, and he would like to play in an up-tempo system in college. Modeling his game after current University of Detroit point guard Ray McCallum, and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, Dickerson sees himself as a pass-first point guard, but one who can also score when he needs to. “I’m a pass first (guard). I like to see my teammates score, but I’m a quick guard who is explosive. I can also score at will.”
Dickerson considers current NBAers John Wall and Lamar Odom, as well as former NBA player Kenny Smith as his biggest inspirations. “I’m really close with them, and I want to be where they are someday.”
You can follow Trey on Twitter (@Fabolous_TD).
It came much later than it has in previous years, but John Calipari is finally on the board. Late Tuesday night, Calipari got good news when one of the nation’s best scorers, Archie Goodwin (Little Rock, AR), committed to Kentucky, choosing the Wildcats over Arkansas and Memphis.
Goodwin, a 6’5” shooting guard, is ranked 13th overall by ESPN, and according to Rivals, is the 13th five-star player to commit to Kentucky since Calipari took over the program in April 2009. He’s the first member of Kentucky’s 2012 class.
Goodwin is one of the most skilled offensive players in the country. He relentlessly attacks the basket, where he can finish through traffic. He also has range well beyond the college three with good form. His ball-handling ability has greatly improved, and his mid-range game is coming along nicely. As he continues to become more comfortable with the stop-and-pop aspect of his game, he could become nearly unguardable. Defenders won’t be able to sag off of him because of his shooting ability, and they can’t play too tight because of his penetrating. His stroke, particularly from three, must become more consistent, but that should come given time. Additionally, he needs to put on some more weight so that he can continue to finish through contact at the collegiate level.
Defensively, he’s an intriguing player, given his length and lateral quickness. He’s a long, athletic defender who can give opposing players fits when he wants to. His defensive intensity needs to stay ratcheted up consistently. He plays off the ball well and knows where to position himself. He just needs to stay committed.
Given his offensive skill set, he should be a great fit in Kentucky’s dribble-drive offense. He’s got the ability to spot up in the corner for an open three, or take his own defender off the bounce and get to the rim. He should be a big-time scoring threat the second he steps on campus in Lexington.
As a junior at Sylvan Hills High, Goodwin averaged 28.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals, en route to winning the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year award.
The Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook is a must have for any true college basketball fan. And today, they released their preseason top 25. It is as follows:
1. North Carolina
3. Ohio State
16. Texas A&M
17. Florida State
20. Michigan State
A few quick reactions to their poll:
-There is no doubt who the top two teams in the country are to start the year. And while I believe Kentucky will end up being my national title pick, I can’t truly justify placing them #1 until we see how all their freshmen play together. North Carolina is the fairly obvious choice here.
-I believe Duke is rated a few slots too high to open the year, especially with the questions at point guard they’ve got. Quinn Cook is a nice player, but can he handle point guard duties full-time? And how will Austin Rivers play without the ball in his hands all the time? There are a few question marks that I have about this Devils team that would prevent me from placing them quite that high.
-If you’re looking for a Final Four “darkhorse”, Xavier is that team for me this season. They will open up in my top 10, so I think they’re underrated here by Blue Ribbon. This is a team that lacked depth and perimeter shooting last year, in large part due to injuries. With Tu Holloway back, and sharpshooters Brad Redford and Justin Martin back on the floor, I think the Musketeers are as dangerous a team as there is in the country.
-Baylor underachieved last year, but they’ve got almost as much talent as any team in the country. And while they lost high-scoring guard LaceDarius Dunn, could it be addition by subtraction? Dunn was a chucker who didn’t work well within the flow of the offense. We should see a more balanced Baylor team this season. A lot of their question marks will fall on the point guard spot, where junior college transfer Pierre Jackson will be expected to be a leader.
-Michigan State will have almost as much talent as any team in the country in the frontcourt. If someone can step up and replace Kalin Lucas at the point, this could be a vintage Tom Izzo team. Look for more of Draymond Green playing a point-forward type role this year, especially early.
-It will be interesting to see how new Missouri coach Frank Haith lets his team play. This is a roster built to play the style that former coach Mike Anderson liked – up-tempo with lots of pressing. Missouri ranked 14th in tempo last season under Anderson. Miami, under Haith, ranked 236th. Much of this team’s success will depend on the style they play. If they are allowed to play Anderson’s style, this is another Final Four sleeper, with a loaded returning roster. If they are forced to play Haith’s style, it could be a disappointing year in Columbia.
Those are just a few of my quick notes on my first run-through of the Blue Ribbon top 25. Like I said earlier, this is a must read. You can order your copy at http://www.blueribbonyearbookonline.com. They start shipping in early October. You won’t regret it.
My own top 25 will be coming within the next few weeks, along with a preview of each conference.
In a recruiting battle that had long been rumored to be between UCLA and Seton Hall, the Bruins came away with the big prize Monday night, landing point-forward Kyle Anderson (Fairview, NJ). Anderson, ranked 5th in the ESPNU 100, chose the Bruins following a last-minute in-home visit by Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard. He made his announcement through his Twitter account (@KyleAnderson5), saying “Had a great family meeting. I’ve decided to be a UCLA BRUIN!!”
At 6’8”, 215 pounds, Anderson is one of the most unique players in the country. He’s a kid with legitimate point guard skills, but in a small forward’s body. He’s a great passer with outstanding court vision, and he takes care of the ball extremely well. Playing the point at 6’8” presents huge matchup problems. While he doesn’t have a great first step, he’s an extremely smart player who plays with great pace. Additionally, he has started to add a post-up game to his repertoire, allowing him to post up smaller defenders. His jumper could stand to be more consistent, but he’s got range to the college three, and he should never struggle to get his shot off.
Defensively, he lacks the lateral quickness to defend elite point guards, but that’s where his size will become a factor. He can either bother them with his seven-foot wingspan, or simply move over to defend the three. He needs to continue to fill out his frame in order to become a more effective finisher. That said, Anderson is without a doubt one of the top players in the country, combining freakish measurements with a high basketball IQ and a very unique skill set.
Another important piece to the Anderson commitment is that it could help the Bruins lure in the consensus #1 player in the country, Shabazz Muhammad. Muhammad, a 6’7” small forward from Las Vegas, has reportedly cut his recruitment to UCLA, Kentucky, Duke, Kansas and UNLV. Many analysts believe that he is UCLA’s to lose. With fellow ESPNU 100 commits small forward Jordan Adams (#50) and point guard Dominic Artis (#72) already on board, the Bruins could be in line to put together a monster recruiting class. They are also reportedly high on the lists of power forwards Shaq Goodwin (#19) and Tony Parker (#31), both Georgia natives. The addition of Muhammad and one of those two would give the Bruins what would undoubtedly be the top class in the country, and would most certainly set them up for a run at a national championship in 2013.