Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Starbury's shoes on Outside the Lines

If you missed the Sunday edition of ESPN's Outside the Lines discussing Starbury's (Stephon Marbury's shoes), you can watch it again on today's 3pm eastern (noon pacific) Outside the Lines (OTL) on ESPN. This will be the centerpiece story and they will be discussing his controversial (in a good way) $15 shoe (pair of shoes actually). Inpsired by Starbury, Ben Wallace and Venus Williams have followed suit with affordable gear. Shaq-daddy had done some of that too. Details at the OTL page.

The regular blog updates as you may have guessed are running a little late :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reminder, NBA League Pass free week long pay per view preview starts today

Reminder, the NBA League Pass free week long pay per view preview starts today! Check with your local cable or satellite providers for more details. Also, in systems where NBA-TV is available, it will be included in the free preview. Enjoy the 82 mostly meaningless games NBA season :-)

And while we are on the topic of TV, today's Outside the Lines deals with Fear, Stephen King, Joe Torre and The Yankees.

And Apple fans will be thrilled to find out that the new Apple Leopard Operating system is now shipping!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Blogosphere Files

Let's see what the fellow bloggers on the nets are talking about! Remember, we are just one week away from the first televised exhibition games!

  • Mid Major Fans this is Mid Majority Center.
  • The conference previews continue to fly in at March Madness All Season. Latest posts: Atlantic 10 14, Conference Calipari (aka C-USA), the Valley of Darkness (MVC) and the Colonial.
  • CAA Hoops Hoopla at the CAA Hoops blog.
  • Lots of updates at Cracked Sidewalks including a link to a brand new Big East podcast.
  • A Sea of Blue has a new On Notice Board!. It's awesome baby!!!
  • Speaking of which, I forgot to mention a couple of weeks ago how hilarious it was when Dick Vitale appearing on Mike and Mike in his own segment sponsored by On Star complained that Major League Baseball sold out to sponsors. Vitale saying that? Surely it can't be the Vitale who sells pizzas, endorses products and services during basketball broadcasts, and charges corporations thousands of dollars for speaking engagements. Surely that must be a different Dick Vitale.
  • Unlike Dick Vitale, I will take endorsements and won't complain about them. Give please :-)
  • On rumors, reporting and Patrick Patterson. And tidbits from the SEC Media Day.
  • George Mason gets a new big man and more at the George Mason basketball blog.
  • Truth about Duke is now on MySpace with Dick Vitale posing in a Duke cheerleader outfit. It's awesome baby. It's unbelievable! I'm awesome and articulate baby (as Phil Martelli parodies)
  • The SEC coach of the year, more bad news for Georgia and lots more at SEC, The Good. The Bad. The Dirty.
  • New updates at March to Madness with a discussion on the Mountain West's television situation. Mountain West games are on Versus, The Mtn and CSTV. The problem for Mountain West fans is that non-Comcast cable systems are not exactly jumping up and down to carry channels closely affiliated with competitor Comcast. That is one of the major problems when a service provider decides to become a content provider at the same time. This type of thing could potentially expand and fracture the TV availability of more games and conferences. This is on top of other issues, such as ESPNU and Comcast getting stuck in their negotiations. How hard is it to carry a new channel? Cable and satellite systems already carry hundreds of channels. What's another one that people actually want to watch?
  • The Coaches Poll (almost a three-way tie), the Big East and A-10 media days are among the topics at College Hoops Heaven.
  • Rush the Court breaks down the Coaches poll as well.
  • The conference breakdowns continue at Rush the Court with the Sun Belt and the Patriot League. Also an early look at the 2007-2008 Wooden candidates.
  • The Wildcats Thunder Blog and Message Board reports on the SEC Media day, and disects the BCSl. College Hoops fans aren't you happy we don't have to deal with BCS? Instead we get to play bracketology!
  • La Rev discusses Andy Katz's story on Josh "shroom" Heytvelt.
  • The Best rivarly slogans in the form of a t-shirt at Making the Dance.
  • Storming the Court is jam-packed with goodies including an interview with author and blogger Michael Litos, who wrote the book chronicling the magical mystery tour of George Mason in 2005-2006, an excellent round-up of solid players you may have never heard of, a round-up of round-ups, a sneak peek at Kyle Whelliston's game schedule, previews on Gonzaga and the Valley of Darkness (MVC), and the new high-tech Big Ten logo to be unbelieved during the conference tourney in March. Excellent coverage, be sure to visit!
  • Speaking of the Big 10, changing the logo won't make those ugly games any prettier. Big Ten, make your teams play basketball, and leave the football to your football teams and the wrestling to your wrestling teams. Thad Matta alone can't make the games fun and exciting. He needs help! I don't want to name any names Penn State, Illinois, Northwestern, Izzo, Purdue, Tubby Smith, Iowa. Follow Thad Matta's example. He got Greg Oden and a trip to the NCAA Finals :) Play basketball, not slugsketball!.
  • Did I just make up a new term? Proposed new term: Slugsketball: A college basketball game or a style of play that makes basketball as exciting as a slugfest.

  • Outside the Lines feature on Starbury and his shoes

    The Sunday edition of ESPN's critically acclaimed Outside the Lines will be featuring a story on Stephon Marbury, his shoes and his new found causes. Among the topics will be Starbury's $15 shoe, in collabaration with Steve & Barry's University Sportswear, which are bringing out new budget priced lines with Ben Wallace and Venus Williams.

    The guests on the Sunday 930am eastern time episode of OTL are T.J. Quinn, New York Daily News Investigative Sportswriter, and Scoop Jackson, Page 2 Writer, author of Sole Provider - 30 Years of NIKE Basketball.

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    The mid-week repor(t) - 10 days to tip-off

    Yes, basketball fans we are just 10 days away from the first televised exhibition games which according to my calculations are home games for Arizona with Enforcer Kevin O'Neill and Kentucky with Billy Clyde Glyde Gillispie.

    Wow, where did the time go? It was only yesterday that we crowned the Florida Gators as back to back national champions and Billy The Diva Donovan was having the time of his life toying with the Orlando Tragic. And now here we are, at the dawn of the 2007-2008 season.

    Okay, enough of the silliness, let's see what's really happening :)

    The Kentucky Files
    There is so much good stuff on Kentucky, it got its own segment!

  • The Wildcats Thunder blog goes inside Billy Gillispie's practices. Read on to find out more!
  • Also at the Wildcats Thunder blog and message boards we find a great homage to Pistol Pete Maravich as they take a trip down memory lane and revisit the 1970 LSU vs Kentucky game. A must read!
  • Meanwhile at A Sea of Blue there is talk of a new arena in Lexington to replace Rupp Arena.
  • Also at A Sea of Blue, an exclusive picture of the latest recruit to sign with Kentucky ;-)

    The Blogger's Poll Top 25 Files
  • Here we find posts from the bloggers participating in the new Blogger's Top 25 poll.
  • March To Madness compares and contrasts the Blogger's top 25 poll with the CSTV Top 25 poll. they also have an update on SDSU and the SoCal fires.
  • The SEC Player of the Year is predicted-crowned by SEC Hoops TGTBTD.
  • College Hoops Heaven is touring the top six Philly D1 basketball colleges. Read on to get an inside look at Penn, Drexel and Temple. And stay tuned for MartelliVille, Nova and LaRaftery.
  • Keep your browsers pointed to March Madness All Season as they will be coming back with lots of updates from the Big East Media Day. Meanwhile their critically acclaimed online season preview continues with the Mountain West, the wacky WAC, the Gonzaga Coast Conference, the Horizon and the Small West.
  • The conference previews continue to fly at Rush the Court. Latest previews include the Patriot League which includes Bill Self's favorite team, the Ivy League, the MAAC (not to be confused with the MAC, the MAAAAAC and the MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAC) and more!
  • I'm glad I'm not the only one reviewing college basketball preseason magazines! Rush the Court is dissecting them as well! Check out their reviews of Athlon, Lindy's and Street and Smith (now aka The Sporting News). And I'm not the only one taking Street and Smith to task for ruining the excellent Sporting News format! Bring back the original Sporting News please! :)
  • A round-up of the latest happenings at Rush the Court.
  • More reviews have been published at Storming the Floor including Oregon, Puke, Texas, USC, Kansas State and more
  • Rivalry talk at APIAS.

    The Blogosphere Files
  • More on the Big East media days from Marquette basketball blog Cracked Sidewalks. Marquette fans, the media guides are available now.
  • Former Martelli guard Abdulai Jalloh (not the next Jameer Nelson), now at James Madison is the topic of the latest CAA Hoops blog post.
  • Mid-majors only at the Mid Majority Report
  • The Sports Flow talks about tribal nicknames, mascots and logos.
  • Truth About Duke discusses Coach K's hair and a Duke preview at SI.
  • Mookie Jones and Syracuse at Nick's 2 Cents.
  • Rivarly t-shirts of the late night talk show variety at Making the Dance.
  • A picture from a Gonzaga practice has been posted at LaRev. See if you can spot Mark Few :)

    The Goodman Files
  • It was Big East media smedia days and Goodman's blog has the preseason poll. There are so many teams in the Big East we needed a Ritalin to finish it off ;-) Don't look now but two of the top three teams came from Conference USA.
  • The winds of change are blowing at Illinois as Goodman reports on Bruce Weber's new found recruiting success. Mr Weber, tear down this recruiting wall!
  • The Nevada Foxes are spotlighted in this columned. Sorry Wolf pack fans but when you are wolves and your coach is a fox, we are allowed to make all the bad buns we like :) Also there Georgia Tech recliches Clinch, while Virginia really clinches a big man away from the two Jims of the Big East. Also there we have a replacement for Hank Nichols as the Chief Zebra (read his column to find out who), and more games for the preseason NIT starting in 2008.
  • More Goodman as he looks at the recruiting success of Thad Matta, and the latest in the world of Flan and Bucknell. Also updates on the Oklahoma Sooners and the Bonnies of the A-14. Meanwhile Rhode Island had to go to ...Orion, and another Gilchrist at Maryland. This concludes the Goodman Files.

    The DeCourcy Files
  • In his signature Inside Dish column DeCourcy talks about Greg Monroe committing to Georgetown (JT3's Patrick Ewing?), Kevin the Enforcer O'Neill is having an impact on the Arizona Meerkats of the last few years, West Virginia under Huggins, John Riek's ranking and skillz, Dwayne Curtis and more.
  • A two headed monster at Notre Dame. The one who 420s the most wins the starting job? ;-)
  • USC will be showcasing the new Galen Center and of course OJ Mayo. But don't count out Devon Jefferson as he may be the one that puts the team in the Final Four.
  • More on OJ Mayo from DeCourcy.

    The Big Media Files
  • Calhoun writes again! His new book A Passion to Lead is out now, co-authored with Richard Ernsberger, and selling for around $16.50 at Amazon right now as a hardcover. Not to be confused with his 1999 book >Dare to Dream which he wrote after the UConn Huskies won the national championship.
  • Over at MSNBC, they have a cheat sheet for the upcoming season, prepared by Mike DeCourcy.
  • Gary Parrish looks at the great expectations in the Big East and profiles the young but talented Thatta team (Thad Matta = Thatta).
  • College football fans, John Clay's blog has a detailed tv scheduled published for this week!
  • Xavier is profiled by CBS Sportsline. As you may recall Xavier lost to Ohio State in the NCAAs in a very dramatic fashion, and just a couple of years before that, when coaches by Thad Matta the Xavier X-men just barely lost to the Dookies, the Zebras in the Elite 8.
  • Also from Sportsline, diversity is encouraged. But can they take it a step further than just "encouraging"?
  • Not good for Pitt fans as one of their incoming wings has not been ruled eligible and he is taking the JuCo route (Sportsline).
  • Things for rosier for BYU head coach David Rose as he was given a contract extension through 2011 (TSN).
  • More details on the new preseason NIT format for 2008-2009 and beyond (TSN).

    The NCAA Hoops Today Files
  • Don't miss out on recruiting round-ups at our sister blog Recruiting Wars.
  • I have posted the first weekly TV schedule of the 2007-2008 season. Included are two exhibition games, and new season previews from CSTV, regional FSN, Versus and more.
  • Don't want to harm trees or open your wallet and get the preseason basketball magazines? Then head over to our gigantic 2007-2008 season preview with links.
  • Can't decide how to record your favorite games for the upcoming season? A TiVo? Your trusty VCR? A DVD recorder? A cable or satellite DVR? The Betamax from the basement? Here are some ideas.
  • Meanwhile a close race has been brewing in our 2007-2008 preseason #1 poll, located at the top of the right column. Currently North Carolina has a very small lead over the Calipari Tigers, while UCLA and Kansas are battling it out again for the #3 spot.

  • Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    College Hoops TV Guide, the 2007-2008 season begins!

    Welcome to a new season of college hoops TV guide. That's right, in the next two weeks we will have our first exhibition games televised! Woohoo! Note: all times pacific!

    Fresh 2007-2008 College Hoops Games

  • Sun Nov 4, 330pm, Concordia at Arizona, Fox College Sports
  • Mon Nov 5, 1230am, Seattle at Kentucky, Fox College Sports

    NBA 2007-2008 Preseason Games
  • Every night on various channels, including TNT, ESPN, ESPN2, NBATV, Comcast Sports Net (CSN). Check local listings for details.

    Documentaries and Season Previews
  • Thur Oct 25, 7pm, REPEAT of the Conference USA Media Slam, CSTV. Calipari included with Pete Gillen and Seth Davis. Steve Lapas is in the studio
  • Fri Oct 26, 9pm, Books and Basketball: Bill Bradley on NBA-TV
  • Sat Oct 27, 1am, REPEAT of the Conference USA Media Slam, CSTV.
  • Sat Nov 3, 830pm, NEW!, Florida State Seminoles College Hoops Preview '07-'08 on Fox College Sports
  • Sun Nov 4, 6pm and 10pm, NEW!, Men's College Hoops Preview Show on CSTV.
  • Sun Nov 4, 7pm and 11pm, NEW!, Women's College Hoops Preview Show on CSTV.

    Everything else
  • Glory Road on Starz, Starz Black and Encore. Check local listings for availability and times.
  • Sat Oct 27, 330pm, A Summer in the Cage, The Sundance Channel. Six years in the life of a former Division I basketball player struggling with manic-depressive illness.
  • Sun Oct 28, 1230am, Hoops, a short film on BYU-TV that centers around hoops. This is a religious-themed short.
  • Tue Oct 30, 11am, A Summer in the Cage, The Sundance Channel.

    More TV Listings
  • Early schedule up to November 22 of ESPN and ESPN2.
  • In print: The USA Today USA Weekly College Hoops Preview newspaper-zine includes a comprehensive TV schedule for 2007-2008. Look for it at your local newstand for $4.95. This includes CBS, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FSN, Versus, CSTV, The Mtn, and the Big Ten Network. Not included: ESPN Full Court, Fox College Sports, regional networks, Comcast Sports Net.

    Direct from the Source
  • FSN and Fox College Sports tv listings.
  • Big Ten Network tv listings.

    Record your favorite games!
  • Not sure what to use to record your favorite games in 2007-2008? Here is a detailed article talking about TiVo, DVD recorders, DVRs, VHS, and more.

    Relive your favorite 2007 NCAA Tournament games
  • Every 2007 NCAA College Basketball game is on DVD!, produced by NCAA On-Demand.

    Gigantic 2007-2008 preview with links
  • A long list of links to 2007-2008 college hoops previews has been assembled in this page.

  • Tech Talk: Recording your favorite basketball games

    We are just about one month away from the start of the season, so this is a good time to plan how we are going to watch our favorites teams and games on TV. There are many options out there, which combination is the right one for you?

    A quick note, this article is intended as a general introduction. This topic can get very technical and complicated. My purpose with this is to provide a general introduction, not a comprehensive technical discussion :-)

    Executive Summary

  • If you don't want to spend any money, keep using your VCR and stack of VHS tapes.
  • If you want the lowest cost and some flexibility, consider renting a DVR (digital video recorder) from your cable or satellite provider.
  • If you want the best user interace and you want to own the device, get a TiVo. If you hate programming VCRs, get a TiVo. If you want to legally hack the device (eg add a larger hard disk), get a TiVo!
  • If you want to save games to watch weeks or months or years later, then you need a DVD recorder. A DVD recorder without a hard disk is a more high tech version of a VCR. A DVD recorder with a hard disk gives you the flexiblity of a DVR with the ability to edit and save games to DVD. If you are a technophobe, you may want to avoid these. If you like technology and computers and such, then you will like these.
  • If you prefer to use your computer as your media center, and you are comfortable with computers and hardware, then this is also a very good option. This is the most expensive (but also most versatile and flexible) solution of all. And the most complicated. Can you trust Windows with recording your TV? :-)

    Matching Specific Tasks with specific hardware
  • Record games while you are away from home, watch the games, and then delete them (you don't want to keep them after you watch them): VCR or Cable/Satellite DVR or TiVo, or a DVD recorder.
  • Record and watch games and then save them if they are exciting games (or your team won): VCR or a DVD recorder with a hard disk, OR a TiVo or Cable/Satellite DVR PLUS a DVD recorder or a VCR.

    More Details

    And now let's take a look at those options in more detail. We will start with the easiest and simplest solutions (and lower cost) solutions and then we move on to more expensive and complicated solutions.

    VCRs and VHS
    Yes, they may be old news, but they still work! And if you have a VCR and a stack of tapes, you don't have to pay anything extra. The down size of VCRs/VHS is the lower resolution of the recordings, having to deal with tapes, cannot watch on a computer, not digital, you cannot watch while recording, and you cannot start watching while the recording is in progress.

    Cable and Satellite Company Digital Video Recorders (DVRs)
    They are available from your cable or satellite provider, usually when you have a certain cable packages (eg digital cable). These offer the benefit of low cost and not owning the equipment, thus not having to buy yet another device every couple of years.

    A lot of them are now dual tuner, meaning you can record any two channels at the same time. Another trend is the availability of high definition (HD) DVRs. They allow you to record HD programming. But you don't have to have an HDTV to watch the HD programs if you have an HD DVR. You can watch it on your old trusty analog TV. It won't be HD resolution, it will be downsized to standard definition. However because of the superior quality of the HD signal, the downsized SD signal will probably be better than the standard definition equivalent.

    You typically pay a monthly fee of $10 - $12 and you have the device on a month to month basis. If a newer or better one becomes available, you can just ask for the newer model for no extra cost. If it has technical issues, just ask for a replacement. If you change your mind, just take it to the local office and you are done.

    This is also great for those who only need a DVR during the basketball season, but don't watch a lot of TV the rest of the time. So you could rent one out from November to April (July if you are an NBA fan), and then take it back in between.

    If you hate programming your VCR, if you want a nice, smooth user friendly user interface, then TiVo is the right answer for you. There is a price to pay though, you have to buy (own) the device, and you also have to pay a monthly fee in order to receive programming and software updates. Because you own the device, you can legally hack it, for example install a larger hard disk. TiVo costs more than the cable/satellite DVRs, but there are millions of people who swear that "once you go TiVo you never go back".

    The newer TiVos are dual tuner, and high definition TiVos are available as well. You do of course need to either subscribe to a cable/satellite package with HD programming or have an over the air antenna to get the HD signals. Please note however that with TiVos dual tuners, you can't record any two channels at the same time. You can record for example record one channel from your cable box and one from the analog channels (2 to 99), but you can't record two HBO shows at the same time. Unless you have a cable card system.

    Another benefit of TiVo is that you can use it whether you get your TV from an over the air antenna on the roof, or cable or satellite. Unlike cable and satellite, you do not have to subscribe to a specific package to get the DVR functionality. But obbviously the options, features and number of channels will depend on your source.

    Suggested Products to look-into: There are two high definition TiVos, the TiVo TCD648250B Series3 HD Digital Media Recorder, which costs quite a bit, and the newer and more affordable version is the TiVo TCD652160 HD Digital Video Recorder. If you don't have an HDTV or there is no HD programming of interest in your area, or you want to pay less, then you can take a look at the TiVo TCD649080 Series2 80 Hour Dual Tuner Digital Video Recorder

    DVD Recorders without hard disk
    If you hate programming a VCR, you won't like these. DVD recorders are not as smooth or streamlined as one would think they should have been. But if you are into technology, you will have no problems with these.

    One of the things that confuses people is the media soup of the dvd disc formats. There are the write-once and the rewriteables. Among the write-once you have DVD-R, DVD+R, and dual and double layer versions of -R and +R. These are two layers on the disc, they are not double sided. But there are some double sided as well. As far as rewritables, you have DVD-RW, DVD+RW and DVD-RAM (Panasonic). If this does not sound scary, then continue reading :-)

    Please note that you cannot record high definition video on a DVD with the dvd recorders available in the US market. None! You can record a downsized standard definition signal from the high definition signal, but not the HD signal itself.

    Believe or not, dvd recorders are not as reliable as VCRs, partly because they rely on optical disc media, and the cheaper the discs you use, the more likely you are to run into problems. You should check with the user manual, tech support and user forums to find out which blank dvd media your dvd recorder likes to eat.

    Another problem with DVD recorders and sports is that the longer recording modes (4-hour and 6-hour) are not particularly good for sports, because the constant motion causes compression artefacts on the recording. With VCRs you can get away with the 6-hour mode, but not so with DVD recorders. The 2-hour mode is the most suited, especially if you have a bigger TV. But if you are recording a game, you don't want to record just 2 hours. If a game is close, it will last longer. If there's overtime, it will be even longer. And you don't want to miss the end of those exciting games! So ideally, you should record somewhere between 2h 30mins to 2h 55mins per game.

    A lot of these recorders won't let you watch a program while recording, with the exception of units that can record on DVD-RAM discs or support the DVD-RW(VR mode). All Panasonic dvd recorders offer this option when you use DVD-RAM discs, which are more expensive and harder to find. This is great for chase-play, eg watch a game 30 minutes after it starts. As far as watching one program and recording another, because of the limited space on the DVD, it's not practical to put more than one basketball game, certainly not if you are recording one live (eg 2 1/2 to 3 hours).

    The ideal use of DVD recorders is for saving games from your TiVo or cable/satellite DVR to DVD discs. By recording while watching you can keep the recording under 2 hours (SP mode) which will give you reasonable picture quality. For this type of purpose, you may want to consider getting a tunerless DVD recorder (it does not have a tuner, you record by connecting your TiVo or DVR or cable box to its line inputs).

    Also if you have stacks of VHS tapes that you want to convert to DVD, you may want to consider a VCR/DVD recorder combo device. Of course if you already have a VCR and you are happy with it, and it is still holding up, you can use it for the same purpose and save some money.

    Suggested products to look into: If you want a model without a tuner (tunerless), then take a look at the Toshiba D-R400 Tunerless 1080p Upconverting DivX Certified DVD Recorder. If you want a unit with a tuner (including a digital tuner as well), look into the Panasonic DMR-EZ17 DVD Recorder with ATSC Tuner, available in silver or black finish. And for a dvd recorder combined with a VCR, consider the Panasonic DMR-EZ47VK Up-Converting 1080p DVD-Recorder/VCR Combo with Built In Tuner.

    DVD Recorders with hard disk
    These combine the benefits of a DVR (digital video recorder) and of a dvd recorder. You get a lot more flexibility. You can record and watch the programs on the hard disk, and if there are any exciting or favorite team games you want to save you can save them to DVD quickly. This has the added benefit of allowing you to edit the program, eg remove pre-game, post-game and half-time shows if you don't like them.

    These are only available in single tuner packages so you can only record one program at a time. But you have more flexibility, you can watch one program and record another, or you can chase-play a recording in progress (eg start watching 30 minutes after the game starts, and then skip through the commercials).

    You cannot record high definition video with these recorders. You can record a high definition signal converted to standard definition, but not an HD signal.

    However, in the US market, the majority of the electronics companies have not released new hard-disk based dvd recorders. They are available in other markets (Japan, Europe, Canada) but not the USA. A number of reasons why this happened are suggested (movie studios/DRM, conversion to digital broadcasting, people prefer DVRs/TiVo, etc, etc, etc).

    Suggested products to look into: Not that many choices I'm afraid. Of the two or three models currently available, the Philips DVDR3575H/37 1080p Upscaling DVDR with Built-In Tuner seems to be the one to look into.

    Used DVD Recorder Market
    Because of the situation in the US market mentioned above, the remaining stock of the previous generation of hard disk based dvd recorders has gone up in price significantly, so you will probably have to pay more for them used than you would have paid if you bought them the day they went on sale. However, there are some really good units in this group, such as the Pioneer 640 and Panasonic EH-55.

    Recording on computers (HTPC)
    If you are computer savvy, and if you don't mind the extra cost, and dealing with hardware configurations and Windows, then this option gives you the most flexibility and expandability.

    Other Options
    Coming later on...

    Please let me know what you think! If something was confusing, or not helpful, or there wasn't enough information, let me know by leaving a comment or sending an email.

  • Sunday, October 21, 2007

    NBA League Pass Free Preview week coming up!

    Fans of the NBA, there are some good news for you! The NBA League Pass, NBA's pay per view package will be offering a free one week preview of all its games. This is happening on Comcast for sure, please check with your local cable and satellite providers to double check. The free preview will take place from October 30, 2007 to November 6, 2007. This is loaded with games, at times they may have up to six games running in parallel. The preview will likely include a preview of the NBA-TV channel. This channel may be already available to you depending on what cable/satellite package you subscribed to.

    Speaking of which, users of Comcast please note that are running a special promotion where the Sports Tier package is offered for $3/mo instead of the usual price of $5/mo. This is advertised in the little ad-booklet that came in with your cable bill. It is on page 8 in my booklet. You can thank me later for saving you $2/mo :-)

    For those not familiar, the Sports Tier includes CSTV, the three Fox College Sports channels, NBA-TV, the NFL Network, SPEED, Fox Soccer, GOL TV, Tennis and a couple of others. Sadly no ESPNU :-(

    Friday, October 19, 2007

    On Fridays we shoot jumpshots

  • Memo to Comcast: If you add ESPNU to your cable lineup right now, we will forgive you for this!

    The Blogosphere Files
  • A Sea of Blue participates in a blog post swap with a Floridian blog! Check it out!
  • Stanford's promising NBAer forward Brook Lopez gets into deeper trouble as he gets an indefinite suspension on top of his academic troubles. Judging from what Coach Trent Johnson said, he must have fallen behind on classwork and practices.
  • We saw this story mentioned at A Sea of Blue, this is (and yet it isn't) The Colbert Repor(t). Speaking of which, Colbert's book is out!
  • Cracked Sidewalks says that Tom Crean is using high above above sea level exercise equipment. If they make it to the Final Four, expect a detailed Leslie Visser report on this in late March on CBS :-)
  • The latest from the Colonial at the CAA Hoops blog.
  • Georgia's academic woes at Yoco Hoops!
  • Lots of previews at Storming the Floor, the latest one being the Colonial Athletic Association.
  • How about some football? The Sports Flow previews the college football weekend.
  • Coach K is busy charging business executives thousands while getting millions form Duke. But where are his priorities?
  • George Mason celebrates their third 2008 recruit, Ryan Pearson.
  • Catch up with more mid-major news at the Mid-Majority Repor(t).
  • The SEC first team is revealed at SEC Hoops, the Good, the Bad, the Dirty.
  • You can visit or revisit Kentucky's Midnight Madness thanks to Wildcats Thunder. a UK blog and message boards.
  • More on Mascot Rankings at College Hoops Heaven.
  • A detailed round-up at Rush the Court. Included are a fan letter to Kelvin Sampson, more players getting trouble, and Mike Hopkins in and out of succession.
  • It's a Final Four of a different kind at La Rev.
  • Making the Dance rates the best Midnight Madness events of this (pre)season.

    The Big Media Files
  • Paul Hewitt loses ...Joe Torre but gains Iman (no, not the supermodel). Details at Goodman's blog.
  • Goodman takes a look at the New Gators with Alex Tyus making an impressions, which does not surprise us as he was the one who did the hard work in AAU teams loaded with Burger boys. Also Levance Fields drops 20 lbs and has something else dropped. And not good for the Sweet 16 UNLV Rebels, one of their incoming big men won't be eligible to play this season. Check Goodman's blog for all the details.
  • DeCourcy scouts UCLA practices and thinks they look like a #1 team. Presumably on defense? :)
  • DeCourcy also tackles the latest kerfuffle at Indiana. No, not Bob Knight or Mike "Whiner" Davis, it's Kelvin "500 calls" Sampson! And was the intern who made the revelations a Bob Knight guy? :)
  • But DeCourcy thinks that Sampson does not deserve all the blame. Big Brother should own up as well.
  • DeCourcy's famous Inside Dish serves a double post at Texas A&M with some Ole Roy secondary breaks, an update on the injury of Sharaud Curry at Providence, and an update on the Duke Slayers (VCU Rams). There is no better way for a team to earn my favor than by beating the Dookies :-)
  • DeCourcy also revisits the story of power forward Trevor Mbakwe of Marquette.

    This Crazy Blog
  • Don't forget to check out our Gigantic 2007-2008 Season Preview of Links. Yes, links to various preview-ish posts and blogs and websites all over the internets.
  • If you missed it, check it out, a review of the USA Today Sports Weekly College Basketball Preview newspaper-zine.
  • Confused about recording your favorite basketball games on TV? Get even more confused!
  • Can't wait for the new season but you like to live in the past? We have the perfect answer for you, the 2007 NCAA Tournament Games on DVD!
  • Looking for the next sports anthem? Amazon now sells mp3.
  • Don't want to miss a blog update? Subscribe to our blog feed - works with both RSS and Atom.

  • Thursday, October 18, 2007

    2007-2008 USA Today Sports Weekly College Basketball Preview review

    Thanks to Rush the Court for alerting me about the publication of the new 2007-2008 USA Today/USA Sports Weekly College Basketball Preview Special Edition. Check for it at your local newsstands. The cover price is $4.95, and it is printed on thick newspaper-type paper with some color pictures. It is more like Barron's in size and style than The USA Today (the daily multicolor fishwrap).

    Let's start from the end. Spoiler alert! The TV schedule for both men's and women's basketball games is printed in decent size font. It starts on November 5, 2007 and ends on April 3, 2008 with the NIT Final Four. And boy is the schedule loaded this season! Not only do we have new events (Big12 vs Pac10, SEC vs Big East, OJ Mayo Classic, Puerto Rico TipOff, etc), we also have the brand new Big Ten Network (BTN) and The Mtn and Versus are increasing their coverage. Channels included in the TV listings: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, CBS, ABC, FSN, Versus, CSTV, BTN, The Mtn. Channels not included: Fox College Sports, ESPN Full Court (pay per view package), regional networks (Lincoln Financial, Jefferson Pilot, etc - or whatever their new names are).

    If you are a hoops junkie. you may need a second TiVo to keep up! Okay that may be overkill, but here are some of your options for recording college basketball games on TV.

    And now that we got the TV schedule out of the way, let's see what goodies we have in this preview:

  • The cover features a split-screen of OJ Mayo and Kevin Love trying to look mean. At the top of the cover, in a tiny picture, Psycho T squeezes the air out of a basketball. Is that a recap of last year's season for North Carolina? :) Ouch!
  • Conference previews: The six BCS conferences and Calipari's Conference USA get a two-page conference preview each. The tier #1 mid-major conferences (A10, Big Sky, Big West, Horizon (now with Valpo), MAC, MVC, MWC, Ohio Valley, Sun Belt, WAC and West Coast) get a full page each. The remaining conferences get half a page each. The Colonial once again should feel dissed since they are in the 2nd tier, not the 1st tier, despite George Mason to the Final Four, the VCU Duke Slayers, and solid seasons from Hofstra, UNC Wilmington and such. Especially considering some of the other mid-major conferences included in the first tier (Big Sky? Big West? OVC? Sun Belt? Horizon? MAC?) but not the Colonial? Come on multi-color fishwrap, wake up and smell the fish!
  • Memphis gets a two-page preview as the fishwrap's #1 team. The other top teams are receiving one page full previews: Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan State, North Carolina, Tennessee and UCLA and USC. Rosters are included for these eight teams, but not the jersey numbers. The remaining teams get short previews in their respective conference's preview.
  • A three page feature on Kevin Love and OJ Mayo that also moonlights as a UCLA and USC preview.
  • A two page preview on the Rutgers women's team with a giant picture of center Kia Vaughn screaming (at Don Imus?)
  • A three-page general interest men's college basketball national preview
  • One page spotlight of the top 10 freshmen. Well, make it nine, sadly Chris Wright of Goergetown is out for the season :-(
  • There is a two-page TV Viewer's Guide, spotlighting some of the most exciting games of the season, mostly focusing on out of conference games.
  • A four-page preview of women's hoops, which along with the Street and Smith (ooops, I mean the new Sporting News) is the most extensive coverage. Why hasn't anyone come up with a women's preview magazine? Do we really need half a dozen men's previews? How about five men previews and one for the ladies for a start?
  • As mentioned at the start of the review, there is a comprehensive TV schedule for both men's and women's tv games. If your local cable or satellite provider does not have some of the channels, bang your monkey! (a Jim Rome Jungle phrase).

  • Today on Outside the Lines: Staph infections and MRSA and athletes

    A health-related centerpiece story on today's outside the lines on ESPN at 3pm eastern (noon pacific) on MRSA and staph infections. Details on Outside the Lines on their web page. Among the noteable athletes infected with it were West Virginia's popular guard Mike Gansey. MRSA is a highly-contagious blood-borne bug that has now found its way into locker rooms, weight rooms and training facilities.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    Tape-delayed live-blogging the Mountain West (WWC) Media Slam

    We are tape-delayed-live-blogging the Mountain West media days on The Mtn and CSTV!

    First up, new Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds with senior Tim Anderson. Air Force is in a major rebuilding mode with new coach and a number of seniors graduating. Gone is coach Jeff Busy-deli-k (Bzdelik) who flew to a BCS job. A topic of discussion was their patented match-up defense that gives opponents headaches. On offense tweaks will be made to take advantage of the available personnel. The hosts reminded them of last season's NIT game against DePaul.

    Next up, the BYU Cougars! If you haven't guessed, teams are presented in alphabetic order. Coach Dave Rose and player Sam Burgress are representin the Cougars. Plaidstead (sp?) and Cummard are the returning leaders. BYU took a summer trip to the country that makes fries. BYU is on a 31-game home winning streak, only 2nd to Calipari's Tigers, and six wins ahead of #3 The Thad Matta State. Coach Rose (no relation to Jalen or Derrick Rose) was a member of Guy Lewis's Final Four teams at Houston. This may be ouchy for his current players: "Need to recruit better players".

    And now Colorada State without NBAer Jason Smith, but with 7-footer Stuart Creason and new coach Tim Miles (who? wasn't he at North Dakota State?). Interestingly, Creason drops a reference to Athlon's preview magazine's statistics. I reviewed the 2007-2008 Athlon college basketball magazine just a few days ago! Miles plays motion and "common-sensical basketball". Motion offense and packing it in the paint on defense is a recipe for ... slugfest!. Expect misery at CSU as they only have 7 eligible scholarship players. RPI #300 here we come? But he looks forward to the two D1 transfers sitting out and the four players coming in next year (2008-2009). Tim Miles confessed he needs a straightjacket. He's on record!

    And now Steve Alford with peppers and chili in his eggs, along with former KU and troubled wing JR Giddens, and guard Darren Prentice. The defense is in they say. The Bob Knight influence? And can the players beat Steve Alford in a game of horse? Will Alford make The Pit rock again? Alford sees similarities between the Mountain West and the Big 10 fans even though he is not particularly familiar with the Southwest. Meanwhile JR Giddens very briefly addressed some of his past issues. Meanwhile Tony Dandridge is out, so that hurts their chances. And yes, another made for TV game, Bob Knight vs Steve Alford, Texas Tech vs New Mexico. It does well TV wise, doesn't it? Will Frannie Fraschilla be the analyst and interview those two together? :)

    The MTN reminds us that they will cover a total of 71 men's basketball games on their network. If you don't get the Mtn, call your cable or satellite provider and politely demand The Mtn. Or as Jim Rome puts it, "bang your monkey!". Some of those games may also be shown nationwide on CSTV and Versus.

    And now Michigan San Diego State coach Steve Fisher who brought some lambs with him, player Chris Lamb. Gone is Florida transfer M. Abukar and scoring machine Heath. Fisher also talked about Marquette transfer space-eater Ryan Amoroso. Will he have more 30+ point games like he did at the 2006 Alaska Shootout? Steve Fisher also gave his quick analysis on the league, seeing five teams as conference contenders and considers the league as a multi-bid league. Gone from the team is Doug Gottlieb's brother, former SDSU assistant coach.

    Next up, we go to TCU with former Ole Roy assistant Neil Dougherty accompanied by players Brent Hackett and Cal transfer (and former Kansas player brother) Kevin Langford. The Ole Roy connection again? Rumor has it the team got lost in the Rain Forest. Figuratively or ??? Does it remind you of a South Park episode?

    And now we have Lon Kruger fully recovered from his heart operation. He is reminded of their Sweet 16 run and accompanies by Curtis Terry (related to former Arizona and current NBA star Jason Terry). But this is going to be a different season for the Tarkanian Rebels, only one starter is back!

    Next up Utah with new head coach Jim Boylen. Jim who? Bring back Majerus!!! He is accompanied by the big Australian center Luke Nevill and guard Johnnie Bryant.

    Last but not least, the Wyoming basketball programwith new head coach Heath Schroyer. Who? WWhere do they find these guys? :) Brad Jones and Brandon Ewing are accompanying the head coach on the set. He reminds fans of their mandhandling victory over the Zags in the NCAAs a few years ago.

    That's all folks! Check out lots of Mountain West games on the Mtn in Mountain West areas, and CSTV and Versus nationwide. And as Jim Rome said, if you want it added to your cable/satellite line-up, bang your monkey!

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    The On Notice board has arrived!

    Duke Favoritism: It seems like Duke can do no wrong. From the NCAA, the ACC, the zebras, the NCAA tournament selection cmte, the media, the analysts, the broadcasters, the writers, the readers, the casual fans, they all give the Dookies an unfair advantage.

    The NCAA Oligarchy: Funny how it's the student athletes that generate the millions for the NCAA and the colleges, yet the student-athletes are the last ones to benefit financially from this. Time to get fair! The NCAA Oligarchy is entrenched in money and power and can't see reason. Just like George Orwell wrote it :)

    Kelvin Sampson's Cell Phone: That darned cellphone got him in trouble twice now (at least). Bad cellphone!

    Coach K: He started from humble beginnings and was a true success story, but somewhere along the way he lost his way and thought he was the Pope of College Basketball.

    Street and Smith: They bought the Sporting News college basketball preview magazine, took the name and glued it to their own Street and Smith magazine. The end-result? We lost the wonderful Sporting News preview magazine. Boo!!! Bring it back!

    Slugfest style of play: Yes, defense wins games. Yes, if you don't have a good team, you have a better chance of winning the game if you make it an ugly ultimate fighting competition. But the game is basketball, not ultimate fightining, and they put baskets and scoreboards to score, not for decoration! So stop ruining the game with your ugly un-basketball-style of play you silly coaches! Let the kids play and have some fun. It's about them you know, not your next contract. Greedy little biatches :)

    Zebras: Need I say more?

    Bears: Need I say more?

    This On Notice board was generated at Neither that site nor this blog are affiliated with Stephen Colbert or Comedy Central. Speaking of which, Stephen Colbert has just released a brand new book, "I am America (and so can you)".

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    Monday Night Hoops!

    The NCAA Hoops Today Files

  • We just posted our third college basketball preview magazine review, this time the Sporting News - Street and Smith magazine. Wait, aren't those two supposed to be two different magazines? Well, not anymore! Read on to discover the dark secrets of Magazine M&A! Colonial Association fans may have some issues with the coverage as well.
  • The big news from the recruiting trail was Greg Monroe picking Georgetown. Go Hoyas!
  • Our multi-part series on Scouting for the 2007-2008 season continues with Scouting the Kentucky Midnight Madness scrimmage.
  • USC Fans our challenged to drink OJ and eat mayo.
  • An early college basketball TV schedule is ready to go. It includes ESPN and ESPN2 games up to November 22, 2007.
  • If you missed the Blogger's Top 25 Poll and the bloggers behind the poll, check it out!
  • Don't forget our gigantic season preview via links. If you have created a preview page or blog, let me know and I will add it to the list.
  • Do you like the idea of a Blog Syndication Network? Did you check out the BlogRush widget in our left column? If you like the idea, join the Blog Rush blog syndication network.

    The Blogosphere Files
  • A Sea of Blue looks at the New World of College Football. Which Florida school is #2 in the BCS? Urban Legend's Florida? Florida State? No. Then surely it is Miami! Nope! South Florida is #2 in the BCS!
  • Don't you just love that College Hoops doesn't have to deal with BCS? :)
  • Kelvin Sampson gets caught red handed again, with the finger on the phone trigger. Storm the Floor has the story! Also discussed at March to Madness! and Rush the Court.
  • Catch up with the latest from the world of non-BCS conferences at the Mid-Majority Repor(t).
  • Did you miss Midnight Madness? March to Madness has a recap in pictures. More at Rush The Court. And a MM recap as well.
  • Tony Nunes is a magician and dislikes Bill Raftery? How can anyone possibly dislike Bill Raftery???
  • SEC Hoops - the Good, the Bad and the Dirty picks their SEC all conference teams.
  • Bruins Nation celebrates John Wooden's 97th birthday!. And an update from the Ben Howlin Wolf's practices.
  • Jim Harrick-bad news for Georgia reports SEC GBD - Mike Mercer and Takais Brown have received big suspensions for academic reasons. This almost ruins Dennis Felton's first chance at an NCAA bid.
  • Am I the only one to see some resemblance between Dennis Felton and the basketball coach on a recurring Mad TV sketch?
  • thinks Jim Calhoun is a ...pussy cat.
  • Going head to head with Alabama's Ron Steel for most injured player of the decade is PitinoVille's Juan Diego Tello Palacios. Story at
  • The CAA Hoops blog has updated their CAA conference preview. Find out what to expect this season from the Duke Slayers (VCU Rams) and the UConn Slayers (George Mason). And Street and Smith has the audacity (I don't know what it means, I was told to use this word [ref: Pete Gillan]) not to include the Colonial as one of their top six non-BCS conferences. This is one of my half a dozen beefs with this year's Street and Smith (aka The Sporting News) preview magazine.
  • A recap of Marquette's Midnight Madness at Marquette blog Cracked Sidewalks.

    The Big Media Files
  • Dick Hoops Weiss has a Midnight Madness post that includes some tidbits from the St John's legend Lou Carnesecca. He also comments on the new option for the zebras to T-up coaches for "decorum" non-conformity.
  • A new website/season-preview has been launched, the Basketball Prospectus. Among the internauts involved is Ken Pomeroy of
  • From the desk of Publish or Parrish we have a new top 25. Parrish also comments on Kelvin Sampson's 500,000 call debacle. Bring back Mike Davis and Bob Knight?
  • Nebraska AD gets fired after football defeat according to CBS Sportsline
  • And some sad news as former Georgia star Alec Kessler died at the every early age of 40.
  • A setback for the Dave Letterman of basketball coaches as DJ Rivera will sit out the first semester, another one in a long list of academic casualties.
  • DeJuan Blair has been flying under the radar, but this big big man will make a big splash in the new big Big East. Big I'm telling you. More at CBS Sportsline.
  • Speaking of the state of PA, College Hoops Heaven and the Bulletin will be taking a look at the practices at the big six Philly colleges. The Big 5 plus Drexel for those not familiar with Philly.
  • Goodman has updated from Midnight Madness, a new point guard at Marshall, and updates on Kansas, Illinois and Ole Miss. I hope the first two don't fight because they are in the same column :)
  • Meanwhile YoCoHoops is back! with lots of new posts! Check them out. Quite interestingly, former Indiana great Kent Benson has called for the firing of Kelvin 500-calls 500,000-fine Sampson. Time to beg Bob Knight to return?

  • 2007-2008 Sporting News (aka Street and Smith) College Basketball Magazine Review

    College Hoops Preview Magazine review #3 is ready to go with TSN, The Sporting News 2007-08 College Basketball preview magazine. I picked this one at Borders Bookstores at the list price of $6.99, with the unfortunate cover of the Lopez twins. Unfortunate because Brook Lopez is academically inelligibile for the first semester. Better fire up Photoshop and make a new cover! While there I also noticed that the CBS Sportsline preview magazine was out. I didn't flip through it, but the previous year's editions were, to borrow a word from Bill Walton, hooooooooooorrible.

    For historical reference, this is my 2006-2007 Sporting News review. Speaking of 2006-2007, every 2007 NCAA college basketball Tournament game is available on DVD, produced officially by NCAA On-Demand.

    And one last thing, check out our gigantic 2007-2008 season preview of links to various websites and blogs writing about the 07-08 season. And this is a good time to plan ahead for the upcoming season, how are you going to record your favorite games on TV?

    The magazine starts with a "Dear Readers" letter by publisher Mike Kallar, revealing the merger of Street and Smiths and the Sporting News preview magazines. The Sporting News name is retained but it will be published in Charlotte, NC, home of Street and Smiths. So did Street and Smith ruin the excellent Sporting News preview magazine or did they manage to improve it further? Read on to find out!

    General Interest Stories

  • The expected alphabetic Team Index is on page 4.
  • TSN's Top 25 is revealed with a paragraph for each team
  • A 2.5 page national overview article blended with the top 25 includes mentions of Duke, UCLA, Calipari, and three All American teams. Also a list of one-and-out candidates with the usual names. Story by TSN's Mike DeCourcy
  • The top 100 incoming freshmen are broken down geographically (based on their state of origin, not the college's location)
  • The excellent New Destinations page (page #13) has a list of transfers eligible for this season, transfers eligible for next season, and the coaching changes in-between the seasons.
  • A two page "Whatever happened to" tracing Dane Fife, JR Van Hoose, and Teddy DuPay.
  • A great idea, a page with the final standings conference-record wise of all teams in all conferences. Nice!
  • Five pages of Cheerleader photos - perhaps the ones rejected by HBL. An example of Street and Smiths mediocrity ruining the Sporting News excellent basketball guide. Booo!
  • Continuing the Street and Smith tradition of giving the smaller conferences and divisions some love, they include a one page preview for the NCAA Division II, one page for Division III, and one page for the NAIA.
  • Four-page coverage of the JuCos! (JC aka junior colleges)
  • Four page coverage of Women's College Basketball
  • A six page article (page #182) has 2006-2007 statistics, both individual and team statistics for NCAA D1, D2, D3, NAIA and Women's too.
  • The schedules are included! A 12-page block starting on page 188 has every team's schedule. Break out your magnifying glass though. This is the first one of the preview magazines I have seen that has a complete schedule!
  • Last page: A list of the top in-season exempt tournaments of interest, along with dates for the conference tournaments and sites for the 2008 NCAA Tournament
  • Lincoln Financial Sports's SEC conference schedule is included as an advertisement on page #113.
  • Grade: B-

    Recruiting Coverage
  • Four page coverage of Junior colleges and juco players
  • Ten pages of recruiting coverage with a focus on the 2008 class. Players after 2008 are all grouped together (another S&S oddity). All-Metro teams are provided which includes top five players in 22 major metropolitan areas. A long list of prep/hihg-school games of interest is given as well. A two-page article spotlights the top 25 high-school basketball teams.
  • A five-page story spotlights some of the top Women's high school players and teams.

    Conference Previews
  • The BCS conferences along with some high mid-major conferences (A10, C-USA, MVC, MAC, Mountain West and WAC), get a full page of conference preview. They are presented alphabetically at the start of the book. Each conference preview includes a ranking of the conference teams recruiting-wise with a short explanation for each team, a nice feature looking at future recruiting prospects powered by Rivals, the all conference players team, predicted order of finish, the conference superlatives (best player, best defender, etc), and a text intro to the conference. The magazine brands them as High Major.
  • A few more mid-major conferences start on page 130 with half a page for the conference preview. This is for the Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Southern Conference, Sun Belt and Gonzaga Conference (oops WCC). For reference, I will call this Tier #2. The magazine brands them as Mid Major.
  • The remaining conferences get a 1/5th of a page for their conference preview. For reference, I will call this Tier #3. The magazine brands them as Low Major.

    Team Previews
  • BCS teams and the top six mid-major conferences receive either half a page or a full page preview. The full page preview includes the roster with jersey numbers, bujt gone are the detailed player statistics of the previous season. Also gone is the team's schedule in the team's page that was a trademark TSN feature. Boo @ Street and Smith! You ruined it! On the plus side, a graph of a team's number of wins in the last five year is posted (a Street and Smith feature). Also included are Power Ratings, rating the team on five key factors. A nice touch! An impact rookie from each team is spotlighted very briefly. There is one picture per team. The text preview itself is one long text, not broken down in sub-categories like TSN used to do. The record of the head coach and the names of the assistant coaches are listed but they are not as detailes as TSN's was. Boo again! The bottom teams of each conference receive half-a-page review instead of full-page but they do get full rosters with jersey numbers. This approach creates some strange things, for example Purdue and Michigan get half a page, while Tulsa has a full page. I'm not complaining but BCS koolaiders may do so.
  • Teams belonging to conferences in Tier #2 (see the previous section on Conference Previews) get about 1/6th of a page coverage without any rosters. The exception is the top team in the conference that receives half-a-page preview which includes a roster with jersey numbers.
  • Teams that belong to Tier #3 conferences (see the Conference Preview above) receive one to two paragraphs each and that's all.

  • There is no dancing around this, they have ruined what made The Sporting News (TSN) my favorite preseason magazine.
  • They decided to use the Sporting News name because it is more popular and recognizable but this magazine is really a renaming of the Street and Smith magazine. While not bad, they are not TSN! Which is why they bought TSN.
  • One big plus of this magazine is that it has a 12-page schedule of every team in the country.
  • There is more women's coverage here than any other preview magazine I have seen so far.
  • They have a lot of recruiting coverage for the 2008 class and 2007-2008 high school season, but very little for 2009 and beyond
  • The most extensive JUCO coverage I have seen, a total of four pages, including team coverage
  • This is good preview magazine to get, especially if your a fan of one of the top 6 non-BCS conferences as it has very detailed ccverage (A10, MVC, MWC, MAC, C-USA nad WAC). The Colonial will probably feel dissed and left out once again as they are relegated to the 2nd tier despite producing a Final Four team just two years ago.
  • But I'm not happy with them ruining the successful Sporting News format! Boo!!!!!!! Bring back the real Sporting News!!!

  • Sunday, October 14, 2007

    Big Recruiting News: Greg Monroe decides on a college!

    The weekend had some big recruiting news, Greg Monroe, the by-induction #1 player of the 2008 class along with top 100 Terrance Jennings has made up their minds. Where are they going? Find out at Recruiting Wars!.

    Or continue reading here... Greg Monroe is going to Georgetown, giving John Thompson the 3rd another notch on his belt - getting the #1 player in the class. Without the worry of an immediate NBA Draft ejection, JT3 can be assured that he will get at least one year out of talented Mr Monroe.

    The second big commit was former Terrapin commit Terrence Jennings who said no to Gary Williams (because of academics? ha!) and how now settled on Pitinoville. As you may recall a few days ago Jeff Goodman at Fox Sports mentioned that a couple of PitinoVille assistants were putting on the full court press. Well it seems to have worked. But if he ejected from Maryland, how do we know he is going to stick with this commitment?

    Maryland made up for it by getting a Korean forward out of South Kent Prep in CT. No, there was no fight with Jim Calhoun this time.

    Scouting Kentucky's Midnight Madness

    In today's scouting segment we look at Kentucky's Midnight Madness which aired nationally on Fox College Sports.

    The intra-squad scrimmage was about 20 game-time minutes, essentially the equivalent of half a half of a regular game. The teams played fast - granted this was just the first scrimmage in a exhibition midnight madness setting, so the brother-in-law defense was almost mandatory in order to entertain the crowd of 23,313.

    A number of players looked good, Joe Crawford was skinnier and "jumpier", while the 7-footer Mike Williams had some nice moves, and so did walk-on Mark Coury . As you may recall from his Texas A&M days, Billy Gillispie is a big fan of walk-ons and stockpiling players on the bench. Included was walk-on tryout winner Dusty Mills. Meanwhile Perry Stevenson is still under 200lbs, but if he plays to his strengths he can be a big factor.

    The dunk contest had its share of misses and some examples of team work - dunks off lob passes which perhaps bodes well for the regular season. It was interesting to watch, because you can still figure things out, despite the midnight madness setting. For example Patrick Patterson's dunks were very efficient (with the exception of one between the legs), and his insticts where showcased as he even rebounded his own dunk miss.

    After watching the scrimmage I have to say that Kentucky looks better than I had expected. There's lots of talent on the roster, and Billy G says he wants to play fast(er), but not fast for the sake of playing fast. He certainly has a lot of fast players on this roster. Plus the second wave of second-tier talent-wise players can push the first wave to be more effective with their PT, otherwise they will lose it. Some of the players that will be coming off the bench would be good enough to start in many other places.

    Players like playing in a faster tempo and that helps in recruiting as well. Other than Kevin Love and a few others, who wants to slugfest or play sit-around for 30 seconds?

    Meanwhile a game of horse between two All-Americans, Joe Crawford and Patrick Patterson lasted for more than three hours, with shots made from outside the building even ;-) At the end they decided to end it in a draw. This was one among a number of fun skits as a way of introducing the new players to the fans.

    So what have we learned? They have a choice of three different style point guards, a trio of offensive minded wings, talented and athletic forwards, and the potential of a productive 7-footer in the middle. This sounds like a recipe for success. Of course there are plenty of question marks as well, but overall, they exceeded my expectactions.

    Saturday, October 13, 2007

    USC Trojans Fans Challenge

    With OJ Mayo officially having his Midnight Madness, I am issuing a challenge to USC Trojans Fans to celebrate the arrival of OJ Mayo by eating mayo while drinking orange juice (OJ). You got OJ Mayo, the least you can do is ...drink in his name!

    Now I'm not suggesting that you do this and post videos of it on YouTube or post pictures of doing that on the net. I am not suggesting that! And just to be clear, I am not suggesting that :)

    Gigantic 2007-2008 Season Preview Links (work in progress)

    This post is an attempt at a gigantic 2007-2008 Season Preview as a collection of links to various stories all over the net. This will become a very chaotic post. For now, it's rather short and easy to read :) After all, the preview/pre-season is longer than the actual college basketball season :-) If you have any links you would like to see added, whether it's your own blog or website or your favorite blog or website, just let me know via a comment or via an email (there's a contact via email link on the left hand column).

    2007-2008 Detailed Preseason Magazine Reviews

  • Sporting News Preview Magazine (aka Street and Smith) - read on to find out why!
  • Athlon Sports, reviewed here at NCAAHoopsToday (NHT).
  • Lindy's Sports, reviewed here at NHT.
  • USA Today Sports Weekly college basketball preview newspaper-zine review.

    Scouting games in preparation for 2007-2008
  • The Roundball classic
  • The Nike Hoop Summit
  • The Jordan Brand Classic
  • Media Days live-blogging: Conference USA and Mountain West.
  • Kentucky's Midnight Madness scrimmage.
  • Next: McDonalds All American Game and Dunk contest

    What to use to record your favorite basketball games?
  • What are the options? VCR? cable or satellite DVR? TiVo? DVD Recorder? Computer? Find out in this detailed and informative tech-talk article.

    2007-2008 Rankings (reverse chronological order)
  • Here it is, the Blogger's Top 25 Preseason Poll. And who are the bloggers participating in this Blogger's Top 25 Poll?
  • SEC Hoops, the Good/Bad/Dirty has a newly updated their Top 25+10.
  • Lindy's Top 25
  • SEC Hoops Good/Bad/Dirty Top 25+10!
  • Dick Vitale's Top 40 at ESPN
  • DeCourcy's Top 5 candidates to win the championship
  • Mid-summer Top 25 at MMAS
  • Rivals Top 25, and Power Rankings
  • Sportsflow preseason top 10
  • March Madness All Season asks this question: Who is #1 in 2007-2008?.
  • The AOL Sports Fan House has posted their premature Hoops blogpoll as of July 13, 2007. Surprise? Carolina is #1, Memphis #2
  • FoxSports Top 25
  • CHN Top 50 Version II
  • Beyond the Arc
  • Gary Parrish top 36 (his blog does not have links to individual posts, arggh!)
  • DeCourcy's Top 10 affected by the NBA draft (five on the plus, five on the minus)
  • CHN top 144 teams at College Hoops Net (CHN)
  • Gary Parrish Top 25 (at Sportsline, posted 6/18/07)
  • Joe Lunardi's Bracketology
  • Top 25 by Andy Katz (mid-June posting)
  • Goodman's top 30 (late April)
  • Katz top 25 (late April)

    2007-2008 Random Thoughts on various teams (from this blog)
  • Marquette and North Carolina
  • former Dookies in the Pac-10 and the Arizona Wildcats
  • The Memphis Tigers and the AASAA offense
  • Next one will be Duke (and I promise it will be biased!)

    2007-2008 Comprehensive Previews
  • March Madness All Season has began their comprehensive preview.
  • Also under way are comprehensive previews at Rush the Court.
  • And at Basketball Prospectus.
  • Also at Storming the Floor.
  • Know of any more? Are you publishing one? Let me know!

    2007-2008 Team Previews
  • DeCourcy asks ten vital questions of the upcoming season.
  • The Rivals Power Duo picks their top conference for 07-08. They also pick the worst BCS conference
  • Six teams that could jump from the NIT to the NCAA at MMAS (March Madness All Season)
  • Mid-major conferences to watch at Rivals
  • Rivals (and Yahoo Sports) have started a top 64 teams countdown, previewing the upcoming season!. Here is a sample (St Louis and Rick Majerus)
  • Day by day previews of the top 144 teams, already in progress, at College Hoops Net (CHN)
  • Hot Rivalries thanks to a recruiting boost. By Andrew Skwara of Rivals.

    2007-2008 Player Previews
  • Top 10+ power forwards by DeCourcy, along with top 10 small forwards.
  • Best wing duos and best trios and best inside/out combinations at March Madness All Season (MMAS).
  • Top 25 point guards and combo guards by Gary Parrish of CBS Sportsline.
  • The top 10 point guards of 2007-2008 according to Rivals!
  • Rivals picks the top super sophomore.
  • Ten top players broken down by Jerry Wainwright by Rivals
  • Returning statistical leaders for the 2007-2008 season, by Rivals: Scorers, rebounders, assists, blocks, steals, and 3-pointers.
  • Top returning rebounders by Bob McClellan of Rivals via Yahoo Sports
  • Top thieves - the returning steals leaders by Bob McClellan of Rivals via Yahoo Sports.
  • Top 10 Ready to break out list at Yahoo Sports by Bob McClellan of Rivals. He also lists the 10 best "improvers" from last season for reference.
  • Top penetrator by Rivals. Also top stopper and big shot

    New Players joining in 2007-2008 (freshmen and jucos)
  • Impact transfers at March Madness All Season.
  • Fifty impact freshmen at March Madness All Season
  • Impact Freshmen at CHN, part 1. Part 2 is here
  • Top 42 recruiting classes ranked by Vance Coleman of CSTV. If you only want to read one post about incoming freshman and class rankings, this is it folks!
  • Top 100 JuCo players by Vance Coleman at CSTV
  • Top classes by Van Coleman, 6/15/07, at CSTV
  • Top 30 classes by Rivals. Also here
  • Top 150 players by Rivals
  • Recruiting Wars Top 10 players.

    2007-2008 Preseason Tournaments
  • Maui Invitational
  • BB&T Classic
  • Great Alaska Shootout
  • NIT (check under pre-season)
  • ACC Big 10 Challenge (Wiki link)
  • Pac10 vs Big 12 challenge, New this season!
  • SEC vs Big East challenge, New this season!
  • Old Spice Classic 2nd year of Thanksgiving event at Disney World in Florida.
  • Paradise Jam
  • John Wooden Classic
  • John Wooden tradition
  • Hall of Fame Challenge in Springfield, MA, featuring Zags, UConn, BC and Providence. Dec 1, 2007. Year #1 of the event took place in Phoenix last year, an homage to the Collangelos perhaps.
  • A calendar of some of the major tourneys have been posted at Goodman's blog. Included are lists of teams participating this season.
  • Jimmy V classic (December 4 at MSG)
  • Brand new Anaheim Classic during Thanksgiving week, Nov 22-24, on ESPN2 and ESPNU. This year it will be showing OJ Mayo to a national audience. This is an exempt event (8 teams playing 3 games each). New this season!

    2007-2008 TV Schedule
  • Just added! A comprehensive printed TV schedule for both men and women is published/printed in the brand new USA Today Sports Weekly college basketball preview magazine, which I just reviewed. Thanks to Rush the Court for the tip!
  • An early 2007-2008 TV schedule, currently covers ESPN and ESPN2 up to November 22, 2007, which includes the start of Feast Week 2007! This will be updated throughout as more listings become available! Just added!
  • Season preview on Countdown to Sports on Versus and Comcast, starting on Saturday November 3, 2007, with multipe repeats following it up
  • The Big Ten Network goes live on August 30, 2007. This changes the TV dynamics of Big 10 games. They will no longer be part of the ESPN Full Court pay per view package. Instead those games will be shown on the Big Ten Network. Most of the premium games will continue to be shown on the ESPN family of networks and CBS and ABC, but the Big Ten Network will grab some of the "good games". It will show at least 105 regular season men's basketball games in the 2007-2008 season. Also expect a number of repeats both of classic and recent games (from ESPN and ABC) as they have the rights to re-broadcast them (via the Big 10 conference). Some of those games will be available in high definition (HD). Not sure if 720p or 1080i.
  • ACC Big 10 challenge tv schedule (Wiki)
  • SEC vs Big East Challenge tv schedule (
  • Old Spice classic tv schedule.

    New books scheduled for the new season
  • Usually a number of books, with a college basketball and basketball in general theme are planned for release in the run-up to the new season. Here is what is coming up:
  • New! Phil Martelli, the St Joe's (Saint Joseph) men's basketball coach has a book in the works released to the world! Martelli is a character, so his book should definitely be an entertaining read. The title is Don't Call Me Coach: A Lesson Plan for Life and costs around $16.50 at Amazon. 240 pages long, and yes, the Hawk is on the cover!
  • Hot off the pressses is a recount of his career at Tennessee. Dane Bradshaw has published a book titled "Vertical Leap: Inside the rise of Tennessee basketball", foreword by Bruce Pearl. The start of Bruce Pearl era at Tennessee is now chronicled.
  • Meanwhile, Ray Mernagh wrote "1 Chance 2 Dance:A Season Inside Mid-Major Hoops In Mid-America" (currently not listed at Amazon), focusing on a season in Mid-American Conference (MAC) basketball.
  • Tough cookie guard Wes Miller of North Carolina wrote a book as well, Road to Blue Heaven: An Insider's Diary of North Carolina's 2007 Basketball Season. Adam Lucas who wrote four books on UNC hoopsis the editor. The book is 256 pages long and should come out by September. Pre-order price is around $16 with price guarantee.
  • more on this later

    Bargain priced college hoops books from previous seasons
  • The Carolina Way Leadership Lessons from a Life in Coaching by Dean Smith, ($6, hardcover)
  • The Seasons of my life by Lute Olson ($5, hardcover)
  • The Miracle of St Anthony's, A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball's Most Improbable Dynasty ($5, paperback)

    New Coaches in 2007-2008
  • looks at which new coaches are ready to succeed at their new jobs, and which ones will take time.
  • List of coaches changing jobs
  • Sportsline (text summary of the off-season carousel)

    Tracking the Transfers - Comprehensive Transfer Lists
  • Impact transfers at March Madness All Season.
  • A look at some of the high profile transfers at March Madness All Season
  • Goodman's blog
  • Rivals

    2007-2008 Preview Magazine Covers
  • 21 covers at Lindy's

    Prepare for the next season by scouting games from 2006-2007
  • CSTV, ESPNU and Fox College Sports traditionally show a number of repeats of games from the previous season. Expect ACC Sunday Night Hoops and Pac-10 Thursday and Saturday games to repeat on Fox College Sports, Mountain West and Conference USA on CSTV, and BCS teams along with select mid-majors on ESPNU. Check my weekly tv listings every monday for details.
  • Scout teams, coaches and players when the pressure is really on: Every 2007 NCAA College Basketball Tournament game on DVD!

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