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AllBuffs Season Preview - The Diamond Head Classic

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by Goose, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Today is the final day in our preview of the Buffs non-conference schedule and it's all about the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii. The Buffs are going to open with DePaul and then face one of George Washington/Ohio before (hopefully) playing in the championship game. The bracket sets up nicely for the Buffs as they get to avoid Wichita State until the very end, but it's not going to be a cake walk. DePaul is improved over last year and GW looks like a team that could make a nice little leap so it'll be something to watch.

    DePaul

    To say last year was a struggle for the Blue Demons would be an understatement. Thirteen different players started at least one game as Oliver Purnell had to battle suspensions, injuries, sickness and just poor play. So the Blue Demons started over and will be a young team this year, but one with potential. Leading the way will be two players who were on the Big East's all-rookie team in Billy Garrett Jr and Tommy Hamilton IV with Garrett being the Big East Rookie of the Year after leading all Big East freshmen in scoring, assists and free-throw percentage. At 6'11", 281 lbs, Hamilton gives the Blue Demons some heft inside that will cause teams problems as well - provided he can stay healthy and in shape after fighting some battles last season. The Blue Demons will be getting help from three JUCO transfers as well with Aaron Simpson, a point guard from Lincoln (IL) College being the most likely to contribute. Simpson is undersized (5'11") but can light up the scoresheet and was even third in Mr. Basketball voting in Illinois his senior year at North Chicago HS.

    George Washington

    A young team found its stride last year as GWU rode their quality group of sophomores to an NCAA at-large bid. Now, those juniors all return and expectations are even higher for the Colonials. Kevin Larsen is the leader of the juniors. Larsen is a 6'10" big man who can shoot (9th in the A-10 with a .549 FG%) and is a solid passer out of the post. He'll also get some help from the backcourt of Patricio Garino (12.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.6 spg) who was third team all-conference and is considered a jack of all trades and point guard Joe McDonald. McDonald played most of last season with an injured hip but still had the fourth-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the A-10.

    Ohio

    The Bobcats have quite a bit of turnover from last year's squad. Only five players who saw regular time last season return, so they're going to need to grow up in a hurry if they're going to make any noise in the MAC. Their best player is Maurice Ndour who actually wasn't with the team this off-season as he was spending time representing Senegal in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. The experience should help the 6'9", 200 lbs forward who put up 13.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.6 apg and 1.5 bpg last year. With his all around game and 7-foot-5 wingspan, Ndour's next stop could very well be the NBA. Along with Ndour, the only other starter returning is Stevie Taylor who split the PG duties with Javarez Willis last year. Expect both of them to start this year, even if they're both under 6' tall.

    Wichita State

    Over the last 584 days, Wichita State has lost 3 basketball games - to Creighton in the 2013 MVC Championship game, to 2013 National Champ Louisville in the Final Four and in the 2014 Round of 32 to eventual runner-up Kentucky. This team is good. They're losing Cleanathony Early, but with a backcourt trio of Fred VanVleet, Ron Baker and Tekele Cotton, they shouldn't skip a beat. VanVleet is considered one of the top PGs in the nation who keeps the team running smoothly. Cotton is an elite defender who was the MVC DPOY last year. Then there's Baker who may be the Shockers next draft pick. A walk on from 2011, Baker can play both the point and shooting guard positions for the team depending on what they need. A deadly shooter, you can't leave Baker alone on the court at any time. There's a reason this is a pre-season Top 10 team.

    Loyola Marymount

    The Lions went into their past when they needed a coach this year and hired alum Mike Dunlap. Dunlap, last seen coaching the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets last season is going home in hopes that he can recreate the days of Hank Gathers. In a conference with Gonzaga, BYU and St Mary's, that won't be easy, but the Lions have some talent. Starting guard Evan Payne finished 7th in the WCC in scoring last year and had a freshman school record with 497 points. The Lions may be ahead of the curve early on too as they went on a trip to Spain this summer so Dunlap could get his schemes set up. However the Lions start with Wichita State, so they're going to need that advantage early on.

    Hawaii

    When you think of Hawaii, think of the Westphal-era Denver Nuggets. They're going to be fast, they're going to be exciting, and they're probably going to be bad. They led the Big West in both scoring and turnovers forced last season, and they plan on doing the same again this year. Coach Gib Arnold has no plans to change that saying that when they get the rebound they "have five PGs on the court". Leading the way is Isaac Fotu - a 6'8" junior who spent the summer representing New Zealand in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Fotu averaged 14.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game - good enough to be first team all-conference. But beyond him it's not real pretty.

    Nebraska

    **** Nebraska.

    Terran Petteway is a good player. **** Terran Petteway.

    Tim Miles is a good coach. **** Tim Miles.

    **** Nebraska.
     
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  2. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    I think, technically, DePaul is the Blue DEMONS, not Blue Devils. Duke is the Blue Devils. Just sayin'.


    carry on.
     
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  3. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Stupid ass Satanic schools.
     
  4. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    excellent writeup, but your best work was definitely the part about Nebraska. Maybe not the most revolutionary analysis, but you said everything that needed to be said.
     
  5. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    I was going to do a haiku about them, but Pachoops said that they didn't deserve anything that high brow.
     
  6. BehindEnemyLines

    BehindEnemyLines beware the habu Club Member

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    Funny considering Duke is a Methodist school (or started/founded by them).
     
  7. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

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    GW is the one we need to watch here. Everyone is so focused on Wichita St/Nebraska and forgetting about the solid Big Dance caliber Colonials.
     
  8. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Allsome as usual, goose.

    :thumbsup:

    We absolutely have to make the final of the Diamondhead to get our OOC RPI where it needs to be.
     
  9. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    I'm actually less nervous about our RPI than I was a few weeks ago. A lot of teams on our schedule are sneaky good.
     
  10. BehindEnemyLines

    BehindEnemyLines beware the habu Club Member

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    I've been meaning to ask, how do you all think our rpi will be with this ooc slate?
     
  11. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Last year's non-conference SOS came in at 50, with an RPI of 21 for the non-con on an 11-2 record.

    That included 3 teams in the RPI 201+. This year should be about the same on that front.

    It also included 4 teams in the RPI 1-50. There's no Kansas, but we can get there if we make the Diamondhead final. Probably looking at 2 or 3 at best, though.

    Then, 1 team in the RPI 51-100 and 4 teams in the RPI 101-200. This is where we are likely to see some improvement, with more teams on the non-conference schedule in the 51-100 range while maintaining the 101-200.

    Here's a reasonable scenario for how it could shake out:

    Drexel: RPI 101-200
    Auburn: RPI 51-100
    Wyoming: RPI 101-200
    Air Force: RPI 200+
    Lipscomb: RPI 200+
    San Francisco: RPI 101-200
    Georgia: RPI 51-100
    Colorado State: RPI 51-100
    Northern Colorado: RPI 200+
    DePaul: RPI 101-200
    George Washington/ Ohio: RPI 101-200
    Wichita State/ Nebraska: RPI 1-50

    It could be better than that, it could be worse. The biggest thing that could help us is if we see a strong MWC this year, unlike last year. That could propel each of Wyoming, Air Force and CSU into a better RPI bracket for us. We also want GW instead of Ohio due to their conference strength possibly propelling them to a 1-50 RPI. As I have it laid out, though, here's how it compares:

    1-5051-100101-200200+
    2013-144143
    2014-151353

    Given that 2013-14 was an non-con SOS of 50, I think we'll be a bit lower but not too much. I'd guess 60. RPI then will be determined by record. Match the 11-2 with losses to, say, Wichita State in a neutral site game and Georgia or Wyoming on the road (better than the 2 neutrals in 2013-14 for RPI calculations) but without a marque win like we had over RPI juggernaut Kansas last year... my guess is that we'd come in around 30-35 heading into Pac-12 play.

    Reference for last season: http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/bracketology/team-comparison/COLO/undefined
     
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  12. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    goddamn you guys are good. Great stuff.
     
  13. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Good post Nik. Think Wyo has a shot at being top 100 but depends whether the MWC is mediocre or downright bad.
     
  14. BehindEnemyLines

    BehindEnemyLines beware the habu Club Member

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    Yeah, good call on the 'boys. I could see them below the century mark by seasons end.
     

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