Sunday, May 16, 2004

Hoops Notes

Nice review from of their pick for the pre-season top 10. Here is the write-up on GT:

5. Georgia Tech—Yep, a third team out of the ACC to make the top 5, and none of them are named Duke (thanks to Luol Deng and Shaun Livingston playing in the NBA next year, not Durham). The Yellow Jackets return most of what made a run to the national championship game, but here they sit at #4, why? Were seniors Marvin Lewis and Clarence Moore that important? Yes, and no. This team has more than enough to do it without them, but Lewis was a key part of the backcourt that carried them into San Antonio, and Moore a big part of the energy off the bench. Jarrett Jack and BJ Elder return to lead the team, and the two backcourts stars will be among the marquee names in college hoops this year. Elder is among the best wing scorers in the country, and Jack proved this past March that he deserves to be among the elite ACC PGs Chris Paul, John Gilchrist, and Ray Felton. Will Bynum replaces Lewis in the starting lineup, and while he may well produce more than Lewis did, he also means this team loses one more of the energizers off their bench. But Bynum, Jack, and Elder do make up probably the best backcourt trio in the nation this coming season. Behind them will be a trio of freshman, and in Paul Hewitt’s aggressive style, Zam Frederick, Anthony Morrow, and Jeremis Smith will be needed to come in ready to play. Up front, both Anthony McHenry and Luke Schenscher return. McHenry doesn’t provide much, but he isn’t asked to either. How Schenscher develops will be crucial for this team. He had several big games last year, but also disappeared from time to time. He will need to quit disappearing for this team to do more than just make the Final Four this year, but even without long coveted recruit Randolph Morris, Hewitt will have more to turn to down low than he did last year. Isma’il Muhammed returns for his senior season, and hopefully can show more than just great strength and leaping ability. He was a big part of the bench last year, and will likely be asked to lead the reserves again this year. Theodis Tarver struggled injuries and inconsistent play as a SO, but will be looked upon to improve as he becomes an upperclassman. Not a great talent, but he does have the size and agility to be a solid defensive presence in the paint. Ra’Sean Dickey was signed to help give one more wide body to bang on the blocks. A team on the rise that returned a lot of what made their surprise run, can they take it a step farther?
Their total top 10:

1. Wake Forest
2. Kentucky
3. UConn
4. North Carolina
5. Georgia Tech
6. Texas
7. Michigan State
8. Kansas
9. Pitt
10. Illinois

How about that. Three ACC teams in the top 5 and NO Duke. What is the world coming to?