Much like when Owen Wilson exuberantly announces to buddy Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers that spring has sprung, we've reached that point in the year where there's real signs of life college basketball is right around the corner. It's so exciting!
The litany of ignominious grade scandals, eligibility rulings and instances of flat out lying - which have all given us pounding headaches - are slowly beginning to find resolution. Frankly, we are so over it.
Now earlier and earlier, it seems as though those attractive looking college basketball annual yearbook's are hitting newsstands, forcing fans to tack on another $7.99 to next week's grocery bill. You must have one of these, you need one of these to supplement your intake of online content, but God Almighty you shouldn't impulsively buy one of these things.
Today we take a look at Lindy's 2010-2011 College Basketball Preview, after the jump.
- "A Whole Lotta Shakin’…But The Landscape of College Basketball Didn’t Change All That Much" by Frank Burlison
- "The Man, The Myth, The Wizard" by Frank Burlison
- "The Man in Full" (John Calipari) by Gregg Doyel
- "Little Monsters" (Brad Stevens) by Marc Katz
- "Never Felt Better" (Jim Calhoun) by David Borges
- "Paying the Price" (coaches fighting an image problem) by Michael Bradley
First Team All-American
*Lindy’s does not list a formal pre-season all-American team, but the following players top the annual’s position rankings
- Jimmer Fredette (BYU)
- Jacob Pullen (Kansas State)
- Kyle Singler (Duke)
- John Henson (North Carolina)
- JaJuan Johnson (Purdue)
- Duke (Nat’l Champion)
- Michigan State
- Kansas State
Five bold predictions/statements:
- If you’re thinking the Kansas Jayhawks are primed to get to the Final Four, you’ll be hard pressed to convince these editors. Bill Self’s club checks in all the way down at #17 on their pre-season top-25.
- Doesn’t experience matter? Michigan State’s backcourt rotation of Kalin Lucas, Korie Lucious and Durrell Summers have played in a combined 36 NCAA Tournament games, yet they’re still only the third best backcourt behind Duke and Washington’s Abdul Gaddy, Venoy Overton and Isaiah Thomas.
- Butler doesn’t play in a BCS-conference, meaning they have the luxury of a fairly relaxed schedule beginning at the turn of the new year. But Lindy’s lauds Brad Stevens and his incoming recruiting class, expecting them to somewhat fill the void of Gordon Hayward of Willie Veasley and return to play in a regional final.
- Remember Washington State’s Klay Thompson? The junior swingman lit-it-up the first half of last season and is the Pac-10’s top returning scorer. Yet he’s only the seventh ranked small forward in the game. Wouldn’t you rather have him on your squad over Vanderbilt’s Jeffery Taylor?
- They’re certainly not off when they place Wake Forest dead last in the ACC, but these are fighting words from Lindy Davis:
|Good News||Bad News||Our Call|
|12. Wake Forest||There aren't 13 teams in the ACC. If there were, Wake would be 13th.||This simply doesn't look like an ACC team is supposed to look||Dino Gaudio left behind absloute dreck. Best of luck to Bzdelik - he'll need it.|
The Demon Deacons lost 62 percent of their offense from last season.
Giggity. Lindy’s offers both the highest volume of and most compelling information when stacked up against Athlon and Sporting News. Somewhat astonishingly, this annual hasn’t changed it’s layout, graphics and color scheme for as long as I can remember (many of these pages look very 90s) but you need to get past that and appreciate the content provided.
It’s greatest feature is the position and unit rankings. For the fan in need of a refresher course on who is back in school, it’s the quickest way to get back to speed on the game’s best players across the country. It also allows the reader to draw their own conclusions as to the make of of a current team's roster by assessing a squad's depth at each position. Team previews are the lengthiest, and are broken down between frontcourt and backcourt, and even the one-bid leagues are given space for their full roster, player stats and all-conference team.
Additionally, its features are actually worth reading. Often times yearbook mags get criticized for being dull, but it's hard to pass up the opportunity to read a Gregg Doyel piece on the polarizing John Calipari, and get a look at the current state of UConn basketball from Husky beat writer David Borges.
If you're not ready to throw down $22.95 for the comprehensive Blue Ribbon Yearbook, this is your next best annual.