For no particular reason, here's Hasheem Thabeet giving the Memphis weather forecast. Ah, basketball season is getting closer.
Dig the bow tie, 'Sheem. I also love the vague "please don't ask me anything specific about the city of Memphis" answer to the professional weatherman's question. Note to Donnie Walsh: bring this man to New York now.
Anyway, in this week's RoundUp,we'll start thinking about basketball as tip-off looms. Lineup stuff, other people previewing the Huskies, a little bit about UConn alums in the NBA, and the UConn women continue to be awesome. Also, some football news, too.
It's all below the jump.
Nothing too shocking here, but it's nice to start seeing some concrete lineup possibilities out there in the press.
Of course, the two guards and small forward are locked in for 30+ minutes per game the rest of the season (knock on wood), and Gavin will start at first because he has the veteran experience (and the haircut) for the job. We'll see if Ajou-Ajou Deng Ater Majok can get into the swing of things at the 4 once he returns from injury/to eligibility (Calm down: I wrote that 80% as a joke. For now).
After that, Alex Oriakhi looks to be the pick at center, although I have a weird, good feeling about Charles Okwandu. As we all know, the frontcourt is very shallow, while the backcourt appears to be very, very strong. Say hello to the four-guard lineup!
Anyway, I don't want to spoil too much of Basketball Preview Half-Week (coming soon!), though, so I'll leave it at that and let your mind work through the possibilities.
- Top 65 Games: November/December (Rush The Court)
Rush The Court has been my go-to source for college hoops news, and really if you're not checking it every day
you're missing out. Love the comprehensiveness of it all, which made me happy to contribute to their NCAA Tournament and Final Four previews last March. They've got six UConn games in their top 65 matchups of the season, including Kentucky and Cincinnati prior to New Years'.
The Huskies show up fairly high on a pair of top-25 countdowns. Everybody loves Stanley Robinson, and why not: it's not like he's ever gone through a great stretch of games that convinced everyone he'd be a top-5 small forward in America before.
Nice pro-UConn piece in the Detroit paper. Cool thing happening tonight, as mentioned by our Twitter buddy Charlie Villanueva, when the Pistons (3 UConn players) are playing the Grizzlies (3 UConn players) tonight. Unfortunately NBA rules require that at least four non-UConn players will be on the court at all times.
- Prepping for Rutgers (Ramblings From The Runway)
Updates on Marcus Easley and how pleased Edsall was with the young secondary against West Virginia.
Hard-hittin' Lindsey Witten could have a big day against Rutgers' apparently poor offensive line. It'll be the key to shutting down freshman Tom Savage. But more on that in the preview Friday.
- Know the Foes: Rutgers (Rivals.com)
For those of you with subscriptions, learn more about Rutgers. For those of you without, I guess wait for Scout.com to take the most pertinent information and reprint it.
We sort-of covered the men's Big East media day, so here is us sort-of covering the women's media day. To no one's surprise, UConn was a technically unanimous pick (15 first-place votes; coaches can't vote for their own team) to finish ahead of Notre Dame and the rest of the riff raff.
Maya Moore was the shocking choice for player of the year, while Moore, Tina Charles and Tiffany Hayes were named to the preseason all-conference team. I am shocked by the lack of Caroline Doty.
Excellently-named Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins was named freshman of the year.
- Charles hopes to challenge Moore for top player award (Waterbury Rep-Am)
How do you inspire the women who has it all? Have the second-best player in the country try to top the best player in the country. Now that's luxury.
Speaking of luxury, hey look: it's another five-star freshman who could start on any other team in America, and she's probably the fourth or fifth guard in the rotation. Unrelated: I like to imagine Geno Auriemma coaching this season while reclining on a golden sedan, having vestal virgins feed him grapes and ambrosia while his team pounds other teams by 30.
Anything less than 40-(-1) will be a disappointment.