Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

National men's college basketball preview

Men's national preview

St. Petersburg Times staff writer Brian Landman previews the men's season.

5 favorite teams to watch

5 favorite players to watch

1. Ed Davis

So., F, North Carolina. He didn't get the minutes to put up All-America numbers last season, but the NCAA Tournament finale provided a preview of coming attractions. He had 11 points and eight rebounds in just 14 minutes. You do the math when his playing time increases.

2. Cole Aldrich

Jr., C, Kansas. Many expected him to bolt for the NBA, but he had promised to return. Look for his impact and NBA stock to rise.

3. Damion James

Sr., G/F, Texas. He withdrew his name from the NBA and gives the Longhorns an established star. He was their top scorer in league games a year ago (though his 3-point shot needs work) and their top rebounder overall.

4. Greivis Vasquez

Sr., PG, Maryland. He can be dazzling and exasperating, although he decreased his turnovers last season. At 6-6, Vasquez can go for a triple double at any time.

5. Devin Ebanks

So., F, West Virginia. He was the Big East rookie of the year and exerted himself down the stretch, scoring 20 in an upset of Pittsburgh in the league tournament. If he continues that development arc, this will be his last collegiate season.

2. Michigan State

The Spartans were the feel-good story of last season's Final Four in economically suffering Detroit. But the partisan crowd isn't why they reached the title game. They're good. Junior PG Kalin Lucas was the Big Ten MVP, and senior F Raymar Morgan is a force if he can stay healthy.

3. Villanova

The Wildcats lost three key players from the team that reached the Final Four. But they have a dazzling backcourt in senior Scottie Reynolds, junior Corey Fisher and junior Corey Stokes. Throw in sharpshooting sophomore G/F Taylor King, a transfer from Duke, and this team will score. A lot.

4. Kentucky

The Wildcats haven't been to the Final Four since 1998 and, oh my, didn't make the tournament last season. But hiring coach John Cali­pari has stoked expectations. It helps that F Patrick Patterson is back. It also helps that he landed a stellar class, including PG John Wall (who has "one-and-done" talent).

5. North Carolina

It would be easy to see the defending champ slide without Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green. But forwards Ed Davis and Deon Thompson would have been stars on any other team. Freshman F John Henson (Sickles High) should be an impact player.

1. Kansas

The Jayhawks return all five starters, including two of the nation's best at their positions — junior C Cole Aldrich and senior PG Sherron Collins — from a team that lost in the Sweet 16. Then coach Bill Self added a top-shelf recruiting class, led by G Xavier Henry, who has "one-and-done" written all over him.

National men's college basketball preview 11/07/09 [Last modified: Saturday, November 7, 2009 7:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Fennelly: Bucs' Roberto Aguayo has his backers, no matter how many kicks he misses

    Bucs

    He was perfect Friday, and not just because he didn't have to kick.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) takes a photo with fans following the first day of training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, July 28, 2017.
  2. Rookie Kendell Beckwith pleased with first Bucs practice

    Bucs

    Bucs rookie linebacker Kendell Beckwith is eight months and a week removed from November surgery to repair a torn ACL, so there was a proud sense of accomplishment in getting himself healthy enough to be on the field for the opening practice of training camp Friday.

    Bucs inside linebacker Kendell Beckwith (51) defends tight end Cameron Brate (84) during the first day of training camp. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Criticism part of the game for Bucs' Gerald McCoy, who is chasing 'ghosts'

    Bucs

    Who crossed the line with their criticism of Gerald McCoy?

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy jokes with teammates during the first day of training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, July 28, 2017.
  4. 2-year-old girl shows football team how its done

    Sports

    ST. PETERSBURG — Football players may dread summer workouts, but not two-year-old Sophie Rosendale. She loves joining her father, St. Petersburg offensive line coach Mike Rosendale, three times a week for the Green Devils summer conditioning. Not only does she shout encouragement like her dad, she also straps on …

    Sophie Rosendale, 2, front, warms up with offensive lineman during practice at St. Petersburg High School, Wednesday. Rosendale is the daughter of offensive line coach Mike Rosendale. "She has been coming to practice for about one year," said Rosendale who has been a coach at the the school for 10 seasons. "She likes to show the players the proper techniques." [Photo/  Mike Rosendale]