Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Las Vegas Invitational bracket Preview and Predictions

Published on November 23, 2012 by Scott Shirley   ·   No Comments

It’s that time of year again for the early season tournament. This is the best time of the year besides March for college basketball. Check out some of my team previews and who I predict to win the tournament below.

Predictions

Arkansas over Arizona State

Creighton over Wisconsin

Championship

Arkansas over Creighton

Season Team Previews

Arkansas

Coach: Mike Anderson (1 season at Arkansas 18-14) Overall 218-111, 10 years

2011-12: Record 18-14 overall, 6-10 in SEC (9th)

Starters Returning (2 ) Mardracus Wade, Rickey Scott

Preseason Tournament: Las Vegas Invitational

Top Non-Conference Games: vs. Syracuse, vs. Oklahoma, at Michigan

Transfer Out: Julysses Nobles, (Devonta Abron TCU)

Transfer In : Alandise Harris (Houston), Fred Gulley (eligible after first semester)

Sat Out: Marshawn Powell (Injured)

Last season was an up and down season for the Razorbacks. The starting out hot at 15-5 looking like an NCAA tournament team but they were could down the stretch just going 3-9. Mike Anderson is on his way to rebuilding this program, as they have a quality roster this season with no seniors. They return their top 3 scorers from last season and bring back another top player backer from injury.

Leading for Arkansas in the backcourt is point guard BJ Young (15.3 ppg), who flirted with the NBA but came back to school. Young is just a flat out scorer . He can shoot over 40 % from three and he can take the ball to the rim with his athletic ability. He needs to improve his passing skills. Also joining Young in the backcourt are guards Rickey Scott (9.1 ppg) and Mardracus Wade (10.8 ppg). The 3 guard lineup allows Anderson to use his style of basketball. Wade is a flat out deadly shooter shooting 48 % from three last season will Scott was a top rebounder from his guard spot last season. Scott also led the team in assists last year. The top option off the bench will be Rashad Madden (6.6 ppg). Also providing depth will be 3 freshman Michael Qualls, Anthlon Bell and DeQuavious Wagner and Davion Spivey. This unit will get a boost when Oklahoma State transfer Fred Gully becomes eligible after the first semester.

Arkansas receives a boost in the frontcourt with Marshawn Powell(19.5 ppg), who is returning from an injury. He played in just 2 games last season and nearly averaged 20 points. Powell uses his strength and toughness to score inside. Joining Powell in the frontcourt is center Hunter Mickelson (5.2 ppg). Mickelson is one of the top shot blockers in the SEC. Depth will be a concern here with only two players really providing that depth in Coty Clarke and freshman JaCorey Williams.

Arizona State

Coach: Herb Sendek (6 seasons at ASU 98-96) Overall 352-254, 19 years

2011-12: Record 10-21 overall, 6-12 in Pac 12 ( 10th)

Starters Returning (3) Carrick Felix, Chris Colvin, , Jonathan Gilling

Preseason Tournament: Las Vegas Invitational

Top Non-Conference Games: None

Transfer In: Richie Edwards (Valparaiso)

Transfer Out: Trent Lockett (Marquette – eligible immediately); Kyle Cain (UNC Greensboro); Chanse Creekmur (Iowa State – football); Keala King (Long Beach State)

Sat out: Jahii Carson (Grades); Evan Gordon (Liberty), Bo Barnes (Hawaii)

It was another rough season for Herb Sendek and the Arizona State Sun Devils. The Sun Devils haven’t won anything postseason games since James Harden left town. The Sun Devils are a combined 10-30 in Pac 12 the past two seasons. Once again they were hurt by players transferring out of the program (4). The good news ASU bring backs 3 players that started most of the games last season and some more that got a start here and there.

Leading the Sun Devils will be G/F Carrick Felix (10.5 ppg). Felix is a very athletic player that will be counted on to score even more this season. At the power forward position will be Jonathan Gilling (7.1 ppg). He is by far the team’s best shooter. Lining up at center for ASU will be Jordan Bachynski (6 ppg). The 7’2” Bachynski really came on last season. Last season he was coming off a two year mission trip. Providing depth here will be Ruslan Pateev (4.6 ppg) and two freshman Kenny Martin and Eric Jacobsen. This unit will get a boost next season will transfer Richie Edwards becomes eligible.

Last season the highly recruited Jahii Carson did not qualify but he is ready to go this season. Carson is really fast and can become an elite scorer also. Joining him in the backcourt is senior Chris Colvin (7 ppg). The Sun Devils have some quality depth here led by a couple of transfers Evan Gordon (Liberty) and Bo Barnes (Hawaii). Gordon is the brother of NBA star Eric Gordon. Also providing depth will be freshman Calaen Robinson.

Creighton

Coach: Greg McDermott (2 seasons at Creighton 52-22) Overall 201-153, 11 years

2011-12: Record 29-6 overall, 14-4 in Valley (2nd)

Starters Returning (4) Gregory Echenique, Doug McDermott, Grant Gibbs, Jahenns Manigat

Preseason Tournament: Las Vegas Invitational

Top Non-Conference Games: vs. Nebraska, at California

The Blue Jays had not been to the big dance since 2007 but that changed last season with a breakout season. In his second year at Creighton McDermott did a great coaching job getting the Blue Jays to 29 wins. Now onto this season this is plenty of hype thanks to 4 starters returning and all the reverses. More importantly the majority of the roster is upperclassmen.

Leading the Blue Jays is all everything power forward Doug McDermott (22.9 ppg). McDermott was the third leading scorer in the country last season. What makes him so tough is that he can score both inside and out. He sot 60% from the field and 49 % from three. McDermott is also an effective rebounder and defender. Joining him in the frontcourt is center Gregory Echenique (9.7 ppg). He is a strong presence for the Blue Jays in the middle. He eats up space which creates room for his teammates. He can finish around the basket. The top option off the bench here is Ethan Wragge (6.6 ppg), whose biggest strength is a shooter. Also providing depth is Geoff Groselle and Will Artino (2.9 ppg).

The questions lie in the backcourt for this team after losing their best player here. Leading the way is wing Grant Gibbs (7 ppg). He has really high basketball IQ and does it all for the Blue Jays. Although he wasn’t a point guard he led them in assists last season. He also led the team in steals. At the other wing spot will be Jahennns Manigat (6.6 ppg). He is a two year starter who is a deadly shooter. Last season he shot 47 % from behind the arch last season. The biggest question is who will play point guard? Look for the first chance to go to Austin Chatman (2.4 ppg). He was the back up last season . The top option off the bench will be Josh Jones (5.2 ppg). Like most of his teammates he is a deadly shooter. If Chatman struggles he may get a shot at the point. Providing more depth here is Avery Dingman (2.9 ppg) and freshman Andre Yates, Isaiah Zierden, and Nevin Johnson.

Wisconsin

Coach: Bo Ryan (11 season at Wisconsin 268-101), Overall 651-204, 28 years

2011-12: Record 26-10 overall, 12-6 in Big Ten (4th)

Starters Returning (3) Ryan Evans, Josh Gasser, Mike Bruesewitz, Jarred Berggren

Preseason Tournament: Las Vegas Invitational

Top Non-Conference Games: at Marquette, vs. Virginia, vs. California, at Florida

Transfer Out: Jared Uthoff (Iowa)

Sat out: George Marshall (redshirt), Zach Bohannon (Air Force)

Bo Ryan and the Wisconsin Badgers lose all everything point guard Jordon Taylor and basically bring back everyone else until the injury bug struck. Starting point guard to be Josh Gasser tore his ACL and will be out for this season. If he was healthy I would have the Badgers a little higher on this list. The strength of this team is in the frontcourt were they return all 3 starters and add a top recruit. One thing is for sure Ryan will get the most out of this team like he always does. The Badgers have not missed the big dance since 1998.

The strength of this team will be in the frontcourt. Leading the way is Ryan Evans (11 ppg). Though undersized Evans is the Badgers returning leading rebounder and scorer. While he is a versatile scorer he does most of his work in the paint. He is also the Badgers best athlete. Joining him at forward will be Mike Bruesewitz (5.6 ppg). He is a really effective rebounder and defender but he struggled shooting the ball last season. At center will be Jared Berggren (10.5 ppg). For a center Berggren is he a very versatile scorer last season he knocked down 45 three point. He was also a very effective shot blocker last season. The top option off the bench will be highly touted freshman Sam Dekker. Dekker can do it all shot the ball and attack the rim. Don’t be shocked if he is in the lineup midseason in place of Bruesewitz. Also providing depth will be Duje Dukan (.7 ppg), Evan Anderson (.4 ppg), Frank Kaminsky (1.8 ppg) and Air Force transfer Zach Bohannon.

With Gasser out shooting guard Ben Brust (7.3 ppg) will be the leader of the backcourt. He is by far the best shooter on the Badgers roster. In fact last season he made a Big Ten record 7 three pointers in a row. As for the point guard duties look for that to go redshirt freshman George Marshall. Marshall is unproven but he has ton of potential. Providing depth here for the Badgers will be Jordan Smith (.7 ppg), Zak Showalter and Traevon Jackson (1.1 ppg).

 

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