Friday, November 18th, 2011

Puerto Rico Tip-Off : Preview and Predictions

Published on November 17, 2011 by Scott Shirley   ·   1 Comment

It’s that time of the year again; the early season basketball tournaments are about to get underway. This is the best week in college basketball until March comes. Here at Roundballchat I will be previewing each of the major tournaments and giving my predictions has to who will win the tournament. I will also give my season previews for each of the major teams involved.

First up is the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The 1st round of games take place on Thursday and the championship concludes on Sunday. Check out my previews and predictions below.

1st Round

Temple vs. Western Michigan – WMU returns all five starters from last year, and Temple returns 4 starters including star guards Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore. I like Temple in this one too much talent.

Purdue vs. Iona – Iona is one of the best teams that nobody is talking about. Mike Glover is a star. In the end Purdue has too much depth and with Robbie Hummel healthy they should roll here.

Maryland vs. Alabama-Maryland will be a good team in a couple of years. This is probably the least talented Maryland team in years. Alabama has three starts that will lead them to an easy win.

Wichita State vs. Colorado-The Shockers won the NIT last season and return lots of players with experience from that team. While Colorado lost 4 of their top scorers. I like Wichita State here.


Temple vs. Purdue - This will be a very tough physical game with both teams playing great defense. In the end Temple has more players that can put the ball in the hoop that’s why I like them to win. They return 4 double-digit scorers.

Alabama vs. Wichita State-Wichita State doesn’t have that go to scorer. The Crimson Tide has 3 players that can light it up. In the end more talent usually wins and that’s why I like Alabama.


Alabama vs. Temple- Here’s where Alabama’s JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell show why they are one of the best frontcourts in the country. Temple won’t be able to match up with them inside. Yes, they may dominate the guards but Alabama’s inside play will be too much and the Crimson Tide will bring home the Puerto Rico Tip Off championship.

Team Previews


Coach: Anthony Grant (Two seasons at Alabama 42-27), overall 118-52, 5 years

2010-11: Record: 25-12 overall, 12-4 in SEC (1st, West)

Starters Returning (3) JaMychal Green, Tony Mitchell, Trevor Releford

In Anthony’s Grant’s second year at Alabama not much was expected, but they made it the whole way to the NIT finals. The Crimson Tide return their top 3 scorers from last year’s team. Leading the way is center JaMychal Green (15.5 ppg). He is a beast for the Crimson Tide in the middle. He led them in points, blocks, and rebounds last season. Joining Green up front to give the Tide one of the best frontcourts in the country is Tony Mitchell (15.2 ppg). Mitchell, besides being good around the basket; he can also shoot the three. The depth in the frontcourt is very thin. Providing the depth is Carl Engstrom (.4 ppg) and freshman Nick Jacobs. Point guard Trevor Releford (11 ppg) is the leader of the backcourt. He led the teams in steals and assists last season, but he needs to shoot better from outside. Backing Releford up is Ben Eblen (.6 ppg), and freshman Retin Ojomoh. Two freshman Levi Randolph and Trevor Lacey will likely start on the wing for the Tide. Both are highly touted. Providing the depth here will be freshman Rodney Cooper and Charles Hankerson (2.3 ppg).


Coach: Matt Painter (Six seasons at Purdue138-64), overall, 163-89, 7 years

2010-11: Record: 26-8 overall, 14-4 in Big Ten (2nd)

Starters Returning (3) D.J.Byrd, Lewis Jackson, Ryne Smith

The bad news for Purdue is they lose two starters who combined to score 38 points per game; the good news is they return Robbie Hummel from injury and 3 starters. Hummel (15.7 ppg 09-10), missed last season with an ACL injury. When healthy he is a top power forward in the country; he is a hard working player that can shoot. Besides Hummel they are really lacking experience in the frontcourt. Travis Carroll (1.3 ppg) will likely get the first chance at center; the depth guys here will be Sandi Marcius (1 ppg) and freshman Donnie Hale and Jacob Lawson. Purdue is solid at small forward with D.J. Byrd (5.2 ppg) and Kelsey Barlow (5.1 ppg). Point Guard Lewis Jackson (8 ppg) really came on last season, he is very quick. Joining him in the backcourt is sharp shooter Ryne Smith (6.2 ppg). Providing the depth in the backcourt is Terone Johnson (4.9 ppg), John Hart (3.8 ppg) , and redshirt freshman Anthony Johnson.

Wichita State

Coach: Gregg Marshall (Four seasons at Wichita State 82-55), overall 276-138, 13 years

2010-11 Record: 29-8 overall, 14-4 Missouri Valley (2nd)

Starters Returning (3) Toure Murry, Garrett Stutz, David Kyles

The Shockers won the NIT last year by having a 10-man rotation. 6 of those players return but gone is their leading scorer. Toure’ Murry (9.4 ppg) is the Shockers best returning player; at small forward he does a little bit of everything. He led the team in steals and assists and was third in rebounds. Backing him up will be freshman Osamuede Egharevba and Evan Wessel. Leading the way at shooting guard is David Kyles (9.3 ppg), he is a lethal shooter. Joe Ragland (7 ppg) really came on last year at the point. Providing depth in the backcourt are Demetric Williams (4.2 ppg) and freshman Tekele Cotton and Ron Baker. Leading the way in the frontcourt is center Garrett Stutz (7.2 ppg), he has talent to score more. Backing him up is Ehimen Orukpe (1ppg). Ben Smith (6.7 ppg) will likely also start upfront. JUCO transfer Carl Hall and freshman Jake White will also compete for playing time.


Coach: Fran Dunphy (Five seasons at Temple 110-57), overall, 420-220, 20 years

2010-11: Record: 26-8 overall, 14-2 in A-10 (2nd)

Starters Returning (4) Juan Fernandez, Scootie Randall, Ramone Moore, Micheal Eric

This will be Fran Dunphy’s best team since he has been at Temple. They return 4 double-digit scorers from last year’s team and only lose one contributor off that team. The Owls have a very talented backcourt, it is led by shooting guard Ramone Moore (15.2 ppg). He is a very versatile scorer who can shoot the three and get to the rim with ease. Point Guard Juan Fernandez (11.2 ppg) is a very good ballhandler that isn’t afraid to post up his defenders. Scootie Randall (10.7 ppg) really came on last season at the 3 spot. The Owls have great depth here led by Khalif Wyatt (10.1 ppg), who is their best three-point shooter. Also providing depth is Aaron Brown (3.3 ppg), T.J. DiLeo (2.2 ppg), and freshman Will Cummings. Center Micheal Eric (7.1 ppg) is the leader of the frontcourt. Eric missed the last half of the season due to injury, but he is a good shot blocker. Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (5.6 ppg) will be the starter at power forward. He is very athletic, but he needs to score more. The depth in the frontcourt will be the only question for this team. Providing that depth will be two redshirt freshman Anthony Lee and Jimmy McDonnell.


Coach: Mark Turgeon (first year at Maryland 107-57), 249-158, 13 years

2010-11 Record: 19-14 overall, 7-9 in ACC (Tied 7th)

Starters Returning (2) Terrell Stoglin, Sean Mosley

Things don’t look so bright for the Terps, Gary Williams retired, and they lose 4 out of their top 5 scorers. Gone is center Jordan Williams who averaged a double double last season. Good luck to new head coach Mark Turgeon, whom I think will do a good job but it will take time. The Terps best returning player is point guard Terrell Stoglin (11.4 ppg) who really came on last year as a freshman. Also in the backcourt is Sean Mosley (8.1 ppg). Pe’Shon Howard (5.4 ppg) provides solid depth off the bench. The frontcourt is where Maryland will be really hurting. Their top returning player here is James Padgett (3.3. ppg), he played under 10 minutes last season. Ashton Pankey and Berend Weijs also return in the backcourt but don’t provide much. The coaching change didn’t help the recruiting class as they only brought in 1 player in shooting guard Nick Faust who should play right away. The Terps have also brought in Alex Len, who is from Ukraine, but his eligibility is in question. They are really in need of a small forward Mychal Parker(1.3 ppg) will likely start.


Coach: Tad Boyle (first year at Colorado 7-24), 80-80 overall 5 years

2010-11 Record: 24-14 overall, 8-8 in Big 12 ( Tied 5th)

Starters Returning: (1) Nate Tomlinson

The Buffaloes are now in the Pac 12, and they have lost their top 4 scorers from last year’s team. Colorado’s best returning player is forward Andre Roberson (6.7 ppg); he led them in rebounds last season. Austin Dufault (6.6 ppg) also returns inside ; he is a high percentage scorer. Colorado has a lot of depth in the frontcourt. Shane Harris-Tunks returns from ACL surgery, Ben Mills (1.4 ppg) and Trey Eckloff (1.4 ppg) all provide depth. Utah transfer Carlon Brown could be a star for the Buffaloes, because he averaged 12.6 for Utah; he will start at the 3. Juco transfer and ex Texas A&M player Jeremy Adams will back him up. Nate Tomlinson (3.1 ppg) will start at shooting guard; he needs to score a lot more. Shannon Sharpe (2.1 ppg) will be the man at the point; he played pretty well in limited minutes last year. The backups here will be freshman Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker. Dinwiddie should play first.

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