Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Coaches vs. Cancer Preview and Predictions

Published on November 16, 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.


Florida State over BYU- FSU already lost to South Alabama but they will still win this game because they will have the best player on the court in Michael Snaer. The Seminoles will find a way to stop Brandon Davies.

Notre Dame over St. Joes- Both teams return all 5 starters from last season, but St. Joes will have no answer for Jake Cooley.


Notre Dame over Florida State- Florida State only returns 1 starter in Snaer . I think they will be a good team by the end of the season but they are still figuring each other out. Look for Notre Dame to hit some threes to put this game away late.

Team Previews

Notre Dame

Coach: Mike Brey (12 seasons at Notre Dame 260-132) Overall 359-184, 17 years

2011-12: Record 22-12 overall, 13-5 in Big East (3rd)

Starters Returning (5) Eric Atkins, Scott Martin, Jerian Grant, Pat Connaughton, Jake Cooley

Preseason Tournament: Coaches vs. Cancer

Top Non-Conference Games: vs. Purdue, vs. Kentucky

Transfer Out:Alex Dragicevich (Boston College)

Sat Out: Garrick Sherman (Michigan State)

Not much was expected out of the Irish last season, especially after injuries, but once again Mike Brey did a great coaching job. Over the last two season the Irish are 27-9 in the Big East, but this could be their last year in the conference, as they are headed to the ACC in the future. There is plenty of hype around the Irish mostly because they basically return everyone off last year’s roster including all 5 starters. Brey also brings in a very good recruiting class. The next step for the Irish is to advance deep in the NCAA Tournament.

The strength of the Irish will be in the backcourt with two players that rarely leave the floor . At point guard will be Eric Atkins (12.1 ppg), his running mate will be Jerian Grant (12.3 ppg). Both players are very similar. Both can handle point guard duties, the two combined to average 9 assists per game last season. Both are very good three point shooters and defenders. Grant also can attack the rim more while Atkins has excellent leadership qualities. At the 3rd guard spot will be Pat Connaughton (7ppg). Connaughton had a great freshman season last year after starting because of injuries. He is an effective rebounder and he made the 3rd most threes on the team. The top option off the bench here will be Joey Brooks (3.2 ppg). Besides Brooks depth is a major concern here the only really player here is Patrick Crowley.

Leading the Irish in the frontcourt will be center Jake Cooley (12.5 ppg). He was named the Big East’s Most Improved Player last season. He came close to averaging a double double last season but look for him to accomplish that this season. Cooley is really tough around the basket; he shot 63 % from the field last year. Joining him in the frontcourt is Scott Martin (9.5 ppg), who was granted a 6th year by the NCAA. He is a very versatile scorer; he can shot the three and score around the paint. He has guard like skills playing around the basket. The top option off the bench will Michigan State transfer Garrick Sherman. He started 20 games at MSU. He might start some games especially against bigger teams. The Irish would than shift Martin to small forward. The Irish have plenty of depth here thanks to three highly touted freshmen in Cameron Biedscheid, Zach Auguste, and Austin Burgett. Veterans Tom Knight (2.9 ppg) and Mike Broghammer(1.7 ppg) add more depth.

Florida State

Coach: Leonard Hamilton (10 seasons at Florida State 201-127), Overall 401-337, 24 seasons

2011-12: Record 25-10 overall, 12-4 in ACC (3rd)

Starters Returning (1) Michael Snaer

Preseason Tournament: Coaches vs. Cancer

Top Non-Conference Games: vs. Minnesota, vs. Florida, at Auburn

Transfer Out: Antwan Space (Texas A&M)

Sat Out: Terrence Shannon (Redshirt), Kiel Turpin (Redshirt)

Leonard Hamilton is probably the most underrated coach in the country considering what he has done at Florida State. His Seminoles won the ACC Conference Tournament last season. Florida State is clearly the 3rd best program in the ACC for the last 10 years are so. While the Seminoles lose 4 starters they still bring back 4 of their top 5 scores from last season. Still being ranked this high after losing 4 starters is credit to the program Hamilton is building.

The strength of this team will be in the backcourt .Leading the Seminoles will no doubt be guard Michael Snaer (14 ppg). Snaer is the best two way player in the country. He can score in a variety of ways, he hit a couple last seconds shots last season. Like his head coach he is very underrated nationally. Running the point guard duties will be Ian Miller (10.3 ppg). Miller scored in double figures last season despite coming off the bench. He excels at getting to the rim but he needs to improve his point guard skills. Florida State will likely use a 3 guard lineup. Look for Terry Whisnant (2.1 ppg) and freshman Aaron Thomas to battle for the spot. Thomas is a big time athlete. Depth could be a concern here because of the inexperience. Providing the depth will be two freshman in Devon Bookert and Montay Brandon.

The Seminoles lose a lot of size and strength in the frontcourt. Power forward Terrence Shannon (8.3 ppg) returns after missing most of last season with an shoulder injury. Before his injury he was the teams 2nd best rebounder and shot over 60 % from the field. Joining him in the frontcourt will be Okaro White (7. 7 ppg). White is very athletic and can score both inside and out. Look for his numbers to go up with more playing time. Like the depth in the backcourt the depth here is inexperienced. All 4 of the backups here have great size and strength. Providing depth will be JUCO Transfer Kiel Turpin and Freshman Boris Bojanovsky, Michael Ojo and Robert Gilchrist.


Coach: Dave Rose (7 seasons at BYU 185-54)

2011-12: Record 26-9 overall, 12- 4 in WCC (3rd)

Starters Returning (3) Brandon Davies, Brock Zylstra, Matt Carlino

Preseason Tournament: Coaches vs. Cancer

Top Non-Conference Games: at Iowa State, vs. Utah, at Baylor, vs. Virginia Tech

Transfer Out: DeMarcus Harrison (Clemson)

Last season was BYU’s first year in the West Coast Conference and they transitioned well. The Cougars made the NCAA tournament for the 6th straight year. They did so last season without the Jimmer. As for this season the Cougars return 3 of their 5 scorer’s. BYU also returns some key reverse and brings in some key recruits and bring back a top player from a mission trip.

Leading the Cougars this season will be power forward Brandon Davies (15.2 ppg). Davies will be one of the best big man and the nation, but he is still underrated nationally. Besides scoring is also an excellent rebounder and defender. He could average a double double this season. Joining Davies in the frontcourt is center Nate Austin (4.1 ppg). Austin can step out away from the basket and shot it. Returning at small forward will be Brock Zylstra (8.3 ppg). He can score both inside and out. Depth quality could be a concern for the Cougars. Providing that depth will be Stephen Rogers (6 ppg), Josh Sharp (1.2 ppg), freshman Ian Harward and JUCO transfer Agustin Ambrosino. Rogers season was cut short last season but injuries and his status for this season could be up in the air.

Leading the way in the backcourt for the Cougars will be point guard and former UCLA transfer Matt Carlino (12.2 ppg). Carlino makes some bad decisions and is inconsistent shooting the ball but if he can put it all together watch out because he can be one of the best guards out there. Joining him in the backcourt is shooting guard Tyler Haws (11.3 ppg). He returns from a mission trip. Before leaving on his trip he made 48 free throws in a row. The top two options off the bench will be Anson Winder (4.3 ppg) and Craig Cusick (3.1 ppg). Providing more depth will be JUCO Raul Delgado and freshman Cory Calvert . Delgado is a big time scorer.

St. Joseph’s

Coach: Phil Martelli (17 seasons at St. Joes 320-223)

2011-12: Record 20-14 overall, 9-7 Atlantic -10 (5th)

Starters Returning (5) C.J. Alken, Langston Galloway, Ronald Roberts Jr., Halil Kanacevic, Carl Jones

Preseason Tournament: Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

Top Non-Conference Games: at Creighton, at Villanova, at Drexel

Phil Martelli’s St. Joes team was one of the youngest teams in the nation the last two seasons. Now, they are ready for a breakout season especially since they return everyone from last year team and still they only have 1 senior on the roster. So the future is bright.

The strength of this team will no doubt be the backcourt. Leading the way is point guard and lone senior Carl Jones (17 ppg). Jones is a very quick gurad that excels at getting to the rim; he also lived a three thorw line last season. Jones is also a decent three point shooter. Joining him in the backcourt is Langston Galloway (15.5 ppg). Galloway is one of the best shooters in the country making 90 on the season while shooting 47 %. The top option off the bench will be Chris Wilson (3.3 ppg). The Hawks have should other depth players but they lack talent and experience. Those players are Evan Maschmeyer (1.1 ppg), Taylor Trevisan (.8 ppg), Ryan Hess (.4 ppg) and freshman Kyle Molock.

Leading the way in the frontcourt is center C.J. Aiken (10.9 ppg). Yes, while he is a double digit scorer he does most of his damage on the defensive end. He was the Defensive player of the year in the A-10. He already broke the school record for career shot blocks. Joining him in the frontcourt is Halil Kanacevic (8.3 ppg). Kanacevic led the team last season in assists and rebounding. Now bad for your power forward to led you in assists. Starting at the small forward position will be Daryus Quarles (4. 9 ppg). Look for Quarles to double his scoring production this season. The top option off the bench will once again be Ronald Roberts Jr. (10. 9ppg ). He has been named the team’s most improve player the last two years. Also providing depth will be Papa Ndao (1.6 ppg), German Javon Baumann and freshman Isaiah Miles. Of the group Miles is likely to see the most playing time.

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