October 28 - Trevor's Top 25
This week, Trevor Freeman unveils the first half of his NCAA hoops Top 25. Come back soon for his
Ahhhhh…..it is finally creeping closer. Midnight Madness. Rivalry Week. March. That’s right…..
college basketball season is right around the corner. From Sporting News to Blue Ribbon, college
hoops previews are beginning to flood the coffee tables of houses across a nation. The terms
“Sleeper” and “Diaper Dandy” have begun to invade the everyday vocabulary as hope always springs
eternal at the start of each campaign. This year is particularly big for me as the boys from Fordham
University have a legitimate shot at the postseason for the first time in years.
With my San Francisco 49ers not worth following, I have spent the last week devouring message
boards, studying various previews, and rewatching some of the games I taped from last year. What
makes this year very intriguing is a lot of the premier squads from last year are returning most of their
Do you think Darius Washington is laughing his a$$ of after hearing that
Sebastian Telfair just got beat out for Trailblazers starting point guard job by
Jarrett Jack? I think he is. Washington used to eat Telfair’s lunch in high school
and he is poised to have a huge season. This is my sleeper team to get into
the Final Four. The Tigers have a tremendous group of athletes. From
Washington to Rodney Carney to Chris Douglas-Roberts, this team will win track
14. West Virginia
On the list of my favorite players in college basketball, Kevin Pittsnogle is firmly entrenched in the top
ten. With Pittsnogle, Mike Gansey, Joe Herber, and J.D. Collins all returning, the Mountaineers are a
Final Four contender. I absolutely love the way they play basketball. Get five guys who can shoot the
triple and space it out. The only difficulty West Virginia may have is that they are now going to be
getting everybody’s best shot. I’m not sure if West Virginia ever had to deal with that before.
15. Boston College
Craig Smith and Jared Dudley return to lead the Eagles inaugural campaign into the ACC. On the list
of things that just don’t feel right about college hoops this season, BC being in the ACC resides at
#3. In fact, this is all you’re getting on Boston College. I think their decision to leave the Big East for
Conference Football Title game money was an absolute travesty.
Losing John Gilchrist was a blow, however Maryland will still be bringing back a nice squad and may
benefit in terms of team chemistry. Nik Caner-Medley is the big gun here however Chris McCray can
also put it in the bucket. Mike Jones, Travis Garrison, and D.J. Strawberry are all back and ready to
go. Maryland should contend for second place in the ACC behind Duke.
This is the team that could get UCLA back as a national player. Jordan Farmar and Arron Affalo form
a terrific backcourt. Josh Shipp gives them another potent offensive threat at the 3. Cedric Bozeman
also returns from injury to give them depth along the perimeter. However this team desperately
needs Michael Fey to step up inside and give them a real post presence.
18. Old Dominion
Old Dominion is the best team you’ve never heard of and Alex Loughton is the
best big man you’ve never watched. The Monarchs return four starters from a
team that won 28 games and gave Michigan State all they wanted in the first
round of the Big Dance. The backcourt is strong with Drew Williamson and Isiah
Hunter and that is important when considering a small conference team. You’ll
look like a smart guy when you put this team in your Sweet 16 come March. That
all being said………….let’s hope the whole team gets a bad case of diarrhea and loses to Fordham
on November 19th.
This is Gerry MacNamara’s last go-round and I wouldn’t be shocked if he shoots Syracuse deep into
March. The key will be the junior class, which came in highly touted. Terrence Roberts, Demetris
Nichols, Louie McCroskey, and Daryl Watkins have to step up and be accounted for this year.
20. George Washington
The Colonials had to sweat out the NBA Draft deadline, but fortunately Mike Hall and Pops Mensah-
Bonsu came to their senses and stayed in school. Karl Hobbs has the second best group in the
Atlantic 10 conference. The only significant loss they had was T.J. Thompson graduating. The
Colonials will need J.R. Pinnock to step up and fill that void. Remember the name of Regis
Koundija. He becomes eligible this year for GW.
21. Texas Tech
Bobby Knight is the ultimate “he’ll take his and beat yours and then he’ll take yours and beat his”
coach in the business. The Red Raiders will be loaded and should make a run for the Big 12 title.
Guards Jarius Jackson and Martin Zeno return to share the offensive load. If Daryl Dora can make
the jump, the Red Raiders will be solid inside. Watch out for forward Jonathan Plefka who is a
sensational athlete (Played baseball at Vermont and hoops at James Madison before landing in
Lubbock. Committed out of high school to play football for Rutgers).
I reserve the right to change this ranking if Dan Grunfeld isn’t all the way back from surgery on his
ACL. Chris Hernandez and Matt Haryasz give Stanford a nice inside-outside combo. However if
Grunfeld isn’t healthy, this team goes nowhere.
No coach has more pressure on his shoulders than Mike Davis does. If
newcomers Marco Killingsworth and Earl Calloway can blend in seamlessly with
Robert Vaden, D.J. White, Sean Kline, A.J. Ratliff and Marshall Strickland then this
team could contend for the Big Ten title. If they don’t, Indiana will be the highest
profile head coaching job available next April.
24. Iowa State
If Louisville and Iowa State don’t make the Final Four they should have a sideshow event and invite
Taquan Dean and Curtis Stinson to play one on one. If I had to bet on which player will score 50
points in a game first this season, I would go with Stinson. His backcourt mate, Will Blalock, is also
pretty ridiculous. The Cyclones are a Sweet 16 sleeper.
Over 45 million people watched Illinois battle North Carolina in the national title game (or very close to
quadruple the 12.1 million households that watched Game 2 of the World Series). On the floor were
six guys that got taken in the first round of the NBA Draft. The only guy left on either team that is
capable of going in the first round this year is point guard Dee Brown. Brown would have to have the
season/tournament of his life for the Fighting Illini to get back to the first Monday night of April.