Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dee Bost Suspended

Mississippi State got bad, though expected, news as Dee Bost was suspended for 9 games. He was already academically ineligible for the fall semester, so he'll begin the suspension after he becomes eligible, which means that in the end he'll miss the first 16 games of the season. He'll likely miss the entire out-of-conference slate, in addition to their first SEC game, at home against Alabama. The team will also be without Renardo Sidney for the first nine games - the star 2009 recruit who missed all of last season as part of the same eligibility issues that have him out for the start of this season.

Bost is the team's starting point guard, and led the team (by far) in assists per game last season, and is also the team's top returning scorer. So he'll be greatly missed. And while we don't know for sure how well Renardo Sidney will play in college, particularly after a year off of competitive basketball, he's too physically talented to not be a big presence when he comes back.

Mississippi State will have some tough games out-of-conference that Bost will have to miss, including a Virginia Tech game played in the Bahamas, and the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii, where they'll play Washington State in the first round, San Diego or Baylor in the second round, and then either Utah, Butler, Florida State or Hawaii in their final game. Sidney will have to hit the ground running for them to be able to overcome a very weak backcourt without Bost.

The SEC West is going to be awful this season, which gives Mississippi State the opportunity to put up a 10-6 or 11-5 conference record, which could be enough to earn an at-large bid if they can play respectable out-of-conference. So their play without Bost will be key. The team won't be good enough to overcome a disastrous November and December.

With their full roster together, Mississippi State might be the favorite to take the SEC West, but the SEC West could end up with zero NCAA Tournament teams, despite the expansion to a field of 68.

Firing It Up

It's time to start firing up the blog for the regular season. I've been keeping my mind off of college basketball for the past month or so, focusing on other parts of my life as I know that this blog is going to start taking up a huge portion of my time for the next six months or so.

But tomorrow marks two weeks until Midnight Madness, so we're close enough that the sport is beginning to head back to the forefront of the mind of the average sports fan. Within a week or so we'll begin seeing college basketball previews all over the mainstream media. Of course, my season previews have been up for a while already, with my conference previews here, and my most recent BP68 here. The next BP68 will be out 2-3 weeks from now. The next one after that will be the W-17 BP68, which be out on Sunday, November 14th (17 weeks before Selection Sunday).

I look forward to another great season of conversing with all of my knowledgeable readers!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Midnight Madness TV Coverage

We're less than four weeks from Midnight Madness, and I just wanted to pass along a link from ESPN on their Midnight Madness coverage. The full list of locations they'll be broadcasting from is here.

It should be fun stuff, although probably even a bit more puff-piece centric than usual. With three of the six schools they'll be at in the middle of major investigations (Memphis, Kentucky, UConn), I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that none of that will get brought up.

But at the very least, that night will mark the beginning of the college basketball season. And it might just be me, but I'm really looking forward to college basketball news featuring games rather than investigations.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Six Weeks To Midnight Madness

We're in a quiet time for college hoops. All of the big high school graduates have signed, all of the big transfers have happened, and college football, the NFL and Major League Baseball have stolen the spotlight. There isn't much in the way of news, which is why posting has been light.

But we're exactly six weeks away from Midnight Madness, and almost exactly two months away from the first regular season games. So we're getting close.

Posting here will continue to be light for the next few weeks, but it will pick up as we get close to Midnight Madness. I will post my next BP68 within a week of Midnight Madness. And soon after that I'll begin previewing the first games of the regular season, including all of the major early season tournaments. I'll also be previewing ESPN's wonderful 24 hours of hoops, which they're repeating after how successful it was last season (this year it will be held on November 16th - the full schedule is here).

So there's plenty ahead. And we're getting very close to the beginning of another college basketball season.