Early NCAA Predictions
One of the many joys of being a member of the college basketball media elite, is the early season coronation process. Usually teams and players are crowned as early as the end of the previous years playoff, but how can you truly know just how good a team is going to be before watching a single game of basketball? Two games into this season however, I think I finally have a good handle on what we can expect going forward in 08-09Ã¢â‚¬Â¦So let’s hand out some awards!
National POY (Player of the Year): David Holston, Sr. Guard, Chicago State. Holston’s averaged a handsome 32.5 points in his two games this year (one of which was against #15 Marquette)Ã¢â‚¬Â¦and get this, he’s averaging only 27.5 minutes of play. Stephen Curry can’t even sniff that kind of production, and I can’t imagine a scenario in which those numbers will drop.
National Champion: It’s gotta be Mercer. The Bears have jumped out to an impressive 3-0 start, leaving a trail of Alabama SEC schools (Alabama and Auburn) in their wake, effectively securing their top RPI ranking. Did I mention they hammered Piedmont College, a Georgia school, as well? Georgia Tech gets em nextÃ¢â‚¬Â¦(cue Carl Lewis) “UH OH!”
COY (Coach of the Year): Bob Hoffman: See Above. Hoffman has COMPLETELY changed the culture of a team that went 11-19 just a year ago. Off to an impressive 2-0 slaying of the SEC (3-0 overall), they still get a shot at Georgia Tech, UCLA, Dayton, and Oklahoma State. Can you get any higher than a #1 RPI ranking? Look out John, Dean.
CAA POY: Johnny Wolf, Jr. Guard, UNCW: Leading the CAA in points/game, 23.7 (up 21.7 from last year), Wolf has also dished out 4.7 dimes per contest, and almost 4 boards. Did I mention he’s shooting above .500 from downtown? But he doesn’t need someone from Ram Nation campaigning for him, those numbers speak for themselves.
CAA COY: Bruiser Flint, Drexel. Who would have thought the CAA’s most animated Coach could turn around a team that finished 8 games under .500 the year after losing one of the programs most prolific scorers, Frank Elegar. Bruiser has defied the odds leading the Dragons to an undefeated season thus far (1-0), including a win in Philly’s “Big 5”. PhiladelphiaÃ¢â‚¬Â¦make room, OR GET BURNED, RAAAWWWR ::roaring fire::!!!!!!
While my media membership may grant me permission to a few extra games and team media guides, I am no Nostradamus (who probably had Mason making it to the Final 4 in one of his many brackets)Ã¢â‚¬Â¦but injuries and upsets will occur, and I wouldn’t be shocked if at the end of the season I had it all totally wrong. We shall see.
Mat Shelton / VCU Ram Nation