First of all, why write about basketball when college football season officially starts in less than a month.
That’s right, the UNLV-Minnesota and Indiana State-Indiana games are on Thursday, Aug. 29. Oh, and also North Carolina-South Carolina, Mississippi-Vanderbilt, USC-Hawaii, Utah State-Utah, Tulsa-Bowling Green, and Rutgers-Fresno State.
If it’s all the same to you, I’d like August to go slowly. I like summer.
Anyway, I’ve heard from so many Iowa fans this summer who tell me they are looking forward to next basketball season. And I get it. That could be a dynamic Hawkeyes team if its point-guard play is above-average. Which it could be if Mike Gesell stays healthy. There are always ifs, aren’t there?
I think it could be Iowa’s best team in a long, long, long time. And certainly a long, long time. Definitely a long time.
Now, there are two ways of looking at that:
1. You can’t win big-time without Top 50 players.
2. McIntire is missing someone or ones from Iowa.
I think both are true. But I’m not sure who McIntyre is missing. Is it Devyn Marble, who was very good some of the time last season, and not so much at others? Is it Aaron White, good enough to play on the U.S.’ World University Games team this summer, and a two-year vet with a lot of experience?
Or is it Jarrod Uthoff, who has yet to play a minute of college ball?
Are Marble and/or White better than Indiana’s Will Sheehey, whom McIntyre ranks 46th? Sheehey made that U.S. team. Marble did not. But so did Indiana sophomore-to-be guard Yogi Ferrell, who isn’t on McIntyre’s list.
Sheehey is one of 10 Big Ten players of the 50. He averaged 9.5 points per game last season. The others are:
6. Aaron Craft, Ohio State
8. Gary Harris, Michigan State
9. Glenn Robinson III, Michigan
10. Adreian Payne, Michigan State
11. Mitch McGary, Michigan
13. Sam Dekker, Wisconsin
31. Noah Vonieh, Indiana. He’s a freshman-to-be.
38. Andre Hollins, Minnesota
41. LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State. If it weren’t for Ross, Iowa State would have gone to the Sweet 16 and maybe beyond.
And honorable mention went to Sam Thompson, Ohio State.
Well, preseason rankings are for entertainment purposes only. Please, no wagering. Here’s McIntyre’s Top 50 list of last July.
Indiana’s Cody Zeller wasn’t a crackpot pick for No. 1, though teammate Victor Oladipo got equal postseason attention and Michigan’s Trey Burke was the National Player of the Year.
But Shabazz Muhammad, Isaiah Canaan and James Michael McAdoo didn’t live up to 2-3-4, Burke was 10th. Oladipo was unrated while teammate Christian Watford was 14th.
Living in the present, I’d take Marble or White over several of the players on McIntyre’s list, but he didn’t select stiffs. So, we’ll see. We always do, if we’re lucky.