#58 Northern Iowa Panthers: College Basketball 111 in 111


northern iowa cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

By returning practically everybody from a year ago, the Northern Iowa Panthers figure to bounce back after a mediocre 2011-12 season.  They don’t have the talent of Missouri Valley foe Creighton but could nip on their heels in the conference race.

Last Season: T-3rd, 9-9 in MVC, 20-14 overall
Predicted MVC Finish: 2nd

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Jake Koch (Sr)/Austin Pehl (Sr)/Chris Oliver (Fr)
F:  Seth Tuttle (So)/Chip Rank (Jr)/Marvin Singleton (So)/Nate Buss (So)
SG: Marc Sonnen (Sr)/Max Martino (So)/Matt Bohannon (Fr)
G: Deon Mitchell (So)/Matt Morrison (Jr)
PG: Anthony James (Sr)

Gone: SG-Johnny Moran

2012-2013 Outlook:
Ben Jacobson returns four of his five starters led by senior point guard Anthony James.  The St. Louis native was the only player on the roster to average double digit points a year ago but isn’t much of a creator or true distributor.  He will be joined in the backcourt by sharpshooter Marc Sonnen who connected on 44.3% of his triple tries last season and Deon Mitchell who was a member of the All-MVC Freshman Team and brings a little more to the floor with his ability to attack off the bounce.

Matt Morrison is another three-point threat off the bench and should see a larger role this year.  Max Martino and redshirt freshman Matt Bohannon, the younger brother of former Badger Jason and current Wisconsin forward Zach, will provide quality depth at guard.

Jake Koch and Seth Tuttle will anchor the Panthers inside.  Both guys are capable of stretching defenses with their jump shooting abilities.  Koch is the more physical of the two but Tuttle actually led the team in rebounding as a freshman.

At 6-6, Chip Rank is an undersized forward but doesn’t back down due to his physicality and is another weapon from behind the arc.  Austin Pehl has been used sparingly during his career at Northern Iowa but does offer some size off the bench.  Marvin Singleton is another undersized but physical player inside while redshirt freshman Chris Oliver and Nate Buss who missed most of last season due to a broken arm give Jacobson plenty of options at forward.

Cedar Rapids native Wes Washpun transferred back home after spending one season at Tennessee.  He will sit out this season but likely be the point guard of the future after James graduates.

UNI plays a tough non-conference slate and stealing a couple of wins prior to the start of the MVC season could go a long way in terms of the Panthers hoping to earn an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament.  As it stands right now, they are the team to most likely contend with Creighton for the conference crown.

Player to Watch: Seth Tuttle
With no true standout player on the roster and a team that relies on their balance, Tuttle’s development will be interesting to see.  He averaged 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds in just 22 minutes per game during his freshman campaign.  The MVC Freshman of the Year should see an expanded role this season and could emerge as the team’s top scorer.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/22 vs. Louisville (Battle 4 Atlantis)
11/23 vs. Missouri/Stanford (Battle 4 Atlantis)
11/25 vs. Duke/Minnesota/Memphis/VCU (Battle 4 Atlantis)
12/8 at George Mason
12/15 vs. Iowa
12/19 at UNLV (MVC/MWC Challenge)
12/22 vs. St. Mary’s
2/22-24 vs. TBD (BracketBusters)

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#59 Colorado State Rams
#60 Iowa Hawkeyes
#61 South Florida Bulls
#62 Valparaiso Crusaders
#63 Illinois Fighting Illini
#64 Arkansas Razorbacks
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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