2012 Battle 4 Atlantis Preview and Predictions

battle 4 atlantis logo

The 2012 Battle 4 Atlantis college basketball tournament tips off Thursday and is STACKED with six top 25 teams including Final Four contenders Louisville, Duke, and Missouri.  Too bad half the games are being shown on something called AXS TV while the others will be seen on NBC Sports Network (which isn’t offered to me on DirecTV even though I upgraded to the sports tier package, lame.)  Regardless, here is a preview and my predictions for how things will shake out in the Bahamas.

Here is the official bracket for the 2012 Battle 4 Atlantis.

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#42 Stanford Cardinal: College Basketball 111 in 111


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.

After winning the NIT championship last season, the Stanford Cardinal look to take the next step and get into the relevant college basketball postseason tournament.  With several of their key players back, that is a very attainable goal for Johnny Dawkins and company.

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#83 Stanford Cardinal: College Basketball 111 in 111

stanford cardinal mascot

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Giving Johnny Dawkins a two-year contract extension was a vote of confidence that the former Dukie has the Stanford Cardinal basketball program heading in the right direction.  Dawkins has recruited well since arriving in Palo Alto but his team is still a year or two away from being a true contender in the Pac-12.

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99 in 99: #84 Stanford Cardinal

Stanford tree

My all-time favorite Sportscenter commercial is the one where John Anderson throws a piece of paper into the garbage as the Stanford Cardinal mascot is watching.  Anderson looks at the big oafy tree, then picks the paper out of the trash and puts it in the recycling bin.  Get me every time.

What does this have to do with my Stanford basketball preview?  Nothing.  I just figured it is a good way to change my lead-in.  The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” runs down the 72 college basketball power conference teams and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  Click here if you missed teams #84-#99.

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Gophers Dominate Penn State, Dominoes Begin to Fall

By Mike Gallagher

After an up and down end to the regular season, no one really knew what to expect heading into a match-up with Penn State that posed a few problems for the Minnesota Gophers basketball team. [Read more…]

2009-2010 Pac 10 Hoops Preview: Part 1 of 4


by: David Kay

One down, five major conferences to go.  Our 2009-2010 college basketball previews tipped-off last week with the Big East (to check those out click on the links at the bottom of the page.)  Now, we head west to check in on the Pac-10 Conference, which should be down for a second straight season.

Part one of our four part series begins with the teams that are in re-building mode.  Washington State loses their head coach and three starters.  Coming off a trip to the NCAA Tournament, Arizona State will be without their top two players and counting on a bevy of role players to step up.  The re-loading process continues at Stanford under second year head coach Johnny Dawkins.  These teams should struggle in the Pac-10 as they all have some major shoes to fill with relatively inexperienced rosters.

8. Washington State (7th in P-10, 8-10 in P-10, 17-16 overall, NIT)

klay-thompson2009-2010 Outlook:
Tony Bennett’s stay in Pullman was a brief one as the Cougars head coach bolted for Virginia and the lure of coaching in ACC.  Ken Bone comes from Portland State, who he led to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, to replace Benentt.  The cupboard isn’t completely bare for Bone, but it sure it young and inexperienced.  This team will go through some growing pains this season, but could be a year or two away from being seriously talked about as a Pac 10 contender.

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: DeAngelo Casto (So)/Charlie Enquist (So)/Steven Bjornstad (Fr)
F: Nikola Koprivica (So)/ Brock Motum (Fr)/James Watson (Fr)
G/F: Klay Thompson (Sr)/Abe Lodwick (So)
SG: Marcus Capers (So)/Mike Harthun (So)/Anthony Brown (Fr)
PG: Xavier Thames (Fr)/Reggie Moore (Fr)

Gone: PG-Taylor Rochestie, C-Aaron Baynes, F-Caleb Forrest, F-Daven Harmeling

Player to watch: Thompson- The 6’6 swingman started all 33 games a year ago for Wazzu.  He has a smooth stroke from the outside and should be one of the top scorers in the conference this season.  NBA potential is there if he can add some muscle to his fairly thin 200 pound frame.

9. Arizona State (T-3rd, 11-7, 25-10, NCAA Second Round)

pendergraph-harden2009-2010 Outlook:
From conference title contenders to cellar dwellers in just one year; that’s how badly the Sun Devils will miss James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph.  Harden was the team’s only playmaker last year while Pendergraph was their lone true low post presence.  Both are now playing at the next level and I don’t see any of the returning role players from last season being able to step up into either of those spots this season.

Projected Depth Chart
C: Eric Boateng (Sr)/Alex English (Jr)/Ruslan Pateev (Fr)
F: Rihards Kuksiks (Jr)/Taylor Rohde (So)/Victor Rudd (Fr)
G: Jerren Shipp (Jr)/Trent Lockett (Fr)/Demetrius Walker (Fr)
G: Ty Abbot (Jr)/Brandon Thompson (Fr)
PG: Derek Glasser (Sr)/Jamelle McMillen (Jr)

Gone: SG-James Harden, PF-Jeff Pendergraph

Player to Watch: Kuksiks- The Sun Devils’ top returning scorer at just 10.3 points per game, Kuksiks will likely be the “go-to” scorer.  He lives on the perimeter as 93 of 118 field goals last season came from beyond the three-point line.  If he can show some dribble penetration ability, it would be a major plus for ASU.

10. Stanford  (9th, 6-12, 20-14, CBI)

2009-2010 Outlook:
Johnny Dawkins is in re-building mode at Stanford.  The Cardinal loses their top two scorers and starting point guard from last season in which they went 11-0 in non-conference play, but 6-12 in the Pac-10.  Landry Fields is the only returnee who averaged more than seven points per game a year ago.

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Josh Owens (Jr)/Elliott Bullock (So)/Matei Daian (So)
PF: Andrew Zimmerman (So)/Jack Trotter (So)/Andy Brown (Fr)
G/F: Landry Fields (Sr)
SG: Jeremy Green (So)/Jarrett Mann (So)/Da’Veed Dildy (So)
PG: Drew Shiller (Sr)/Gabriel Harris (Fr)

dawkins1Gone: F-Lawrence Hill, G-Anthony Goods, PG-Mitch Johnson, PG-Kenny Brown, C-Will Paul (suspended)

Player to Watch: Green- Dude can light it up from deep, shooting almost 46% from three last season earning him a spot on the All-Freshman Team.  With a new starting backcourt, Green will likely be asked to pick up the scoring load left behind by Anthony Goods.

Pac 10 Preview Continues:
Wednesday: Teams 5-7
Thursday: Teams 1-4
Friday: Post-season Awards Predictions

Sportsbank.net Big East Previews/Power Rankings
Teams 13-16 (Rutgers, South Florida, Providence, DePaul)
Teams 9-12 (Notre Dame, Pitt, Marquette, St. John’s)
Teams 5-8 (Syracuse, Louisville, Cincinnati, Seton Hall)
Teams 1-4 (Villanova, West Virginia, UConn, Georgetown)