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2019-2020 College Basketball Preview

Basketball Insiders

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The 2019-2020 college hoops season is just around the corner, and with that comes the great predictions, the unlikely statistics and the performance metrics that will predict which teams will likely make a deep run in the tournament come March… But it’s never that easy.

Everybody had Duke marching to the Championship at the beginning of last season – and will certainly make similar predictions about this year until, predictably, most of their predictions will fall apart one weekend in March. But every season brings surprises, (Like Baylor coming out of nowhere to win 20 games last season).

That is why college basketball is the most joyful and upsetting sport we have… where one week your team looks as if they could reach the Final Four – and the next week they get blown out at home by East Tennessee State.

Oh, by the way? The three-point line is now 22 feet 1 3/4 inches. That might change the outcome of EVERYTHING.

#1 Michigan State is the best team in the country. Tom Izzo and crew went to the Final Four last season with most of their returning team (A shock in today’s one and done era). It’s hard not to like this team, as senior PG Cassius Winston looks to be the best player in college basketball. Add on returning 6’8” junior Xavier Tillman and we should be watching this team make a DEEP run in March. MSU have 11-2 odds to win it all…

#2 Kentucky has two 5 star freshmen in Tyrese Maxey and Khalil Whitney, who fit nicely into John Calipari’s “Prepare them for the NBA” system. The problem is that in the One-and-Done era, only two teams have actually won the National Championship that are starting five-star future NBA players. (The 2012 Kentucky Wildcats and the 2015 Duke Blue Devils).

# 3 Duke returns Tre Jones and adds two five star freshman studs in Vernon Carey and Matthew Hurt (6’10” and 6’9”, respectively). They will have to face a VERY TOUGH

#4 Louisville team twice during the season who are expected to be better than last year’s 20 win team due to the addition of St. Joe’s transfer Lamarr Kimble (Who can shoot the lights out).

#5 Kansas is dealing with the NCAA recruiting sanctions leveled against them, but the return of Udoka Azubuike from injury and Devon Dotson’s decision to not test the NBA Draft has them looking like the best team in the Big 12. Of course, health is always a concern with Azubuike coming back from a hand injury and after last season’s string of close winds and losses, (Barely beating KSU, Losing to Texas Tech) they need to be playing with a fire that burns from the knowledge of not having a tournament to play in come March.

#6 Florida This team is a powerhouse. Andrew Nembhard and Tre Mann are remarkable playmakers surrounded by great shooters. Virginia Tech transfer Kerry Blackshear, jr. loads them up front. The SEC will be absolutely tough and This could be a title run 20 years after the last one for this Gators team.

#7 Auburn may have some issues from outside, which may make them vulnerable when they face bigger teams – although with 6’8” athletic big Babatunde Akingbola ripping down boards, this team could be one of the more athletic squads we will see this season.

#8 Villanova should be the best team in the Big East, but they may have issues at point guard, unless Collin Gillespie has taken big strides in his game. The always dangerous Wildcats are still superbly coached, balanced in the shooting department and will make magic with an 8-9 man rotation.

#9 Ohio State is tough… like really tough. Ever hear of DJ Carton? YOU WILL. The kid is an elite athlete and scorer and should lead this team far… He will play Michigan State only once this season – and it should be one of the most anticipated games of the year. He’s good enough to lead this well balanced team into the pre-season top ten… We’ll see how far he can take them come tourney time.

#10 Maryland is really balanced and sophomore experience will lead them to some great wins. Again, the Big 10 is full of big time front lines and missing a true big may cost them on occasion. Serrel Smith jr. showed a lot of promise last year and should step up while surrounded by a team with a loaded wing component. They face MSU twice… these are two other must see games.

#11 Virginia is still reeling off of their National Championship last year and won’t be AS good. But will still turn some heads… These guys just always seem to breeze through the giants of the league come tourney time…

#12 Purdue will miss Carsen Edwards as their go to scorer but they still come back stacked. Trevion Williams has NBA potential after a terrific freshman season.

#13 Florida State is awfully scary, and starts a very big lineup – their issues are in scoring in their half court offense. Get them on the break, however, and these guys are going to cause a lot of problems for opponents.

#14 Seton Hall will fight for the Big East title against Villanova – and with their four returning starters, they should get off to a fast start. Myles Powell is the truth – and should be a large factor in whether or not they make a decent tourney run.

#15 North Carolina – bring in superstar point guard Cole Anthony (Son of Greg) who is expected to be one of the best players in the country as a true freshman. The ACC is always a battle and the Tar Heels could make some ripples in the conference with Anthony at the wheel.

Coach Chris Beard has #16 Texas Tech riding high, and brought in grad transfers Chris Clark and TJ Holyfield. (My favorite name in college hoops this year). If Kansas hits any drags, the Red Raiders will be your Big 12 champions.

#17 Memphis – IS THIS THE MOST EXCITING TEAM IN THE NCAA? Perhaps. Penny Hardaway is ready for the big time and he has recruited four possible future NBA players. 7’1” James Wiseman is absurdly talented and Hardaway’s former AAU player… The question remains: Will Hardaway become a superstar coach at the D1 level? Or become a casualty of the Chris Mullin/Clyde Drexler variety and flame out after a couple of seasons? Whatever the case – it should be a fun season to watch the Tigers…

#18 Gonzaga – How do these guys stay so good year after year? Mark Few is a top-five coach, and with his front court drop of Killian Tillie and Drew Timme he returns an extremely impressive basketball team. Texas A 7 M transfer Admon Gilder could be the key to taking this team all the way… And Few has a tendency to get his teams clicking at the right time.

#19 LSU – NCAA Sanctions aside, these guys belong in the top twenty and may challenge for the SEC title. Trendon Watford is poised for a break through year and even though they lost some guys to the professional ranks last year. The problem may be the drama hanging around the program…

# 20 Arizona/Oregon – I had to include one Pac-12 team here, and since the conference doesn’t look that strong, these are the two best teams. One of them belongs in the top 20. Arizona brings in point guard Nico Mannion and Josh Green and if Sean Miller can shake his past demons, he could get these guys playing like a sweet 16 team. Oregon is in a similar position – big time impact freshman, grad transfers and a shooter in Addison Patterson. (Remember, the move of the three point line will affect a lot of percentages… Look for the numbers to fall all around.)

Hopefully that gets you started… but as we all know, these are kids, the tournament determines everything and you just never know what might happen…A team like #26 Creighton could come along and shock the world. (For the record Creighton is a terrific team… we just didn’t have space to get that deep…)

Good luck out there. Watch three point percentages to drop significantly. That is all.

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The Fight Against NBA Geo-blocking

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Historically, soccer has been the undisputed sport of choice for most of the world to play and watch. With very few exceptions such as North America and a few cricket countries, the popularity of soccer has been basically without challenge. But in recent years, this dominance has been subject to serious competition.

The rise of basketball and its popularity has taken some experts by surprise. Originally confined to North America since its inception in Canada around a century ago, basketball is fast gaining a massive international following. Indeed, the NBA has been keen to capitalize on this trend, not only performing exhibition matches around the world, but also taking in players from popular markets.

With the rise in popularity of online streaming worldwide, the NBA has also jumped on the bandwagon, with its official streaming site now the premiere outlet where fans can stream NBA games for their viewing pleasure.

Unfortunately, not everything smells like roses. Even the NBA is not immune from the scourge that is geo-blocking. Far too often, fans in the United States and around the world look forward to watching their favorite team play a long-standing enemy team, only to find out that their market has been restricted from viewing the game live, thereby depriving fans from catching their favorite player or team at the time of their choosing.

How Does This Happen?

Many have wondered how this frustration came into being. Indeed, just about every major streaming service practices some degree of geographic discrimination, but it seems odd to many that the NBA would do the same seeing as they are the ones who own the rights to the games their players play in.

Sad to say, there is more to this than meets the eye. What the NBA usually does is it sells these broadcasting rights to cable or streaming networks for a handsome royalty. They will have the exclusive right to broadcast the game live and even the NBA will have to resign itself to posting the game at least three hours after the fact.

To make matters even more complicated, most of the networks that purchase these exclusive rights do so only for certain geographic locations. Most of these networks are not fully national in their broadcasting reach and therefore purchase regional exclusivity. What this means is that viewers outside this exclusive zone are still able to use their NBA league pass to watch the game live on the NBA site. Only those who fall within the zone’s exclusive domain get greatly inconvenienced by this.

VPNs to the Rescue

This is where VPNs come into play. The main features of a good VPN service will be more than sufficient in ensuring that netizens will be able to not only stream any NBA game they wish, but also stay out of trouble while doing so.

This is generally done in a two-step process. The first step is through the use of alternate IP addresses. Once you have installed your VPN service on your device and have it activated, simply go to the list of alternate IP addresses the VPN has to offer. A good VPN service will have a good variety of addresses to choose from in anticipation of customers looking to bypass geo-blocking.

Be sure to choose an IP address that falls outside the exclusive broadcasting zone of the local network. Once you have finalized and locked in your selection, the VPN will then reroute any and all exchanges by default through one of their servers located in the IP address location you chose.

What this will do is give the impression to anyone looking from the outside that you indeed reside where your alternate IP address says you reside. In fact, the internet will be so convinced that you indeed reside in your alternate IP address that you will be shown ads that are specific to that region.

For example, if you reside in the Midwest and choose an IP address somewhere in the Deep South, you might very well be shown ads of Waffle House even though you only have IHOP where you live. This is because the alternate IP address feature is so convincing that no one is the wiser to it.

The second step that makes sure you can consistently get away with this is the encryption protection feature. What this basically does is it covers every exchange going in and out of your device in a layer of high-quality encryption. The main purpose of this was to ensure that even if the exchanges were intercepted by unscrupulous hackers, the information would be so scrambled that their efforts would have been for nothing.

VPN`s Are Essential To Overcome The Geo-Blocking Hurdle

This feature is very important for the purposes of overcoming geo-blocking because of the disciplinary measures that NBA and most other streaming services have put in place. In most cases, the steaming services have some sort of firewall designed to catch people in the act of faking their IP address.

This is where the encryption software becomes so indispensable. The encrypting of all information going in and out of the protected device means that no one can decipher the information as long as it remains scrambled by the encryption program.

This means that no one knows exactly what you are up to simply because they cannot interpret anything. The most anyone can know about what you are doing is that you are using a lot of bandwidth, but they cannot accuse you of anything because they have no proof whatsoever.

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The Greatest NBA Scorer of 2019: James Harden

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The NBA star James Harden is today the closest scorer to beat the world record imposed by Wilt Chamberlain, who shocked the world with 100 points in one game; that was on April 3 of 1962, the day that Chamberlain made history in the basketball world.

After retirement, many good scorers have passed by the NBA, just like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson and Kevin Durant. They have marked the NBA’s history in the past decade. Right now, the one who is closest to brake that record is James Harden, known as “The Beard”.

James Harden from the Rockets has the best scoring average in NBA right now, 36.1 points per game; and he keeps growing his potential. 

James Harden’s Games

There are many good reasons to bet James Harden’s Rockets, the first of them is the good progress they are getting in this season. If you want to know more numbers, in his latest plays he got 55 points against Cavs and 54 against the Magic; these are 109 points in only two games.

If Harden keeps improving, he could be able to beat Chamberlain’s 100 points per game record. Otherwise, if we talk about other records in Harden’s season, we could see that he scored 60% of field shots, 60.6% for triples and 100% in free shots. Records have always been the weakness of this basketball player, but he has improved even that; the reason why we can believe he is really the best NBA scorer of all history; the numbers speak for their own.

In this season, Harden has played in at least 24 games and the total average of his season is 39.3 points per game. If we compare those records with Wilt’s best records in the Warriors, we find that the major average of the legend was 50.4 points per game.

Harden’s good performance has improved the statistics of the Rockets in the season; that’s why bets in favor of this particular basketball team have increased on the best online casinos and sports betting websites reviewed at sites such as Casinoshark.com

What can we expect from James Harden’s NBA Career?

We have many reasons to think that we can expect good things from this basketball player in the future. He has beaten many other scorers that, in the past decades were the main sensation of the NBA.

James Harden has the world’s eyes over him and many expect a lot from him. So, if he does beat Chamberlain’s record, he will become the second player in making history as the way the legend Wilt Chamberlain did by his time.

If everything goes well for him, there is no reason to believe he is not able to do it.

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Can Miami Heat Sustain Hot Start?

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The Miami Heat continued their impressive start to the 2019/20 NBA season with an overtime victory over the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors, proving themselves as surprise contenders in the Eastern Conference.

Erik Spoelstra’s men missed the playoffs last season and were not expected to make a charge this term. However, Jimmy Butler has been an astute signing following his move to the franchise during the off-season, while rookies Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn have hit the ground running.

Miami are keeping pace with the leaders in the Eastern Conference that were anticipated to be in contention to reach the NBA Finals. The question now is whether they will be able to maintain their strong start amid tough competition from the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and the Raptors.

Consistency

The Heat will base their surge for the playoffs on the basis of their performances at American Airlines Arena. At the time of writing, Spoelstra’s men are 8-0 on home court, which is easing the pressure on their displays on the road. They were able to play with freedom in their win over the Raptors as confidence has been flowing through the team. As a result, it could be worth considering their odds of 10/1 with Betway to win the Eastern Conference given the value and the fact they’ve also conquered the Bucks this term. It has been a stark contrast to their performances last season.

In the last campaign, the Heat struggled in front of their supporters, with a 19-22 record. The team has found the consistency to their displays, although there has been a pattern to their victories and their defeats. When the Heat has scored over 100 points they’ve have ended on the winning end more often than not – dropping two games to the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Houston Rockets.

Their other defeats have come when they’ve been held under 90 points to quality outfits on the road. The Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers have been able to stop their flow, although it’s a good sign for the future that the only blemishes on their record to date have been against the elite of the NBA, proving once again that the Heat are in it for the long haul.

Sustaining Performance Levels

Butler is a proven commodity in the NBA and has lived up to the billing since he arrived in Miami, with Josh Richardson moving in the opposite direction. The 30-year-old is thriving on being the centerpiece under Spoelstra, supporting the younger members of the roster alongside Goran Dragic.

The Heat do not have a lot of experience in their side, making the performances of Butler essential to their success. It’s no surprise to see when he has not performed to a high level the team has tended to struggle. Butler has been exceptional thus far at both ends of the court, but he cannot be expected to carry Miami through the rigors of an 82-game season and the playoffs.

Bam Adebayo is developing into a solid presence on the court in the defensive third. He has been a key factor in getting the ball back for the Heat, averaging 10.4 defensive rebounds per game. It needs to be the standard for the 22-year-old, while Justise Winslow also needs to take his game to the next level after a solid start to the term. The two players have enough experience in the NBA to know their games, easing the pressure on the rookies.

Herro and Nunn have been excellent in their opening burst of games, with the latter catching early attention for the rookie of the year award after being named the Eastern Conference rookie of the month for November. It’s encouraging for the Heat to see such performances from their two rising stars, although it remains to be seen whether they can match those performance levels throughout the season.

Verdict?

The Heat are a team on the rise after years of underachievement. Spoelstra is proving that he can coach without elite talent on his team. However, given the quality of competition in the Eastern Conference, it might be a year too soon for Miami due to them being dependent on the performances of their rookies, who are untested in the heat of intense matches down the stretch.

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