Timo's Weekly Memo
We've just reached the mid-way point of the conference seasons, and Timo is ready to hand out his awards for the best player, coach, game, and much more so far this season. Also included is an early look at the Final Four....
[ Updated February 5 ]
Player: Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph’s) - Averaging a little over 20 points a game, 5 assists, and shooting a blistering 50% from the field, he has led the Hawks to a perfect season thus far. His ability to break down defenses is like no other in the game today. He is well on his way to making his third straight A-10 first team appearance, and in my opinion, he is all-American material for sure.
Coach: Tie between Dave Odom (South Carolina) and Leonard Hamilton (Florida State) - South Carolina, who finished 11-16 last year and was picked to finish in dead last this year, has fought their way to the top of the SEC East along with Kentucky with virtually no apparent talent (refer to last weeks article). Florida State, who also finished a less-than-exciting 14-15 overall and ninth in the ACC last season, has upset several teams this year. Most notably Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest, and Maryland, all of which were in the top 25 the time of the game. Like any team, they have had struggles along the way, but they are still a solid team.
|FSU Head Coach Leonard Hamilton
Leonard Hamilton has led the 'Noles to victory over four ranked teams.
Disappointment: Michigan State - A team that was selected by many as a top 5 team in the preseason hasn’t lived up to expectations since the loss to Kansas, which was the second game of the season. The only credit I give them is that all of their losses, with the exception of the loss to UCLA, were to ranked teams at the time. Even though I think this team still has a good shot to make the Tourney because of they’re SOS, they have not lived up to their high outlook.
Game: Texas at Providence - Controversial buzzer-beater game.
Fans: Florida - I love the Blue/Orange split.
Rising Program: Charlotte - Wins over Syracuse, Cincinnati, and Marquette.
Declining program: Kentucky - The 'Cats are six points away from being 2-6 in the SEC.
Best Conference: ACC - Four teams in the top 25 right now, but don’t forget about Florida State, Maryland, NC State, and several others.
Worst Major Conference: Big 10 - Not one team in the top 25...enough said.
Most courageous performance: Francisco Garcia (Louisville) - Brother was shot and killed earlier in the season but has not missed a beat, and is a Wooden Award semi-finalist.
NEWS & NOTES
Teams in the top 25 have been dropping like flies lately. Fourteen out of the 25 teams in the ESPN/USA Today poll have lost once in the past week.
Congratulations to Maurice Clarret for his victory in court this week. Here is to him having a long and prosperous NFL career.
Well, I got the pick that mattered right, and that was the Patriots over the Panthers.
My Early Final Four Prediction: Stanford, Duke, Mississippi State, and North Carolina.