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Thoughts About The 2009-2010 College Basketball Preview Magazines

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Today was a day that I was too sick to go into work, which gave me a chance to go through some preview magazines guides (Athlon, Lindy's, and Sporting News). We are only a month away from ISU's first game that counts against Idaho State. Below are some thoughts about each of the magazines, available at a newsstand near you. Just something to do on a sick-day:

Athlon:

I think this one is pretty good. The information is equitable (as much info about ISU as there is about Kansas for example), there are less "fluff" categories, and stick to basketball for the most part.

The ISU related mentions:

  • Brackins is on the cover.
  • The have ISU projected to finish 9th in the Big 12, and making the NIT. I understand why they rated ISU how they did, but with what we added, if we only move up one spot in the Big 12, I'll be bothered.  If we have all of our guys healthy, but do not make the NCAA Tournament, this season is a failure, which brings me to the next bullet point.
  • Greg McDermott is listed as the #9 coach on the Hot Seat. Hard for me to disagree that he belongs on this list. ISU has a 14-34 record against Big 12 teams under McDermott. Also, ISU hasn't had three losing seasons in a row since the early 1980s as well. I don't think he gets fired this season, but building this program is taking too long, and ISU is looking at another rebuilding year in 2010-2011. With football being down and undergoing a likely long rebuild, the fans need to have something to be excited about.
  • Craig Brackins is listed as the #4 best Post Players in the nation.
  • Brackins is on the All-American Second Team, and Big-12 First Team
  • For Fantasy College Basketball (which I do not play), Brackins is ranked #2 overall.

Lindy's:

I don't want to steal their thunder, but their preseason Top 25 is a lot different from the other publications. They have Michigan at #9 and Georgia Tech at #13 for example. They have the Big 12 as the #1 conference, and getting 6 NCAA bids. What's kind of funny to me that they have the ACC at #2, but getting 7 bids.

The Brackins mentions are as follows: Brackins is #9 in the "Draftable... but eligible" category (NBA prospects that are not Seniors), they also have Brackins as the #3 Center in the Nation (even though he's a PF), have Brackins as a First Team All Big 12 player, and call him the Top NBA Prospect in the Big 12.

They have ISU at #9 in the Big 12, and mentions that Brackins' teammates need to step up in order to get into the NCAA Tournament. They also omitted Alex Dorr, Antwon Oliver, and Babu Palo on the roster. At the same time, it's two walk-ons, and a guy that's likely going to redshirt, so it probably doesn't matter with regards to the end result, but it brings credibility into question. Marquis Gilstrap was left off the Top 10 Junior College Transfer list, although he does get a shout out in the ISU team preview as a player to watch.

I have some issues with this magazine. I probably wouldn't list Brackins as a Center, and I would have included Gilstrap in the Top 10 JUCO transfer list. Also, they are drinking some kind of Kool-Aid to mention some of the teams in the Top 25 that they did. I wonder if they really believe it, or are just trying to be different to sell more magazines? 

Sporting News:

I think they are a little more conventional and echo thoughts of the other mainstream media. No real suprises in their Top 25, have articles on Kansas, Duke, and UNC. No real surprises overall.

The Brackins-related mentions: Have him as a Third Team All-American, behind guys like Harangody and Singler, have him on the All-Big 12 team, and call him the best rebounder in the Big 12.

This right here is how I can tell that they haven't watched Brackins. I love Craig, but he is not the best rebounder in the Big 12. He's the best Power Forward, maybe the Best Scorer, but Cole Aldrich is far and away a better rebounder than Brackins. If Aldrich was in better shape and on the floor more, he could average 12-15 rebounds/game.

For ISU-related news, they have ISU at #9 in the Big 12, and mention how they finally have some experienced players returning.

Overall the worst of the three magazines in my opinion. It has a decent amount of info on the teams they think will do well. Not very much info regarding the others. They add things like "most fun to interview", or "most likely to draw a technical", but I could care less about stuff like that. Not a lot of info, and a lot of fluff. Not too big on that angle.

Final Thoughts:

I wasn't expecting too much positive news from this publications related to ISU. I thought that Gilstrap would be more highly regarded. When you haven't been relevant for 4+ years, it's easy for the media to forget about your, or to discount you. I just hope that what happens on the court this year brings some smiles to ISU fan's faces, and we have something to get excited about. These last several winters have been long, and I want to get hyped up for a big game again!