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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

NBA All-Defensive Team - Michigan billboard aimed at Jim Tressel - Andy Katz's College Hoops Top 10 for 2011-2012

Andy Katz's College Hoops Top 10 for 2011-2012
1. North Carolina

The Tar Heels return a foursome of players that will be hard to match by any other team, save Kentucky, with Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller, John Henson and Kendall Marshall. Adding James McAdoo and P.J. Hairston to an already-deep roster makes the Tar Heels a loaded crew for next season. UNC coach Roy Williams is in a position to win his third national championship since 2005, which would tie him with UConn's Jim Calhoun and behind only Mike Krzyzewski of Duke on the active title list.

2. Kentucky

The Wildcats lost Brandon Knight and DeAndre Liggins, but return Terrence Jones. Losing Knight was somewhat expected since he's in the top 10 in the draft. But the Wildcats still have a core group with Darius Miller returning and the top recruiting class in the country, led by Anthony Davis, Michael Gilchrist and Knight's replacement, Marquis Teague.

3. Ohio State

The Buckeyes have the best big man returning in Jared Sullinger; an outstanding point guard in Aaron Craft; a super wing in William Buford; and another stellar recruiting class led by a pair of McDonald's All-Americans in guard Shannon Scott and center Amir Williams. Ohio State is once again the favorite to win the Big Ten.

4. Syracuse

The Orange suddenly look like the best team in the Big East with their only significant departure being Rick Jackson. Syracuse didn't get bit by the early-entry bug, as Kris Joseph stayed put. The backcourt of Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche will be the most experienced in the Big East. Adding McDonald's All-American center Rakeem Christmas and shooting guard Michael Carter-Williams make the Orange even stronger in 2012.

5. Duke

The Blue Devils knew they were losing Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler, and Kyrie Irving's departure wasn't a shock. Austin Rivers comes in ready to take the spotlight next to Andre Dawkins and Seth Curry. Quinn Cook will also step in and play major minutes; so, too, will small forward Michael Gbinije and likely Marshall Plumlee, who will be joining his brothers, Mason and Miles. Much like Kentucky, Duke will rely heavily on freshmen.

6. Connecticut

The national champs lost their MVP, Kemba Walker, but Jeremy Lamb didn't take the NBA bait. His return means the Huskies have a solid core of players who have as much experience as any other squad. Shabazz Napier can emerge as a big-time point guard, Lamb as an All-American and Alex Oriakhi an anchor inside.

7. Vanderbilt

Vandy could have taken a major hit from early entrants, a rarity for the Commodores. But everyone stayed put, meaning they should be the second-best team in the SEC at the start of the season and certainly have the experience and talent to win the league. The returning trio of Jeffery Taylor, John Jenkins and Festus Ezeli should be a tough matchup for any opposing team in the league, save Kentucky. Adding a strong recruiting class led by shooting guard Dai-Jon Parker means the Dores could be a top-10 team from the outset. Now can they take the next step and win in the postseason?

8. Memphis

The Tigers won the Conference USA tournament and gave Arizona fits in the NCAA tournament. Memphis returns nearly its entire team, led by Will Barton, Joe Jackson, Tarik Black and Wesley Witherspoon. Adding top-10 recruit Adonis Thomas to the mix means Memphis will be even deeper. The Tigers got a taste of the NCAAs last season but had to win the C-USA tournament to ensure a bid. They shouldn't have to sweat as much next season.

9. Louisville

Terrence Jennings surprised most by staying in the NBA draft, but the Cardinals won't sneak up on anybody next season as they did this past one. Louisville will once again be a tough out and a team that should be a top-four Big East contender throughout the season. Kyle Kuric will be joined by newcomers Wayne Blackshear and Chane Behanan to bolster an already Rick Pitino-esque lineup.

10. Arizona

Sean Miller turned down Maryland to stay in Tucson for the foreseeable future. That ensures the Wildcats won't have to go through a transitional period for the third time in four seasons. Arizona lost Derrick Williams to the NBA draft, but the Wildcats are still deep with Lamont Jones, Kyle Fogg, Solomon Hill, Kevin Parrom and a stellar recruiting class, led by top guards Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson. Arizona enters the new Pac-12 as the team to beat.

Michigan billboard aimed at Jim Tressel

Some Michigan Wolverines fans are having a laugh at Ohio State's recent troubles.
And the highlight of the pranks isn't going unnoticed. It winks at thousands of interstate drivers daily.
According to a recent report in the Toledo (Ohio) Blade, a billboard in Michigan between Detroit and Ann Arbor on I-94, clad in a scarlet background with bold white letters, takes a jab at Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and his familiar sweater vests.
A Michigan interstate billboard in reference to Ohio State coach Jim Tressel reads "Liar, Liar, Vest on Fire!" Its sponsor remains anonymous, according to a report.
"Liar, Liar, Vest on Fire!" reads the billboard, whose sponsor remained anonymous, according to the newspaper.
Tressel, suspended five games for the beginning of the 2011 season, is under investigation by the NCAA for knowing about player benefits but not telling school officials.
Five Ohio State players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, will serve five-game suspensions for accepting improper benefits from a tattoo parlor. On Saturday, The Columbus Dispatch reported Ohio State's compliance director is looking into at least 50 car sales to Buckeyes players and relatives to determine if the deals met NCAA guidelines.
The Buckeyes are no strangers to billboards that target their missteps.
In January, after TCU beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, multiple billboards popped up congratulating the Horned Frogs on their victory -- in Columbus, Ohio.
The ads made reference to Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee and his derogatory comments about the quality of non-automatic qualifying schools such as TCU and Boise State.
A graphics-based T-shirt produced by a Tampa, Fla., company is among other recent efforts at Ohio State's expense, according to The Blade.
The shirt by Smack Apparel, "Tressel's Tattoo and Pawn -- Turning a Blind Eye Since 2001," is a hot sell in Ann Arbor and other big college football towns, the report said.
"We knew that Michigan fans would eat it up, and they have," said Wayne Curtiss, Smack Apparel's owner.
Another T-shirt company has twisted the Big Ten's new division names, with the front displaying "Legends" along with a pair of Joe Paterno-style, heavy-framed eye glasses.
But the back of the shirt carries a similar punchline as the Michigan billboard. It's imprinted with "Liars" instead of "Leaders" and carries an image of Tressel's familiar sweater vest.
"People see it as something that's fun and something that's funny," Curtiss said, according to The Blade. "We just take a situation that has fans talking, and then try to have some fun with it. We hope people can laugh and take it the right way."

NBA All-Defensive Team
NEW YORK -- Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and Lakers guard Kobe Bryant have been selected to the NBA all-defensive first team for a record-tying ninth time.
Garnett and Bryant were joined by Magic center Dwight Howard, who has won the past three Defensive Player of the Year awards and received the most points Monday.
Also selected for the first team were Heat forward LeBron James and Celtics guard Rajon Rondo.
Garnett and Bryant tied Michael Jordan and Gary Payton for the most selections in NBA history.
The league's coaches vote on the team.
The second team has Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, Hornets guard Chris Paul, Mavericks center Tyson Chandler, 76ers forward Andre Iguodala and Bulls forward-center Joakim Noah.


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