With conference play beginning for many leagues this week (a few conferences began their league slate in early December) it's a good time to look back on some of the top performers. Enter CHN writer Jon Teitel, who put together his all-conference teams for each of the leagues.
For a while on Tuesday night it looked as if a Southern Conference team would hand another undefeated team its first defeat of the season. But an important suggestion by Louisville assistant coach Richard Pitino set things in motion for the fourth-ranked Cardinals, sparking a rally that resulted in a 69-62 victory. The idea: instead of relying on the frontcourt tandem of Gorgui Dieng and Chane Behanan to occupy the foul line area against the Charleston zone, use the versatile Kyle Kuric at the four.
With the first matchup between Belmont and Middle Tennessee going to double overtime the rematch on Tuesday was expected to be just as tight. Sure enough the game didn't disappoint, with the Blue Raiders locking up the 65-62 win with a pair of blocked shots in the final 22 seconds. LaRon Dendy led the way for Middle Tennessee with 20 points, and the Blue Raiders haven't reached the ten-win mark in a season this fast since 1990-91.
With the first month of the college basketball season concluded, this is a good time to recognize some of the top players throughout the country. With that in mind, CHN writer Jon Teitel gave his all-conference selections for each conference (and independents, which includes the Great West in this piece).
G Darryl Partin Boston University
G Justin Edwards Maine
G Gerardo Suero Albany
F Ben Dickinson Binghamton
F Chase Plummer UMBC
G: Trey Ziegler (Central Michigan)
G: Zach Filzen (Buffalo)
F: Justin Greene (Kent State)
F: Julian Mavunga (Miami-Ohio)
MAC: Kris Brewer (Kent State)
With the college basketball season finally on the horizon, the game that's been overlooked by many in conference realignment will once again have the center stage. Perennial contenders will once again make a run at a national title while some new faces will pop up as well. The first four-part preview will focus on the conferences, and more specifically who will win each of the 32 leagues. In the final part of this series, the final eight conference champions are selected.
In the latest installment in his "Forgotten Legends" interview series CHN writer Jon Teitel spent some time with Alcorn State great Larry Smith, who remains one of the greatest players in the history of the SWAC. Smith, who was the head coach at Alcorn since 2008, is now the Director of Athletic Development at the school.
Jon Teitel: Your nickname was "Mr. Mean". Who gave it to you, and how did you like it?
Jon Teitel: At Ross Beatty (MI) HS you were a third team all-state split end, a standout baseball player, and a top-seeded tennis player. Which sport were you best at, and which 1 did you enjoy the most?