Northern Illinois Coach Rob Judson announced on Thursday, that the Huskies have signed seven-foot, 220 pound Zach House (Rock Falls, Ill. / Rock Falls) to a National Letter of Intent to play for the Huskies, beginning in the 2007-08 campaign.
As a junior, House played a key role in helping Rock Falls to a berth in the Class AA Supersectionals and a final record of 29-3, averaging 6.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.9 blocks-per-game on a balanced scoring team.
Jawaan Alston (Uniontown, PA/Albert Gallatin) has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University at Buffalo and participate on the men's basketball team, according to head coach Reggie Witherspoon.
Alston is a 6-8 power forward who averaged 20.7 points and 11 rebounds per game as a junior last season at Albert Gallatin High School in Uniontown, PA. He was named third-team All-State last year. With 937 points, Alston is already Albert Gallatin's all-time leading scorer.
The Miami (OH) RedHawks signed three players to national letters of intent on the opening signing day for college basketball. Set to join the RedHawk program in 2007-08 are guard Kenny Hayes (Dayton, Ohio/Northmont/Cincinnati State), forward Dwight McCombs (Chicago, Ill./Whiney Young) and forward Nick Winbush (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights).
Hayes is a 6-foot-2, 170-pound guard and averaged 19.1 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game at Northmont High. He was named the 2005 GWOC Player of the Year and earned third-team all-state honors as a senior. Hayes was also a first-team all-league selection. Last season, he averaged 17.0 ppg 3.0 apg, 3.0 en route to second-team all-league honors at St. Catherine Junior College. He is attending Cincinnati State this year.
As the first team to open your season in the MAC you know all eyes will be on you and you better be able to respond. However, Central Michigan did just the opposite in falling big and hard to Youngstown State 74-50 on Wednesday night. Central Michigan is playing in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. Two Central Michigan starters were in early foul trouble right out of the gate. Right out of the gate meaning the first two and a half minutes of the game. With 13:40 left in the first half the Youngstown State Penguins had already jumped out to a double digit lead and never looked back from there.
As a mid-major the next few months are almost as important as the conference schedule. Many coaches believe that you can not win a game in the first half, but you can most certainly be very out of it by then. The same is true in the given course of a season. As a mid-major you are looking to make a strong case for your team before conference play even begins. However, even if you go undefeated going into conference play, if you don’t win a single conference game than it won’t matter. What many schools try to do is to have a schedule which has about five big time teams and the rest of the schedule not too soft. This way they can work their way up with the wins, while hopefully knocking off those five teams. This would seem easy but it’s a lot harder than it seems especially for some of the better mid-majors.
In the MAC East, the Akron Zips were voted to finish first this year. The Ohio University Bobcats were picked to finish right behind them in what should be a very competitive division. The Kent State Golden Flashes and the Miami (OH) RedHawks were picked third and fourth respectively. Rounding out the MAC East were the Buffalo Bulls and the Bowling Green Falcons. In the MAC West, the Toledo Rockets were picked to finish first. Coming in second are the Northern Illinois Huskies. Third and fourth are the Western Michigan Broncos and the Ball State Cardinals. Rounding out the MAC West are the Eas
Akron and Toledo voted favorites by MAC Media.
Ever heard of Lebron James? How about Dru Joyce and Romeo Travis? If you haven’t heard of the last two so far, then you’re bound to hear about them a lot this year. The two running mates of James in high school at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s are entering their senior seniors and are hoping to get their school on the map. Akron returns 9 of 13 letterwinners and is no doubt a very experienced team. This is the team that most publications are picking to win the MAC East this year and many people think this team can go the distance and make it to the Big Dance. First let’s break down the players class by class in order from seniors to freshmen.
The Ohio Bobcats are looking to bounce back after a tough, underachieving year last year. A lot of the team’s problems from last year, however, seemed to be answered as they started practice on Saturday. Last year the biggest problem was chemistry. A key figure to the chemistry imbalance was point guard Jeremy Fears. Fortunately for the Bobcats, Fears is gone and not too many people are worried he left the program. This year’s Bobcat team probably won’t make any “It” teams but make no mistake, they have what it takes to make the Big Dance. With six seniors and a preseason All-MAC junior, this team has the experience and talent to go a long way.