College / Nov 4, 2009 / 4:00 pm

Matty D’s Top 25 College Basketball Preview (15-11)

Jarvis Varnado

That’s right, the start of the college hoops season is just one week away and you know what that means: it’s time to unleash the mother effing fury! For the past seven months, I’ve been bottling up a vicious mixture of excitement and rage, just waiting for the moment to release my emotions onto the rest of the world. Well that time has come. Your boy Matty D is back to give you a look at the top teams in the country and to separate the champs from the chumps.

This entire week, I’ll be counting down my top 25 teams in the country and giving you a breakdown of each team so that you too can be prepared for this upcoming season. Chances are I’m going to say some things you don’t like, and chances are I’m going to say some things you may not necessarily believe, but trust me, I will give you my honest opinion every single step of the way.

So, I apologize in advance if I hurt anyone’s feelings, especially the guy who told one of our writers this weekend that Maryland was a lock to win the ACC. Dude, drugs are bad! As much as it may suck, if I don’t hurt people’s feelings, then I’m not speaking the truth. Unfortunately winning isn’t for everyone and the sooner you figure this out, the better off you’ll be. So without further ado, here is my Top 25 teams of the 2009-10 Men’s College Basketball Season.

15. Minnesota
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are my favorite team, not named Syracuse, of the 2009-10 college basketball season. If Tubby Smith hasn’t already shown the country that he was not the problem in Kentucky, then he will most definitely have everyone convinced by season’s end. Look at what he’s done since taking over at Minnesota. Taking over a team with a 9-22 record, he’s gone 42-25 since and brought them back to the NCAA Tournament last year. They return every single meaningful player from last year’s squad, including leading scorer Lawrence Westbrook. While there’s nothing glamorous about this team, as a unit, they can play. Keep an eye on freshmen Royce White and Rodney Williams. White has the potential to be a superstar (once he’s able to play) and Williams is an absolutely electric dunker, as he recently displayed at Midnight Madness with his dunk over the Gopher mascot and his 360 from the foul line. Yeah, you read that right!

14. Michigan
Tommy Amaker enters his ninth season as head coach of the Michigan Wolverines and this could be his best team to date. Oh wait, that’s right, Amaker was fired three seasons ago after his Houdini routine of convincing everyone that he was actually a good coach. Seriously how much must he hate John Beilein? Not only does Beilein take his job, but he also takes the mess that he made and turns it around the entire program in the matter of a year. Now Tommy is roaming the sidelines of perennial powerhouse Harvard. How do you like them apples? One major reason for Beilein’s success, aside from the fact that he’s an incredible coach, is the play of junior Manny Harris. Not to discredit everything DeShawn Sims has done over the past few years, but the engine that makes this team go is Harris. Don’t be surprised if he beats out the likes of Kalin Lucas, Robbie Hummel and Craig Brackins for the Big Ten Player of the Year. He’s that good.

13. Ohio State
Last season ended quite abruptly as the Buckeyes ran into the Siena buzz saw in the first round of the tournament. Well I could say that’s Big Ten basketball for you, but I’d be beating a dead horse. Fast-forward to the 2009-10 season and Ohio State is back, but this time, they deserve every bit of their top-20 ranking. The main reason is Evan Turner‘s return. Turner, who stepped up big time when David Lighty went down early in the year with a foot injury, went on to lock up first team All-Big Ten honors. With Lighty coming back from injury and starters Turner, Dallas Lauderdale, William Buford and Jon Diebler all returning, they’ll be in contention for a Big Ten title and could make some noise in the Big Dance. It’s a shame they didn’t have B.J. Mullens still around though. Actually, what am I saying? He’ll be asking “Would you like fries with that?” right next to Nick Calathes, before we all know it.

12. Duke
Continuing along with my trend of praising teams that I usually can’t stand (i.e. Georgetown, UConn, The Big Ten), we now find ourselves at Duke. As much as I hate them, I can’t deny the fact that they’re a very good team this year. The loss of leader Gerald Henderson obviously hurts and will be tough to overcome while the loss of Greg Paulus…well, who cares? He was terrible anyway and in case you haven’t noticed he’s terrible at football too. Don’t worry, Duke fans, he’ll be nestled up on the Duke bench sucking on Wojo’s teet in no time. Anyway, this team is loaded with talent and will push UNC for the ACC title. Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer can flat out score the ball and Nolan Smith has emerged as one of the top point guards in the nation. Both of these are recipes for success come tourney time. If Lance Thomas and the rest of the bigs can hold it down, they’ll have a ton of success this season. P.S. if you’re waiting for the part of these rankings where I praise Luke Harangody, don’t hold your breath. I’d rather eat garbage than give him any credit.

11. Mississippi State
This may sound crazy, but is it possible that Mississippi State as a team could have over 400 blocks this season? Let’s assume they play 35 games in total. That means they would have to average 11.5 blocks per game to reach 400. Wait, 11.5 blocks per game? Are you nuts? Nope. For a team that averaged 7.5 blocks per game last season with 6-9 Jarvis Varnado and added 7-1 John Riek and 6-10 Renardo Sidney into the mix, 11.5 blocks per game is not all that far-fetched. This frontcourt is easily one of the best in the nation and if they had some decent guard play, they probably would be in contention for a national title. Unfortunately they don’t so they will only go as far as their big men can take them or as far as they’ll send your shots into the stands.

Matty D’s Top 25 College Basketball Preview (25-21)
Matty D’s Top 25 College Basketball Preview (20-16)

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  • Mack Brownee

    Varnado!!!!!

  • The Real Tyrone

    Who b dese catz?

    True thugs NEVER lie.
    The REAL Tyrone

  • http://Bearcatnews.com Boosilini

    No Cincinnati??Top 15 by the end of year………

  • JDub

    How can you say Mississippi State doesn’t have decent guard play when are starting point guard (Dee Bost) was on the SEC all freshman team and had one of the highest assist to turnover ratios in the conference. Barry Stewart (Shooting guard) is not a superstar but very solid at 12 pts per. He can defend and knock down the 3 point shot. Then Ravern Johnson (Small foward/3 guard) at one time last year led the NCAA in 3 point %. Come on dude, do your research a little more. Not saying we should be higher than #11 but you don’t when the SEC Championship with out good guard play. Our guards may not have been on a Carolina’s level i.e. Lawson, Ellington but they sure as hell wasn’t on a West Carolina or somewhere elses level.

  • That’s whats up

    ain’t no doubt tyrone don’t know shit about college basketball yo. He don’t know they be dishin’ dopey dimes and eating mad glass yo. Don’t think he ever made it to kolledge either yo.

  • .

    how you gonna talk smack about Harvard, then include a feature on one of their players (Jeremy Lin)? that’s two-faced, Dime…

  • .

    *after including a feature

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Because we don’t all operate with the same brain.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Matty D — Where do you see Romero Osby fitting into the picture at Mississippi State? I liked his game coming out of high school.

  • SayItAintSo

    This list has already lost it’s credibility with me. There is no way the University of Washington is not in the top 25 and there is no way they should already be predicted to be in the top 10. So…either they’re being left off, which is straight up foolish, or they’re being placed in the top ten, which is even more foolish.

  • Matty D

    @JDub – John Wall, Devan Downey, Erving Walker, Terrico White, DeWayne Reed. That’s FIVE PG in the SEC that are better than Dee Bost. By no means are Bost, Stewart and Johnson good enough to make you a national title contender. I mean, come on. You can’t really be leaning on last year’s SEC Tournament title as a validation for success! You, me, and the rest of the country know that the SEC was terrible last season. Sounds like maybe you should do your research.

  • billbone

    I agree cincy is top 25

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    Awwwwww clowned em ^

  • Timmy D

    Renardo Sidney isnt going to be cleared to play. So that theory isnt gonna work out

  • Boomhauer

    No love for the Dayton Flyers? They’ll be way better than Ohio State.

  • JDub

    @ Matty D

    1st off in regards to Dee Bost, I was referring to assist to turnover ratio. Not athleictism or overall play. Secondly, Terrico White while a terrific player and potential 1st round pick is not a point, he’s a shooting guard. He did indeed fill and do a great job for Chris Warren but he’s not a point guard. Next, I didn’t say we were title contenteders what so ever. I was merely disbuting your statement that we don’t have any good guard play whats so ever. I wouldn’t disagree that Wall probably has the most upside in the league but lets let him face SEC competition first before we crown him the next Derrick Rose (Last great Freshman point guard. Lastly, if you did your research you would know that the SEC wasn’t terrible last year but extremely young with the exception of LSU and Tennessee or maybe one other team. Read Pat Forde take on ESPN. Hear again before you make this a piss contest, I appreciate your ranking of my dogs and didn’t disagree with it at all. I was simply stating that our guards we’re better than you indicated. They aren’t all american candidate but they’re not the worst in the league either. They all have NCAA tourney experience. Overall, thanks for the #11 ranking!

  • Matty D

    No JDub, the SEC was terrible last year. That’s like saying the Oklahoma City Thunder weren’t terrible last year, they were just young. Had Mississippi State not won the tournament, there’s a chance they may not have even been in the Big Dance. That would have left the conference with just two teams. For a conference that has had six, five, and six teams in the three previous years as well as two National Championships and three Final Four appearances, I would constitute that as terrible. Listen, I like Mississippi St. this season and I’m a fan of the SEC as well, but let’s call a spade a spade. P.S. Good point with Terrico White, but while we’re on the subject, Chris Warren is also a better PG than Dee Bost! All things aside, good luck this year! I hope your Dogs prove me wrong.

  • Matty D

    @ Boomhauser – Dayton is a quality team, but lets not go crazy. The Buckeyes would put them in a body bag! We’ll see just how good they are in a few weeks at the PR Tipoff. If they can come away with a few W’s, I may change my stance on them. For the record, keep an eye on La Salle this year in the A-10, they may surprise some people.

  • JDub

    @ Matty D

    You’re right, we would’ve only had two teams in but I guess, I equate a young team with losing to team they wouldn’t normally lose to. As far as Chris Warren goes, I think he’s a better scoring or lead guard. By no means, am I saying that Dee is 1st team all sec but for him to come in the league as a freshmen and log big minutes as well as having a positive assist to turnover ratio is pretty good. Even during a down year. I hope we can prove you wrong ang get out of the 1st round of the tourney for a change. lol

    Great column! Keep it up!

  • Mack Brownee

    @jdbub

    that’s not the real matty D or else his name would be in read and he would have responded to AB

    btw, nice to see a fellow mississippi state bulldog fan on here! i think you’re a mavs fan too…already!

  • JDub

    @ Mack

    LOl. I concur. Great to see another bulldog! Hope the dogs can finally pull off the upset against the tide this weekend. Wish I could go up for B-Ball exhibition game as well.