Monday, April 18, 2011

Schedule 2011-12 Starts To Come Together

One thing needs to be announced before we get into the schedule. Joe Lunardi has announced his first bracket for next year. Davidson is the SoCon pick and expected to get the 14th seed in the bracket. I would think the Mocs would be the preseason favorite and expected to get either a 13 or 14 seed, but I can respect anyone who picks Davidson. That is the other legitimate claim to the SoCon title for next year at this point. Western Carolina, Appalachian State, College of Charleston, and maybe even UNC-Greensboro are the other legitimate title contenders for next year.

So, with all that being said, four games have been announced for out of conference games on next year's schedule. All of them are road games- and all of them are doozies.

The Mocs will travel to the state of Indiana to take on the Hoosiers and the two time reigning national runners up Butler Bulldogs. These two opponents appear to be a part of a similar tournament to the one that the Mocs played in this year, when they visited Marshall, Louisville, and Florida International, while hosting Jackson State. This will not be an easy task by any means. Butler, minus their two leading scorers from this year's team, will be less than they are this year, but they are a top notch program. Indiana has been one of the worst teams in the Big Ten in recent years, but they are clearly on the rise.

The Mocs also will complete their contract when they head to Knoxville to take on Tennessee. This will not be an easy task either, but the Vols will be slightly depleted after some of the defections from the program now that Bruce Pearl has left. The Mocs have a shot in this one- maybe. They'll need some help along the way for sure, but it can be done.

But, in the most exciting news, the Mocs will be coming to my city. The Mocs are coming to Lexington to take on Kentucky in Rupp Arena. Kentucky could legitimately be one of the greatest college basketball teams of all-time next year if Terrance Jones and Brandon Knight both come back, like it is starting to look like they will. I'm excited to hear Chris Cross, Mike Cameron, and Matthew Laurance of the Sports Huddle talk Mocs basketball, at least for part of one day. KentuckySportsRadio can ignore the Mocs all they want, but they will at least garner us a couple of mentions. I'd love to talk Mocs basketball with anyone here in Kentucky that would like to. Of course, it will only happen when we get closer to the game. But I'm getting ready early. Of course, no one should expect a Mocs win in this one. After all, Kentucky will probably be beating most SEC teams by 20+ points next year. So they should beat the Mocs bad.

But a person can dream right?

What do I hope for from the rest of the schedule? I'd love to see Belmont, East Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, a SWAC team, Marshall, East Carolina, a BracketBuster game (which I know Coach Shulman is opposed to), a non-D1 and Auburn on the schedule. That would be thirteen out of conference games, which is the same number as last year. I think that would be a nice schedule for this team. A challenging schedule, but one that can lead this team to success and give them a tough enough schedule to get a decent seed with success possible heading into the NCAA Tournament.

Of course, this is just me throwing stuff out there and seeing if any of it sticks. None of it will. It's just my dream schedule.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rico White Commits

Rico White from Knoxville has committed to the Mocs. He's expected to be a shooting guard for the Mocs.

Tony White played at Tennessee in Knoxville. He is his father. Tony White Jr. played at College of Charleston and is the brother of White.

So the kid has pedigree. There's no doubt about that. His team was the state runner up in Tennessee.

He seems to have a decent stroke and seems to have athleticism.

Let's look at the recruiting class very quickly:

1- Rimmer
2- White
3- Stokes, Brown
4- Bryant
5- Ochenje

Come on. Tell me that class doesn't get you excited. It almost has to. This class has turned into something truly special. I believe that the class is the foundation for a top line run in the conference in a couple of years. Imagine- in 2013-14, these guys will be juniors. They could really be special by then.

I'm so excited about this recruiting class. We'll look forward to the rest of the conference announcing their commits, and seeing where the Mocs rank in the conference recruiting.