Rivals.com has a weekly rankings update on each position within NCAA basketball, and their featured position player for the start of the new year is Jerel McNeal whom they have ranked as the #1 shooting guard in all of college basketball. After looking at the rankings of the other positions, rivals has 3 Marquette players in the top 10 of their respective positions.......Mr. Matthews comes in at #8 for small forwards and Lazar comes in at #10 for power forwards. Props to both of them because a) they are somewhat playing out of their natural positions and b) the small and power forward positions are quite competitive.....for example Lazar is just after Earl Clark whom many "experts" project as a definite 1st round pick with lottery potential. The surpise to me was their ranking of James.......came in at #20. The PG position is always competetive, and while James PPG average isn't as high as the higher ranked players I would have him in the top 10 based on the fact that he locks up on defense, distributes the ball consistently (~5 assists per game), doesn't turn the ball over much, and still scores at a respectable clip.......all while he has 3 teammates who score 17, 18, and 19 ppg. In the words of the great Rodney Dangerfield, "No respect!". It's good to see that Jerel is getting recognized nationally.
Big game against West Virginia tomorrow! While my seats from Cincinnati Ohio won't be as good as all ya'alls tomorrow, I will probably be enjoying a similar alcoholic beverage. 4-0 start would look beautiful. I haven't been able to watch West Virginia play much since Huggins' arrival, so I'm not totally sure as what to expect from them. I know they have a lot of good shooters, but I don't think that they have a ton of size. Being that there shouldn't be a huge disparity in size and depth between us, I foresee our guards dominating on both ends of the floor. Combine that with a rowdy and possibly intoxicated Reid You Animal and good 'ol Bradley Center Saturday cookin' equals a Marquette victory. MU 81....WV 75