Thursday, November 13, 2008

MAC Team by Team Preview

I have asked around to see if there is a Phil Steele for basketball...and I have been told, more or less, that there is not. That's a shame...because I just can't spend money on magazines that regularly talk about players who have left, transferred, etc.

With that in mind, I have compiled my own capsule predictions of the MAC for this year, aiming for 100 words per team, and high levels of humility. It will be good for a laugh later.


Barely beat Walsh in an exhibition game. Very good team last year won game in NIT, but lost LeBron's teammates (6 lettermen total) and appears to be rebuilding. Do not return a double-figure scorer.

Ball State

Program struggling after its bizarre coaching situation, lost three starters and only one (Stovall) by graduation. Anthony Newell is a good player. Team features eight newcomers (not all Freshmen) one of which is from Mississippi. Still, going to take some more time.


How much longer will Reggie (Bang the Buzzer) Witherspoon be allowed to mangle this program? Anyway, they do have everyone back from a 10 win team last year, and for that reason could be a candidate to exceed expectations...which was last.


The Eagles always appear on the verge of competing, but never quite get there. I understand that their best player (Carlos Medlock) is out for the season with an injury, and that will hamper the Eagles. Look for another middle of the pack year.

Central Michigan

Aside from a dizzying double-secret probation situation for Marcus Van, the Chips are still trying to figure out what to do without Giordan Watson. They have two JUCO transfers (who doesn't?) and figure to be about as good as they were last year.


10 straight 20 win seasons and five Big Dance appearences in 10 years, and through what, four different coaches? They appear to be re-tooling. They lost some good front-court players, but have strength in the backcourt, including the MAC Player of the year in Al Fisher.


The Hawks lost Nathan Peavy and one other starter, but have two high quality starters back and a bunch of young players, including a D-1 transfer from St. Bonaventure and a guy to watch, Kenny Hayes, who averaged 23 points at Cincinnati State. Though the team may have to come together, I would expect Miami to be tough by tournament time if not before.


Six win team last year lost six letterman, and 10 of 14 players are freshmen or sophomores, all of which points to a rough year in DeKalb. Their leading returning scorer has about six points per game and no returning player averaged 3 rebounds a game.

Ohio University

Although Jerome Tillman is back, the rest of the lineup appears to be a little weak. They have five true freshmen or red-shirt freshmen on the roster, and looks to be re-building this year. Groce will build a winning team in Athens.


A new coach has taken over the Rockets, and I think they may be a little underrated. They return a couple strong guards, and didn't lose that much of a team that was 7-8 in the MAC. They are as good a candidate to improve as BG is.


Western won 20 games last season, but comes back this year without Joe Reitz, but with David Kool, one of the best players in the MAC. They are rightfully considered the best team in the West.

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