Blog  Bill Potter · @ ·

Blue Ribbon Yearbook is renowned for its in-depth previews during college basketball season, and fans can sample all nine of the publications previews for Horizon League teams here. Below, a quick quote about each team:

Cleveland State:
"He has a couple of nice pieces in forward Anton Grady and point guard Charlie Lee to complement iron-man anchor Tim Kamczyc, the only senior. Look for freshman Junior Lomomba to make a name for himself by the time conference season rolls around.

The message to rest of the league is that you might want to get the Vikings while you've got the chance, because they'll be back in years to come."

“The Titans figure to be good again in 2012-13, with Ray Jr. a viable candidate for Horizon player of the year. Just how good depends on how well Ray Sr. has reloaded with seven new faces. The Titans have three starters back, plus Minnerath a starter in 2010-11. He qualified for a medical redshirt.”

Green Bay:
“Green Bay paid a price early last year for its youth, especially in the backcourt. But the Phoenix finished strong and head into 2012-13 as a team to be reckoned with. Alec Brown, a skilled 7-1 junior, is an uncommon commodity at the mid-major level. Any number of BCS conference schools would love to have him on the floor. Brown and beefy Brennan Cougill combine to give the Green Bay a formidable frontcourt, and the return of scrappy Daniel Turner from an injury only makes the Phoenix better on the boards.

Keifer Sykes' maturation as a freshman point guard was one of the stories in the late-season success and Kam Cerroni's league-leading 3-point marksmanship is troubling for opposing defenses that would love to pack in around Brown.”

“The Porter Moser Era should start looking better, beginning this winter. Loyola should profit from more consistent perimeter play, enjoy enhanced depth and find more offensive options.

It was a struggle to average 57 points a game last year, but the Ramblers averaged 82 on a summer junket to Italy, some of which will be lost in translation to the U.S. college game.

In Ben Averkamp, Loyola has a guy who has worked himself into a marquee player at the Horizon level. Iowa transfer Cully Payne will make a big difference running the point.”

“There's no getting around the fact that departed senior point guard Kaylon Williams will be tough to replace. The Panthers think they have found his successor in JUCO transfer Jordan Aaron. Aaron will bring a different look, and it's possible Milwaukee will be more offensive-minded this year.

Defense carried the Panthers last season. From a philosophy standpoint, coach Rob Jeter isn't about to turn into Roy Williams, so hard-nosed half-court defense will always be a priority even if the Panthers are able to score a few more points.”

"Howard Moore begins year three of a sizable rebuilding project and expects results. He thinks the culture has changed for the better and it's time to start seeing that reflected in the standings. Most everyone of note is back from last year's 3-15 Horizon League season, so experience won't be a major issue.

Gary Talton, Marc Brown and Hayden Humes were all starters in their first year in the league and should have a better idea what it takes to get over the hump this time around.

“Valpo is in excellent shape to defend its first Horizon League title. Ryan Broekoff is the returning HL player of the year and Kevin Van Wijk achieved first-team All-Horizon status last year. That combo gives the Crusaders the league's best interior, and newcomer Vashil Fernandez and his 7-5 wingspan will offer a new dimension.

There's a new Drew (Bryce instead of Homer) in charge, but the Crusaders haven't missed a beat.”

Wright State:
“Wright State faces a season with considerable question marks. The defense was porous last year. Opponents shot 45.4 percent from the field. That has to be fixed because the Raiders don't look like a juggernaut that can win shootouts.

Coach Billy Donlon has to find out who his go-to scorers will be. It would also be a good thing if guard Reggie Arceneaux can cut down on his turnovers as a sophomore.”

Youngstown State:
“That taste of success was intoxicating and addictive. By all accounts the Penguins had a terrific offseason. They know they can compete in the Horizon League, but they can also look back and see there were still points and wins left on the court. One summer venue the Penguins took advantage of was a Pittsburgh pro-am league that features players from Pitt, West Virginia and Duquesne. "There's no doubt they worked extremely hard," Slocum said. "They've made such a commitment to taking it to the next level."”

Tags: Cleveland State - Men's Basketball · Detroit Mercy - Men's Basketball · Green Bay - Men's Basketball · Horizon League - Men's Basketball · Loyola - Men's Basketball · Milwaukee - Men's Basketball · UIC - Men's Basketball · Valparaiso - Men's Basketball · Wright State - Men's Basketball · Youngstown State - Men's Basketball
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