With the opening weekend of basketball in the books, the Horizon League has been mentioned in plenty of stories around the country. Here’s a quick snapshot:
CBS Sports’ Jeff Goodman recognized the importance of Detroit’s Nick Minnerath, singling him out in his list of “Bounce Back Players” this year:
The senior forward averaged a dozen points and four boards in five games last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury. If healthy, he'll team with Ray McCallum to make the Titans the favorites in the Horizon.
Goodman was also complimentary of McCallum in CBS’ list of the top 100 players in college basketball. McCallum checked in at No. 49, with Goodman writing:
Chose to play for his father and hasn’t gotten the pub that high-major floor leaders have received, but Little Ray is a stud. Kid can score, distribute and lead. Averaged 15.4 points, 4.0 assists and 1.6 steals last season.
Mid Major Madness gave the Horizon League its full treatment, counting down the top 10 players in the conference. In the end, the site went with the defending Player of the Year Ryan Broekhoff in the top spot:
He is a fantastic shooter, even considering how much of his damage is done near the hoop. He has the range to be dangerous from all over the floor though, while being very cautious with the ball at the same time. With most of the major contributors back for the Crusaders, they will find even more ways to take advantage of Broekhoff's talent, which should push the senior to be even more valuable.
Broekhoff also appeared on College Basketball Talk’s Mid-Major Preseason Third Team (McCallum was honorable mention), with Raphielle Johnson noting:
The reigning Horizon League Player of the Year, who led the conference in rebounding, returns in hopes of leading the Crusaders to the NCAA tournament. Broekhoff’s versatility allows head coach Bryce Drew to do a number of things with him, making for a tough assignment for the opposition.
Valparaiso and Detroit both opened in CBT’s Mid-Major Top 15, with the Crusaders ranked seventh and the Titans 14th.
The bandwagon for Cleveland State’s Anton Grady continues to fill up, with Rob Dauster taking notice at NBC’s College Basketball Talk. Grady had already been singled out by SI.com’s Luke Winn and Mid-Major Madness, and Dauster included Grady in his top 15 breakout candidates, writing:
Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters has called Anton Grady his future, and he’s right. He was incredibly productive — 8.5 points, 6.4 boards, 1.4 blocks, the team lead in offensive and defensive rebounding percentages — in limited minutes as a freshman, and with so much of Cleveland State’s production from last season graduating, Grady will have plenty of opportunities. Even without Butler in the league, the Horizon has quite a bit of talent. Grady might be the best player in the league.
Yahoo! Sports Jeff Eisenberg asked a natural question last week: How do basketball players from Florida wind up at Youngstown State? He profiled Kendrick Perry and Blake Allen as part of his Horizon League preview:
The presence of that Florida trio is a huge reason why Youngstown State hopes to emerge as a Horizon League contender this winter…
Eisenberg also noted that regardless of membership, Valparaiso would have likely opened as the Horizon League favorite:
Defending champion Valparaiso might have been the favorite to repeat even if Butler had returned.
Not only do all five starters return from a Valparaiso team that won the Horizon League by two games last season, the Crusaders also add the conference's most promising crop of newcomers. Last year's conference tournament champion, Detroit, returns enough talent to challenge Valparaiso, but the Titans have not proven they're capable of playing with the consistency necessary to eclipse the Crusaders over a 16-game schedule.
In his first “10 Burning Questions” column of the year, Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis mentioned Green Bay’s Alec Brown among his “Best Players You’ve Never Heard Of” segment.
Finally, since Loyola and Detroit hosted Midnight Madness celebrations, some of the festivities:
Tags: Cleveland State - Men's Basketball · Detroit - Men's Basketball · Green Bay - Men's Basketball · Horizon League - Men's Basketball · Loyola - Men's Basketball · Valparaiso - Men's Basketball · Youngstown State - Men's Basketball