Redskins

Guide to the 2012-13 college basketball season

Guide to the 2012-13 college basketball season

College basketball came down to the blue bloods last season, with Kentucky adding to its Hoops Rushmore resume in a Final Four that included Kansas, Louisville and Ohio State.

The mid-majors figure to play a major role this season.

While Indiana is the preseason No. 1 for the first time in 33 years and big names like Duke, North Carolina and Arizona are loaded with talent, it's the little guys who could make the most noise this season.

Just look at the preseason All-America team. It features Creighton's Doug McDermott, Lehigh's C.J. McCollum and Murray State's Isaiah Canaan, players who could be stars anywhere.

The Top 25 also is littered with mid-majors, including Creighton, UNLV, San Diego State and always-there Gonzaga.

With so many good teams and players from smaller conferences, yeah, it should be a fun season.

Here's a few other things to look for.

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TOP TEAMS

Indiana: The long climb from the embarrassment of an NCAA phone-call scandal appears to finally be over. The Hoosiers have 7-foot center Cody Zeller and the kind of team that could make a title run.

Kentucky: The Calipari Method: Sign future NBA players, win, lose them to the NBA, repeat.

Louisville: Rick Pitino flexed his coaching muscles with one of the best jobs of his career last season and may not be done with most of the players from that team back.

Ohio State: Jared Sullinger and William Buford are gone. Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft are not. Thad Matta rarely leaves the cupboard bare.

Michigan: Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. make up a backcourt that could help the Charlotte Bobcats win more games. They certainly will in Ann Arbor.

Creighton. Can't tout the mid-majors and not include one team to watch. Coach's son Doug McDermott is an unstoppable force and the Bluejays have plenty of returning players to help him out.

Baylor (women). Brittney Griner and company are good enough to be mentioned here. Might give a men's team or two a run for its money.

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TOP PLAYERS

Cody Zeller, Indiana. Might be the best player in Clan Zeller, which is saying something coming from that family.

Tim Burke, Michigan. Led Wolverines in scoring and assists last season. Don't expect a sophomore slump. He's too good to have one.

Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State. Played in the shadow of Jared Sullinger last season. Won't this year, especially after a confidence-building run through the NCAA tournament.

Doug McDermott, Creighton. Missouri Valley player of the year, third nationally in scoring, preseason All-American - might want to keep an eye on this guy.

C.J. McCollum, Lehigh. Score, score and score some more. Pretty good rebounder and can dish as well.

Isaiah Canaan, Murray State. Not many players from Murray State can - at least realistically - say they bypassed the NBA to return to school. Canaan did and could be a national player of the year candidate.

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BEST NONCONFERENCE GAMES

Syracuse vs. San Diego State, Nov. 11, on the USS Midway in San Diego. The original Battle on the Midway was spectacular. This one might have a tough time matching the magic of that game - a president in attendance, that purplish twilight - but two ranked teams on an aircraft carrier just has to be cool.

Kentucky vs. Duke, Nov. 13, Atlanta. Two heavyweights get an early test in the season. It may not have a moment like Christian Laettner's jumper in the 1992 NCAA tournament, but there'll be enough talent to make this a must-watch game.

North Carolina at Indiana, Nov. 27. Another power-program showdown, this one will be a gauge for the Hoosiers to see if they live up to the hype.

Florida at Arizona, Dec. 15. They played a memorable overtime game at Florida last season, won by the Gators. This one will feature some of the best groups of big men in the country on the floor at the same time.

Kansas at Ohio State, Dec. 22. Rematch of last year's Final Four game won by Kansas will feature plenty of new players for the Jayhawks and a couple of familiar ones for the Buckeyes.

Kentucky at Louisville, Dec. 29. Another rematch of last year's Final Four with two teams who don't like each other will be a nice late Christmas present.

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NEWCOMERS

Nerlens Noel, Kentucky. The bluest of coach John Calipari's blue chippers this season, the 6-foot-10 forward has an elevated game and the hair to match it.

Jahii Carson, Arizona State. Sun Devils fans have been waiting a year for Carson to be eligible and the sophomore point guard isn't likely to disappoint with that wicked crossover and super hops.

Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA. Bruins coach Ben Howland landed a stellar recruiting class this season, led by the left-handed Muhammad. The key is getting him on the court; the NCAA is still investigating whether he received improper benefits from boosters of an AAU team.

Grant Jerrett, Arizona. Arizona coach Sean Miller says Jerrett is as far along as any incoming big man he's seen - and he's seen a few good ones.

Steven Adams, Pittsburgh. The former rugby player from New Zealand should fit right in with the Big East bangers.

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NEW COACHES

Kevin Ollie, Connecticut. Replacing a three-time national champion (Jim Calhoun) won't be easy. Doing it as a first-time coach on a one-year contract will add a degree or two of difficulty.

Larry Brown, Southern Methodist. Of all the options for the 71-year-old Hall of Famer to end up, few saw this one coming.

Frank Martin, South Carolina. With one of the more surprising moves in the offseason, Martin will try to rebuild another program after making Kansas State relevant.

Danny Manning, Tulsa. Danny probably won't need a miracle in his first coaching job. Learned from one of the best as an assistant under Bill Self at Kansas.

Richard Pitino, Florida International. Rick's son has proven to be pretty sharp himself.

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TRANSFERS TO WATCH

Mark Lyons, Arizona. He went to the NCAA's final 16 three times before graduating from Xavier. He's reunited with the coach who recruited him there, giving Sean Miller and heady, quick point guard who won't wither under the spotlight.

Alex Oriakhi, Missouri. Was a key contributor to UConn's 2011 national title run. The powerful big man could have a similar impact on the Tigers.

Aaric Murray, West Virginia. One of three transfers landed by coach Bob Huggins, he could have the biggest impact after leading La Salle in scoring at 15.2 points a game and in rebounding at 7.7.

Ryan Harrow, Kentucky. In case the Wildcats didn't have enough talent with another top recruiting class, they added Harrow from North Carolina State. After a year of waiting, he gets his turn to run the show in Lexington.

Trey Zeigler, Pittsburgh. A former McDonald's All-American, he was allowed to leave Central Michigan when his father, Ernie, was let go. Dude can shoot, too, averaging over 16 points the past two seasons.

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Redskins 53-man roster projection, ver. 2.0

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USA Today Sports Images

Redskins 53-man roster projection, ver. 2.0

<< Click here to see Redskins 53-man roster projection ver. 2.0 >>

The Redskins are halfway through the preseason and the first two games may have done more to muddy the waters when it comes to who will make the 53-man roster than they did to clarify things. 

Here is my second training camp prediction of who will make the final cut for the Redskins. See where players are safe and where the hot spots are for competition. 

Among the big battles taking shape:

—An injury and one player’s impressive preseason have juggled the wide receiver depth chart. 

—With Orlando Scandrick cut, the cornerback position looks set but the rookies had better not do anything to shake the coaches’ confidence in them. 

—There are seven safeties who may be worthy of roster spots, but only four are likely to make it. 

—Despite the Hogan-led rally last night, it still looks like the roster will have only two QBs. 

<< Click here to see Redskins 53-man roster projection ver. 2.0 >>

Redskins 2018 news:

-Redskins vs Jets: Must-see photos from the game
-Analysis: Five Redskins-Jets observations

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler

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John Wall's sneaker closet is next-level – here are his favorite Adidas

John Wall's sneaker closet is next-level – here are his favorite Adidas

When John Wall re-signed with Adidas this past January, it was time to stock his shoe closet with all the newest, most exclusive Three Stripes designs. 

The brand is known for its designer collaborations and limited releases that can push the pricetags up into the hundreds. 

Cost is no object for Wall, who invited Chris Miller into the shoe closet of his Miami mansion. You can watch the full closet tour in the video player above.

Wall keeps thousands of dollars of footwear organized inside specially lit display cases. But what are his favorites? He pulled out six Adidas designs he's been loving this the summer. 

1. Raf Simons Replicant Ozweego Independence Day – These sneakers are the product of Adidas's collaboration with Belgian designer Raf Simons, who has worked as creative director of fashion houses Christian Dior and Calvin Klein. Wall got his hands on the Independence Day colorway of these sneakers before they were released in July. They're available retail for $450 at Saks Fifth Avenue

2. Yeezy Boost 700 "Wave Runner" – Designed as part of Kanye West's Yeezy collection, the "Wave Runner" has been a popular model since its first release in February 2017. A third release is scheduled sometime later this year, but to purchase them now, Flight Club sells pairs ranging from $575 to $1,320

3. Twinstrike ADV – Wall has the Twinstrike in multiple bold colorways. The shoe debuted late in 2017 and is more attainable than the first two pairs he showed off. They're available at Barneys New York for $180

4. EQT Support Ultra King Push “Bodega Babies” – These EQT Support sneakers got an update in collaboration with rapper Pusha T. The sock-style primeknit has been a popular design feature for Adidas. The sneakers are limited release, but retail at $220 at Barneys New York.

5. Pharrell NMD Hu Trail “Holi" in Pink Glow – This exclusive collaboration with hip-hop producer Pharrell Williams was inspired by the Holi festival of colors in India. Released in limited quantities in early March of 2018, the shoe's retail price was $250. To buy a pair now, it'll cost anywhere from $325 to $480 at Flight Club

6. Originals Gazelle – Finally, Wall gets to a classic! The Gazelle was originally designed in the mid-1960s and became one of Adidas's most recognizable, popular designs throughout the brand's history. They're popular, easy to find and affordable. The Adidas website has a whole section devoted to the Gazelle, which comes in men's, women's and kids' sizes. A standard pair of men's costs around $80 at retail

For those not keeping track, the six shoes above combine to cost around $2,000 or more. But whether people can afford them or not isn't the point. 

Wall told Miller how he couldn't afford the sneakers he loved as a kid, but still kept track of all the new releases and special styles. As he made money and started to build his shoe collection, he treated it like collecting fine art.

But also like art, you don't have to own designer sneakers to appreciate them. 

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