Stanford heads the second 10 with veteran Jacobsen

November 20, 2001 5:14 AM
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The College basketball season is in full-swing with a plethora of pre-season tournaments already in the books and some big upsets along the way. Last week we looked at the top 10 teams in the Jim Feist Top 20. This week we continue along with 11 through 20.

Stanford has been a consistent Pac-10 power for the better part of the last decade. Last season the Cardinal finished with a 31-3 record and a Sweet 16 appearance. Stanford has the talent to have just as much, if not more success this season. Casey Jacobsen is the Cardinal’s top player and one of the nation’s best shooters. At 6'6", he is also big enough to get his shot off at almost any time. There’s still plenty of talent on the roster besides Jacobsen. Up front, Curtis Borchardt has the potential to be one of the better big men in the West. The backcourt is solid.

St. Joseph’s has already lost once this season, but has the backcourt and experience to rebound in a big way. The Hawks went 26-7 last season and with explosive shooting guard Marvin O’Connor back, as well as point guard Jameer Nelson. The Hawks should be able to go a long way this season. There’s some quality up front also, with Bill Phillips and Na’im Crenshaw.

Temple will battle St. Joseph’s for the Atlantic 10 crown, as well as superiority in Philadelphia. As usual Temple will play one of the toughest schedules in the country and may falter a bit early on. But the Owls always improve as the season wears on. The senior trio of Lynn Greer, Alex Wesby and center Kevin Lyde will provide the Owls with scoring, while they continue to employ head coach John Chaney’s famous matchup zone.

Iowa finished the season strong last year and with Reggie Evans, possesses, maybe, the most rugged inside player in the nation. Evans is an incredible rebounder and unstoppable in the blocks at this level. Guard Luke Recker is finally a senior and remains a solid outside shooter. Iowa brings back four starters from last year’s team, has one of the top young coaches in the country in Steve Alford and should be among the best teams in the Big 10.

Virginia has the perimeter talent to make the ACC a three-team race. Roger Mason Jr. and Chris Williams are both outstanding all-around players and center Travis Watson is a very hard-working, if undersized, player. The Cavaliers were primed for a really big season, expecting the return of Majestic Mapp, but his recovery from a knee injury has been painfully slow and he will miss this season.

Alabama has the depth and athleticism to surprise some teams. The Crimson Tide are still smarting from being snubbed the NCAA Selection Committee last March and that could make them a very focused team this season. Alabama finished last season with a 25-11 record and were the runners-up in the post-season NIT. Rod Grizzard and Erwin Dudley are the stars on the team, but guard Terrance Meade and center Kenny Walker are also very good players.

Oklahoma State comes off a tough year. A plane crash claimed a number of lives after a game at Colorado and the Cowboys struggled with questions much more important than basketball after the tragedy. They were tough enough to garner a berth in the NCAA Tournament, but were ousted in the first round. This season Oklahoma State has one of the better big men in the Big 12 in Fredrik Jonzen, as well as last year’s Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, senior guard Maurice Baker.

Cincinnati lost three important players with eligibility remaining, including Kenny Satterfield and center BJ Grove, but still returns five of their top six scorers from last season, including superstar guard Steve Logan. Cincy should contend with Memphis for Conference USA superiority.

Mississippi lost its opener to Bowling Green in overtime, 82-78. Despite that loss, the Rebels should be able to contend for another NCAA appearance out of the SEC. They bring back just two starters from last year’s 27-8 Sweet 16 team.

North Carolina lost a shocker in its opener to Hampton, 77-69. It is hard to keep the Tar Heels out of the Top 20, and they are certainly full of question marks. Julius Peppers and Ronald Curry will not return to the team, focusing on football.