The first AP college basketball poll for the 2013-14 season is scheduled to be released Thursday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – This is the last week of the major-league baseball season. This is the first week of the NBA season. But around the Monday Rewind, it's always college basketball and college football season.
Take a look.
WHO'S NUMBER ONE? LET'S FUSS
The Associated Press college basketball poll is scheduled to arrive Thursday, stuffed between the Snickers and Almond Joys on Halloween.
But there has already been plenty of chirping about Number One. Two more voices were heard over the weekend – one from Ken Pomeroy, whose college basketball computer rankings are must-see material for anybody who loves the game and another from Dick "Hoops" Weiss, the Hall of Fame writer from Philadelphia who has written books with Rick Pitino and John Calipari. Hoops is on the short list of guys who have the respect of both men.
I say: Isn't this going to be a fun season, a rubber-match tug-of-war for the title between Calipari and Pitino? (Apologies to Tom Izzo, Mike Krzyzewski and Bill Self in advance.)
Pomeroy's rankings have the Wildcats fifth, behind U of L, Michigan State, Florida and Oklahoma State. Weiss's predictions have the Cardinals ranked second. Michigan State sits in the top five in both rankings.
Both put Indiana in the Top 25, although Weiss likes the Hoosiers a little more than Pomeroy, putting IU 24th, one spot ahead of the Hoosiers' place in Pomeroy.
I'm voting in the Associated Press college basketball poll this season. I'll post my pre-season Top 25 by mid-week. I included Louisville and Kentucky. I did not put Indiana in my Top 25 but I did vote for five other Big Ten teams.
More respect at the front of the line for Louisville's 2014 conference – the Atlantic Coast – than for the SEC. Only one SEC team sits in the Top Eight.
Alabama is first. Missouri is ninth.
The gap between the two SEC teams is filled by three teams from the ACC (Florida State, Miami, Clemson) and two from the Pac-12 (Oregon and Stanford), plus one from the Big Ten (Ohio State) and another from the Big 12 (Baylor).
You can exhale, Mike Slive. Your SEC guys made up ground in the rest of the standings.
Here is the head count for the entire Top 25: SEC 6; Big Ten 4; Big 12 4; ACC 3; Pac-12 3; AAC 2; MAC 1; Mountain West 1; Independent 1.
Former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins has been called a number of things during his three seasons with the Sacramento Kings – Coach Killer; Problem Child; Technical Foul Machine.
Cousins wants to change the trashy talk about him this season. He wants to be a leader.
If Patrick Patterson said he wanted to be a leader, sure. Brandon Knight? You bet. John Wall. Has to be because he plays point guard.
This is a guy who was suspended three times last season and led the NBA in technical fouls.
Cousins says that he intends to change. He's growing up. The Kings gave him a maximum-deal contract worth four years and $62 million that kicks in after this season. They have changed coaches, management and owners – and all three say that DeMarcus Cousins will be the star as the Kings grind their way back to the playoffs.
"To (critics), the leader is the clean-cut guy, the nice guy," Cousins said. "I'm going to go out there every night and leave it on the floor. I'm the leader of this team. First one in, last one out, and I'm going to show it on the floor every night. That's being a leader. I'm going to be the one diving on the floor for balls."
The NBA will be watching.
FLORIDA FOOTBALL: GOOD SEATS AVAILABLE
Florida is the football gold standard, right? It is where every school goes to find players. Chinstrap Nation? Football, football, football. They can't get enough.
Explain this: Five FBS programs based in Florida played home games Saturday – and played them to only 80 percent capacity. That's only if you believe the ridiculously inflated numbers from Miami, where the Hurricanes reported a crowd of 66,160, even though that number appeared padded by at least 15,000 from the view of the empty seats on TV.
Here is the tale of the turnstiles:
Wake Forest at Miami – 66,160 (75,540 capacity).
Louisville at South Florida – 35,782 (65,857).
UConn at UCF – 37,924 (45,323).
NC State at FSU – 80,389 (82,300).
Louisiana Tech at FIU – 13,389 (23,500).
Total – 233,644 of 292,520 – or 79.9 percent capacity.
This is the best that the best football state in the nation can do?
REMY ABELL WIN-WIN
The decision by former Eastern High School guard Remy Abell to transfer from IU after his sophomore season seemed curious. The Hoosiers lost six other players from the 2013 team, including a pair of guards. Valuable playing time was available.
Abell left for Xavier anyway.
Now, six months later, it appears to be a win-win situation for Abell and IU. Evan Gordon, the transfer from Arizona State who received Abell's scholarship, started in Indiana's opening exhibition game Saturday night. He showed solid ball-handling skills and an ability to attack the basket.
He's also got a younger brother, Eron, one of the best sophomores in the state of Indiana, who sat directly behind the IU bench.
Abell, meanwhile, enjoyed his final public action with the Xavier team, making six of seven shots, including a three-pointer during Musketeer Madness. This story by Shannon Russell in the Cincinnati Enquirer said Abell stole the show as his team won the intrasquad game.
Abell will have two years of eligibility for Xavier, which is also considered the leader to sign Trevon Bluiett, a Top 75 prospect from Indianapolis, who de-committed from UCLA.