TV time is hard to come by for any basketball league outside the BCS. The Mountain West and WCC have been able to grab a little more than most, simply because they play late enough to fill a time slot that East Coast markets don’t really know what to do with.
As John Templon of NYC Buckets noted recently, that gap has been ably filled by various webstreaming services, pioneered in 2005 by the Horizon League Network. The HLN was a grass-roots collaboration between the league and a Butler grad who formed his own streaming service. For many leagues following in the Horizon’s footsteps, an existing service makes more sense.
That’s the route the Ivy League is taking, joining up with NeuLion. The fast-growing webstreaming service already works with several of the league’s schools on an individual basis, but the new service will unite the Ancient Eight on one platform, where league lovers can go to find all meaningful games in the league with the most meaningful regular season in the NCAA.
Available to subscribers in August, The Ivy League Digital Network will be accessible on multiple devices, including PCs, smartphones and tablets, allowing for an all-new nine (9)-channel network of Ivy League action anytime, anywhere. Each of the conference’s eight (8) schools will have their own individual channel and the Ivy League will have its own League-wide channel featuring all available digital content across the conference.
The new network, powered by the NeuLion College Platform, will provide live and on-demand video and audio content from each school with interactive touch points that will consistently offer a personalized experience for Ivy League fans everywhere.
It’s a pay service, which isn’t really the worst thing ever. In order for hoops obsessives to get hyper-local games on TV, an additional satellite or cable package is a must-have, so you end up paying for it anyway. To get high-quality video and other league-specific content when you want it, where you want it (mobile devices for the win), for a league that doesn’t have a television deal, is a pretty good deal.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.