NBCSports 2014-2015 College Basketball Season Preview Schedule

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Beginning on October 3rd and running up until November 14th, the first day of the season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2014-2015 NBCSports.com college hoops preview package. We will be counting down the top 25 teams in the country, previewing each of the 32 conferences and ranking players at every position. We will also have 42 feature stories on players and teams that you will need to pay attention to.

Below is a schedule for all of our coverage for the next six weeks. Bookmark this page, as we will be posting links to each and every piece of preview content:

source:  POSITIONAL RANKINGS

Oct. 23: Back Courts
Oct. 24: Front Courts
Oct. 27: Lead Guards
Oct. 28: Off Guards
Oct. 29: Wing Forwards
Oct. 30: Big Men

AWARDS

Oct. 15: Mid-Major Power Rankings
Oct. 16: Mid-Major All-Americans
Oct. 21: Best Dunkers
Oct. 31: NBCSports.com Dream Team
Nov. 3: NBCSports.com Preseason All-Americans
Nov. 10-14: Top 100 Players Countdown
Nov. 14: CBT Staff Final Four Picks
Nov. 14: NBCSports.com Preseason Bracketology

LISTS

Oct. 6: Top non-conference games
Oct. 7: Coaches on the Hot Seat
Oct. 8: Programs on the rise and decline
Oct. 9: Breakout Stars
Oct. 10: Key Junior College additions

Oct. 13: X-Factors
Oct. 14: Impact transfers
Oct. 17: Key assistant coach hires
Oct. 20: New head coaches likely to succeed and fail
Oct. 22: Impact freshmen

Nov. 4: Under the radar stars
Nov. 4: Top 68 things to watch for
Nov. 5: College basketball draft
Nov. 6: Potential cinderellas
Nov. 7: Most important players

TOP 25 COUNTDOWN

Oct. 3: Others Receiving Votes
Oct. 6: No. 25 Stanford Cardinal
Oct. 7: No. 24 UCLA Bruins
Oct. 8: No. 23 Harvard Crimson
Oct. 9: No. 22 Michigan State Spartans
Oct. 10: No. 21 Iowa Hawkeyes

Oct. 13: No. 20 UConn Huskies
Oct. 14: No. 19 Michigan Wolverines
Oct. 15: No. 18 San Diego State Aztecs
Oct. 16: No. 17 Iowa State Cyclones
Oct. 17: No. 16 SMU Mustangs

Oct. 20: No. 15 Oklahoma Sooners
Oct. 21: No. 14  Florida Gators
Oct. 22: No. 13 VCU Rams
Oct. 23: No. 12 Wichita State Shockers
Oct. 24: No. 11 Villanova Wildcats

Oct. 27: No. 10 Louisville Cardinals
Oct. 28: No. 9 Gonzaga Bulldogs
Oct. 29: No. 8 Texas Longhorns
Oct. 30: No. 7 North Carolina Tar Heels
Oct. 31: No. 6 Virginia Cavaliers

Nov. 3: No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks
Nov. 4: No. 4 Duke Blue Devils
Nov. 5: No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers
Nov. 6: No. 2 Arizona Wildcats
Nov. 7: No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats

CONFERENCE PREVIEWS

Oct. 10: Ivy League – Preview; Tommy Amaker’s unprecedented success at Harvard
Oct. 11: SWAC – Preview
Oct. 12: MEAC – Preview; LeVelle Moton developing UNC-Central’s culture
Oct. 13: NEC – Preview; Can Robert Morris get back to the NCAA tournament?
Oct. 14: Southland – Preview; Jacob Parker, communication and how it helped Stephen F. Austin
Oct. 15: WAC – Preview; Martez Harrison fills a 30 year old void at UMKC

Oct. 16: Big South – Preview; How High Point’s John Brown went from JV QB to NBA prospect
Oct. 17: America East – Preview; Stony Brook works toward NCAAs after DII transition
Oct. 18: Atlantic Sun – Preview; #DunkCity looking to take flight once again
Oct. 19: Big West – Preview; Alan Williams, one of mid-major’s best kept secrets
Oct. 20: Big Sky – Preview; Weber State’s success is recruiting Texas paying off

Oct. 21: Patriot  – Preview;  Improved American team ready to defend Patriot League title in 2014-15
Oct. 22: Summit – Preview; Cody Larson’s growth, from legal troubles at Florida to a star at SDSU
Oct. 23: OVC – Preview; Cam Payne has done a good job filling Isaiah Canaan’s shoes
Oct. 24: MAAC – Preview; Manhattan’s returnees look to build on the achievements of last season’s senior class
Oct. 25: SoCon – Preview; How Wofford went from the NAIA to the SoCon’s powerhouse

Oct. 26: Sun Belt – Preview; Georgia State’s devastating Sun Belt tourney loss leads to a new mentality
Oct. 27: CAA – Preview; Damion Lee is finally healthy for Drexel
Oct. 28: Horizon – Preview; A chip is firmly implanted on Keifer Sykes’ shoulder
Oct. 29: MAC – PreviewToledo gets defensive in quest for first NCAA Tournament appearance in 35 years
Oct. 30: Atlantic 10 – PreviewDayton’s Elite 8 run, Archie Miller’s decision to stay help continue Atlantic 10’s success
Oct. 31: Conference USA – PreviewLouisiana Tech’s Michael White is happy where is at

Nov. 3: WCC – Preview; Deep, talented Gonzaga takes aim at lengthy NCAA tournament stay; Pepperdine’s Stacy Davis
Nov. 4: Missouri Valley – Preview; Fred Van Vleet wants to sustain Wichita State’s elite production
Nov. 5: Mountain West – Preview; San Diego State has major questions offensivelyColorado State is rebuilding through transfers, again
Nov. 6: American – Preview; Nic Moore tries to get SMU on the right track after months of misfortune
Nov. 7: Pac-12 – Preview; Stanford’s Chasson Randle continues to grow as a point guard, leader; Chemistry the biggest factor in Arizona’s quest for a national title

Nov. 10: Big East – Preview; Kris Dunn looks to put injuries behind him as he shoulders heavy load at Providence; The new-look Big East looks to improve in year two
Nov. 11: Big 12 – Preview; To turn Texas around, Rick Barnes first had to change the culture of his team; A heart-to-heart with Bob Huggins changed Juwan Staten’s outlook, career
Nov. 12: Big Ten – Preview; Patience and hard work helped transform Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky into “Frank the Tank”; From under-recruited to team leader, Caris LeVert has seen it all at Michigan
Nov. 13: ACC – Preview; The maturation of Jerian Grant: What one star learned during a season-long suspension; Angel Rodriguez is happy to continue his career where it started: Home
Nov. 14: SEC – Preview; Kasey Hill’s second family gave him a new lease on life

Four-star guard becomes LSU’s first 2019 commit

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Expected to be a factor both within the SEC and nationally this season, these are good times for the LSU men’s basketball program. Head coach Will Wade and his staff received more good news Tuesday, as 6-foot-2 combo guard James Bishop (Baltimore, Maryland/Mount St. Joseph HS) announced that he will be a Tiger next season.

Bishop, considered to be one of the top scoring guards in the class, is LSU’s first 2019 verbal commitment. Bishop’s pledge comes just over a week after his official visit to LSU, and just days after a visit to St. John’s. LSU beat out St. John’s, NC State, Marquette and VCU in the race for the Baltimore product, and given the Tigers’ current roster this is an important commitment.

LSU’s 2018 recruiting class is considered to be one of the nation’s best, with point guard Javonte Smart being one of the five-star prospects in that quintet (forwards Naz Reid and Emmitt Williams being the others). Add in sophomore Tremont Waters, who’s coming off of an outstanding freshman season, and LSU could be in a position next summer where its top two lead guards are at the very least testing the NBA draft waters.

Landing Bishop gives LSU another talented option, and some cover should the program lose either Waters or Smart — or both — in 2019.

Calhoun officially named head coach at DIII St. Joseph

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WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Jim Calhoun has officially been named the head coach at Division III University of Saint Joseph in Connecticut.

The Hall of Famer had already announced he would be taking the job and has been working for a year to establish a men’s basketball program at the small Catholic university, which was an all-women’s school until this school year.

Calhoun also has continued to serve in an advisory role at UConn, where he served as coach for 26 seasons and led the Huskies to three of their four national titles before retiring in 2012.

The 76-year-old will return to the sidelines with a career record of 873-380 when the Blue Jays open the season on Nov. 9 against William Paterson University.

That game will be played at Trinity College in Hartford, which has a gym that seats about 2,200 people, about 1,000 more than the gymnasium at Saint Joseph.

Oregon State announces addition of transfer Payton Dastrup

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Tuesday afternoon Oregon State announced that former BYU power forward Payton Dastrup has joined the program as a transfer. Dastrup, who averaged 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in just under eight minutes per game last season, has two seasons of eligibility remaining. Oregon State will file a waiver on his behalf in hopes that Dastrup will be granted immediate eligibility.

Should the waiver request be denied, Dastrup will not be eligible to play until the 2019-20 season. For Oregon State’s sake, even with Dastrup’s career numbers he would fill a need for a team that bid farewell to its best big man during the spring.

Drew Eubanks’ decision to turn pro left a noticeable hole in Oregon State’s interior rotation, with senior Gligorije Rakocevic and junior Ben Kone being the most experienced returnees. Those two combined to average 3.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in 2017-18, with Rakocevic averaging 10.6 minutes per game in 27 appearances off the bench.

In addition to those two the Beavers add three scholarship newcomers to the mix this season in junior college transfer Kylor Kelley and freshmen Warren Washington and Jack Wilson. Dastrup has the ability to step away from the basket, which would give Oregon State a little versatility in the interior to go along with a perimeter/wing rotation led by Tres Tinkle, Stephen Thompson Jr. and Ethan Thompson.

Oklahoma State lands third 2019 commitment

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Oklahoma State managed to add another verbal commitment in its 2019 class on Tuesday, as four-star combo guard Avery Anderson III announced via Twitter that he will play his college basketball for Mike Boynton. Anderson picked Oklahoma State over offers from Florida, LSU, TCU and Texas Tech.

Anderson is Oklahoma State’s third commitment in the class, as the Justin, Texas product joins twins Kalib and Keylan Boone. The Boone brothers made their pledge in mid-April, and all three took official visits to Stillwater this past weekend.

Anderson’s commitment is key for two reasons. First there’s the fact that he can be used at either guard spot, and that versatility will be valuable for Oklahoma State once he arrives on campus. Also, while Oklahoma State will be quite young in the front court this coming season that isn’t the case on the perimeter.

Of Oklahoma State’s current crop of guards/wings only two, freshman Isaac Likekele and redshirt sophomore Michael Weathers, are underclassmen. The Cowboys have just one senior in the group, Mike Cunningham, but getting a guard in the 2019 class was key for Boynton’s program.

At this point, all 13 of Oklahoma State’s scholarships for the 2019-20 season have been filled with Anderson’s commitment.

Dan Hurley lands first commitment as UConn head coach

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First-year UConn head coach Dan Hurley landed his first commitment in the Class of 2019 on Tuesday, as four-star guard James Bouknight announced that he will play his college ball for the Huskies.

A native of New York that has played in the prep ranks for the MacDuffie School and has been a member of the same PSA Cardinals AAU program that produced Cole Anthony and Mo Bamba, Bouknight is a 6-foot-4 off-guard that still has quite a bit of potential to grow into. He’s an athletic scorer with upside, exactly the kind of player that UConn is going to need in a year where they will be losing Jalen Adams while Alterique Gilbert continues to struggle with shoulder issues.

Much is expected from Hurley at UConn, and he has found himself in the mix for a number of high-profile recruits in and around the Northeast. Putting together a couple of strong classes at the start of his tenure is critical for a coach looking to bring the Huskies back to the heights they were at under Jim Calhoun.

And Bouknight is a terrific was to start that process.