A Men’s College Basketball Preseason Special
Hype is defined as an intensive or exaggerated publicity or promotion.
In sports, hype is bestowed to many; it has no age, no nationality and is not restricted to one sport over another (check out ESPN The Magazine’s annual ‘NEXT’ issue). We are normally exposed to hype during the prep years, as exemplified by LeBron, Adrian (Peterson) and Sebastian (Telfair). The most recent NFL hype wears a 25 Saints jersey.
Thursday the USA TODAY Preseason poll for the 2006-07 Men’s college basketball season was released. The defending champion Florida Gators is number one and at two, the North Carolina Tarheels.
The Tarheels, a season removed from the National Championship and losing the four brothers of Felton, May, McCants and Williams, surprised the nation by finishing 23-8, 12-4 in the ACC before losing to George Mason in the round of 32 in the Tournament was led by Freshman of the Year Tyler Hansbrough and one of the greatest coaching jobs by Roy Williams to date.
But this year’s ranking is based solely on hype, on three 18-year-olds who have never taken a shot on the collegiate level. It begins in the backcourt with 5-11 point, Ty Lawson from Oak Hill Academy. Joining him is 6-4 two guard Wayne Ellington from The Episcopal Academy of Philly. And finally, big man Brandan Wright, a 6-9 forward from Brentwood Academy out of Tennessee who were all USA TODAY All-American selections.
Hype is also defined as a swindle, deception, or trick as in Ryan Leaf, the ’05 Colts and everyone selected ahead of Jordan in the ’84 NBA Draft.
And it will also mean the ’06 recruiting class of UNC, if they don’t bring Roy and Chapel Hill another title.
For more on the NCAA Men’s poll, go to: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/rankings