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Mid-Major Minutes: Gonzaga’s the best in the state, and the Horizon League found its manifest destiny

The Horizon League will not stop until its tendrils are found in every American hamlet.

Good morning! If you’re reading this, you’re clearly starting your day off right with an effort to better yourself by becoming more educated about the goings-on in the mid-major world.

In a landscape so dominated by the biggest schools and conferences, it’s quite hard to winnow down the information you want and need to hear about your favorite mid-major programs.

Thankfully, Mid-Major Madness is here to aggregate the news and links for you, providing you with a brand-new, daily post about the world of mid-major hoops.


#Content to Read

Gonzaga lands local recruit Anton Watson (Spokesman-Review)

A few weeks ago, Gonzaga handed Watson a scholarship offer, and yesterday, he accepted it. The Spokane native turned down offers from other Washington-area powerhouse schools, which is certainly a huge morale-booster for the program that’s already the best in the state.

Some information about Watson’s playing style can be found below, courtesy of Jim Meehan:

Watson was named to USA Today’s All-Washington second team along with incoming GU freshman wing Corey Kispert of King’s High.

Watson projects as a ‘4’, or power forward, at Gonzaga. He has great instincts on the court and is a strong finisher. He plays primarily inside at Gonzaga Prep, which has placed third at state the last two seasons.

Someone’s getting a Horizon League invite. Could it be YOU? (Detroit News)

News broke on Wednesday that the Horizon League—down a member due to the departure of Valparaiso—extended a membership invitation to an unnamed school. This has left many speculating as to which school has been invited, with Tony Paul noting that:

LeCrone also said the new member will have a baseball team, which was a priority. With Valparaiso leaving, the Horizon League is down to six baseball teams, which is the minimum number allotted for a conference to receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

That would rule out long-rumored target Robert Morris, which doesn't carry baseball, and IUPUI, which also doesn’t have Division I baseball, though it has a club team.

One of the candidates being looked at closely is Grand Canyon, a team slated to be pretty good next year. One big issue remains though, which is that they’re located on the side of the country where the Horizon League, um, isn’t. The Horizon League is taking “expansion” a bit too literally, it seems.

If you’re looking for some regarding which teams it might be, take a look at this piece on Horizon League expansion from this really good site called Mid-Major Madness. I’ve heard they’ve always got good writing that you should share, especially when it’s authored by that wunderkind Cam Newton...

Examining 2nd round & undrafted players most likely to find NBA success (NBC Sports)

A plethora of mid-major players made Rob Dauster’s list of the “sleeper” players who are likely to have success in the NBA. He focuses the most on Nevada’s Cameron Oliver, whom he likens to Draymond Green. However, Dauster does recognize some of the player’s flaws:

For starters, his motor is not all that great. He had a habit of coasting through games in the Mountain West, and the fact that he still managed to average 16 points and 8.7 boards should give you an idea of his talent. He’s also a guy with some question marks about his basketball IQ. People haven’t forgotten another Mountain West product — former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett — that quickly.

The difference here is opportunity cost. There’s virtually no risk in snagging Oliver with a late-second round pick, and the upside is impressive.

Other players who made the list include Eastern Washington’s Jacob Wiley and Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss.

Team Fredette is taking on some old adversaries in TBT (Vanquish the Foe)

The Basketball Tournament is one of the summer’s most talked-about events (and for good reason). Everyone loves seeing their favorite former college athletes square off for the millions, and BYU fans have a team to root for as well.

Team Fredette features a few other former Cougars, and their first round draw has many eagerly anticipating the matchup. After all, they drew Team Utah. Just let Brett Hein give you the scoop on who that team is made up of:

Indeed, Team Utah is a Utes alumni team featuring Shaun Green, Dakarai Tucker, Richard Chaney, Tim Drisdom, Bryant Markson and Justin Hawkins. The team had a cinderella run into the elite 8 last year, including a win over a stacked Gonzaga team named Few Good Men.


Tweets of Interest

Like their namesake Pioneers, these Denver players never quit!

LoboLair grants no mercy

Warriors fans are huge nerds

I don’t think I’m prepared for what Robinson is going to unleash next season

Good deed from a former Zag

...speaking of former Zags

Potential Horizon League additions have been winnowed down:


Recruiting News