College Basketball Preview
M College BB
Weekly lineup
 Wednesday, November 3
Midwestern Collegiate Conference
By Andy Katz

 Detroit coach Perry Watson is in no hurry to leave the Midwestern Collegiate. Neither is Butler's Barry Collier. They know they've got something going on here.

The West Coast Conference got the pub it deserves with Gonzaga's Elite Eight run. The Mid-American Conference has been known for its hidden gems like Earl Boykins, Bonzi Wells and Wally Szczerbiak. But the MCC might have a few of the nation's top sleepers in Butler and Detroit. The league may not have the depth from one to eight but the top can contend with most mid-majors in the nation.

Detroit has proven to be a tournament-worthy team with consecutive first-round upsets over St. John's and UCLA. Butler has been a perennial postseason team. Three years ago, the league got three bids. It could get a pair this season.

All-conference team
James Madison, senior, G, Cleveland State: 15.0 ppg, 2.4 apg
Rashad Phillips, senior, G, Detroit: 15.7 ppg, 4.2 apg
Chad Angeli, junior, G, UW Milwaukee: 14.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg
Kevin Melson, junior, F, Wright State: 14.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg
Mike Marshall, senior, F, Butler: 9.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg

Player of the year: Rashad Phillips
The scoring point guard averaged 15.7 points a game, shot 41 percent from the field and made 84.1 percent of his free throws. Perry Watson lets his point guards play and Phillips should flourish with the freedom. Few players in the league can hang with his quickness. But he's got to be a better leader to take Detroit back to the NCAAs.

All-newcomer team
Scott Robisch, junior, C, Butler
Tahric Gosley, freshman, F, Cleveland State
Mike King, freshman, F, Wisconsin-Green Bay
Willie Green, freshman, G, Detroit
Doc Taylor, junior, G, Cleveland State

Newcomer of the year: Willie Green
The Cooley High star was a steal for Watson to keep home in Detroit. Green should step in immediately to the starting lineup. He can score on the wing, slash to the basket and provide Phillips with enough of a complement to make Detroit tough to press.

Best backcourt: Detroit
See above. The Titans will be quick to the ball, push it on offense and can create off the dribble. Expect Detroit to lead the league in steals, too.

Best frontcourt: Butler
Mike Marshall and Rylan Hainje are the beef brothers but they'll get even more help when Robisch is eligible in mid-December. Robisch will likely pop up to the top of the lane and force a defender to cover him on a 3-point shot. That will allow the Bulldogs to dominate the low-post, especially on the offensive backboard.

Team on the rise: Cleveland State
Rollie Massimino finally has a squad capable of making a postseason run. The Vikings were .500 a year ago and return three starters, including player-of-the-year candidate James Madison.

Team on the fall: Illinois-Chicago
The Flames were one of the three teams in the tournament in '98, but Jimmy Collins has found it hard to stay with Butler and Detroit. UIC can mount a return to the top half of the league after a seven-win season but it will rely heavily on the perimeter. The Flames lack size and experience inside.

Unsung player: Rylan Hainje, Butler
Hainje is a 6-6 bruising forward. The sophomore averaged 8.2 points and 4.7 rebounds but adds muscle to an imposing frontline. He won't get the credit Marshall does or the pub Robisch will receive but he's just as vital.

Toughest road game: Butler
Hinkle Fieldhouse, the set for the climax of "Hoosiers", is an imposing barn which makes teams feel unwanted. Butler's homecourt has been a bear for years and now that the Bulldogs are a postseason team, it's even harder to escape with a win.

Postseason teams
NCAA: Detroit, Butler
NIT: Cleveland State
Cleveland State
Wis.-G. Bay
Wright St

America East
Atlantic 10
Big East
Big Sky
Big South
Big Ten
Big 12
Big West
Conference USA
Ivy League
Mid-Eastern Athletic
Missouri Valley
Mountain West
Ohio Valley
Sun Belt
West Coast