As alluded to in my last post, the preseason basketball guide to which the three of us TOCers contributed is now finalized. And, as of today, you can pre-order a copy of Spartan Tip-Off 2010-2011 from Maple Street Press. Copies will ship on October 4, and it'll hit the newsstands on October 19 (we'll post more details on hard copy distribution as we get them).
The guide was edited by occasional TOC contributor Steve Hendershot. Because he's only an occasional contributor, I can heap even more praise on him than I would on one of us full-timers: Steve did a truly superlative job of procuring content from across the Spartan basketball universe--from us blogger types to newspaper beat writers to former Spartan players.
Unlike the national preseason magazines, which give you maybe 2 or 3 pages on the MSU team, written by a national basketball writer, Spartan Tip-Off 2010-2011 provides an avalanche of Spartan-centric content. Witness:
- I ask the question that's on all our minds--"Is This The Year?"--and highlight statistics to watch as the season progresses that would indicate MSU is playing at a championship level.
- Steve reviews the plethora of story lines from this past offseason (needless to say, it's a lengthy piece).
- Steve offers in-depth profiles and stats for each MSU player; Pete does the same for the incoming recruits. Plus, that's not enough, player-specific sidebars by Joe Rexrode, Shannon Shelton, and the TOC staff.
- Pete looks at the senior class's legacy—a class that could deliver three Final Fours and a title and (if that happens) put a couple jerseys in the rafters
- Pete goes into even more depth on the incoming freshmen.
- Tim Bograkos provides his first-hand take on "life inside the program."
- Purdue blogger Travis Miller thoroughly previews the rest of the Big Ten. With even more sidebars by Rexrode, Shelton, and the TOC staff.
- Pete exhaustively (for him, not you) analyzes the non-conference schedule on a team-by-team basis.
- A Big Ten expansion double-feature: The Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein talks football; Shannon Shelton from the Free Press talks basketball.
- LVS looks back at Tom Izzo's "Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere" non-conference scheduling philosophy.
- Lansing-area writer Ted Kluck asks a perish-the-thought question: "What Would Have Happened if Izzo Left?"
- I inquire "Is MSU Really War Drill U.?" Has it really all been about rebounding and defense under Izzo?
- LVS puts together his "20 for 20" list--the top 20 Spartan hoops players of the last 20 years.
- Aloysius Anagonye looks at MSU's NCAA Tournament routine, using his experience with the 2000 national champions as an example.
- Rexrode, Travis, Steve, and I boldly predict how it's all going to shake out this season.
And those are just the feature pieces. Other topics include the year-two improvement for MSU big men under Izzo, the Breslin Center's significance to MSU's upsurge over the last 25 years, and even more inside scoop from Tim Bograkos.
Add it all up and you'll get 128 pages of glossy, ad-free MSU hoops content--all for less than the cost of a Spartan Stadium parking pass.
So, more succinctly, BUY! BUY! BUY! (Or, for now, PRE-ORDER! PRE-ORDER! PRE-ORDER!)