This is the second of our evaluations for the preseason guides. We'll spend the money on all of them so that you can spend your money on just the best. First up was Athlon Sports, and now we're moving on to Lindy's Sports.
Full page ads: 1 (0.4% of the guide). Oddly, it's an NRA ad.
Cover: Regional. I purchased the California version which features Stanford's Chasson Randle, Cal's Justin Cobb, UCLA's Travis Wear (how did they decide on which twin?) and a small call-out of Mike Moser from UNLV.
On a completely unrelated note, three of the four players featured are transfers.
1. National Rankings: They rank the top-40 and give paragraph length blurbs on the top-25. Louisville, by the way, is their pick.
2. Scoping the Nation: A 6-page grab bag which features a short one on Ken Pomeroy and advanced stats (!).
3. The Game's in Transition: A solid read on how the fluidity of players (one-and-done, transfers) and coaches is changing the game.
4. Middle Men: Meh. John Calipari and Tom Crean are friendly. Big deal.
5. Down for the Count: Cincinnati and Xavier got in a fight? Breaking.
6. Weird, Weird, West: Yes, west coast hoops are down. But they've been down. A better use of this space would be featuring the conference that isn't down now, but will be (I'm looking at you, Big East).
7. Women's Top-25: Why devote two pages to the women's game? Why not do, say 50 pages, and throw it up on the web as bonus "free" content?
8. Player Rankings: These are really position rankings. I have some quibbles with which position they consider some guys, but basketball is a fluid game so that is to be expected.
9. Ranking the Backcourts, Ranking the Frontcourts: Unit rankings, which are somewhat repetitious after the player rankings. Strangely, they have a page devoted to the units ranked No. 2 (Louisville with their guards, and Indiana with their bigs).
10. National Recruiting: Blurbs on the top-25 classes.
Previews: All of the major schools and those mid-majors ranked in the top-40 get one page spreads. The rest either get a half page, or six to a page. Since my grandfather played for Army, that is one of the first previews I always read. This one was four sentences. Four.
For an extra dollar you get 43 more pages of content than Athlon Sports, but unless you're looking only at major conference schools, there's really not that much here. With all of the available free content on the web, I don't see all that much besides the features that are of use. No schedules. No way to learn about most of the opponents in out-of-conference play. But it's only $7.99.