Two Way Street

Jarrett Perches and Clayton Haskell

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Who is the best college basketball team in the country? Jarrett (University of Arizona): After falling just short of the National title game during last season’s NCAA tournament, the Arizona Wildcats come in to this season looking to do even better than last year. The Wildcats feature a San Antonio Spurs-like lineup; a lineup where no players separate themselves as stars and rather serve as equal pieces to the puzzle, each bringing a different skill set to the court. The team’s leader and point guard TJ McConnell brings veteran leadership and the ability to effectively distribute the basketball to his teammates. The team’s forwards, Stanley Johnson, Brandon Ashley and Rondae Hollis- Jefferson should be the most prolific scorers while guard Gabe York will continue to be a threat from beyond the arch. In addition, the Wildcats’ Kaleb Tarczewski is one of the best centers in the game and will cause opposing teams problems in the paint. Arizona has no weakness on the court due to its abundance of players with different skill sets. This depth and skill is unmatched by any other team in college basketball.

Clay (University of Kentucky):
After coming up short in last year’s national championship game, the Kentucky Wildcats are back for revenge. They lost forwards Julius Randle and James Jones, but just like every year, they have a very strong freshman class. This year, the team is a little less star driven and focuses more on the idea of team contributions. They currently have 10 players averaging more than 10 minutes per game. The highest points per game on the team is 10.3, but nine players average more than 5. Coach John Calipari is using a system in which he has two sets of five players, and tends to substitute these groups together. This tactic has led to this unselfish style of play, and an undefeated start to the season. They demolished 10th ranked Kansas 72-40, and convincingly beat sixth ranked Texas 63-51. That Texas game was the closest margin of victory that they have had all year. They are playing a different style of basketball than most teams, and this has them miles ahead of the pack at the moment.

Who is the best soccer player in the world? Both (Ronaldo): At the moment, Cristiano Ronaldo is the best soccer player in the world. In the 2014/2015 club season, Ronaldo has scored 32 goals, along with 11 assists. Through only 14 games, Ronaldo’s 25 goals in La Liga alone have him on pace to break Lionel Messi’s record of  50 goals, which was accomplished playing 37 games. While Messi did just break the all-time goal scoring records in La Liga, and the Champions league, these accomplishments are based on his dominance in years past. Right now, Ronaldo is in a league of his own in terms of goal scoring, and has his team, Real Madrid, playing the best soccer in their history. Another contender for the best player is German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. While Neuer has become the best backstop in the world, there are still qualms about how much a goalie can actually affect the game. Position aside, Neuer just led Germany to a World Cup victory, and currently has Bayern Munich in first place in the Bundesliga. Although Neuer and Messi have been great, Ronaldo is clearly a step above the competition.

Which MLB free agent or recently signed player will have the biggest impact on their team in 2015? Jarrett (Tomas): Over the last few years, Cuba has become somewhat of a baseball factory; it seems that every player out of Cuba immediately becomes a significant force in the MLB. A list of Cuban stars including Yasiel Puig, Aroldis Chapman, Jose Abreu, and Yoenis Cespedes have lit up the league. It is the beginning of a new era in baseball and there is yet another addition to that list of stars that all MLB scouts are raving about. His name is Yasmani Tomas. Since he announced that he wanted to leave Cuba and play in the MLB, scouts have been drooling over him like hungry dogs. The 24-year-old outfielder’s raw power is what had scouts in an uproar. A few weeks ago, Tomas decided to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he will play alongside one of the best hitters in the game, Paul Goldschmidt. With Goldschmidt and Tomas, Arizona could have a new power duo in the middle of their lineup.

Clay (Cruz): Last year the Mariners were one game away from qualifying for the playoffs. While it did take an epic collapse by the A’s to give them that shot, they still had a great season, and should be very optimistic about the upcoming year. One of their weaknesses last year was power in the middle of the lineup, and with the acquisition of Nelson Cruz, they are primed for a big year. Last year, Cruz hit 40 home runs with the Baltimore Orioles. Cruz will likely hit after Robinson Cano, and give the protection that Cano was lacking last year. The Mariners are in a good position to make the playoffs this year, with the Rangers and A’s both on the decline, and the Astros still stuck in rebuilding mode. Cruz could be the final piece in the puzzle as they look to win their first World Series.

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