On to the third of our 2012-13 college basketball preview magazines. We'll spend the money on all of them so that you can spend your money on just the best. We've already covered Athlon Sports and Lindy's Sports reviews, so make sure you check those out if you haven't picked up a guide yet. Today it's the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, which bills itself as the "most comprehensive college basketball publication on the market." We'll see about that.
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Cover: Features their picks for 1st Team All-Americans: Cody Zeller (Indiana), Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State), Peyton Siva (Louisville), Doug McDermott (Creighton), and Michael Snaer (Florida State).
There are none. And this is one of the things which separates this guide from the rest. There are a few bookkeeping pages in the beginning (pages 1-5) which have the Letter from the Editor, the list of contributors, the index, the All-American Teams and a page which shows the top-25. After that, it's all reviews. There aren't any lists. There aren't any interviews. There's no recruiting information. There's no fluff. In other words - everything you can find ad nauseum on the web (and for free), is left out of the guide. There aren't even any pictures.
Previews: There are basically three levels of coverage. The teams in the top-25 all get about three pages. The high and upper-mids all get 1+ pages, and the smallest schools get about 3/4 of a page. But keep in mind that there aren't any pictures. There aren't any call-out boxes. It's just solid information. You want a hundred words on Michigan's Eso Akunne (who?), you got it, along with a quote from Coach Beilein about how Eso's surgery went.
This guide is remarkable in its depth. It truly is the most comprehensive guide on the market, and it's not even close. I keep mine on my desk or on my couch, and as I flip through games during the regular season then I read about the teams or players with which I'm not that familiar. It really enhances the experience.
This isn't to say the guide is perfect. It definitely contains mistakes - Andy Enfield, for example, is still listed as an assistant coach at FSU even though he's entering his 2nd season as head coach at Florida Gulf Coast. It would be nice if they clear these things up.
You should buy it right now. Yes, it costs more, but like shoes and peanut butter, certain things require that you spend more money on them. The other guides I've looked at are slick, but they aren't necessarily helpful. I buy them because I'm a hoops junky, but this is the one, at least of the reviews I've covered.
I have been buying Blue Ribbon for over 20 years and was planning to buy it again this year. The problem is that it's only available through the website and the $8 shipping fee makes it a bit too expensive. There's just so much information on the web these days that I can hardly rationalize spending over $30 on a college basketball yearbook, no matter how good it is. Additionally, my favorite part of the yearbook used to be the 'Ben Wilson' recruiting but its no longer included since it would obviously be out of date by the time of publication. Maybe they could give bullets covering the the current SR and JR classes top 50-100 players again. That would definitely make this thing worth buying. Also, I wouldn't be opposed to a few advertisements if it would bring down the price a bit.
Agreed. It's the best....The digital download version, though, sucks--take zero advantage of hyper-links to make navigation work. It's a PDF file, and hard as hell to search. And what's with the $8.00 shipping charge? Chris, if you're listening, you'd sell more if you hired a book architect to take advantage of medium and cut price even more for digital version.
@jfhst18 I've never used the digital. But that's no good if they don't take advantage of the format.