A few thoughts as we approach the third weekend of this young college basketball season:
- UMass is one of the most offensively potent teams in the nation. The Minutemen scored 96 points in a win over Nebraska today and are now 4-0. They’ve scored at least 85 points in all of those wins. Diminutive point guard Chaz Williams is the star of the show for UMass, but they have a multiplicity of other scoring options including Cady Lalanne, Sampson Carter, and Derrick Gordon.
- Pitt looks excellent. The Panthers played really good ball in a blowout win over Lehigh last night that put them at 4-0 on the season. Jamie Dixon’s team plays a pretty weak out of conference schedule, so it isn’t ridiculous to suggest that they’ve got a good shot at getting to ACC play undefeated.
- We learned that North Carolina still doesn’t play good defense when the Heels dropped their contest with Belmont last Sunday. But they won 25 games last year without playing good defense, so it might be a bit too early to panic in Chapel Hill. James Michael McAdoo and Marcus Paige are off to outstanding starts for the Heels and they have loads of talent.
- Offensively challenged Northwestern scored 93 points yesterday!!! Of course, they were playing Illinois-Chicago… (On the bright side, the Wildcats are playing substantially better defense than they did the past few winters under Bill Carmody.)
- Off in some mysterious location in upstate New York, three folks are getting excited about Colgate hoops. The Raiders have been surprisingly good this year, keeping games against Wake Forest and Syracuse relatively close and blowing out Cornell.
- Marcus Smart’s performance on Wednesday night was ridiculous. Smart dropped 39 points in Oklahoma State’s win over Memphis. The Tigers just looked over-matched against the Cowboys–a welcome sight for an Ok State team with title aspirations.
- Syracuse hasn’t had the easiest time scoring out of the gate, even against bad teams. But I wouldn’t worry too much about the Orange. After all, they do still play that suffocating 2-3 defense. And freshman guard Tyler Ennis should start hitting shots sooner or later.
That’s all for today. Get excited for the upcoming holiday tourneys! The Battle 4 Atlantis (featuring Kansas, Villanova, and Iowa) and the 2K Sports Classic (with UConn, BC, Indiana, and Washington) should be two of the best.