Nine Thoughts Through Nine Days of College Hoops

It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday…well nine o’clock-ish, PST. And we’re more than a week into college basketball season. Unsurprisingly, I have things to say about what I’ve seen. Here are nine thoughts on the young season.

Jahlil!

Jahlil!

1. Jahlil Okafor is absolutely the real deal. The Duke freshman came in with tons of hype and is living up to it early. The Blue Devils are 5-0 and have already logged wins over Michigan State and Stanford. Against MSU, Okafor scored 17 and shot 8-10 from the field. The near-seven-footer is mad skilled. Even when he misses, it looks good.

2. The Big East looks poised for a great season. Creighton is adjusting well to post-Doug McDermott life; they’re 3-0 and upset Oklahoma. Providence has looked sharp and sits at 4-0. They beat FSU 80-54 today. Villanova and Georgetown look good too. And only one of the conference’s ten teams has lost thus far (Marquette).

3. The national media might have overrated Nebraska. The 21st ranked Cornhuskers fell at Rhode Island today. It’s only one loss, but I continue to question any team coached by a guy who tweets during games. (I’m mostly kidding–Tim Miles is a good coach–but Nebraska’s ranking is probably steep.)

4. Gonzaga’s filthy. The 4-0 Bulldogs dominated SMU on November 17th and then beat St. Joe’s 94-42 on the 19th. The Hawks aren’t as good as they’ve been in past years, but still! Gonzaga had a 48-10 halftime lead!

5. San Diego State’s defense: still outstanding. The Aztecs held Utah to 49 points in a win on Tuesday and are giving up 45 points per game through three contests. Sure makes it less important that they’re shooting 36% from the field.

Bill Self

Bill Self’s Jayhawks had a rough go against Kentucky.

6. Colorado scored 90 points in their second game of the season (a blowout win over Auburn) and 33 points in their third game of the season (a blowout loss to Wyoming). Against Wyoming, they managed just nine second half points. Weird shit.

7. Kansas’ number five pre-season ranking might have been presumptuous. My ranking of them (tenth) in College Sports Town’s preview might have been, too. The youthful Jayhawks, who lost Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins to the NBA Draft, looked plenty green in a 72-40 loss to Kentucky earlier this week.

8. As for Kentucky, they might be OK.

9. Virginia Tech athletics had a rough day today. Their basketball team lost to Appalachian State. Their football team was involved in this.

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