College basketball early overreactions: Five takeaways from the first two weeks of the season

Noahtogo24

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2015
6,036
4,283
113

Lousy Louisville is the worst team in the ACC​

It's been so bad for Louisville this season that I think, so long as we're doing early-season overreactions, one could reasonably just cut off "in the ACC" from that prediction and roll with Louisville is the worst team. Kenny Payne's tenure with the Cardinals is off to a miserable start. Missing out on five-star recruit DJ Wagner was just a taste of how things have been on the court. With a 80-54 blowout loss to No. 9 Arkansas in the Maui Invitational on Monday the Cardinals fell to 0-4 on the season, their worst start in more than eight decades (!!).


There are myriad reasons why they are not a good basketball team right now, but No. 1 on the list right now is its inability to take care of the ball. Louisville ranks dead last among all major conference programs in assist-to-turnover ratio now with 72 turnovers and 31 assists on the season – including a stunning 22 turnovers and four assists against Arkansas.

Villanova not the same without Jay Wright​

Put this in the category of well, yeah, duh, but Villanova, as it turns out, doesn't quite have the same hum it did under Hall of Fame coach Jay Wright that it does so far under his replacement, Kyle Neptune. The Wildcats are 2-2 on the season with losses to Temple and No. 12 Michigan State. Their style remains the same – slow as ever with a plodding pace to grind teams down – but their results are so far mixed.

Not having five-star freshman Cam Whitmore and veteran star Justin Moore, both of whom are coming off injuries, is significant and part of the context to why it has started slow. But Nova looks like a tier below No. 10 Creighton and No. 20 UConn in the early going. We'll see if things change as conference play nears but it might just be a down year as the Wildcats scrap in a new era but this year might bring with it some growing pains the program hasn't had to deal with in recent years.


The Big 12 is big dog (again)​

There was reason to be bullish in the preseason about the SEC and Big Ten potentially taking down the mighty Big 12 as the best conference in college hoops. But thus far that optimism has been blunted with a big stick with the Big 12's best looking already like it might also double as college basketball's best. Texas is 4-0 and ranked No. 4 in the AP Top 25 and No. 1 in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 on the heels of blowing out then-No. 2 Gonzaga. No. 3 Kansas is 4-0 after taking down No. 8 Duke. And both No. 7 Baylor and No. 21 Texas Tech, despite one stumble each, have looked as good or maybe better than advertised.

Meanwhile in the SEC, big dog No. 15 Kentucky has looked rough and No. 22 Tennessee fell flat against hot-and-cold Colorado, and in the Big Ten, No. 11 Indiana, No. 12 Michigan State, No. 16 Illinois, No. 23 Maryland and No. 25 Iowa, have all been impressive so far but no team or teams have quite been as good as the collection the Big 12 has at the top.

Virginia is the class of the ACC​

Preseason No. 1 North Carolina has done nothing to technically lose its ranking – it has won each of its four games on the season – but it certainly has done nothing to really validate that ranking, either. Against three teams ranked outside the top 80 at KenPom.com, UNC has a scoring margin that's 54th nationally with closer-than-it-should've-been wins against both UNC Wilmington and Gardner-Webb.


Meanwhile, No. 5 Virginia's preseason buzz has spilled over into early-season success with one of the most impressive opening two weeks highlighted by wins in Vegas last week over both Baylor and Illinois. With Duke not at full strength yet and UNC wobbling early, the Cavaliers look like contenders once again under Tony Bennett and appear to be the class of the ACC until further notice.

Big Ten exceeding its lofty expectations​

There were just three Big Ten teams ranked in the preseason AP Top 25 – Indiana, Michigan and Illinois, which was fewer than the Big 12 and SEC – but a whopping six teams from the conference landed inside the AP Top 25's latest rankings on Monday. That's more than any other major conference. Its rise has been bolstered by strong early-season showings from Michigan State, Maryland, Purdue and Iowa, all of which were unranked in the preseason but are a combined 15-1 to start the season with wins over Kentucky and Villanova (to Michigan State), Saint Louis and Miami (to Maryland), Marquette (to Purdue) and Seton Hall (to Iowa).
 
  • Like
Reactions: lurkeraspect84

della

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Dec 11, 2001
45,168
25,810
113
Team
Tennessee
Big 12! Big 12! Big 12!
25-nail-lede.w710.h473.gif
 

speedfrk

Well-Known Member
Oct 8, 2003
31,936
46,209
113
Boston
Team
Florida State
I’m glad louisville sucks as much as we do

Of course we are without our 3 best players
 

speedfrk

Well-Known Member
Oct 8, 2003
31,936
46,209
113
Boston
Team
Florida State
I know Baba is one, who is the other two?

The list is long

Gainey is out for the season. He’s the big one

Green-knee

McLeod has missed time and he’s our center

Jackson has a broken thumb.

It’s been weird to see ham only playing 6-7 guys a lot because that’s all we have.

We’ve been playing 4 out 1 in and that’s not what we do.
 

dukedevilz

Well-Known Member
Apr 3, 2002
9,731
12,565
113
The list is long

Gainey is out for the season. He’s the big one

Green-knee

McLeod has missed time and he’s our center

Jackson has a broken thumb.

It’s been weird to see ham only playing 6-7 guys a lot because that’s all we have.

We’ve been playing 4 out 1 in and that’s not what we do.

I can buy Baba Miller being one of the 3 best FSU guys. And Jaylan Gainey would have been your best defender.

But, hard for me to imagine that you wouldn't consider Mills, Cleveland, or Fletcher as a top 3 player. One of those three has to be in there somewhere.
 

dukedevilz

Well-Known Member
Apr 3, 2002
9,731
12,565
113
-Dereck Lively and Dariq Whitehead do not look like top 3 recruits. I know they've both returning from injuries, just hard to imagine these guys performing anywhere near All-ACC level by February.

-I feel like state of Texas is going to win a national title this year. Between Houston, Baylor, and Texas, the odds are actually really good.

-Might be too early to tell, but UNC has a little bit of that 2021-22 UCLA flavor. Return most of your Final Four cast, start the season off near the top of the polls, and then drop a couple of early games. UNC should still be really good, but returning to the Final Four won't be a cakewalk.

-Big 12 is the best conference once again. And it's not particularly close, IMO. Look at the bottom 4 teams in the Big 12 preseason poll: Oklahoma, Iowa State, West Virginia, and Kansas State. OU and Kansas State won their preseason tournaments, Iowa State made it to the Final at PK, and West Virginia was arguably the 2nd best team in the other PK tournament (the one which Purdue one). Big 12 will get at least 7 teams in the NCAAs. Could easily be 8. All ten Big 12 schools are currently in the top 50 of KenPom. No easy games in that conference.

-Big Ten is performing well these first few weeks. Can they have that success in March? The last two tournaments have been very disappointing. 11 teams currently in the top 50 is awfully impressive, though.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: FaithPlusOne

FaithPlusOne

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Mar 18, 2017
2,769
5,200
113
-Dereck Lively and Dariq Whitehead do not look like top 3 recruits. I know they've both returning from injuries, just hard to imagine these guys performing anywhere near All-ACC level by February.

-I feel like state of Texas is going to win a national title this year. Between, Houston, Baylor, and Texas, the odds are actually really good.

-Might be too early to tell, but UNC has a little bit of that 2021-22 UCLA flavor. Return most of your Final Four cast, start the season off near the top of the polls, and then drop a couple of early games. UNC should still be really good, but returning to the Final Four won't be a cakewalk.

-Big 12 is the best conference once again. And it's not particularly close, IMO. Look at the bottom 4 teams in the Big 12 preseason poll: Oklahoma, Iowa State, West Virginia, and Kansas State. OU and Kansas State won their preseason tournaments, Iowa State made it to the Final at PK, and West Virginia was arguably the 2nd best team in the other PK tournament (the one which Purdue one). Big 12 will get at least 7 teams in the NCAAs. Could easily be 8. All ten Big 12 schools are currently in the top 50 of KenPom. No easy games in that conference.

-Big Ten is performing well these first few months. Can they have that success in March? The last two tournaments have been very disappointing. 11 teams currently in the top 50 is awfully impressive, though.
All very fair. I would just add that the ACC looks worse than any of us expected. And my expectations weren’t that great.

I think we all expected UNC, Duke, and Kentucky to be better at this point. There’s still hope for all 3 to turn it up a few notches, but it’s been shaky early.