Last week’s turbulence? Get used to it. During the pandemic it was university basketball. Cancellations and delays are likely to continue until NCAA 2021 starts its tournament with 68 teams from the same city. In the meantime, we have to deal with this situation on a daily basis.
But the game starts in an entertaining way with three top 10 teams (Virginia, Villanova and Kentucky) falling to previously unseeded opponents. The elite veterans have joined the good new class in 2020-21. The top 25 is filled with competent opponents, but we don’t have to wait for a clear picture of the state of college basketball after a shortened and often interrupted preseason that included no show.
Tuesday’s Champions Classic Games between Michigan and Duke (7:30 p.m., ESPN) and Kentucky versus Kansas (9:30 a.m., ESPN) precede Wednesday’s Jimmy V Classic Games, including games in West Virginia and Gonzaga (7:30 p.m.). ET, ESPN) and Illinois versus Baylor (22:00 ET, ESPN) in hell of a second week for the sporting calendar that will include a Saturday night match between Gonzaga and Baylor.
Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go:
Let’s take a look at Kentucky.
It is an annual tradition on social networking sites. Kentucky plays several games, and then college basketball fans make a broad assessment of what his performance means for the future of feral cats. Twitter becomes a series of exaggerations, neither facts nor data. Pure intuition.
Only two games this season for the Wildcats, we’ve been to the same theater. Kentucky beats Morehead State to open the season with 36? Kentucky is unstoppable! Kentucky loses to the Richmond team, which brings back all the veterans of the season from the veteran team, which won 24 times last season? Kentucky’s overrated!
But once you get past the emotions, there are legitimate questions and concerns about Kentucky that John Caliphari and his young team will have to address in the coming weeks.
Fault! The file name is not specified. The Kentucky vs. Richmond speech was about the Kentucky speech, but John Calippari had dealt with young groups before. AP Photo/James Crisp
Can Kentucky win the national title without more precision and volume from the 3-point line? Kentucky’s 10-0 clip behind the ark at 76:64, which was lost to Richmond on Sunday, seems to have made the most noise this weekend. I can understand why.
In 2011-12 Kentucky was on the 3-point list. Since then, the team has not doubled these results, as in the following years the number of feral cats fluctuated between 33% and 36%. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. The Wildcats have long been one of the least productive teams in the country in terms of 3-point volume (26.5% of their attempts were 3-point in 2011-12 according to KenPom). Eight years ago, Steph Curry’s Golden Warriors in varsity basketball hadn’t won three titles in four years, and Jay Wright’s sniper team won two national championships in three seasons.
For the 2011-12 season, only 37 student basketball teams could say that at least 40% of their attempts were 3-point attempts. Last season? 113 teams reached that threshold. However, Kentucky does not exceed 32.4% (2010-2011) under California law.
What difference does it make? That’s because college basketball today is full of archers, and Kentucky still relies heavily on five-star talent who have the athleticism and playfulness to score goals and protect the rifle scope without having to rely on those archer shots. It is a game of smart gambling that has allowed the Wildcats to qualify for the Final Four in four different seasons. But Kentucky hasn’t made it to the national semifinal since 2015. This team from Kentucky can afford to challenge any team in this sport. But the inconsistency and the limited volume of the perimeter can complicate his ambitions.
The loss of the Richmonds was an accident? No, you can’t. Don’t pretend Kentucky lost to a team that doesn’t count. Chris Mooney’s team is coached by high school students who are not intimidated by a young Kentucky team. And never before has the experience in this sport been as valuable as it is now. Between the forties and a limited period for the season, Richmond and other veteran-led units have an advantage, especially in the beginning of the season. Jacob Guilliard, one of Richmond’s best players last season, struggled to beat Kentucky and his team made only 28% of their attempts to 3 points and scored six offensive rebounds. Richmond’s better than Kentucky now.
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Is there a star in Kentucky who can lead a wildcat deep into an NCAA tournament? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Maybe a few of them. Olivier Sarr, Terrence Clark and BJ Boston looked like potential stars in two games. Few, if any, university basketball teams can match this raw talent. The problem is that people think about Kentucky and assume that every star is the future of the NBA. It creates impossible expectations. Don’t forget that the best Calipari teams were led by guys like Anthony Davis, John Wall, Carl-Anthony Towns, De’Aaron Fox, Bam Adebayo, Julius Randle and Davin Booker. Jamal Murray’s department didn’t make it to the second round of 2015-16. Boston, which ESPN says will be in the top five of the final 2021 NBA draft, may have a better chance of being included in the NBA’s elite list under Calipari. But even if this team does not stand out from the NBA, it certainly has enough juice to compete with the best American teams.
What are the chances we’re going to talk about Kentucky as a candidate in the next few months? Upstairs. Calippari’s teams tend to get into these jagged starts and the pandemic has caused problems for all American teams. First-year students need to familiarize themselves with medical protocols this season, as well as with the typical growing pains associated with the transition to First Division basketball. This will take time. But you still have to buy stock in Kentucky. There are legitimate gaps and concerns. But I still expect the Wildcats to reach the final stage of the season as a team capable of winning the title. However, this service is different from the one that has not been provided in Lexington for eight years.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Jalen Suggs was a force for Gonzaga… and once had the potential for glory and honor in football. Kim Clement/USA TODAY Sports
Yelen drops… Ohio State Quarterback?
Gonzaga’s security guard was the most electric newcomer in the country during the first week of the 2020-21 season. He tied more than 68% of his shots in the bow and had access to social media thanks to his handcuffs on the front and his acrobatic lining. Gonzaga scored 125 points for 100 objects and made 72.7% of his shots within the arc sucking soil, via hooplens.com.
But what if Suggs played quarterback in Ohio now? Chris Goodwin, senior football trainer at the Minneapolis Academy in Minneapolis, said that Ohio employees have discussed with him the possibility of awarding Suggs a football scholarship in 2018.
The situation in Ohio is completely serious, he told ESPN.
Last year, Suggs was the first Minnesota player to win the Mr. Suggs Award. Basketball and Mr. Football Awards. He was a double threat star at Minneh Academy and had offers from various Power 5 programs. It has an average of 10.0 yards per carrier, like the oldest. He’s only been fired five times in his four-year career, Goodwin said. No one could catch him, he said. Suggs has also played occasionally as Free Security and Wide Receiver for Team Goodwin. He was a force on the soccer field and he translated his vision and stiffness on the basketball field.
Suggs is a 6’3, 205-pound defender who likes to end the game with a touchdown. In the first two games of Gonzaga he challenged the Kansas and Auburn players with his physical condition. Goodwin said he had the same power on the starting grid.
It’s a giant bat, a giant bat, he says. He knocked the boys out.
But Suggs chose basketball. And now Mark Maly has a player who looks like no one he’s ever coached at Gonzaga.
Stories for the competition Champions Classic/Jammy V Classic
Duke of the State of Michigan (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, Classic Champion): Yeshua Langford returns this season after missing all 2019-20 seasons and the last 18 games of the 2018-19 Michigan state championship due to an injury. The chemistry with Joey Howser’s market transfer and the rest of the rotation will affect the entire MSU season. And while Oklahoma’s Saggs and Cade Cunningham took first place in the season opener, Duke’s Jalen Johnson put in a strong performance (8:8, 19 runs) in his debut and defeated Coppin State on Saturday with 81:71 runs. The projected selection of the lottery can cause a stir in this game.
KentuckyKansas (Tuesday, 21.30 ET, ESPN, Classic Champion): Kansas was another team with Udoka Azubuike last season. His departure created the biggest hole for Bill Self’s team. David McCormack, the former All-American McDonald’s, is not an apprentice, but the KU will need him to become a reliable two-way painter so that he can realise his potential.
West Virginia– Gonzaga (Wednesday 19.00 ET, ESPN, Jimmy V Classic): We’ve heard a lot about Suggs and Corey Kispert, but Drew Timme has an average of 26.5 PPG, or 72% of his two-part shots in the bow. The great West Virginia man Oscar Zibwe has to succeed at both ends of the field to give the climbers a chance.
Illinois-Baylor (Wednesday 22:00 ET, ESPN, Jimmy V Classic): Expect a lot of 3 points in this game. Although the sample size is small, both Illinois and Baylor were very hot in their first two games. Illinois (47%) and Baylor (50%) were two of America’s top three-point shooters in the first weekend of the season. Ayo Dosunmo and Jared Butler are also the two highest scoring goalkeepers in America.
It’s nice to see how Quentin Grimesplays.
It took the Texas Tech Rankings team 12 minutes to hit double digits in Sunday’s 64-53 loss to Houston. Grimes, a former Houston five-star rookie who started his university career in Kansas, brought his team into the starting line-up on September 27, 8-08 to play in the first half. Grimes ended the game with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and a block in victory. He played patiently.
Every five-star Powerhouse School rookie is faced with questions about his or her potential if he or she has no clear choice in the first round after a season. It’s not fair. Grimes took that test after his first season in Kansas. But he has found a home with Calvin Sampson and plays a key role in a team that seems to be a dangerous opponent for all teams in the country. Sometimes it takes longer to develop. That’s good. Grimes is proof of that. He left electrical school and is now a catalyst for one of the most exciting and talented teams in America. And he’s having fun.
#ForTheCity x #GoCoogs pic.twitter.com/TMSt0esoFC
– Houston Men’s Hoops (@UHCougarMBK) 30. November 2020.
Shaki Smart Hair is what we should all celebrate.
As a man who also grew his hair during the pandemic, I’m glad the Texas Shack Smart coach changed his hairstyle last season. It is one of the most remarkable changes in college basketball this season.
He has a newcomer, Greg Brown, who chose to play in the first tournament and a talented team that could help him qualify for the NCAA tournament, but Smart’s hair was on Twitter when his team beat Davidson 78-76 in Monday’s Maui Invitación tournament.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Shaka Smart is a man who has changed his appearance… …and a good team. Photo by Brian Spurlock/Sportswire symbol.
The sports world is always looking for something to laugh about in these difficult times. Add Smart’s hair to the list.