Feast Week Debrief and more

Hopefully by now you are all waking up from that deep turkey coma.

A lot of college basketball has been played.

If you are one of those people who only tunes in for March Madness, but stumbles across this article, here are your cliff notes of team reports:

Duke
Your first thought about Duke is “how healthy are those freshman?”

And that’s not the trademark thought of a Final 4-worthy team.

For now, Duke has earned impressive early season wins, including a win over #21 Rhode Island on a neutral court much closer (Connecticut) to the Rams than the Blue Devils home turf.  They lost a thriller to Kansas.

Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen have shared the workload in terms of scoring output.  And Chase Jeter is a much improved post-player.  Last year, despite injuries down low, coach Krzyzewski was reluctant to play Jeter.  Yet, this year, he is logging valuable minutes.

Gonzaga
Not sure how coach Few does it, but he does it again.

Off all places, college transfers are supplying Gonzaga with two players who are making a true difference right now for the bulldogs.

In particular, Nigel Williams-Goss looks extremely comfortable at point guard.  The junior transfer from Washington averaged 13 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists early in the season.  Gonzaga beat an underrated Iowa State team in holiday tournament play, which is noteworthy because they too have one of the nation’s best point guards (Monte Morris).

Indiana 
OG Anunubi has been getting, and will continue to receive, all of the accolades in line with observers who salivate over a player’s NBA prospects.  Yet, for this Hoosiers ball club, James Blackmon Jr. and Thomas Bryant have been carrying the Hoosiers in the first eighth of the season.

The Hoosiers suffered a horrible loss at IFPUW, but this team’s versaility makes it a threat.  Despite losing Yogi Ferrell to graduation, Josh Newkirk, a Pittsburgh transfer, has been filling in nicely.

Maryland
Talented point guard holdover Melo Trimble does not have a ton of talent surrounding him, compared to what was in place with last season’s roster.  His penetration and runner late against Richmond escaped what would have been a really bad loss Thanksgiving week.  That was followed up shortly thereafter by a crushing at home while hosting Pittsburgh.  Maryland might not be a tournament team this season.

Michigan State
Miles Bridges is the next Vince Carter.

However, this Spartans team lacks size.  That hurts.

Coach Tom Izzo has been visibly (and minute-allowance-wise) disappointed with senior guard Erron Harris.  This Michigan State team, unlike several teams from the last 20 years, will run the ball in the open court.  Tum Tum Nairn will be the straw that stirs the drink for this Spartans squad.  If he can orchestrate a team that gets out, runs the floor, and guts a defense from all areas of the floor, Michigan State could be dangerous with its athletes.  We can never count out coach Tom Izzo, but this team, in particular, will be a challenge this season to foster growth.

 

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