The College Basketball season continues to roll on this time with the first Saturday of College Basketball. Sure, there wasn’t enough TV time for most of these programs, as College Football still dominates at this time of the year, but we did get a Top-5 matchup with Texas traveling to Gonzaga. In addition, there were some buy game losses, struggles, and surprises from this College Basketball day. That means it is time for some takeaways from these results.
Gonzaga is the clear #1 team in the sport
I do think Gonzaga has a little more flaws than last year’s team but let’s call it like it is, Gonzaga is the clear and away best team in College Basketball and will be that until someone knocks them off, which might not happen this year. Drew Timme was awesome inside, scoring a career-high 37 points and being a monster on the post, while Chet Holmgren was solid in a limited amount of minutes (due to foul trouble), and Rasir Bolton stepped up and had a big game. While the offense is automatic at this point, the defense was much improved from a season ago and looked every bit good enough to help this team win a title.
Texas was not ready for this game but should be fine in the long-run
When I mean that Texas wasn’t ready, I don’t mean anything against the game plan or anything like that, mostly just because the team wasn’t ready for this type of game. The Longhorns were outclassed by a fantastic Gonzaga team that ran crisp offense, played tough defense, and knocked down shots. The Longhorns made strides in the game in the second half, but they really weren’t on the same level as a basketball team and it showed. Texas will get better throughout the season while adding Dylan Disu into the mix will help but there is still a long way to go before the final product is shown.
California is going nowhere under Mark Fox
California moved to 0-2 thanks to a loss to a rebuilding UNLV team, which should come as no surprise given this California basketball team is an embarrassment to the Pac-12 right now. I said it at the time and I’ll say it again, hiring Mark Fox was an uninspiring hire and it has led to uninspiring results. The program is terrible and Mark Fox isn’t fixing it, especially given his inability to get any sort of good basketball players into the program. I know this is a school that focuses on academics but that doesn’t mean the basketball program should be this terrible, and it doesn’t mean they should cheap out when buying out Mark Fox’s contract, as he needs to go. I would suggest hiring Todd Golden personally, as he’s a good up-and-coming coach that would bring a rejuvenated fan base but honestly any sort of younger guy should work.
Adama Sanogo looks to be UConn’s best scorer
I had my concerns about UConn’s ability to score and that is why I was notably low on them, that said, I think Adama Sanogo has proven that he can be the go-to option. It’s early and UConn’s opponents haven’t been exactly good basketball teams but if Sanogo can be that 15 point a game player, the Huskies could wind up being a Top-25 team like many thought preseason.
St. Bonaventure should go undefeated in Atlantic 10 play
It is honestly hard to pick on one A10 team right now, because the entire league has been extremely disappointing, with the exception being St. Bonaventure, who will run away with this conference. With Dayton, VCU, Richmond, and Davidson all losing in the past two days, it has become clear, the Atlantic 10 is not a good basketball conference. Dayton is too young, VCU is too injured, Richmond might be washed as a team, and Davidson just might not be good altogether. Should the Bonnies win the A10 Championship, this league will be a one-bid league.
Don’t expect back to back NCAA Tournament appearances from Georgetown
Last year was fun, the Hoyas made it to the NCAA Tournament thanks to winning four games in four days. That was last year though, with so many players leaving the program and Georgetown turning to a younger group of players they simply won’t be good this year. Sure the freshmen will develop throughout the season, but games like Saturday’s 69-60 loss to Dartmouth will happen more often than Georgetown winning games.
UCF is the third-best team in the American
While the top-2 in the American seems to be set, UCF has emerged as the best of the rest in this league. The Knights had an impressive 95-89 road win at Miami on Saturday and looked good in the process. Darius Perry has been really good running the point, while Darin Green and Brandon Mahan are legit scoring threats. Add in a jump out of the gym forward in CJ Walker and this is a solid roster. Whether or not they pick up the necessary wins to make the Tournament remains to be seen but I feel confident in calling them the third-best team in the American.
Rutgers will have to win ugly
Let’s just say what is, Saturday’s win was an ugly victory for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Rutgers the team shot 31% and couldn’t find a way to get easy baskets. Their defense stepped up though, allowing only 35 points and getting key stops to win the game. At this point, Ron Harper Jr and Geo Baker’s best play seems to be behind them while Paul Mulcahy and Caleb McConnell are no-shows offensively. At this point, the Scarlet Knights might be able to win games but it won’t be their offense that does the trick.
Terquavion Smith is the future
NC State isn’t exactly inspiring confidence as being a potential NCAA Tournament team but they have their player of the future in Terquavion Smith. Smith has averaged 16 points per game to start the season and was key as the Wolfpack avoided losing to Colgate. I will go on record as having Terquavion Smith as a breakout candidate for next season assuming he doesn’t become a star this season, which could be a possibility.