Request for college basketball fans: If you know of an impact transfer who is going to become eligible this month, please e-mail his name/school to me and we’ll post it for everyone’s benefit, because not every school’s semester ends at the same time.
I have two right now:
Western Kentucky- Bearden.
These two teams will be helped when these kids can play. Adds some depth and increases the talent level.
For today, I’m looking at college basketball conferences so far this season:
13) Big X:
— Kansas (schedule #10)/Texas Tech (schedule #339) haven’t lost yet
— Iowa State is 7-2 but has been missing four guys for various reasons; two of those guys came back two games ago. Cyclones’ bench minutes are #345, but depth is on the way.
— West Virginia is 5-3, has very young guards, and I’m not sure how they get a lot better, unless those young guards suddenly become good young guards.
— Texas is 5-3, losing at home to Radford/VCU. This is Shaka Smart’s 4th year at Texas- his teams at Texas have played tempo #306-212-316-194.
When he was at VCU, Smart’s teams played tempo #69-156-173-91-22-70. Why the difference, other than pressing/trapping is hard unless your players are better athletes than your opponents.
12) Big 14:
— They’re playing 20 conference games now, so teams play two games in December.
— Five teams started conference play 2-0; five started 0-2.
— Illinois is 2-7, the only team under .500
— Seven Big 14 teams are in KenPom.com‘s top 30
— Nebraska, Northwestern are two most experienced teams in league.
— Duke is #343 in experience, which is why college hoop handicapping has become so difficult, weighing talent against experience. I want Duke to play Nevada in March.
— Virginia is only unbeaten team in the league.
— Pitt was 7-1 before losing at home to Niagara; whoops- they start three freshmen.
— Louisville is 6-2 vs schedule #86 in Chris Mack’s first season; great job so far.
— ACC has eight teams in the top 32
— Miami lost last four games, with three losses by 4 or fewer points.
— Auburn/Tennessee are two highest-rated teams, a change from normal.
— Kentucky is 7-1 vs schedule #319; they lost 118-84 to Duke- best team they’ve beaten is #71 NC-Greensboro.
— South Carolina was in Final Four two years ago; they’re 21-20 since. Not good.
— Texas A&M is 3-4 vs schedule #204; they’re experience team #274, Could be a down year.
— Vanderbilt lost its star freshman PG Darius Garland for the season (knee)
9) Big East:
— St John’s is 8-0 vs schedule #322; how good are they?
— Georgetown is 7-1 vs schedule #304; same question.
— Only four Big East teams are listed in the top 50.
— Creighton has made 45.8% of its 3’s (#2) so far this season.
— If you were wondering, Indiana State (48.8%) is #1
— Villanova is playing 5th-slowest tempo in country so far.
— Only one team ranked in top 40 and Oregon is only 4-3.
— USC is 0-3 vs top 70 teams; their five wins are vs teams ranked #198 or lower.
— Washington is #1 in country in minutes continuity; they’re 6-3 with two top 10 losses (Auburn/Gonzaga).
— UCLA is 6-2 vs schedule #229; they’re #351 in experience, with two key freshmen out for year with injuries. Best team they’ve beaten so far is #122 LMU.
— Arizona State is 7-0 vs schedule #282, but they were 12-0 in pre-conference play LY, and wound up 20-12.
— 4 of the slowest 15 tempos in America are teams in the AAC.
— Temple is 7-2 vs schedule #155 in Fran Dunphy’s last season as head coach.
— Central Florida is 6-2, with two losses by total of 3 points.
— Wichita State is 4-3 vs schedule #112; they’re a total rebuild (#343 in MC).
— Memphis is 4-4 vs schedule #54; Tigers start two freshmen, three seniors. Better beat the Tigers now; Penny Hardaway is going to dominate recruiting in Memphis, which will put them in the top 25 sooner rather than later.
— #8-rated conference right now; they were 14th three years ago, #12 LY.
— Gonzaga is to the WCC what UNLV was to the Big West 30 years ago; huge fish in a small pond that carries the league’s banner on national stage.
— San Diego beat San Diego State, USF pounded Cal Wednesday; middle of pack in this league has improved a lot, but St Mary’s is a bit down.
— LMU is playing pack-line defense like Virginia and it is working- they’re 9-1.
— If BYU jumps into a league for football reasons, who replaces them in WCC? Hawai’i?
5) Mountain West:
— Nevada is 8-0 and starts five 5th-year seniors; will the coach be back next year?
— Wolf Pack is only team in MW in top 60; its a one-bid league, unless someone beats Nevada in the conference tournament.
— Fresno State is #17 experience team that is probably 2nd-best team in league; they’re 6-2 and start three seniors, two juniors.
— Boise State is 2-5, with losses to Idaho State/Drake; could be a down year, after winning 20+ games the last six years.
— UNLV is turning the ball over 24.4% of time and shooting 27.7% on the arc, which is why they’re 4-3 vs schedule #324- their first road game is Saturday at Illinois.
4) Atlantic 14:
— League was #10 LY and is #10 this year, their lowest ranks since 2007.
— A-14 is down right now: #70 Davidson is their highest-rated team.
— Saint Louis was touted this year, but they’re turning ball over 21.7% of time and making only 29.9% of their 3’s. Despite that, they’re 6-2 vs schedule #217.
— VCU has had six coaches since 2002, and no losing records. Big fish, smallish pond, and no football to take resources away from basketball.
— LaSalle changed coaches but change isn’t always positive; they’re 0-9 this season, with losses to Lafayette, Bucknell, Drexel, Grand Canyon- they wouldn’t be the best team in the freakin’ Patriot League.
— Buffalo is legitimately good; they won at West Virginia, are #42 experience team.
— Toledo is only other MAC team in top 100, so its likely another one-bid year.
— Rockets are 8-1 and making 41.5% of their 3’s; they’re experience team #81.
— You look at Kent State’s 7-1 record, then you look at schedule #343- no thanks.
— Western Michigan is 4-4 vs schedule #314; they’re turning ball over 22.9% of time and making 29.5% of their 3’s, not a good combination.
— Bowling Green has one winning season since 2010; their coach that year was fired because of an incident in a bar, where the coach was drunk and being a jerk. That coach is now at New Mexico State and his team is 7-1- some schools would’ve built the guy his own private bar.
2) Missouri Valley;
— Defections have crippled this league; Wichita State-Creighton were difference-makers.
— Loyola-Chi is their only top 90 team, and they’ve lost three of last four games.
— Evansville’s new coach is former NBA player Walter McCarty; Purple Aces are trying to play faster- they’ll be interesting to follow the next couple years.
— Drake is experience team #116, but #304 in MC, so they’ve been cobbled together by transfers. Bulldogs are also on their third coach in three years, which doesn’t help, but they’re 5-1 so far this season.
— Northern Iowa won 184 games from 2009-16, but they’re 33-37 the last 2+ seasons, so the coach’s seat has to be getting a little warm.
— Yale won at Miami, beat Cal, lost in OT at Memphis; their eFG% is #5 in country.
— Harvard is 4-4 vs schedule #28, but they also lost at #274 Siena.
— Columbia is 0-6 vs D-I teams, vs schedule #329. Could be a long winter.
— Penn Quakers are 7-2, are experience team #63- they start two juniors, two seniors.
— Cornell is #34 experience team, lost by only 8 at Syracuse- did Boeheim take it easy on the Big Red because his son plays for Cornell? (No, he didn’t)