November 14, 2007

Bears, Cats, and.....Bears - Oh My!

It was a pretty good start to the college basketball season. A few upsets, blowouts, and dropped jaws. It can only go up from here as we get closer to March.

Winning Ways

The mighty Golden Gophers of Minnesota are in the books - undefeated thus far!!! 1-0! That might be the first time since a year ago they've won more games than they've lost. But seriously, good start for the Tubby-era. No one jumped off the box stat-wise but they ran and played hard, which are not traits of the previous regime.

Someone I know had the Belmont Bears in the Sweet 16 a couple years back so I couldn't help but notice they picked up a decent non-conference win at Cinncinati. Sure the Bearcats are down, but now we know a Bear-bear beats a Bearcat.

Kids To Watch

Michael Beasley is going to show up early and often here because I think he's going to be KD 2.0. In two games this week he's averaging 31 points, 19 rebounds - setting a Big 12 record with 24 rebounds in one game. This kid does it all over the floor. I know he was sad when Huggins left, but I think staying at K-State will further ensure his status as a top-5 draft pick next year.

Kevin Love will also show up here often. His UCLA Bruins, ranked #2 in the country, went 2-0 this past week behind two solid performances by the freshman center. He averaged 21.5 points and 11 rebounds per game. I don't think he's going to throw up Beasley's gaudy numbers but I think he'll average a workmans double-double and be a factor in every game this year. (Love had 19 points and 9 rebounds last night too)

Teams On The Gleem

Watch out for Orangemen's backcourt of Jonny Flynn and Eric Devendorf. They combined for 47 points and 15 assists in their first game of the year. Flynn is a highly touted freshman from New York and should compliment the McNamara-like skills of Devendorf throughout the year. I don't expect huge things from 'Cuse, but I expect them to be a problem for mid-to-high seeds on the second weekend come March.

I know everyone hates them, even in a down year, but the Duke Bluedevils will be better than most expect - well, except those who drink the blue Kool-aid. Through two games freshman Kyle Singler has been steady(15 pts, 10 pts) and Jon Scheyer has been Coach K's offensive punch off the bench, averaging 17.5 points in 26 minutes per game. They won't wow anyone this year, but expect them to be improved from a season ago.

Something To Watch

Coming off a huge upset of Kentucky, Gardner-Webb will have two cracks at Uconn in the coming week (11/15, 11/20). Can they reproduce the magic? We'll see. Uconn is young and the Runnin' Bulldogs are 3-0 and looking like an early pick for a mid-major spot in the Dance. That's of course premature, but if they play the Huskies tough, or even win a game, that'll certainly help give all of us bracket-crazy fools a better idea of how good they really are.

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