Written by: Ben Brown – Staff Writing Intern (@TheBigShalom)
| The three-ball
A few seasons ago, the Golden State Warriors proved that you can win by shooting threes. The rest of the NBA saw that and a new style of basketball has emerged. Love it or hate it, that’s how the game is progressing and high school and college kids are starting to realize it. College ball is seeing less and less true big men and more of the stretch big that can play outside and run the floor. According to KenPom.com last year 45 teams shot 35% or better from outside, this year 71 teams are shooting that well.
| Tempers are high
We have seen a lot more players and coaches tempers get the best of them than we are used to seeing this early in the season. Not surprising, Duke’s Grayson Allen has purposely tripped one and maybe two opponents. Coaches from Georgia and Missouri got into a fight in the middle of the game. Clemson’s coach Brad Brownell seemingly scolded Roy Williams of North Carolina after a game and an Oregon player kicked a Washington State player in the groin. We have only scratched the surface of conference play, if you are into this kind of stuff, it could be an entertaining year for you.
| Baylor making school history
For the first time in school history, the Baylor Bears are ranked number one in the AP poll. This is being written before their matchup on the road with West Virginia, but win or lose, this is a big accomplishment for Baylor and their fans should be proud. Now they just have to make a run in the tournament to prove they are legit.
| Welcome back, UCLA
Less than a year ago, there was a billboard in LA that read “fire coach Alford.” Now a home bruins game is the hottest ticket in town. The legendary program is finally back in the main stream on the backs of TJ Leaf, Bryce Alford and future lottery pick Lonzo Ball. The Bruins went on the road to beat Kentucky and solidify that they are legit this year.
| Big East is the power house conference
40% of the Big East is ranked in the top 25. Now, there are only 10 teams in the conference, but Xavier, Creighton, Villanova and Butler are all championship contenders this year. With Nova winning it all last year, the newly reformed Big East is not to be taken lightly in March.
| The greatest game that nobody watched
Just a few days ago, New Mexico blew a 14 point lead to Nevada with just over a minute left. I could describe it, but words wouldn’t do it justice.