It’s nearly time to celebrate a birthday that actually matters. Our beloved 2018-19 college basketball season is about to turn two weeks old. This precious darling has already been spectacular, bypassing the process of crawling, instead running around ahead of time.
She’s growing in front of us so quickly. Parents of humans often say stuff as such. Our little ones will force time to go by in great haste. And yet, while that might be true, it’s wonderful to witness her grow, excel and inject some merriment into this otherwise cold world.
Honestly, she provides hope for the hopeless. Happy birthday, inanimate object.
Here’s five quick thoughts on the start of the 2018-19 season.
The Fortune 500 Company Is Broken?
Something called the Furman Paladins defeated the Villanova Wildcats over the weekend. The loss for Nova came right after the Michigan Wolverines held the Wildcats to a paltry 47 points. Those two losses mark the first time Jay Wright has lost back-to-back games since the 2012-13 campaign.
What does it mean? Maybe early season yips. At the same time, while the program has certainly earned a benefit of the doubt, insane roster turnover has to be acknowledged. With several players leaving for the NBA, and #WhiteDonte doing so far earlier than expected, five-star freshman Jahvon Quinerly’s stagnant start isn’t helping the evolutionary process.
Quinerly, a coach’s DNP against Furman, is shooting 25 percent from the field and 19 percent from three. A little unfair to ask a freshman to be the key cog in a roster full of transition, but the Wildcats need him to get going.
It’s not time for hysteria yet, but it’s certainly a story worth following.
The Big Ten Is Good, I Guess
There goes an annual narrative. It appears as though the Big Ten Conference is too legit to quit. Hooray, outdated MC Hammer references!
We already mentioned Michigan thrashing Nova, but there’s also the Indiana Hoosiers (cough) upsetting the Marquette Golden Eagles, and the Iowa Hawkeyes taking down Bol Bol and the mighty Oregon Ducks.
Small sample size theater, for sure, but if we’re going to consistently throttle the league when it appears to be sadder than a ventriloquist after bombing a set on stage in front of 22 people, the Big Ten deserves appreciation when earned.
Duke Is All The Fun
The Duke Blue Devils, no matter your beliefs on the program or Coach K, happen to be fun. The most entertaining programming on television since that weird moment Jerry Falwell suggested Bill Clinton’s people had one of his better friends murdered.
CBB Today has covered Duke in pretty solid detail.
The American Isn’t Great, But Is Interesting
Tacko Fall. Dan Hurley. Penny Hardaway. So on and so forth and let the nation know the AAC is as cool as a cucumber on the opposite side of the pillow.
The AAC is in a mysterious place right now. As a league, from top to bottom, it’s not swell. However, it’s one of the more interesting conferences in the entire country in terms of adventure. A college basketball loving nation is allowed to follow Dan Hurley (UConn) and Penny Hardaway (Memphis) rebuilding their programs, quickly, in real time.
Oh, and despite a loss on the record already, the UCF Knights have finally figured out how to play offense. It took several seasons, but it’s no longer just Tacko Fall and BJ Taylor, as Aubrey Dawkins and Terrell Allen have emerged to create a solid core four.
Buzz Williams arguably the GOAT at Virginia Tech
From the 1908-09 through 2013-14 seasons (pre-Buzz era), Virginia Tech made the NCAA Tournament a total of eight times.
Please, for the love of everything holy, let that wash over you like a cold shower the day after drinking six too many Milwaukee’s Best.
Since Williams joined the program at the start of the 2014-15 season, the Hokies have already made two NCAA Tournament appearances, and after a 4-0 start to the college basketball season, destined to earn their third straight trip to the Big Dance.
Departing a then rock solid Marquette program for Virginia Tech, Buzz Williams was like a Stephen King novel, mysterious and a little bit terrifying. Especially when you consider he was abandoning a historically proud program for one that lacked any such tradition.
Nevertheless, here he is, making all sorts of school history. Buzz gets lost in the shuffle, but what Williams has done with Virginia Tech is one of the bigger, more wonderful achievements a coach has done over the last few seasons.
Joseph Nardone has been covering college basketball for nearly a decade for various outlets in a variety of ways. You can follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone.
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