That was a fulfilling appetizer. Now it is time for issues to warmth up.
With Election Day and completely different circumstances forcing the Champions basic to maneuver from the start of the 2022-23 males’s school basketball season to the second week, most extreme packages opted to schedule a pair of buy video games to kick off their campaigns. in consequence, the predominant week noticed an unbelievable deal of blowouts, solely a few notable wins and solely a pair of extreme-25 losses (we’re taking a look at you, Villanova, Tennessee and Oregon).
nonetheless the approaching week will better than make up for it: Champions basic on Tuesday, Gonzaga at Texas on Wednesday, Baylor vs. Virginia on Friday, Kentucky at Gonzaga on Sunday — simply to name a pair of marquee matchups over the subsequent a quantity of days.
earlier than we get to the awards and rankings, a quick refresher on the foundations of the power Rankings:
that is simply not a ballot; teams do not mechanically rise, fall or preserve the identical with a win or loss. (you may discover Houston already jumped North Carolina and Gonzaga to maneuver to No. 1, regardless of neither the Tar Heels nor the Zags shedding.) Head-to-head issues, nonetheless it is not the one factor. we have now a look on the ultimate physique of labor.
We try and preserve away from repeating awards in a given week (for event, Gonzaga, Drew Timme and Mark Few worthwhile crew, participant and Coach of the Week, respectively).
Let’s dive in.
solely a few leagues inside the nation — and none on the low-predominant stage — can match the SWAC and its teams’ spectacular wins inside the predominant week of the season. Grambling obtained issues started by beating Colorado on Friday, Alcorn State gained at Wichita State on Saturday and Texas Southern rounded issues out by taking down Arizona State on Sunday. When the Pac-12 and SWAC introduced a Pac-12/SWAC Legacy sequence in basketball, going 2-2 over the course of a weekend can not be what the Pac-12 had in thoughts.
The wins weren’t fluky, both. Grambling led Colorado wire-to-wire and held a double-digit lead for rather a lot of the sport — with the margin rising as massive as 19 factors inside the predominant half. Alcorn State went on a 14-2 run midway by way of the second half to take the lead and stored Wichita State at an arm’s size the the rest of the best method. in the meantime, Texas Southern already had wins over Florida, Baylor, Oregon and Texas A&M over the earlier couple of seasons — and may now add an further time victory over Arizona State to that group.
After three seasons at Michigan State, Loyer transferred to Davidson in 2021-22 and earned second-crew All-Atlantic 10 honors. With Luka Brajkovic and Hyunjung Lee now gone, although, Loyer seems poised for an infinite season with the Wildcats — if his opening week is any indication. He had 30 factors and 6 3s in opposition to Guilford to open Davidson’s season on Monday, then went for 38 factors, eleven rebounds and 9 assists in a double-further time win at Wright State on Wednesday. he is now main the nation in scoring after two video games, and was one in all simply two gamers to hit 30 factors in every of their first two video games (Santa Clara‘s Brandin Podziemski was the selection).
Damian Dunn denies Villanova Wildcats with stuff
It took two court docket stormings, nonetheless the ultimate buzzer finally sounded on Temple’s sixty eight-sixty 4 upset win over the No. sixteen Wildcats. It marked the predominant extreme-25 lack of the season. It was additionally Temple’s first win over Villanova in a decade, with the typical margin of defeat in seven losses over that time a whopping 18.zero factors. nonetheless the Owls laid an massive 5 marker down that it will not be as simple for Villanova with coach Jay Wright retiring final spring. Temple jumped out to an early lead, was up by double digits inside the predominant half after which gained the sport on a pair of Damian Dunn free throws with 1.1 seconds left.
Colorado bounced again extremely shortly from its loss to Grambling, taking down a Tennessee crew — in Nashville, no much less — that dominated Gonzaga in a televised preseason exhibition recreation simply two weeks earlier and beat Tennessee Tech by 32 factors final Monday. It was nip-and-tuck rather a lot of the best method, nonetheless the Buffs obtained some separation midway by way of the second half and iced the sport from the free throw line. Sophomore guard KJ Simpson was the standout for Tad Boyle’s crew, ending with 23 factors and 9 boards. in the meantime, Tennessee’s 25.4% subject purpose proportion was its lowest in a single recreation over the final three seasons, per ESPN Stats & information evaluation.
one in all two packages to beat a extreme-25 crew final week, UC Irvine battered Oregon in Eugene on Friday, main by as many as 27 factors inside the second half and cruising to a thirteen-level highway win over the geese. The Anteaters, who accomplished exterior the very best two of the massive West final season for the predominant time since 2013, confirmed clear indicators they’re ready to compete on the very greater of the league as quickly as extra. Russell Turner has been a pair of of the worthwhile mid-predominant coaches since arriving at Irvine, main the Anteaters to 2 NCAA tournaments and at the least a share of 5 common-season titles. they’ve been to the postseason six occasions. And now, regardless of being picked fourth inside the preseason massive West ballot, they’ve despatched a message to the the rest of the league.
Three teams with questions
Florida State Seminoles: A bounceback season was the expectation in Tallahassee after a disappointing 2021-22. nonetheless the Seminoles have not pretty gotten out of the starting gate but. They misplaced to Stetson at residence to open the season, then misplaced by 14 on Friday to UCF.
Louisville Cardinals: it may very effectively be a protracted first season for Kenny Payne. The Cardinals had already dropped an exhibition recreation to Lenoir-Rhyne earlier than shedding two consecutive residence video games to open 2022-23 — to Bellarmine and Wright State, each by one level.
California Golden Bears: coming proper into a key season for Mark Fox, Cal did not get off on the becoming foot. The Golden Bears misplaced at residence to UC Davis to open the season, after which fell to Kansas State on Friday. subsequent up is a UC San Diego crew that mustn’t be imposing, however did beat Cal in Berkeley final season.
Marcus Sasser makes a great trying lob to Jarace Walker who skies to the rim for a sturdy jam.
1. Houston Cougars (2-zero)
Preseason rating: three
This week: vs. Oral Roberts (Monday), vs. Texas Southern (Wednesday), at Oregon (Sunday)
As North Carolina struggled by way of its first two video games and Gonzaga needed a second-half surge to beat Michigan State, Houston regarded like a effectively-oiled machine proper from the opening tip of 2022-23. Marcus Sasser picked up proper the place he left off earlier than his damage final season, whereas 5-star freshman Jarace Walker had 23 factors and eight boards in opposition to Saint Joseph’s. Jamal Shead seems like one in all many elite playmakers inside the nation. The Cougars protection allowed ninety one factors in two video games. after which there’s the emergence of J’Wan Roberts, who averaged 15.5 factors and 9.zero rebounds in two video games. Kelvin Sampson has a nationwide title contender.
2. North Carolina Tar Heels (2-zero)
Preseason rating: 1
This week: vs. Gardner-Webb (Tuesday), vs. James Madison (Sunday)
The Tar Heels needed to level issues up inside the second half of every of their first two video games to beat UNC Wilmington and Charleston, nonetheless the ultimate stretch of the Charleston recreation appeared like a wake-up name — at the least for Armando Bacot, who shook off a troublesome start to finish with 28 factors inside the win.
All-time quote right here from Armando Bacot..
“I’ve obtained to bear in thoughts i am not a CEO, i am a extreme-finish janitor. i am not basically the most gifted man. I’ve obtained to go on the market and battle… i’ve to be a trash man… I’ve obtained to go on the market and simply be a canine.”
— Ross Martin (@RossMartin_IC) November 12, 2022
Carolina has a pair extra tuneups — although James Madison ought to protect issues aggressive on Sunday — earlier than heading to Portland for the Phil Knight Invitational.
three. Gonzaga Bulldogs (2-zero)
Preseason rating: 2
This week: at Texas (Wednesday), vs. Kentucky (Sunday)
Gonzaga has been ranked No. 1 in adjusted offensive effectivity in three of the final 4 seasons, ending No. three at KenPom final season. nonetheless the Bulldogs are going to want to do issues a bit in a single other method this season. they do not have the playmakers they’ve had the final couple of years, and so far, they do not have the taking pictures both (29% by way of two video games). however they can have found one factor inside the second half of their comeback over Michigan State, when Mark Few went to a smaller lineup that consists of Hunter Sallis, Rasir Bolton, Malachi Smith and Julian Strawther round Drew Timme. It had greater spacing and regarded extra fluid.
4. Kentucky Wildcats (2-zero)
Preseason rating: 4
This week: vs. Michigan State (Tuesday), vs. South Carolina State (Thursday), at Gonzaga (Sunday)
Oscar Tshiebwe is nonetheless out, however Sahvir Wheeler ended up solely lacking one recreation — and his efficiency in opposition to Duquesne indicated there aren’t any lingering outcomes of his leg damage. He had eleven factors and eleven assists, displaying the identical distribution and playmaking talents that made him an All-SEC participant a 12 months in the past. John Calipari hit the portal the final two springs in hopes of discovering some perimeter taking pictures, and by way of two video games, it seems like he has executed simply that: CJ Fredrick is 6-for-12 from behind the arc, whereas Antonio Reeves is 10-for-18.
5. Duke Blue Devils (2-zero)
Preseason rating: 5
This week: vs. Kansas (Tuesday), vs. Delaware (Friday)
it may get exact this week, as Duke faces Kansas in Indianapolis on the Champions basic, nonetheless the critiques of Jon Scheyer’s crew are constructive. They solely allowed eighty two factors inside the predominant two video games of the season and appear to have overcome the accidents to Dariq Whitehead and Dereck full of life II (who performed in recreation 2). Early returns had Kyle Filipowski struggling inside the preseason, however he has posted again-to-again double-doubles and Northwestern change Ryan youthful has continued his environment nice publish scoring from the massive Ten.
6. Kansas Jayhawks (2-zero)
Preseason rating: 6
This week: vs. Duke (Tuesday), vs. Southern Utah (Friday)
If Kansas has any shot to repeat as nationwide champions — and even get again to the ultimate 4 — a lot of it goes to get back down as to whether or not Jalen Wilson can change proper into a star. and by way of two video games, the flashes he confirmed the final couple seasons appear to be they may become extra of an every-evening time factor. In wins over Omaha and North Dakota State, Wilson averaged 20.zero factors, 10.zero rebounds and 4.zero assists, taking pictures 6-for-thirteen from three-level range. he is a troublesome matchup as a outcomes of his inside-exterior recreation and he is primed to take a step forward.
try this candy cross from Adam Flagler
7. Baylor Bears (2-zero)
Preseason rating: eight
This week: vs. Northern Colorado (Monday), vs. Virginia (Friday), UCLA or Illinois (Sunday)
When Adam Flagler made the selection to return to Waco, an factor of the rationale was that he needed to exhibit extra of his playmaking skill. The final two seasons, Flagler has performed principally off the ball, with the likes of Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell and James Akinjo having the ball of their fingers. however he’ll have a lot extra accountability this season, alongside Keyonte George. And he is already displaying potential in that division, totaling thirteen assists in two video games collectively with scoring 19.5 factors per recreation.
eight. UCLA Bruins (2-zero)
Preseason rating: 10
This week: vs. Norfolk State (Monday), vs. Illinois (Friday), Baylor or Virginia (Sunday)
a pair of of the preseason buzz coming out of Westwood needed to do with Jaylen Clark, who produced when referred to as upon final season however solely started a handful of video games. With pictures up for grabs this 12 months, Clark was going to be needed extra usually. He has regarded the half so far. by way of two video games, he is averaging sixteen.5 factors, 7.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and an astonishing 5.5 steals. Clark is already extreme-of-the-line defenders inside the Pac-12, however he is additionally going to be a fixed contributor on the offensive finish for Mick Cronin’s crew.
9. Creighton Bluejays (2-zero)
Preseason rating: 7
This week: vs. Holy Cross (Monday), vs. UC Riverside (Thursday)
Given Creighton’s offensive struggles final season, the Bluejays weren’t going to range proper into a juggernaut in a single day, even with the addition of Baylor Scheierman. it would want regarded that method final Monday, as quickly as they jumped out to an infinite lead inside the predominant jiffy in opposition to St. Thomas – Minnesota, however there are nonetheless some kinks to work out. Scheierman solely totaled 19 factors inside the predominant two video games, however he is contributing as a rebounder, passer and three-level shooter. The offense (due to the 12-for-27 three-level taking pictures) regarded greater in opposition to North Dakota, so maybe that is an indication of issues to get back.
10. Texas Longhorns (2-zero)
Preseason rating: eleven
This week: vs. Gonzaga (Wednesday)
one in all many issues worth watching in Texas’ opening couple of video games was how the backcourt of Tyrese Hunter and Marcus Carr would coexist. each gamers want to make performs with the ball of their fingers. Hunter has surprisingly been extra of the scorer by way of two video games, averaging 14.zero factors and a pair of.zero assists, whereas Carr is averaging eleven.5 factors and 4.zero assists. They’re each contributing as anticipated on the defensive finish as effectively. the one unfavourable? A mixed 1-for-14 taking pictures from three-level range.
eleven. Arkansas Razorbacks (2-zero)
Preseason rating: 9
This week: vs. South Dakota State (Wednesday)
it may very effectively be arduous to actually gauge Arkansas till Nick Smith Jr. matches up — and it is unclear when the projected extreme-5 NBA draft choose will. information emerged shortly earlier than the Razorbacks’ opening recreation that Smith was going to take a seat out with a knee damage, and he did not play inside the win over Fordham both. In his stead, Wichita State change Ricky Council IV took on an even greater playmaking position, averaging 18.5 factors and 4.5 assists inside the predominant two video games. Will Smith be again for the Maui Invitational?
12. Indiana Hoosiers (2-zero)
Preseason rating: 14
This week: at Xavier (Friday)
The freshman receiving all of the pleasure coming out of Bloomington was Jalen Hood-Schifino, however Malik Reneau was actually ranked greater in ESPN’s class of 2022. whereas Hood-Schifino has lived as a lot as a consequence of the billing early, Reneau is contributing as effectively. He had 15 factors and 6 rebounds inside the win over Morehead State, then adopted it up with 9 factors and 4 boards in opposition to Bethune-Cookman. He was one in all many extra productive low-publish operators on the highschool stage, and that has carried over so far.
thirteen. Auburn Tigers (2-zero)
Preseason rating: 15
This week: vs. Winthrop (Tuesday), vs. Texas Southern (Friday)
It wasn’t an excessively imposing schedule on paper, however video games in opposition to George Mason and South Florida provided extra of a test than rather a lot of the selection teams inside the rankings confronted. the very best performer for Bruce Pearl’s crew by way of two video games was Wendell inexperienced Jr., whose choice-making left one factor to be desired at occasions final season. whereas he has turned it over six occasions in two video games, he is shouldering a heavier utilization load. inexperienced totaled 36 factors in two video games, taking 17 free throws inside the two wins.
Adama Bal get the Arizona three-pointer to fall as a consequence of the Wildcats cruise to a 117-seventy five victory over Nicholls.
14. Arizona Wildcats (2-zero)
Preseason rating: 17
This week: vs. Utah Tech (Thursday)
Arizona seemingly will not be as balanced and explosive offensively as a consequence of it was final season, however Tommy Lloyd’s crew put up 212 factors inside the Wildcats’ first two wins of the season. Azuolas Tubelis has clearly erased his struggles down the stretch final season: With three NBA draft picks gone from the starting lineup, Tubelis has become the crew’s go-to man. He had 23 factors and 6 assists inside the opener, then went for 17 factors in opposition to Southern. Forty factors on solely 21 pictures by way of two video games? Absurdly environment nice.
15. Alabama Crimson Tide (2-zero)
Preseason rating: 20
This week: at South Alabama (Tuesday), vs. Jacksonville State (Friday)
the effectively-appreciated line of pondering coming into the season was that Alabama will not hit its stride till Jahvon Quinerly returns from damage, nonetheless the Crimson Tide jumped out of the gates on fireplace. Their win over Liberty was quietly a pair of of the spectacular victories of the season: The Flames gained the ASUN convention three of the final 4 seasons and have star Darius McGhee. however Alabama beat them by 36 on Friday. Freshman Brandon Miller resides as a lot as all of the hype so far too. he is averaging 17.zero factors and 10.5 rebounds, taking pictures 4-for-eleven from three by way of two video games.
sixteen. Virginia Cavaliers (2-zero)
Preseason rating: 18
This week: vs. Northern Iowa (Monday), vs. Baylor (Friday), UCLA or Illinois (Sunday)
The Cavaliers needed a 15-2 second-half run to beat the North Carolina Central Eagles inside the season opener, however then returned to type with a blowout win over Monmouth Hawks. it is a small pattern measurement, nonetheless it does appear to be Armaan Franklin has found his three-level stroke after making simply 29.6% of his makes an try final season. For a crew that shot simply 32.three% from three in 2022-23, taking a step forward in that division is important. ESPN a hundred freshman Isaac McKneely made 4 3s on Friday, and Ohio change Ben Vander Plas went 4-for-7 in two video games. Tony Bennett has selections now.
Dropped out: Villanova Wildcats (No. 12), Tennessee Volunteers (No. thirteen), TCU Horned Frogs (No. sixteen)
inside the ready room
TCU Horned Frogs: Bringing again virtually everyone from final season did not assist TCU hit the underside working. The Horned Frogs needed to get back again from 20 factors all of the method down to beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff after which struggled with Lamar earlier than pulling away inside the second half.
San Diego State Aztecs: San Diego State will undoubtedly decide issues out defensively, however BYU scored seventy five factors on Friday — a quantity solely two teams hit all of final season in opposition to the Aztecs. On the plus side, change additions Darrion Trammell (19.5 PPG) and Jaedon LeDee (17.zero PPG) are including scoring pop.
Dayton Flyers: The Flyers will not be at full energy till Malachi Smith returns, however freshman Mike Sharavjamts is already staking his declare inside the starting lineup. He had 14 factors and 5 assists inside the opener in opposition to Lindenwood Lions, then went for 10 factors in opposition to SMU Mustangs. At full energy, Anthony Grant’s crew is loaded.