By: Edward Redler
It’s a new season in college basketball, but the same old faces. In the top ten, one sees the likes of North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, and Michigan State. I know that three of these teams now have early losses, but these teams are and will be the best at seasons end.
One thing that those power four teams all have in common is their hall of fame coaching. As opposed to the professionals in where it is a player’s league, college basketball is thoroughly a coaches. In a season that last three to four months and played by boys aged 18-22, it is critical. That’s why these four teams are always great. Because John Calipari, coach K, Tom Izzo, and Bill Self are always at the helm.
But I don’t think there is a dominant team out there this year. Already the top six teams from the preseason AP poll lost. This should make for competitive basketball throughout the year and an unpredictable NCAA tournament, which is the best kind of NCAA tournament. It’s also worth noting that many of the better players and prospects don’t necessarily play on great teams. Ben Simmons, the consensus top pick in next year’s draft plays for a very mediocre if not good LSU team. Jaylen Brown plays for Cal. as does Ivan Rabb. Dwayne Bacon plays for Florida State. These are just a few examples. So the talent is much dispersed and no team looks head and shoulders above anyone else.
As for here in Columbia. The tigers are off to a promising start led by many fresh faces. The tigers play multiple transfers and freshman that lead the way. They’re 3-3, with their losses coming to undefeated Xavier, one loss Kansas State, and one loss Northwestern. The lone loss for the latter two teams came from preseason number one, North Carolina. So there are signs of hope for the only team in the power six conferences to not win ten games. Kim Anderson is a good coach that will get this program back on track in my mind. He won a championship as a player and as a division two coach, he’s disciplined, and a great leader. He’s the right man to turn around the program. However it is worth mentioning that the tigers also started 7-7 a year ago before finishing on a 2-16 run of incompetence. So be weary. I don’t actually think the tigers will greatly compete this year, 15 wins sounds reasonable. But it’s an encouraging young core led by a proven winner.
This season is already shaping up to be very exciting, unless you enjoy witnessing dominance. However, the same core of teams will be contending for the championship once again while many less prestigious, yet talented, teams will be on their heels on season. And watch for the growth of the Missouri squad to determine the potential in the coming years.