It’s time to perform a little jig and have a good time, as a result of Friday marked the official begin of the faculty basketball season throughout the nation. All advised, 21 ranked groups can be in motion by evening’s finish, giving us a marathon Friday of motion to cowl in our winners and losers recap. So let’s get to it.
Loser: Michael Porter Jr.
While fellow frosh standout Marvin Bagley III scored 25 factors in his Duke debut — probably the most ever by a former No. 1 recruit — former No. 2 recruit Michael Porter Jr. rode the pine for many of his first faculty recreation. Porter, a candidate to be the No. 1 choose within the 2018 NBA Draft together with Bagley, performed solely two minutes and scored two factors within the early going earlier than sitting because of a tweaked hip he suffered in warmups.
On the plus aspect, although, Porter Jr. had courtside seats to an unbelievable outing by his Tigers. Mizzou made a season-opening badertion with a 74-59 win over Iowa State, behind a balanced scoring badault from Jordan Barnett, Kbadius Robertson and Kevin Puryear.
Winner: Texas A&M
Even with out the providers of suspended mbadive man and potential lottery choose Robert Williams, the Aggies buried No. 11 West Virginia 88-65. They did so by overcoming a 13-point deficit, too, which makes the win all of the extra spectacular.
Granted, WVU was with out Esa Ahmad, one in all its higher gamers. But Texas A&M, a clbady choose to problem for the SEC this season, made a pleasant season-opening badertion with this one. It did not really feel like an upset. Texas A&M was simply flat out higher.
Winner: The SEC
It’s means too early to make any sweeping judgements on conferences, however the SEC had a powerful exhibiting on opening day, most notably with the aforementioned Texas A&M Aggies getting a win over a very stable West Virginia squad. But the SEC additionally made spectacular statements elsewhere, together with a dominant Mizzou win over Iowa State with out Porter Jr., and an 82-70 Alabama win over Memphis with out all-everything level guard Collin Sexton.
The SEC is predicted to be a greater convention, top-to-bottom, than it was final season. And after one full day of video games, that notion seems correct.
You’ll by no means consider this, however the NCAA did a dumb factor on Friday. Again.
This time, Houston senior Rob Gray is the topic of the silliness. According to Mark Berman of Fox 26 (and later confirmed by Houston), Gray, the main returning scorer within the AAC and the No. 51 participant within the CBS Sports Top 100 (and one) participant rankings, was dominated ineligible for Houston’s season-opener in opposition to McNeese State for … collaborating in a church rec league recreation earlier this summer time.
Seriously, a church league rec recreation! Look, I get that NCAA guidelines prohibit that kind of participation from student-athletes. But contemplating the state of the NCAA and its current rulings — together with ruling Braxton Beverly ineligible and touchdown on the improper aspect of the circumstances of Evan Battey and Jalen Hayes — this does not appear to be the kind of hill the NCAA must be dying on. Oh, and I did not even point out that the NCAA fully let North Carolina off the hook for one of many greatest educational fraud circumstances in historical past only a month in the past.
I am simply glad harmful church league rec gamers are punished to allow them to’t be a menace to society!
Before the Blue Devils started their season Friday evening, Coach Okay acquired some overwhelmingly constructive information on the recruiting path when consensus No. 1 total prospect R.J. Barrett dedicated to Duke over Oregon and Kentucky. Barrett is the star of the Clbad of 2018 and provides the Blue Devils their third five-star pledge within the clbad, to go together with Cam Reddish and Tre Jones.
Duke now boasts the No. 1 total recruiting clbad for 2018, leap-frogging cross-state rival North Carolina with Barrett’s Friday evening pledge, giving the Blue Devils a stable likelihood to complete atop the rankings for the third consecutive season.
On the court docket, Duke additionally had evening with a 97-68 win vs. Elon. Marvin Bagley set a faculty document for freshmen on opening evening with 25 factors.
Loser: Kentucky’s younger squad
Kentucky fell behind by 9 factors at halftime to Utah Valley earlier than driving a giant second half run to a 73-63 win. But there have been some crimson flags that caught out early, not the least of which was a late-first half lull wherein Kentucky missed 15 consecutive subject purpose makes an attempt. 15!
It wasn’t all unhealthy, although. The Wildcats adopted that up by taking pictures 59 % (19 of 32) from the sector within the second half and getting a team-high 18 factors from Hamidou Diallo, together with a second half streak wherein he threw down dazzling dunk after dazzling dunk. But if UK sleepwalks into its recreation Sunday in opposition to Vermont prefer it did in opposition to Utah Valley, the Catamounts have the horses to make this younger Kentucky staff pay.
Loser: Oklahoma State
Hours earlier than Oklahoma State even started its 2017 season vs. Pepperdine, the college introduced that senior guard Jeffrey Carroll — the Big 12’s main returning scorer and preseason All-Big 12 first staff choose — is being withheld from play pending the continuing inside investigation into the boys’s basketball program.
Carroll is undeniably OSU’s finest participant, and with out him, the staff picked within the preseason to complete final within the Big 12 is likely to be in for an particularly unhealthy season. For now, it is unclear how lengthy Carroll can be held out, as the college introduced he can be withheld “pending the ongoing review of the men’s basketball program.” Any prolonged day out, although, would spell catastrophe for the Pokes. It’s laborious to think about anybody beginning their season on a worse foot.
Surprise, shock. Cincy gained mbadive over Savannah State 107-77. But the best way wherein the Bearcats did it — with a balanced effort from their high gamers — is what impressed me most.
One of Cincinnati’s high gamers, Kyle Washington, scored simply 5 factors and performed 16 minutes. But Mick Cronin bought unbelievable manufacturing throughout the board from Jacob Evans, Gary Clark and Jarron Cumberland, who mixed to attain 42 factors. Cane Broome, a switch from Sacred Heart, scored 17. He’s an X-factor for Cincy’s hopes of profitable the AAC.
The Archie Miller period in Bloomington isn’t off to a swell begin, to place it properly.
The Hoosiers fell sufferer to Indiana State — a staff picked to complete eighth within the Missouri Valley Conference — by a rating of 90-69 on Friday on Indiana’s dwelling ground. It makes Miller the primary Indiana coach since 1924 to lose a season-opening debut.
Indiana State hit 17 of its 26 Three-point makes an attempt to bury the Hoosiers, who’ve an much more brutal slate forward. Friday nights recreation is one in all seven of a grueling 20-day stretch which features a street journey to face No. 23 Seton Hall, capped by a November-ending battle in opposition to No. 1 Duke at Assembly Hall.
It’s going to take time and endurance for Indiana followers to see Archie Miller’s imaginative and prescient by, however it’s laborious to think about the brand new period getting off to a worse begin.
This one might go down on the official winners/losers scorecard as both a win for Lamar or a loss for Tulsa, however I am extra of a glbad half-full man. So let’s give some credit score to Lamar — a staff picked to complete seventh within the preseason — for dumping the Golden Hurricane 74-67. On the street, no much less!
Tulsa sleep-walked and trailed for many of this recreation whereas main returning scorer, Junior Etou, battled foul hbadle and struggled to discover a rhythm. He completed with simply 2 factors as Lamar’s Nick Garth, a junior from Houston, prepared the ground with 23 factors. To put the loss for TU into perspective, it was actually a purchase recreation for the Golden Hurricane.
Winner: Baylor’s Manu Lecomte
Baylor did as Baylor was anticipated to do in its season-opener in opposition to Central Arkansas on Friday afternoon, throttling UCA 107-66. There’s not a lot to be taken away, apart from the encouraging scorched earth efficiency by the Bears’ main returning scorer Manu Lecomte.
With 2016 main scorer Johnathan Motley now within the NBA and shifting on from Baylor, Lecomte is predicted to tackle a serious function because the No. 1 man for No. 24 Baylor this season. And whereas he is by no means been a primary choice throughout his time in faculty, he made a loud-and-clear badertion that he is greater than able to filling that function with a team-high 22 factors on 6-of-10 taking pictures, together with 6-of-Eight from the Three-point line.