College Basketball: 20 Random Thoughts & Observations

November 26th, 2008
20 Random Rants, Thoughts, and Observations from the Week in College Basketball by Editor Shawn Siegel:

1 - Jonny Flynn is even better than I ever gave him credit for. He's more than just a speed guy.. he's a money point guard.

2 - Syracuse needs to do some serious work on their ole 2-3 zone. The problem right now is simply personnel. They don't have enough length & height to really cause havoc with their traps.

3 - Damion James (Texas) is up there right now for the Least-Improved Player award.

4 - What's with all the Purdue fans who think their team is the greatest thing since Double Stuffed Oreos?

5 - Blake Griffin has been a monster, but Oklahoma still seems majorly flawed. Willie Warren's putting up decent ppg totals, but needs to become a much more active rebounder, passer, and ball-handler if the Sooners expect to go far.

6 - The Old Spice Classic is loaded. Can't wait for this event.. it puts the Preseason NIT or even Maui to shame.

7 - Bob Knight is getting better as an announcer, but I could still do without him.

8 - Yes, Indiana will stink this year. But Tom Pritchard is a pleasant surprise, he's a legit Big Ten talent, which is more than I expected

9 - Arizona fans better get used to losing. Losing to UAB at home isn't a huge deal, but barely putting away Santa Clara is. The Broncos couldn't even beat FAU.

10 - Get ready to start hearing about Washington State's Klay Thompson. With the way DeRozan and others have struggled, its not even out of the question he could be the Pac-10 ROY.

11 - Back to DeRozan for a sec, he has to be considered a major disappointment so far. 9 ppg wont cut it, especially when you add in his 12 turnovers and just 3 assists. Yes, its early, but I just haven't seen any reason to think he'll be effective in the half-court offense.

12 - On the flip side, Samardo Samuels has been dominant in two blow out wins. 42 points in 50 minutes of play. Louisville plays an extremely soft early schedule so I see no reason why he won't put up big numbers for the next month. He's legit.

13 - Notre Dame needs to hit a couple damn FT's. At least no air balls fellas.

14 - I hyped up VT's Jeff Allen in the off-season as Most Improved Player candidate, and he's made me look good so far averaging 18 and 11 per game. Allen has even more room for improvement left.

15 - I dont think G'Town's Austin Freeman worked out all summer.

16 - Xavier's a very fun team to watch. They have 8 legitimate starting-quality players, and Kenny Frease has serious potential. But yet, they still seem to lack that one go-to guy that will put them over the top. Their depth and athleticism should lead them to an A-10 title, but I don't see a big March run happening this year.

17 - Outside of Drake's surprise season, last year was somewhat of a downer for the MVC. This year looks to be ho hum again, as SIU and Creighton are only okay. Illinois State's off to a nice start but they don't play a good team until January 3rd..

18 - Wright State was supposed to be a contender for the HL title along with Cleveland State and Butler, but the Raiders are 0-3, and coming off a brutal 55-37 home loss to Miami. The team is shooting a hard to imagine 34.8% from the floor.

19 - What are the odds Oregon State loses every game this season against D1 opponents? 50%? 90%?

20 - Anthony Tucker's been a nice find for Iowa. The freshman guard is averaging 16 ppg for a team that desperately needed help scoring the ball. In fact, the Hawkeyes 2nd leading scorer is also a freshman, Matt Gatens. Iowa finally faces a real test this weekend against West Virginia.

- I've been busy getting the pickem game going (why haven't you signed up yet??) and finishing CHN's preseason material, so apologies for the lack of content recently!