College hoops off to thrilling start


Brentton Wharton, staff writer

In the NCAA world, both the men and women have returned to the court for the start of the 2020 basketball season.

There is currently no filed plan for how the NCAA will handle the pandemic during the season. We can only assume that it will be similar to football, rescheduling and cancelling games when necessary.

To this date at least one school has already temporarily shut down basketball operations after three positive tests for Covid-19. Oddly enough it was #1 ranked college in the country, Gonzaga.

Despite a little bit of early season concern there has been absolutely no shortage of great action in the first two weeks, and already there have been some major upsets. The usually dominant Kentucky Wildcats have lost three games in a row, two of them being games anyone would assume they would win.

They were first knocked off by the University of Richmond by a score of 76-64, then they suffered a loss to national standout Kansas 65-62, and lastly Georgia Tech bested UK by 17 points, that score being 79-62. UK in the initial associated press top 25 ranking was the number two team in the country, now they sit at a 1-3 record early in the season.

Over on the womens side of things, preseason favorite South Carolina has not disappointed one bit. They are currently 4-1 with their only loss coming to NC State. This season three of their four wins have come by double digits, and they won a game by a score of 113-38.

Yeah you read that right, they won a game by 75 points. They could lose their next three games by 10 points each, and would probably still have the best point differential in the NCAA by a lot.

As for the early season tournament games, the Champions Classic gave us some very good tune up games, as well as early season home and home series games. Michigan St. — led by former BD standout Aaron Henry — shined, winning the hardest game of anyone this year, beating Duke on their home court.

This is the first time Tom Izzo has won at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Playing at Duke with no Cameron Crazies makes the game less intimidating for any opponent, but it’s still Duke. And the Blue Devils own that building. This was a significant win for the Spartans.

Upset of the season so far has to go to Marquette, who beat number four ranked Wisconsin on a last second floater from Justin Lewis, who showed excellent hustle to put back a missed free throw from D.J. Carton.

So far in the Big Ten Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis has shined for the Hoosiers. He’s currently averaging 21.5 points a game and would probably be the favorite for B1G Player of the Year, if it wasn’t for a guy named Luka Garza who happens to play in the same conference. Speaking of Garza, he is averaging nearly a double double for Iowa — 34 points per game, to go along with 9.7 rebounds per game.

Certainly early there’s a lot of developing stories, and all basketball fans are excited to see the season play out.