College Basketball 2017-2018: Early Season Wonders

With being only a week into the 2017 college basketball season, there is more than enough to be excited about especially after a thrilling 2016-2017 tournament that ended with North Carolina winning it all for their sixth NCAA National Championship. With so many good teams and great players, it will be interesting to see what teams as well as players who separate themselves from the field to make a name for themselves.

Obviously every year college basketball’s powerhouses are favorites to win it all (Kentucky, Duke, Kansas), but there are definitely teams who could give these few elite teams a run for their money. Locally, Cincinnati and Xavier both have solid teams and are looking to make a rumble this season. Some projections even have Cincinnati climbing all the way up to the fourth spot in the nation. Another team that people are overlooking is Florida who is currently ranked seventh in the nation. With a roster full of talent, Florida can be more than capable of staying in the top 10 in the country all season long. Doing that could be a challenge though having seven games this season against top 25 teams.

The incoming freshman class has plenty of talent, but a few players stand out above the rest and are definitely looking to make an impact this season. Marvin Bagley from Duke is a five star recruit from Sierra Canyon High School is averaging 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game so far. He is projected to go very high in the 2018 NBA Draft so I expect him to keep up this statline. Another player that also looks to impress would be Hamidou Diallo, the redshirt freshman from the University of Kentucky, a player who originally declared for the 2017 NBA Draft and went to the combine and recorded the highest vertical at 44.5 inches. He ended up opting out of the draft to come back to Kentucky to play a season. Currently he is averaging 12.6 points, 5 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. Diallo is considered to be a lottery pick in the upcoming draft and I expect him to continue to improve his game along with the young core of Kentucky which will improve his stats and make him a valuable asset for the rest of the exciting college basketball season to come.