College basketball is one of the best parts of every calendar year. From November to April, I rarely go longer than a few days without watching a game, and that would be the absolute longest I would go. No, it isn’t as great as baseball, but nothing could be. However, there is no better way to spend the winter than sitting on the couch and losing my mind every time the refs decide to hand Kansas a gameIarticles on that are sure to follow, I do not like the officiating in Kansas games) or stare in disbelief at something that whatever hyper-athletic recruit Calipari managed snap does. In short, college basketball is one of the most fun sports to watch, and this year is looking like it could be one of the best
This season seems prepared to be as exciting as any that have come before it. The biggest reason, and the most overplayed at this point in the year, is Duke’s recruiting class. This team is stacked, but Duke being good hardly constitutes any excitement. It isn’t just that they are talented, but its more how they are talented. Firstly, Zion Williamson may be the best dunking 18 year old of all time. Secondly, R.J. Barret is one of the best all around freshman you could imagine. He has the ball skills of a guard with the body of a wing. He can get inside and finish through contact, or shoot over you for three. He already has a very complete offensive game, and he hasn’t even talent the court in an official game yet. Seeing what he does with the talent around him will certainly be as interesting as it is breathtaking.
Secondly, there are two cinderella stories from last season’s tournament who are poised to be better this year. Loyola-Chicago managed to retain the majority of it’s players, so it should be able to repeat as a dominant force in the Missouri Valley that wins a couple games come March. The really exciting team, though, is the Nevada Wolfpack. By managing to bring back both of the Martin twins, they look like they might be a top ten team in the whole country. They probably won’t have a lot of tough games between now and March, but it should still be fun watching them ground their competition to a pulp up until that point.
While there are a lot of interesting recruits left, the last one I want to talk about is the 7 foot 2 center who can shoot. Whether or not Oregon’s freshman Bol Bol will actually pan out as the prospect some think he will remains to be seen, but no matter what, watching him play will be fun. If he really does have control over his jump shot, he might be one of the most dangerous scorers of all time. It should be a given that he can score inside, so it should be cool to watch a seven foot monster dominate either way, but if he can stretch the floor as well, that would be something else entirely. I am already this guy’s biggest fan, and I really hope he ends up being as awesome as people say..
There are a lot of reasons this will be a great year, but these were my favorite. College basketball is a great sport, so it’s always exciting when it starts. Who knows if any of this will actually pan out, and there will certainly be new, more interesting storylines as the season progresses, but I am more excited for the beginning of this year than I can remember being for any prior seasons. It’s shaping up to be great, and I can’t wait to see what happens.