UMass has four starters back from 21-12/9-7 team; they’re picked #4 in Atlantic 13 this season. LSU has four starters back from 19-12/9-9 team that was 13th-worst foul shooting team in country (62.5%), but this is their season opener, while Minutemen scored 54 points in second half of 86-73 win over BC Sunday- they made 6-11 behind the arc.
West Virginia won its opener by 15 over Mt St Mary’s; they’ve got lot of new players after LY’s 13-19/6-12 debacle, very un-Huggins-like. You think about new rules against physical play, WV had only 16 fouls in its opener- they beat Virginia Tech 68-67 at home LY. Hokies lost opener by point to SC-Upstate, an awful loss- they were just 9-18 from line.
NC State lost four starters from 24-11/11-7 team that lost in first round of NCAAs to Temple; Wolfpack beat UConn by 4 LY, its only game vs an AAC team. Wolfpack shot 65% inside arc in 98-77 win in its opener vs Appalachian State. Cincinnati has three starters back from 22-12 team that went 4-8 in last 12 games- they won opener by 13 vs NC Central.
Charlotte was 28-35 from line, 2-17 behind arc in 80-75 win over East Tennessee in its opener; 49ers were 4th-worst 3-point shooting team in country LY- three starters are back from LY’s 21-12/8-8 team. Niners are picked #4 in 16-team C-USA. Charleston lost opener at Louisville by 22, but it was only 29-27 at half. Cougars were -18 in turnovers (21-3).
VCU has to be very excited about playing Virginia for first time in this century (’99 last meeting); Rams have three starters back from LY’s 27-9 team that went 12-4 in A-16. VCU crushed Illinois State by 38 Friday, with a eFG% of 62.3. Cavaliers waxed JMU 61-41 in their opener (was 32-14 at half)- UVa has three starters back from LY’s 23-12/11-7 team.
Kentucky beat couple stiff teams by 32-30 to open season; they started four frosh and soph last game- LY’s 21-12/12-6 NIT team didn’t quite cut it by Big Blue standards. Michigan State has four starters back from 27-9 team- they start junior/two seniors, are more mature. Spartans won opener by 42 over McNeese- they only took five foul shots in easy win.
Tennessee has four starters back from 20-13/11-7 team that beat Xavier 51-47 LY after trailing by 10 with 15:08 left; this is Vols’ opener, while Xavier clocked Gardner-Webb 83-59 (41-22 at half)- would’ve been lot worse if they weren’t 22-40 from foul line. Musketeers lost two starters from 17-14/9-7 team, but brought in pair of explosive freshman guards.
Florida has two starters suspended; Gators beat North Florida 77-69 in opener, but were up 19 with 9:28 left. Florida beat Wisconsin 74-56 LY, turning ball over 20 times but shooting 67% inside arc. Badgers won by 11 over St John’s in opener, making 11-23 on arc- they used two subs. Wisconsin PG Gasser played 35:00 in his return from LY’s injury- they have only one scholarship seniors, but also three 4th-year juniors.
Kansas lost all five starters from LY’s 31-6 team, but they’ve got the #1 frosh in America in Wiggins, who had 16 in Jayhawks’ 80-63 win over ULM in opener. Kansas was 27-43 from line, shot 64% inside arc, 7-18 outside it. Duke beat Kansas by 7 on neutral court in last meeting two years ago; Blue Devils beat Davidson by 34 in opener (13-21 on arc).
UNLV got boost from transfer Olekaide (14 pts) in 67-48 win opening win over Portland State, but other than Birch (7-8), Rebels were 6-20 on foul line. UNLV won in double OT at UCSB in last meeting two years ago, after Gauchos won on Strip year before. UCSB returns four starters from LY- new PG Harmon has seven assists in 79-50 opening win.
USC lost Enfield’s debut by 13 at Utah State, forcing only 7 turnovers, making 4-24 from arc; Trojans have three starters back from LY, but are learning totally new style. Reggie Theus is Northridge’s new coach- they have four starters back from 13-17/5-13 team- he played seven guys in Matadors’ opening win, less than CSUN used while pressing in the past. Theus has transfers coming in from the east, but not until next year.
Minnesota lost three starters from LY’s 21-13/8-10 team and also got a new coach; Richard Pitino replaces Tubby Smith. Gophers beat Lehigh 81-62 in opener (37-18 at half)- King had 20 points off bench. Montana graduated star G Cherry but is still picked #2 in Big Sky; this is opener for Griz team that won 93 games the last four years.
Denver runs Princeton offense, is hard to prep for; Cal beat them 72-61 LY, outscoring Pioneers 20-8 on foul line while holding Denver to 37% inside arc. Bears beat Coppin State by 19 in opener; Coppin then went and won at Oregon State Sunday. Denver has two starters back from a 22-10 team; this is its opener, as they prep to play in third league in last three seasons (Sun Belt/WAC/Summit).
— Heat won three of last four games, are 1-3 as home favorites.
— Mavericks are 3-0 as home favorites, winning by 9-12-19 points.
— Golden State is only 4-3, but they’re 2-0 as home favorites, winning by 31-11 points.
— Bucks are 2-3 this season, but covered both games as road dogs.
— Washington is 1-3 on road, losing by 11-10-1 points- they’re 2-1 as a road underdog.
— Pistons lost their last three games by 8-9-6 games.
— Lakers lost five of their last seven games. Pelicans are 1-2 on road; underdogs won all three games.
— Bucks lost six in row vs Miami, all by 11+ points.
— Dallas won last six games vs Washington, but Wizards covered five of last seven series games.
— Golden State won last four games with Detroit; underdogs covered last five series games.
— Lakers lost by 11 in New Orleans Friday, its first loss to Pelicans in last ten meetings; New Orleans lost last five games at the Lakers.
— Five of seven Miami games went over the total.
— Five of six Washington games went over the total.
— Five of last six Detroit games went over the total; four of last five Golden State games stayed under.
— Last three New Orleans games stayed under the total.