Saturday, November 18, 2006

What’s Going on with the Majors???

What’s the deal with all the early season upsets? Your answer…you guessed it, parity. With the new rule within the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement regarding NBA eligibility, we are now seeing the best of the best freshman enter college for at least one year (and it’s argued that this years class may be the best of all-time). Also adding to the parity is the fact that there is no longer an intimidation factor between mid-major players/teams and high major, thanks in part to several factors: 1) All of the incoming freshman know each other from playing against one another in AAU so they enter college knowing who is legitimately good and who is over-hyped; 2) The George Mason factor – having beaten the likes of Michigan State, North Carolina AND Connecticut to the get the Final Four gave hope to all of the potential Cinderalla’s from the mid-major conferences.

With that said, here are some of the early season upsets:

- Oral Roberts over Kansas
- Vermont over Boston College
- Northern Arizona over Arizona State
- Air Force over Stanford
- Butler over Indiana
- Western Kentucky over Georgia (coach Dennis Felton’s old alma mater)
- Southern Utah over Utah
- North Texas over Charlotte
- Bradley over DePaul (there must have been extensive Jerry Wainwright face!)
- NJIT over Manhattan (to a lesser extent, however this is NJIT’s first year in Division I!!!)

Other Observations of note (based on east coast televised games):

- So far Texas combo forward, Kevin Durant, is living up to the Hype (through the first 3 games he’s averaging 20.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.7 blocks just tossed in another 29 points and 10 boards in a win over St. Johns on Thursday night)

- Without heralded freshman center, Greg Oden, Ohio States other diaper dandies (Mike Conley, Daequan Cook) are leading the way

- Michigan State freshman, Raymar Morgan, is big time and has put his stamp on future stardom

- St. Johns BLOWS – It’s sad when an opposing player scores more than your entire team! (Maryland forward, Kenny Ibekwe, outscored SJU in the first half 22-21)

- Center Roy Hibbert and combo forward Jeff Green can take the Hoyas to the promise land
Rutgers basketball not faring as well as their gridiron counterparts – on Wednesday night they shot an astounding 19.1% from the floor (making a total of 9 field goals)

- Arizona freshman forward, Chase Budinger, hit for 32 in Arizona's win over Northern Arizona, the high flying carrot top is the real deal

- The primary inside option for the Louisville Cardinals is highly touted freshman center, Derrick Caracter – the big guy traded-in triple bacon cheeseburgers from The King for a treadmill over the summer and it has paid off thus far

- 5 foot 6 inch Oregan point guard, Tajuan Porter, starts his Duck career by averaging 31 points through three games. I guess the recruiting guru’s missed the mark on this kid!


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