Yes, College Basketball Season is Finally HerePosted by Taylor Erickson on November 8th, 2013
College hoops fans everywhere, rejoice. Like Harry and Lloyd finally arriving in Aspen, we’re therrre. The anticipation for college basketball season has been building for the past several months, and we can finally take a deep breath and revel in the fact that the official start has arrived. Gone are the days of exhibition games and the abundance of preseason lists and rankings and speculation. Instead, they’re replaced by games that really count, and storylines that actually matter. Your weekends are about to get a lot more intriguing, and your weeknights a lot less boring. From Ames to Austin, Lubbock to Morgantown, and everywhere in between, the Big 12 is chock full of headlines bound to whet your appetite for action on the hardwood. So kick back, relax, and hear us out with a plethora of reasons on why you should be giddy with excitement for another rendition of college basketball.
- For Kansas State fans, it’s a packed house − the Octagon of Doom − and Sandstorm pumping through the PA system so violently you can’t hear yourself think. And the thought of Bruce Weber pulling a purple blazer out of the wardrobe, similar to the orange one he donned at Illinois. Can Shane Southwell become “the man” in Manhattan? We’ll have to wait and see.
- In Fort Worth, the reminder of one of the biggest upsets in recent college basketball history has you clamoring for an encore performance again this year. An influx of new talent, and Trent Johnson at the helm provides reason to believe the Horned Frogs can make some noise in the Big 12.
- Whether it’s a track suit on game day or a letter sweater on media day, there’s no doubt Bob Huggins in comfortable in his own skin. You can bet though, that experiencing his first losing record in nearly 30 years was anything but comforting. The West Virginia head coach is determined to turn things around this year in Morgantown. Is there enough talent this go-round to make the Mountaineers relevant in conference play?
- In Austin, the coaching seat is certainly feeling warm for Rick Barnes. If the Longhorns struggle out of the gate with a depleted roster, that Texas fan that started the “Saban2014” website might have a new business venture on his hands for the basketball program as well. Saban&Smart2014? Hey, it could happen.
- A future Hall of Fame coach is headed to… West Texas, of all places? That’s correct, Tubby in Lubbock, it has a nice ring to it. While the talent appears to be missing, the Red Raiders will look to harness their inner Alan Voiskul a la 2009. Sorry for the unpleasant reminder, Kansas fans.
- As another year rolls around in college basketball, so too does another talented roster for Scott Drew at Baylor. While it’s easy to discount the lack of conference title contention, we fail to highlight (that’s a Baylor jersey pun) just how consistent the Bears have been in the NCAA Tournament over the last several years (when they’ve made it, of course). Between Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin, there’s plenty to like in Waco this year.
- For Cyclone fans, it’s Hilton Magic in a raucous environment on a Big Monday in mid-February. And another Fred Hoiberg team who’s absolutely lethal from deep. “Transfer U” will be at it again, proving again that it is possible to blend a smorgasbord of talent into a serious threat come March, Big 12 refs be damned.
- Not to be lost in the shuffle, there’s a team in Norman, Oklahoma, looking to build off an NCAA Tournament appearance a year ago. After taking his fifth different team to the Big Dance, is there any reason to doubt Lon Kruger? Gone are the likes of Romero Osby, Steven Pledger and Amath M’Baye, with Buddy Hield and Cameron Clark left to pick up the slack.
- And then there’s some guy named Marcus Smart, who many believe may be the best player in college basketball this season. Travis Ford has a trio of talent at his disposal in Smart, Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash, but can Oklahoma State put it all together to take down Kansas? Gallagher-Iba provides one of the best venues in college basketball, sure to be rockin’ throughout the season.
- And last but not least, there’s a team in Lawrence looking to extend its conference dominance to an unprecedented 10 straight conference titles. Oh, and you may have come across some of the ridiculous preseason hype surrounding super frosh Andrew Wiggins. Will the pressure prove too intense for the teenager this season in the land of Kansas fans? The thought of the infamous “Rock Chalk” echoing throughout historic Allen Fieldhouse keeps Jayhawk fans coming back for more. The expectations for Bill Self and company are once again… National Championship or bust.
So whether you’re a Cyclone enthusiast, a Cowboy die-hard, a member of Baylor nation, or a Rock Chalk fanatic, there’s plenty to have you overly optimistic on this day. College basketball is here once again, and we couldn’t be more excited.