What’s Hot and What’s Not in College Basketball

Jason Upton, Sports Editor

Hot: Duke Basketball

It doesn’t get much better than starting the season off with the top three rated high school recruits. RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson, and Cam Reddish were 1, 2, and 3 coming into the 2018-19 season, respectively, and are projected to be the top three picks in the NBA draft as well. Their sky-high expectations were met when they dismantled the number two ranked Kentucky Wildcats 118-84 in the season opener. All three scored at least 20 points. Williamson has captured the attention of everyone in the nation with his crazy high school mix tapes featuring free throw line dunks, 360s, windmills, and incredible posters. Never has a high school player been so highly recognized; social media has blown up over his countless highlight plays in high school.


Not: The Big Ten

A conference that’s very familiar with the top 25, the Big Ten has only three teams in it to start the season. Michigan State at 10, Michigan at 19, and Purdue at 24 are the leading teams for this falling conference. Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Maryland are regular powerhouses that aren’t looking too strong this year. Additionally, there isn’t a strong contender for the Naismith Award for best Division 1 player. Four players from the conference were named in the preseason Naismith Watch List of 50 players, including Ethan Happ of Wisconsin, Romeo Langford of Indiana, Charles Matthews of Michigan, and Cassius Winston of Michigan State.


Hot: Nevada Wolf Pack

A new team to the top 25 scene, Nevada will be coming off of their Cinderella run in March Madness. Carried by brothers Caleb and Cody Martin, and Naismith Watch member Caroline Jordan, the Wolf Pack is making a case to be a top five team. This is by far their best team in the college’s history, reaching their highest ranking ever this season at number six.


Not: Recruiting Scandals

After last season’s FBI investigation rocked the college basketball world, recruiting will be under heavy inspection. 10 were arrested, including an Adidas executive when it was discovered that bribes were given to many high school players. Most notably, the number one draft pick from the 2018 draft, Deandre Ayton, was reportedly offered $100,000 by Arizona’s coach Sean Miller. Now, a dark shadow has been cast over the NCAA, and