Predictions heading into conference play
by Nicole Auerbach and Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports
Happy holidays to all and welcome back to the weekly college hoops mailbag.
Our college basketball reporters Nicole Auerbach and Eric Prisbell are here to keep you up-to-date and to answer your questions each week. Here’s a reminder to send in questions for next week’s mailbag to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
@jameezy9: best team you have seen in person so far?
Auerbach: That’s a tough one, because every time I’ve seen Indiana play, Cody Zeller hasn’t played that well. I saw him play twice in Brooklyn (vs. Georgia and Georgetown) when he was sick and then I saw him be largely ineffective against Butler last weekend. I’ve seen Indiana play very well on TV (the UNC game comes to mind) but not in person – yet. I have seen Duke (vs. Kentucky) and Michigan (vs. Pitt and Kansas State) and both of those teams looked great. The question with Duke throughout the rest of the season will be if the Blue Devils can keep up how well they’ve played through November-December. Are they deep enough? How injured is Curry, really? With the Wolverines, the major story line there has been the freshmen, particularly the pleasant surprise of Nik Stauskas. I think the freshmen will continue to get better and better under John Beilein’s tutelage but you’ve always got to keep an eye on freshmen hitting the proverbial wall in late January/early February. Other teams I’d like to see in person? Louisville (seeing them at the end of the month), Ohio State and Syracuse.
Prisbell: Best team I have seen in person? I’ve actually watched more teams practice than play games thus far, but, without question, the best team I have seen in person was Arizona. I visited Tucson with high expectations and the Wildcats exceeded them. This is a very deep, big team that is bent on proving that last season was a fluke and that Arizona can make a serious run at a national championship. After watching them play and talking to several of the players as well as Sean Miller, I do not doubt them. Another team that impressed me … [For more on College hoops Mailbag: Predictions heading into conference play, click here.]