Anthony Davis vs. Nerlens Noel, tourney talk
by Nicole Auerbach and Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY
After a bunch of court-storms and even more upsets of ranked teams, we’re back for our weekly college basketball mailbag. We know you missed us.
Let’s dive into this week’s ‘bag:
@afeld8912: Can you remember a college hoops season that lacked a “face” for the game like this one?
Prisbell: This question, frankly, is the defining theme of this unusual season. And, no, I cannot remember a season quite like this in recent history. Some seasons have been defined by great teams, be it 2009 UNC, 2007 Florida, 2005 UNC, 2004 UConn. Some seasons have had great players – Kevin Durant/Greg Oden – or story lines with the players – Adam Morrison/J.J. Redick. This season, we don’t have a great team, don’t have a great player and I’m hesitant to steer fans too hard in one direction or another because you don’t know what turn this particular season will take next. Maybe we wake up to a Gonzaga-Butler final in early April and we say, “OK, this was the season, finally, of the breakthrough for one of these elite programs.” Or maybe (what I am leaning toward) we see an under-the-radar team from a power league (Minnesota, Oregon, Cincinnati) finding itself still playing in early April. Or maybe Kentucky’s kids mature and shock everyone. It will be a fascinating finish, and we are all in the dark about which way it will go.
Auerbach: I do agree with Eric about the lack of a great team, but I’m going to take this question to literally talk about the face/player for the game. I have been having this conversation for a few months now. At first, it was like, ‘Oh, wow, no real dominant freshman like Anthony Davis.’ Then it became, ‘What happened to Cody Zeller?’ And now, it’s the lack of anyone stepping up. Think about the player of the year candidates: Michigan’s Trey Burke, Creighton’s Doug McDermott and Duke’s Mason Plumlee. None of them is super … [For more on Mailbag: Anthony Davis vs. Nerlens Noel, tourney talk, click here.]