What did we learn from Feast Week?
Through all the games that were played during the week of Thanksgiving, here’s ten things we learned about the scene of college basketball moving forward.
- Duke is better than advertised and is tough to put away. The Blue Devils trailed in the second half of all three games they played in the PK80. Marvin Bagley scored 82 points and grabbed 45 rebounds in just three games and could very well be the best player in college basketball come March.
- Although the Gators failed to put away Duke down the stretch, Florida can out-shoot any team in the country. If the Gators can figure it out on defense, they will be a tough out in March.
- Michigan State is deep. The Spartans did not miss a beat as Miles Bridges was limited in the first two games of the PK80 due to an ankle injury. Michigan State will need to limit its turnovers if they want to win another championship come March.
- Notre Dame won the Maui Jim Maui Invitational in comeback fashion over Wichita State. The Fighting Irish led by Pre-Season All-American Bonzie Colson and point guard Matt Farrell are equipped with shooters and have depth and experience to surprise some people moving forward. Look for TJ Gibbs to be an X-factor for the Irish.
- Wichita State could not hold on to beat Notre Dame, but the Shockers are loaded with talent at all positions. They can shoot and score inside. Landry Shamet is one of the top point guards in the country and once they get Markis McDuffie back from injury, the Shockers will be poised for a deep run in March.
- Playing in the Big East, Villanova lacks the opportunities to play in marquee match-ups late in the season. With the disappointing performances by Purdue and Arizona in the Bahamas, rather than coming home with a championship and two signature wins, Villanova had to settle for just the Battle 4 Atlantis trophy. The duo of Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges can play with anyone in the country.
- Although the Aggies did not play in a holiday tournament this year, Texas A&M got Robert Williams back from suspension and dismantled #10 USC on the road on Sunday. The Aggies are poised to be in the mix for an SEC title this season, a spot that is more open this year than it has been in recent memory.
- The Baylor Bears won the Hall of Fame Classic, defeating Wisconsin and Creighton along the way. Miami transfer Manu Lecomte leads the team averaging 19 points per game. Baylor could be a sleeper in the Big Twelve this year.
- The story of the week may have been that Alabama only lost to a tough Minnesota team by five after a fight, a player fouling out, and an injury caused the Crimson Tide to finish the game with only three player on the court. Freshman Collin Sexton scored 40 in the defeat and is averaging 25 points per game. Alabama could sneak up on some people and could be a dark horse in the SEC this year.
- You heard it here first. I AM DONE PICKING ARIZONA TO WIN ANYTHING. The (at the time) second-ranked Wildcats were absolutely dreadful at the Battle 4 Atlantis as they finished in dead last. Allonzo Trier and Deandre Ayton have no help. The Wildcats have a lot of work to do if they want to turn their season around and live up to all the hype.
With one of the best early season slates we’ve seen in a while, we were able to learn a lot about the nation’s top teams, teams that could surprise us, and teams that may disappoint. I am excited for the college basketball season to continue moving forward.