Getting Everyone Caught up on the College Hoops Season + Top-25 Rankings


There will be a percentage of people reading this blog for the first time. Welcome you college football fans who want to get into college hoops. It’s been a helluva season and we’ll make sure to get you caught up here on what you need to know.

Consider this the refresher course for those die hard football fans who only turn the channel to hoops once Alabama wins another championship. We’ll cover teams you need to know about, what players are making names for themselves and news around the game that will get you up to date.

Good news is there’s a great slate of games on tonight. You’ll have your choice of Kanas/West Virginia, Miami/Virginia, Dayton/Davidson, Maryland/Michigan among others. Sit back and enjoy it, college hoops season is officially here for everyone.

If you need anything else make sure to follow me @barstoolreags for all your college hoops talk.

Parity in College Hoops

This is the buzzword you’ll hear all season. After last year where you had great teams like Kentucky, Duke and Wisconsin, this year we simply don’t have that. You can look at any top team and find a glaring weakness that you just couldn’t do last year. That’s why we’ve already seen four teams ranked No. 1 this year (UNC, Kentucky, Michigan State and Kansas). Kansas will lose at some point, so that number is guaranteed to hit 5, but don’t be surprised to see as many as 8 teams get No. 1 next to its name.

Injuries Galore

This season has been marred with injuries to big name players. North Carolina’s star Marcus Paige missed the first month of the season with a fractured finger only to then lose starting big guy Kennedy Meeks for 2 weeks. Texas lost starting center Cam Ridley. Michigan State lost Player of the Year candidate Denzel Valentine for a couple of weeks. Xavier has been without starting point guard Edmond Sumner since an ugly fall made him leave the Villanova game on a stretcher. Over at Michigan, All-American candidate Caris LeVert can’t seem to stay healthy with a leg injury that’s had him miss the last couple of games. Arizona has possibly gotten the worst of the injury bug with starting center Kaleb Tarczewski forced to miss about 5 weeks earlier in the year. Before the season big-time recruit Ray Smith tore his ACL. Elliot Pitts is out for ‘personal’ reasons. Now, Allonzo Trier, who was making a case for All-Pac 12 is out for 4-6 weeks with a hand injury. UConn has lost its starting center Amida Brimah for almost two months thanks to a finger injury. There’s plenty others, but this just shows how beat up big name guys are this year and we’re only starting conference play.

Highly-Ranked Teams Struggling

Looking back on preseason rankings there are a handful of top-10 teams that don’t look the part right now. Who are they?

Virginia – Ranked preseason No. 6 and even received a first place vote, the Cavaliers have some of the ugliest losses this season for top teams. They look like a subpar team at best when playing on the road, with losses to George Washington, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. Woof. Malcolm Brogdon needs some help during those losses.

Kentucky – The No. 2 in the preseason is suffering from an identity crisis. The team is trying to figure out what they are offensively and right now it’s just ugly. Tyler Ulis is one of the top 3 point guards in the country, but without a couple of shooters around him, his drive and kick game is struggling. Not to mention freshman sensation Skal Labissiere has looked completely lost out there.

Gonzaga – The Bulldogs were preseason No. 9 with high expectations thanks to Player of the Year candidate Kyle Wiltjer. However, a young backcourt and injury to defensive big guy Przemek Karnowski has caused them to lose three games this year.

Wichita State – Remember when people touted this team as arguably the best in the country? They were preseason No. 10 and everyone thought this was the best team Gregg Marshall ever had at Wichita. Well, Fred VanVleet missed some time and all that did was show Ron Baker might not be as talented as everyone thought. The Shockers will still make the NCAA Tournament, but they aren’t sniffing the top-10.

The SMU Fiasco

When you look at the rankings you’ll see SMU around the top-10 right now. You’ll see the Mustangs are 15-0 and then you’ll wonder where they are come the NCAA Tournament. Well, thanks to Larry Brown the Mustangs aren’t eligible because of an academic scandal regarding Keith Frazier. Well, Frazier just left the team a couple weeks ago and now this is causing everyone to say SMU should be eligible for the Tournament since the player in question is gone. I hope they go undefeated and ruin the NCAA.  But, fuck Larry Brown.

Player of the Year Race

Before the season started everyone assumed it was Kris Dunn and then anyone else. Now, Dunn is still part of the conversation and one of the likely favorites to win the award, but you can make a case for about five players. I give out my Player of the Year rankings each Monday, so here are mine for this week:

1) Buddy Hield (Oklahoma)

2) Kris Dunn (Providence)

3) Melo Trimble (Maryland)

4) Denzel Valentine (Michigan State)

5) Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa)

Barstool Reags Top 25

  1. Kansas
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Maryland
  4. Michigan State
  5. Villanova
  6. UNC
  7. Xavier
  8. SMU
  9. Duke
  10. Miami
  11. West Virginia
  12. Kentucky
  13. Providence
  14. Iowa
  15. Texas A&M
  16. South Carolina
  17. Iowa State
  18. Virginia
  19. Arizona
  20. Baylor
  21. Pittsburgh
  22. Butler
  23. Gonzaga
  24. Louisville
  25. USC