And perhaps the most noteworthy potential absence | Forum

Topic location: Forum home » General » General Chat
smithlucky Nov 13 '17
to keep an eye on? Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr., one of the early candidates for the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA draft. He played just two minutes against Iowa State due to a hip injury, with Cuonzo Martin telling ESPN’s Myron Medcalf it was a "precaution" to hold him out. (Limited Nike Men's Mike Gillislee Green Jersey) New England Patriots #35 NFL Salute to Service Tank TopMissouri needs Porter to return soon -- and with all the other stars missing in action, so does college basketball. The big boys looked good (even if Kentucky took awhile to get there) Friday wasn't the night if you were looking for big-time upsets. Each of the top-10 teams in the preseason AP poll won by double figures, with six of them winning by at least 25 points. Duke rolled over Elon, led by Marvin Bagley, whom we'll get to more in a minute. The best sign for the Blue Devils? Trevon Duval had eight assists and zero turnovers. Michigan State had five guys in double figures -- including player of the year favorite Miles Bridges with 20 and 10 -- against North Florida, while Allonzo Trier’s 32 points led Arizona against Northern Arizona. Kansas beat Tennessee State by 36 and Wichita State took down UMKC by 52. Landry Shamet scoring 17 points after missing most of the offseason with an injury was key for the Shockers. Kentucky started awfully slow against Utah Valley, and was down by nine at halftime before scoring 48 points in the second half en route to a 73-63 win. That shouldn't come as a huge surprise, as John Calipari spoke all preseason about how this team was a work in progress, especially defensively. The Wildcats will have to be much better against Kansas on Tuesday. But two things to note: Kentucky played a lot of zone on Friday and with its length, that could be an option for Calipari moving forward; also, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played 36 minutes and seems to have beaten out five-star recruit Quade Green for the point guard job. Welcome to college basketball The top of the incoming freshman class is elite, and Friday did nothing to disprove that notion. Duke's Bagley went for 25 points and 10 rebounds in his debut, setting a Duke record for points by a freshman in the season opener. It was also the most points by a No. 1 overall recruit in his first career game, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Arizona's DeAndre Ayton had 20 points and 10 rebounds to start his career, throwing in two blocks on the defensive end, while Texas center Mohamed Bamba finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and four Andrew Ference Jersey blocks. Throw in a healthy Porter, and that's going to be a terrific four-way battle all season. The sleeper for NBA scouts is Michigan State's Jaren Jackson, and he went for 13 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and four blocks on Friday -- despite making just two shots from the field. Texas A&M makes statement against West Virginia The marquee game on Friday, and the lone game between Top 25 teams, was West Virginia's battle against Texas A&M in China. After West Virginia opened up a 13-point first-half lead, it was all Texas A&M, as the Aggies ended up cruising to an Andrew Ference Jersey 88-65 win. Remember, Texas A&M's likely starting point guard, J.J. Caldwell, is suspended for five games, and projected lottery pick Robert Williams is out for three games. No one would have been surprised if the Aggies were run ragged by Press Virginia. But T.J. Starks and Duane Wilson filled in admirably at the point guard spot, while veterans Tyler Davis, Admon Gilder and D.J. Hogg led the way. But the performance was concerning for West Virginia. The Mountaineers simply couldn’t score once A&M figured out how to beat their pressure. It’s not the first time West Virginia has had that problem, as the Mountaineers have consistently been at their best when dominating the offensive glass or creating offense with their press. But Davis helped limit West Virginia to just 12 second-chance points, and the Mountaineers had only 17 points off turnovers. Outside of a West Virginia flurry at the start of both halves, A&M had success beating the press. Esa Ahmad is out the entire first semester, and the Mountaineers will have to find the half-court scorers to step up in his place. Fortunately, they have several games to figure it out, as they don’t play Virginia until Dec. 5.