BOZICH | 12 takeaways from first 12 days of hoops (U of L, UK, I - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | 12 takeaways from first 12 days of hoops (U of L, UK, IU included)

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IPFW celebrated its upset victory over Indiana Tuesday night. IPFW celebrated its upset victory over Indiana Tuesday night.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — We’re only 12 full days into this college basketball season. Some fan bases are reserving rooms for the Final Four. Others are tossing the gravy.

Here are a dandy dozen takeaways from a dozen days of hoops to help you choose sides.

1. Before play began Wednesday, 10 teams ranked in the Associated Press pre-season Top 25 had earned defeats.

The number is a bit misleading. Duke, Michigan State, Kansas and Purdue lost to other Top 25 teams. Some guys schedule as if they have multi-year contracts.

But Oregon burped against Baylor and Georgetown. 

UConn and Texas have lost to everybody.

Indiana lost to IPFW after beating Kansas. (Bonus points to Tom Crean. Going to Fort Wayne was mostly a lose-lose situation. Crean didn’t see it that way — and IPFW coach Jon Coffman thanked Crean for not being a Jim Boeheim wannabe after the game.)

Apparently, parity is still a thing.

2. How shocking was Indiana’s loss to IPFW?

I’d give it a 7 on a 1-to-10 scale.

Yes, the Mastodons have a veteran team with several high-major transfers, making them a trendy pick to win the Summit League. The game was IPFW’s Super Bowl — and they played with the poise and determination of the Patriots.

But IPFW brought road losses to Arkansas and Illinois State into the IU game.

Make that an 8.

3. IU scored 68 after hanging 103 on Kansas? Huh?

Too much pounding the basketball. Too many missed free throws. Too many threes early in the shot clock, especially early in the game. Not enough playing inside out. (Somebody tell the backcourt that Thomas Bryant was on the cover of several pre-season magazines.)

Crean addressed that issue after the game.

Said Crean, “I’m gonna take full responsibility for that, that we didn't move the ball the way we needed to. And I'm gonna get it fixed.”

4. Who’s Louisville’s biggest threat in The Bahamas?

Other than pool time, jet skis and unlimited buffets?

Give me Wichita State and Baylor, not Michigan State.

Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet aren’t walking through that door. I can’t name any of Greg Marshall’s players. But I can tell you the Shockers will defend and minimize silly turnovers. 

Baylor beat Oregon. Michigan State should have lost to Florida Gulf Coast.

The Cards are the pick. But Wichita State is dangerous.

5. Biggest surprise in the Atlantic Coast Conference?

I’ll take Notre Dame.

Seems as if Mike Brey keeps losing his toughest, most talented guys, like Demetrius Jackson and Zach Auguste this season after Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton a season earlier. But they went to Brooklyn and won a four-team event that included Texas, Northwestern and Colorado to improve to 5-0.

As usual, Brey doesn’t have a deep rotation. But his team has shooters and slashers and grit.

6. Most Improved Player: Jaylen Johnson, Louisville.

Three players in the Atlantic Coast Conference are averaging a double-double: Georgia Tech center Ben Lammons (17.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg), Duke forward Amile Jefferson (13.0 ppg, 10 rpg) and Johnson, a junior on Rick Pitino’s club.

It’s early. Let’s see what Johnson does away from the KFC Yum! Center against more rigorous competition. 

But beyond his 15.3 points and 11.3 rebounds, Johnson has played smart, making 70 percent of his field goal attempts. 

7. Signs of life from the SEC: 

Auburn beat Texas Tech.

8. Signs of the same old struggles from the SEC:

Texas A&M lost to USC. Arkansas fell to Minnesota. Valparaiso beat Alabama. Vanderbilt burped against Bucknell. Tennessee slipped against Chattanooga.

I could go on. It's still Kentucky and the 13 dwarfs.

9. Only six Big Ten teams remain unbeaten. 

That list does not include Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue and Michigan State, the four pre-season favorites.

It does include Rutgers, Nebraska and Minnesota.

But you expected that.

10. Game of the Day: Wisconsin vs. North Carolina, championship game, Maui Invitational.

The Badgers have rebounded nicely from a stinging defeat at Creighton last week. North Carolina is punishing everybody in its path. All six Tar Heels’ victories have been by 15 points or more and they’ve scored at least 93 five times.

UNC visits IU next Wednesday for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the same night Purdue comes to Louisville.

Clear your calendar.

11. Whatever happened to Shaqquan Aaron?

USC has won its first four games. Give some credit to Aaron, who left U of L in 2015 after one season. He’s given the Trojans 12.3 points per game, and showing that three-point shot he was supposed to bring to Louisville, making 7 of 18. 

Another sign that Aaron is still in love with his jump shot? He’s got two assists in 102 minutes. I don’t think that is a great ratio.

12. Candidates to join the 1976 unbeaten Indiana team:

Only 57 unbeatens remain.

Make certain you follow Ken Pomeroy on Twitter at @KenPom. He updates that statistic every day.

Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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