On the first weekend of the season, college basketball had to share the limelight with a different revenue sport and a certain game in Tuscaloosa that produced 87 points of its own. Nevertheless, there was certainly no lack of drama or news on the hardwood.
Here are this season’s first hot takes that (I think) I can prove:
Shaka Smart has a program with length, depth, perimeter range … and Luke Yaklich
Texas has had an exceptionally strong recruiting run under Shaka Smart, sending Jarrett Allen, Mo Bamba and Jaxson Hayes into the first round of the NBA draft as one-and-done players over the past three years. That level of talent, however, hasn’t translated into NCAA tournament victories. In fact, the last time the Longhorns walked off an NCAA tournament court as the victors, it was Rick Barnes who was congratulating players such as Isaiah Taylor and Cameron Ridley for defeating Arizona State in the 2014 round of 68.
Then again, that winless streak might end in 2020 if UT’s 70-66 victory Saturday at No. 23 Purdue is any guide. The Horns won in West Lafayette, Indiana, with a mix of old and new elements.