Hoopaholics Gazette: Sorting through the Opening Daze

Given that college football is falling apart at an alarming, if not surprising accelerated pace, I’ve been stuffing myself with more hoops than Turkey Day fixins. Just in case, it follows suit.

No Dickie V. No problem.

Games tipping at 11:00 AM. Bring it.

The most surprising aspect of that early morning tilt was that noted Hall of Fame late night tippler Bill Raftery was doing color. And was lucid at that early hour, his usual too cute self.

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The major takeaway thus far: Gonzaga is way ahead of every other team in the land. Way way way ahead.

Haven’t seen Baylor yet. Because, you know, they haven’t taken to the hardwood as I write, but they’re going to have to show me a lot to be considered in the same sentence as the Zags. At least for now.

They meet, COVID allowing, on December 5.

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The most pleasant surprise, the who-is-this-guy-? none of has heard of: Ohio Bobcat Jason Preston.

Despite scraggly goatee-ish chin hair and an attempted ‘stache, the baby faced kid looks like he should be starting for your daughter’s middle school team.

Yet there he was going toe to toe, belly to belly, tally for tally with my favorite collegiate baller, Illinois’s Ayo Dosunmu. The Illini hung on for a hard fought 77-75 W.

Dosunmu’s numbers: 25/7/8.

Preston’s numbers: 31/6/8. And while handling the rock 80% of the time when it was the Bobcat’s ball, No Turnovers. He backed his All-America counterpart down into the paint for a turnaround score at seven seconds, but the Green just couldn’t hang on.

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Lance Thomas — Remember him Cardinal fans? — is still playing for Memphis State.

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When I heard the kid’s name during a Saint Mary’s game I had to check the roster for the spelling.

Kuhse. Not Cousy. Sigh.

You old schoolers will know why I looked it up.

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Western Kentucky is legit. Dayvion McKnight can ball.

Tuesday’s game with Louisville will be a test for both squads.

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Sam Hauser was just as scary in UVa’s opener, as ACC fans feared he would be.

But he missed an open trey at the buzzer, when the Cavaliers were upset by the San Francisco Dons next time out.

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Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic is the best commercial tie-in to a collegiate sporting event since Poulan Weedeaters Independence Bowl.

Divisive Dan Dakich. Perfect guy to do color for that bubble.

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No Dickie V.

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Pitt and Georgia Tech lost their openers to Georgia State and St. Francis (Pa).

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Okie State’s Cade Cunningham is getting all the freshman pre-season buzz. But he’s going to have to show me something to prove he’s better than Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs.

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My Louisville Cardinals are 2-0. Sweet.

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13 games to be NCAA eligible.

Or, so some announcer said. Maybe Dakich.

Let’s hope schools get in a lot more than that.

— c d kaplan