SARNIA, Ont. — With the Villanova Wildcats having won the 2018 National Championship, the 2017-18 season is officially in the books.
With that, it’s time to look ahead to the 2018-19 season, and what a season it’s shaping up to be. Yes, it’s only April, but all signs are pointing to yet another exciting college basketball campaign.
Several high-profile stars have graduated from college, while a plethora of others have declared for the 2018 NBA Draft early and have signed with an agent. To make a long story short, the rosters for the 2018-19 season will look considerably different.
With all of the roster changes come a slew of transfer players who have been waiting in the wings, chomping at the bit to leave their mark with their new teams this season. With such a long list of talented players, it was tough to pick just five players who are in prime position to leave a mark this season.
NEW ORLEANS, La. — With the 2017 calendar year coming to an end, teams across the country are rounding out their non-conference schedules and looking towards 2018 and the start of conference play.
On Thursday, the Liberty Flames and the Fort Wayne Mastodons are two of four teams that will take to the hardwood in New Orleans as a part of the 2017 New Orleans Shootout. The Alabama State Hornets and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs square off in the other match-up, with the winners and losers of each respective pairing on Thursday squaring off on Friday to cap off the event.
Both the Flames and the Mastodons come into Thursday on a hot streak, as Liberty has won three straight and Fort Wayne has two straight wins under their belts. They both sit at eight wins on the year, and are looking to put together a strong showing over the two days in New Orleans before breaking for Christmas.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — College basketball is an ever-changing game.
Each season, it seems as though more and more players are looking to transfer to a new program. This year’s list is approaching the 600-mark, and names are still being added to the list with each passing day. Players transfer for varying reasons, most of which we will never truly know why.
With that being said, there are always big name transfers who hit the open market. This season, the likes of Marcus Evans, Dedric Lawson, Khris Lane, and Chase Jeter have all been looking for new homes, among others.
While the big name transfers get the bulk of the attention, many impact transfers fly under the radar. One of those names on this year’s transfer list is guard Marcus DeBerry. After two seasons with the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, the 6’5” guard opted to transfer for his final two seasons of eligibility.
FORT WAYNE, In. — We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. College basketball is a 40-minute game.
Often in college basketball, games are a tale of two halves, One team holds a sizable lead after the opening half, only to see their lead disappear in the second frame. While one can’t help but feel for the team who sees their lead evaporate, it does provide exciting basketball.
On Wednesday night up in Fort Wayne, that’s exactly what happened.
When the Ball State Cardinals took on the Fort Wayne Mastodons in the opening round of the CIT, which was also the inaugural Lou Henson Classic, it was a tale of two halves for both teams.
After the first 20 minutes, the visiting Cardinals held a seven-point lead over the Mastodons, at 41-34. In the second frame, the balanced offensive attack of Fort Wayne took over, and the home side stormed back to continue their winning ways at home.
The newly ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish are now 9-0 on the season after taking care of the Fort Wayne Mastodons Tuesday night, 87-72.
This is the best start under Head Coach Mike Brey, and the 4th best in program history.
The Irish have had an impressive start to the season, winning the Legends Classic after taking down the Northwestern Wildcats and Colorado Buffaloes on consecutive nights, and recently scoring a win over the Iowa Hawkeyes by 14 points.
Sunday marked the first time this season the Irish have been ranked in the AP top 25, coming in at #23.
Fort Wayne proposed an interesting challenge to the red hot Irish, as the Mastodons were 7-2 coming into the game. Their most impressive win came against the then-3rd ranked Indiana Hoosiers.
While it would be hard for the Irish to not look ahead at their matchup Saturday against the #1 ranked Villanova Wildcats, Notre Dame could not afford to take Fort Wayne lightly.
This game seemed to have been over before it started, as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish pummelled the North Carolina A & T Aggies, 107-53.
After a convincing 92-78 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes last Tuesday, the Irish got some rest before welcoming the Aggies to the Purcell Pavilion.
Some may say this game was destined to be a blow out from the start, as North Carolina A&T ranked 348th in points per game nationally, scoring only 58.7 per contest and shooting just above 50% from the free throw line.
The Irish, on the other hand, rank 18th in the country in points per game, scoring 86.6 points per contest, shooting 40% from three-point range, and are second nationally in free throw percentage, shooting 84%.
Notre Dame did not let the Aggies hang around long, scoring more points in the second half than the Aggies did all game.