The 2015-16 college basketball regular season is finally here, and what an opening weekend we had! There were plenty of upsets, overtime contests, and a ton of must-see team and individual performances. If this is any indication, we are in for one heck of a season.
Each day, we will hand out some awards for the top three individual performances from the night before. The first Sunday of the season didn’t have as much excitement as the first two days of the year, but it still had its fair share of big performances as some teams were looking for their first win of the campaign..
Here are the top three individual performances for Sunday, November 15th!
The Texas A&M Aggies are coming off a 21 – 12 record in 2014-15, which included an 11 – 7 record in the SEC. They advanced to the 2nd Round of the NIT, providing the team with a small sample of the pressure that they will experience in post-season play moving forwards.
With the success of the program fresh in the minds of potential recruits, the Aggies brought in one of the nation’s top recruiting classes in advance of the 2015-16 season.
Centers Tyler Davis and Elijah Thomas committed to Texas A&M, along with small forward D.J. Hogg and shooting guard Admon Gilder. Add in returning stars like Danuel House, Alex Caruso, and others, and the Aggies have a ton of talent on the roster.
The problem with that is that there are only so many slots on a roster, meaning changes were inevitable for the program.
In late-July, a change came to the forefront, as Peyton Allen opted to transfer from the program after just one year.
After a short time on the transfer market, the shooting guard found his new home after just one visit to the school.
Every off-season provides its own list of unique story lines and changes across the NCAA landscape. From players transferring to new schools, to programs constantly looking for new head coaches, the landscape of NCAA basketball is constantly changing.
The coaching carousel, as it is commonly referred to amongst the basketball community, sees a large number of coaches constantly looking for new jobs year in and year out. While it’s tough to predict how things will play out in the off-season following the 2015-16 season, it’s a safe bet that there will be a few high-profile job openings up for grabs.
In the past few years, power programs are turning their attention to mid-major programs for their new head coaches. This past off-season, Bobby Hurley left his job at Buffalo for Arizona State, capitalizing on leading the Bulls to the NCAA Tournament. Iowa State tabbed former Murray State bench boss Steve Prohm as their new head coach, replacing Fred Hoiberg who made the leap to the NBA.
Mid-major schools have talented coaches who are more than capable of making the leap to the big-time, and power programs are starting to use their “star power” to their advantage.
When the off-season began, it was unclear as to what the Wichita State Shockers would look like next season. Both Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker were rumoured to be heading to the NBA Draft, and the likes of Darius Carter were graduating.
VanVleet and Baker both opted to return to Wichita State for their senior seasons, giving the Shockers one of the best back court duos in the country. Their decisions to return also made the Shockers the pre-season favourite in the Missouri Valley Conference.
On Friday afternoon, the outlook for the Shockers in 2015-16 got even brighter.
The 2014-15 season was one to forget for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Minnesota finished the year with a 6 – 12 record in Big Ten play, and Richard Pitino’s squad missed out on a post-season appearance after there was a ton of positive optimism surrounding the program.
Despite the rough go last season, people around the NCAA still believe that the Golden Gophers are on the rise, and one of those people is former Illinois State center Reggie Lynch. The big man transferred from the Redbirds, stating that he wanted to be closer to home. With that, Lynch enrolled at Minnesota, and will be a big boost for the Gophers in 2016-17, when he is eligible. Continue reading Reggie Lynch Transfers to Minnesota→
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