Monday seemed to be filled with more bad news than good for teams all across the NCAA.
Maurice Watson, Jr. went down with a knee injury Monday afternoon in the Creighton Bluejays’ win over the Xavier Musketeers. It’s feared that he may have a torn meniscus, and could miss the rest of the 2016-17 season, depending on the severity of the injury.
Two big losses for two teams who could very well contend for a national title this season. While Snider will be back in plenty of time before March, it’ll be interesting to see how both teams adapt moving forwards.
On the West Coast, one team got some good news about their future.
The race for the Mountain West Conference title appeared to be wide open in 2016-17, and the Colorado State Rams had the look of a team who could very well represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament come March.
After Tuesday’s news, the road to the field of 68 just got a lot tougher for the Rams.
Players aren’t the only ones who make their debuts in college basketball each November.
Each season, there are several first time head coaches who realize their dreams of becoming a head coach at the Division I level. Many have paid their dues, whether it be as an assistant coach in the NCAA, or as a head coach at a smaller institution. The journeys are undoubtedly long, but well worth it in the end, when they see the title of ‘Head Men’s Basketball Coach’ after their name.
The start of the 2016-17 season was no exception.
In total, there are 29 coaches across the country who are first-time head coaches in Division I this season. Some have been assistants at larger programs in the country, while others have been head coaches in the junior college ranks.
Regardless of where they came from, they are now head coaches at the top level of collegiate basketball.
The transition hasn’t been easy for every coach, as only nine of the 29 first-time coaches have a winning record through the first five weeks of the year.
The talent level of basketball players coming out of Canada over the past few years has been impressive, and there are no signs of that slowing down any time soon.
Several of the top recruits in the Class of 2017 are from the Great White North. Guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (#29 in ESPN’s Top 100) has committed to the Virginia Tech Hokies, guard Lindell Wigginton (#49) has committed to the Iowa State Cyclones, and forward Christian David (#83) has committed to the Butler Bulldogs.
While the future is bright, the present is also just as bright for the game of basketball in Canada.
The 2016-17 season isn’t even two weeks old yet, but there are several Canadians who have looked impressive in the NCAA. Some are in their first years in Division I, while others are experienced leaders on championship contenders.