Col­lege hoops tip-off:

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - INSIDE - Scott Glee­son

Kansas, Duke, Gon­zaga, SEC look loaded. What will Vil­lanova do for an en­core? Can Vir­ginia re­cover from last sea­son’s pain? Loy­ola (Chicago) seeks to stay a power. A new In­di­ana phe­nom. We hit the top story lines.

USA TO­DAY

The NCAA tour­na­ment is sev­eral months away, but how teams come to­gether (or not) in Novem­ber through Feb­ru­ary paves the way for the bub­ble chat­ter and seed­ing pair­ings that will cap­ti­vate brack­etscrib­bling fans in March. Here’s a look at the top story lines to keep an eye on head­ing into the sea­son tip-off Nov. 6:

Kansas has an ideal mix

In a day and age when ros­ter bal­ance is the ul­ti­mate cur­rency to earn Fi­nal Four tick­ets, the Jay­hawks have the right in­gre­di­ents of vet­er­ans, trans­fers and elite fresh­men to make for a win­ning recipe in 2018-19. Team chem­istry will be a part of that equa­tion.

But if coach Bill Self could get last sea­son’s ros­ter — which saw him turn to walk-ons be­cause the Jay­hawks lacked so much depth and size — play­ing in the last week­end, then this year’s depth and influx of tal­ent should be wel­com­ing.

From an ex­pe­ri­ence stand­point, Udoka Azubuike should flour­ish play­ing along­side other top big men af­ter cor­ralling the paint on his own last sea­son. For­ward Dedric Law­son, a Mem­phis trans­fer who is likely to av­er­age a dou­ble-dou­ble and cre­ate plenty of sec­ond-chance points, has All-Amer­i­can writ­ten all over him.

But the back­court, where Kansas has ex­celled over the past few sea­sons, will be key for this group. Likely one-and­done fresh­man Quentin Grimes

HANEWINCKEL/USA TO­DAY SPORTS CHRISTO­PHER

Be­sides trans­fers, Nevada will count on twin for­wards Caleb (10) and Cody Martin (11). Caleb av­er­aged 18.9 points and Cody 14 last sea­son for the Wolf Pack.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.