College basketball early overreactions: Five takeaways from the first two weeks

We’re two weeks and change into the college basketball season which means we can officially glean some information from the results and data we’ve thus far seen and accumulated. Whether or not all of it is sticky and prescriptive is probably (definitely!) still to be determined, but opinions are nonetheless being shaped on what we know so far and what we think we know so far. So why not put pen to paper and dole out some small-sample overreactions? (So we can, inevitably, look back on this in a few months and see just how right we were.)

Most teams have played four, maybe five games, so a lot of these are subject to change, of course. And teams can and often do change and evolve throughout the season as injured players return, new teams familiarize themselves and young players develop. But . . . sometimes early-season results are more predictive than we lend credence to. And if they are. . . well, that’s going to be a problem for a few teams (and a boon for a few others.)

Let’s jump right in and start with some lows. You can’t spell most of the word “low” without “Louisville,” so the Cardinals are up first.

Lousy Louisville is the worst team in the ACC

It’s been so bad for Louisville this season that I think, so long as we’re doing early-season overreactions, one could reasonably just cut off “in the ACC” from that prediction and roll with Louisville is the worst team. Kenny Payne’s tenure with the Cardinals is off to a miserable start. Missing out on five-star recruit DJ Wagner was just a taste of how things have been on the court. With a 80-54 blowout loss to No. 9 Arkansas in the Maui Invitational on Monday the Cardinals fell to 0-4 on the season, their worst start in more than eight decades (!!). 

On Tuesday it got worse. Louisville had its lowest offensive output in 74 years in a 70-38 loss to No. 21 Texas Tech.  

There are myriad reasons why the Cardinals are not a good basketball team right now, but No. 1 on the list right now is its inability to take care of the ball. Louisville ranked dead last among all major conference programs in assist-to-turnover ratio now with 72 turnovers and 31 assists on the season after a stunning 22 turnovers and four assists against Arkansas.

And what’s next for the 0-5 Cardinals? The schedule does them no favors. Louisville plays in the seventh-place game of the Maui Invitational on Wednesday against Cincinnati then embarks on this challenging schedule:

Nov. 29 No. 23 Maryland
Dec. 4 Miami
Dec. 10 at Florida State
Dec. 14 Western Kentucky
Dec. 17 Florida A&M
Dec. 20 Lipscomb
Dec. 22 at NC State
Dec. 31 at No. 15 Kentucky  

Louisville started 1940-41 with 11 straight losses and has the distinct possibility of being 0-10 this season heading into its home game vs. the Rattlers. But Payne’s debut season is off to a Payne-ful start the Cardinals. 

Villanova not the same without Jay Wright

Put this in the…

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Read More: College basketball early overreactions: Five takeaways from the first two weeks 2022-11-23 04:05:00

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