Picking teams to write about can sometimes be random. Sometimes a player stands out, sometimes there’s just something strange about the team.
So far this season, I talked at length about four teams. For each, they either had a slight drop off or cooled off a bit since I first examined them.
Are they cursed? Probably not. Should there be concern? Maybe
Will we look at my picks? Let’s do it:
I liked North Florida’s style. They were one of the leading three point shooters in the nation coming into conference play, and I liked the look of the team for the future because of their past successes.
Since writing about the team on Jan. 6 though, the team has gone 5-5 and is middling despite not getting away from its hot shooting start.
They are second in the nation in three point makes (304) and fourth (818) in attempts, but 82nd in three-point percentage ( 37.2 percent ).
That’s still good, but the team is wasting its chances with turnovers. Currently they are 347th in the nation with 418 turnovers.
The team still projects as a dark horse in the Atlantic Sun tournament, but I’m less confident they will succeed. If they can avoid those turnovers that have kept them so held back, that will be their only chance to succeed.
I liked UT-Arlington because of their hot passing guard Erick Neal. The guard was third in the nation with 8.2 assists per game and led one of the most pass-happy teams in Division I.
Since my article about them on Jan. 10, the Mavericks have gone 5-4. That’s good in what has been a solid Sun Belt Conference slate so far.
Neal’s production has dropped to 7.2 APG, but he is still tied for fifth in Division I. The team is 38th in division I with 421 assists as well.
This is one of the best-faring teams after my prediction. If the team can keep spreading the ball to its four double-digit scorers.
Nevada was ranked when I wrote about them, now they’re not. Hooray for instant impact.
The Wolfpack are still doing just fine, but I cursed their bid at an undefeated conference record. The day after I wrote about them, they lost to Wyoming.
All jokes aside about my curse, it would probably have been very hard to go undefeated in conference play.
Since that point, the team has gone 3-1, with only a loss to UNLV smudging their performance at that point.
Nevada is still very much the most likely Mountain West Tournament champion (dammit, I jinxed them again). The team is 26th in the nation with 82.9 points per game and they don’t turn over the ball a lot, having the 15th least in the nation (272).
Of the four mentioned, this is my lock for an NCAA Tournament bid.
I picked Buffalo because they looked good and were one of the best teams in the Mid-American besides Ball State. They are another team that loves to shoot three-pointers (I have a type for teams, I guess) and score a lot because of it.
After writing about them on Feb. 4, the team is 2-1. It’s too early to see if I cursed them, so it’s hard to make a judgment.
They are still in the national top 25 in scoring with 83.7 points per game. Their two-point percent has also stayed mostly the same, with the Bulls shooting 54.3 percent (50th).
One thing to note about them is both their losses came by three or less points. They for the most part have handled their business, but with their closest games in the past five being losses, they need to clear up that problem.