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Twitter Mailbag: Let’s talk Feast Week and Thanksgiving dishes

Who’s ready for daytime basketball and full bellies?

NCAA Basketball: Northeastern at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

There are few things better in this world than daytime college basketball. With the season finally underway and Feast Week getting started, it’s a great time to be a college basketball fan. I’m excited to go back to my hometown, have a couple days off of work and eat all of my parents’ food while I use their cable to watch college basketball.

In past mailbags, we’ve had to rely on purely speculation for the upcoming season. Thankfully, we’ve had a week of games to give us a little taste and we can start to make some observations about the season.

Here are your questions.

I see what you’re trying to do here. You’re trying to bait me into picking a Player of the Year from one of these two schools, which will in turn upset the other and fire up the DISRESPECT cannon. I won’t do it!

There are a lot of really good players in the CAA. Vasa Pusica, Justin Wright-Foreman, Devontae Cacok, Jarelly Brantely, Grant Riller, Nathan Knight, the list goes on and on. Whoever ends up winning the the POY will be a worthy winner. Nice try, Hofstra.

Northeastern looked really, really good against Alabama. Alabama is down this year, but it was a wire to wire win on a neutral floor that was never really all that close. That is certainly nothing to scoff at. The loss to Boston on opening night might keep them from being ranked, but winning the Charleston Classic would presumably give them four top 100 wins already. I think we’re learning what we already knew: the Huskies are really good.

Well NJIT doesn’t play another team in the top 200 of KenPom until [checks notes] Houston on December 29. The upcoming stretch against Wagner, LIU Brooklyn and Drexel will be hard to traverse unscathed. I’d guess it probably comes to an end at one of those.

They’re winning the games they’re supposed to! I wasn’t a huge fan of the Dana Ford hire at the time, but they’ve gotten off to a good start and have done so fairly convincingly. They’re probably still not quite ready to contend in the Valley just yet, but it’s certainly a good start.

Finally something I might actually be somewhat qualified to speak on. As an IUPUI alum and somebody who’s been close to the team the last couple of years, it was great to see them finally break through and get a marquee win against Boston College. I think Jason Gardner is the right guy for the job, and he’s starting to put together a roster that is deep with talent. Making the transition from a conference like the Summit League to the Horizon League can change how you want to build a roster, and I think the Jaguars surprised some people last year with how well they fared in Horizon League play. I think it’s only a matter of time before they’re a consistent contender in the league.

It depends on how you define “run”. If you’re wondering if they can make a run to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Horizon League, the answer is yes. The Norse are, at worst, the second best team in the league, and I don’t think anyone (aside from Wright State fans) would put up a huge fight if you considered them the best. If you’re thinking a run of wins in the NCAA Tournament, that might be a bit of a stretch.

The offense has been, well, underwhelming. They’ve failed to crack 1.00 points per possession in every game this season, which is a little surprising considering how experience this roster is. Starting off the year with three straight road games probably makes it hard to get into much of a rhythm. There are winnable games coming up on the schedule though. It’s not quite time to hit the panic button just yet.

The winners side of the bracket has a couple of mid-majors. Saint Joseph’s will face UCF, while Western Kentucky gets matched up against West Virginia. Both of those are tough tests, but they’re certainly winnable. Saint Joe’s and the Hilltoppers both looked really good in their first round matchups. My #SilverSword2018 pick was Western Kentucky, so I’ll ride with them.

Is anyone good? Right now, it’s hard to look at any team and think, “hey, that team is good”. The most impressive team thus far has probably been Bradley. The league is not necessarily bad though. I think the perception of the league has taken a hit because of the early losses by Loyola Chicago, Illinois State and Southern Illinois. I think all three of those teams will have figured things out by the time conference play rolls around. It’s early. Things will work out.

“No.”

Mashed potatoes covered in gravy. Or mac and cheese. It’s all good.

In our rankings, I’d imagine they stay at No. 3 as long as nothing major happens to Gonzaga or Nevada. In the AP Poll, they’ll probably stick around in the 20s, depending on what happens to teams around them.

Once I’m old enough to host Thanksgiving at my own house, everybody is invited over to eat Big Red.

It’s okay to enjoy when your team wins and not chirp at us for DISRESPECT. We promise it’ll be okay.

This is a question that’s better served for our WCC expert Will Maupin, but give me BYU, Saint Mary’s and San Francisco rounding out the top four after Gonzaga.