The NBA Draft is in the rearview mirror, and that unofficially represents the halfway point of the offseason. If you look at the college basketball calendar, you can rationalize it as the midway point, so we’re going to go with it.
Aside from schedule releases and Jon Rothstein’s Annual Palpable Buzz Road Trip, college basketball news is few and far between. So, in order to pass the time, we’re going to try to answer the offseason’s most pressing questions.
Every Friday (hopefully, as we have real jobs and are lazy), we’ll tackle five questions from the college basketball world. These may be questions from our loyal readers and followers, or they could be questions we just come up with ourselves. Who knows! Anyways, here’s the debut of Five Question Friday.
Is Charles Bassey going to be Mitchell Robinson 2.0?
Western Kentucky fans, you might want to look away. Earlier this week, Charles Bassey’s prep school president gave a quote that should have Hilltopper fans slightly nervous. In a report from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, here’s what the president had to say regarding Bassey:
“I don’t think [Bassey] has a diploma from DeSales,” said McClendon.
“That doesn’t mean he has not gone to summer school or some other way,” McClendon said. “I don’t have that information.”
Not great! Now, this doesn’t mean that Bassey is going to be ineligible next year. Things are always a little bit chaotic when a prospect reclassifies. But after the turmoil that the Mitchell Robinson saga brought to the program last year, it would be a painful blow to lose a prized recruit for the second straight year. I think that it gets worked out, but Hilltopper fans should proceed with caution.
What is going on at Chicago State?
As of now, James Farr is listed as the associate head coach on Chicago State’s athletics website. According to a report by CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander, Chicago State is one of four schools that will have an interim head coach going into the season. That doesn’t instill much optimism for a program that has been among the worst in the entire country. Will Farr turn this into a full-time hire? Will Chicago State find any semblance of success? Will they change their mind and hire Mark Titus? Farr is probably the one to bet on getting the job in the end.
Who are the best transfers on the market?
Roughly 97.8 percent* of college basketball roster spots are finalized, but there’s still a few stragglers on the transfer market who could be nice additions to a program. Among those are guys like Geno Crandall, Ehab Amin, Zane Martin and Demontrae Jefferson. Some of those are immediately eligible, and some will have to sit out a year before taking the court for their new program. Regardless of where these players end up going, college basketball Twitter will deem them all as Good Gets, Nice Fits and Great Pickups with high potential no matter what.
*sure, why not?
Can Saint Louis put it all together this year?
On paper, Saint Louis might be the most talented team in the Atlantic 10. They bring back guys like Tramaine Isabell, Javon Bess and Jordan Goodwin while adding in talented pieces in Dion Wiley and Carte’Are Gordon. This will be the best team Travis Ford has had at Saint Louis. A .500 finish last year showed the flashes, but this year, Saint Louis could be the preseason favorite in what looks to be a bit of a down year in the A-10. That’s going to put a lot of pressure on the Bilikens to reach their potential. I’ve been buying stock in the Bilikens’ talent since last season, so put me in the camp as being a believer in them this year.
Nevada or Gonzaga?
This will probably be the debate that dominates our mid-major (we’re not doing the GONZAGA ISN’T A MID-MAJOR thing today) world for much of the season. Both teams are uber talented, and will enter the season in the top 10 nationally. Do you prefer the dominant frontline of Gonzaga and their status as the gold standard of mid-major basketball? Or do you prefer the depth and versatility of Nevada’s up-and-coming giant? It’s going to be fun to watch both of these teams all season. As for myself, I’m all in on Nevada. I’ve been driving the Eric Musselman bandwagon for almost three seasons now and I have no plans of stopping.