Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Chris Webber, Ray Jackson and Jimmy King are proud today, Michigan fans.
For the first time since the last season they were all together, Michigan is ranked as the no. 1 team in the nation, in The Associated Press poll. It’s the first time the team has seen the top spot in the polls since 1993, when the (second) Fab Five got all the way to the national title game for the second straight season.
Kansas took the top spot in the ESPN/USA Today TOp 25 Coaches Poll, plucking 16 first place votes to Michigan’s 14.
The Wolverines, who receive 51 of a possible 65 first place votes, definitely look the part. Trey Burke is one of the best — well, maybe THE best — guards in America when it comes to being able to both distribute and score (17.9 points and 7.1 assists per game). He’s got a solid cast of scoring threats around him in Tim Hardaway, Jr., Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III.
It’s definitely ironic considering many are saying this is the best Michigan team since the days of three future NBA All-Stars and two Final Fours.
A major factor in this is that a number of Top 10 teams lost, but Michigan has been one of the more consistent teams season.
Can they hold onto the top spot? And for how long? If they can last a week, it’ll be longer than the last two no. 1’s in Duke and Louisville.
David Harten is the founder of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.
While there have been some alterations made to North Carolina’s basketball uniforms over the years, there haven’t been too many drastic shifts. Of course there was the move to the Alexander Julian-designed argyle print during the 1990’s, and there were also those jerseys in 1999 that had the interlocking “NC” logo as opposed to “North Carolina” on the front.
Friday the program announced a major uniform change for its game against UCLA December 19 in Brooklyn. North Carolina will be wearing black jerseys for the first time in school history. Senior guard Marcus Paige showed off the new look to his teammates, and it’s safe to say that they’re happy with the new uniforms.
Traditionalists probably won’t like the uniforms, and that’s fine. Changes such as these tend to focus more on the younger crowd (especially recruits), which in some instances like the status that can come with having something that’s both new and exclusive.
Two-time defending Big East champion Villanova will be down a man in its front court, as the program announced Friday that freshman forward Tim Delaney will undergo hip surgery. According to the release a torn labrum in Delaney’s left hip is the reason for the surgery, and it has yet to be determined how long the freshman will be sidelined.
“I’m disappointed for Tim,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “Tim had a great summer and preseason. He’s a very coachable young man and was picking up everything we do. The good news is that the doctors tell us this is an injury that can be fixed and we know Tim will be fully committed to his rehab.”
Villanova’s front court rotation will be led by senior Daniel Ochefu, who averaged 9.2 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game in 2014-15. Junior Darryl Reynolds and sophomore Kris Jenkins will also see minutes in the front court, with redshirt freshman guard/forward Mikal Bridges factoring into the competition as well.
Villanova also has Fordham transfer Eric Paschall, but he isn’t eligible to compete in games this season.