Every year, we expect Saint Mary’s to finally drop off, to come back down to earth. I mean, there’s only so many times that a team can lose their star — their most important player, the guy that the entire team is built around — before the program eventually has to enter rebuilding mode.
It didn’t happen when Omar Samhan graduated. It didn’t happen when Mickey McConnell graduated. Will it happen now that Matthew Dellavedova has graduated?
At this point?
The Gaels picked up their third notable win early in the season as they knocked off North Dakota State 78-65 on Thursday night. That came on the heels of wins over Akron and Louisiana Tech. Now I know what you’re thinking: why should I be impressed with wins over North Dakota State, Akron and Louisiana Tech? Is the fact that they are a favorite to win the Summit, the MAC and Conference USA this season enough of a reason?
Big man Brad Waldow continued his terrific start to the year by going for 18 points, 10 boards, five assists and three blocks, while Stephen Holt — who entered the game averaging 16.0 points, 6.5 assists and 5.5 boards — went 1-for-7 from the field but notched eight boards and six assists.
The Gaels may not have done anything to capture national attention just yet, but picking up three wins that could all end up being RPI top 100 wins in the first week of the season is pretty impressive.
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.