College Basketball Talk’s Ten Most Disappointing Teams

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Boston College: For my money, Boston College has been the most disappointing team in the country this season. The Eagles have the talent to be a factor in the NCAA tournament discussion with Olivier Hanlan and Ryan Anderson surrounded by a solid group of role players. But they aren’t tough enough and they don’t defend. The same issues they had last season. A 3-6 start for this group is disappointing.

Georgia State: The Panthers might have the best perimeter attack at the mid-major level with Ryan Harrow joining R.J. Hunter, Devonta White and Manny Atkins. But more than a month into the season, Georgia State has just a single Division I win, and that came against McNeese State.

La Salle: The Explorers were supposed to compete in the Atlantic 10 this season, but with UMass, St. Louis and George Washington looking like they belong in the same conversation as VCU, the Explorers have been left behind. Dr. John Giannini is still looking for that third perimeter weapon.

Marquette: I’m not ready to disregard Marquette just yet, but this team really needs to figure out a way to get some production out of their perimeter. Right now, they’re relying on Todd Mayo, which is not going to inspire confidence in Marquette fans. They’re leading perimeter scorer not related to O.J. Mayo? Jake Thomas, a fifth-year senior that transferred in from South Dakota. The Golden Eagles have lost their four marquee games this season.

Maryland: To be fair, the Terps are currently trying to play with starting point guard Seth Allen out. But that doesn’t change the fact that Maryland has already lost four games this season, including games against George Washington and Oregon State, the latter of which came at home. With the amount of talent the Terps have on their roster, that shouldn’t happen.

Michigan: This is understandable. We knew Michigan was going to be in for a slow start as Derrick Walton learned the position. That became clearer when Mitch McGary missed the preseason with a back injury. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Wolverines were expected to be a top ten team and are now outside the top 25.

UNLV: The Rebels looked much better on Saturday in a five-point loss at Arizona, but this is still a team with talent coming out the wazoo that is sitting at 3-4 on the season. They also don’t have anything else on their non-conference schedule, which means that they’ll need to hope that wins they can pick up in MWC play will be enough for an at-large bid. With a front court producing as much as Khem Birch and Roscoe Smith are, that shouldn’t be heading to the NIT. Who helps Bryce Dejean-Jones?

VCU: The Rams are 8-2 on the season and have a win at Virginia. So in the grand scheme of things, they’re just fine. But they haven’t been as good as most expected them to be this season, and the biggest issue is their lack of half court offense. They don’t have any “bucket-getters“.

Virginia: Where has Joe Harris been? What is Akil Mitchell doing? To be frank, nothing Virginia has done this season is unforgivable. They lost by three to VCU in their second game with a freshman point guard. They lost to Wisconsin, something everyone is doing. They lost at Green Bay, which is a good team. But here’s the thing: the ‘Hoos look like regular old Virginia, not a team that can compete for the ACC.

Xavier: The Musketeers lost three straight in the Bahamas. They got taken to overtime by Bowling Green. They had to stage a late comeback to knock off Evansville at home. This team is in a bad way, and they can’t simply rely on Semaj Christon to get them through it.

Nevada’s Jordan Caroline pulls out of 2018 NBA Draft

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Jordan Caroline has opted to pull his name out of the 2018 NBA Draft as he will return to Nevada for his senior season, he announced on Saturday.

The 6-foot-7 Caroline put together a strong season for the Wolf Pack as he averaged 17.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game as Nevada made the Sweet 16 behind one of the most talented offenses in the country.

Caroline’s return is a huge boost for Nevada as they still await the NBA draft decisions of Caleb and Cody Martin.

Currently ranked No. 17 in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25 (without the Martin twins), the Wolf Pack will still have a ton of talent around Caroline next season. Five-star freshman center Jordan Brown recently committed to Nevada. The program also a number of talented transfers entering the mix, including Tre’Shawn Thomas, Nisre Zouzoua and Ehab Amin.

If the Martin twins return to school (and that is a big if) then Nevada could have a potentially elite offense next season. But even if the Martin twins go pro, Nevada should still be the favorite in the Mountain West and a threat to once again make the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.

Dewan Huell returning to Miami for junior season

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Miami received some positive news on Saturday afternoon as the school announced the return of forward Dewan Huell for his junior season.

After testing the NBA draft waters without an agent, the 6-foot-11 Huell will be back for the Hurricanes. Starting all 32 games for the program last season, Huell averaged 11.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 57 percent from the floor.

“After getting feedback from NBA teams and talking it over with my family and coaches, I would like to announce that I will be returning to Miami for my junior season,” Huell said in the release. “I’m really excited to get back to work with my brothers so we can accomplish more than ever during the 2018-19 season.”

A former McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school, Huell’s return gives the Hurricanes stability in the front court for next season as he’ll play with other returning players like Sam Waardenburg and Ebuka Izundu. With Miami losing both Lonnie Walker and Bruce Brown early to the 2018 NBA Draft, Huell could be expected to provide more offensive production as a junior.

Bruce Weber receives contract extension at Kansas State

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Kansas State and head coach Bruce Weber have agreed to a two-year contract extension, according to a release from the school.

After leading the Wildcats to a surprising Elite Eight appearance in March, Weber will be the head coach at Kansas State through the 2022-23 season, which gives him another five seasons to work with. Weber will be paid $2.5 million in 2018-19 and he’ll receive a $100,000 increase to his salary in each remaining contract year.

Weber had already signed a two-year extension in August 2017, but this move gives the veteran head coach more job security (and positive recruiting perception) for the next few seasons.

“We are very fortunate to have not only such an outstanding basketball coach but also a man in Coach Weber who conducts his program with integrity and class and is widely respected across the nation,” Kansas State Director of Athletics Gene Taylor said. “Certainly last season was one of the most memorable postseason runs in our program’s history, and we are excited for next season and the years ahead under Coach Weber’s leadership.”

With Kansas State returning most of its roster from last season, including the return of guard Barry Brown from the 2018 NBA Draft process, expectations are sky-high for Weber and the Wildcats this season. Currently ranked as the No. 8 team in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25, Kansas State’s veteran club could give Kansas a serious run for a Big 12 regular season title this season.

Northwestern loses incoming freshman point guard

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Northwestern and incoming freshman point guard Jordan Lathon are parting ways. The 6-foot-4 Lathon was viewed as a potential candidate to replace Bryant McIntosh at lead guard for the Wildcats this season, but Northwestern has reportedly revoked his offer of admission and basketball scholarship.

It is unclear why Lathon was unable to be admitted into Northwestern, but the school’s VP for University Relations, Alan Cubbage, gave a statement to Inside NU’s Davis Rich and Caleb Friedman.

“Northwestern University has revoked its offers of admission and an athletic scholarship for Jordan Lathon, a recruit for the Northwestern men’s basketball team,” the statement said. “Out of respect for the privacy of the student, the University will have no further public comment.”

Lathon later acknowledged the situation in a tweet explaining to fans that he will no longer be attending Northwestern.

While it is unclear why Lathon and Northwestern are parting ways, other high-major programs are already very interested in bringing in Lathon for next season. Oklahoma State immediately jumped in with a scholarship offer. There is also speculation that Lathon, a native of Grandview, Missouri, could also hear from the in-state Tigers as well.

It’ll be interesting to see where Lathon lands, and how this also affects Northwestern’s point guard situation. The loss of a four-year starter like McIntosh will be tough to fill, especially since Lathon was committed to Northwestern since last June. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Wildcats and head coach Chris Collins seek out a veteran point guard graduate transfer to try and get some immediate help.

Nebraska’s James Palmer Jr. returning to school

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Nebraska received some important news on Friday night as senior guard James Palmer Jr. will be back for next season.

The 6-foot-6 Palmer had tested the NBA draft waters, but he decided to return to the Cornhuskers. After putting up 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game last season, Palmer is expected to be an All-Big Ten candidate once again this season. Palmer shot 44 percent from the floor and 30 percent from three-point range last season.

After transferring in from Miami, Palmer became the Huskers’ go-to scorer last season in helping Nebraska to a 22-win season and NIT appearance.

With Palmer back, Nebraska will have some legitimate expectations for the upcoming season, especially if the team’s second-leading scorer, Isaac Copeland Jr., also returns from the NBA draft process.