Reflections on the upcoming basketball season

The college basketball season is right around the corner, with big college stars such as senior Grayson Allen of Duke and highly anticipated freshmen such as Michael Porter Jr. of Missouri and Mohamed Bomba of Texas. Fans around the country and around our campus are excited for the season to start. Allen has been widely talked about in the offseason for his controversy regarding tripping incidents during the regular season.

“I think all the Grayson Allen controversy is overhyped,” said junior Charlie Benedict. “If Grayson went to any school besides Duke, people wouldn’t care about the tripping.”

Some felt differently about Allen’s actions.

“He’s a jerk,” said junior Naima Turbes. “He plays a dirty game. It doesn’t matter where he goes to school. No one should play basketball like that.”

However, Duke is not the only team facing scandalous behavior going into this regular season. The University of North Carolina was recently cleared by the NCAA after being investigated for malpractice in letting basketball players study contrived majors and not attend classes, which goes against NCAA policy.

“Letting UNC avoid all of their scandals is the most fraudulent thing the NCAA has ever done,” said Benedict.

The University of Louisville, another strong basketball program, will be attempting to recover after the firing of their coach Rick Pitino due to findings that he was running a “pay-for-play” program that involved Adidas funneling payments to families of recruits.

“I think it’s totally typical of a fine institution such as Louisville, which clearly has no moral standards,” said Benedict. “This is a well-established fact, as seen with the hiring of football coach Bobby Petrino, who was plagued by lying and motorcycle crashes as well as extramarital affairs during his career as a Louisville coach.”

Some had a different take on the pay-for-play scandal.

“I think that college players deserve to be paid because these coaches and agents are making so much money off of them, and they’re not benefitting at all,” said senior Albert Zhang.

However, most, including the NCAA, agree that the experience players get is invaluable, so thus they should be content with receiving scholarships to expensive institutions.

“They’re getting an education, which is an invaluable experience,” said Turbes. “There’s no reason that they need to be paid. They’re already getting into the school for free. We need to remember these institutions are academic institutions first, and their number one priority should be giving the players an education, not profiting off of them.”

The season starts Nov. 10 with every team focused on one main goal: the big dance. Although the season has not even started, teams are already working hard to achieve the overall goal and dream of winning the national championship.

The upcoming season features stacked teams such as Duke with four top-ten recruits and Kentucky, who snagged five out of the top-twenty-five recruits. The hype surrounding the 2017-2018 college basketball season is unheard of, especially with the arrival to UCLA of Jaylen Hands, and of course, LiAngelo Ball.

If you haven’t already heard, LiAngelo Ball is the brother of high school star LaMelo Ball and the second pick of the 2017 NBA draft, Lonzo Ball. The Ball brothers are famous for being an insanely talented basketball family but also because of their father Lavar Ball who is famous for starting a brand called “Big Baller Brand,” and for his outrageous claims, such as how he could beat Michael Jordan in a one on one.

“LiAngelo is a good player, but he’s the least hyped out of all of the brothers, so I don’t really know how good he is,” said freshman Alex Edler.

Although LiAngelo may be the least known out of the brothers, he could have the most potential, as his form and basketball fundamentals are arguably the best out of the Ball family.

Although many of the students on campus are fans of some of the best teams in the country, many are fans of teams that may not be as good but are just as fun to root for.

“I’m a Colorado fan, and even though they aren’t that good of a team, they are still fun to watch and I still love watching college basketball,” said freshman Aidan Henry.

The ACC is usually regarded as the best division in the nation, but incoming freshmen studs Porter Jr. and Collin Sexton may improve and turn the SEC into a much better basketball conference. The SEC is known to be a football powerhouse, but it now may also become a basketball conference.

March Madness is considered by many to be the most interesting event in all sports, as there are so many upsets and big games to watch. Though nobody has created a perfect bracket in history, almost everybody makes brackets. Students on campus are already excited and ready to be the first person in history to make that elusive perfect bracket.

“I’m ready to make a perfect bracket in March and win one billion dollars,” said freshman Connor Li. “Though the odds are against me, I’ll be the first one in history to do it.”