College Basketball Heads into Conference Play

As college basketball’s non-conference play dwindles away, The Purple Quill decided to take a look at the current season and who’s on top. The Quill’s Top 5 5) Indiana – Indiana is officially back on top of the college basketball world. The 8-0 Hoosiers lead the nation in points scored behind the stellar play of center Tyler Zeller (15 PPG) and guard Victor Olapido (12 PPG). Their early slate of games was no walk in the park; the Hoosiers played and defeated nationally ranked North Carolina and Georgetown. It will be interesting to see how this young Indiana team handles Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and the rest of the difficult Big Ten. For now, Indiana is without a doubt The Purple Quill’s favorite to win a national championship. 4) Michigan – With three freshman in the starting lineup, Michigan is obviously a very young basketball team. However, this team resembles the “Fab 5” teams of the 1990’s. They are led by the sophomore duo of point guard Trey Burke (17 PPG) and shooting guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. (15 PPG). The freshman trio of Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III, and Mitch McGary average a combined total of 32 points per game. The Wolverines are undefeated through their first nine games, with wins over N.C. State, Kansas State, Arkansas, and Pittsburgh. The energetic Michigan squad is set to be a force in the Big Ten this season. 3) Duke – The Blue Devils have played the toughest non-conference slate in the country this season, and they have yet to disappoint. Duke has early wins against Kentucky, Ohio State, and Lousiville – all ranked inside the top-5 at the time of the game. Mason Plumlee leads all Duke scorers with 19 points per game. Sharp-shooting Seth Curry registers just around 16 points a game. Duke is on pace for a 30 wins and a deep tournament run. 4) Syracuse – The Orangemen have yet to be tested in their non-conference schedule; however, they have way too much offensive power to not be in the top 5. Syracuse is third in the country with a staggering average of 84.6 points per game. On top of that, ‘Cuse is No.1 in the nation in rebounds per game at 47. Syracuse will be tested early and often in the Big East this season with games against Cincinnati, Louisville (twice), Georgetown (twice), and Notre Dame. 5) Florida – The SEC is typically Kentucky’s to lose. That’s not the case this season as the Florida Gators are the early favorite to take the conference crown. The Gators are a very well-rounded team with four players averaging more than 10 points per game. Senior point guard Kenny Boyton leads the troops at 14.4 per game. Florida’s starting lineup is a combination of three seniors and two juniors, they won’t have to worry about experience or leadership down the stretch.