As we wind down feast week we are learning that the field may be a bit more wide open than we originally thought. Here is a team that I am buying and a team that I am selling in the Midwest.
Buying: Iowa Hawkeyes
Look, there are a couple of reasons not to buy Iowa right now.
They have yet to play anyone within Pomeroy’s top 190 and coach Fran McCaffery is eventually going to go ballistic and probably cost his team a victory that matters at some point.
There is however, a very good reason to buy Iowa. His name is Robert Pauls…no I am just kidding. His name is Keegan Murray.
The only thing this kid knows how to do is put 20+ points on the board every single night. After averaging a shade under 9 points last season as a freshman, Murray has launched himself into early season All-B1G talk and possibly an All-American. He is that good.
Now, the Hawkeyes are 6-0 on the season and all six games have come within the friendly confines of Hawkeye arena.
Things are about to get really real in a real big hurry. Their next game is against Virginia at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville followed by a game at Purdue.
They should beat Virginia (take the under) but Purdue is an entirely different animal.
They follow those two tough road games up with Illinois at home, Iowa State in Ames and Utah State on a neutral. All I am saying is that when you buy stock, buy low.
When the Hawkeyes go 4-1 or 3-2 over this stretch the bandwagon is going to start filling up.
Selling: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Stop me when you have heard this before. The Irish can’t shoot the ball. It has been what seems like forever since Notre Dame had a guy that could consistently knock down a perimeter jump shot.
Nate Laszewski was supposed to be and has been that guy at times but has never been consistent. Prentiss Hubb is shooting an abysmal 15% from behind the arc this season so far.
Even when he was going through one of the worst shooting runs I’ve ever seen as a freshman he managed to shoot 26%.
While the Irish are shooting a 226th ranked 32% from deep so far this season, what’s worse is their opponents shooting 45.6% from behind the arc.
That is good for 355th in the nation. For those who may not be aware, there are only 358 teams in division one.
St. Marys and Texas A&M are solid teams but those are teams that you have to defeat when you are hunting for an NCAA tournament bid.
You at least have to split them. Those are resume building games in the out of conference that you have to win.
The Irish do have a few more opportunities to earn those resume building wins in the coming weeks when they visit Illinois and host Kentucky.
They will also receive a shot at Indiana on a neutral floor in Indianapolis.
There is still time to improve but this group of fourth year players has never really shown us that during their time in South Bend.
Hubb needs to get right and someone needs to play soe defense if the Irish are going to hear their name on selection sunday.