College hoops is back!
A pair of games featuring the bluest of the blue bloods tips off the season tonight. Number-three Kansas meets number-four Duke and then top-ranked Michigan State takes on second-ranked Kentucky.
This hype video from @KUHoops makes you want to lace up your old Jordan's and start hoisting three pointers.
Unranked Washington doesn't open its 2019-20 campaign until Friday when Mike Hopkins' Huskies square-off with 16th-ranked Baylor in Alaska. Meanwhile, Washington State hosts Seattle on Thursday in Pullman.
Despite losing the bulk of its production from last season’s Pac-12 regular-season championship and NCAA Tournament team, Washington is a Pac-12 favorite. The Huskies feature a pair of McDonald’s All-Americans who headline the nation's 11th-ranked recruiting class. Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels are joined by fellow All-American, Kentucky transfer, point guard Quade Green. U-W looks to repeat as conference champs for the first time in 35 seasons.
Washington is on the outside looking in on the AP Top 25 and received votes from the conference media as a favorite. Oregon was tabbed to win the Pac-12.
According to Spotrac, the Huskies are in the top 10 for college basketball programs with 9 active NBA players.
Kyle Smith introduces his analytics approach at Washington State this season after successful stints at San Francisco and Columbia. The Cougars have encountered seven consecutive losing seasons. Smith benefits from the return of three starters. CJ Elleby returns after earning Pac-12 All-Rookie Team honors, and will be the focal point of Smith’s system. Upperclassmen Marvin Cannon and Jeff Pollard will add stability to the transitional program. Smith’s first recruiting class features the son of NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman, D.J. Rodman, and four-time All-Metro, Seattle guard Noah Williams.
Across the state, Gonzaga has retooled its roster. Despite losing forwards Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke and guard Zach Norvell Jr to the NBA, the 'Zags are positioned for another deep run in March. Mark Few's squad is led by All-West Coast conference selection Killian Tillie and Texas A&M transfer Admon Gilder. Odds makers have the Bulldogs winning a nation-best 27 games in '19-'20.
Eighth-ranked Gonzaga hosts Alabama State tonight at 5pm.