Three Things to Learn From Last Night
1) Notre Dame isn’t a top 15 team right now
The Fighting Irish lost to Tennessee, 74-63, last night at home. They did this despite Tennessee turning the ball over 28 times. Tennessee also blocked 12 Notre Dame shots. The average height of the Lady Vols’ starters was 6’2.4” compared to that of Notre Dame’s 5’10.4”, and this raises the question of if Notre Dame will be vulnerable to taller teams. Notre Dame is also starting two true freshmen and a sophomore (alongside grad students Destinee Walker & Marta Sniezek). The froshes, Anaya Peoples and Sam Brunelle, ranked 18th & 6th in the ESPN HoopGurlz top 100 recruits for the class of 2019, but women’s college basketball is obviously a sport that rewards experience. Muffet McGraw is a great coach, and she should be able to coach this squad up, but it isn’t there yet.
2) Towson’s not where I thought they’d be
I thought the Tigers would be one of the top mid-majors this year, as I had them ranked 65th preseason, but they’re off to a 0-3 start with losses to Penn State, San Diego State, and San Diego. Penn State’s seemingly rebuilding, and both of the California losses were on the road for the Maryland-based Towson squad, but it’s still got to be a disappointing kickoff to the season. Kionna Jeter is their returning star, and she is averaging 16.7 PPG. But she’s doing so on 35.1% FG%, and just 4/17 from three. When she gets her shot right, she should be able to get them back on the right side of the win column.
3) Wait on the UNC hype
UNC is a team I had ranked low in the preseason (225 in D-I). They’re now 2-0 after home wins against Navy and Western Carolina. Neither of those teams should particularly inspire fear in you, nor should the next two Tar Heels opponents: Charleston Southern & Elon. The Tar Heels don’t leave home until a December 15 trip to Alabama, but they do have a home test against Missouri on the 29th of this month. That game should tell us a lot more about this team than anything you’d get out of these first two.