I’m not ready to call UConn a bubble team just yet, but I do think that at the end of the season, Kemba Walker’s incredible performance in Maui could be the difference between being on the right – and the wrong – side of the Bubble.
If, like someone told me, there is even a Bubble for Jim Calhoun and the Huskies.
Remember, this is still a program waiting to learn its fate from an NCAA investigation – and a postseason ban is a potential reality.
Walker completely blindsided everyone out in Hawaii with his play in November, but teams have now seen his dramatic improvement and will play the Huskies differently.
Calhoun’s freshman – such as Shabazz Napier, Jeremy Lamb, Roscoe Smith - may be talented, but I’m not sure they are ready to help bring UConn towards the top of the Big East.
There’s absolutely no shame in losing to Pittsburgh at the Peterson Events Center, where the Panthers are nearly unbeatable.
But I’m just not sold that this team – unless sophomore big man Alex Oriakhi returns to the form that made him a dominant post player out in Maui.
Oriaki was in early foul trouble and hasn’t been dominant since returning to the mainland.
Yes, I could see UConn being somewhere around the .500 mark in Big East play – maybe a game or two over – which again, without the Maui title – would put them squarely on the bubble.
If there is a bubble for the Huskies.
One team that won’t have to worry about any bubble – except maybe for the CBI or the CollegeInsider.com postseason tourneys (if those still exist) – is Indiana.
This is Year 3 of the Tom Crean Era – and thus far, it doesn’t look any different than Year 2 or maybe even Year 1.
The Hoosiers lost at home to Penn State, a team expected to battle Iowa for the cellar in the Big Ten, in the league-opener last night.
Sure, Tom Crean – who nearly had Kyrie Irving committed a couple years ago – has made headway on the recruiting trail.
But there will be pressure on Crean next year – from the IU faithful – to deliver next season.
He’ll bring in a strong recruiting class led by the Cody Zeller – and the Big Ten will lose plenty of its elite talent.
But Crean, even with his lengthy, lucrative 10-year contract, will need to show results at some point.