3 college basketball teams to watch


Solomon Moffett, E-News Editor / Sports Team

With the NCAA Men’s Basketball season just beginning, there is both a lot of hype and excited fans ready to watch some basketball. Three teams that are expected to have great seasons are Missouri, Michigan State, and Duke. With the start of the season right around the corner, each of these three teams have sky-high expectations.

Missouri is ranked No. 3 when it comes to their 2017 recruit class, according to 24/7 sports. Missouri signed two five-star prospects in brothers Michael Porter Jr. and Jontay Porter.

Porter Jr., who committed to Washington, decommitted when he found out his father would be coaching for Missouri. Jontay and Michael played with each other in high school for Nathan Hale. Michael averaged 37 points, 14 rebounds, and two assists. Jontay averaged 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Missouri also recruited Jeremiah Tilmon, Blake Harris, and CJ Roberts. Tilmon, who is from East Saint Louis. Tilmon averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Harris, from Word of God Christian Academy, averaged 25 points, 9 assists, and 3.5 steals. Roberts, from Richland High School in Texas, averaged 21 points, 3.5 rebounds, while shooting 51 percent from the field.

At the beginning of the season, Missouri was unranked. They look to have a bounce back year after having a dismal 8-24 record last year. It will be up to the coaches and the players to have a bounce-back season and win a lot of games.

Michigan State is the No. 2- ranked team in the country as of now. So far, there have been two total prospects that have committed to the university, Jaren Jackson and Xavier Tillman. They both committed earlier this year.

Jaren Jackson, an 18-year-old power forward from La Lumiere high school in La Porte, Indiana, is ranked No. 9 in the ESPN Top 100. He is the third-ranked power forward behind Marvin Bagley, III, and Wendell Carter. Jackson, in his last year at La Lumiere, averaged 16 points, eight rebounds, and 4.4 blocks.

Tillman, a 6-foot, 9-inch power forward, from Grand Rapids Christian High school in Grand Rapids, Mich. Tillman is ranked 74th in the ESPN top 100, and is ranked 11th in his position, 13th regional, and 2nd in the state of Michigan.

Michigan State looks to make more improvements to their record, as they were 20-15. More importantly, they will look to improve playing away from home, as they were 2-7 when playing away from Michigan. Michigan does have star player Miles Bridges coming back to the school, despite having a chance to enter the NBA draft. Tom Izzo even wanted Bridges to enter the draft, but he decided not to.

Bridges, a 6-foot, 7-inch small forward, is from Huntington Prep high school in Flint, Mich.. Bridges last year in the 2016 ESPN Top 100 was ranked eighth and third in his position. Bridges last year averaged 17 points, eight rebounds, 1.5 blocks, while shooting 48 percent from the field and 39 percent from three.

The college basketball mecca, Duke, is ranked No. 1 in the NCAA top 25, and rightfully so, as they made an abundance of signings this year. Duke signed Bagley III, Carter, Trevon Duval, Jordan Tucker, and Alex O’Connell. Duke looks to win the Championship with the new signings they have attained. Last year they went 28-9 but lost to South Carolina in the second round of march madness.

Bagley III, a power forward out of Sierra Canyon High School, in Phoenix,  averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks. He is considered to be the next superstar in the NBA, so he’ll be coming into the college season to tear things up.

Wendell Carter, a power forward out of Pace Academy in Atlanta, is ranked fifth in ESPN’s Top 100, and is the second-ranked power forward in his recruit class. Carter averaged 21 points, 15 rebounds, and two blocks. Carter will be the starting power forward while Bagley will play the center position

Duval, a point guard out of IMG Academy in Wilmington, Delaware, is ranked sixth in the ESPN Top 100, and is the No. 1-ranked point guard in his recruit class. Duval is considered to be a top player in the NBA in the future.