What would you change for your favorite college basketball team in 2023? With the calendar turning to 2023 and conference play starting, everyone has a chance to start something new. And there’s still plenty of time for the team to change course before Selection Sunday. In the New Year’s spirit, let’s take a look at the resolutions of some of the sport’s best teams.
UConn: New Year, same me
The Huskies are by far the most complete team in the country, showcasing the rare blend of shotmaking, toughness and depth that was key to a great start to the season. Impressive: UConn’s two best prospects in the NBA may be Andre Jackson Jr., who is averaging just 5.6 points per game, and Donovan Clingan, off the bench. This is a fully agreed upon group that seems to enjoy playing with each other.
Of course, after a long season, things can change. It can be difficult to maintain the level a Husky has shown over her 5 months. Last year, Auburn looked like consensus No. 1 in his late January, but that season saw him fly by March.that is U Conn should be avoided at this point.
Virginia: Make Your Three
Virginia has won more than 36% from the three this season, a figure that is largely bolstered by the momentum of his first start. In his first three games of the season, the Cavaliers saw him make 11 3s per game 52% of the clip, and since then, 29% of the clip he has made only five triples per game. Is not … For a team’s offense that’s built much more on ball and player movement than self-creation ability, knocking down threes is essential, and Virginia hasn’t been doing that lately.
Last season, the Hawes completed just 32% of their shots from deep as a team. This is a clearly improved group, but Virginia needs to be an above-average shooting team to win the ACC title.
Kentucky: Finding a lineup that works
As the calendar turns to 2023, John Calipari is still looking for answers.
kentucky In the latest setback for a team that doesn’t seem overly talented and overly cohesive at the moment, Calipari was handled on the roads of Missouri Wednesday. We tested two big lineups, but the more traditional looks didn’t produce an easy offense against top competition either.・After a disappointing season far from Toppin, the power forward hasn’t found an answer.
Calipari has flipped his roster-building strategy, weighing far more transfers than his traditional one-off model in the past. In doing so, Calipari traded top talent for experience, ideally for a more compatible roster. But Kentucky doesn’t flaunt the speed of the learning curve you’d expect from an older group. A team with a star like Oscar Tshiebwe and a talented guard like Wallace still has some advantages, but without top-notch talent around them, Calipari wants to maximize these role players. We have to find a way to take advantage of it. .
Duke: Let Darik Whitehead and Derek Lively II go
The two highest-rated recruits in Duke’s 2022 class missed key preseason practice time due to injuries, but are still clearly picking up speed. Lively and Whitehead were 1st and 3rd respectively in his SI99, but only averaged 11.1 points per game as they were relegated to limited time in non-conference play.
Whitehead’s billing was as a versatile wing that could handle the ball and make threes. You can make use of it. His playmaking ability can also take the burden off point guard Jeremy Roach, who has been heavily relied upon. The Lively’s biggest draw is its role as a defender, thanks to its huge wingspan and shot-blocking instincts. duke Defenses are even harder to crack. This team will not have the same ceiling unless these two of him find their stride. Jon Scheyer would be wise to keep force-feeding them for a few minutes, even if that means one or two additional losses for him in January.
Houston: Establish Post Presence
Cougars don’t need to change much. 12–1 Houston is KenPom and he’s number 1 and has the best chance of making it to the Final Four.
That said, one thing that is inconsistent about this group is playing in the frontcourt.Rebounding and stingy defense are natural, but now houston We rely too much on the jump shots of Marcus Sasser and Jamal Shead. Freshman forward Jareth Walker is full of good sides and had perhaps the best game of his career before Christmas against Virginia. Center J’Wan Roberts, on the other hand, is a strong rebounder, but he’s only 6’7″ tall and doesn’t deliver the post-scoring punches that Josh Carlton did a season ago. If you keep playing your best, this group will be: much harder to beat.
Kansas: Keep the Ball Shared
This is the best passing team Bill Self has had in over a decade, assisting over 60% of his field goals en route to the Jayhawks’ strong 11-1 non-conference mark. Rather than the scoring point guards and back-to-the-basket bigs that have often defined self’s hallmark, Kansas This year’s version places a more versatile glue guy at the pass-first lead guard for Dahuan Harris Jr. and center for diminutive KJ Adams Jr. Turn down good shots for great shots and position the floor incredibly effectively.
UCLA: Trust Amari Bailey
UCLA The championship is on the upside, as shown by the Bruins dismantling Maryland and Kentucky earlier this month. But for this group to truly reach its limits, it needs to get more from freshman guard Bailey in its biggest match.
Bailey may be averaging nearly 10 points per game, but his influence has been muted in the Bruins’ biggest contests, where he finished four of the teams with Illinois, Baylor, Maryland and Kentucky. Only 13 total points were scored in the toughest non-conference game. He has the ability to produce his shots open for himself, bringing his set of skills that no other Bruin possesses. This is what UCLA needs in his big game in March. His first two Pac-12 performances were encouraging. Ideally, his play in the conference gives him the time he needs to really find his footing. If so, this already dangerous UCLA offense will find another gear.
North Carolina: Feeding Armando Bako
That advice was true last season, but it’s even more important for this Carolina team. This Carolina team hasn’t shot from his 3 as well as sniper Brady Manek, who is now in the professional ranks. During his four-game losing streak for North Carolina, Baccott missed one of his games, and in his three games played he averaged less than 10 shots per game. Since then, Baccott has had 15 or more shots in three of his four games, including season-changing wins at Ohio State and Michigan State. He is dominant when he can catch the ball in deep post position. UNC An attack, not an isolation drive for Caleb Love and RJ Davis.
Alabama: Valuable Possessions
Nate Oates’ run-and-gun mentality, offensively, fits this game perfectly. Alabama team. And the Crimson Tide’s young players have grown thanks to Oates’ willingness to empower guards to play early on the shot clock.
That said, one of the things you can do by getting a young team to play fast is allow for turnovers, and Alabama has been giving the ball a lot this season. It ranks in the bottom 50 in the nation and defensively has one of the worst turnover rates in the nation. Alabama’s turnovers-per-game margin is -4.7, a number that feels impossible to surpass in March. Getting Jahvon Quinerly full health should help some at the point guard position, but in general the Tide needs to either handle the ball better or start causing more confusion on the defense. I have.
Tennessee: Banish the Marching Devil
The Vols were on track for the NCAA Tournament last year, having made it through the SEC Tournament competition the week before, defeating Longwood in the first round of the Big Dance. Michigan then appeared out of nowhere and shocked the Vols thanks to an uncharacteristic 2-for-18 shooting performance from beyond the arc. TennesseeIt was a familiar story for fans in Tennessee and for Rick Burns, who has experienced March heartache more than anyone in years.
The Vols once again look like the team that turned the Final Four upside down. They are monsters on defense and great on offense. With some restrictions on the offensive side, this group has SEC and national contenders written all over it. But will the Vols finally break out when it’s time for the NCAA Tournament?