The 2015-2016 season began last night, eight months after the bitter exit from the NCAA tournament at the hands of rival West Virginia. Since then, the Terps lost their heart and soul forward Dez Wells, along with fellow big men Jonathan Graham and Evan Smotrycz and guard Richaud Pack.
Dion Wiley also injured his knee in the exhibition game and will miss four months of the season. How could the Terps replace all that? They bring in Top-10 recruit Diamond Stone, former Duke wing Rasheed Sulaimon and get Robert Carter Jr, who had to sit out last season after transferring to College Park, eligible. Add in year two for Melo Trimble, Jared Nickens and Michal Cekovsky and the Terps begin the year ranked 3 in the polls. The last time the Terps were ranked in the top three at the start of the season,they won a national title. If the Terps want to bring the title back to College Park, there are a few games during the season they have to win.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved the game of basketball. My father played in high school then became a coach after college, my younger brother was the star player on our street and my mother was the biggest Laker fan in the world. It seemed natural for me to love basketball because everyone around me loved it. The kids in my neighborhood would gather in my driveway a few times a week to play pickup and I’d play too, just because everyone else was doing it. Granted, I was never too skilled but that never stopped me from putting up a couple shots.
One thing I loved most about playing was that the guys on my block never told me I couldn’t play because I was a girl– and they didn’t take it easy on me because of that either. I grew up playing scrappy streetball with boys twice my size and about a billion times my level of talent. I got knocked around, heard a lot of trash talk and can’t count the number of my shots that were blocked into my neighbor’s driveway.
To me, there was no difference between men’s and women’s basketball. Of course, I knew there were different leagues for men and women, but other than that, I believed they were one and the same. Now, at 20 years old, I still believe there should be no difference, which is why I was outraged at the changes to the playing rules of NCAA Women’s basketball.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is back as one of college basketball’s premier conferences. There have been at least four ACC teams ranked in the top 25 every week this season. With the addition of Louisville and Notre Dame, the ACC now has constant competition for cornerstone programs like Duke and UNC. Virginia and Notre Dame are the solid front-runners of the conference, while Duke and UNC stayed in the mix with each scoring significant wins and slight setbacks. Louisville, once the most feared team behind Virginia, was exposed and teams took advantage of the lack of offensive efficiency and made Louisville one of the other guys.
There are no easy road games in the ACC, with many games being close no matter the record of the teams involved. The ACC is announcing to the college world that it is back to its familiar ways of dominance. These six teams look to bolster that claim come Selection Sunday. Continue reading Dancing with the Conferences: ACC Edition→