Each Wednesday we hold a round table where we give our guys are given the platform to give their “NCAA Hot Takes”.

**The Week of December 3

Rick Lewis
Recruit in-state players and you will be successful

There is no secret that the state of North Carolina is a hot bed for collegiate basketball prospects. Last year, 70 plus players committed to D1 programs. Coach Wes Miller of UNC-Greensboro has made recruiting his “home state” a priority and it is producing huge dividends. Last season, UNC-G won the regular season Southern Conference and eventually won the Southern Conference to earn a NCAA tournament bid. This year’s roster has nine players from North Carolina and next year’s recruiting class has three players as well. Wes Miller secured the commitment of Kobe and Keyshaun Langley who were both verbally committed to Virginia Tech of the ACC. In addition, UNC-G beat out Arkansas and Houston for the commitment of 6’9 Derricko Williams … One thing is for certain, in-state players have a sense of pride when playing for their native state.

Jamie Shaw
Michigan is the Number 1 Team in the Country

After what Michigan did to North Carolina, I think some buzz started in this direction. With the hot start Duke got off to and then Gonzaga beating Duke head-to-head in the Maui Finals many cannot take their allegiance from there. Kansas started off number 1, and remained undefeated, even after a win over Top 10 Tennessee. Sure each of these teams could, and should, stake their claims to the top position. But it is Michigan who is playing the best right now. At 8-0 Michigan has wins over Top 20 teams, UNC, Villanova and Purdue by an average of 20.3 points. They are also the best defensive team in the country, both by the eye-test and analytics (#1 defensive efficiency rating in the country via KenPom). They have a roster filled with guys who will spend time in the NBA and John Beilein is an all-around offensive genius whose team also rebounds the ball and doesn’t turn it over. That is a large recipe for success and their early season numbers go to prove that.

Also, CLICK HERE for a great read from our Jeff Bendel on Michigan frosh sensation Ignas Brazdeikis

Miles Masercola
The NCAA Needs to Replace the NET Rankings with KenPom Rankings
The NCAA recently announced that they would be replacing the RPI with a new NET rankings system that is an analytical system that uses a variety of factors including, but not limited to Offensive and Defensive Efficiency, Strength of Schedule, and Margin of Victory.  The first issue of the NET Rankings featured Ohio State as the nations top team… Really?  Upon the announcement of the new system NCAA VP of Basketball Dan Gavitt said that “… the perfect ranking doesn’t exist…” Not true my friend.  KenPom is the perfect ranking system.  For those who don’t know, KenPom.com is an analytical website that ranks all 353 D1 College Basketball teams in variety of ways, including advanced stats for individual players that track their true statistical value to a team … Las Vegas uses KenPom to set the lines, Coaches around the country use it to prepare for opponents, and Enthusiasts everywhere understand the value of that $20 per year membership has on your college basketball viewing experience.  It clearly has the best formula ever created when it comes to ranking teams, obviously nothing can be perfect, but why waste time and resources to create something new while the best already exists.  I’m team KenPom, I hope everyone reading this is too.
Jeff Bendel
Jayden Gardner will Become a CPOY
Right now, Gardner is just a freshman, but he’s already shown true signs of dominance at East Carolina. Ten games into the season, Gardner has established himself as a clear leader, averaging 19 PPG and 9 RPG with four double-doubles. It’s still quite early in the process, but his skillset is quite clearly defined, and it would be foolish to think that he’d change his approach. Gardner’s numbers have translated nicely to East Carolina’s win totals, setting them at a quality 6-4. As mentioned above, he’s only a freshman, so I’m taking the odds that he’ll secure a CPOY (Conference Player of the Year) at East Carolina before he graduates. There’s a lot to like with the low-post brute, so it’ll be fun to watch his collegiate career unfold.