Which surprise teams are for real?
January, 8, 2014
By Jeff Goodman | ESPN.com
Rich Barnes/USA TODAY SportsVillanova guard James Bell is averaging 14.8 points and 6 rebounds per game this season.Pittsburgh is 14-1 and won its first two ACC contests, but I’m not buying Jamie Dixon’s Panthers -- not quite yet, especially after the lackluster nonconference slate. Kansas State is on a roll, but I’m still not sold that Bruce Weber's Wildcats will establish enough consistency to be more than a fringe NCAA tournament team. Illinois is 13-2, though I’m still cautious about buying the Illini.
Those teams may be playing over their heads and will soon come down to earth, but here are a half-dozen that are the real deal. Six that have gotten off to nice starts and are programs that should still be able to sustain their early-season success.
1. Villanova Wildcats
Jay Wright didn’t forget how to coach in 2011-12. The issue was that he didn’t have his "type of guys," players who have an edge to them and play unselfish basketball. Now he's got a team whose sum is greater than its parts. Are there any surefire NBA players? No, but he’s got enough talent, chemistry and guys who understand and accept their roles.
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider