Christmas is right around the corner and as many kids put together their wish lists for Santa, we will put our wishlist together for college basketball fans. As we close out the non-conference season we have found one thing that each team would love to have. This is our wishlist that we are submitting to Santa from each team.
Duke: Bubble Wrap
Duke would love to have tons of bubble wrap this Christmas in order to protect their 3 star freshmen. Jayson Tatum, Marques Bolden, and Harry Giles are all finally in action for the first time this season after missing the past few months due to injury. Coach K is going to want to wrap these freshmen with bubble wrap to ensure that they remain healthy. (Also we can put bubble wrap on the floor of Cameron Indoor so it doesn’t hurt as much when Grayson Allen trips you. Sorry not sorry)
NC State: Game Reps
NC State is asking for extra game reps for Christmas because star freshman Omer Yurtseven is now eligible to play after serving a suspension. The seven foot big man is notorious for scoring 91 points in an official game over the summer. The NC State would love to get Yurtseven tons of game reps and build a chemistry between him and Dennis Smith.
UCLA: Time Machine
UCLA is asking Santa for a time machine this Christmas so they can fast forward to March. This team has all the pieces and is playing fantastic basketball. Steve Alford will want to fast forward to March while his team is all healthy and a favorite to make a Final Four run.
Arizona: Allonzo Trier
I don’t think Santa even knows what is going on with Allonzo Trier. He has basically gone missing being suspended indefinitely by Sean Miller. Zona could sure use a top flight wing player to lead this talented freshman class. With 7 healthy scholarship players and a lack of a lethal scorer, Arizona would love to unwrap an eligible Allonzo Trier this Christmas.
North Carolina: Reliable Shooting Guard
Joel Berry has made a smooth transition from the 2 guard to the point with Marcus Paige’s graduation but the Tar Heels haven’t found anyone to play Berry’s role from last season. Nate Britt, Kenny Williams, and Seventh Woods have all had their share of opportunities but the Tar Heels have not got consistent play from anyone of those three. If the Tar Heels had a reliable shooting guard and someone to take some of the load off of Berry they would be National Championship contenders.
Northwestern: NCAA Tournament Bid
Northwestern has their best opportunity to make the NCAA tournament. Bryant McIntosh and Vic Law are both having exceptional seasons but it may not be enough to get Chris Collins and the Wildcats into the dance. A little treat from Santa Claus will give this Northwestern program a huge boost and will be fun for all college basketball fans to watch.
Syracuse: March 2016 Tyler Lydon
Syracuse has had a horrible start to the year with their best win of the season coming against Monmouth. Part of the reason for their lack of quality wins is due to the play of Tyler Lydon. Lydon was a key player for Syracuse in their Final Four run last season but has failed to live up to expectations this year. At his best, Lydon can be a shot blocking stretch 4 but his offensive game has regressed from his freshman year. Syracuse will need Tyler Lydon to return to form to compete in the ACC and be in contention for a NCAA tournament run.
Georgetown: A Short Memory
Georgetown has had a rollercoaster season thus far with a brutal loss to Arkansas State and an epic collapse against Maryland but has wins against Oregon and Syracuse. Georgetown is asking Santa for a short memory to have everyone forget those early season losses. Getting past those losses will be key to having a Big East.
Connecticut: Tickets to the Women’s Games or Hamidou Diallo
UConn has been an absolute mess from the start of the season after losing to Wagner on opening night. The struggles continued as UConn has lost to Northeastern. For Christmas, UConn is asking for either tickets to see their women’s team or 5-star recruit Hamidou Diallo. Time for the men’s team to hit the reset button as an NCAA tournament bid seems unlikely without Hami Diallo enrolling for the second semester and setting the world on fire. If Diallo does not come to be a savior, Husky nation should focus on the women’s basketball team.
Purdue: Vince Edward’s Ceiling
I was strongly considering having Purdue ask for prettier girls or (insert Arkansas Little Rock joke here) but I settled on Vince Edward’s ceiling. Edwards is, in my mind, the best player Purdue has. His combination of size, athleticism, and shooting ability make him both a matchup nightmare and rebounding machine. If Edwards can reach his ceiling this season that would put Purdue on another level. Edwards has NBA potential and a strong Big-Ten season would not only help Purdue, but his NBA stock as well.
Indiana: Better Tournament Draw
Indiana has rushed out to a fantastic start this season with only two losses, both coming away from Assembly Hall, to top 100 teams. Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby, and James Blackmon Jr. are all playing fantastic basketball and the bench is deeper and more talented than ever. This team has the chance to be something special as they look for a second consecutive Big-Ten crown. This year the Hoosiers are asking for a better draw in the tournament. Last year the Hoosiers were way under seeded and faced a stout Chattanooga team before matching up against Kentucky. The Hoosiers survived the first weekend but the coincidental matchup with UK was not cool for the second round. The Hoosiers then faced the runners-up in UNC where Marcus Paige remembered how to make deep shots. The Hoosiers would love a better tourney draw for Christmas. ( I know every team wants this but pretty please.)
Michigan State: Health
Michigan State has been banged up all year and Miles Bridges’s sprained ankle has put Tom Izzo in a very tough spot. If Santa can get Gavin Schilling, Ben Carter, and Miles Bridges healthy that would be the best gift Tom Izzo could imagine.
Louisville: Outside Shooting
According to KenPom, Louisville is the best defensive team in the country. The Cardinals have one of the deepest frontcourts but their guards have left something to be desired. For Christmas, Rick Pitino and the Cardinals are asking for better outside shooting/guard play. Combining improved shooting with that tenacious defense and Louisville will be tough to beat in the ACC.
Xavier has a very impressive core with Ed Sumner, Trevon Bluiett, and JP Macura but have looked very average at times. Xavier almost lost to a horrible Missouri team and Northern Iowa but those games are sandwiched between a beat down of a very talented Clemson team. In they keep this up they could have a few surprise losses in the Big East, If Xavier can become consistent they can challenge Villanova for the Big East crown.
Santa and his helpers will need a lot work and miracles this Christmas.
Happy Holidays from College Pride Press