College Hoops Early Season Surprise Teams & Their Outlooks

by Kyle Hunter

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022
UConn Huskies (7-0-1 ATS So Far) No one has been more impressive to me early in the season than the UConn Huskies. They have blowout wins over Alabama, Oregon, and Iowa State already. Adama Sonogo is one of the best players in the country. Freshman Alex Caraban is a key for this team too. It is going to be a lot of fun when we see this team battle against Creighton in the Big East. I still don’t think the books have caught up on UConn. 

St. Bonaventure Bonnies (5-1 ATS) How has this team been so good against the spread? They lost nearly everyone. Mark Schmidt is showing what a tremendous coach he is with this really inexperienced bunch. I wouldn’t have expected this team to be so competitive early on. They are coming off a huge win over Notre Dame on a neutral court. Their contest against Iona on a neutral will tell us a lot.

Kent State Golden Flashes (6-0 ATS) I’m going under the radar here. Kent State nearly knocked off Houston on the road in their last game. The Golden Flashes defense looks very tough this season. They are testing themselves in a big way in the non-conference. They take on Gonzaga in Spokane on December 5th. I don’t think this team is quite as good as they look at this point.

Southern Miss Golden Eagles (4-0 ATS) Jay Ladner’s crew is playing much better so far this year. Southern Miss is still a team I want to wait and see on though. They haven’t played that tough of a schedule and I want to see how they look with a bigger sample size on the road. 

West Virginia Mountaineers (5-2 ATS) Bob Huggins’ team was about as bad as anyone could have expected last year. Huggins said his team didn’t really buy in last year, and he was very confident they would be better this year. It looks like he was right! I do think last year was the floor for this Mountaineers team, and I would tend to think they’ll continue to have value going forward for a while this year.

South Alabama Jaguars (6-0 ATS) Another team that is flying under the radar this year. In the Sun Belt, it is much easier for a team to fly under the radar. South Alabama has been money as an underdog here early in the season against quality teams. They will be in that role their next couple games. After that they will start laying points again. I’m not confident this team will be great when laying a lot of points. 

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