College basketball’s first ever all-female team is set to take the court on Tuesday, raising questions from people around the country about how far women have come in sports.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Texas at Austin are home to two current National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I conferences, but they were not always a part of this elite group. In order to qualify as an NCAA member school, teams must be in compliance with certain regulations that require playing by rules set out by governing bodies such as The
National Federation Of State High School Associations (NFHS). While these state-sanctioned organizations work on their own respective basis for high school athletics, there is one similarity between them all: each has been founded through some form of legislative decision. Although similar in nature and history, these three schools have unique histories when it comes to deciding where college sports should exist in America.
The “first college basketball team” is the first college basketball team in America. The team was created by Dr. James Naismith in 1891.
Iowa State was the obvious fourth club in the field heading into last week’s NIT Season Tip-Off in Brooklyn. Three top-25 teams are vying for the title: Memphis, Virginia Tech, and Xavier, with the Cyclones rounding out the field.
Iowa State was the highest-ranked member of the quartet in ESPN’s Power Rankings at the conclusion of the week, and was placed No. 19 in the AP poll.
It’s an understatement to say that everything is a touch ahead of schedule for new head coach TJ Otzelberger and his squad, given that Iowa State only won two games all of last season and has quadrupled that amount in only three weeks.
Last week, Otzelberger stated, “I’m thrilled for our boys because we are really demanding.” “They are aware that they have committed to a process that will very certainly need as much effort and dedication as anybody else… Every day, we do the same thing. We’ve established a routine. Hopefully, we will get engrossed in our job, keep our heads down, and continue to develop as a team. We’re 6-0, but it also means we’re six games into a 31-game regular season, so we still have a long way to go.”
Not only was Otzelberger inheriting a team that finished 2-22 overall and 0-18 in Big 12 play the previous season, but he also had to overhaul the squad in terms of personnel. Javan Johnson, a senior, and senior Solomon Young were among the four starters from previous season that transferred.
Building relationships and having everyone on the same page fast in the summer was crucial for a team with four transfers and one freshman in its top six.
“I think the cohesion began when we first met one other in the summer,” freshman Tyrese Hunter said. “It was little things like making sure we all ate breakfast together before practice and having a team meeting at the conclusion of each day. Organizing team events and going out together — things that help you get to know the folks next to you more quickly. We had a lot of new guys, which was huge.”
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“Almost everyone completed their eight weeks, and I spent the summer laying the foundation for the system. It wasn’t only about shooting and handling the ball. It was a game of basketball with a team “On Wednesday, Lloyd told ESPN. “Our players have learnt from them during games when there are live repetitions, which has gotten me thrilled. We’ve been able to reinforce what we’ve done well, and we’ve been able to fix what we’ve done incorrectly. They’ve always been fast to pick things up. The speed with which they learn and adjust has been a bonus for me.”
Arizona’s 18-point thrashing of then-No. 4 Michigan at the Roman Main Event in Las Vegas this season changed everyone’s mind about the Wildcats. The Wildcats pulled away from the Wolverines at the conclusion of the first half, then put the game out of reach in the opening five minutes of the second. The second-half pullaway was a sharp contrast to the previous two days, when Arizona lost a 16-point second-half lead against Wichita State before winning in overtime.
“We wanted to come out in attack mode in that game,” Lloyd said of Michigan’s victory. “We didn’t want to just sit back and accept their demands. We wanted to put pressure on the ball and get them out of their comfort zone. We were curious to see how they performed outside of their performances. On offense, we wanted to shuffle them about and put them in positions where they had to defend several pick-and-rolls. There were some advantages to attending Wichita State. Some of our passing, ball-handling, and decision-making were lacking. So we could say, here is how it appears when done correctly, and this is how it looks when done incorrectly.”
Bennedict Mathurin, a projected first-round choice, has lived up to the anticipation, returning big man Azuolas Tubelis has taken the next step in his growth, and point guard Kerr Kriisa has been outstanding. Christian Koloko, a 7-foot-1 Cameroon native who has played his way up NBA draft boards with a spectacular junior season, has been the main story in Tucson this season.
Boston College Eagles’ Earl Grant: Grant, who took over for Jim Christian, has had a rough first month, to say the least. After defeating South Florida by 15 points on Monday, the Eagles have already exceeded Boston College’s win total from last season, although that win against the Bulls was the greatest of their five triumphs so far. They lost two of their three most tough games, one to Utah and the other to Rhode Island. The most notable change from last season so far is the speed: Boston College’s tempo is now ranked in the bottom 30 nationally, after placing No. 58 in 2020-21.
Cincinnati Bearcats’ Wes Miller: At Cincinnati, Miller’s first item of business was to persuade the players who had entered the transfer portal after the season to return under the new head coach. It was then time to urge the Bearcats to defend as they did a few years ago. After finishing in the top 50 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency for the last ten years of Mick Cronin’s tenure, they slipped to ninth in the AAC past season. So far, it seems to be working. This season, Cincinnati hasn’t allowed an opponent to score more than 1.00 points per possession, and the Bearcats have victories against Georgia and Illinois, as well as a close defeat to Arkansas. Miller’s debut at Cincinnati has been tarnished by a home defeat to Monmouth last weekend, but there is reason to be optimistic for the next month.
DePaul Blue Demons’ Tony Stubblefield: After a 6-0 start in Stubblefield’s first six games as head coach, the Blue Demons had reason to be optimistic. All six games were played at home, which might temper some expectations, but they did upset Rutgers in mid-November and are led by guard Javon Freeman-Liberty, who is a first-team all-league performer. With a local rivalry game against Loyola Chicago on Saturday and a trip to Louisville next week, the team will be put to the ultimate test. On the offensive end, Stubblefield has DePaul upping the pace and playing aggressively.
East Tennessee State Buccaneers’ Desmond Oliver: Oliver has rapidly delivered victories to Johnson City, capitalizing on the skill basis developed by Steve Forbes and subsequently Jason Shay for the Bucs. In addition to beating Murray State, Missouri State, and Kent State, the former Tennessee assistant has also won the Naples Invitational. There haven’t been any significant modifications in terms of style. ETSU is making more three-pointers and distributing the ball better than last season, while also protecting the perimeter better on the opposite end.
George Mason, Kim English Patriots: After four games, English seemed to be one of the country’s most promising young head coaches. The Patriots had dominated their first three games against mid-major opponents before defeating Maryland at College Park. But it’s been a battle since then. Mason was defeated by James Madison and George Washington, and then Nevada in South Dakota. The four-game losing run came to an end with a defeat against South Dakota State. However, English’s influence has been noticed on offense, as the Patriots are hitting much more three-pointers and are more efficient at that end of the floor than they were last season.
Indiana Hoosiers’ Mike Woodson: Woodson has had an instant effect on Indiana, particularly on the defensive end. The Hoosiers have the best 2-point % defense and effective field goal percentage defense in the country, and they’re more active in the half-court in terms of ball pressure and forcing turnovers. The majority of the offensive success has come from new players. With Pitt transfer Xavier Johnson as point guard, Indiana has improved its point guard play and is shooting the ball much better, headed by freshman Tamar Bates. Trayce Jackson-Davis has been outstanding. On Tuesday, Indiana lost in double overtime against Syracuse for the first time this season.
Drew Valentine, Loyola University Chicago The Chicago Ramblers are a minor league baseball team based in Chicago. Valentine was Porter Moser’s assistant for four seasons, and when Moser departed for Oklahoma, Valentine was the apparent choice. As a consequence, it’s no wonder that the Ramblers have adopted a similar aesthetic. The focus on perimeter productivity has been one notable change. Loyola is making more three-pointers per game and at a better rate than previous season. After losing by single digits to Michigan State and Auburn, the Ramblers rebounded with an 18-point win against Arizona State.
Marquette’s Shaka Smart The Golden Eagles are a team from the United States. During the first week and a half of the season, the Golden Eagles were one of the most popular stories in college basketball, beating Illinois at home and then defeating Ole Miss and West Virginia in the Charleston Classic quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. They were subsequently blasted out by St. Bonaventure in the championship game, but Smart is off to a great start with a 7-1 record and three victories against major-conference opponents. He’s playing lot more like a HAVOC than he did at Texas, ranking in the top ten nationally in pace and attacking and playing in transition. The remainder of the season, Marquette does not face a club from outside the top six conferences.
Minnesota Golden Gophers’ Ben Johnson: Although the competition hasn’t been particularly tough, Johnson and the Golden Gophers have stacked victories in the first month of the season, which has helped them gain early momentum. They won their first six games of the season, including wins against Western Kentucky and Princeton on neutral grounds to win the Asheville Championship and then a victory over Pittsburgh in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Their offense hasn’t progressed as far as their defense, which isn’t surprising given the number of new faces on the roster, but they’ve been disciplined defensively and have really fought on the perimeter.
New Mexico Lobos’ Richard Pitino: Pitino and the Lobos can expect some early growing pains, given that coach took over a club that went 2-15 in Mountain West play last season. They started 4-1, with the lone loss coming by 11 points at Colorado, but then dropped two straight games in Las Vegas to UAB and Towson before rebounding back with a road victory against rival New Mexico State on Tuesday. Pitino’s major style effect has been on defensive speed and ferocity. After ranking around 200 in tempo and outside the top 100 in turnover % previous season, New Mexico is now in the top 25 in the country in pace and top 40 in defensive turnover percentage.
North Carolina Tar Heels’ Hubert Davis: Davis has made an attempt to shift the approach in Chapel Hill, moving away from Roy Williams’ traditional two-big man lines and toward a more contemporary four-in, one-out arrangement. There have been ups and downs. With Dawson Garcia and Brady Manek providing matchup difficulties and allowing Caleb Love more freedom to move with the ball in his hands, the Heels have looked more tough to defend at times. However, they had a rough start to the season, surrendering 87 points to Brown, 83 to Charleston, 84 to Purdue, and 89 to Tennessee. The Tar Heels have improved on that end of the floor since their 0-2 trip to Mohegan Sun, with a highlight of keeping Michigan to 0.79 points per possession in a 21-point victory on Wednesday.
Oklahoma Sooners’ Porter Moser: The Sooners could have gotten a little more national exposure if they hadn’t lost in the final of the Myrtle Beach Invitational to Justin Bean and Utah State by three points. After delivering Florida its first setback of the season on Wednesday, they’re currently 7-1. Oklahoma has been terrific around the rim in the first month of the season, but much of it is due to Tanner Groves and Jalen Hill’s effectiveness in the paint. Groves shoots 68.1 percent and Hill makes 80.6 percent of his 2-point shots for the Sooners, who are ranked third in the country. Against the Gators, they combined for 38 points and 12 rebounds.
Penn State Nittany Lions’ Micah Shrewsberry: The first few weeks have been a mixed bag for Shrewsberry and the Nittany Lions. They lost by 25 points at UMass in the second game of the season, but then went on to overcome unbeaten LSU in overtime and then beat Oregon State by 15 points before losing to Miami at home. The most significant modifications under Shrewsberry have been in terms of pace. The Nittany Lions’ pace is at No. 350 nationally, which is closer to Shrewsberry’s former school, Purdue, than to Penn State’s under Pat Chambers and Jim Ferry. Much of this is due to the importance placed on a good half-court offense. PSU’s offensive efficiency should increase if turnovers are reduced.
Portland Pilots’ Shantay Legans: Given the quality of their schedule, it’s too soon to get too enthusiastic about the Pilots, but they’ve already won seven games this season, compared to six last year. The finest victory was arguably against Portland State, and one of the seven victories came against a non-Division I opponent, but there’s some hope for a Pilots team that has had nine straight losing seasons. They’ve made progress defensively so far this season.
Texas Longhorns’ Chris Beard: Given Beard’s recruiting class, which included six top-35 transfers and a top-50 freshmen, there was always going to be a settling in phase at the start of the season. This season, seven different players have started multiple games, while Vanderbilt transfer Dylan Disu is still injured. Beard’s team isn’t defending as well as his past squads, but part of it is due to their game versus Gonzaga in the season’s second game. Marcus Carr (8.5 points per game, 18 field goals made in six games) has struggled since moving in from Minnesota, but we think he’ll adjust.
Texas Tech Red Raiders’ Mark Adams: So far, Beard’s former assistant coach has done an excellent job of filling his shoes. Adams has a reputation as a defensive wiz, and despite the Red Raiders’ first defeat of the season against Providence on Wednesday night, they are still rated in the top 20 in adjusted defensive efficiency nationally. Granted, Providence was their first opponent rated in the top 240 by KenPom, and the Friars scored 1.04 points per possession in their comeback victory. With the exception of two important areas: offensive rebounding and 3-point shooting, Texas Tech’s style has remained consistent. The acquisition of Kevin Obanor has helped Tech to stretch opponents a little more in the frontcourt. Marcus Santos-Silva and Bryson Williams have been strong on the boards. Terrence Shannon Jr.’s comeback has also been a significant benefit.
Mike Jones, UNC Greensboro Spartans: After winning at least 21 games five times in his last eight seasons at Radford, including an NCAA tournament berth in 2018, Jones was one of the best mid-major hires last spring. And, so far, he’s looking like a good replacement for Wes Miller, who led the Spartans to the NCAA tournament in each of the previous five seasons. UNCG has lost two overtime games this season, to UMass and FIU, but has also defeated Vermont and Northern Kentucky en way to a 7-2 start.
UNLV Rebels’ Kevin Kruger: Kruger and his staff attacked the transfer portal hard last spring, with four transfers in the starting lineup and seven in the 10-man rotation for the Runnin’ Rebels. There have been some highs — three consecutive victories to open the season, including a win over California — and some lows — three straight Division I defeats after the 3-0 start — in the first month. The biggest notable shift in terms of style and system has been on defense, where the Rebels rank more than 100 ranks better in adjusted defensive efficiency than previous season. They’re defending perimeter shots and causing more turnovers. On offense, they’re doing a lot better job of keeping the ball in play.
Utah Utes’ Craig Smith: Smith and the Utes won their first five games of the season, including a win against 2021 NCAA tournament member Abilene Christian in the opener and back-to-back wins over Boston College and Tulsa at Daytona Beach. They stayed with in-state rival BYU for approximately 30 minutes until the Cougars went on a 16-3 run to pull away. Their Pac-12 opening against USC didn’t go well either, as they were defeated 93-73. Offensive rebounding has carried over from Smith’s time at Utah State; the Utes are rated in the top-25 nationally after finishing 13th previous season. There have been defensive gains, similar to what we saw at Utah State, which makes sense considering that two of Smith’s starters from Logan are now starting for him in Salt Lake City.
Utah State Aggies’ Ryan Odom: So far this season, Odom has had one of the finest starts of any new coach. The Aggies’ three-point defeat to UC Davis in the season opener raised concerns at the time, and it seems to be even more of an outlier now that UC Davis lost by 19 to Division II Academy of Art last weekend. Utah State, on the other hand, has been fantastic since then. The Aggies defeated Oklahoma and Richmond and went 4-0 on neutral grounds, including winning the Myrtle Beach Invitational. Utah State has had three consecutive 20-win seasons under Craig Smith’s leadership, and Odom might be on his way to a fourth.
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The “college basketball rankings” is a ranking system that ranks college basketball teams according to their performance. The rankings are updated every week, and are released on Tuesdays.
Frequently Asked Questions
What college played basketball first?
A: The game of basketball was created in 1891 by James Naismith.
When did basketball become a college sport?
A: Basketball as a sport was first played at Dartmouth College in 1891.
How did basketball started in the college level?
A: The first time people played basketball was in 1891 when Canadian Dr. James Naismith invented the game for his gym class at Springfield College, Massachusetts
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