Wendell Moore Jr. of Duke and Keegan Murray of Iowa to head Andy Katz’s breakout list


By Andy Katz
FOX Sports College Basketball Analyst

A month after the start of the men’s college basketball season, there have already been plenty of surprises. Here are the teams and players who have outperformed and underperformed.

Duke Wendell Moore Jr.'s Surprising Breakout Season |  CBB on Fox

Andy Katz caught up with Duke Blue Devils forward Wendell Moore Jr., who has had an impressive season so far. Moore Jr. talks about almost doubling his production from last season, what he thinks about Duke’s freshman class and playing for Coach K in his final season.

ESCAPES

Cincinnati: New coach Wes Miller has the Bearcats play like the old Bearcat teams under Bob Huggins and Mick Cronin. This team plays tough, tough basketball, as evidenced by a 20-point victory over Illinois at the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City.

Marcus Sasser, Houston: Sasser averaged nearly 18 points for a Cougars team that has just one flaw – a two-point loss to Wisconsin in Las Vegas – on its resume.

Dayton in Orlando: The Flyers lost three straight games – to UMass-Lowell, Lipscomb and Austin Peay – before snatching three in a row to win the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando with wins over Miami, Kansas and Belmont.

Wendell Moore Jr., Duke: The hype was all about Paolo Banchero and Trevor Keels – and rightly so. But Moore was sensational. The junior goalie is averaging 17.8 points and 6.5 boards. He scored 20 points and had four interceptions in the win over Gonzaga in Las Vegas.

Wake forest: The Demon Deacons appear to be a viable threat to finish in the ACC’s upper half after beating Virginia Tech on the road in the wake of a home overtime victory over Northwestern. Their only loss came against LSU.

State of Iowa: The Cyclones started the season 8-0 with victories over Xavier and Memphis to win the NIT Tip-Off, then won at Creighton. Big Ten transfers Izaiah Brockington (Penn State) and Gabe Kalscheur (Minnesota) have been sensational so far.

Adama sanogo, UConn: He wasn’t on any of the Big East preseason squads. Then on November 24, Sanogo scored 30 in a double overtime, 115-109 against Auburn in the Battle 4 Atlantis. He was absent for a few weeks due to an abdominal injury. If he returns in good health, Sanogo should outperform all season.

Minnesota: The Golden Gophers, who are expected to finish in the Big Ten’s last three, are 7-0 under new coach Ben Johnson. They won the Asheville Championship by beating Princeton in double overtime, and last weekend Minnesota won at Mississippi State.

Keegan Murray, Iowa: Murray leads the Big Ten with 23.9 PPG on 59.3% shots. Last season, he averaged 7.1 PPG for the Hawkeyes. He’s a budding star.

Johnny davis, Wisconsin: Davis was the MVP of the Maui Invitational in Las Vegas, with 30 points against Houston. He saw his average drop from seven to 20 per game.

Wyoming: The Cowboys have three real road wins (Washington, Grand Canyon and Cal State Fullerton) and are 8-0 to snatch a top 15 in the NET standings.

Arizona: The Wildcats are 7-0, including a road victory at Oregon State to tip the scales for the Pac-12. But most impressive was Arizona’s crushing 80-62 victory over Michigan in Las Vegas.

San Francisco: The Dons started 9-0 with wins over Davidson, UAB, Nevada and UNLV. They are legitimate contenders for the NCAA tournament.

The second: The league appears to be the strongest in the country, with seven teams – Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Auburn, Florida and LSU – tending to bid.

UNDER PERFORMERS

Memphis: The Tigers have been bombarded by Iowa State, have stumbled against ailing Georgia, lost a late possession game to Ole Miss and appear lost and rudderless without a true point guard. Featured as a Final Four contender, Memphis still has a lot of work to do to even enter the tournament.

Florida State: The injury-ridden Seminoles gave up 93 points to Purdue. They were snatched by Florida in Gainesville and couldn’t contain Syracuse at home for a third loss.

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights have faced injuries, including guarding Geo Baker. Still, with losses to Lafayette and at UMass, Rutgers is far from an NCAA tournament team.

Maryland: The Terps have lost to George Mason before and, like the Scarlet Knights, don’t look like a tournament team, despite the transfer hype from Fatts Russell and Qudus Wahab. Oh, and Mark Turgeon mutually agreed to quit coaching Maryland a month into the season, with interim Danny Manning taking over.

Mark Titus and Tate Frazier react to the end of the Mark Turgeon era in Maryland.

Michigan: The Wolverines saved face by beating San Diego State last weekend. But the way the second-half slipped out of their hands in blowout losses to Arizona and North Carolina was somewhat disheartening.

Oregon: The Ducks are just 5-4 after being eliminated by BYU and Houston and losing by double digits to Saint Mary’s. Oregon also lost at home to Arizona State, which had just suffered a fifth straight loss in a 29-point effort against Washington State.

PERFORMING AS EXPECTED

Purdu: Team n ° 1.

Duke: Coach K’s final round could include a Final Four.

Coach Titus on Mike Woodson & Coach KI Titus & Tate

Mark Titus and Tate Frazier speak to coach Bill Titus, who shares a memento of meeting Duke legend Mike Krzyzewski.

Gonzaga: The Zags have lost two of their last three games but still have high profile wins over UCLA and Texas.

Villanova: The Wildcats are always the team to beat in the Grand Est.

UCLA /USC: Both LA Pac-12 teams are where they expected: competing for the Pac-12 title.

Kofi Cockburn, Illinois: He dominates the backboard, including an 18-rebound effort against Iowa on Monday, and is the nation’s most imposing frontline player.

Illinois outlast Iowa 87-83 behind Kofi Cockburn's double-double

Kofi Cockburn had 17 points and 18 rebounds to lead Illinois to an 87-83 victory over Iowa on Monday. It was the Fighting Illini’s first victory there since 2017.

Kansas/Baylor/Texas: The Big Three of the Big 12 are expected to have a conference title hunt throughout the season.

Kentucky: The Wildcats have yet to win an elite game, but their additions –– rookie Tyty Washington and transfer Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia) –– live up to the hype.

Fans: No sport needs it more than college basketball. Wearing masks did not diminish enthusiasm. The games delivered, and the crowds too.

Andy Katz is a longtime college basketball writer, analyst and host. He can be seen on the FOX Sports and Big Ten Network platforms, as well as on March Madness and NCAA.com, and he hosts the “March Madness 365” podcast. Katz worked at ESPN for almost two decades and, before that, in newspapers for nine years.


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