So I saw our guy Philly Mays, who is a big Nova fan, tweet that they are now the betting favorites to win the title. What do you know? I go to the Barstool Sportsbook and bam he's not lying. Why? This news from last night:
Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels coming back is huge. No doubt about that. But national title favorites? Come on. Are we forgetting they are basically the same team as this past year just without Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (and Cole Swider)? Pretty big loss there!
They are essentially running it back another year with the same squad minus arguably its best - Gillespie, most important - player. This feels like Iowa coming into last year. We know who Nova is. They are going to win the Big East. They are a top-10 team. But they aren't the favorites. I know it's early. I know this is a reaction to the news and hype Nova has now. But come on. They have a high floor but we know their ceiling. That's why it's insane to take them now at +700 and the favorites. They just aren't nor will they be favorites when the season starts.
It is interesting to see Nova have two true fifth year guys lead the team though. They are taking advantage of the free year, something we're seeing more guys do or at least debate doing. As for Nova, what makes them so good is not just the fact they tend to have a guard they can post to invert the offense, they need that stretch big. Yeah, they had Ochefu who didn't fit that mold, but they had a bunch of NBA talent around him. Their best team had Spellman playing that role. This year, what? Eric Dixon? Trey Patterson came in early so maybe him? I still consider him a freshman and we've seen mixed results with top-50 recruits as a freshman there. DCR is coming off injury too.
That's the key to remember here. Gillespie is coming off injury. If DCR comes back, he's coming off injury. It's a weird mix right now despite having talent. You still need Justin Moore to take the jump that everyone thought he was going to have as a sophomore. You need someone to fill in for JRE if we're talking title winner.
If we're looking at the country as a whole - are we going to see Gonzaga be the favorites again if they land Chet Holmgren? You know, this unicorn:
There are still a bunch of big name transfers in the portal and we're seeing guys go all over the place. Shit, as I write this Texas just landed Devin Askew and is bringing back Andrew Jones. Not a bad start for Chris Beard there. What if Purdue gets Trevion Williams back? They are a damn good team and should be preseason top-5 with him and Jaden Ivey there. Again, this isn't anti-Nova. They are a top-10 team. This is just anti-Nova +700. I'd much rather take a shot at Alabama at 15/1 or Arkansas at 30/1 there. That said, Nova is going to win the Big East because Nova always wins the Big East.
I will say this stat is the only one that scares me about Nova winning a 3rd title in a decade