The 2021-22 NCAA basketball season is nearing the halfway point of the season. Here’s a look at those that have been most disappointing.
St. Bonaventure (8-3) came into the season with a long NCAA Tournament run in its head. The Bonnies returned all five starters from their Atlantic 10 champion squad while adding some depth in the offseason. Don’t get me wrong, the Bonnies are extremely talented and are rightfully still the favorites to win the A-10.
However, Kyle Lofton needs to stay healthy and Mark Schmidt needs to trust his reserves a little more in order for them to achieve their dreams. They also have to shore up their defense which is 251st in defensive ranking after being No. 28 last year.
SBU is squarely on the NCAA bubble. The Bonnies were impressive in winning the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic and two of their losses are to Virginia Tech and UConn.
Memphis (7-5) is a young team that entered the season with high expectations, probably too high. The Tigers began the season ranked No.12 in the country in the preseason and they moved too as high as No. 9.
Memphis began the season with five straight victories, but the Tigers are just 2-5 in their last seven contests. While the Tigers have some quality wins over Alabama and Virginia Tech, they are 3-2 in Quad III and IV games with losses to Georgia as well as Tulane.
The Tigers have a lot of work to do just to get back on the NCAA Tournament bubble. But it is not all bad news as they do have a few big wins and three good losses. Memphis has a lot of talent and they create havoc with their athleticism on both ends of the floor. However, they do need to improve their free-throw shooting and limit turnovers.
Virginia (8-5, 2-1 ACC) probably shouldn’t have been ranked at the beginning of the season due to the Cavaliers having lost so much experience and production from last year. Still, the Wahoos did return several quality veterans and, of course, are coached by Tony Bennett. UVA, as is the yearly case, is strong defensively and struggles offensively. The Cavaliers rank among the bottom 60 teams in 3-pointers made, rebounding, and scoring,
Virginia has a NET ranking of 90. While the Cavaliers are 6-0 in Quad IV games, they do have losses to Navy and James Madison while also getting blown out by Houston and Clemson.
Expectations weren’t very high in Pittsburgh this year though it is a huge year for Jeff Capel. Granted, the Panthers (5-8, 0-2 ACC) lost starting guards Nike Sibande (injury) and Ithiel Horton (suspension) prior to the season. However, there is not an overabundance of major talent on the roster with the exception of John Hughley.
Pitt ranks in the bottom third in the nation in both offensive (95.6) and defensive ratings (100.0). However, it is on the offensive side where the Panthers really struggle. They have been held less to less than 60 points on seven occasions and averages 61.2 points a game while producing a shooting slash line of .409/.298/.662. Pitt also has lost 6 of 11 games at “The Pete” with setbacks to Monmouth, UMBC, and The Citadel.
Expectations weren’t necessarily high for the Orange heading into the season as they lost quite a bit during the offseason, including over 63% of its scoring. But the main problem has been the defense, which allows 75.6 points and 11.2 3-pointers a game. SU is 5-3 in Quad III and IV contests and four of their six losses have been by double-digits.