The Messenger’s Jeff Goodman covers the men’s college basketball landscape from coast to coast in his weekly Stock Watch column, highlighting the rises and falls.
Johnny Furfee, Kansas
Australia’s 6-foot-9 freshman struggled early this season, but Bill Self decided to start playing him more than 30 minutes three games ago out of necessity, and it paid off. The diminutive Australian has averaged 17 points per game and made nine 3s at that level, but he’s also done a great job on the glass. Self knows he needed Furphy to take this KU team to its peak.
Purchase: Furphy still needs to get stronger, but he gives KU what it needs – another offensive weapon.
The Gamecocks entered their game against Kentucky at 15–3 overall, but no one gave them much credit because they had not won a resume game. Well, that changed with an emphatic 79-62 win over the No. 6 team in the country. Lamont Paris’ team was tough and terrible on the defensive end, holding a ‘Cats team that averaged 90 points per game which was 28 points less than his average. South Carolina has put itself in position to return to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in 20 years.
Catch: Paris has done a great job, but I’m still not sure South Carolina will stop dancing.
Not since Rodney Terry complained about UCF’s Horns Down celebration has Texas responded with a big win. Tyrese Hunter’s last-second heroics resulted in a win over No. 9 Baylor in Austin, and he was followed by backcourt partner Max Abmas, who scored 22 points in a road win over No. 11 Oklahoma in Norman. Texas is now 14-5 and back to .500 in SEC play after a disastrous start to league action.
Catch: I’m still buying the Longhorns as nothing more than a solid Big 12 team.
Daron Holmes, Dayton
The veteran big man has been on fire lately, and the Flyers are continuing to win and move up in the polls. Holmes scored 33 and 12 against Duquesne, followed by 29 and 14 in the win over St. Louis. He is averaging 21.5 points and 7 boards over the last two games. Holmes is averaging 19.6 points, 7.6 boards and 2.2 blocks per game this season and has gone from being a non-threat from beyond the arc to shooting 43% from three this season.
Purchase: Anthony Grant compared Holmes to Al Horford. That is good enough for me.
Aidan Mahaney, St. Mary’s
The Gaels second-year guard has struggled early this season and it was no coincidence that Saint Mary’s also got off to a slow start. But Randy Bennett’s team has won 11 of its last 12 games, and Mahaney has been hot in the last five, averaging nearly 21 points per contest and making 21 of 39 shots from deep.
Purchase: I will buy as many great stocks as I can. His confidence is back and he’s moving forward, and it won’t be stopping anytime soon.
Darlinstone Dauber, Hofstra
The name is distinctive, and the games exist to match it, especially recently. The 6-foot-6 guard had 27 points, 10 boards and four assists in the win over Hampton, and followed that up with 30, 11 and 3 in the win against Stony Brook.
Purchase: Duber is averaging 19.1 points and 7.6 boards this season.
Kevin Kruger and the Runnin’ Rebels knocked off Creighton, New Mexico and picked up a win at Boise State. But UNLV didn’t just lose to Air Force, which entered the game as the worst team in the Mountain West (0-5 in league play). But this wasn’t just a routine loss for UNLV. Air Force won by 32 points at Thomas & Mack, as embarrassing a loss as it has been all season.
Sell: UNLV is 9-9 overall and 2-4 in league play. They’ll be lucky to get an NIT bid.
After starting the season 15-2, the Tigers have lost two in a row – which wouldn’t be too worrisome except for the fact that they blew a 20-point lead at home to South Florida and then blew one at Tulane (a pair). dropped it. Ranking teams outside the top 100 in KenPom.com.) Then Tulane went out and lost to UTSA.
Purchase: I believe this old group will get back on track and challenge FAU for the league title.
Isaac Brown was fired the previous season after missing the NCAA Tournament two consecutive seasons, and was replaced by Oral Roberts coach Paul Mills. In rebuilding mode, Mills and the Shockers have struggled this season; They are losing eight games in a row and are 8-10 overall. The last time Wichita State went three consecutive seasons without an NCAA Tournament bid was when Greg Marshall took over in 2007–11.
Sell: Mills will have to work hard on the portal next offseason to turn the program around.
Dennis Gates did a great job in his first season at Columbia and was rewarded with a lucrative, fully guaranteed contract. This year tigers are back on earth; They are 0-6 in SEC play and 8-11 overall. Domestic damage occurred in Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. The only question now is can they beat Vandy and stay out of the SEC Cellar.
Sell: This team is going nowhere this season.
At one point it looked like Washington might be an NCAA Tournament team, and Mike Hopkins would be off the hot seat. The Huskies defeated Xavier in November, Gonzaga in early December and were 8–3 at one point. But league play hasn’t been great, and it’s not like the Pac-12 is full or even close. The U-Dubs are now 3-6 in conference play after losses to Stanford and Colorado at home. This team had a lot of zero to do with struggling like this.
Sell: Washington’s hole is deep and there is no chance of recovery.