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#pounditFriday, January 28, 2022

Articles tagged: Collin Sexton

10 most interesting early-season developments in college basketball

College basketball’s first semester has come to a close. For the casual fan, this means the season has barely begun, but for the diehard followers, so much has already taken place. Top teams have crumbled, surprising contenders have emerged, and star players have made their mark on the landscape. Despite the best efforts of all parties involved, the college basketball schedule early on fails to really attract attention.

Now as the calendar turns, teams are sliding into conference play with more on the line. Beyond bragging rights, tournament bids and seeds are there for the taking. Teams, both good and bad, are now required to step out of their comfort zone and play true road games in front of packed crowds. This is where the season truly begins to get chaotic. Before that happens though, it’s crucial to look back at what has already occurred and what events will set the stage for the rest of the season.

10. LiAngelo Ball’s departure from UCLA

The middle brother of the most boastful family in basketball was never going to make an impact at UCLA this season. He was given a scholarship mostly as part of the Bruins’ recruiting of his older brother Lonzo, who is now with the Los Angeles Lakers. LiAngelo entered his freshman season as an undersized forward with few skills other than an outside jumpshot. In the span of a four-year career, he may have developed into a contributor.

A player of his caliber being mentioned on this list is no easy feat. For the college basketball world to care about LiAngelo Ball, he had to become part of an international incident, reportedly involving two of the world’s most powerful figures, when he and two teammates were arrested in China for shoplifting. After a few presidential tweets and a flight home, the Ball family chose to pull LiAngelo from college. Fans of the collegiate version of basketball let out a collective sigh of relief as LaVar Ball became someone else’s problem.

9. Fletcher Magee on historic pace