Unlike football, college basketball season sneaks up on us. It may surprise some of you to know the season starts this week. It surprises me, and I’m supposed to know this stuff.
Iowa’s season-opener is Friday night in Iowa City against Texas-Pan American. That’s a Division I school in Edinburg, Texas.
UTPA’s nickname is the Broncs. The Broncs play in the Great West Conference with Chicago State, Houston Baptist, New Jersey Institute of Technology, North Dakota and Utah Valley.
The conference should be called the Couldn’t Find Another Conference Conference.
Here’s how good the Great West was last season. UTPA was 5-5 in league play, 6-16 outside it.
The Broncs have four players from greater Chicago, one each from Finland, Norway and Puerto Rico. They have a forward from Kansas City and a guard from Florida. Maybe that’s what “Pan American” means.
This team has seven junior-college transfers.
Based on their majors, it sounds like a pretty smart team. Those majors include mechanical engineering, political science/pre-law, kiniesology, criminal justice, biology, business finance and civil engineering.
Senior guard Brandon Provost has made 152 of his 336 3-pointers at UTPA for a superb 45.6 percent.
UTPA was bad in the margins last season. By that, I mean it was 286th in scoring margin, 309th in rebound margin, 280th in turnover margin. It was 299th in steals, 314th in blocked shots.
The verdict: Cupcake.