NCAA Takeaways: Week Two

NCAA Takeaways: Week Two

As we put the second week of the college season to bed, here are five things I took away from the action:

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1: Aari McDonald is putting the entire country on notice.

McDonald’s stellar play has the Wildcats sitting pretty at 4-0 with a 25-point win over Texas on Sunday. The Naismith Trophy Watch List member is averaging 25.3 points per while shooting just under 60 percent from the field. McDonald dropped 44 points in the win against the Longhorns giving her a statement performance early in the season. Her frontcourt counterpart, Cate Reese, had a solid showing of her own versus the Big 12 program finishing with 17 points, seven rebounds.


2: The Kansas Jayhawks are off to a fast start with no end in sight.

After starting the season 4-0, Kansas looks like a team with postseason aspirations. They have depth with six players averaging at least 9.5 points per game or more. Brandon Schneider’s team has star power in the form of Mariane De Carvalho. Like the team, De Carvalho is off to a roaring start averaging 13 points, 6.8 rebounds a game so far. They’ll be favored in their next three matchups before a non-conference showdown with Florida to start December.


3: Alabama bounced back like a team ready for action.

After a tough loss to Hampton, the Crimson Tide won two games over two 2018-19 NCAA Tournament teams in Clemson and Mercer. The backcourt tandem of Cierra Johnson and Jordan Lewis led the way. Johnson is averaging 12.7 points, six rebounds and three steals while Lewis is averaging 7.7 points with more than five rebounds and four assists per contest.


4: Vanderbilt is on a new level.

Much was made of the Commodores struggles during the 2018-19 in which they played arguably the nation’s toughest schedule. This season, Stephanie White’s group appears to have the depth to take on whatever the slate throws their way. They are 3-1 with the lone blemish coming at the hands of UConn by a 64-51 final score. The Dores are well positioned to have double digit wins before the start of SEC play on January 2. A lot of that potential will be realized if Mariella Fasoula and Brinae Alexander keep playing at a high level as they’re averaging a combined 30.8 points and 11 rebounds per contest so far.


5: Joe Mckeown has the Northwestern Wildcats right where he wants them.

A Philadelphia native, Mckeown has told me for years that his best teams as are tough as the city he grew up in. This year’s version of the Wildcats is showing that type of blue collar grit on the defensive end of the floor so far holding all three opponents under 50 points per game in regulation. Perhaps the most impressive win of the bunch was the dismantling of ACC foe Duke on Sunday. The Wildcats held the Blue Devils to 42 points. On the offensive end, junior guard Lindsey Pulliam has led the way averaging 23 points per game on an efficient 46.7 percent from beyond the arc.


Brandon Clay serves as the WNBA Director of Scouting for and owns The International Report, which is picked up by more than 150 colleges and universities nationwide. He serves as the Executive Camp Director for the Elite Basketball Academy Camps. He serves on the Naismith Trophy Men’s / Women’s College Player of the Year Academy and is chairman of the HS Boys / Girls Board of Selectors and is on the McDonald’s All-American Selection Committee. He also is the publisher of

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