30th Maui Invitational
Lahaina Civic Center in Maui, Hawaii
Coach: Mike Anderson
Update: With the loss of its two best scorers from a year ago, athletic wing Michael Qualls (16.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg) has taken a much bigger role, and forward transfer Alandise Harris has already proved his worth (18.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg). Arkansas likes to press and has turned opponents over at a rate of 26.8 percent, the sixth-best mark in the nation.
Coach: Mike Montgomery
Update: The Bears have four starters back. The 6-10 Richard Solomon has been averaging a double-double early. Like the Gophers, Cal plays smaller lineups, often with Solomon as the only traditional post player. David Kravish has been effective rebounding in a wing role, and freshman Jabari Bird leads the team in scoring (13.5 ppg).
Coach: Richard Pitino
Update: The frontcourt has brought the biggest surprises. Elliott Eliason is averaging 11.2 rebounds a game after just 3.5 last year, and 6-9 forward Oto Osenieks has looked like a new player early on. Post player Mo Walker can return from a suspension on Tuesday, but Joey King is still out because of a fractured jaw.
No. 9 SYRACUSE (4-0)
Coach: Jim Boeheim
Update: C.J. Fair’s decision to forego the NBA draft could not possibly mean more for the Orange, which lost three of its four best players from last season. Fair is averaging 18 points and 5.5 rebounds a game and is the core of one of the best frontcourts in the nation, full of length and athleticism. Jerami Grant, a 6-8 sophomore, has taken off.
No. 20 BAYLOR (4-0)
Coach: Scott Drew
Update: The Bears have been strong in the paint with 7-1 center Isaiah Austin rooting the post after returning for his sophomore season rather than going pro. By his side is 6-9 forward Cory Jefferson, who is grabbing a team-high 9.8 rebounds per game. On the outside, three-point specialist Brady Heslip looks much improved from a year ago.
Coach: Eric Bovaird
Update: The Division II Silverswords upset Texas 86-73 in the first round last year. Christophe Varidel, a 6-3 guard, transferred from Florida Gulf Coast and impressed in his debut, scoring 30 points and adding seven rebounds. Three other players average in double digits, led by Kiran Shastri, with 12 points and 3.5 rebounds a game.
Coach: Archie Miller
Update: The Flyers have been a good-shooting team and have played fast, if a little sloppy at times. Devin Oliver, a 6-7 senior forward, is the foundation of the frontcourt, averaging 13 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. Forward Dyshawn Pierre (12 ppg, 5.3 rpg) has kicked things up a notch, and Ohio State transfer wing Jordan Sibert has been a big help (13.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg).
No. 13 GONZAGA (4-0)
Coach: Mark Few
Update: The Bulldogs were a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament last year, but they lost their entire frontcourt. Sam Dower, a 6-9 senior from Osseo, and 7-1 sophomore Przemek Karnowski have stepped up to the challenge. The problem for Gonzaga is that unlike last season, the bench is very short. The Bulldogs have connected on 45 of 93 three-pointers (48.4 percent).