This article is part of our College Hoops Barometer series.
While the blue bloods almost always end up having the last laugh come tourney time, the Cinderella stories sometimes make for better theater. The underdog even becomes the favorite occasionally. We certainly have seen that happen with Gonzaga, a perennial title contender that started out as an upset darling. On a much smaller scale, St. Bonaventure has perhaps a similar story. The Bonnies have a chance to make some noise this season, and while they are not a household name, they are by no means coming out of nowhere. The Bonnies won the regular season and conference tournament in the Atlantic-10 last season and return all five starters from that squad. All of those players are seniors. They find themselves ranked in the top-25 and for those in the know, this is a dangerous squad under coach Mark Schmidt. Meanwhile, St. Bonaventure has not been to the Final Four since 1970 with Bob Lanier and has been to the NCAA Tournament just four times since the Year 2000. Is coach Mark Schmidt building an empire in Olean, New York, or will this simply be one magical season for the Bonnies before a return back to anonymity? The story will be an intriguing one to follow.
Let's take a look at some of the very early returns in this edition of the College Hoops Barometer.
Oscar Tshiebwe, F, Kentucky – Tshiebwe has played like a man possessed through the first three games of the season for the Wildcats.