The NCAA men's basketball season has officially gotten under way, and with that it is time to take a look back at some of the sensational statistical feats around the nation over the first few days of the campaign.
• Missouri State seems like a great place to start, as Bears junior guard Marcus Marshall knocked the starting gates of the 2014-15 season right off their hinges with a 38-point performance (12-16 FG, 6-7 3Pt, 8-8 FT) versus Eastern Illinois Friday. This incredible effort is even more impressive when considering the fact that this marked Marshall's first game back after missing the final 17 contests of last season due to knee surgery.
• Making our way up to the Northeast region, we make a stop in Pac-12 country, where Washington Huskies seven-footer Robert Upshaw needed just 16 minutes Friday night to not only drop in 14 points (6-10 FG, 2-4 FT) and grab a half-dozen boards, but swat a ridiculous seven shots. That is correct folks, the junior big man is blocking a shot nearly every two minutes.
• Heading down the Pacific Coast, Moraga, Calif., is the next location on the trip. The Saint Mary's Gaels began their season with a 77-67 win over Cal State-Los Angeles on Friday night. Granted, this bout was virtually meaningless on a national scale, but the final shot chart for Saint Mary's was certainly fascinating, as the Gaels made 14 threes and 17 free throws while managing to knock down just nine two-point shots en route to the victory.
• Traveling from coast-to-coast, let us take a look at what Duke, led by four freshman phenoms, managed to accomplish in front of the "Cameron Crazies" last Friday and Saturday. Coach Krzyzewski's prized recruiting class is undoubtedly headlined by center Jahlil Okafor, who put up 36 points, 15 boards, six assists and three blocks while shooting 17-of-20 from the floor during the Blue Devils' back-to-back season-opening blowouts over Presbyterian and Fairfield. Through just two games, Duke has managed to post a sick +119 point differential. Needless to say, the first-year players in Durham, rounded out by the trio of Justise Winslow (16.5 PPG), Grayson Allen (13.5 PPG, 2.5 SPG) and Tyus Jones (10.5 PPG, 6.0 APG), have passed the entrance exam, but the tests will only get more difficult beginning Tuesday night against Coach Tom Izzo's No. 19 Michigan State Spartans.
• Crossing a couple of state lines to the north for the final destination of this week's cross-country tour, the West Virginia Mountaineers showcase a 6-9 forward that has crashed the boards, especially on the offensive end, at an astronomical rate over the first two games of the season. In wins versus Monmouth on Friday and Lafayette on Sunday, Devin Williams managed to score 15 points in each game while pulling down a combined 26 rebounds, 16 of the offensive variety. With so many extra possessions, it is easy to see why Coach Bob Huggins' Mountaineers are 2-0 and holding the competition to 55 points per game so far in 2014-15.