As pointed out by Coug1990, your Washington State University men's basketball team is the best team in the country -- at least, according to Ken Pomeroy. Why is that significant?
Because it shows just how ridiculously dominant the Cougs were in that opener.
A large component of Pomeroy's rating system is efficiency margin -- the difference between your offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency. (What's efficiency?) While the Cougs posted a high offensive efficiency of 119.0, they posted a ridiculously low 39.2 defensive efficiency. That's easily the most dominant defensive performance of the Bennett era. (Last year, the Cougs held MVSU to 49.3 efficiency.)
What does this tell us? Having not been at the game, I'm speculating just a little bit, but I'm guessing the savvy of the veterans and the athleticism of the new guys just simply overwhelmed a tired team that couldn't match up. And I think you might see that a bunch this year, especially in these first four games against teams that just don't have the same level of talent.
But I also think that combination of experience and inexperience is going to make for some entertaining basketball this year. At the risk of sounding ungrateful, there were times last year when watching WSU was just a little -- dare I even say it? -- boring. They were so mind-numbingly consistent (save for the early games against Boise State and Baylor) that you just knew what you were going to get out of them every night. They didn't beat anybody they weren't supposed to, and they rarely lost to anyone they weren't supposed to. That was a team that truly played to every ounce of its ability level, and it removed a lot of the drama you're used to in a sports season.
This team? There will be nights where they ride the wave of emotion and absolutely overwhelm their opponent, but there also will be nights where the freshmen look like the newcomers they are. Here's to betting one of these four "preseason" games heading toward Mississippi State ends up a lot closer than it ought to, if not in an outright loss. It also is going to make things a lot tougher on nights in the Pac-10 where they can't overwhelm their opponent.
But that's why I am so looking forward to this season. I'm becoming more and more convinced by the day that this is going to be a special season, and that the dropoff we've all been anticipating probably isn't going to happen until next year, when this roster is completely devoid of upperclassmen. So, in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy this ride -- this is going to be one heck of a fun year, if for no other reason than there ought to be no shortage of drama.