College basketball stock report: Buy, sell or hold on Duke, Kentucky, Arizona

Happy New Year, Hoopheads! The calendar has turned once more, giving all of us an opportunity to assess, adjust, and most of all, take stock. It is an especially propitious time to do so for our beloved sport, which is about to kick into high gear and commence its annual, awesome acceleration towards March.

As you dig into your favorite men’s college basketball team, the question isn’t so much where it has been as where it’s headed. Will things get better? Will they get worse? Will they stay the same? And where can we find the answers to these pressing questions?

The Hoop Thoughts Stock Report, of course.

Once again, your resident Hoop Thinker is ringing in the New Year with his ratings for the country’s top programs. I have assessed each team’s stock price on the basis of three categories — won-loss records, rankings (in the AP poll and on KenPom), and that all-important yet hard-to-discern metric called buzz. I’ve then peered into the future and determined whether the team’s stock price is going to go up, down, or remain sturdy. Thus the ratings: Buy, Sell or Hold.

As you intake these assessments, bear in the mind the counterintuitive logic that drives the HTSR. The better a team has performed over the first two months, the more likely I am to rate it a Sell. Teams that haven’t done so well but have the potential to do better are more inclined to be rated as Buys. And once again, I have selectively awarded my most coveted rating, a Buy-Plus, for those few teams that I expect will dramatically increase their stock price.

I will file the HTSR in two installments. Today includes 25 teams (in alphabetical order), as well as five sleeper stocks. Tomorrow I will provide the remaining 25 and a list of stocks to dump.

Happy shopping!

HTSR: Sell
(11-2, No. 7 AP, No. 9 KenPom)

I like the Tide, but this stock has nowhere to go but down. Alabama rose to the top 10 courtesy of some close wins (in four overtimes over North Carolina, by three points at home over Memphis). Given how heavily Alabama depends on its four freshmen, there are bound to be some rough patches ahead. The rotation is also not as deep as it was because Glue Guy Nimari Burnett, a 6-4 sophomore guard, had surgery to repair a broken wrist. There is no timetable on Burnett’s return, which means either he won’t come back or won’t be in great shape when he does.

(13-1, No. 5 AP, No. 8 KenPom)

I am all in on this squad. Not only are the Wildcats really good, they’re really fun to watch. They’re first in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency, third in assists per game (20.8), and 12th in tempo. If an opponent forces Arizona to slow down and execute in the halfcourt, it can play through Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo in the post. And I still think 6-5 junior guard Pelle Larsson, who is averaging 10.5 points per game, is due to break out. The Cats would be undefeated but for that hiccup at Utah on Dec. 1, and they play much the same style they did…

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Read More: College basketball stock report: Buy, sell or hold on Duke, Kentucky, Arizona 2023-01-02 20:54:15

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