On the court, the action remains traditionally solid, if mostly borrowed from the excellent NBA 2K7. NCAA teams are rarely peppered with superstar-type dominators, so the emphasis is more on the fundamentals of passing, hitting open shots and playing solid defense as opposed to throwing down loads of boom-tastic dunks. As before, we had a little trouble mastering the pull-and-release shooting mechanic of the Shot Stick, but it really is the key to success, especially down low in the paint. Adjusting shots left or right via the Stick is your only hope when a 7-foot tree is standing between you and the hoop, and the X button doesn't allow for such maneuvering. Thankfully, a Practice mode is around so you can polish up your shooting skills.
The legacy mode is deeper than ever (too much for some?), what with all sorts of recruiting, practice, and coaching options to take care of before you ever hit the hardwood. As you've come to expect, 2K Sports' sublime online options return, featuring leagues, tournaments, stat tracking, and professional-grade websites to trash talk and post naughty pictures (not that we condone that sort of behavior).