I say we do it Sunday night/Mondays (before the start of that Monday's games). We should do our first in-season one this Sunday/Monday, because this week is the first real slate of games this season by which we have anything to judge to change our preseason rankings.
1. Duke (No real tests yet but look every bit the explosive, versatile team they're projected to be)
2. Ohio State (Looked dangerously good in blowing out Florida on the road. Sullinger is a national POY candidate)
3. Michigan State (Lucas may not be 100% yet, but he's going to be soon.)
4. Pittsburgh (Not overwhelming against Maryland and Texas, but they got the job done.)
5. Kansas State (Impressive win against Virginia Tech, considering Pullen missed most of the first half with foul trouble. Whatever the deal is with Curtis Kelly better get solved soon, or else they aren't a Top 10 team.)
6. Kansas (Good news: Selby will be back next month. In the meantime, valuable PT for combo guard Elijiah Johnson)
7. Villanova (Pena and Yarou give them a better inside/out balance than in previous years. Unfortunately, UCLA on Nov. 24 is their only semi-legit test on a very soft non-conference schedule until they play Temple on Dec. 30.)
8. Baylor (Perry Jones is off to a great start, Quincy Acy is one of the nation's breakout players, and LaceDarius Dunn is back soon.)
9. Kentucky (Knight and Jones look great. As a group, they might actually be a little bit faster and more explosive in the open court than last year but they'll miss having an inside presence.)
10. Texas (Very impressive in beating one Final Four contender and nearly another in Illinois and Pittsburgh. Hamilton and Thompson are lottery picks and their guards are more efficient than last year.)
11. Purdue (Oakland, Howard and Alcorn State aren't exactly a barometer. But the 87 ppg they're averaging suggests their offense won't fall apart without Hummel. Maybe it's not the death blow to their Final Four hopes so many of us thought.)
12. Minnesota (Impressive wins over North Carolina and West Virginia validate the sleeper buzz they received coming into the year. If they get Devoe Joseph back, they're a legit Big Ten contender. Sampson and Mbakwe look like they're going to be one of the best frontcourt duos in the country.)
13. Syracuse (Haven't been too sharp so far, but they'll be fine. Fab Melo's going to need some time, though.)
14. Illinois (No need to overreact to an evenly played OT loss to a good Texas team, though rebounding weaknesses were on display. They bounced back and played well in a win over a physical Maryland squad a mere 16 hours later, which wouldn't have happened last year. Demetri McCamey is playing as well as any guard in the nation so far and Brandon Paul is breaking out.)
15. Washington (Matthew Bryan-Amaning is the lone interior threat on a team loaded with explosive perimeter talent, but so far he leads them with 21 ppg and 11.5 rpg. They're not going to keep averaging 108 points, but 85+ isn't out of the question. They have a chance at a huge week in Hawaii. The Huskies are capable of taking the Maui title.
16. San Diego State (Always impressive to win at Gonzaga. While I do my rankings to be slightly weighted toward recent events- which means they could fluctuate greatly early in the year- they're a legit Top 20 team. Kawhi Leonard is an All-American: four straight double-doubles to start the season.)
17. Gonzaga (Perimeter play may turn out to be their undoing. Steven Gray is excellent but has little help in the backcourt. Still, not much shame in losing to a really good San Diego State team, especially not when Elias Harris played so poorly. They'll be fine.)
18. Georgetown (Eventually their lack of inside play is going to cost them and it puts a limit on their ceiling big-time. But Jason Clark has been a breakout star and compliments seniors Wright and Freeman very nicely; they're one of the nation's best guard trios. They've played well so far in wins over Old Dominion (on the road), Wofford and NC State.)
19. Louisville (an unproven bunch that probably has a chip on their shoulder after being ranked 10th in the Big East preseason poll, but there's no shortage of talent here and there was nothing flukish about their domination of Butler.)
20. Brigham Young (if Brandon Davies, Charles Abouo and Chris Collinsworth can handle the rebounding/dirty work as Jimmer's supporting cast, they'll be right there with San Diego State all year in the Mountain West.)
21. Missouri (very unimpressive in a 66-61 opening win over Western Illinois. A team like that should wilt under their full-court pressure and breakneck pace, but there's no reason to overreact to a season-opening game against a patsie. If it becomes a pattern, that's another story.)
22. Georgia (in this case, absolutely zero reason for an overreaction to early-season struggles, as Trey Thompkins hasn't played yet. As long as he's healthy soon- and I'm pretty sure he's supposed to be- they'll be fine. Travis Leslie has been outstanding so far.)
23. UNLV (no telling how good Wisconsin is yet- though they usually are- but beating them is impressive, even if it was on their court. Chace Stanback is looking like a breakout player, and they don't even have Tre'Von Willis back yet.)
24. Temple (their usual defensive prowess and tempo control was on display in a season-opening win over Seton Hall.)
25. West Virginia (Despite losing to Minnesota, a quality showing for the Mountaineers in San Juan. Casey Mitchell is one of the nation's most impressive shooters.)
1) Duke - Blow out wins against lesser opponents at Cameron Indoor. What else is new?
2) Pitt - basically 2a and 2b with OSU. I had them ranked ahead in preseason and see no reason to drop them behind OSU after wins over Maryland and Texas.
3) Ohio State - Big win over a very good Florida team.
4) Michigan State - Lucas is playing back into top shape and the team looks solid. I moved them behind Pitt and OSU because of their good wins not because MSU has looked bad.
5) Villanova - Don't really get their first true test until the Temple game.
7) Kansas St. - Nice win over V-Tech in which Pullen only played 14 minutes.
6) Kansas - Morris twins have been beastly early on.
8) Syracuse - Underwhelming wins over Detroit and W&M.
9) Baylor - Perry Jones hasn't dissapointed.
10) Kentucky - Young talent is yet to be tested but Knight and Jones will keep this team in every game.
11) Purdue - 3 blow out wins to start the year. I'm interested to see how they perform at VT on Dec 1
12) Florida - Not a bad showing vs. OSU but a poor finish cost them.
13) Gonzaga - Lost to SD State but it wasn't bad considering Harris played poorly and got hurt (MRI was negative) and Stephen Gray proved he can be one of the best perimeter scorers in the country.
14) Illinois - Not sure what to think of this team yet. Should have won the Texas game but almost gave away the Maryland game also.
14) Missouri - Not a very impressive start to the year and I think this team will crumble in big games.
16) Texas - Biggest winners of the opening week. Jordan Hamilton is a stud and Tristan Thompson is long, athletic, and has a nice touch around the basket. J'Covan Brown impressed me in the Pitt game but Corey Joseph needs to play better.
17) Washington - Averaging 108 in their first two games. This team can ****ing score.
18) Georgetown - Different team this year but Austin Freeman and those guards look great so far. Julian Vaughn has looked solid also.
19) Minnesota - Two early wins against UNC and WVU impressed me. I'm interested to see how they fair in Big Ten play.
20) Temple - Looking forward to the Georgetown and Nova games.
21) BYU - Fredette averaging 25 so far
22) Memphis - Promising 4-0 start
23) San Diego State - Marquee win over Gonzaga is an effective way to create some buzz
24) Tennesse - Only a matter of time before they implode
25) Vanderbilt - Close loss to WVU and a win over UNC provides a nice start to the season and the lost spot in my top 25
Knocked out of the Top 25:
Last edited by Jailblazers7 : 11-22-2010 at 11:24 AM.
1. Duke (Mason Plumlee is proving to be the interior presence they're going to need.)
2. Ohio State (Playmaking by committee: Buford, Lighty and Craft are all averaging 4.2 assists or more. I think it stays that way.)
3. Pitt (Can either Talib Zanna or Dante Taylor establish themselves as a reliable frontcourt scoring option?)
4. Kansas (The Morris twins and Thomas Robinson are as good of a frontcourt rotation as will be found anywhere.)
5. Kansas State (Can't really punish them too much for losing to Duke.)
6. Michigan State (No shame in losing to the Kemba Show but they have some kinks to work out. No worries: Izzo understands the pace of a season and will have them ready in March, like always. Draymond Green could go from Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year to Big Ten POY.)
7. UConn (In no way do I expect them to stay here, but Kemba Walker is your prohibitive national POY favorite early on, and a Maui title with wins over Michigan State and Kentucky can't be ignored. Almost as important as Walker's ridiculous start is Alex Oriakhi's potential emergence as the next great UConn big man. Depth will be an issue for the Huskies, but they appear to have been underestimated.)
8. Baylor (LaceDarius Dunn showed no rust from his three-game suspension: 24 points, 7 threes in his first game back. No serious tests for Baylor until Dec. 18 against Gonzaga, though.)
9. Tennessee (Like with UConn, I don't expect them to stay this high. Three-point shooting and ball control remain issues, but an impressive victory over Villanova can't be ignored. Tobias Harris is on the early short list of top freshmen, along with Jared Sullinger and Terrence Jones.)
10. Villanova (I wouldn't overreact too much to the Tennessee loss. If I'm a Villanova fan I'm still optimistic about improved inside-out balance and the play of Corey Fisher.)
11. Minnesota (Al Nolen is banged up but they get Devoe Joseph back this week. He adds another element to this team: an all-around guard who can shoot, penetrate and create. This is a complete basketball team.)
12. Texas (Jordan Hamilton is on the way-early short list of national POY contenders with Kemba Walker, Terrence Jones, and Kyle Singler.)
13. Illinois (By this time next week, they could be in the Top 10 or outside the Top 25. The defense looks improved and the offense looks deep and explosive, but we'll know a lot more after they play North Carolina and Gonzaga.)
14. Kentucky (Terrence Jones looks phenomenal but they could have point guard issues. Brandon Knight is a terrific player but he isn't a point; he's averaging 2.8 assists and 4.6 turnovers, and is struggling with his outside shot as well.)
15. UNLV (Tre'Von Willis is off to a slow start but they own a pair of quality resume-building wins over Wisconsin and Virginia Tech.)
16. Georgetown (Austin Freeman is shooting lights-out so far. They'd be a top-three team if Greg Monroe had come back.)
17. Missouri (Put together a very impressive second half against Arkansas-Pine Bluff today. May be putting a few early sloppy performances behind them.)
18. San Diego State (After Leonard, they have five guys averaging between 8.3 and 11.3 points. That's great balance, but will someone emerge as a definitive second scorer?)
19. Syracuse (People didn't want to overlook them again after they emerged from seemingly nowhere last year, so pretty much everyone rated them highly coming into this year. Myself included. But they've been unimpressive and neither Waiters or Melo have provided an impact early on. As they get more comfortable, 'Cuse will probably start playing like a legit Top 25 team. But for now, I'm being kind to leave them in.)
20. Notre Dame (There's some serious Ewing Theory potential going on here with the departure of Luke Harangody. Rumblings from his own teammates last year that they were better off without him may prove to be correct.)
21. Washington (They may have gone 1-2 in Maui but they didn't have a poor showing at all, hanging tough with Kentucky and Michigan State.)
22. Purdue (OK, so it's gonna be tough without Hummel after all.)
23. Florida (I overreacted in unranking them last week, but they've been unimpressive so far.)
24. Brigham Young (Top 25 teams shouldn't beat Utah State by 6, South Florida by 2 and Saint Mary's by 1.)
25. Gonzaga (No shame in losing to SDSU or K-State, but what is up with Elias Harris? I don't wanna jinx it with them playing Illinois in six days, but he hasn't gotten it going so far this year.)
-Louisville (Nothing they did wrong, but it looks like beating Butler doesn't mean much.)
-Georgia (I'm still bullish on them and Notre Dame was probably a little underrated.)
-Temple (tough loss to Texas A&M.)
-West Virginia (Nothing they did wrong either, but others like Notre Dame, Tennessee and UConn obviously had big weeks. Casey Mitchell is an unbelievable shooter.)
1. Duke (8-0) The undefeated talk is going to start picking up steam pretty quick. As should the Kyrie Irving for national POY talk. I figured he'd fit right in as a heady distributor for an experienced, talent-laden team. I didn't figure on him being a leader and a headliner right away, kicking the asses of veteran All-American seniors like Jacob Pullen, Shelvin Mack and Kalin Lucas.
2. Ohio State (6-0) Last year they only played six guys regularly. They're at least playing seven this year, but that's not deep. Deeper Big Ten rotations like Michigan State, Minnesota and Illinois could give them problems if the pace quickens and the Buckeyes accrue some foul trouble. But similarly short rotations have won national titles before; depth is overrated if it's not quality depth.
3. Pittsburgh (9-0) Ashton Gibbs is playing at an extremely high level. As a team, Pitt is averaging over 45 rebounds and 20 assists per game. That's a tremendous combination of physicality and perimeter skill, which can go a long way even without a premiere go-to inside scorer.
4. Kansas State (7-1) They haven't even begun to hit their stride yet offensively, with Pullen still adjusting to being the point guard and Curtis Kelly missing the first few games with the mysterious suspension.
5. Georgetown (8-0) I'm giving the Hoyas the big bump this week after a somewhat lucky, but still impressive road-neutral win over Missouri in Kansas City. Julian Vaughn is giving their big-time backcourt an inside presence, averaging 2.7 blocks. I nominated Notre Dame for possible Ewing Theory consideration last week for how well they're playing without Harangody, but perhaps I was looking at the wrong Big East squad. They're doing great without Greg Monroe.
6. Kansas (7-0) I actually watched most of the UCLA/Kansas game and it was a well-played, quality basketball game. I didn't feel that the Jayhawks played that poorly. Still, early in the year I'm gonna drop a team that struggles to beat a bad team in their own building, especially if they needed a questionable call to win.
7. UConn (7-0) How does Kemba follow up an unreal scoring binge in Maui? With a 24-point, 13-board, 10-assist triple double, of course.
8. Michigan State (6-2) Can't really drop Sparty much for losing on the road to Duke, especially when they played them pretty close most of the way.
9. Baylor (6-0) They miss Tweedy Carter way more than they miss Epke Udoh; the Bears are averaging nearly 20 turnovers a game. They just haven't played anyone who can make them pay for it yet. Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri will. Still, Lacedarius Dunn has been on fire since his return, and Perry Jones is making his case to be the No. 1 pick.
10. Tennessee (6-0) They'll have had 10 days off by the time they play Pittsburgh on Dec. 11. Like Baylor, they have serious ballhandling issues that haven't been exposed yet, and it's a pretty solid bet that Pitt can do that. Still, Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson are a dangerous pair of scorers at the forward spots.
11. Illinois (8-1) The three-point barrage against UNC and Gonzaga was eye-popping. The Illini made 20 of 35 threes last week and are hitting 41.4% from the arc on the year. With the ability to make jumpers from every position- center Mike Tisdale made three three-pointers in a span of 10 minutes against Gonzaga- the Illini are one of the nation's best perimeter shooting teams. But we knew they could score. More important is the improved defense. Neither UNC or Gonzaga averaged a point per possession and the Illini rank No. 12 in adjusted defensive efficiency.
12. Villanova (6-1) Summer league scoring legend Corey Fisher has gone ice-cold from the field, going 10 of 42 from the floor his last four games. Also, like too many Big East teams, Villanova's nonconference schedule is just too soft. Sorry, guys, but your conference isn't superior to the ACC, Big Ten or Big XII, whose teams regularly challenge themselves out of conference. Play somebody once in awhile.
13. San Diego State (8-0) Billy White is emerging as the complimentary scorer to Kawhi Leonard in important games, going 10 of 12 from the floor for 24 points as San Diego State notched an impressive 83-69 win against a quality Wichita State team. The Aztecs can pile up points in a hurry.
14. UNLV (8-0) A very deep, balanced team; nine players average at least 5.4 points and play at least 15 minutes. Still, once Tre'Von Willis gets in a groove, this team is capable of raising their level of play another notch. He averaged 17.2 points last year and is barely getting half of that so far. Maybe Chace Stanback will emerge as the go-to player on this year's Rebels, but once Willis gets it going, look out.
15. Syracuse (8-0) Maybe I was a bit harsh last week, but they still haven't been anywhere near Top 10 impressive. They're averaging under 70 points and shooting under 30% from 3 against a mediocre schedule. Still, they're undefeated and are in the top 30 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. So it's not all bad, and they have a major chance for a signature win tomorrow against Michigan State. (Due to typically weak Big East nonconference scheduling, however, it's their only chance before conference play starts.)
16. Missouri (6-1) Sometimes a team can move up despite a loss. No one else in the 15-22 range made a major move this week, and Mizzou was unlucky to lose to a really good Georgetown team. Marcus Denmon and Ricardo Ratliffe are emerging as the featured scorers on this team. Ratliffe is the kind of physical post scorer that they didn't have last year.
17. Purdue (7-1) A gutty win over Virginia Tech kind of laid the blueprint for how Purdue is going to have to win big games this year: E'Twaun Moore and Jujuan Johnson- moreso Johnson in this game, with 29 points- carrying the offensive load and an airplane glue-sticky defense smothering ballhandlers. Robbie Hummel's absence makes them much easier to guard but it hasn't hurt the defense: they rank No. 4 in defensive efficiency at 85.1 points per 100 possessions. It might be ugly, but it can win games and that's how it's gonna have to be.
18. Minnesota (7-1) Losing to Virginia is pretty ugly, but they aren't the same team without Al Nolen and to a lesser extent, the superathletic- did anyone see his (literally) rim-bending dunk against Cornell on Saturday?- Rodney Williams, who were both out with injury against the Cavs. Still, they got Devoe Joseph back in that game and you have to find a way to beat such a mediocre team on your homecourt, no matter how important Nolen is.
19. Kentucky (5-2) Luke Zeller exposed their major interior weakness on Saturday. That problem isn't going away; Josh Harrelson is their only true big. He's not good.
20. Texas (6-2) An ugly loss to USC suggested that the Trojans can still be formidable when they play defense the way Kevin O'Neill demands, but it mostly showed that the Longhorns remain one of college basketball's great teases. They were looking Elite Eight-caliber so far but Sunday provided a reminder of how young they are and how immature they can be.
21. Washington (5-2) 95.7 points per game with no one averaging more than 15.0? My god. And they're playing pretty good defense: No. 18 in adjusted defensive efficiency.
22. Notre Dame (8-0) Like I said last week, I really think they're better off without Harangody. They're getting balanced scoring, led by Ben Hansbrough's 15.6 ppg. The real key to this team is forwards Tyrone Nash and Carleton Scott, who have a combination of athleticism and physicality that Notre Dame hasn't had since Ryan Humphrey was in South Bend
23. Arizona (7-1) I probably should have moved them into the Top 25 after they hung tough with Kansas on Nov. 27, but I'll correct my oversight now. Derrick Williams would be on my first-team All-American squad if I did one right now.
24. Brigham Young (8-0) The Mountain West race should be one of the most interesting conference races in the whole country this year. BYU hasn't been all that impressive so far but they'll get their chances against SDSU and UNLV.
25. Central Florida (7-0) Certainly didn't see this one coming, but can't ignore a neutral-site win over Florida. A pair of players from one of the nation's best high school basketball programs, Chicago Whitney Young, are among those leading the charge. Point guard A.J. Rompza is a heady floor general, but the guy grabbing the headlines- for reasons having nothing to do with his dad- is Marcus Jordan. Jordan is one of the nation's breakout players, averaging 17 points per game.
Last edited by TheGame414 : 12-07-2010 at 12:33 AM.