Monday, December 3, 2007

12/3 - Top 25

Impressive performance this week by the 'Zags. After spending a week in Alaska they fly to Philly and knock on St. Joseph's, one of the better teams in the A-10, in OT, and two days later go to Boston and beat UConn in what was essentially a home game. Gonzaga's backcourt carried them this week, led my sophomore Matt Bouldin (18 6 and 3 per). Jeremy Pargo had a huge game against UConn (23 pts), hitting big shot after big shot. Freshman Austin Daye finally came down to earth against UConn after scoring 17 against ST, Joe's, never being able to get into the flow of the game, but made three huge free throws down the stretch to seal the victory. The most impressive part of this week for Gonzaga is that star center Josh Heytvelt and freshman guard Stephen Gray have yet to play. Once the 'Zags get to full strength, they are going to be deep and talented at every position.

Honorable Mention: Texas (beat UCLA), Duke (beat Wisconsin, Davidson).

Who would have thought that after losing Kevin Durant to the league that Texas would be in better shape to make the Final Four? James is a huge part of that and after posting consecutive 19 and 10 games looks to be the inside/outside scoring threat that Texas needs. He took over the UCLA game for about 10 minutes in the second half when the Bruins were keying on DJ Augustin and AJ Abrams. Of his three offensive boards against UCLA, the biggest was his tip-dunk of Augustin's floater with 8 seconds left to give the 'Horns the victory.

Honorable Mention: Eric Gordon - Indiana (25.5ppg), Stephon Curry - Davidson (29ppg),

t1. Memphis (6-0): The Tigers keep rolling over teams, but get a big test when USC comes visits Memphis.
t1. North Carolina (7-0): Move up to a tie for the top spot after four consecutive solid victories - Old Dominion, BYU, Ohio State, Kentucky.
3. Kansas (7-0): Brandon Rush is coming along slowly, but wins over USC and Arizona show Kansas will be tough at full strength.
4. Texas (7-0): Win at Pauley Pavilion is second over top ten team this year (Tennessee).
5. UCLA (7-1): Tough loss at home to Texas, but Darren Collison does not look like himself yet.
6. Georgetown (5-0): Win at Old Dominion looks good. Go to Alabama on Wednesday.
7. Duke (8-0): Two good wins this week. Devils looking better every game.
8. Washington State (7-0): Rallied to beat a much improved Baylor squad. Gets a test against Gonzaga Wednesday.
9. Louisville (5-1): Only loss to BYU. Held on against Miami (Ohio), but have yet to play up to potential.
10. Michigan State (6-1): Should be 7-0 if they held on against UCLA.
11. Pittsburgh (7-0): Undefeated, but have yet to beat anyone noteworthy. Washington, Oklahoma State, and Duke in next four games.
12. Texas A&M (7-1): Aggies blow a 20 point lead to Arizona to lose their first game.
13. Marquette (5-1): Blew out UW-Milwaukee in only game since Maui. Get a test in Wisconsin rivalry game next Saturday.
14. Butler (7-0): Won Alaska Shootout, then came back and blew out Ohio State at home. Bulldogs are the real deal again this year.
15. Gonzaga (7-1): 4-1 on ten day road trip that included Great Alaska Shootout, Saint Joe's, and UConn in Boston. Will be very dangerous upon Heytvelt and freshman Stephen Gray returning.
16. Indiana (6-1): Beat overrated Southern Illinois team, barely hung on against Georgia Tech, and got blown out by Xavier. Need help for White and Gordon.
17. Tennessee (7-1): Blown out by Texas, beat a West Virginia team in a down year in only two games against competition.
18. Oregon (6-1): Beat Kansas State in OT on the road. Only loss came at a good Saint Mary's team.
19. Clemson (7-0): Knocked off Purdue and South Carolina without James Mays. Started off 17-0 last year, but missed the tournament. Four decent wins this year, but I'm yet to be convinced on the Tigers.
20. BYU (6-1): Beat Louisville and gave UNC all they could handle in Vegas. Go to Michigan State Saturday.
21. Xavier (6-1): Blew out Indiana, and loss to Miami (Ohio) isn't looking so bad. Proving ground is next four games - Creighton, Cincinati, at Arizona State, Tennessee.
22. Villanova (5-1): Still largely untested - beat George Mason, but lost by one to NC State. Scottie Reynolds again leads a solid backcourt. How good the front line of Casiem Drummond, Shane Clark, and Dante Cunningham will determine how well 'Nova does.
23. St. Mary's (6-0): Two very good wins over Oregon and a much improved Seton Hall team.
24. Arizona (5-2): Two close losses to Kansas and a good Virginia team, but came back from 20 down to Texas A&M to win by 11. Would Lute Olsen have made a difference in the two losses?
25. Vanderbilt (7-0): Undefeated, but a poor Georgia Tech team and MVC's Bradley are only wins of significance.

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