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February 3, 2009
The List
Week of February 3, 2009

by John Perrotto

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1. Duke (19-2)
Last ranking: 1
Last week: Lost to Wake Forest 70-68, defeated Virginia 79-54
This week: at No. 11 Clemson on Wednesday, vs. Miami (Fla.) on Saturday
Player spotlight: Sophomore forward Kyle Singler has scored in double figures in 19 of 21 games this season. His 115.9 offensive rating is 210th in the nation and he is 154th in steal percentage (3.5).
Team fact: The Blue Devils have held 13 of 21 opponents to 60 points or less and three to less than 50 points.

2. North Carolina (19-2)
Last ranking: 3
Last week: Defeated Florida State 80-77 and North Carolina State 93-76
This week: vs. Maryland on Tuesday, vs. Virginia on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior forward Tyler Hansbrough is fifth on the ACC's all-time scoring list with 2,548 points and should pass North Carolina State's Rodney Monroe (2,551) and Duke's Johnny Dawkins (2,556) in tonight's game against Maryland. His 126.4 offensive rating is 30th in the nation and he is first in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (9.2), 72nd in turnover rate (11.1) and 83rd in percentage of possessions (28.5).
Team fact: The Tar Heels have won by double digits in 18 of their 19 victories this season.

3. Connecticut (21-1)
Last ranking: 4
Last week: Defeated DePaul 71-49 and Providence 94-61
This week: Defeated No. 10 Louisville 68-51, vs. Michigan on Saturday
Player spotlight: Junior center Hasheem Thabeet had a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocked shots against Providence. His 121.7 offensive rating is 75th in the nation and he is 11th in block percentage (11.6), 15th in effective field goal percentage (65.5), 26th in free throw rate (75.5), 30th in true shooting percentage (65.4), 57th in defensive rebounding percentage (23.0) and 72nd in offensive rebounding percentage (13.5).
Team fact: The Huskies are 9-0 on the road this season.

4. Pittsburgh (20-2)
Last ranking: 2
Last week: Lost to Villanova 67-57, defeated Notre Dame 93-80
This week: Defeated Robert Morris 92-72, at DePaul on Saturday
Player spotlight: Sophomore center DeJuan Blair had 23 points and 22 rebounds against Georgetown to become the fourth Pitt player to have a 20-20 game in the Big East. His 128.5 offensive rating is 15th in the nation and he ranks first in offensive rebounding percentage (25.6), fourth in defensive rebounding percentage (29.6), 26th in turnover rate (9.7) and 71st in steal percentage (4.0).
Team fact: The Panthers' senior class of Tyrell Biggs, Levance Fields and Sam Young have 101 career wins.

5. Oklahoma (21-1)
Last ranking: 5
Last week: Defeated Oklahoma State 89-81 and Iowa State 78-68
This week: vs. Texas A&M on Wednesday, vs. Colorado on Saturday
Player spotlight: Freshman guard Willie Warren averaged 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists against Oklahoma State and Iowa State to win Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors. His 122.9 offensive rating is 53rd in the nation and 65th in true shooting percentage (63.6) and 90th in effective field goal percentage (59.7).
Team fact: The Sooners' 21-1 start is third-best in Big 12 history behind Kansas opening 34-1 in 1996-97 and 23-1 last season.

6. Wake Forest (17-2)
Last ranking: 6
Last week: Defeated Duke 70-60, lost to Georgia Tech 76-74
This week: at Miami (Fla.) on Wednesday, vs. Boston College on Sunday
Player spotlight: Freshman forward Al-Farouq Aminu averaged 16.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals against Duke and Georgia Tech to win ACC Rookie of the Week honors. He has a 102.8 offensive rating and is 140th in the nation defensive rebounding percentage (20.5).
Team fact: The Demon Deacons are 3-0 this season against teams ranked in the Associated Press' top ten.

7. Xavier (19-2)
Last ranking: 9
Last week: Defeated Charlotte 69-47 and Massachusetts 82-80
This week: vs. Temple on Thursday, at Duquesne on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior guard B.J. Raymond averaged 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 70 percent against Charlotte and Massachusetts. His 117.1 offensive rating is 176th in the nation and he ranks 135th in true shooting percentage (61.1).
Team fact: The Musketeers are 116-17 at the Cintas Center since it opened in 2000-01.

8. Memphis (18-3)
Last ranking: 11
Last week: Defeated East Carolina 85-64 and Houston 83-68
This week: at Southern Methodist on Wednesday, at No. 16 Gonzaga on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior guard Antonio Anderson had a career-high 26 points and eight assists against East Carolina. He has a 107.9 offensive rating and ranks 196th in the nation in percentage of minutes (82.1).
Team fact: The Tigers have won 34 straight January games.

9. Marquette (19-2)
Last ranking: 15
Last week: Defeated Notre Dame 71-64 and Georgetown 94-82
This week: at DePaul on Tuesday, at South Florida on Friday
Player spotlight: Senior guard Jerel McNeal averaged 26.5 points, 6.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.5 blocked shots against Notre Dame and Georgetown to win Big East Player of the Week honors. His 117.3 offensive rating is 168th in the nation and he ranks 142nd in percentage of shots (29.3).
Team fact: The Golden Eagles (McNeal, Wesley Matthews, Dominic James, Lazar Hayward) are one of two teams, along with North Carolina, with four 1,000-point scorers on their current roster.

10. Louisville (17-4)
Last ranking: 7
Last week: Defeated South Florida 80-54 and West Virginia 69-63
This week: Lost to No. 3 Connecticut 68-51, at St. John's on Sunday
Player spotlight: Junior guard Jerry Smith had 20 points against West Virginia. His 116.5 offensive rating is 193rd in the nation and he is 282nd in steal percentage (3.0).
Team fact: The Cardinals lead the Big East with 8.9 steals a game.

11. Clemson (18-2)
Last ranking: 13
Last week: Defeated Virginia Tech 86-82
This week: vs. No. 1 Duke on Wednesday, vs. Florida State on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior guard K.C. Rivers scored a team-high 29 points against Virginia Tech to earn co-ACC Player of the Week honors. His 121.8 offensive rating is 72nd in the nation and he ranks 14th in turnover rate (9.1) and 23rd in fouls called per 40 minutes (1.5).
Team fact: The Tigers had lost 22 straight games to Duke before beating the Blue Devils in the semifinals of last season's ACC tournament.

12. Michigan State (17-4)
Last ranking: 8
Last week: Defeated Iowa 71-56, lost to Penn State 72-68
This week: vs. No. 25 Minnesota on Wednesday, vs. Indiana on Saturday
Player spotlight: Sophomore guard Kalin Lucas leads the Big Ten in scoring with a 19.2 average. His 118.3 offensive rating is 138th in the nation and he ranks 76th in fouls called per 40 minutes (1.8) and 93rd in assist rate (30.4).
Team fact: The Spartans lead the nation with a plus-10.4 rebounding margin.

13. Purdue (17-4)
Last ranking: 16
Last week: Defeated Wisconsin 64-63 and Michigan 67-49
This week: at Ohio State on Tuesday, at No. 18 Illinois on Sunday
Player spotlight: Junior guard Chris Kramer has 176 career steals. He has a 100.6 offensive rating and is 13th in the nation in steal percentage (4.9).
Team fact: The Boilermakers lead the nation in field goal defense at 36 percent.

14. Villanova (17-4)
Last ranking: NR
Last week: Defeated Pittsburgh 67-57 and Cincinnati 71-50
This week: at Providence on Wednesday, vs. Syracuse on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior forward Dante Cunningham averaged 18.0 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 67 percent against Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. His 113.2 offensive rating is 293rd in the nation and he ranks 140th in block percentage (5.6).
Team fact: The Wildcats have a 25-game home winning streak.

15. UCLA (17-4)
Last ranking: 20
Last week: Defeated California 81-66 and Stanford 97-63
This week: vs. Southern California on Wednesday, vs. Notre Dame on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior guard Darren Collison has made 22 of his last 23 foul shots and leads the nation in free throw shooting at .944. His 127.7 offensive rating is 17th in the nation and he ranks 28th in true shooting percentage (65.5), 77th in fouls called per 40 minutes (1.8), 80th in assist rate (31.3) and 86th in effective field goal percentage (59.8).
Team fact: The Bruins shot a combined 60 percent (66 of 111) against California and Stanford.

16. Gonzaga (16-4)
Last ranking: 17
Last week: Defeated Saint Mary's 69-62 and San Diego 64-47
This week: at Portland on Thursday, vs. No. 8 Memphis on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior guard Jeremy Pargo leads the West Coast Conference with 5.7 assists a game. He has a 100.4 offensive rating and ranks 81st in the nation in assist rate (31.3).
Team fact: The Bulldogs ended Saint Mary's 15-game winning streak, which was the longest current one in the nation, after stopping Tennessee's 37-game home winning streak last month.

17. West Virginia (15-6)
Last ranking: 18
Last week: Defeated St. John's 75-52, lost to Louisville 69-63
This week: at Syracuse on Wednesday, vs. Providence on Saturday
Player spotlight: Junior forward De'Sean Butler averaged 22.0 points and 7.5 rebounds while shooting 64 percent from three-point range against St. John's and Louisville. His 113.1 offensive rating is 301st in the nation and he ranks 205th in percentage of shots (28.2).
Team fact: The Mountaineers lead the Big East in scoring defense with a 60.0 average.

18. Illinois (18-4)
Last ranking: 14
Last week: Lost to Minnesota 59-36, defeated Iowa 62-54
This week: at Wisconsin on Thursday, vs. No. 13 Purdue on Sunday
Player spotlight: Sophomore center Mike Tisdale averaged 11.0 points and 3.5 rebounds against Minnesota and Iowa. He has a 106.0 offensive rating and is 113th in the nation in block percentage (6.1).
Team fact: The Fighting Illini have won nine straight home games, the longest streak in the Big Ten.

19. Washington (16-5)
Last ranking: 25
Last week: Lost to Arizona 106-97, defeated Arizona State 84-71
This week: at California on Thursday, at Stanford on Saturday
Player spotlight: Freshman guard Isaiah Thomas has scored in double figures in 15 straight games, the longest current streak in the Pacific 10. He has a 108.4 offensive rating and ranks 30th in the nation in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (6.7) and 79th in percentage of possessions (28.7).
Team fact: The Huskies are least 7-2 midway through the Pac-10 season for just the fourth time since the conference expanded to 10 teams in 1978-79.

20. Kansas (17-4)
Last ranking: 23
Last week: Defeated Nebraska 68-62 and Colorado 66-61
This week: Defeated Baylor 75-65, vs. Oklahoma State on Saturday
Player spotlight: Sophomore center Cole Aldrich had 15 points and 13 rebounds against Colorado for his 12th double-double of the season. His 127.2 offensive rating ranks 19th in the nation and he is 17th in true shooting percentage (66.7), 20th in defensive rebounding percentage (25.7), 31st in effective field goal percentage (62.8), 33rd in block percentage (9.3) and 90th in offensive rebounding percentage (12.7).
Team fact: The Jayhawks made 19 of 20 free throws for 95 percent against Colorado, its best percentage from the foul line since shooting 95.7 against Princeton on Dec. 22, 1999.

21. Texas (15-5)
Last ranking: 22
Last week: Defeated Baylor 78-72, lost to Kansas State 85-81
This week: vs. No. 22 Missouri on Wednesday, at Nebraska on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior guard A.J. Abrams made four three-point field goals against Kansas State to set the Big 12 career record with 342, breaking the mark set by Kansas' Jeff Bouchee from 1999-2002. His 110.2 offensive rating is 438th in the nation and he ranks 13th in percentage of minutes (91.8) and 45th in turnover rate (10.5).
Team fact: The Longhorns lead the Big 12 with 5.9 blocked shots a game.

22. Missouri (18-4)
Last ranking: 19
Last week: Lost to Kansas State 88-72, defeated Baylor 89-72
This week: at No. 21 Texas on Wednesday, at Iowa State on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior forward Leo Lyons scored a career-high 30 points against Baylor and became the 38th player in Missouri history to reach 1,000 for his career. His 110.8 offensive rating is 415th in the nation and he ranks first in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (8.9) and 26th in percentage of possessions (31.6).
Team fact: The Tigers are 4-0 at home in the Big 12 for the first time since 2002-03.

23. Butler (19-2)
Last ranking: 12
Last week: Defeated Valparaiso 59-51
This week: Lost to Wisconsin-Green Bay 75-66, at Detroit on Thursday, at Wright State on Saturday
Player spotlight: Freshmen guard Gordon Heyward leads Butler in road scoring with a 15.7 average. His 127.6 offensive rating is 18th in the nation and he ranks 40th in true shooting percentage (64.6) and 62nd in the effective field goal percentage (60.8).
Team fact: The Bulldogs' 21-game winning streak in the Horizon League, which tied the league record, ended against Wisconsin-Green Bay.

24. Arizona State (16-5)
Last ranking: 10
Last week: Lost to Washington State 65-55 and Washington 84-71
This week:at Oregon on Thursday, at Oregon State on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior forward Jeff Pendergraph has 822 career rebounds and is 15 away from passing Tony Zeno for third on Arizona State's all-time list. His 131.9 offensive rating is fifth in the nation and ranks sixth in true shooting percentage (69.0), eighth in effective field goal percentage (66.9), 72nd in defensive rebounding percentage (22.5) and 94th in turnover rate (11.8).
Team fact: The Sun Devils are allowing 59.4 points a game.

25. Minnesota (18-3)
Last ranking: NR
Last week: Defeated Illinois 59-36
This week: at No. 12 Michigan State on Wednesday, at Ohio State on Saturday
Player spotlight: Junior guard Lawrence Westbrook had 15 points and six rebounds against Illinois, the 18th time in 20 games this season he scored in double figures. His 112.8 offensive rating is 317th in the nation and he ranks 178th in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (5.5).
Team fact: The Golden Gophers lead the Big Ten in blocked shots with 6.8 a game.

Dropped out: No. 21 Georgetown, No. 24 Syracuse
Others considered: Davidson (19-3), Georgetown (12-8), Syracuse (17-5), Utah (14-7), Utah State (21-1)

John Perrotto is an author of Basketball Prospectus. You can contact John by clicking here or click here to see John's other articles.

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<< Previous Article
(02/03)
<< Previous Column
The List (01/27)
Next Column >>
The List (02/10)
Next Article >>
Not Again (02/04)

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