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February 10, 2009
The List
Week of February 10, 2009

by John Perrotto

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1. Connecticut (22-1)
Last ranking: 3
Last week: Defeated Louisville 68-51 and Michigan 69-61
This week: vs. Syracuse on Wednesday, at Seton Hall on Thursday
Player spotlight: Junior center Hasheem Thabeet combined for 31 points, 23 rebounds and ten blocked shots against Louisville and Michigan, shooting 77 percent (10 of 13) from the field and 85 percent (11 of 13) from the foul line to win Big East Player of the Week honors. His 120.4 offensive rating is 104th in the nation and he ranks seventh in block percentage (12.3), 24th in effective field goal percentage (64.2), 43rd in free throw rate (71.1), 46th in true shooting percentage (64.2), 54th in offensive rebounding percentage (13.8) and 70th in defensive rebounding percentage (22.6).
Team fact: The Huskies have not been outrebounded in a game this season.

2. Duke (20-3)
Last ranking: 1
Last week: Lost to Clemson 74-47, defeated Miami (Fla.) 78-75
This week: vs. No. 3 North Carolina on Wednesday, at Boston College on Sunday
Player spotlight: Junior guard Gerald Henderson raised his career point total to 1,001 against Miami (Fla.) to become the 58th player in Blue Devils' history to reach 1,000. His 118.0 offensive rating is 150th in the nation and he ranks 143rd in true shooting percentage (60.8).
Team fact: The Blue Devils' 58 1,000-point scorers are third in Division I behind North Carolina (62) and Louisville (59).

3. North Carolina (21-2)
Last ranking: 2
Last week: Defeated Maryland 108-91 and Virginia 76-61
This week: at No. 2 Duke on Wednesday, at Miami (Fla.) on Sunday
Player spotlight: Junior guard Wayne Ellington averaged 27.0 points and 7.5 rebounds against Maryland and Virginia. His 120.4 offensive rating is 103rd in the nation and he ranks 228th in turnover rate (13.8).
Team fact: The Tar Heels have won at least 20 games in 39 of the last 43 seasons.

4. Pittsburgh (21-2)
Last ranking: 4
Last week: Defeated Robert Morris 92-72 and DePaul 92-69
This week: Defeated No. 22 West Virginia 70-59 on Monday, vs. Cincinnati on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior guard Levance Fields tied the school record with 16 assists against DePaul, matching the mark set by Bob Shrewsbury against South Carolina on Feb. 14, 1976. Fields' 117.3 offensive rating is 165th in the nation and he ranks 28th in assist rate (35.0) and 45th in fouls called per 40 minutes (1.6).
Team fact: The Panthers lead the Big East in rebound margin at plus 9.5.

5. Oklahoma (23-1)
Last ranking: 5
Last week: Defeated Texas A&M 77-71 and Colorado 77-72
This week: at Baylor on Wednesday, vs. Texas Tech on Saturday
Player spotlight: Sophomore forward Blake Griffin has had six consecutive double-doubles and leads the nation with 20 this season. His 115.4 offensive rating is 214th in the nation and he ranks third in defensive rebounding percentage (32.1), fourth in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (8.2), 22nd in percentage of possessions (22.9), 23rd in free throw rate (74.9), 26th in effective field goal percentage (63.8) and 68th in true shooting percentage (63.3).
Team fact: The Sooners lead the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 48.8.

6. Memphis (20-3)
Last ranking: 8
Last week: Defeated Southern Methodist 79-66 and Gonzaga 68-50
This week: vs. Tulsa on Wednesday, at Southern Mississippi on Saturday
Player spotlight: Freshman guard Tyreke Evans averaged 24.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists against Southern Methodist and Gonzaga to win Conference USA Rookie of the Week honors for the seventh time this season. He has a 101.9 offensive rating and ranks 13th in the nation in percentage of possessions (33.2), 19th in steal percentage (4.7), 43rd in percentage of shots (32.3) and 89th in assist rate (30.3).
Team fact: The Tigers' 14-game winning streak is the second-longest in the nation behind Utah State's 18-game streak.

7. Louisville (18-4)
Last ranking: 10
Last week: Lost to Connecticut 68-51, defeated St. John's 60-47
This week: at Notre Dame on Thursday, vs. DePaul on Sunday
Player spotlight: Freshman center Samardo Samuels left the St. John's game in the first half after losing two teeth when elbowed in the mouth. He did not return. Samuels' 110.0 offensive rating is 461st in the nation and he ranks 58th in free throw rate (67.1) and 88th fouls drawn per 40 minutes (6.1).
Team fact: The Cardinals are 7-2 in games decided by ten points or less.

8. Michigan State (19-4)
Last ranking: 12
Last week: Defeated Minnesota 76-47 and Indiana 75-47
This week: at Michigan on Tuesday
Player spotlight: Senior guard Travis Walton raised his career assists total to 501 against Indiana to become the sixth Spartans player to reach that mark. He has a 100.7 offensive rating and ranks 470th in the nation in steal percentage (2.6).
Team fact: The Spartans need one victory for their ninth 20-win season in the last 11 years.

9. Clemson (19-3)
Last ranking: 11
Last week: Defeated Duke 74-47, lost to Florida State 65-61
This week: at Boston College on Tuesday, at Virginia on Sunday
Player spotlight: Junior forward Trevor Booker leads the ACC with a 55.7 field goal percentage and is bidding to become the first Tigers player to lead the conference since Devin Gray in 1993-94. Booker's 117.1 offensive rating is 174th in the nation and he ranks 54th in block percentage (8.3) and 61st in defensive rebounding percentage (22.8).
Team fact: The Tigers need one more victory to have three consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in school history.

10. Wake Forest (18-3)
Last ranking: 6
Last week: Lost to Miami (Fla.) 79-52, defeated Boston College 93-76
This week: at North Carolina State on Wednesday, vs. Florida State on Saturday
Player spotlight: Sophomore guard Jeff Teague has scored in double digits 25 straight times dating to last season. His 114.9 offensive rating is 236th in the nation and he ranks 36th in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (6.6) and 48th in total shooting percentage (64.1).
Team fact: The Demon Deacons are 3-1 this season in games decided by five points or less or that have gone to overtime.

11. UCLA (19-4)
Last ranking: 15
Last week: Defeated Southern California 76-60 and Notre Dame 89-63
This week: at No. 21 Arizona State on Thursday, at Arizona on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior forward Alfred Aboya averaged 16.5 points and 9.5 rebounds against Southern California and Notre Dame to be win Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. His 122.9 offensive rating is 53rd in the nation and he ranks 102nd in both effective field goal percentage (59.3) and free throw rate (61.4).
Team fact: The Bruins have an average margin of victory of 22.5 points during their four-game winning streak, and are forcing 18.5 turnovers a game in that span..

12. Villanova (19-4)
Last ranking: 14
Last week: Defeated Providence 94-91 and Syracuse 102-85
This week: vs. No. 16 Marquette on Tuesday, at No. 19 West Virginia on Friday
Player spotlight: Senior forward Shane Clark had 14 points and 10 rebounds against Syracuse for his first career double-double. He has a 103.8 offensive rating and ranks 405th in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage (9.3).
Team fact: The Wildcats' 102 points against Syracuse tied a school record for points scored in a Big East game.

13. Xavier (20-3)
Last ranking: 7
Last week: Defeated Temple 83-74, lost to Duquesne 72-68
This week: at Dayton on Wednesday, vs. Fordham on Saturday
Player spotlight: Freshman guard Terrell Holloway is fifth in the Atlantic 10 in free throw shooting at 79.5 percent. He has a 99.7 offensive rating and is 312th in the nation in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (5.0).
Team fact: The Musketeers have 20 wins for the fourth straight season and 12th time in the last 13 years.

14. Butler (21-2)
Last ranking: 23
Last week: Lost to Wisconsin-Green Bay 75-66, defeated Detroit 66-61 and Wright State 69-51
This week: vs. Illinois-Chicago on Friday, vs. Loyola (Ill.) on Saturday
Player spotlight: Freshmen forward Gordon Hayward averaged 17.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists against Wisconsin-Green Bay, Detroit and Wright State to win Horizon League Player of the Week honors. His 127.6 offensive rating is 18th in the nation and he ranks 21st in true shooting percentage (66.0) and 49th in effective field goal percentage (61.9).
Team fact: The Bulldogs ended a seven-game losing streak at Wright State's Nutter Center.

15. Marquette (20-3)
Last ranking: 9
Last week: Defeated DePaul 76-61, lost to South Florida 57-56
This week: at No. 12 Villanova on Tuesday, vs. St. John's on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior guard Wesley Matthews is fourth in the Big East in scoring with a 19.2 average. His 123.0 offensive rating is 51st in the nation and he ranks 15th in fouls drawn per 30 minutes (7.2), 30th in free throw rate (73.2) and 38th in true shooting percentage (64.7).
Team fact: The Golden Eagles are 3-1 against Villanova in Big East regular-season games.

16. Missouri (21-4)
Last ranking: 22
Last week: Defeated Texas 69-65 and Iowa State 82-68
This week: Defeated No. 18 Kansas 62-60, vs. Nebraska on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior forward DeMarre Carroll averaged 22.0 points and 6.5 rebounds a game against Texas and Iowa State to win Big 12 Player of the Week honors. His 120.0 offensive rating is 99th in the nation and he ranks 86th in effective field goal percentage (59.7) and 93rd in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (6.0).
Team fact: The Tigers have won 20 games for the first time since 2002-03, the last season they played in the NCAA tournament.

17. Illinois (19-5)
Last ranking: 18
Last week: Lost to Wisconsin 63-50, defeated Purdue 66-48
This week: at Northwestern on Thursday, at Indiana on Sunday
Player spotlight: Sophomore forward Mike Davis averaged 14.0 points and 13.5 rebounds against Wisconsin and Purdue. He has a 107.8 offensive rating and ranks 35th in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage (24.2).
Team fact: The Fighting Illini need one victory for their 11th 20-win season in the last 13 years.

18. Kansas (19-5)
Last ranking: 20
Last week: Defeated Baylor 75-65 and Oklahoma State 78-67
This week: Lost to No. 16 Missouri 62-60 on Monday, at Kansas State on Saturday
Player spotlight: Junior guard Mario Little averaged 12.5 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 67 percent (10 of 15) from the field against Baylor and Oklahoma State to win Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors. He has a 122.5 offensive rating.
Team fact: The Jayhawks lead the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at 38.2.

19. Gonzaga (17-5)
Last ranking: 16
Last week: Defeated Portland 93-78, lost to Memphis 68-50
This week: at Saint Mary's on Thursday, at San Francisco on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior guard Micah Downs scored a team-high 13 points off the bench against Memphis. His 113.9 offensive rating is 260th in the nation and he ranks 46th in the nation in turnover rate (10.5).
Team fact: The Bulldogs' 50 points against Memphis were a season low, 29 below their average.

. 20. Arizona State (18-5)
Last ranking: 24
Last week: Defeated Oregon 66-57 and Oregon State 49-38
This week: vs. No. 11 UCLA on Thursday, vs. Southern California on Sunday
Player spotlight: Sophomore guard James Harden has scored at least 30 points five times this season and led the Sun Devils in scoring in 17 of 23 games this season. His offensive rating of 117.2 is 160th in the nation and he ranks sixth in both percentage of shots (33.8) and fouls drawn per 40 minutes (7.5). Harden is 70th in percentage of shots (31.1), 71st in true shooting percentage (63.2), 85th in free throw rate (63.7) and 99th in percentage of minutes (85.8).
Team fact: The Sun Devils play five of their last seven regular-season games at home.

21. Purdue (17-6)
Last ranking: 13
Last week: Lost to Ohio State 80-72 and Illinois 66-48
This week: vs. Penn State on Wednesday, at Iowa on Saturday
Player spotlight: Sophomore center JaJuan Johnson leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage at 55.7. His 113.7 offensive percentage is 269th in the nation and he is 40th in block percentage (9.0).
Team fact: The Boilermakers lead the Big Ten is scoring margin at plus 11.7.

22. West Virginia (16-8)
Last ranking: 17
Last week: Lost to Syracuse 74-61, defeated Providence 86-59
This week: Lost to No. 4 Pittsburgh 70-59 on Monday, vs. No. 12 Villanova on Friday
Player spotlight: Senior guard Alex Ruoff had a game-high 24 points against Providence. His 123.8 offensive rating is 39th in the nation and he ranks 154th in true shooting percentage (60.5).
Team fact: The Mountaineers are 3-1 in games that have been decided by five points or less or gone into overtime..

23. Washington (17-6)
Last ranking: 19
Last week: Lost to California 86-71, defeated Stanford 75-68
This week: vs. Oregon State on Thursday, vs. Oregon on Saturday
Player spotlight: Junior forward Quincy Pondexter had back-to-back 20-point games against California and Stanford for the first time in his career. He has a 108.2 offensive rating and ranks 206th in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage (11.1).
Team fact: The Huskies play six of their final eight regular-season games at home, where they are 12-1 this season.

24. Utah State (23-1)
Last ranking: NR
Last week: Defeated New Mexico State 78-59 and Louisiana Tech 60-52
This week: at Idaho on Thursday, at Boise State on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior forward Gary Wilkinson averaged 17.0 points and 8.0 rebounds against New Mexico State and Louisiana State while shooting 69 percent (9 of 13) from the field and 94 percent (16 of 17) from the foul line to win Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors. His 127.5 offensive rating is 19th in the nation and he ranks 13th in true shooting percentage (67.0) and 60th in effective field goal percentage (61.2).
Team fact: The Aggies lead the WAC in scoring defense with a 59.9 avearge.

25. Ohio State (17-5)
Last ranking: NR
Last week: Defeated Purdue 80-72 and Minnesota 64-58
This week: at Wisconsin on Saturday
Player spotlight: Sophomore forward Evan Turner averaged 22.0 points and 11.0 rebounds against Purdue and Minnesota to win Big Ten Player of the Week honors for the second straight week. He has a 108.7 offensive rating and ranks 55th in the nation in percentage of minutes (88.1), 72nd in free throw rate (66.3), 76th in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (6.1) and 99th in percentage of possessions (28.2).
Team fact: The Buckeyes won five games against ranked teams this season before moving into the Associated Press Top 25 this week, their most wins as an unranked team against ranked teams since posting six victories in 1989-90.

Dropped out: No.21 Texas, No. 25 Minnesota

Others considered: Brigham Young (17-5), Florida State (18-5), Minnesota (18-5), Syracuse (18-6), Utah (16-7).

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
(02/09)
<< Previous Column
The List (02/03)
Next Column >>
The List (02/17)
Next Article >>
Trade Deadline Talk (02/10)

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