The Duke Blue Devils hung onto No.
1 in this week’s Scout.com Top 25 but only thanks to Sean Dockery’s
long-range (and last-second) marksmanship against Virginia Tech Sunday
And that hold on the top spot will
get another stern test this Saturday when they face No. 3 Texas in The
Randy Foye’s 32-point
performance last Saturday helped Villanova knock off Oklahoma Saturday in a
showdown of unbeatens. It also helped land him on the Scout.com’s National
Players of the Week list.
Here is a look at some of the
week’s best matchups, as well as Scout.com’s updated Top 25 and the five
Scout.com National Players of the Week:
George Washington: After a four-game
diet of something less than formidable fare, the Colonials try to take a bite
out of some Atlantic Coast Conference competition. They are at full strength
now, too, with the return of 6-foot-9 Pops Mensah-Bonsu from a three-game,
Richmond at Louisville:
The Cardinals attempt to make it
three wins in three days after knocking off Prairie View A&M Saturday and
Arkansas State Sunday.
Villanova at Bucknell:
A year ago who could have conceived
of this being one of the most intriguing matchups of the season so far? The
Bison have already knocked off a couple of Big East Conference teams (Syracuse
and DePaul, on the road).
Boston College vs. Michigan State: The headliner of the Jimmy V
Classic double-header (Kansas and Saint Joseph’s hook up in the other game in
Madison Square Garden) could be the caliber of a NCAA Tournament regional
Iowa at Northern Iowa:
It’s “in-state week” for the
Hawkeyes, who also visit Ames Friday night to play Iowa State.
Notre Dame at Alabama:
With losses to Xavier and Michigan,
Notre Dame is going to need some eye-catching non-conference victories pretty
soon to enhance its NCAA Tournament at-large resume come
Colorado State at Kansas State: The respective teams, the Rams
(6-0) and the Wildcats (4-1), have made this a game worth checking out based on
their surprising early-season performances.
Massachusetts at Connecticut:
This is the last remotely interesting matchup for the Huskies until they
open Big East play Jan. 3 at Marquette, a game that is expected to include the
return to active duty of junior point guard Marcus Williams.
Georgetown at Illinois: It’s
quite a challenging week (they also play Arkansas-Little Rock, which lost by
just five points at Michigan State, and visit Oregon) for the Illini. Center
Roy Hibbert is averaging 16 points in only 21 minutes for the
Washington State at Gonzaga: The
Cougars have exceeded (at 4-1) preseason expectations but are playing their
first game outside of Pullman in this one.
Duke vs. Texas: The week’s
“Must Watch” television. The Blue Devils will have to play their 40 best minutes
of basketball this season to leave New Jersey unbeaten and in possession of the
top spot in the national ratings.
Washington vs. New Mexico/Nevada vs. UCLA (John R. Wooden Classic, Anaheim, Calif.): In Game 1, the Huskies – fresh off their win over
Gonzaga Sunday night – play their first game off their Seattle campus. In Game
2, the Wolf Pack have played very well outside of Reno, winning on the home
floors of Vermont, UNLV, Kansas and Pacific.
Oklahoma State vs. Gonzaga
(in Seattle): Eddie
Sutton’s team gets its opportunity to slow down Adam Morrison. Good
California at Kansas:
The Jayhawks play host to the most
underrated team (for now) in the West. Coach Bill Self’s team is going to have
to start picking up some significant non-conference victories to help its cause
on Selection Sunday.
Alabama at Temple: Coach
Mark Gottfried’s team plays its first game on the road. It’s just another
toughie on the always-tough schedule the Owls play.
Players of the
(Games Nov. 27-Dec. 3)
*Randy Foye (6-3, Sr.,
Villanova): In three games, he averaged 20.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists,
1.3 steals and only 1.0 turnovers. He helped knock off unbeaten Oklahoma
Saturday, 85-74, with a 32-point effort.
*Nick Fazekas (6-10, Jr.,
Nevada): The Wolf Pack won a couple of tight road games (against Kansas and
Pacific), in large part due to the 29.0 points and 9.5 rebounds he averaged
against the Jayhawks and Tigers.
*James Augustine (6-9, Sr.,
Illinois): How did the Illini hold
off two unbeaten teams (North Carolina, on the road, and Xavier at home – the
latter while overcoming a 15-point deficit)? He’s a big reason. He scored 13
points to go with 13 rebounds, three assists and three steals against the Tar
Heels, then followed up that effort four days later with 23 points, seven
rebounds and a couple of steals against the Musketeers.
*Oliver Lafayette (6-2, Jr.,
Houston): The community college transfer has made an immediate impact on the
Cougars, as evidenced by 32- and 28-point efforts that helped his team edge LSU
and Arizona last week. He was 13 of 20 on 3-pointers in those games.
*Leon Powe (6-8, So.,
California): His first two games in two seasons (he was sidelined a year ago
because of knee surgery, and missed the Bears’ first four outings because of a
stress reaction in a foot) weren’t too shabby: 53 points, 10 rebounds, three
assists and four steals in victories over San Jose State and Akron.
Scout.com Updated Top
(with previous rating; records
include games through Dec. 4)
1. (1) Duke (7-0)
Next game: vs. Penn
2. (2) Connecticut
Next game: vs. Massachusetts
3. (3) Texas
Next game: vs. Rice
4. (6) Louisville
Next game: vs. Richmond
5. (7) Boston College
Next game: vs. Michigan
State (Tuesday, Jimmy V Classic)
6. (9) Villanova
Next game: at Bucknell
7. (11) Ohio State
Next game: at Saint Joseph’s
8. (12) Iowa
Next game: at Northern Iowa
9. (10) Nevada
Next game: vs. UC Davis
10. (15) Illinois
Next game: vs.
Arkansas-Little Rock (Monday)
11. (16) Washington
Next game: vs. New Mexico
(Saturday, John R. Wooden Classic)
12. (4) Gonzaga
Next game: vs. Washington
13. (17) Memphis
Next game: at Providence
14. (5) Oklahoma
Next game: vs. Coppin State
15. (18) Florida
Next game: at Providence
16. (8) Wisconsin
Next game: vs.
Wisconsin-Green Bay (Wednesday)
17. (10) North Carolina State (5-1)
Next game: vs. Appalachian
18. (19) Michigan State
Next game: vs. Boston
College (Tuesday, Jimmy V Classic)
19. (21) Old Dominion
Next game: vs. George Mason
20. (22) Alabama
Next game: vs. Notre Dame
21. (23) Indiana
Next game: at Indiana State
22. (24) Vanderbilt
Next game: vs. Cincinnati
23. (ur) North Carolina
Next game: vs. Saint Louis
24. (ur) Wake Forest
Next game: vs. DePaul (Dec.
25. (ur) Bucknell
Next game: vs. Villanova
Dropped out: Kentucky (13),
Arizona (20) and Creighton (25)
An April inductee into the USBWA
Hall of Fame, Frank Burlison is Scout.com’s national basketball expert and is
also a columnist for the Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram. He can be reached
at email@example.com. Read more of Burlison’s pieces at