Virginia Tech and Clemson currently occupy the 1-3 slots in the Atlantic Coast
That’s kind of tough to figure,
Well, it’s no tougher to figure
than is trying to sort out the Pac-10 standings.
How well balanced is that
Of the five Pac-10 games played
over Saturday and Sunday, two (UCLA over USC and Oregon over Arizona) were
decided on jump shots with less than five seconds to play, and two more
(Stanford over Washington State and Cal over Washington) went into
At least one thing remained
consistent with preseason analysis:
Florida is the best team in the
Well, the Gators are No. 1, at
least, after returning to the top of the Frankhoops.com, thanks to a combination
of Southeastern Conference victories over Arkansas and South Carolina, and North Carolina’s Atlantic Coast Conference defeat at Virginia Tech
We’ll see how the Tar Heels react
to that loss, and how Clemson recovers from its first loss of the season
Saturday (at Maryland) when the teams hook up at Clemson Wednesday
Kudos for the Week of Jan. 7-13
*Anthony Goods (6-3, So.,
He scored 11 points in the Cardinal’s
76-75 non-conference victory at Virginia on Jan. 7 to start the week. Then he
really got involved in his team’s success. He had 19 points, four assists
and the deciding free throws in a 78-77 Pac-10 victory over Washington on
Thursday, and 30 more points – three of those coming on the winning jump shot –
to go with three rebounds and three assists as Stanford made it a weekend
conference sweep with a 71-68 victory over Washington State.
*Joseph Jones (6-9, So., Texas
Jones averaged 16.0 points, 13.5
rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as the Aggies swept Baylor and Colorado in a
pair of road Big 12 contests.
*Stephane Lasme (6-8, Sr.,
How are these for gaudy averages
during Atlantic 10 victories over George Washington and Temple: 22.0 points,
13.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 8.5 blocked shots per game?
*Lee Humphrey (6-2, Sr,
Was at his jump-shooting best in
SEC victories over Arkansas (79-72) and South Carolina (84-50), hitting 14 of 20
shots from the field – including 10 of 14 from behind the arc.
*Virginia Tech backcourt of
Jamon Gordon (6-3, Sr.) and Zabian Dowdell (6-3, Sr.)
The Hokies cruised to a 74-51
non-conference victory at UNC Greensboro on Wednesday and then held off a
frantic UNC finish to stun the then-No. 1 Tar Heels, 94-88. Gordon averaged 13.5
points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.5 steals, Dowdell 20.0 points, 3.5
rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.5 steals.
This Week’s Cool
(A look at the weekend games will
be posted Friday)
Missouri at No. 6
Frank Says: The Tigers (0-3
in conference) are finding that life in the Big 12 isn’t quite as free and easy
as during non-conference games in Columbia.
Frank Says: Are the
Cardinals playing well enough to be considered NCAA Tournament at-large bid
contenders? Check back after this one.
Connecticut at No. 8
Frank Says: At some point
the Huskies are going to have to whip a decent team away from Storrs or Hartford
to be considered a legitimate NCAA Tournament at-large bid-caliber club. This is
a nice opportunity to do so.
Frank Says: The Cowboys get
a chance to do what no one else been able to (“contain Kevin Durant”) and
bounce back from that ugly performance in Lawrence last week.
Frank Says: The Hoosiers
have looked every bit the part of the third best team in the Big Ten while
beating Michigan State, Purdue and Penn State by an average of 19.7 points over
the past three games.
No. 4 North Carolina at No. 16
Frank Says: Both clubs are
looking to bounce back from ACC road losses Saturday. It will not be a game of
the low-scoring variety, that’s for sure.
Frank Says: It’s not nearly desperation time yet but each
of these teams needs a win in this one in order to juice up its NCAA Tournament
at-large bid aspirations.
No. 25 Stanford at No. 10
Frank Says: Each team takes
a three-game winning streak into this Pac-10 affair. It’s a bit simplistic to
call it a showdown of “Stanford’s inside game vs. Oregon’s perimeter offense”.
But we’ll do it anyway.
No. 11 Arizona at
Frank Says: The Wildcats and
Trojans each fell victim to late jump shots in their last Pac-10 outing. Nick Young (USC) vs. Marcus Williams will be a heck of a matchup –
assuming Arizona plays man-to-man and they guard one another, that
Frank Says: The team
currently atop the A-10 standings visits the team that was picked to win the
conference. Certainly that’s a formula for an interesting A-10 “showdown”, isn’t
(Includes last rating and record as
of Jan. 14)
1. (2) Florida
Frank Says: The Gators were
the best team in the country beforehand but had to wait until the Tar Heels were
knocked off to sink their teeth into the No. 1 spot.
2. (3) UCLA
Frank Says: The Bruins’ move
up a spot in the ratings, thanks to a nails jump shot by Arron Afflalo
over the left hand of USC defender Lodrick Stewart Saturday in the
Trojans’ Galen Center.
3. (4) Wisconsin
Frank Says: Picked up a huge
win over Ohio State in Madison and then nearly suffered an embarrassing loss to
Northwestern in Evanston.
4. (1) North Carolina
Frank Says: The Tar Heels
nearly pulled off the mother of all frantic rallies after being thoroughly
outplayed most of the way Saturday by Virginia Tech.
5. (5) Ohio State
Frank Says: The Buckeyes had
a nice rally down the stretch to make things close at the end in Madison then
needed a 3-pointer from Ron Lewis and Greg Oden’s best all-around
performance of the season to hold off Tennessee in Columbus.
6. (8) Kansas
Frank Says: The Jayhawks
smacked the Oklahoma State Cowboys silly in Lawrence but needed some Brandon Rush heroics to slip past Iowa State in Ames.
7. (10) Texas A&M
Frank Says: The Aggies face
a nationally ranked club (Oklahoma State) at home for the first time
8. (11) Pittsburgh
Frank Says: Can continue to
separate itself from the rest of the Big East pack with home games against
Connecticut (Tuesday) and Marquette (Sunday) over the next seven
9. (12) Nevada
Frank Says: The Wolf Pack
may have collected their most impressive W of the season by winning in Hawaii
without National Player of the Year candidate Nick Fazekas.
10. (13) Oregon
Frank Says: Aaron Brooks hit
game-winning shots over UCLA and Arizona in an eight-day stretch. Not bad,
11. (6) Arizona
Frank Says: The Wildcats
aren’t going to be the best team in the Pac 10 until they starting making it a
lot more difficult for opponents to score.
12. (7) Butler
Frank Says: We can’t beat up
on the Bulldogs too much for a road conference loss
13. (9) Duke
Frank Says: The questions
about the Blue Devils’ offense will cease to be asked if the performance in
Miami Sunday doesn’t prove to be just a case of hooking up with a bad defensive
14. (14) Oklahoma State
Frank Says: What a week for
the Cowboys – Texas Tuesday and Texas A&M Saturday!
15. (15) Alabama
Frank Says: A couple of
sophomores – Richard Hendrix and Alonzo Gee – are Mark
Gottfried’s leading scorers.
16. (18) Clemson
Frank Says: Talk of that
loss in Maryland Saturday will cease to be an issue if the Tigers knock off the
team they play host to Wednesday night.
17. (19) Texas
Frank Says: Kevin Durant is
averaging 28.2 points and 14.8 rebounds over the past five games.
18. (20) Air Force
Frank Says: Just an idle
thought but will the Falcons ever lose again? Sure they will – probably two or
three times in the MWC and once in the NCAA Tournament.
19. (21) Washington State
Frank Says: There is no
punishing the Cougars after a lopsided win at California and overtime loss at
20. (24) Notre Dame
Frank Says: Russell Carter
(18.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game) is having a heck of a senior season,
21. (ur) Virginia Tech
Frank Says: Say hello to our
lil’ friends the Hokies! Duke and North Carolina already had their
22. (16) Tennessee
Frank Says: The Volunteers
could oh-so-easily be 15-2 if not for gut-twisting losses at Vanderbilt and Ohio
23. (17) LSU
Frank Says: The Tigers’
non-conference win over Texas A&M is keeping them in the Top 25 – for now,
24. (ur) Memphis
Frank Says: Welcome back,
25. (UR) Stanford
Frank Says: A sweep of
Virginia, Washington and Washington State enables Trent Johnson’s crew to
become the fifth Pac-10 team in the Top 25 this week.
Dropped out: Georgetown
(22), West Virginia (23) and UNLV (25)
Just missed: Arkansas,
Boston College, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kentucky, Marquette, Massachusetts, New Mexico State, UNLV and USC.
Inducted into the USBWA Hall of
Fame in April, 2005, 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