Frank Burlison checks in with the first Power 16 of the season.

Rank (Last Week)
1. Ohio State (NR)
The Buckeyes were able to ho-hum their way past Wright State (73-42/despite shooting just .447 from the field and having as many turnovers – 14 – as assists) Saturday. The going – No. 9 Florida – gets a whole lot grittier Tuesday night.
2. North Carolina (NR)
A marvelous first weekend if only for the logistics of their victories (against Michigan State on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego on Friday night and in UNC-Asheville’s new arena Sunday afternoon). How many All-Americans can one team have? John Henson looked like one on the first weekend with a combined: 32 points, 19 rebounds and 11 blocked shots.
3. Kentucky (NR)
Freshmen Anthony Davis has lived up to all the hype so far, leading the team in scoring at 23 ppg and with 10 boards. Davis, Marquis Teague, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kyle Wiltjer combined for 68 points, 25 rebounds, nine assists and nine blocked shots in the 108-63 win over Marist. They’ll find out that things are not always quite that free and easy in major college hoops when they take on Kansas Tuesday night in Madison Square Garden.
4. Connecticut (NR)
The Huskies yawned their way past Wagner (70-57) Friday night. But, hey! How about that dunk Jeremy Lamb hammered in en route to his 30-point performance? Oh my goodness!
5. Duke (NR)
The Blue Devils got quite the tussle from Belmont (holding on, 77-76) on Friday before a “that’s more like it” 41-point Cameron pummeling of Presbyterian on Saturday. Michigan State – four nights after dropping a 12-point decision to North Carolina – continues its “ACC schedule” against Duke Tuesday in Madison Square Garden.
6. Syracuse (NR)
After letting everyone take a pop (16 fellows got into the game/no one played more than 27 minutes during the 78-53 victory over Fordham on Saturday), Jim Boeheim’s crew takes on another couple of in-state foes this week – Manhattan on Monday and Colgate next Saturday.
7. Pittsburgh (NR)
The Panthers needed a combined 63 points from Travon Woodall, Ashton Gibbs and Nasir Robinson to eke a come-from-behind, eight-point victory Sunday over a Rider team that lost by 26 – yes, 26 – to Robert Morris two days before. A much-more talented “mid-major” – the Long Beach State 49ers – is the opposition Wednesday night.
8. Mchigan (NR)
The Wolverines opened with a 59-33 win over Ferris State on Friday, take on Towson on Monday and then Western Illinois on Thursday night. Yep . . . wake me when they play Memphis in Lahaina during the Maui Invitational on Nov. 21.
9. Florida (NR)
The Gators hit 13 shots from behind the arc, had 12 steals and grabbed 19 offensive rebounds during their 99-53 opening victory over Jackson State. Those numbers aren’t likely to be quite so impressive Tuesday night against Ohio State.
10. California (NR)
Gee, scanning the Internet it seems as if a lot of national college scribes are figuring out what reader’s of my website, Lindy’s Magazine and already knew – the Golden Bears are far and away the best team in the Pacific-12 Conference.
11. Baylor (NR)
Even minus Perry Jones III (sidelined via NCAA suspension the first five games of the season), the Bears – not surprisingly – encountered little resistance against Texas Southern and Jackson State. The resistance in Waco could be significant Tuesday against the San Diego State Aztecs, even though they’re without four starters from their Sweet 16 team of last season.
12. Memphis (NR)
Like Duke, the Tigers will face a much tougher-caliber opening game opponent (Tuesday) than a lot of highly ranked teams are being challenged by – Belmont, which lost by just a point in Durham last week.
13. Gonzaga (NR)
The Bulldogs hit 26 more free throws than did Eastern Washington Friday night – and they won by only eight points. They don’t want to have to rely on that kind of advantage against Washington State Monday night.
14. Louisvilla (NR)
The good news – the Cardinals won their first two games by comfortable margins. The bad news – already plagued with injuries, they lost junior guard Mike Marra to a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Ouch, indeed.
15. Washington (NR)

Scoring came easy against Georgia State (91 points) and Florida International (77). Baskets should be a bit more difficult to come by Monday night against Portland (which allowed 65 and 61 points to the same two opponents).

16. Vanderbilt (NR)
After handling a decent Oregon by 14 points in their opener, the Commodores shot just 35 percent from field while allowing Cleveland State to shoot 50 percent Sunday during the visitors’ 13-point stunner in Nashville. That’s very un-No. 5-ranked-like.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut) edged John Henson (North Carolina)

THIS WEEK’S TOP GAMES: It’s tough to pick against the Madison Square Garden double-header Tuesday night of Kansas vs. Kentucky and Duke vs. Michigan State.

Frank Burlison has been covering hoops for 30+ years for a variety of publications.

Follow Frank on twitter @FrankieBur. Also make sure to follow his website at College coaching staffs interested in Burlison’s scouting service should contact him at [email protected]


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.