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NCAAM power rankings: Week 2

by Donte Nystrom

  1. Duke – With a dramatic classic finish between two powerhouse programs, Duke was able to assert themselves as THE top team in college basketball, knocking off Michigan State. Grayson Allen hasn’t done anything outlandish or controversial yet, so that’s a plus. He actually seems to have matured and spoke with his game in a big setting. How ‘bout them 37 points for a career high, eh? Also, they were able to get that win without Marvin Bagley. Good enough to stay number one.
  2. Arizona – The Cats look strong out of the gate despite all the negative conversation circulating about them and their former assistant coach. They have destroyed two relatively easy opponents and Alonzo Trier is averaging 31 points. Let’s see if they can really get it together as they prepare for a good NC State team and a possible SEC champion in Texas A&M come December 2.
  3. Michigan State – They’re 1-1, but they gave Duke a run for their money. In big games you’re able to find out what weaknesses and strengths you have in your team. The Spartans figured out that they are really, really good at shooting and getting defensive in the paint. But they are really, really bad at rebounding. When you let the opposing team gather more offensive rebounds than you can get defensively, that exploits something teams can use to beat you, no matter how well you can shoot the ball. Can’t shoot the ball if you can’t get it.
  4. Kansas – Nothing feels better than getting a top-10 win in the beginning of the season. Actually, when you look at the stats of the game against Kentucky, it looked like they should’ve lost, but you can’t measure intangibles like luck and key plays at the right moment. And of course, it’s never a bad thing to have all your starting five averaging over 10 PPG. Keep up that shooting percentage and you’ll keep a good top-5 ranking here.
  5. Villanova – Donte DiVincenzo, Jalen Brunson and Eric Paschall are averaging at least 13 points and 24 minutes per game while shooting over 57 percent. We should expect Nova to keep up the good work until we get to see their first test against last year’s runner up, Gonzaga. Mikal Bridges is off to a hot start, second on the team in assists and points and third in rebounds.
  6. Kentucky – I’m beginning to believe that if your team is blue and its nickname is Wildcats, you’re most likely going to find yourself in the top-25 and looking to challenge for a national championship. Calipari’s Cats already have their first loss, but it couldn’t have been to a better team, except, maybe, the two other blue Wildcat teams ahead of them. Kentucky hasn’t looked all too impressive starting this year off in close wins with Vermont and Utah Valley, winning by no more than ten points. So far, it’s only a two-man scoring machine with 91 combined points in the first three games. The next four players only add up to 90 . . .
  7. Wichita State – Two lopsided wins have placed the Shockers in a comfy position in the top-10. No faults have been exploited yet, but we’ll see how that all turns out when they play Cal and at Baylor in the next couple weeks. Shaquille Morris and Darral Willis Jr. are taking care of business on the boards while leading the team in points.
  8. USC – Bennie Boatwright isn’t just leading his team in points, averaging 20.5 PPG, he’s leading in blocks too, at three per game. However, we have yet to see what De’Anthony Melton can be capable of after being shunned to the bench the first two games. They too play Texas A&M very soon to test themselves.
  9. Miami – Dewan Huell seems to have proven himself as the starting center for the Canes. He’s leading the team in points and rebounds per game. They’re undefeated, something Miami wants to keep going in football too. They’ll be playing a very good, very disciplined Minnesota team in a couple weeks. Not only are they playing, they’re heading into Williams Arena on the 29th.
  10. North Carolina – Two words: Luke. Maye. Maye is handling business for the Tar Heels racking up a double-double start averaging ten boards and 26 points per game. Garrison Brooks is also shooting 83 percent from the floor, granted he’s only had six shots, it’s still a high percentage with high-percentage shots.

Best of the Rest:

  1. Florida
  2. Notre Dame
  3. Minnesota
  4. Gonzaga
  5. Northwestern
  6. Cincinnati
  7. Baylor
  8. Alabama
  9. Louisville
  10. UCLA
  11. Saint Mary’s
  12. Texas A&M
  13. Xavier
  14. TCU
  15. West Virginia

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