Power Rankings: Houston takes the top spot, Villanova, Tennessee drop

That was an enjoyable appetizer. Now it’s time for things to heat up.With Election Day and other situations requiring the Champions Classic to move from the start of the 2022-23 males’s college basketball season to the second week, many top programs opted to schedule a number of buy games to kick off their projects. As an outcome, the very first week saw plenty of blowouts, very couple of noteworthy wins and only a number of top-25 losses (we’re looking at you, Villanova, Tennessee and Oregon).

But the coming week will more than offset it: Champions Classic on Tuesday, Gonzaga at Texas on Wednesday, Baylor vs. Virginia on Friday, Kentucky at Gonzaga on Sunday– just among others marquee matchups over the next several days.Before we get

to the awards and rankings, a quick refresher on the guidelines of the Power Rankings:

  • This is not a poll; teams do not immediately rise, fall or stay the same with a win or loss. (You’ll observe Houston currently jumped North Carolina and Gonzaga to transfer to No. 1, regardless of neither the Tar Heels nor the Zags losing.) Head-to-head matters, but it isn’t the only thing. We look at the total body of work.We try to

  • prevent repeating awards in a provided week (for instance, Gonzaga, Drew Timme and Mark Few winning Team, Gamer and Coach of the Week, respectively).

Let’s dive in.

Extremely couple of leagues in the country– and none at the low-major level– can match the SWAC and its teams’ impressive wins in the very first week of the season. Grambling got things begun by beating Colorado on Friday, Alcorn State won at Wichita State on Saturday and Texas Southern rounded things out by removing Arizona State on Sunday. When the Pac-12 and SWAC announced a Pac-12/ SWAC Legacy Series in basketball, going 2-2 throughout a weekend can’t be what the Pac-12 had in mind.The wins weren’t fluky, either. Grambling led Colorado wire-to-wire and held a double-digit lead for the majority of the game– with the margin growing as big as 19 points in the first half. Alcorn State went on a 14-2 run midway through the 2nd half to take the lead and kept Wichita State at an arm’s length the remainder of the method. Meanwhile, Texas Southern already had wins over Florida, Baylor, Oregon and Texas A&M over the last couple of seasons– and can now add an overtime success over Arizona State to that group. After 3 seasons at Michigan State, Loyer transferred to Davidson in 2021-22 and made second-team All-Atlantic 10 honors. With Luka Brajkovic and Hyunjung Lee now gone, though, Loyer looks poised for a massive season with the Wildcats– if his opening week is any sign. He had 30 points and 6 threes against Guilford to open Davidson’s season on Monday, then went for 38 points, 11 rebounds and 9 helps in a double-overtime win at Wright State on Wednesday. He’s now leading the country in scoring after two games, and was among simply two players to hit 30 points in each of their very first 2 games( Santa Clara’s Brandin Podziemski was the other ).play


Damian Dunn rejects Villanova Wildcats with stuff

It took 2 court stormings, however the final buzzer eventually sounded on Temple’s 68-64 upset win over the No. 16 Wildcats. It marked the first top-25 loss of the season. It was also Temple’s very first win over Villanova in a decade, with the average margin of defeat in seven losses over that time a whopping 18.0 points. However the Owls laid a Huge 5 marker down that it may not be as easy for Villanova with coach Jay Wright retiring last spring. Temple leapt out to an early lead, was up by double digits in the first half and then won the game on a pair of Damian Dunn free tosses with 1.1 seconds left.Colorado got better incredibly rapidly from its loss to Grambling, taking down a Tennessee team– in Nashville, no less– that dominated Gonzaga in a televised preseason exhibit game just 2 weeks earlier and beat Tennessee Tech by 32 points last Monday. It was nip-and-tuck most of the way, but the Buffs got some separation midway through the 2nd half and iced the game from the free toss line. Sophomore guard KJ Simpson was the standout for Little bit Boyle’s team, ending up with 23 points and nine boards. Meanwhile, Tennessee’s 25.4% basket portion was its most affordable in a single game over the last 3 seasons, per ESPN Stats & Details research. One of 2 programs to beat a top-25 team last week, UC Irvine damaged Oregon in Eugene on Friday, leading by as lots of as 27 points in the second half and travelling to a 13-point road win over the Ducks. The Anteaters, who finished outside the top two of the Huge West last season for the very first time because 2013, revealed clear indications they’re ready to complete at the top of the league again. Russell Turner has actually been one of the most effective mid-major coaches given that arriving at Irvine, leading the Anteaters to 2 NCAA competitions and a minimum of a share of five regular-season titles. They have actually been to the postseason 6 times. And now, despite being selected 4th in the preseason Big West survey, they’ve sent a message to the remainder of the league.Three groups with questions Florida State Seminoles: A bounceback season was the expectation in Tallahassee after a disappointing 2021-22. However the Seminoles haven’t rather gotten out of the beginning gate yet. They lost to Stetson in the house to open the season, then lost by 14 on Friday to UCF. Louisville Cardinals: It’s going to be a long first season for Kenny Payne. The Cardinals had currently dropped an exhibition game to Lenoir-Rhyne prior to losing two successive house games to open 2022-23– to Bellarmine and Wright State, both by one point. California Golden Bears: Getting in a crucial season for Mark Fox, Cal didn’t get off on the best foot. The Golden Bears lost in the house to UC Davis to open the season, and after that fell to Kansas State on Friday

. Next up is a UC San Diego group that should not be imposing, but did beat Cal in Berkeley last season.Power Rankings play 0:25 Marcus Sasser makes a lovely lob to Jarace Walker who skies to the rim for a powerful jam.

1. Houston Cougars(2-0) Preseason ranking: 3 This week: vs. Oral Roberts (Monday ), vs. Texas Southern

, at Oregon (Sunday) As North Carolina coped its very first two games and Gonzaga needed a second-half rise to beat

Michigan State, Houston appeared like a well-oiled device right from the opening tip of 2022-23. Marcus Sasser got right where he left off before his injury last season, while luxury freshman Jarace Walker had 23 points and 8 boards versus Saint Joseph’s. Jamal Shead appears like among the elite playmakers in the nation. The Cougars defense enabled 91 points in two games. And then there’s the introduction of J’Wan Roberts, who averaged 15.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in 2 games. Kelvin Sampson has a nationwide title competitor. 2. North Carolina Tar Heels(2-0)Preseason ranking: 1

Today: vs. Gardner-Webb (Tuesday ), vs. James Madison(Sunday) The Tar Heels needed to turn things up in the second half of each of their first

2 games to beat UNC Wilmington and Charleston, however the last stretch of the Charleston game seemed like a wake-up call– at least for Armando Bacot, who got rid of a difficult start to finish with 28 points in the win.All-time quote here from Armando Bacot. “I have actually got to remember I’m not a CEO, I’m a high-end janitor.

prior to heading to Portland for the Phil Knight Invitational.

3. Gonzaga Bulldogs (2-0)
Preseason ranking: 2
Today: at Texas (Wednesday), vs. Kentucky (Sunday)

Gonzaga has actually been ranked No. 1 in adjusted offending performance in 3 of the last four seasons, completing No. 3 at KenPom last season. However the Bulldogs are going to need to do things a bit differently this season. They do not have the playmakers they’ve had the last number of years, and so far, they don’t have the shooting either (29% through 2 games). However they might have discovered something in the 2nd half of their resurgence over Michigan State, when Mark Few went to a smaller lineup featuring Hunter Sallis, Rasir Bolton, Malachi Smith and Julian Strawther around Drew Timme. It had better spacing and looked more fluid.

4. Kentucky Wildcats(2-0)Preseason ranking: 4 This week: vs. Michigan State (Tuesday), vs. South Carolina State (Thursday), at Gonzaga (Sunday)

Oscar Tshiebwe is still out, however Sahvir Wheeler ended up only missing one game– and his performance against Duquesne indicated there are no sticking around results of his leg injury. He had 11 points and 11 assists, revealing the very same distribution and playmaking abilities that made him an All-SEC player a year ago. John Calipari struck the portal the last two springs in hopes of finding some perimeter shooting, and through two games, it looks like he has done just that: CJ Fredrick is 6-for-12 from behind the arc, while Antonio Reeves is 10-for-18.

5. Duke Blue Devils (2-0)Preseason ranking: 5 This week: vs. Kansas (Tuesday

), vs. Delaware (Friday) It’s going to get real this week, as Duke deals with Kansas in Indianapolis at the Champions Classic, however the evaluations of Jon Scheyer’s team are favorable. They only allowed 82 points in the very first two games of the season and appear to have actually overcome the injuries to Dariq Whitehead and Dereck Lively II (who played in Game 2). Early returns had Kyle Filipowski having a hard time in the preseason, but he has actually published back-to-back double-doubles and Northwestern transfer Ryan Young has actually continued his effective post scoring from the Big Ten.

. Kansas Jayhawks(2-0)Preseason ranking: 6 This week: vs. Duke(Tuesday ), vs. Southern Utah(Friday)If Kansas has any shot to repeat as nationwide champs– or perhaps return to the Last Four– much of it will come down to whether Jalen Wilson can become a star. And through two games, the flashes he showed the last couple seasons look like they could end up being more of an every-night thing. In wins over Omaha and North Dakota State, Wilson balanced 20.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 helps, shooting 6-for-13 from 3-point range. He’s a challenging matchup because of his inside-outside game and he’s primed to take an advance.

play 0:16 Have a look at this sweet pass from Adam Flagler

7. Baylor Bears (2-0)
Preseason ranking: 8
This week: vs. Northern Colorado (Monday), vs. Virginia (Friday), UCLA or Illinois (Sunday)

When Adam Flagler decided to return to Waco, part of the factor was that he wanted to demonstrate more of his playmaking ability. The last 2 seasons, Flagler has actually played mostly off the ball, with the similarity Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell and James Akinjo having the ball in their hands. However he’ll have plenty more responsibility this season, alongside Keyonte George. And he’s already showing prospective because department, amounting to 13 helps in 2 games together with scoring 19.5 points per game.

8. UCLA Bruins(2-0)Preseason ranking: 10 Today: vs. Norfolk State(Monday ), vs. Illinois (Friday), Baylor or Virginia (Sunday)

Some of the preseason buzz coming out of Westwood involved Jaylen Clark, who produced when hired last season but only started a handful of games. With shots up for grabs this year, Clark was going to be needed more often. He has looked the part up until now. Through 2 games, he’s balancing 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and an amazing 5.5 takes. Clark is currently among the best protectors in the Pac-12, however he’s likewise going to be a constant contributor on the offensive end for Mick Cronin’s group.

9. Creighton Bluejays(2-0)Preseason ranking: 7 Today: vs. Holy Cross (Monday)

, vs. UC Riverside (Thursday)Provided Creighton’s offending struggles last season, the Bluejays weren’t going to become a juggernaut overnight, even with the addition of Baylor Scheierman. It might have looked that method last Monday, when they leapt out to a huge lead in the first couple of minutes versus St. Thomas – Minnesota, however there are still some kinks to exercise. Scheierman only amounted to 19 points in the first 2 games, but he’s contributing as a rebounder, passer and 3-point shooter. The offense (thanks to the 12-for-27 3-point shooting) looked much better versus North Dakota, so possibly that signifies things to come.

10. Texas Longhorns( 2-0)Preseason ranking: 11 This week: vs. Gonzaga(Wednesday)

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One of the things worth seeing in Texas’ opening number of games was how the backcourt of Tyrese Hunter and Marcus Carr would exist side-by-side. Both players choose to make have fun with the ball in their hands. Hunter has actually remarkably been more of the scorer through 2 games, averaging 14.0 points and 2.0 helps, while Carr is balancing 11.5 points and 4.0 helps. They’re both contributing as expected on the protective end as well. The only negative? A combined 1-for-14 shooting from 3-point range.

11. Arkansas Razorbacks(2-0)Preseason ranking: 9 This week: vs. South Dakota State(Wednesday)

It’s going to be tough to genuinely determine Arkansas till Nick Smith Jr. matches up– and it’s uncertain when the predicted top-five NBA draft choice will. News emerged soon prior to the Razorbacks’ opening game that Smith was going to remain with a knee injury, and he didn’t play in the win over Fordham either. In his stead, Wichita State transfer Ricky Council IV handled a larger playmaking role, averaging 18.5 points and 4.5 assists in the first 2 games. Will Smith be back for the Maui Invitational?

12. Indiana Hoosiers(2-0 )Preseason ranking: 14 This week: at Xavier(Friday)

The freshman getting all the buzz coming out of Bloomington was Jalen Hood-Schifino, but Malik Reneau was really ranked greater in ESPN’s class of 2022. While Hood-Schifino has actually measured up to the billing early, Reneau is contributing also. He had 15 points and 6 rebounds in the win over Morehead State, then followed it up with 9 points and four boards versus Bethune-Cookman. He was one of the more productive low-post operators at the high school level, and that has actually rollovered so far.

13. Auburn Tigers(2-0)Preseason ranking: 15 Today: vs. Winthrop (Tuesday

), vs. Texas Southern(Friday)It wasn’t an overly imposing schedule on paper, but games versus George Mason and South Florida provided more of a test than the majority of the other teams in the rankings faced. The leading entertainer for Bruce Pearl’s team through two games was Wendell Green Jr., whose decision-making left something to be desired sometimes last season. While he has actually turned it over 6 times in two games, he’s carrying a heavier usage load. Green totaled 36 points in two games, taking 17 free throws in the 2 wins.

play 0:18 Azuolas Tubelis get the Arizona 3-pointer to fall as they travel to a 117-75 victory over Nicholls.

14. Arizona Wildcats(
2-0) Preseason ranking: 17 Today: vs. Utah Tech(Thursday)

Arizona likely won’t be as well balanced and explosive offensively as it was last season, but Tommy Lloyd’s team put up 212 points in the Wildcats’ first 2 wins of the season. Azuolas Tubelis has actually plainly eliminated his battles down the stretch last season: With 3 NBA draft picks gone from the beginning lineup, Tubelis has become the team’s go-to man. He had 23 points and six helps in the opener, then went for 17 points versus Southern. Forty points on only 21 shots through two games? Ridiculously effective.

15. Alabama Crimson Tide
(2-0 )Preseason ranking: 20 Today: at South Alabama (Tuesday), vs. Jacksonville State (Friday)

The popular line of believing going into the season was that Alabama might not strike its stride up until Jahvon Quinerly returns from injury, but the Crimson Tide jumped out of evictions on fire. Their win over Liberty was quietly among the most outstanding victories of the season: The Flames won the ASUN Conference three of the last 4 seasons and have star Darius McGhee. However Alabama beat them by 36 on Friday. Freshman Brandon Miller is measuring up to all the hype up until now too. He’s averaging 17.0 points and 10.5 rebounds, shooting 4-for-11 from 3 through 2 games.

16. Virginia Cavaliers(2-0)Preseason ranking: 18
This week: vs. Northern Iowa (Monday), vs. Baylor (Friday), UCLA or Illinois (Sunday)

The Cavaliers needed a 15-2 second-half go to beat the North Carolina Central Eagles in the season opener, but then recovered with a blowout win over Monmouth Hawks. It’s a small sample size, however it does seem like Armaan Franklin has discovered his 3-point stroke after making just 29.6% of his efforts last season. For a group that shot just 32.3% from 3 in 2022-23, taking a step forward because department is needed. ESPN 100 freshman Isaac McKneely made four threes on Friday, and Ohio transfer Ben Vander Plas went 4-for-7 in 2 games. Tony Bennett has actually choices now.Dropped out:

Villanova Wildcats (No. 12), Tennessee Volunteers (No. 13), TCU Horned Frogs (No. 16)

In the waiting space

TCU Horned Frogs: Restoring nearly everyone from last season didn’t assist TCU struck the ground running. The Horned Frogs had to return from 20 points down to beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff and after that dealt with Lamar before retreating in the 2nd half.

San Diego State Aztecs: San Diego State will undoubtedly figure things out defensively, but BYU scored 75 points on Friday– a number only 2 teams struck all of last season versus the Aztecs. On the plus side, transfer additions Darrion Trammell (19.5 PPG) and Jaedon LeDee (17.0 PPG) are adding scoring pop.

Dayton Flyers: The Flyers will not be at full strength up until Malachi Smith returns, however freshman Mike Sharavjamts is currently staking his claim in the beginning lineup. He had 14 points and five helps in the opener versus Lindenwood Lions, then chose 10 points against SMU Mustangs. At complete strength, Anthony Grant’s group is packed.

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