Posts tagged with Ku

Ranking Bill Self’s best coaching jobs during 11-year Big 12 title run: No. 4

Kansas teammates Sherron Collins, front, and Cole Aldrich are all smiles leaving the court following the Jayhawks' win over Missouri Sunday, March 1, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas teammates Sherron Collins, front, and Cole Aldrich are all smiles leaving the court following the Jayhawks' win over Missouri Sunday, March 1, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

4. 2008-09: Five players from the NCAA title team were drafted and starter Russell Robinson graduated, leaving coach Bill Self with a gigantic rebuilding project. More like reloading. Sherron Collins took charge, led the team in scoring (18.9) and relied heavily on center Cole Aldrich (14.9). But it wasn’t going to work unless two freshmen could prove themselves ready for prime time. Tyshawn Taylor and Marcus Morris answered the call. Somewhat remarkably, Kansas turned an entirely new starting lineup into a 14-2 Big 12 record and came close to avenging an early season loss to Michigan State in the Sweet 16. The Spartans took charge late and won, 67-62, but nobody could say anything but that Kansas overachieved.

Big 12 standings:

Kansas 14-2
Oklahoma 13-3
Missouri 12-4
Kansas State 9-7
Texas 9-7
Texas A&M 9-7
Oklahoma State 9-7
Nebraska 8-8
Baylor 5-11
Iowa State 4-12
Texas Tech 3-13
Colorado 1-15

Check back at 4:15 p.m. for No. 3

No. 11 — 2004-05

No. 10 — 2009-10

No. 9 — 2006-07

No. 8 — 2012-13

No. 7 — 2014-15

No. 6 — 2013-14

No. 5 — 2010--11

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Ranking Bill Self’s best coaching jobs during 11-year Big 12 title run: No. 5

Kansas forwards Marcus (22) and Markieff Morris get the crowd to its feet after a bucket during the second half of KU's 72-59 win against Illinois on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Kansas forwards Marcus (22) and Markieff Morris get the crowd to its feet after a bucket during the second half of KU's 72-59 win against Illinois on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. by Mike Yoder

5. 2010-11: This wasn’t a basketball season as much as a drama-packed mini-series, packed with personal tragedy and team triumphs. Thomas Robinson returned to the Kansas lineup three days after his mother’s memorial service and burial. and led the Jayhawks to a 90-66 blowout victory against Kansas State in Allen Fieldhouse. Teammates and coaches rallied around Robinson all year. The Jayhawks clinched the title outright by ending Missouri’s 17-game home winning streak. In an Elite Eight game played two nights after KU routed Richmond, 77-57, in San Antonio, Kansas lost, 71-61, as a rough game from Josh Selby ended a rough season for the freshman.

Big 12 standings:

Kansas 14-2
Texas 13-3
Texas A&M 10-6
Kansas State 10-6
Missouri 8-8
Colorado 8-8
Nebraska 7-9
Baylor 7-9
Oklahoma State 6-10
Oklahoma 5-11
Texas Tech 5-11
Iowa State 3-13

Check back at 4 p.m. for No. 4

No. 11 — 2004-05

No. 10 — 2009-10

No. 9 — 2006-07

No. 8 — 2012-13

No. 7 — 2014-15

No. 6 — 2013-14

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Ranking Bill Self’s best coaching jobs during 11-year Big 12 title run: No. 6

Kansas player Joel Embiid, right, and Andrew Wiggins try to tie up Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown during the second half on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Kansas player Joel Embiid, right, and Andrew Wiggins try to tie up Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown during the second half on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

6. 2013-14: Bill Self had to replace all five starters because Ben McLemore declared for the NBA draft and the other four starters were seniors. Sure, Andrew Wiggins was the No. 1-ranked high school recruit and 7-footer Joel Embiid from Cameroon had promise, but could Embiid, with so little history with the game of basketball, develop into a player who could make significant contributions as a freshman? The answer, of course, to that question was a resounding yes. He not only contributed, he played so well at times that he dominated. Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg called Embiid the “best player in the country,” after watching him do things that 7-footers simply don’t do, especially basketball novices. Self and assistant coach Norm Roberts brought Embiid along masterfully, knowing when to lean on him and when to stroke his confidence. The back stress fracture that kept the 7-footer out of the NCAA tournament limited KU to two poorly played tourney games. Stanford eliminated the Jayhawks and made Wiggins turn invisible for a game.

Big 12 standings:

Kansas 14-4
Oklahoma 12-6
Texas 11-7
Iowa State 11-7
Kansas State 10-8
Baylor 9-9
West Virginia 9-9
Oklahoma State 8-10
Texas Tech 6-12
TCU 0-18

Check back at 3:45 p.m. for No. 5.

No. 11 — 2004-05

No. 10 — 2009-10

No. 9 — 2006-07

No. 8 — 2012-13

No. 7 — 2014-15

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Ranking Bill Self’s best coaching jobs during 11-year Big 12 title run: No. 7

Kansas players, from left, Wayne Selden, Perry Ellis, Frank Mason and Jamari Traylor watch a pair of free throws from Kelly Oubre with head coach Bill Self after a flagrant foul by Baylor during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2014 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

Kansas players, from left, Wayne Selden, Perry Ellis, Frank Mason and Jamari Traylor watch a pair of free throws from Kelly Oubre with head coach Bill Self after a flagrant foul by Baylor during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2014 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas. by Nick Krug

7. 2014-2015: Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, and Joel Embiid, the No. 3 pick, both stayed at Kansas for just one year. The Jayhawks, unlike in most seasons, have no shot-blocking force in the middle. The Big 12 is loaded with point guards adept at getting to the paint, so the lack of a shot-blocker shows even more than it might in some conferences. And it took Perry Ellis a while to embrace the idea of being the team’s go-to guy. Now that Ellis is comfortable with that role and in fact even seems to love it, he was able to put Kansas in position to clinch a share of the 11th Big 12 title in a row after Iowa State stormed back from a 21-point deficit Monday night to defeat Oklahoma. Frank Mason’s steady hand all season has upgraded the point-guard position, but Wayne Selden’s unanticipated problems finishing drives has made it difficult for Kansas to avoid scoring droughts at times. Kelly Oubre has come on of late. Cliff Alexander, even before getting sidelined while the NCAA looks into a compliance issue, never emerged as the force KU had hoped.

Big 12 standings (so far):

Kansas 12-4
Iowa State 11-6
Oklahoma 11-6
West Virginia 10-6
Baylor 10-7
Kansas State 8-9
Oklahoma State 7-9
Texas 7-10
TCU 4-12
Texas Tech 3-14

Check back at 3:30 for No. 6

No. 11 — 2004-05

No. 10 — 2009-10

No. 9 — 2006-07

No. 8 — 2012-13

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Ranking Bill Self’s best coaching jobs during 11-year Big 12 title run: No. 8

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson pulls up from the top of the key for a three-pointer against Iowa State during overtime on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson pulls up from the top of the key for a three-pointer against Iowa State during overtime on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. by Nick Krug

8. 2012-2013: Three starters returned from a team that had shocked the world by advancing to the NCAA title game, where it lost to Kentucky. Freshman sensation Ben McLemore, so athletic and such a good shooter, softened the blow of losing Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor. Kansas shared the title with Kansas State with a 14-4 record and defeated K-State for the third time to win the Big 12 tournament title. Hopes ran high after a 70-58 victory against North Carolina in Kansas City to advance to the Sweet 16. Then, against Michigan in Arlington, Texas, Elijah Johnson made so many strange decisions and Kansas blew a double-digit lead to Michigan and lost in overtime, 87-85. Johnson delivered a groin shot in the opening minute that could have resulted in an ejection but did not. He was called for a 10-second violation, badly overthrew a pass intended for Jeff Withey on the perimeter that led to a fast-break bucket the other way, and at the end of the overtime period, he bypassed a layup that would have forced a second overtime and threw a pass out to Naadir Tharpe for a desperation-heave-of-a-three-point attempt that missed. Johnson also stopped feeding McLemore when, for the first time in the NCAA tournament caught fire. If Johnson’s 39-point game in Ames was the high point of KU’s season, his Michigan performance was the low point.

Big 12 standings:

Kansas 14-4
Kansas State 14-4
Oklahoma State 13-5
Oklahoma 11-7
Iowa State 11-7
Baylor 9-9
Texas 7-11
West Virginia 6-12
Texas Tech 3-15
TCU 2-16

Check back at 3:15 p.m. for No. 7

No. 11 — 2004-05

No. 10 — 2009-10

No. 9 — 2006-07

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Ranking Bill Self’s best coaching jobs during 11-year Big 12 title run: No. 9

Confetti flies over Kansas' Julian Wright and Russell Robinson are surrounded by their teammates after defeating Texas in overtime to become the Big XII Tournament champions for the second year in a row.

Confetti flies over Kansas' Julian Wright and Russell Robinson are surrounded by their teammates after defeating Texas in overtime to become the Big XII Tournament champions for the second year in a row. by Nick Krug

9. 2006-07: All five starters returned and ultra-talented freshmen Darrell Arther and Sherron Collins provided killer depth. Self quickly infused the new talent, scored an early season upset against defending national champion Florida, won the regular-season title with a 14-2 record and the Big 12 tournament championship. In the NCAA tournament, KU breezed through Chicago with victories against Niagara and Kentucky, only to come up flatter than a Coke sitting in the sun for an entire weekend. In San Jose, Kansas snuck past Southern Illinois, 61-58, in a blood-bath of a defensive game and lost to UCLA 68-55, looking a bit jittery in both games.

Big 12 standings:

Kansas 14-2
Texas A&M 13-3
Texas 12-4
Kansas State 10-6
Texas Tech 9-7
Missouri 7-9
Oklahoma State 6-10
Iowa State 6-10
Oklahoma 6-10
Nebraska 6-10
Baylor 4-12
Colorado 3-13

Check back at 3 p.m. for No. 8

No. 11 — 2004-05

No. 10 — 2009-10

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Ranking Bill Self’s best coaching jobs during 11-year Big 12 title run: No. 10

Kansas guard Sherron Collins kisses the Big 12 championship trophy after the Jayhawks' win over Oklahoma, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse. In back is Kansas forward Marcus Morris.

Kansas guard Sherron Collins kisses the Big 12 championship trophy after the Jayhawks' win over Oklahoma, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse. In back is Kansas forward Marcus Morris. by Nick Krug

  1. 2009-10: Freshman Xavier Henry joined a team already returning Sherron Collins, Tyshawn Taylor, Cole Aldrich and Marcus Morris and big things were expected. The Jayhawks delivered, going 15-1 in Big 12 play, losing only at Oklahoma State on Feb. 27. They also knocked off Kansas State in the Big 12 title game, but were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament in the second round by Northern Iowa, 69-67. The Panthers had survived UNLV, but not without struggling mightily against the Running Rebels’ full-court pressure. UNLV was a pressing time and Kansas was not. Still, given the quickness advantage, I predicted a blowout based on my belief Kansas would step out of character and apply full-court pressure after seeing how poorly Northern Iowa handled it. By the time Kansas went to the press in the second half, it was too late. It worked, but was too little too late.

Big 12 standings:

Kansas 15-1
Kansas State 11-5
Baylor 11-5
Texas A&M 11-5
Missouri 10-6
Texas 9-7
Oklahoma State 9-7
Colorado 6-10
Texas Tech 4-12
Oklahoma 4-12
Iowa State 4-12
Nebraska 2-14

Check back at 2:45 for No. 9.

No. 11 — 2004-05

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Ranking Bill Self’s best coaching jobs during 11-year Big 12 title run: No. 11

Kansas University's Wayne Simien, left, takes KU's last shot over
Bucknell's Chris McNaughton. The shot bounced off the front of the
rim, ending the Jayhawks' season with a 64-63 setback Friday to
Bucknell in Oklahoma City.

Kansas University's Wayne Simien, left, takes KU's last shot over Bucknell's Chris McNaughton. The shot bounced off the front of the rim, ending the Jayhawks' season with a 64-63 setback Friday to Bucknell in Oklahoma City. by Scott McClurg/Journal-World Photo

No need to look at the calendar to check the month. Kansas University basketball fans will remind you by saying what they say annually in early March. “You know,” they start, “I think this is Bill Self’s best coaching job yet.”

Since that’s such a hot topic, I decided to take a stab at ranking Self’s most impressive coaching jobs during this run of 11 consecutive Big 12 regular-season titles. Naturally, because the NCAA tournament hasn’t been played yet, the ranking for this season is subject to change. I’ll release one every 15 minutes, starting at No. 11 and working my way down to No. 1.

  1. 2004-05: Coaching players recruited by a previous coach generally isn’t an ideal circumstance, but Self, in his second season at KU, got off to a 20-1 start. As the season wore on, injuries mounted and the magic wore off. Kansas went 3-6 at the end, capping it off with an opening-round loss to Bucknell and Self was staring at a massive rebuilding job after losing seniors wayne Simien, Keith Langford and Aaron Miles. Sophomore J.R. Giddens, stabbed in the Moon Bar incident, didn’t return either.

Big 12 standings:

Kansas 12-4
Oklahoma State 11-5
Texas Tech 10-6
Iowa State 9-7
Texas 9-7
Texas A&M 8-8
Missouri 7-9
Nebraska 7-9
Kansas State 6-10
Colorado 4-12
Baylor 1-15

Check back at 2:30 for No. 10.

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Kansas falls to No. 9 in nation, No. 2 in state, in Associated Press college basketball poll

Kansas guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) puts up a shot over Texas center Cameron Ridley (55) during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) puts up a shot over Texas center Cameron Ridley (55) during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Kansas, No. 8 in the Associated Press college basketball poll for the past four weeks, slipped to No. 9 in the poll released Monday, falling behind Wichita State, which vaulted from No. 11 to No. 8.

The top 25 teams in the AP poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through March 1, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week’s ranking:

          Record Pts Prv
  1. Kentucky (65) 29-0 1,625 1
  2. Virginia 27-1 1,547 2
  3. Duke 26-3 1,501 4
  4. Villanova 27-2 1,417 6
  5. Arizona 26-3 1,338 7
  6. Wisconsin 26-3 1,318 5
  7. Gonzaga 29-2 1,244 3
  8. Wichita St. 27-3 1,104 11
  9. Kansas 23-6 1,087 8
  10. Maryland 24-5 1,035 14
  11. N. Iowa 27-3 908 10
  12. Notre Dame 24-5 879 9
  13. Utah 22-6 823 13
  14. Baylor 22-7 801 19
  15. Oklahoma 20-8 759 16
  16. Louisville 23-6 728 17
  17. Iowa St. 20-8 536 12
  18. Arkansas 23-6 515 18
  19. North Carolina 20-9 435 15
  20. West Virginia 22-7 389 20
  21. Butler 21-8 359 23
  22. SMU 23-6 210 21
  23. Ohio St. 21-8 114 _
  24. Providence 20-9 91 25
  25. Murray St. 26-4 79 _

Others receiving votes: Dayton 61, Boise St. 53, Oregon 33, St. John’s 27, BYU 21, Texas A&M 20, Davidson 18, Georgetown 13, Colorado St. 7, San Diego St. 7, Tulsa 7, LSU 6, Rhode Island 3, VCU 3, Stephen F. Austin 2, Valparaiso 2.

My top 25 AP ballot:

1 - Kentucky: Discussions regarding what type of team can upset the undefeated Wildcats inevitably lead with strong three-point shooting teams. Here’s the problem with that: Kentucky’s post defenders are so effective, perimeter defenders can afford to stick with shooters and not drop off to help down low. Kentucky opponents shoot .273 from three, second only to Pepperdine (26 percent).

2 - Virginia: Cavs hit the road and limited Wake Forest to .242 two-point shooting and .182 three-point accuracy in 70-34 domination.

3 - Duke: Center Jahlil Okafor still hasn’t recovered 100 percent from an ankle injury, which has prevented Duke from practicing as hard defensively, according to coach Mike Krzyzewski. Okafor hasn’t shown any signs of an injury at the other end, where he scored a career-high 30 points in overtime victory at Virginia Tech. Senior guard Quinn Cook played all 45 minutes and made 6 of 11 threes on the way to 26 points.

4 - Wisconsin: First the Badgers lost at Maryland and then engine troubled caused the team plane ot make an emergency landing in Pittsburgh.

5 - Villanova: Xavier coach Chris Mack was blown away by Villanova’s shooting range after ’Cats made 13 of 29 threes in road game, including 4 of 7 from reserve forward Kris Jenkins.
“They’re as good as anybody in the country,” Mack said. “Those guys are shooting from 30 feet, from 27 feet. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

6 - Arizona: Leading scorer Stanley Johnson made 3 of 19 shots and the Wildcats still won at Utah, leaving no doubt as to the identity of best team in Pac-12.

7 - Gonzaga: Zags two leading scorers and three-point shooters, Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer and senior guard Kevin Pangos, fired blanks on same night in three-point home loss to BYU. They combined to shoot 5 of 23 overall and 2 of 9 from three.

8 - Kansas: It’s always best, it seems to have a primary scorer and two secondary ones. Kansas has developed that. In past five games, Big 12 Player of the Week Perry Ellis has averaged 22.5 points, freshman Kelly Oubre 12.3, sophomore Frank Mason 10.6. They have combined for 65.3 percent of teams points in that stretch.

9 - Notre Dame: Since defeating Duke on Jan. 28, Irish have gone 4-3 with latest loss coming at home to Syracuse.

10 - Utah: Won the first half against Arizona State, 41-9.

11 - Maryland: Senior guard Dez Wells went off for 26 points in 59-53 defeat of Wisconsin. Wells is shooting .523 from three and has hit 79 percent of his free throws.

12 - Wichita State: Shockers finished first half on 22-6 run in avenging loss to Northern Iowa and extending home winning streak to 32 games, fourth longest streak in nation.

13 - Northern Iowa: Sixteen-game winning streak died with 74-60 loss at Wichita State.

14 - Oklahoma: Sooners have won 8 of 9 heading into tonight’s game in Ames.

15 - Baylor: Taurean Prince has scored at least 20 points in four of Bears’ past six games.

16 - Iowa State: Loss to Baylor kept Cyclones from going 8-0 at home in Big 12 games and they followed it up with one-point loss at Kansas State.

17 - Louisville: Days after being suspended for threatening his girlfriend in a text, starting guard Chris Jones was charged with rape and sodomy and was dismissed from the team. Jones entered a not-guilty plea in court Thursday and was released on home incarceration.

18 - North Carolina: Loss at North Carolina State was not well received by Tar Heel nation.

19 - Arkansas: When asked about Kentucky’s McDonald’s All-Americans, Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said, “We’ve got some Burger King guys.” A burger joint hasn’t been born that can match Kentucky’s dominance. It would have to be named “10 Guys.”
Hogs were coming off good victory vs. Texas A&M to push their winning streak to seven games before shooting 5 for 18 from three against Kentucky.

20 - West Virginia: Mountaineers beat Texas (17 turnovers) and lost to Baylor (eight turnovers). They don’t shoot well enough to win unless they create extra possessions with turnovers and offensive rebounds.

21 - Ohio State: D’Angelo Russell, first-team All-America candidate as a freshman, had 28 points to lead Buckeyes back from a 12-point deficit to a four-point home victory vs. a tough Purdue squad.

22 - Oregon: Don’t foul senior guard Joseph Young. He’s shooting .912 from the line and averages 19.9 points. He plays 36.2 minutes a game, but obviously doesn'’t lose his legs. Ducks have won 8 of 9.

23 - Butler: Should change mascot to Underdogs. They relish the role.

24 - Providence: FoxSports1 graphic: Friars 4-6 when Kris Dunn has five or more turnovers and 16-3 when he has fewer than five.

25 - Georgetown: Hoyas so much better when Joshua Smith stays out of foul trouble.

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Kansas No. 8 in Associated Press college basketball poll for fourth week in row

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander (2) dunks off a pass from Frank Mason III, in the second half of the Jayhawks 73-51 win over Texas Tech Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 at United Supermarkets Arena.

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander (2) dunks off a pass from Frank Mason III, in the second half of the Jayhawks 73-51 win over Texas Tech Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 at United Supermarkets Arena.

Kansas remained No. 8 in the Associated Press college basketball poll and Iowa State moved up to No. 10. Big 12 teams Oklahoma (16), Baylor (19) and West Virginia (20) also are ranked. Oklahoma State lost twice and dropped out.

The top 25 teams in the AP poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Feb. 22, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:

           Record Pts Prv<br>
  1. Kentucky (65) 27-0 1,625 1
  2. Virginia 25-1 1,526 2
  3. Gonzaga 28-1 1,471 3
  4. Duke 24-3 1,448 4
  5. Wisconsin 25-2 1,390 5
  6. Villanova 25-2 1,306 6
  7. Arizona 24-3 1,228 7
  8. Kansas 22-5 1,111 8
  9. Notre Dame 24-4 1,109 10
  10. N. Iowa 26-2 1,032 11
  11. Wichita St. 25-3 930 13
  12. Iowa St. 20-6 887 14
  13. Utah 21-5 876 9
  14. Maryland 22-5 695 16
  15. North Carolina 19-8 655 15
  16. Oklahoma 19-8 622 17
  17. Louisville 21-6 613 12
  18. Arkansas 22-5 564 18
  19. Baylor 20-7 473 20
  20. West Virginia 21-6 453 23
  21. SMU 22-5 357 21
  22. VCU 21-6 182 25
  23. Butler 19-8 165 19
  24. San Diego St. 22-6 117 _
  25. Providence 19-8 72 _

Others receiving votes: Georgetown 58, Michigan St. 56, Murray St. 42, Oklahoma St. 25, Ohio St. 12, Valparaiso 10, Texas A&M 8, Rhode Island 3, Stephen F. Austin 2, Oregon 1, Texas 1.

My top 25 AP ballot:

1 - Kentucky: Three future NBA centers Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson combine for 63.3 minutes per game, 26 points, 18.3 rebounds, 4.8 blocks and .564 shooting. Many NBA teams don’t have a single NBA centers, present or future.

2 - Virginia: Held Florida State without a field goal in the final 10-and-a-half minutes of game clock in 51-41 victory. Unbelievable defensive team.

3 - Gonzaga: Nobody ever will mistake him for the guy known by the first four letters of Kyle Wiltjer’s last name, but by one kenpom.com measure, Wiltjer is the highest-rated offensive player in the nation. The 6-foot-10, 240-pound Kentucky transfer leads Zags with 17.4 points per game and shoots .543 from the field, .469 from three and .806 from line.

4 - Duke: The bigger the game, the better freshman point guard T’yus Jones plays. In leading Duke from a 10-point deficit with inside four minutes left to an overtime victory, Jones totaled 22 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.

5 - Wisconsin: Say what you will about the Big Ten having a down year, but going in 13-1 in league games, with the one coming when two starters were sidelined, is nothing short of amazing.

6 - Villanova: Providence and Butler only teams to come within single digits of Wildcats during active eight-game winning streak.

7 - Arizona: Three top scorers, Stanley Johnson, Brandon Ashley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, combined to shoot 4 of 25 vs. UCLA and still Arizona won, 57-47. Another oddity from that game: First four minutes of game and first four of second half, UCLA outscored Arizona, 20-0.

8 - Kansas: Defensive rebounding has become such a concern it might be time to leave Cliff Alexander on the floor, except when the opponent is applying defensive pressure, and live with his spacy moments.

9 - Notre Dame: Irish don’t have a shot-blocker and 6-foot-10, 242-pound junior Zach Auguste is the only player in the starting lineup taller than 6-5. Team compensates by taking smart shots and spreading the floor with .404 three-point shooting. Four of top six in minutes played shoot .406 or better from three.

10 - Iowa State: Fred Hoiberg has breathed so much life into the Cyclones program, yet until this past weekend his teams had not won two consecutive Big 12 road games. No better indication exists of the difficulty of winning away from home in Big 12 than that. And it’s not as if the Cyclones faced a couple of stiffs in Oklahoma State and Texas.

11 - Utah: The Utes’ ability to score inside has opened up three-pointers to the extent they were shooting almost 40 percent from three. That sometimes can lead to a team settling for threes. That happened in Sunday’s 11-point loss at Oregon, where Utes attempted more threes (29) than twos (23).

12 - Louisville: In a week that featured a loss at Syracuse and victory vs. Miami, guard Terry Rozier hoisted 33 shots and made just nine, which by Cardinals standards isn’t as bad as it sounds.

13 - North Carolina: Here comes J.P. Tokoto, athletic 6-5 junior forward who does a little bit of everything. In overtime loss at Duke and one-sided victory vs. Georgia Tech, Tokoto averaged 13.5 points, seven rebounds, six assists.

14 - Maryland: Chance to improve NCAA Tournament seed comes Tuesday, when Terps play host to Wisconsin.

15 - Northern Iowa: Huge week for the Panthers. They have chance to avenge lone Missouri Valley Conference loss Wednesday when Evansville visits. If that goes well, they can win conference outright Saturday in Wichita.

16 - Oklahoma: Tell me again how this team was swept by Kansas State?

17 - Wichita State: Carrying a short list with five names on it is stuffed in every athletic director’s wallet, in the event he or she must hire a basketball coach in the offseason. Gregg Marshall’s name has to be on just about every list, every year and he stays with the Shockers because he loves his job, his players, his adopted city. How cool is that?

18 - Arkansas: Mike Anderson making mentor Nolan Richardson proud. Key to Hogs’ success: Hurry opponents into mistakes (16.5 turnovers) and don’t make many of your own (11.8).

19 - Michigan State: A victory Thursday would give Spartans a season-high, five-game winning streak.

20- West Virginia: Kenpom.com stats: A national-best 16.4 percent of opponents’ possessions end in a steal and Mountaineers rank sixth in nation in offensive rebounding percentage.

21 - Baylor: Scott Drew’s team deserves credit for playing hard and showing toughness. How else could the Bears rank No. 1 in the nation with an offensive-rebound percentage of 42.1?

22 - Georgetown: Teams with a really good guard (D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera) and a really hard-to-guard center (Joshua Smith) and a good defense (18th in nation in defensive efficiency, per kenpom.com). Think the Kansas team led by Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson.

23 - SMU: Larry Brown’s leading scorer is 5-9, 170-pound Nic Moore from Lake Winona, Ind. He has made 10 of 20 threes in the past four games and is shooting .429 from long range and averaging 14.5 points.

24 - Virginia Commonwealth: Rams are young, lack size and don’t get to the free-throw line very often. They compensate by forcing turnovers and not committing them.

25 - San Diego State: Aztecs steadily improving. They’re riding four-game winning streak with an average margin of victory of 17.5 points.

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