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College Basketball Weekly Report
by Scott Spreitzer - 01/10/2012
Each week throughout the college basketball season, Scott will dissect the new top-25 rankings on Monday evenings and post what he feels is the week's most overrated top-25 team, along with the most underrated ranked team, and an unranked squad that he feels should be in the AP top-25.
MOST OVERRATED RANKED TEAM: Georgetown Hoyas
We went against Georgetown on these pages on Monday and won when underdog Cincinnati beat the Hoyas outright. Georgetown expected to be in rebuilding mode this season, so we give John Thompson-III and his players credit for their 13-3 start. The problem for the Hoyas and the reason I faded them on Monday is that with Austin Freeman and Chris Wright no longer on the roster, this team has just one reliable guard...Jason Clark. While Clark leads the team in scoring, he's one of just 3 guards who sees a decent amount of playing time and none of them get others involved. Clark, Markel Starks, and Jabril Trawick went into Monday averaging just 3.33 assists per game combined! Their top "disher" is center Henry Sims. Of course, a lot of that is by design with Thompson employing the old "Princeton" offfense. But it's that unique offense that gets into trouble against top shelf opposition. I felt before the season that the Hoyas were probably the 9th or 10th best team in the Big East. I still believe it. Georgetown is this week's most overrated ranked team.
MOST UNDERRATED RANKED TEAM: San Diego State
Once in a while, we have a team that garners the same spot as we had them in earlier weeks. We rarely have them in the same category two weeks in a row, but that's the case with San Diego State. The Aztecs climbed just two spots in the AP rankings this week. As we said last week, SDSU is a top-15 team in our ratings. SDSU have lost just two games all season and both were against tough opposition. In fact, the first loss came against Baylor - a team with Final-4 potential. SDSU's other loss came at home, but against another underrated team, the Creighton Blue Jays. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Aztecs, but Fisher continues to clone players. He truly is recruiting the exact style of player and athlete that fits what he wants his team to do on the floor. Only a handful of coaches have the ability to do so. No less than nine players have seen action in at least 12 of their 15 games, and all nine average at least 12 minutes played per contest. Fisher's squad have proven they can play and win at any pace and already own wins in tough venues in Santa Barbara and in Tucson, Arizona. The Aztecs are an absolute nightmare for opposing backcourts with Chase Tapley leading four guards averaging between 16.9 and 10.2 ppg. Xavier Thomas owns a strong assist-turnover ratio, while James Franklin & Garrett Green crash the boards. New Mexico and UNLV are the only MWC teams who can truly hang with SDSU in the backcourt and those matchups ought to be tremendous. They'll face no one with the interior ability that they saw in their 10-point loss at Baylor. SDSU will be 14-2, barring a miracle, by the time they face UNLV at home on January 14. They follow the game against the Rebels with a contest at New Mexico. As I said last week, we'll learn just how strong this team truly is in those two games. I suspect they have sweet-16 potential, and SDSU is this week's most underrated team.
UNRANKED TEAM THAT SHOULD BE RANKED: Wichita State
The Shockers continue to fly under the media radar. There are a number college basketball teams that would be ranked with a 12-3 record if their three losses came against Alabama, Temple, and Creighton, but Wichita State didn't garner a single vote this week. Wichita's resume also includes an 89-70 blowout win over 12th ranked UNLV, one of only two losses for the Runnin' Rebels. The Shockers aren't led by a "superstar," but instead have six players averaging between 9.7 and 12.4 ppg. They can go small or tall with Garrett Stutz eating up the paint at 7-feet tall. Stutz will drift outside on the offensive end at times, making this squad tough to defend. The Shockers rank 24th in the nation averaging 78.2 ppg on almost 48% shooting. But they don't forget to "bring it" on the other end where they allow just 62.5 ppg, holding teams below 40% shooting, including just 29.5% from the arc. WSU is one of the best rebounding teams in college baskets, averaging 12 more rpg than they allow. The Shockers host an underrated Illinois State team on Tuesday night, but should pick up two more wins and stand 14-3 when they head out on the road for Sunday's contest in Terre Haute. With their resume and their statistical dominance at both ends - Wichita State is this week's unranked team that should be ranked.