College Basketball Power 10: Week 4

Ryan CallahanAnalyst IDecember 11, 2008

1. North Carolina- North Carolina has proved they are the best team in the country with blowout wins against Notre Dame and Michigan State. They are averaging 97 points per game and are led by reigning Player of the Year, Tyler Hansbrough.

2. Connecticut- UConn survived a close game against Buffalo to remain undefeated. Center Hasheem Thabeet has been averaging 14.5 points per game and 12.5 rebounds per game.

3. Pittsburgh- Pitt has sailed past lesser competition so far this season and won't truly be tested until conference play. Their closest margin of victory is 14 points. The Panthers are led by their big three: Sam Young, DeJaun Blair, and Levance Fields.

4. Gonzaga- Gonzaga is off to a 6-0 start with their best win coming against Tennessee. They currently have six players averaging double-digit points. Guard Jeremy Pargo is averaging 10.2 points per game and 7.2 assists per game.

5. Oklahoma- The Sooners are off to an 8-0 start with wins against Davidson, UAB, Purdue, and USC. Forward Blake Griffin is averaging 24.8 points per game and 16.3 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Willie Warren has added 13.5 points per game to help solidify the backcourt.

6. Texas - The Longhorns' only loss of the season came by one point to Notre Dame. Their quality wins include UCLA and Villanova. A.J. Abrams is averaging 19 points per game and forward Damion James has added 14.5 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game.

7. Tennessee- Tennessee is off to a 6-1 start with their lone loss coming against undefeated Gonzaga in the Old Spice Classic final. Their best wins so far have come against Georgetown and Siena. Forward Tyler Smith has been the Volunteers' all-around leader, averaging 17.4 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game, and 4.7 assists per game.

8. Xavier - The Musketeers are off to an 8-0 start with wins against Memphis and an underrated Virginia Tech team. Xavier is led by their big three: C.J. Anderson, Derrick Brown, and B.J. Raymond. Xavier has an upcoming game against Duke that will be a strong test for this team.

9. Wake Forest- This young Wake Forest team is also off to an 8-0 start with a strong win against a talented Baylor team. Jeff Teague is averaging 20.6 points and almost five assists per game. Their last game of their nonconference schedule is against Lee Cummard and BYU.

10. Syracuse- The Orange close out the Power 10 by also starting off the season 8-0. Their best wins so far have come against Florida, Kansas, and Virginia. Jonny Flynn has been the leader so far, averaging 19.5 points per game and 5.4 assists per game. Guard Eric Devendorf may be suspended for the remaining of the season for assault, which would hurt 'Cuse.

Mid-Major to Watch: Houston—After losing their first game to Georgia Southern, the Cougars appear to be back on track after winning their last five. Their best win of the season came against Western Kentucky, the same team that upset Louisville. Led by the guard play of Kelvin Lewis and Aubrey Coleman, look for Houston to be able to compete in a weak Conference USA this season.

Player to Watch: A.D. Vasallo, Virginia Tech—Vasallo has enabled Virginia Tech to compete against teams much better than them early on in the season. The sharpshooter from beyond the arc is averaging 18.9 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game. He scored a season-high 30 points in a two-point loss to Wisconsin, including hitting six of nine from three-point land. The Hokies lost to Xavier by one, Seton Hall by four, Wisconsin by two, and Georgia by one.

Team Not to Watch: Mississippi Valley State—Starting off the season 0-10 is bad enough, but only scoring 25 points in one your games is even worse. On the season, the Delta Devils only average 55.2 points per game. They have been the victim of top schools trying to schedule an easy victory though. Some of their losses include Arizona State, Oklahoma, Washington State, Creighton, Kentucky, Georgia, and Arizona.

Game of the Week—Virginia Military 114, UNC-Asheville 105

This high-scoring shootout had Big South bragging rights on the line. Last year's regular season champion against the team that beat Kentucky. VMI shot 55.6 percent from beyond the arc and tallied 14 steals against the Bulldogs. Twin brothers Chavis and Travis Holmes combined for 55 points.

All UNC-Asheville starters scored in the double digits, with Reid August leading the way with 29 points. VMI leads the nation in points scored per game with 101.3. Their motto is shoot first and ask questions later. So far, it has worked as VMI is off to a 7-2 start.