College Basketball Power Rankings: Top 20 Naismith Award Candidates, Nov. 28

Ari KramerSenior Analyst IINovember 28, 2011

College Basketball Power Rankings: Top 20 Naismith Award Candidates, Nov. 28

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    How did UConn's loss to Central Florida affect Jeremy Lamb's Naismith stock? What about UNC and Harrison Barnes?

    Ohio State and Kentucky are the only two undefeated teams left with preseason front-runners for the Naismith Award, but where do Jared Sullinger, William Buford, Anthony Davis and Terrence Jones rank?

    Jared Cunningham and J'Covan Brown topped the Naismith rankings last week, but see how far they've dropped.

    These power rankings are based on performance and strength of schedule—not projections of future play.

20. Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh

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    Season: 19.3 ppg, 3.5 apg, 38 percent FG, 42.6 percent 3-pt.

    Week: 17 ppg, three apg, 31.9 percent FG, 41.2 percent 3-pt.

    Team Record: 5-1

    Nov. 21: 12

    Ashton Gibbs' field goal percentage is at an all-time low, but it's a by-product of Pitt's lack of other offensive threats. After launching 11.7 field goals per game in 2010-11, Gibbs is shooting 16.6 this year.

    Regardless, he leads the Panthers in scoring.

19. Kevin Jones, West Virginia

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    Season: 21.8 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 1.5 spg, 61.7 percent FG

    Week: 23 ppg, 10 rpg, two bpg, one spg, 60 percent FG

    Team Record: 3-1

    Nov. 21: NR

    Kevin Jones is off to a hot start, but don't lose sight of West Virginia's competition. In the Mountaineers' two games versus Ken Pomeroy's Top 150 defenses, Jones averaged 17.5 points per game.

    He scored 26 points per game against Alcorn State and Morehead State, Nos. 334 and 222, respectively.

    Still, his numbers are good enough to crack the top 20.

18. Shabazz Napier, UConn

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    Season: 17.9 ppg, five rpg, six apg, 1.9 spg, 3.9 tpg, 48.8 percent FG, 42.6 percent 3-pt.

    Week: 17.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.7 apg, 1.7 spg, six tpg, 43.6 percent FG, 38.5 percent 3-pt.

    Team Record: 6-1

    Nov. 21: 14

    Shabazz Napier may have been the most enigmatic player this week. He scored 26 points against Florida State—the No. 4 most efficient defensive team in Ken Pomeroy's rankings—but turned in a four-point dud against Central Florida, No. 122.

    One thing is for certain: Napier will absolutely need to improve his three-to-two assist-to-turnover ratio in order to be a more legitimate candidate.

17. William Buford, Ohio State

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    Season: 17.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.2 apg, 48.8 percent FG, 50 percent 3-pt.

    Week: 20.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.7 apg, 51.1 percent FG, 70 percent 3-pt.

    Team Record: 6-0

    Nov. 21: NR

    William Buford shined in Ohio State's three wins this week, earning himself a spot as a top 20 candidate. He ranks ahead of Shabazz Napier because he hasn't had a bad game yet.

16. Marcus Denmon, Missouri

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    Season: 18.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.8 spg, 51.4 percent FG, 41.7 percent 3-pt.

    Week: 19 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.3 spg, 54.1 percent FG, 35 percent 3-pt.

    Team Record: 6-0

    Nov. 21: NR

    With Marcus Denmon leading the charge, Missouri trounced Notre Dame and California by an average margin of 34 points. Denmon averaged 22 points and five rebounds in the two victories.

15. John Shurna, Northwestern

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    Season: 21.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.6 bpg, one spg, 47.2 percent FG, 37 percent 3-pt.

    Week: 20 ppg, six rpg, three apg, 53.8 percent FG, 25 percent 3-pt.

    Team Record: 5-0

    Nov. 21: 13

    John Shurna continued to play at a high level in Northwestern's only game this week, leading the Wildcats to a victory over Stony Brook. 

    Shurna is averaging 23.7 points per game in Northwestern's three games against Ken Pomeroy's Top 150 defenses.

14. Terrence Jones, Kentucky

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    Season: 13.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.2 apg, 2.2 bpg, 50.8 percent FG, 66.7 percent 3-pt.

    Week: 18 ppg, six rpg, two apg, 2.5 bpg, 50 percent FG, 75 percent 3-pt.

    Team Record: 6-0

    Nov. 21: NR

    Terrence Jones' six-point effort last Sunday against Old Dominion kept him out of the Nov. 21 rankings, but the left-handed forward led Kentucky in scoring in the Wildcats' two wins this week.

    His exemplary play on both ends of the floor earned him the No. 14 spot this week.

13. JaMychal Green, Alabama

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    Season: 15.5 ppg, eight rpg, 1.7 bpg, 50 percent FG

    Week: 21 ppg, 14 rpg, 2 bpg, 66.7 percent FG

    Team Record: 7-0

    Nov. 21: 16

    JaMychal Green missed Alabama's 82-45 victory over Alabama A&M, but he willed the Crimson Tide past VCU with his 21-point, 14-rebound performance. With the exception of a seven-point, four-rebound outing against Maryland, Green has been fantastic.

12. Jared Cunningham, Oregon State

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    Season: 20.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.2 apg, 2.8 spg, 50.7 percent FG

    Week: 10.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, three apg, four spg, 41.2 percent FG

    Team Record: 5-1

    Nov. 21: 1

    This week indicated that Jared Cunningham's hot start might have been an anomaly. However, two offensive duds shouldn't oust him from the top 20.

11. Doug McDermott, Creighton

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    Season: 23.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 65.3 percent FG, 61.1 percent 3-pt.

    Week: 31 ppg, 11 rpg, 68.4 percent FG, 66.7 percent 3-pt.

    Team Record: 5-0

    Nov. 21: NR

    Creighton has only played one team in Ken Pomeroy's Top 60 defenses, but Doug McDermott has scorched the nets to lead the Blue Jays to five double-digit victories and a Top 25 ranking.

10. Scott Machado, Iona

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    Season: 19.8 ppg, 12.8 apg, 4.8 rpg, three spg, 52.9 percent FG, 45.5 percent 3-pt.

    Week: 33 ppg, 10 apg, five rpg, four spg, 55.6 percent FG, 66.7 percent 3-pt.

    Team Record: 3-1

    Nov. 21: NR

    Scott Machado leads the nation in assists per game, and also has 51 dimes to just nine turnovers. If not for Robbie Hummel's game-winning three-pointer with 20 seconds left, Iona would be 4-0 with Machado leading the way.

    Machado—like a true Player of the Year—scored nine of his 33 points in the deciding second overtime of Iona's 104-99 win over St. Joseph's.

    Iona is a potential 30-win team, and Machado is the main reason why.

9. Thomas Robinson, Kansas

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    Season: 16 ppg, 12 rpg, one bpg, 48.5 percent FG

    Week: 17 ppg, 12.3 rpg, one bpg, 50 percent FG

    Team Record: 3-2

    Nov. 21: 18

    Thomas Robinson used an impressive showing at the Maui Invitational to leap in the rankings.

    You can't hold Kansas' record against the junior—the Jayhawks have lost to Kentucky and Duke.

8. John Henson, UNC

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    Season: 15.8 ppg, 9.8 rpg, three bpg, 56.2 percent FG

    Week: 15 ppg, 8.7 rpg, two bpg, 52.6 percent FG

    Team Record: 5-1

    Nov. 21: 3

    UNLV held John Henson to 4-of-12 shooting in UNC's loss to the Runnin' Rebels, and the shot-blocker only swatted two combined shots against South Carolina and UNLV.

7. J'Covan Brown, Texas

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    Season: 23.2 ppg, 6.4 apg, 5.4 rpg, 46.4 percent FG, 45.5 percent 3-pt.

    Week: 14 ppg, 4.5 apg, 5.5 rpg, 37.9 percent FG, 33.3 percent 3-pt.

    Team Record: 3-2

    Nov. 21: 2

    J'Covan Brown's torrid start tapered off this week, as Texas split its two contests. His numbers dipped, but one bad performance—11 points on 4-of-15 shooting in a win over Sam Houston State—shouldn't banish him from the top 10.

6. Anthony Davis, Kentucky

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    Season: 12.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 4.3 bpg, 1.2 spg, 71.4 percent FG

    Week: 12.5 ppg, nine rpg, four bpg, 1.5 spg, 69.2 percent FG

    Team Record: 6-0

    Nov. 21: 6

    Anthony Davis continued his dominance on the defensive side of the floor. Even if he averages just 12 points per game, he saves so many points by simply looming in the defensive paint.

5. Harrison Barnes, UNC

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    Season: 17.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 48.7 percent FG, 33.3 percent 3-pt.

    Week: 17.3 ppg, four rpg, 46.2 percent FG, 50 percent 3-pt.

    Team Record: 5-1

    Nov. 21: 7

    Harrison Barnes scored 11 of his 15 points in the final 7:05 of UNC's loss to UNLV, but the Tar Heels defense couldn't muster enough stops to come back against the Runnin' Rebels. 

    Barnes' efforts down the stretch—with the exception of his two missed foul shots with 33 seconds left and his team down six—made him look like a Player of the Year.

4. Dee Bost, Mississippi State

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    Season: 17 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.8 apg, 2.5 spg, 42.9 percent FG, 36.5 percent 3-pt.

    Week: 18.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, four apg, three spg, 50 percent FG, 42.9 percent 3-pt.

    Team Record: 7-1

    Nov. 21: 10

    Dee Bost had a very solid week after leading his Mississippi State Bulldogs to the 2k Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches Vs. Cancer championship. 

3. Jeremy Lamb, UConn

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    Season: 21.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.3 spg, 50.5 percent FG, 34.7 percent 3-pt.

    Week: 19 ppg, four rpg, two spg, 52.6 percent FG, 38.1 percent 3-pt.

    Team Record: 6-1

    Nov. 21: 5

    Jeremy Lamb has been great, with the exception of his play down the stretch of UConn's 68-63 loss to Central Florida. After leading 50-33 with under 15 minutes left, Lamb went 1-of-6 from the floor and turned the ball over three times, as the Huskies' lead evaporated.

    He bounced back with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting in UConn's 78-76 overtime win over Florida State.

2. Robbie Hummel, Purdue

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    Season: 19.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 45.3 percent FG, 46.7 percent 3-pt.

    Week: 17.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.5 bpg, 44.4 percent FG, 50 percent 3-pt.

    Team Record: 6-1

    Nov. 21: 4

    Back from his second ACL injury, Robbie Hummel is averaging a career-high 19.3 points per game. The senior already has one game-winner under his belt—a three-pointer with 20 seconds left against Iona—keeping him ahead of Jeremy Lamb.

1. Jared Sullinger, Ohio State

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    Season: 18.8 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 1.7 spg, 63.3 percent FG, 85.4 percent FT

    Week: 19.3 ppg, 12.7 rpg, 2.3 spg, 63.9 percent FG, 85.7 percent FT

    Team Record: 6-0

    Nov. 21: 9

    Jared Sullinger has recorded a double-double in each of his last four games, leading the Ohio State Buckeyes to a perfect 6-0 mark.

Dropped from Rankings

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    Casper Ware, No. 8

    Trevor Mbakwe, No. 11

    John Jenkins, No. 15

    Tyler Zeller, No. 17

    Doron Lamb, No. 19

    Kendall Marshall, No. 20