College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, February 2, 2011
It was with great interest that the impostor in this week's AP Top 25 was spotted. There, conspicuously settled in at #22, right behind Arizona, another possible fake, was 21-2 Utah State.
Upon further investigation, suspicions were confirmed, as the Aggies, despite a 10-0 conference record (in the WAC) and 16 straight wins, have played exactly nobody. By far, games against their two toughest opponents - BYU and Georgetown - both resulted in losses, and while the Aggies may eventually receive an automatic bid to the Big Dance, they look more like first round losers than bracket busters.
Elsewhere, the Atlantic-10 gets little love from the sportswriters, though three of the first nine teams receiving votes were Xavier (15-6), which, with 92 votes would actually be #26, and further down the list, Duquesne and Temple, both 16-5.
Of the three, the Dukes look like the best of the bunch, having hammered George Mason Wednesday by an 84-59 score to go 8-0 in the conference, their 11th straight win, with some of those victories over some pretty good schools - Temple, St. Joseph's, Charlotte, Dayton.
The Dukes get plenty of mileage out of 6'5" senior Bill Clark, who leads the team in scoring at 17.5 ppg, and tallied 23 in the rout of GW. Clark was 5-for-9 from the field with a pair of three-pointers and snatched 10 rebounds for his 4th double-double of the season.
Duquesne is simply on a roll. Since a December 22 loss to George Mason, they've run off those 11 wins by an average margin of victory of oh, just 19.5 ppg, the closest contest being a 75-63 win at St. Joseph's, January 5th.
It's doubtable that the Dukes will get a chance to play Utah State this season, but veteran hoops junkies probably already know how that game would turn out.