College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 1, 2012
Not even a month into the college hoops season, a few trends are developing, not the least of which is the relative parity among conferences - the Big East notwithstanding - the value of having upperclassmen and the over-zealousness of the early polling on big-name programs.
In keeping with those themes, Baylor, a squad sporting plenty of upperclassmen - like senior Pierre Jackson - and experience, took down the over-hyped Kentucky Wildcats - called by some a "one-year program" - 64-55. With two losses this week alone, the 4-3, 8th-ranked Wildcats don't deserve a Top 25 ranking, let alone a top ten one. Of their three losses, two were at home (Duke and Baylor). Message: Stay in school.
Xavier (Atlantic-10) defeated the Big Ten's Purdue, 63-57, off 25 points from Semaj Christon, a freshman guard.
In LA, San Diego State upended UCLA, 78-69, as Junior guard, Jamaal Franklin, lit up the Bruins for 28 points on 9-for-18 shooting from the field and seven of eight free throws. Franklin had three treys, seven boards and three assists, getting support from fellow junior, Xavier Thames, who dropped in 19 points for the 5-1 Aztecs, the nation's 23rd-ranked team.
The Bruins, already unranked, fell to 4-3.
As expected, the Big East came out far ahead at the end of the Big East - SEC Challenge. Going into Sunday with a 6-2 edge in games, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati and Providence notched wins, while Mississippi was the sole winner for the SEC, topping Rutgers, 80-67.
The Big East was hardly "challenged," taking the series nine games to three.