College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, February 2, 2013
Michigan may have been #1 for a week, but that week ends Sunday, and, along with it, their short stay atop the college hoops rankings.
Finding few ways to counter the front line of the #3 Hoosiers' Cody Zeller, Christian Watford and Victor Oladipo, the Wolverines fell at Indiana's Assembly Hall, 81-73, and with that, another team - most likely either Indiana or #4 Florida - will assume the position of the nation's top team... for a while.
For the first five weeks of the season, the Hoosiers were ranked #1, but a loss in mid-December boosted Duke to the top spot for four weeks, until Louisville got the nod on January 14. Duke took it back on the 21st, relinquishing it to Michigan this past Monday. If there anything for certain, nobody knows which team is the best at this point.
In their win over Michigan, the Hoosiers took back first place in the Big Ten, posting a record of 8-1 in the conference, but they are by no means alone. The Wolverines, along with Michigan State and Ohio State are all just a game back, at 7-2, and Indiana still has two games with the Buckeyes and one each with the two Michigan teams before the regular season ends.
What the Hoosiers have, however, is possibly the best front line in the country, emphatically proven in their win over Michigan. Cody Zeller had one of his finest games, scoring 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting, with 10 rebounds (his 7th double-double of the season) and two blocked shots in 34 minutes. Watford pitched in 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Mr. Do-it-all, Oladipo, had 15 points, two boards, two assists and a pair of steals.
Despite 16 turnovers, the Hoosiers dominated the rest of the game, hitting at a 52% clip with seven three pointers. They also out-rebounded the Wolverines, 38-29. Most telling was the free throw line. Indiana went to the stripe 25 times, making 22 (88%), while Michigan was only 6-for-7.
NOTABLE: #2 Kansas will not be elevated to the #1 spot come Monday, as they suffered their second loss of the season in an 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State. Markel Brown led the Cowboys with 28 points. #14 Miami won their ninth straight, topping #19 NC State, 79-78. Pitt topped #6 Syracuse, 65-55, #10 Oregon lost at Cal, 58-54, #15 Wichita State fell at Iowa State, 57-52, and #22 San Diego State dropped a 70-67 decision at Air Force.