Monday, January 7, 2008

Vinny Pezzimenti Moment -- Week 8

The 'Cats stalled at #16 again last week. I will be interested to see how Vinny reacts to Villanova's loss at DePaul last week. It was an ugly game that the 'Cats did not seem to want to play. While I believe they will remain in the Top 25 complements of their rebound win over Pittsburgh on Sunday, I would not be surprised to see them lose a spot or two. Forget those nine voters who continue to leave Villanova off their ballots completely. The Wildcats will be lucky if they don't lose another voter or two.

My Big East Blogger Poll for this week:

1 - Georgetown
2 - Marquette
3 - Pittsburgh
4 - Notre Dame
5 - Villanova
6 - West Virginia
7 - Syracuse
8 - Louisville
9 - Connecticut
10 - Providence
11 - South Florida
12 - DePaul
13 - Seton Hall
14 - St. John's
15 - Cincinnati
16 - Rutgers

Player of the Week: Luke Harangody, Notre Dame

Rookie of the Week: Donte Greene, Syracuse

Who's Up...Who's Down...
Changes are coming to the top quartile. I swapped Georgetown and Marquette again. The Warriors dropped a home game against West Virginia on Sunday, so they could not stay #1. I left Pittsburgh at #3, but the loss to Villanova (albeit by a single point) illustrates their vulnerability at the point guard spot. Pitt had 22 turnovers, 5 from Ramon alone. Right now Coach Dixon has Ronald Ramon and Brad Wanamaker sharing a little (with Keith Benjamin and Gilbert Brown splitting the wing duties). The Panthers may be in for some frusturating outings until Fields gets back. Notre Dame, Syracuse and West Virginia moved up to varying degrees based on their strong conference starts. The Irish have been on a pretty good run lately. Their opening win over West Virginia is all the more impressive given WVU's upset of Marquette. So I moved them into the #4 spot. The Orange also jumped a few spots, having beaten St. John's and then South Florida on their homestand opening. And lastly the Blue Demons who took down the Wildcats and then the Friars moved to the last seed in the BET. Villanova, Louisville, Connecticut, Seton Hall and Rutgers, all having lost at least one game, also lost rankings. Of the three seasons since the Big East expanded to 16 teams this may prove to be the most wide open race yet. Injuries and youth have scrambled the pecking order in place since the late 1990s. Hang on to your seats, this is going to be a bumpy ride...

This week's OWs...
Dominque Jones continues to make his case for ROY, scoring 23 and 24 in successive games against Rutgers and Syracuse (a road game). DePaul's Mac Koshwal had a decent double-double against the Wildcats on Thursday, but turned in an average game against Geoff McDermott and the Providence Friars, even though the Blue Demons won their second Big East game in a row to start the season 2-0. Speaking of Blue Demon freshmen, Dar Tucker was hobbled for the Villanova game but turned in a 15 point performance in 20 minutes of play against Providence. My vote goes to Donte Greene of Syracuse though. Greene turned in two 20+ point games to get Syracuse a 2-0 start to their Big East season. Greene scored 22 against St. John's and 21 against South Florida. As for the Player of the Week, I voted for Luke Harangody of Notre Dame. Harangody turned in two double-doubles, the first against West Virginia (29 and 16) in Notre Dame's opener, and then the "and one" against Hasheem Thabeet (14 and 10) and the Connecticut Huskies.

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