Bouldin, Fredette top best non-BCS players; more mail (cont.)
Why isn't [Oklahoma State guard] James Anderson getting the attention he deserves? He pretty much whipped K-State by himself by scoring 30 points. He leads the Big 12 in scoring, and has scored in double digits in 33 straight games. He is one of the best shooters in the country, and nothing is being said about him.
Scott is totally right. Anderson deserves more attention for the season he is having, but in order for him to get it his team is going to have to get some more significant wins. Upsetting Kansas State in Manhattan was impressive, but this is still the team that lost on the road at Tulsa, Rhode Island and Oklahoma. I like that Anderson's assist and rebound numbers have improved over last season, but his three-point percentage has dropped dramatically from 40.8 percent to 31.9. At any rate, I promise I'll be watching, and when Anderson goes off again I'll make sure to point it out.
And finally, I got the usual spate of e-mails questioning why I did not include 40 teams in my Top 25:
Not only do you have it in for New Mexico but now BYU? Wow, something smells. Do you want to talk about it?! E-mail me and get it off your chest. This is not healthy for you.
Why so much hate on Vandy? Still wanting to say "I told you so" for the Siena loss a couple of years ago? I think the Missouri win at home and the St. Mary's (38-3 there, by the way) win on their wood aren't too bad, either. Even if we drop back-to-back road games to two of your top 10s, will that make us a bad team?
I enjoy your columns. But I was curious why Wake Forest is not getting any consideration from anyone, not just you. They have had one really bad loss at Duke, but it was closer than the 20-point difference with one bad call affecting the game. The other losses are turning out to be OK (Purdue, W&M, and a one-pointer at Miami). Plus they have had some nice wins, including at Gonzaga, Xavier, Richmond and UNC. I am not claiming they are top 10 (hardly), but top 25, I think that can be justified.
After completing the sweep of your No. 18 team [Georgia Tech], a 15-4 record with three nonconference wins at a neutral site, how is it that you cannot even mention Florida State as one of your next few teams? I and many others would appreciate an explanation.
Like I said, I can only rank 25 teams, and you can certainly make a good case for including any of the ones that were mentioned. Vandy and New Mexico made the AP poll without my vote, and the other two were at the top of "others receiving votes."
When I do my rankings, I try not to be too hidebound by where I ranked teams in the past. If I feel like a team should be dropped even though it hadn't lost, or boosted despite losing, then by golly that's what I am going to do. Furthermore, as I stated in Monday's column, when I got toward the end of my ballot I made a decision to put greater weight on quality wins, e.g. wins against other teams I wanted to rank. That's why I dropped BYU from 17 to 23, though if they win at New Mexico tonight that will surely make an impression.
Wake Forest is arguably one of the best 25 teams in the country, but I disagree with Phillip that losing at Miami isn't a bad loss. Also, maybe this is a little unfair, but I have to put an asterisk on that win at Gonzaga because Elias Harris, the Zags' stud freshman forward, was ejected in the first half for throwing a flagrant elbow. If the Deacs can knock off Georgia Tech in Atlanta this weekend, I'll give them strong consideration next week.
As for Vandy, I'm sorry but it's hard to rank a team based on a two-point win at Saint Mary's (impressive though that was). Why would I rank Vanderbilt ahead of Cincinnati when the Bearcats beat them on a neutral court and also have wins over Maryland and UConn?
The one school mentioned in these e-mails that has a legit case to be ranked is Florida State, especially in light of its sweep of Georgia Tech. I may have been overly influenced by the Seminoles' losses at Maryland and at home to N.C. State. Obviously, if they can win in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Wednesday, they won't need my vote to be ranked next week.