Posted: Monday December 19, 2011 11:57AM ; Updated: Tuesday December 20, 2011 5:54PM
Seth Davis

Hoop Thoughts (Cont.)

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UConn's Andre Drummond had 24 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in the Huskies' win over Holy Cross.
UConn's Andre Drummond had 24 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in the Huskies' win over Holy Cross.

• For those of you who questioned my preseason selection of UConn's Andre Drummond as national freshman of the year, check out his line in Sunday's win over Holy Cross: 24 points on 11 for 12 shooting, eight rebounds and five blocks. I know it's only Holy Cross, but it's clear Drummond is starting to figure some things out.

• Don't you love seeing a former a walk-on not only earn a scholarship but a starting spot as well? That's what Gonzaga's 6-6 junior guard Mike Hart has done. He is averaging 19 minutes a game and scoring 3.2 points. Well done, Mike.


(Last week's rank on my ballot in parentheses)

1. Ohio State (1)

2. Syracuse (2)

3. Kentucky (3)

4. North Carolina (4)

5. Duke (5)

6. Florida (6)

7. Baylor (7)

8. Louisville (8)

9. Missouri (10)

10. Kansas (11)

11. UConn (12)

12. Marquette (13)

13. Georgetown (14)

14. Xavier (9)

15. Wisconsin (15)

16. Mississippi State (17)

17. Michigan State (18)

18. Indiana (19)

19. Pittsburgh (20)

20. UNLV (22)

21. Illinois (21)

22. Gonzaga (23)

23. Harvard (24)

24. Creighton (25)

25. Murray State (NR)

Dropped out: Vanderbilt (16)

Last week, I was one of just seven voters to rank Ohio State number one. Syracuse got 51 votes. Fair enough. But despite the Orange's impressive win at N.C. State, I'm not going to drop the Buckeyes if they don't lose. I guess that means I'll be in the minority again this week. What else is new.

On the other hand, I also did not have Alabama and Texas A&M on my ballot last week, and they certainly did not look rank-worthy in embarrassing losses to Kansas State and Florida, respectively. On the other hand, I had Vanderbilt nine spots ahead of where it ended up in the poll. My bad. I had been giving the Commodores every benefit of the doubt while Festus Ezeli was out, but now that he's back, it's time to hold them accountable for losing to a pretty good Indiana State team at home.

UNLV was unranked by my fellow voters last week, but the Runnin' Rebels were on my ballot, so I couldn't reward them as much as I would have liked for their win at Illinois. I also couldn't drop Illinois below Gonzaga considering the Illini beat them last week. And even though I decided not to punish Ohio State last week after it lost at Kansas without Jared Sullinger, I had to ding Xavier bit for losing by 22 to Oral Roberts, even though the Musketeers were without three suspended players.

In other words, if you're looking for perfect consistency, you'll have to look elsewhere.

As you know, I like to favor the mid-major schools for the last spots on my ballot. Since I only had one spot available, I had to choose between Murray State and Cleveland State. I went with the Racers because they haven't lost yet (Cleveland State lost to Hofstra on a neutral court), and because I thought their win at Memphis was slightly more impressive than the Vikings' win at Vanderbilt when it was sans Ezeli.

Still, there were plenty of good candidates for No. 25. I also considered Stanford (9-1; best win was over N.C. State), Seton Hall (9-1; Saint Joseph's), Minnesota (11-1; Indiana State), San Diego State (9-2; at Arizona), Virginia (9-1; Michigan) and Northern Iowa (9-1; at Iowa State). Don't worry, folks, it's a long season. I'll be watching.

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