Dean's List-Academic Probation is a weekly column that analyzes all of the highlights and lowlights from the previous week's games. The teams, players, conferences, etc. that deserve praise for what they accomplished over the past week make our Dean's List; those deserving ridicule are put on Academic Probation.
Here are this week's honorees:
Is there a way the state of Florida can recount the ACC preseason basketball poll? Picked to finish dead last, the Hurricanes upset Providence and VCU last week to win the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Guards James Dews and James McClinton led the way for Miami, which has four more winnable games on the horizon before heading to Mississippi State on Dec. 13.
Eighteen years after the program’s biggest win – over Stanford in the 1989 NCAA tournament – the Saints orchestrated a little deja vu at the Pepsi Center Saturday afternoon. Transfer Josh Duell scored 16 points and held Robin Lopez in check as Siena stunned the 20th ranked Cardinal 79-67. The best part of this game - the first court rush of the year. Here's another angle.
Their five wins are decent at best, but the Rams are still undefeated – and atop the back-to-respectable A-10 – after wins against South Florida, Stetson, and UAB this week. Senior forward Will Daniels has been a stud inside thus far, posting a double-double against Stetson and averaging 18 points and seven boards a game in the early going.
Virginia's road win over Arizona is going to be golden come Selection Sunday. Sean Singletary led the way with 24 points for the Cavaliers, which now have only a home game with Syracuse on Dec. 5 standing between them and an 11-0 start.
We could live without the weak “CDR” nickname (which Dan Shulman beat to death in the ESPN telecast), but Douglas-Roberts was nearly unstoppable against UConn in the 2KSports College Hoops Classic final, scoring 33 points to lead Memphis to an 81-70 win. Many of those points came when the Tigers needed them most – with Joey Dorsey on the bench in foul trouble.
Also receiving votes: Baylor (nice W over Notre Dame), Clemson (ditto vs. Mississippi State), Providence (upset of No. 18 Arkansas), Tyler Hansbrough (27 points, nine boards in UNC’s win over Iona), Terrence Williams (triple-double in Louisville’s beatdown of Hartford)
Granted, three games in three days is a tall task, but beating Cleveland State and South Florida on two of those days shouldn’t be. The Seminoles weren’t able to defeat either one, and now have to scramble to find some confidence before their showdown with Billy Donovan’s boys Friday night.
North Carolina State
Rumor has it that the Wolfpack are the third best team in the ACC. What does that make (gulp) New Orleans? Read about the bank-shot ending of this one if you haven’t yet.
It’s not like VCU lost to awful teams this week, but falling to Miami and Arkansas is killer considering the team’s weak OOC schedule. The Commodores’ last chance at a resume-padder comes Dec. 2 at Maryland.
The race for second place in C-USA was anyone’s to win as the season opened, but after the first lap, UAB has already been left in the dust. The Blazers got blitzed this week, losing to Florida State, Georgia Southern (ouch), and Rhode Island.
The WAC got a lot of two-bid love from people in the preseason, but through the first two full weeks of games, the league done nothing to justify that praise. Only two teams, Nevada and San Jose State, have winning records (and both of them have questionable losses, too), and last week alone, Utah State lost to Cal Poly and UC-Irvine, and Fresno State lost to CS-Bakersfield.
Also receiving votes: Oregon State (loss to DII Alaska-Fairbanks), Xavier (L to Miami-Ohio), UConn’s road uniforms, the 27-person crowd at the Oklahoma-Gardner Webb 2KSports College Hoops Classic semifinal game at the Garden, Louisville’s national title hopes (thanks to David Padgett’s season-ending kneecap injury)