College Basketball Top 25 Power Rankings

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S. Lecka: Getty Images

Look for Grayson Allen to be a major force this year, heading the Duke offense.

Xavier Clark and Jacob Thomas, Staff Writers

  1. Kentucky: Kentucky looks to continue their undefeated regular season record of last year. The program, headed by head coach John Calipari, has truly become a dynasty. This year they have a new look with Sophomore G Tyler Ulis. Ulis has proven through the first group of games that he is a force to be reckoned with and can man a top-tier offense. Freshman G Jamaal Murray leads the team in scoring with 14.2 points per contest. This team, with an early win against Duke, is clearly the best team in the country because of their speed and quickness. Last year’s team featured a big frontcourt along with a big backcourt compared to this year’s team that includes an undersized and ultimately more dynamic appearance.
  2. Maryland: The Terrapins come into the 2015 season with depth and athleticism. Maryland is a well-balanced team: five players on the team average above nine points a game. Maryland is led by one of the best backcourts in the country, with G Melo Trimble and G Rasheed Sulaimon. Sophomore guard Melo Trimble has averaged just under 15 points a game. Along with his scoring, Trimble can also get his teammates involved: Trimble leads the team in assists, averaging 4.5 a game. The senior Duke transfer Sulaimon presents experience and an all- around game. Sulaimon has the ability to get to the bucket as well as shoot the three-pointer. This year Sulaimon has shot 50 percent from the three point line.        
  3. Michigan StateGoing into the season the Spartans were treated as an underdog because of who they lost last season. Michigan State is headed by Senior Denzel Valentine. He is unlike any other player in college basketball because of the way he can shoot the ball. He also has the size and passing ability to complement his shooting ability. The way he plays is comparable to Lebron James in that Valentine uses his size to get to the rim while also being able to shoot the three. Michigan State is statistically the best passing team in the country; a major contributor in that number is Valentine. Senior G Bryn Forbes also has stepped up into a starting role, averaging 11 PPG. Defense also continues to be a staple for the Spartans, who are only giving up 62 PPG.
  4. DukeSaying that Grayson Allen has got off to a hot start would be an understatement: nobody in the NCAA has been playing better than him. The sophomore guard has been averaging over 22 points a game. As a freshman, unknown to many, Allen burst onto the scene in the national championship game. Allen is a knockdown shooter and an offensive juggernaut. Down low, the Blue Devils have an athletic two way-player, Amile Jefferson. The senior averages a double double. A tenacious rebounder, Jefferson owns the paint.     
  5. KansasThis year the Jayhawks feature an all-round team . They stack up sixth in the nation in points, averaging 93 and rank second in three-point percentage. Head coach Bill Self has had a history of priming his team to attack the basket. This year he has focused on getting his team open threes. Senior G Wayne Selden Jr. has proven himself to be an elite shooter in college basketball this year. Senior F Perry Ellis looks to put a successful end to his dominating four years as a Jayhawk. If the Jayhawks can continue to shoot the way they are and stop teams on defense they could be a serious Final Four contender.
  6. Iowa StAfter getting knocked out early in the Big Dance last year, Iowa State looks to have a bounce back season. Up and down their roster the Cyclones have lots of experience. The Cyclops also present depth as each member of their starting five averages over 13 points a game. The Cyclops don’t have one really big name on their roster, but they make up with it with team basketball. Iowa State has not been tested this year as they have not played a Top 25 team yet.       
  7. OklahomaThe Sooners are coming in at number seven, led by none other than Senior G Buddy Hield. Averaging 22 PPG, Buddy Hield is clearly the go-to scorer for this Oklahoma team. A major strength of this team is their ability to rebound the ball. They rank fourth in the nation in rebounding. Leading the team in rebounds is the mature Senior F Ryan Spangler. Spangler has done nothing but impress by scoring three double-doubles in the last four games, and will be a vital part of this team if they want to go far. This team has great potential because they are one of the best defensive teams in the country. They are a tough team with some talent, and has the potential to go elite eight or farther.
  8. VillanovaThis winter Villanova looks to continue it’s dominant run from last year. The Wildcats only graduated two seniors that played in the rotation. With a tight core in F Daniel Ochefu, G John Hart, and G Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova looks like a talented and mature group that could do some damage come March. Along with its mature core they also signed All-American Freshman G Jalen Brunson out of Chicago. The freshman is averaging 11 points and will pose a problem to opponents .
  9. North CarolinaThrough the first seven games of the 2015-2016 campaign, North Carolina looks like they could be a top five team. After getting Senior G Marcus Paige back from an injured third metacarpal, UNC looks like a completely different team. In his first game back against our number two ranked Maryland team, Paige lead the Tar Heels with 20 points to guide them to victory. Junior big-man Kennedy Meeks has also looked solid early on, earning 14 points and eight rebounds per game. One change in Meeks is that he has really slimmed down from last year, working on his conditioning over the offseason. This year will serve as a major test for him if he wants to be treated as a toptier big.
  10. Virginia: The Cavaliers pride themselves on the defensive side of the ball. Virginia ranks 10th in the country in points allowed, holding teams to under 59 points a game. On the offensive end the Cavaliers offense runs through Malcolm Brogdon. The senior guard has averaged 17.4 points a game, which leads the team. Virginia did lose a fluke game to George Washington this year, dropping them down The Mirador’s rankings.    
  11. Gonzaga
  12. Purdue
  13. Syracuse
  14. Xavier
  15. Vanderbilt
  16. Oregon
  17. Cincinnati
  18. Texas A&M
  19. West Virginia
  20. Miami
  21. Arizona
  22. SMU
  23. Providence
  24. Louisville
  25. Baylor