Monday, October 25, 2010

College Hoops: ESPN/USA Today Poll Snubs

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Last season, the ESPN/USA Today released its final poll and the Duke Blue Devils were featured as the No. 1 team after their National Championship victory.

Before the 2010-11' season started the Blue Devils were conceived the No. 1 team in the polls. On October 21, 2010 the ESPN/USA Today poll was released and to no ones surprise Duke was the No. 1 team overall and Michigan State followed at two.

The recent injury to Robbie Hummel allowed Kansas State to jump to the third spot in the poll.

Purdue dropped to No. 8, rather than being a lock in the top 5, while the Kentucky Wildcats cracked the top-10 of the coaches poll.

There are nine teams that are in the polls now that wasn't there when the final poll was released last year. However, 25-teams isn't enough. Here is my selection of the best teams that weren't featured in the coaches poll.

Colorado Buffaloes - The Buffs' returned their dynamic backcourt duo Cory Higgins, and Alec Burks that survived their first year together in the Big 12. This year, the Buffs' will not be at the bottom of the Big 12. With Burks, and Higgins, along with Marcus Relphorde, Austin Dufault and many other returning players the Buffs' are looking very impressive. Colorado was selected to finish ninth-overall in the Big 12 by the coaches. However, with the returning players along with Burks, and Higgins the Buffs' should finish much higher than that.

Brigham Young Cougars - Last year, when the final coaches poll was released the Cougars were No. 22 overall after losing to Kansas State in the Sweet-16. This season, the Cougars received 55 votes, but it wasn't enough to get them inside the top-25. The Cougars returned their superstar Jimmer Fredette who lead the team last year in scoring. With Fredette, the Cougars are, once again, conceived as a mid-major power in College Basketball.

San Diego State Aztecs - Last season, the Aztecs were granted an NCAA tournament berth after a 25-8 season. They did lose to Tennessee in the first-round but the young Aztecs did show potential with then-freshman Kawhi Leonard leading the way. This year, the Aztecs returned four-of-five starters from a season ago, and could surprise College Basketball this year. The Aztecs received 73-votes, and is right outside the top-25.

Murray State Racers - Murray State shocked then-No. 4 Vanderbilt in the first round of the tournament. They also were five seconds away from sinking the eventual runner-up Butler. The Racers were very impressive during the tournament and could emerge as a mid-major power this season. Murray State returned three-of-five starters from last year's second round team. Not to mention, their leader B.J. Jenkins is ready to lead the Racers to another NCAA tournament berth. The Racers received two votes by coaches.

West Virginia Mountaineers - West Virginia finished No. 3 overall in the last coaching poll released after the season ended. When the new poll was released last week, the Mountaineers weren't inside the top-25 and received only 49-votes. West Virginia lost two of their most talented players in Devin Ebanks, and Da'Sean Butler, but did acquire enough experience from last years squad that will should crack the top-25. Kevin Jones, who was an All-Big East selection, will lead the Mountaineers in the right direction.

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