College Basketball Power Rankings for March 7th, 2013

kelly-olynyk-gonzagaIn the last set of power rankings that we did, it was extremely difficult to pick a clear number one college basketball team. However, this week was a bit easier because only one top team has continued winning in recent weeks. After our top pick, things get a bit more muddled since none of the powerhouses can string together any sort of winning streak. This being said, let’s try to sort out the top 10 college basketball teams as we near the regular season’s end.

1. Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-2) – After ousting their last tough test of the season in Brigham Young and blowing Portland out, Gonzaga heads into the West Coast Conference tournament on a 12-game winning streak. This means that – barring anything crazy happening in the conference tourney – the Zags are virtually guaranteed a top NCAA tournament seed. The team should be fairly fresh for the postseason too since nobody on this club plays more than 31 MPG.

2. Duke Blue Devils (26-4) – Duke was previously the number one team in our power rankings, but they dropped a 5-point game on the road to Virginia (20-9). However, the Blue Devils also followed this game up with some revenge against 5th-ranked Miami and a win over Virginia Tech. They finish up the regular season with a road contest against rival North Carolina. Sophomore forward James Michael McAdoo (14.4 PPG, 8.0 RPG) will be hoping that his Tar Heels can pull off the upset and grab a good tournament seed.

3. Kansas Jayhawks (26-4) – The Jayhawks have been quickly climbing our rankings since they’ve gone on a seven-game winning streak against pierre-jacksonsome decent competition. They can collect a Big-12 title by winning at Baylor on Saturday. Kansas will need to shut down Bears senior guard Pierre Jackson (19.1) to assure themselves of victory.

4. Indiana Hoosiers (25-5) – Indiana drops a spot after losing two out of the past three games, including a 9-point home loss to Ohio State on Tuesday. The edge in this game appeared to be the Hoosiers’ 12 turnovers compared to the Buckeyes 7. Now Indiana will have to win on the road against 7-ranked Michigan if they want to guarantee themselves an outright Big-10 title. The first game was an eight-point victory for the Hoosiers; however, this contest is at Ann Arbor.

5. Louisville Cardinals (25-5) – After opening the college basketball season as the number one team in many publications – including ours – Louisville hit some stumbling blocks during the season such as a three-game losing streak and injury to starting center Gorgui Dieng (9.9 PPG, gorgui-dieng10.0 RPG). However, the Cardinals seem to be peaking at just the right time, and they’re on a six-game winning streak. The highlight of this strong run includes a road victory over 12th-ranked Syracuse.

6. Michigan Wolverines (25-5) – Michigan falls a couple of spots since they lost to Big-10 bottom-feeder Penn State (5-19) on February 27th. Luckily, they didn’t fall any further thanks to victories over 9th-ranked Michigan State and a mediocre Purdue team. The Wolverines could close out the regular season with a huge victory if they take down Indiana at home this weekend.

7. Georgetown Hoyas (23-5) – The Hoyas had an 11-game win streak snapped on the road against Villanova. Star forward Otto Porter Jr. didn’t exactly have his best game after shooting 2-for-9 against the Wildcats. However, the sophomore has been a great all-around player for Georgetown all season, so we look for some better performances from him in the postseason.

Rodney McGruder, Demarcus Holland8. Kansas State Wildcats (24-5) – K-State leaps into our rankings thanks to a recent six-game winning streak and strong overall record. Plus, they jump ahead of Florida due to a mid-season victory over the Gators. About the only team that’s had the Wildcats’ number this season is in-state rival Kansas, which beat K-State twice. Maybe Rodney McGruder (14.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG) and the Wildcats will get their chance at revenge in the Big-12 conference tournament.

9. Florida Gators (24-5) – Florida has played pretty mediocre for themselves over the past nine games after going 6-3. But they can finish the season on a high note by beating Kentucky on the road. This certainly won’t be an easy task though since the Wildcats feature five double-digit scorers and can beat opponents in many different ways.

10. Miami Hurricanes (23-5) – It’s hard telling what Miami team is going to show up each night. The Hurricanes have done everything from beat Duke by 27 points to lose against Indiana State at home. At this point, the latter Miami team has been showing up since they’ve lost three out of the past four contests. Now a three-point road loss to Duke is certainly understandable. However, they’ve also lost to a mediocre Georgia Tech squad and a pretty bad Wake Forrest team during this stretch. Even with this being said, the Hurricanes can finish atop the ACC with a victory over Clemson.

College Basketball Power Rankings for February 27th, 2013

duke-basketballAfter starting out 15-1 and landing a top 10 ranking, the Minnesota Golden Gophers haven’t had much luck. They’d lost 8 out of the last 11 games and were on their way to a disappointing NIT bid. However, there may still be some life left in the Gophers after they pulled off a big upset over number one-ranked Indiana. And while this won’t land Minnesota a spot in our power rankings, it does have an effect on where the Hoosiers sit this week.

1. Duke Blue Devils (24-3) – It was pretty much a no-brainer for us to put Duke back on top. After all, the three teams ahead of them in last week’s power rankings lost while the Blue Devils pulled out a couple more ACC victories. But do note that we cautiously put Duke in this spot since they’ve had some difficulties on the road. In any case, mark your calendar for March 2nd when Duke gets a shot to avenge an earlier loss to the fifth-ranked Miami Hurricanes.

2. Gonzaga Bulldogs (27-2) – The West Coast Conference doesn’t exactly provide a lot of powerhouse teams to help Gonzaga boost their image. However, with all the other top-ranked teams losing games recently, you can’t exactly fault the Zags for continuing to win. They face their last tough test on the road against a 20-9 Brigham Young team. Assuming Gonzaga wins this contest, they should have no trouble beating Portland and setting themselves up for a number one NCAA tournament seed.

victor-oladipo3. Indiana Hoosiers (24-4) – In a month where no team has truly stepped into the nation’s number one ranking, Indiana took its turn being the top dog. Unfortunately, they fell at the hands of a desperate Minnesota team that’s fighting to make the NCAA tournament. Indiana center Cody Zeller had one of his worst games of the season (2-for-9 shooting), while Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe had the hot hand (8-for-10 shooting). The Hoosiers play Iowa on Saturday before closing out with tough games against Ohio State and Michigan (road).

4. Michigan Wolverines (23-4) – Michigan moves up a few spots to number four after beating Penn State and Illinois over the past couple of games. The Illinois victory was particularly nice as Michigan guard Trey Burke poured in 26 points on 8-for-11 shooting. Out of the four remaining Big-10 games for Michigan, Indiana and Michigan State figure to be pretty brutal battles.

5. Miami Hurricanes (22-4) – Just when the Hurricanes were on top of the college basketball world and looking unbeatable, they lose to a 12-15 Wake Forrest team by 15 points. Demon Deacons guard C.J. Harris was instrumental in this victory as he scored 21 points on 5-for-5 shooting from behind the three-point arc. As for Miami, they must go back and figure out why they’ve only scored totals of 45, 54 and 65 points against fairly mediocre teams lately.

elijah-johnson6. Kansas Jayhawks (22-4) – Kansas leaps back into our power rankings after winning five straight games. Of these wins, beating Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Iowa State will look particularly impressive to poll voters. Senior Elijah Johnson was spectacular in the 108-96 overtime victory over Iowa State as he scored 39 points and hit six three-pointers in this contest. That’s definitely stepping up when you consider that his season average is 10.2 PPG.

7. Michigan State Spartans (22-6) – The Spartans might be facing the most brutal three-game stretch of any team this season. They lost to number one-ranked Indiana and 16th-ranked Ohio State (road), and they still have to play fourth-ranked Michigan (road) and 17th-ranked Wisconsin. This being said, we can’t fault Michigan State too much for dropping a couple of tough games in a row. The question is, can they stop the losing streak any time soon?

8. Louisville Cardinals (22-5) – Louisville may only be sitting third in the Big East right now, but they’re number one in our minds. The Cardinals really get a chance to prove where they stand in the conference with upcoming games against Syracuse, Cincinnati and Notre Dame. If they’re going to pick up wins against these clubs, guard Russ Smith (18.4 PPG) is definitely going to need some scoring help.

9. Georgetown Hoyas (21-4) – The Hoyas are closing in on a Big East regular season title, but there are some difficult tests remaining. They have to travel to Connecticut and Villanova in addition to facing Syracuse one more time. Georgetown will go as far as do-it-all forward Otto Porter Jr. (15.9 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.0 SPG) will take them – which we expect to be pretty far in regard to the NCAA tournament.

10. Florida Gators (22-4) – Florida falls five places this week after dropping two out of the past three games. If there’s any solace to come out of these losses, it’s that the Gators were playing two tournament-hungry teams on the road in Missouri (19-8) and Tennessee (17-10). A top seed is probably out of the question for Billy Donovan’s club; however, they can definitely grab a nice NCAA tournament position by winning their final three conference games against Alabama, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

College Basketball Power Rankings for February 18th, 2013

durand-scott-miamiIf anything is clear thus far into the 2012-2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball season, it’s this: there is no clear number one team right now. First place votes are spread across five different teams, including Duke (18 votes), Indiana (6), Gonzaga (1), Miami (5) and Michigan (1). Out of these teams, both Miami and Gonzaga are nice surprises because neither club was expected to contend for the number one ranking. So which of these teams do we think is number one? You can check out the answer below.

1. Miami Hurricanes (19-3) – As mentioned in the introduction, nobody expected Miami to be this good – especially when they lost to Florida Gulf Coast and Indiana State earlier in the season. Butt the Hurricanes quickly put these losses behind them after demolishing Duke by 27 points a few weeks ago. Now they’re sitting at 12-0 in the ACC and have NBA stars like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade showing up to their games. This has really been a team effort with Durand Scott (14.0 PPG), Shane Larkin (13.4 PPG), Kenny Kadji (13.1 PPG) and Reggie Johnson (10.0 PPG, 8.7 RPG) all making big contributions.

2. Indiana Hoosiers (21-3) – The Hoosiers have rebounded nicely after a narrow February 7th loss to Illinois. They’ve now won three straight games (Ohio State, Nebraska and Purdue) and are looking very good going into a road matchup with eighth-ranked Michigan State. This is an extremely efficient offensive team with Cody Zeller (16.8 PPG, 59.8% shooting) and Victor Oladipo (13.8 PPG, 63.9% shooting) leading the way.

3. Michigan State Spartans (20-4) – Michigan State makes a big jump from last week after beating in-state rival Michigan by 23 points. This hasn’t been their only impressive victory either because the Spartans also have recent wins against Illinois and Minnesota. Tuesday night they’ll be facing off against Indiana in a highly-anticipated matchup. Things don’t get any easier because they face Ohio State, Michigan (again) and Wisconsin immediately after this.

Duke v Miami4. Duke Blue Devils (22-3) – Duke’s road woes continued this season after losing at Maryland by 22 points a couple of nights ago. Of course, there’s no reason to panic because the Blue Devils did win six straight games in one of the nation’s toughest conferences before this. Mason Plumlee continues to be a do-it-all player for Duke with 17.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 1.6 BPG and 1.0 SPG.

5. Florida Gators (21-3) – After being beaten by Arkansas on February 5th, Florida has came back strong by winning three straight contests against Mississippi State, Kentucky and Auburn. This is a veteran team that’s led by seniors Kenny Boynton (13.0 PPG), Mike Rosario (12.9 PPG) and Erick Murphy (12.7 PPG) as well as junior Patric Young (10.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.8 BPG). That said, we like the Gators’ chances when March Madness rolls around.

6. Gonzaga Bulldogs (23-2) – We’re aware that Gonzaga has a great team and even gained a first place vote. However, their weak conference schedule makes it hard to put the Bulldogs much higher than where we have them now. This certainly isn’t to say they haven’t beaten anybody though because the Zags have defeated Oklahoma, Davidson, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and BYU throughout the season. Assuming Gonzaga keeps winning, they have a good shot at a number one NCAA tournament seed.

tim-hardaway-jr7. Michigan Wolverines (22-4) – Michigan has had some rough matchups this month and has lost three out of the last five contests. If there’s anything good to be said of these losses, at least they were to ranked teams on the road (Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan State). They’ll be seeing both Indiana and MSU against at home, so this will provide a chance to get some revenge. We like their chances of winning at least one of these two games because the Wolverines have an excellent core croup in Trey Burke (18.2 PPG), Tim Hardaway Jr. (15.5 PPG), Nik Stauskas (12.0 PPG) and Glenn Robinson III (10.9 PPG).

8. Syracuse Orange (21-4) – Big East play has proven pretty tough for Syracuse since they’ve lost three out of the last six games. Don’t expect the Orange to go undefeated the rest of the way since they face Georgetown (twice), 18th-ranked Marquette and 12th-ranked Louisville over the coming weeks. C.J. Fair continues to have an outstanding junior year since he’s averaging 14.0 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.1 SPG and shooting 41.2% from three-point territory.

9. Louisville Cardinals (21-5) – Louisville lost favor with the pollsters after losing three straight Big East games in late January. But they’ve been doing pretty solid this year after winning five out of their past six games. The lone loss was an overtime game to Notre Dame in South Bend. Quality wins during this period include beating Marquette and Pittsburgh. Gorgiu Dieng has been a great all-around player for the Cardinals with 9.4 PPG, 10.3 RPG and 2.6 BPG.

10. Georgetown Hoyas (19-4) – The Hoyas make their first appearance in our power rankings after rattling off seven straight Big East victories. And some of these wins weren’t easy to come by since Georgetown faced Notre Dame, Louisville, Marquette and Cincinnati during this stretch. Sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr. is the star of this team and his contributes 15.3 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 1.8 SPG and 1.0 BPG.

College Basketball Power Rankings for Feb. 8th, 2013

trey-burke-michiganComing up with a number one college basketball team has been extremely challenging this week. After all, most of the top 10 teams lost, so it’s not like one club shined over the others. That said, this week was all about defining potential and considering which teams have the best shot at winning the NCAA tournament. Indiana, Michigan, Duke and Florida have all been very impressive this season, so we narrowly gave the top spot in this week’s power rankings to one of these teams.

1. Michigan Wolverines (21-2) – At this point, some people might be wondering why we’d rank the Wolverines above Indiana following a recent eight-point loss to the Hoosiers. And the reasoning is two-fold: A) this game was on the road, and B) Indiana just lost to an unranked team. This being said, we think Michigan would be slightly better on a neutral court. Plus they looked good in their last game, which saw the Wolverines beat 10th-ranked Ohio State by three points.

2. Indiana Hoosiers (20-3) – Maybe not everybody will agree that the nation’s top two teams reside in the Big-10. However, we strongly think that both of these clubs are headed towards a number one seed when March Madness begins. As alluded to before, the Hoosiers lost to unranked Illinois by two points. But remember that this Fighting Illini team is 16-8 and was playing Indiana at home.

Duke v Miami3. Duke Blue Devils (20-2) – Here’s where things get even trickier. The Blue Devils could make a case for being ranked ahead of Indiana – especially based on their outstanding early season wins. However, it was only January 23rd when Duke lost to the Miami Hurricanes by 27 points. The Blue Devils appear to be righting the ship again though after four straight wins, which includes avenging an earlier loss to NC State. A February 13th home game against long-time rival North Carolina should be quite interesting.

4. Florida Gators (18-3) – Florida was in excellent position to grab the nation’s number one ranking; however, they lost to a decent 14-8 Arkansas team by 11 points. That said, we don’t think the Gators are quite THE top team, but rather at the edge of potential number one tournament seeds. It’ll be interesting to see how far senior guard Kenny Boynton (13.2 PPG) and junior center Patric Young (11.0 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.8 BPG) can lead this team come March.

C.J. Fair,  Lance Storrs5. Syracuse Orange (18-3) – Syracuse has really been up and down over the past few weeks. They grabbed wins over Villanova, Louisville and Cincinnati to close out January; then they followed this up with two straight losses to Villanova and Pittsburgh. However, the Orange bounced back with a dominating 63-47 victory over 25th-ranked Notre Dame. Junior forward C.J. Fair has really stepped up his production (13.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG) this season.

6. Arizona Wildcats (20-2) – The Wildcats jump several spots from last week after winning four straight games. None of their recent victories (USC, Washington, Washington State, Stanford) are extremely impressive, but they are all Pac-10 wins nonetheless. Looking ahead in the schedule, it’s difficult to see Arizona not winning their conference and grabbing at least a number two seed for the tournament.

gary-harris7. Michigan State Spartans (18-4) – Once again, Tom Izzo’s squad is back in the national title picture, despite being in the toughest conference this year. Some of the upcoming Big-10 landmines include Michigan (twice), Indiana, Ohio State and Wisconsin. Assuming Michigan State can win two or three of these games, they should remain in the top 10 throughout this year. Freshman guard Gary Harris has provided a nice spark for the Spartans with his 12.9 PPG, 1.2 SPG and 41.8% from three-point territory.

8. Kansas Jayhawks (19-3) – In our last power rankings, we were fully confident that Kansas was the top team in NCAA basketball. But back to back losses have changed this notion in a big way! First, the Jayhawks lost on the road to a respectable 16-5 Oklahoma State team. Unfortunately, they followed this up with a road loss to the lowly-TCU Horned Frogs (10-12). Coach Bill Self had nothing bad things to say about his team in quipping, “It was the worst team that Kansas ever put on the floor, since Dr. Naismith was there. I think he had some bad teams when he lost to Topeka YMCA and things like that in the first couple years. But for the first half, there hasn’t been a team play worse than that offensively.”

9. Miami Hurricanes (18-3) – An earlier 27-point win over Duke was no fluke – Miami is for real! Now this number nine power ranking isn’t based on the entire season because the Hurricanes have very ugly losses to Florida Gulf Coast and Indiana State (at home). But this Jekyll and Hyde club also has scored victories over Michigan State, North Carolina, Duke, NC State and Maryland. Throw in the fact that they’re 9-0 in the ACC right now, and Miami definitely belongs among the elite teams.

10. Gonzaga Bulldogs (21-2) – When it comes to mid-majors, we like both Gonzaga and Butler. However, with Butler losing to both Saint Louis and La Salle lately, it’s the Zags that crack our top 10 this week. Following their one-point loss on the road to Butler, Gonzaga has responded by winning five straight contests. Sure most of these were fairly easy opponents, but a 20-point win over BYU (18-7) is definitely a quality victory. 7’0″ forward Kelly Olynyk continues to improve his NBA Draft stock with another impressive year at Gonzaga (17.6 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.0 RPG).

College Basketball Power Rankings for Dec. 17th, 2012

While the Duke Blue Devils claimed the top spot in our college basketball power rankings last week, they had yet to wrestle the top ranking away from Indiana in the polls. However, the Hoosiers dropped an overtime game to their instate rivals – the Butler Bulldogs – and they’ve given way to Duke. With the spoilers out of the way, let’s cover NCAA basketball’s top 10 teams.

1. Duke Blue Devils (9-0) – We haven’t seen Duke on the court in a while, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less deserving of the top spot. The Blue Devils have defeated some of the nation’s best teams in Ohio State, Louisville and Kentucky.

2. Michigan Wolverines (11-0) – Michigan has quite a trio in Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Nik Stauskas. These three have helped the Wolverines get off to their best start since the 1988-89 season, when Glen Rice led Michigan to a national title.

3. Syracuse Orange (9-0) – Thanks to Michael Carter-Williams, who’s averaging 10.8 APG, the Orange rank third in both points and assists. Syracuse is also quite good on the other side of the ball since they’re holding opponents to just 56.1 PPG.

4. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1) – OSU is our favorite one-loss team at this point because their only loss involved blowing a second half lead at Duke. Currently they’re dominating teams like Northern Kentucky, UNC-Asheville and Long Beach State while readying for a big game against Kansas next week.

5. Illinois Fighting Illini (12-0) – The pollsters aren’t showing Illinois a lot of respect right now since they’re ranked 10th. However, a big win over previously-unbeaten Gonzaga still has us high on the Illini. They have a huge test coming up against 12th-ranked Missouri.

6. Arizona Wildcats (8-0) – Arizona leap-frogs a few teams after defeating unbeaten Florida in an amazing comeback. The Wildcats were down by 6 points with 55 seconds left, but forced three turnovers and eventually won on a Mark Lyons’ layup.

7. Louisville Cardinals (9-1) – Despite losing starting center Gorgui Dieng to injury, the Cardinals were able to defeat rival Memphis on the road. However, it wasn’t easy since they had to rally from a 16-point deficit. Russ Smith is playing excellent lately as he’s averaging 21.8 PPG over the past four games.

8. Indiana Hoosiers (9-1) – While some might say that Indiana doesn’t deserve to drop from number two to number eight in these power rankings, we just don’t like how the Hoosiers lost to Butler. They were thoroughly outrebounded and outplayed during the loss. But with freshman Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin now eligible to play, things figure to get better for this team.

9. Cincinnati Bearcats (10-0) – The Bearcats remain stagnant in our rankings simply because other teams won some big games and moved up. They have a huge game coming up against crosstown rival Xavier. Can junior shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick (19.3 PPG) lead Cincinnati past the Musketeers?

10. Florida Gators (7-1) – Florida should have moved up to the number two spot; but they couldn’t hold onto a 6-point lead against Arizona with less than a minute to go. It was definitely a pretty bad way to lose a game, and they’ve fallen quite a bit in our power rankings.

College Basketball Power Rankings for Dec. 10th, 2012

With the 2012-2013 NCAA basketball season now several weeks deep, we’ve had an opportunity to see some of the top teams tested. Duke is one squad that’s definitely risen to the occasion after defeating three of the nation’s top teams. And Indiana has done an admirable job of taking care of business and remaining undefeated. So which of these teams is playing the best right now? Let’s take a look….

1. Duke Blue Devils (9-0) – Most people didn’t view Duke as a top title contender entering the season. Sure, they were expected to have another good season and grab a decent tournament seed, but championship….that was left for Indiana and Louisville to contend for. However, the Blue Devils have already beaten Louisville, Kentucky and Ohio State this year, thus giving them our top power rankings spot.

2. Indiana Hoosiers (9-0) – The Hoosiers remain the pollsters’ favorite team since they’ve stayed undefeated – including an 83-59 trouncing of North Carolina. The only thing keeping Indiana from the top spot is the fact that they haven’t beaten as many quality opponents as Duke. C Cody Zeller is having a great sophomore campaign with 15.4 PPG, 8.9 RPG and 1.4 BPG.

3. Florida Gators (7-0) – Entering this year, Billy Donovan worried about his club’s ability to defend opponents. Looking at the results, which see Florida win by an average of 25 PPG, you might just chalk this fear up to Donovan’s perfectionism.

4. Michigan Wolverines (9-0) – While Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. command the national attention here, freshman Nik Stauskas has been just as good averaging 13.7 PPG while shooting 60.5% from behind the arc. Teams have certainly had trouble shutting down all of the Wolverines’ scoring options.

5. Syracuse Orange (8-0) – Michael Carter-Williams has really stepped up his game in 2012 since he’s averaging a nation-best 10.4 APG and a nation-second-best 3.8 SPG. Expect the Orange to be remain undefeated for quite some time since their schedule is pretty soft until Big East play.

6. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-1) – The Buckeyes carried an eight-point lead into the half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. However, they couldn’t hang on and will have to wait until a matchup against Kansas on December 9th to make a national statement. DeShaun Thomas is picking up where he left off from last season in averaging 20.6 PPG and 6.1 RPG.

7. Illinois Fighting Illini (10-0) – Illinois receives a huge boost in our power rankings because they just knocked off previously-unbeaten Gonzaga. Senior Brandon Paul saved his best for his last season by averaging 19.5 PPG – up five PPG from the previous year.

8. Louisville Cardinals (8-1) – The Cardinals were our favorite team to open the season, and they looked every bit the part…..up until a home loss against Duke and an injury to starting center Gorgui Dieng (8.2 PPG, 8.0 RPG). With Dieng out, Louisville’s lineup is certainly weakened.

9. Cincinnati Bearcats (9-0) – The Bearcats are looking very good heading into a game against crosstown rival Xavier. They’ve also become one of the favorites to win the Big East.

10. Arizona Wildcats (7-0) – Arizona may have point guard difficulties at the moment, but they’re hoping that Xavier transfer Mark Lyons can eventually fill the role. A big test is coming up on December 15th when the Wildcats face Florida.