Vol. 56, No. 1 November 2018 .pdf version
INSIDE THIS ISSUE ...
David Teel: Seating is our greatest issue
Joe Mitch: Dunphy epitomizes Dean Smith ideals
USBWA mourns passing of O'Connell, Guback
King, Theisen win Guback scholarships
Quinn a big winner in writing contest
Kansas, Notre Dame are preseason favorites

Kansas, Barrett head men's rankings

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Kansas and Duke freshman R.J. Barrett are favored to take home top honors this season, according to the USBWA's annual preseason poll.

The Jayhawks edged out Kentucky which received more first-place votes than Kansas by just four votes for first place. Kansas received five of a possible 14 first-place votes, to Kentucky's six and Gonzaga's three.

Barrett is the preseason favorite in a wideopen field for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, given to the nation's top player. Barrett received five votes. Purdue's Carsen Edwards received four, Kansas' Dedric Lawson three and Gonzaga's Rui Hachimura two.

Barrett also is the favorite for the Wayman Tisdale Award, given to the nation's top freshman. He received 12 votes, to two for teammate Zion Williamson.

Rounding out the top 25 are: Gonzaga, Duke, Tennessee, Virginia, Nevada, North Carolina, Villanova, Auburn, Michigan State, Kansas State and Syracuse in a tie for 12th, West Virginia, Oregon, Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Florida State, Michigan, Clemson, LSU and Purdue in a tie for 21st, UCLA, TCU and Marquette.

Men's Preseason Top 25
1. Kansas (5), 336
2. Kentucky (6), 332
3. Gonzaga (3), 320
4. Duke, 311
5. Tennessee, 284
6. Virginia, 262
7. Nevada, 259
8. North Carolina, 248
9. Villanova, 229
10. Auburn, 217
11. Michigan State, 206
t12. Kansas State, 166
t12. Syracuse, 166
14. West Virginia, 159
15. Oregon, 150
16. Virginia Tech, 123
17. Mississippi State, 107
18. Florida State, 95
19. Michigan, 80
20. Clemson, 63
t21. LSU, 59
t21. Purdue, 59
23. UCLA, 47
24. TCU, 45
25. Marquette, 39

Others receiving votes: Washington 34, Indiana 33, Loyola (Ill.) 23, Nebraska 11, Cincinnati 7, Iowa State 7, Texas Tech 6, Maryland 6, NC State 4, BYU 2, Central Florida 2, Xavier 2, Alabama 1, Marshall 1, St. John's 1, Texas 1.

Notre Dame assumes women's No. 1 ranking

A year ago, the odds were quite long that Notre Dame would be celebrating its second NCAA women's basketball championship.

The Irish started out with a key roster subtraction caused by injury to Brianna Turner, while several more knee injuries elicited more serious depletions to Muffet McGraw's squad.

But Notre Dame kept swinging back at adversity, reaching the Women's Final Four. On successive last-second shots from Arike Ogunbowale, the Irish took down an unbeaten Connecticut bunch, in a painful repeat semifinals loss for the Huskies, and then Mississippi State to put a stamp on the greatest championship weekend in NCAA women's history.

With nine veterans back, the Irish enter this season occupying a spot that UConn has monopolized for nearly a decade.

Connecticut's dip was affected by Azura Stevens' departure to the WNBA. But with players like Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier, perhaps there's a chance to continue business as usual. Louisville still has Asia Durr heading a talented roster, and Oregon is capable of taking the next step with a dynamic shooting star in Sabrina Ionescu.

Baylor is a perennial power, and Maryland is more experienced. One of the storylines will be how Minnesota fares under new coach and recently retired WNBA All-Timer Lindsay Whalen.

Here's your USBWA Top 25, plus a few.

Women's Preseason Top 25
1. Notre Dame
2. Oregon
3. Connecticut
4. Baylor
5. Louisville
6. Mississippi State
7. Maryland
8. South Carolina
9. Stanford
10. Tennessee
11. Texas
12. Oregon State
13. Iowa
14. DePaul
15. Missouri
16. Texas A&M
17. Duke
18. NC State
19. USF
20. Georgia
21. California
22. Miami
23. Syracuse
24. UCLA
25. Arizona State

Others Considered: Marquette, Quinnipiac, Central Michigan, Duquesne, Buffalo, Rutgers.

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