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College Basketball Talk Top 25: Gonzaga moves into the No. 1 spot

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At this point, it doesn’t really make sense to have anyone other than Gonzaga sitting in the top spot in the top 25.

Part of it is because they’ve earned it. We’re sitting here the day after the Super Bowl and Gonzaga has yet to lose a game. Yes, they play in the WCC, but they also played a tough non-conference schedule, one that includes wins over Arizona, the Florida team that just beat Kentucky by 22 points, the Iowa State team that just won at Kansas, the Tennessee team that beat Kentucky and, while I know it doesn’t work this way, they beat Washington who beat the Colorado team that has wins over Xavier and Oregon.

Should I mention that 23-point win over Saint Mary’s or no?

Perhaps the most telling part of Gonzaga’s season is that they’ve yet to throw out an awful performance. Kansas blew a 15-point lead at home on Saturday and lost by 16 at West Virginia. Baylor dug themselves a 19-point hole at home against Kansas State and lost by 21 points at West Virginia. Louisville got smoked by Virginia at home. Wisconsin needed a miracle to avoid losing to Rutgers. Villanova blew a 13-point lead to Marquette.

The list goes on and on and on.

Granted, much of that has to do with the fact that the Zags do play in a weaker league. It’s easier to avoid losing to Pacific and Pepperdine than it is Kansas State and Marquette.

If it was going to happen, Thursday night was the prime candidate, as the Zags faced off with a talented BYU team in a building that holds 19,000 fans. And every time BYU made a run, Nigel Williams-Goss, who finished with 33 points, had an answer. That was the other concern about Gonzaga, by the way. Do they have a go-to guy? Do they have a player that can end a run or take over at the end of a game?

The answer seems to be yes.

So while it’s hardly going to be a consensus that Gonzaga is the best team in the country – hell, I’m not even sure that I can buy that – at this point there really is no reason to have them ranked anywhere other than No. 1.

They have just as much right to that spot as anyone.

Onto the rankings …

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1. Gonzaga (24-0, Last Week: No. 2)
2. Villanova (22-2, 3)
3. Kansas (20-3, 1)
4. Louisville (19-4, 5)
5. Baylor (20-3, 4)
6. Oregon (21-3, 12)
7. North Carolina (21-4, 7)
8. Wisconsin (21-3, 10)
9. Arizona (21-3, 6)
10. UCLA (21-3, 11)
11. West Virginia (18-5, 8)
12. Kentucky (18-5, 9)
13. Virginia (17-5, 13)
14. Florida State (20-4, 14)
15. Cincinnati (21-2, 15)
16. Purdue (19-5, 16)
17. Duke (18-5, 17)
18. Saint Mary’s (21-2, 19)
19. South Carolina (19-4, 20)
20. Florida (18-5, 23)
21. Maryland (20-3, 21)
22. SMU (20-4, 25)
23. Notre Dame (17-7, 18)
24. Iowa State (14-8, NR)
t25. Butler, Creighton and Xavier

DROPPED OUT: No. 24 Northwestern
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 24 Iowa State

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.

 

N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

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A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.