Re-ranking the 2010 recruiting class

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July’s live recruiting period, the last of its kind, just finished up, meaning that the Class of 2019 have fully had a chance to prove themselves to the recruiters and the recruitniks around the country.

Scholarships were earned and rankings were justified over the course of those three weekends, but scholarship offers and rankings don’t always tell us who the best players in a given class will end up being.

Ask Steph Curry.

Over the course of the coming weeks, we will be re-ranking eight recruiting classes, from 2007-2014, based on what they have done throughout their post-high school career. 

Here are the 25 best players from the Class of 2010, with their final Rivals Top 150 ranking in parentheses:

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1. Kyrie Irving (4)

Just like it was in college, injuries have been an issue for Irving in the pros, but still by the age of 26 he’s got one NBA title, five All-Star appearances and one All-NBA team appearance. Given all that, he deserves the top spot here despite playing more than 60 games in a regular season just three times thus far in his career. Now out of Cleveland and without LeBron James, Irving has a chance to enhance his legacy with perhaps the league’s premier young team.

2. Doug McDermott (UR)

The criteria here is “post-high school career” so McDermott lands here less because he was a lottery pick and has been a solid rotation player throughout his four-year NBA career, but because he was an absolute monster in four years at Creighton. He is fifth all-time in NCAA career scoring and owns the record for double-digit scoring games with 135 while winning National Player of the Year as a senior. Not bad for a kid who played in Harrison Barnes’ shadow in high school and was slated to attend Northern Iowa before his dad left Iowa State for the Bluejays right before his collegiate career started.

3. Victor Oladipo (144)

After putting up good numbers for a bad team in Orlando, Oladipo suddenly becoming the centerpiece of a trade that sent him and Domantis Sabonis from Oklahoma City to Indiana, where Oladipo had a breakthrough season last year. He was first-team all-defense and a third-team All-NBA selection – while making north of $21 million. Cody Zeller may have been the headliner when they were both in Bloomington, but Oladipo has blossomed into perhaps best player from Tom Crean’s Indiana teams.

4. Enes Kanter (3)

Kanter never got to play for Kentucky thanks to an NCAA eligibility ruling, but the Turkish big man has backed up his recruiting ranking as a durable and productive big man at multiple stops across the league. In seven seasons he’s averaged 11.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, and has twice averaged a double-double for a season. He’s made about $73 million over his career as well.

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5. Tristan Thompson (17)

Thompson is the second player on this list who owes a great deal of his professional success to LeBron James, but is the first to be connected to a Kardashian sister. The 6-foot-9 center has spent his entire career in Cleveland and was a big part – as much as one can be with Kyrie and LeBron on the team – of the Cavs’ 2016 title. Thompson’s career numbers aren’t huge – 9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game – but he’s been a major contributor on four-straight Finals team.

6. Harrison Barnes (2)

Barnes is often maligned for what he can’t do, which might have a little bit to do with the fact he came up with one of the best teams to ever be assembled. He was often the focal point of criticism on a team that won a title and then 73 regular-season games before he was tossed overboard to make room for Kevin Durant. The lifeboat, however, was a nearly $100 million contract with Dallas. He’s averaged 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists over his career.

7. Tobias Harris (7)

It took Harris until his fourth season to establish himself, but the 6-foot-9 small forward has turned into a reliable scorer with six-straight seasons of averaging at least 14.6 points. The Tennessee product is yet to find himself in a winning situation in his NBA career, but as his 3-point shooting has improved, he’s proved to be a difference-maker.

8. Gorgui Dieng (44)

After winning the 2013 NCAA national championship at Louisville (despite what the NCAA history books say), Dieng was drafted 21st overall in the draft that summer. He became a full-time starter for the Timberwolves before coming off the bench last season. He’s averaged 8.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for his career and has three years left on the $64 million deal he signed with the Wolves in 2016.

9. Brandon Knight (6)

Knight had a breakthrough season in 2015-16 when he averaged nearly 20 points per game after Phoenix gave him a $70 million contract, but struggled in 2016-17 before a torn ACL cost him last season. He’s averaged 15.2 points per game for his career and will enter this season as the Suns’ starter at point guard.

10. Terrence Ross (48)

The 6-foot-7 Washington forward established himself as a big part of Toronto’s ascendency in the Eastern Conference before being shipped to Orlando in the Serge Ibaka trade. A broken leg derailed his season with the Magic last year, but the 27-year-old former top-10 draft pick has proven himself as both a capable starter and rotation player.

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11. Shabazz Napier (98)

After averaging 18 points per game and leading UConn to the 2014 national title, Napier won the distinction of LeBron James’ “favorite player” that led the Heat to trade up to take him in the first round of the draft. LeBron returned to Cleveland a month later. But still, Napier has a national title on his resume and found himself a growing part of the Portland rotation a year ago.

12. Will Barton (11)

Barton left Memphis after just two seasons and was a second-round pick in 2012, but has found a spot for himself in Denver, where he just signed a four-year deal worth more than $50 million. Barton struggled to get much run in Portland in his first two-plus seasons in the league, but has since become a strong rotational guy for the Nuggets, averaging 15.7 points per gmae last season.

13. Tim Hardaway, Jr. (UR)

It’s a bit amazing the son of the Killer Crossover was unranked on his way to Michigan, where he starred for three years and played in a national championship game, but that hasn’t stopped him from putting together a strong pro career. He’s averaged double-figures in four of his five NBA seasons and looks to be a part of the Knicks’ core for the next few seasons.

14. Tony Snell (UR)

After three years at New Mexico, Snell was the 20th overall pick by the Bulls in the 2013 draft. He was a part-time starter for Chicago for three years before being traded up Interstate 94 to Milwaukee, where he’s started 139 games over two seasons. He’ll make about $34 million over the next three seasons with the Bucks.

15. Dion Waiters (29)

As much as it is to laugh at a guy who has a listed nickname of “Kobe Wade” on Basketball Reference, while never averaging more than 16 points per game or shot better than 43 percent from the floor in a season, Waiters has produced – to varying degrees – over seven seasons. A broken ankle ended his season with the Heat last year after he started in the team’s first 30 games.

16. Cory Joseph (8)

The Toronto native and University of Texas product has turned into something of an iron man the last few years, playing in in 79 games or more in the last four seasons, including all 82 last year for the Raptors. He’s not a star, but as a solid defensive rebounder, Joseph has found his place in the NBA.

17. Jeremy Lamb (76)

The UConn product had a breakout year last season, averaging a career-best 12.9 points while shooting a career-high 37 percent from 3-point range. He’ll open the season with the Hornets, his fourth in Charlotte, before becoming a free agent after the year.

18. Jared Sullinger (5)

The former Ohio State big man hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2016-17 season, but he had a nice three-year run with the Celtics in which he averaged double figures in scoring and at least 7.6 rebounds per game. Sullinger, a two-time first-team All-American with the Buckeyes, was one of the NBA’s top rebounders in 2013-14, but conditioning issues, along with injuries, knocked him out of the league.

19. Allen Crabbe (69)

Crabbe was a full-time starter last season for the first time in his career, and the former Cal Bear averaged career-highs of 13.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He’s an $18.5 million player the next two season for the Nets.

20. Meyers Leonard (31)

Leonard left Illinois after a stellar sophomore season in Champaign, and has spent his six NBA seasons as a role player in Portland, where he’s under contract for one more season. The 7-foot-1 center’s best season came in 2015-16 when he put up 8.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game, all career bests.

21. Andre Roberson (UR)

The 6-foot-7 wing has never put up much in the way of offensive production – he’s a career 25.7 percent 3-point shooter and has averaged 4.6 points in per game in 295 carer games – but he was a critical defensive player for some really good Oklahoma City teams over the years and was one blown 3-1 lead in 2016 away from maybe getting a ring.

22. Reggie Bullock (10)

Bullock has spent the bulk of his career trying to crack rotations in Phoenix, L.A. and Detroit, but finally found success last year with the Pistons. He averaged 27.9 minutes per game last season, averaging 11.3 points per game while shooting 44.5 percent from 3-point range.

23. Tarik Black (54)

Black transfered to Kansas for his senior season after three years in Memphis, and was a role player for the Jayhawks. Since, he stuck around in the NBA for five seasons, including last year with the Western Conference’s top seed, Houston.

24. Joe Harris (119)

Harris has stuck in the NBA the hard way with years in the NBDL before finally catching on with Cleveland and later Brooklyn. The former Virginia Cavalier put up 10.8 points per game last season for the Nets.

25. Jerian Grant (105)

The former Notre Dame standout found a spot for himself with Chicago during its rebuild of the last two years, averaging 22.8 minutes per game last season. He was traded to Orlando this offseaseason.

(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

FIVE NOTABLES THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE TOP 25

Josh Selby (1)

After an unspectacular freshman season with Kansas, Selby declared for the draft and went 49th overall. He played in 38 career games over two season – both with Memphis before washing out of the league. His overseas career has taken him to China, Israel, Turkey and Croatia. He’s often cited as a victim of the one-and-done era.

Perry Jones (9)

Jones could have been a lottery pick had he left Baylor after his freshman season, but slid to 28th after a lackluster sophomore season. He last played in the NBA in 2014-15 after three years as a bench player for Memphis.

Aaron Craft (111)

Most recently spotted with the Ohio State alumni team in TBT, Craft became one of college basketball’s most high profile players in his four years with the Buckeyes, but never appeared in an NBA game.

Josh Huestis (UR)

The Stanford grad found his niche in the NBA with Oklahoma City, where he started a handful of games last season after being relegated to the DLeague and bench in his first two years.

Russ Smith (UR)

Russdiculous won the 2013 national championship with Louisville, but only managed two seasons in the NBA in which he played sparingly. He spent the last two years playing in China.

Flagler, No. 6 Baylor rally late, top No. 14 Gonzaga 64-63

Baylor vs. Gonzaga
USA Today
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — In a rematch of the 2021 national championship game, Adam Flagler hit a pair of 3s as No. 6 Baylor scored the final eight points to rally past No. 14 Gonzaga 64-63 Friday night.

Gonzaga’s Rasir Bolton missed a wild, driving layup try at the buzzer.

Two seasons ago, Baylor beat the then-undefeated Zags 86-70 to win its first title. This time, the Bears didn’t take the lead for good until Jalen Bridges made two free throws with 16 seconds left.

“Adam is a great leader, but no one knew he wasn’t feeling well today,” Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. “To be honest, some players wouldn’t have played. He played through the pain and left it all out on the court. As a coach, I appreciate that.”

The Bears (6-2) trailed 63-56 before Flagler hit a 3-pointer with 1:33 left. Flagler’s 3 with just over a minute to play cut Baylor’s deficit to 63-62.

After a Gonzaga shot clock violation, Flagler’s 3-point attempt for the lead was off the mark, but Bridges was fouled by Drew Timme on the rebound attempt. Bridges hit two foul shots to put Baylor ahead.

The Zags (5-3) had a final chance when Bolton caught an inbounds pass near his own foul line with 4.6 seconds remaining. He drove the lane, but his off-balance shot went high off the glass and missed as the buzzer sounded.

“We took two balls down hill and tried to make plays at the rim. At that point in the game, those are tough,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. “It’s very disappointing. They made plays, man.”

Freshman Keyonte George had 18 points and seven rebounds for Baylor. Flagler had 11 points and Langston Love added 10.

“I trust my work. I was able to knock them down,” George said. “My teammates believe in me each and every day. They give me that confidence in a big game to make big shots like that.”

Malchi Smith scored 16 points for Gonzaga. Anton Watson added a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Timme had nine points.

Baylor led by as many as 12 in the first half before Gonzaga closed to five at the break.

Watson’s basket put Gonzaga ahead 41-40. From there, the teams swapped leads over the next 13 minutes as the second half featured two ties and 14 lead changes.

A thunderous dunk from Smith gave Gonzaga its seven-point lead with under two minutes to go.

BIG PICTURE

Baylor: The win was a big rebound for Baylor after its 26-point loss to Marquette earlier in the week. The loss was the Bears’ most lopsided since they fell to Kansas 82-56 in 2007

Gonzaga: After opening the season ranked No. 2 in the AP preseason poll, the Zags have now lost two of three.

STAR WATCH

Timme began the night leading the Bulldogs in scoring at 20 points per game. He was hampered by foul trouble against Baylor and got his first field goal with six minutes remaining. He fouled out with 16 seconds to play.

REMATCH PLAYERS

Four players on the floor Friday night had significant minutes in the championship game two years ago including Flagler, Timme and Watson, along with Baylor’s Flo Thamba.

UP NEXT

Baylor: The Bears return home to host Tarleton on Tuesday before playing Washington State on Sunday in Dallas for the Pac 12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge.

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs return to Spokane for three straight beginning Monday when they face Kent State for the first time in school history.

Carr scores 19, No. 2 Texas beats No. 7 Creighton 72-67

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AUSTIN, Texas – Texas had pressured Creighton’s shooters into a miserable night, only to watch a late flurry of 3-pointers start swishing.

An 11-point Longhorns lead was down to three.

That hardly rattled Marcus Carr and the second-ranked Longhorns, who stepped up with big late shots of their own and steady free-throw shooting to secure another impressive early-season victory, 72-67 over the seventh-ranked Bluejays on Thursday night.

Carr scored 19 points and made two free throws with 10 seconds left as Texas held off Creighton’s furious late-game rally.

Creighton struggled through a wretched 3-point shooting night, but pulled within 62-59 thanks in part to five points in a row by Baylor Scheierman. Carr’s baseline jumper and an easy layup by Tyrese Hunter when Creighton lost him on an inbound pass with 46 seconds left stretched the Longhorns’ lead again.

That didn’t quite close the door on Creighton, which got two more 3-pointers from Scheierman, who had missed his first nine attempts. That forced Texas to finish it from the free-throw line behind Carr and Brock Cunningham. Cunningham’s two free throws with 4 seconds left were his only points of the game.

“There’s going to be a bunch of times one of us has to go down there and knock down a bunch of free throws,” Carr said. “We talk about it all the time.”

The matchup was part of the Big 12-Big East Battle and Texas earned its second win over a top-10 opponent in its new arena. The Longhorns (6-0) beat then-No. 2 Gonzaga on Nov. 16 and have their highest ranking since they were No. 1 during the 2009-2010 season.

“I don’t think we’ve proven anything,” Texas coach Chris Beard said. “We’re just a team that’s trying to get better.”

Hunter scored 15 points for Texas.

Ryan Kalkbrenner had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Creighton (6-2), and Ryan Nembhard scored 17 points. The Bluejays were 4 of 27 on 3-pointers.

Scheierman, a 44% shooter from beyond the arc this season, made three 3s in a row late. His off-balance shot from the right corner over a defender pulled the Bluejays within 68-65 with 11.4 seconds left.

Scheierman finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

“The reality is you are gonna have nights,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “It just happens. We don’t ever want him to stop shooting.”

BIG PICTURE

Creighton: Kalkbrenner was all but unstoppable on a 9-of-10 shooting night for the Bluejays, who kept launching from long range instead of looking for their 7-foot-1 center.

Texas: The Longhorns couldn’t force their usual numbers of turnovers and fast-break points, but were exceptionally clean with the ball on offense. Texas had just three turnovers that Creighton turned into three points.

FORMER TEAMMATES

Texas senior forward Christian Bishop played three seasons at Creighton before transferring prior to last season. He finished with six points and four rebounds in 16 minutes.

“We understood what this game was, not just for our team but for Christian,” Carr said.

TIRED TEAM

McDermott suggested his team maybe just wore out. The Bluejays went 2-1 in the Maui Invitational last week and then played their first game of the season on an opponent’s home court.

“Three games in three days against ranked teams (in Hawaii) and then to come in here,” McDermott said. “That’s a lot to ask of my team.”

UP NEXT

Creighton hosts in-state rival Nebraska on Sunday.

Texas plays No. 16 Illinois in New York City on Dec. 6 in the Jimmy V Classic.

No. 20 Maryland upsets No. 7 Notre Dame at the buzzer, 74-72

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Diamond Miller scored 31 points, including the game-winner at the buzzer, to lead No. 20 Maryland to a 74-72 victory over seventh-ranked Notre Dame on Thursday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Irish guard Sonia Cintron’s layup had tied the game with 15 seconds left off before Maryland held for the last shot. Miller hit a contested mid-range jumper just before time expired to give the Terrapins a victory over a top-10 opponent. It was the 15th lead change of the game.

Miller also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with five assists. Shyanne Sellers added 17 points.

Maryland (7-2) picked up its first win over Notre Dame (6-1) since 2007.

Cintron’s double-double led the Irish with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Notre Dame’s leading scorer Olivia Miles got off to a slow start on Thursday due to foul trouble. She scored 12 of her 14 points in the final 15 minutes of the game to go along with seven assists and two steals.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terrapins picked up their second top-20 win of the season ahead of the upcoming Big Ten opener.

Notre Dame: The Irish have had issues with foul trouble this season, a problem that persisted on Thursday. Miles played just 25 minutes, including the majority of the fourth quarter, due to picking up her fourth foul late in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Maryland: Returns to College Park for the program’s Big Ten opener Sunday against Nebraska.

Notre Dame: Stays home to host No. 3 UConn Sunday.

Virginia’s depth helping its rapid climb in the AP Top 25

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The starting five is the same, but that is where comparisons between the Virginia team that has climbed to No. 3 in the AP Top 25 and last year’s NIT quarterfinalists ends.

Yes, one more year together and a trip to Italy has made the first five significantly better, but part of the credit for that surely goes to another group: the reinforcements. They’ve helped the Cavaliers (6-0) already knock off No. 6 Baylor, No. 16 Illinois and Michigan.

Virginia has scored 70 points or more in its first six game for the first time since the 2003-04 season, and coach Tony Bennett said it was the offense – and not UVA’s signature relentless defense – that saved them in a 70-68 victory this week at Michigan in the ACC/Bg Ten Challenge.

“Our offense kind of kept us in it in the first half,” Bennett said, before the team put it all together, erasing an 11-point halftime deficit to disappoint a raucous Wolverines crowd.

Reece Beekman was the offensive catalyst, scoring 15 of his 18 points before halftime, but four others joined him in double figures, including Jayden Gardner. His foul-line jumper with 39.9 seconds left provided the last of his 11 points, and the winning margin.

Gardner, who led Virginia in scoring last season (15.3 ppg), is averaging 11.5 this year.

“We’ve got a lot of capable scorers and we’re just gonna keep playing together. And we’re playing very unselfish basketball right now,” Gardner said after scoring 24 against Maryland Eastern Shore. He went into the game with 31 points through four games.

“He’s not the most jumping type of guy, but he’s got so much power,” Hawks coach Jason Crafton said of Gardner, an East Carolina transfer with 2,068 career points. “That low center of gravity and the flexibility that he has to be able to get under people and hold his position is elite. When he wants the ball at a certain spot, he can get it there.”

The leader remains guard Kihei Clark, who already has a place in Virginia history, having retrieved a loose ball and fed Mamadi Diakite for a jumper that sent the Cavs’ Elite Eight game against Purdue into overtime on the way to winning the 2019 national championship.

Newcomers Ben Vander Plas, a transfer from Ohio, and freshman Isaac McKneely have given Bennett more options, and more scoring power than a year ago.

As a junior, Vander Plas had 17 points for No. 13 seed Ohio when the Bobcats upset Virginia 62-58 in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

He scored seven straight in the second half against the Wolverines, twice scoring inside and then swishing a 3-pointer while trying to slow down bruising big man Hunter Dickinson.

“Ben, yeah. Just his poise and composure in the post, took advantage of some mismatches and he really gave us a great lift,” Bennett said. Vander Plas is the son of a teammate of Bennett’s at Green Bay, and his first name is a tribute to Bennett’s father, Dick.

McKneely scored 15 and made 4 of 6 3-point tries in an 89-42 victory against Monmouth

“He was standing in front of our bench. I’m like, `Listen, we’re not helping off him,”‘ Monmouth coach King Rice said he told his team, pointing at McKneely, a two-time player of the year in West Virginia. “And he kind of looked at me and I said, `Yeah, you, because you make all of them,’ and he started laughing.”

Ryan Dunn also made quite the impression on Rice in his first collegiate appearance, scoring 13 points with six rebounds and three blocks in almost 27 minutes.

“I was in the building when De’Andre Hunter came off the bench and had a breakout game,” Rice said of Hunter, now with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. “Dunn reminds me a lot of Hunter, and you can tell he’s young. But when he grows into that body with that skill set, he’ll be giving people problems for a long, long time.”

The Cavaliers open Atlantic Coast Conference play against Florida State, then host top-ranked Houston, which beat them 67-47 last season, a week later.

“A good schedule for sure and it tests you, it kind of shows you, win or lose, you see where you’ve got some holes,” Bennett said.

So far, the Cavaliers have been able to fill them all.

No. 4 Arizona turning heads early in the season

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David Cruz/USA TODAY Sports
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TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd knew there was talent on his roster. He wasn’t exactly sure how good the team would be.

The former longtime Gonzaga assistant had a similar view of last year’s team and that one turned out to be pretty good, running all the way to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

This year’s team could end up being even better.

Buoyed by transfers and improved returning players, Arizona has rolled through the early part of its schedule, climbing to No. 4 in this week’s AP Top 25 after winning the Maui Invitational.

“I learned that we’re good,” Lloyd said. “We’re tough. We’re gritty. I think there’s going to be some great things for us to really double down on and some things to show our guys where we went the wrong way.”

Lloyd had a superb first season in the desert, earning coach of the year honors last season with a team that lost three players to the NBA.

The Wildcats (6-0) had to replace three NBA players again this season. Again, they made a seamless transition.

Improvement on the part of the returning players has been a big part of it.

Oumar Ballo, considered a project as a freshman at Gonzaga, has transformed into one of the nation’s best big men. The 7-foot, 260-pound center from Mali has vastly improved his footwork and developed patience in the post, setting himself up for good shots instead of trying to bull his way to the basket.

Ballo is averaging 19 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 76.7% from the field, fourth-best nationally. He was named Maui Invitational MVP after finishing with 30 points and 13 rebounds against No. 7 Creighton in the title game.

Not bad for a player who averaged 2.5 points and 6.3 minutes per game two years ago at Gonzaga.

“When he struggled, I still believed in him,” Lloyd said. “I didn’t need for him to be instantly successful for me to reaffirm my belief in him. When he struggled, we continued to love him and work with him and then he continued to hang in there and I think it is a great story.”

Fellow big man Azuolas Tubelis has made a few strides of his own, adding strength and toughness to his athletic, fluid game. The 6-10 forward leads Arizona with 19.3 points per game while grabbing 8.0 rebounds.

Fiery point guard Kerr Kriisa has rounded into a reliable floor leader, averaging 15.3 points and 7.5 assists while shooting 51% from the 3-point arc.

“I don’t pay attention to the antics because they don’t mean anything to me,” Lloyd said. “I know maybe that draws attention to him from other people but when it comes to just pure basketball, I mean he is doing a good job and I think he is really showing something.”

So is Courtney Ramey.

The Texas transfer has given the Wildcats a huge boost in his first season in Tucson, providing hounding defense, leadership and another scoring option. He’s averaging 16 points per game and has hit 10 of 16 from 3-point range so far this season.

Campbell transfer Cedric Henderson Jr. has provided an athletic lift off the bench and 7-foot Estonian Henri Veesaar has given Arizona solid minutes.

The mix of new and old has helped Arizona lead the nation with 97.5 points a game and rank second with 21.8 assists per game. The Wildcats climbed 10 spots in this week’s poll after wins over Cincinnati, No. 24 San Diego State and Creighton.

Arizona opens Pac-12 play Thursday at Utah.

“It was good to get the recognition, but we’re not satisfied,” Ramey said. “Our ultimate goal is to be No. 1 at the end of the season and be the final two teams playing, so I think the regular season matters but it’s not the ultimate goal for us.”

The Wildcats are certainly off to a good start.