Men's Basketball Debuts In Coaches Poll

Dec. 17, 2001

McLEAN, Virg. (Ticker)- They're back.

Gonzaga, one of only three teams along with Duke and Michigan State to reach the Sweet 16 for three straight years, made its debut this season at No. 24 in the latest USA TODAY/ESPN coaches' basketball poll released Sunday night.

The Bulldogs (9-2) are led by preseason West Coast Conference Player of the Year Dan Dickau and posted convincing victories over Washington and Washington State last week to run their winning streak to six games. Their only losses are to ranked foes Illinois and Marquette.

Gonzaga beat the of cross-state Pacific-10 Conference clubs last week, handling Washington 67-47 in Seattle and then returning home to dispose of Washington State 67-44. Gonzaga swept the in-state NCAA Division I schools this season, downing Eastern Washington a week earlier.

Cincinnati (7-1) also enters the rankings for the first time at No. 25. The Bearcats have a seven-game winning streak after defeating crosstown rival Xavier, 75-55, on Friday.

Atlantic Coast Conference rivals Duke (9-0) and Maryland (8-1) hold the top two spots, with the Blue Devils receiving all 31 first-place votes and 775 points from a panel of Division I coaches.

Both teams have tests this week, with Duke facing No. 8 Kentucky (6-1) on Tuesday and Maryland visiting No. 21 Oklahoma (6-1) on Friday.

Florida (7-1), Kansas (8-1) and Virginia (5-0) all moved up a spot and complete the top five. Oklahoma State (9-0) jumped three spots to No. 6.

Illinois (8-2) is up one spot to No. 7 while Missouri and Arizona are ninth and 10th after each dropped a game last week.

The second 10 is led by Boston College (9-0), followed by with Iowa (9-3), Stanford (4-1), Syracuse (9-2) and Marquette (9-0).

Georgetown (8-1) is at No. 16 and is followed by Michigan State (6-3), St. Joseph's (6-1), UCLA (5-2) and Wake Forest (6-2).

Alabama (7-2) checks in at No. 22 and Ball State (6-2) remained No. 23. Indiana dropped out due to a loss at Miami on Saturday while Western Kentucky also fell out despite a 103-40 rout of West Alabama.

USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 Poll

Dec. 16, 2001

First-place votes in parentheses

Rank School Record Points Last Week 1. Duke (31) 9-0 775 1 2. Maryland 8-1 735 2 3. Florida 7-1 690 4 4. Kansas 8-1 674 5 5. Virginia 5-0 617 6 6. Oklahoma State 9-0 571 9 7. Illinois 8-2 552 8 8. Kentucky 6-1 525 10 9. Missouri 9-1 524 3 10. Arizona 5-2 458 7 11. Boston College 9-0 433 11 12. Iowa 9-3 402 15 13. Stanford 4-1 389 13 14. Syracuse 9-1 385 12 15. Marquette 9-0 338 16 16. Georgetown 8-1 316 14 17. Michigan State 6-3 255 19 18. Saint Joseph's 6-1 235 18 19. UCLA 5-2 182 17 20. Wake Forest 6-2 170 20 21. Oklahoma 6-1 154 22 22. Alabama 7-2 116 21 23. Ball State 6-2 98 23 24. Gonzaga 9-2 76 NR 25. Cincinnati 7-1 71 NR

DROPPED OUT: No. 24 Indiana (6-3), No. 25 Western Kentucky (7-2).

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Miami (Fla.) 54, Western Kentucky 47, Butler 44, Connecticut 30, Memphis 24, Southern Illinois 24, Temple 13, Texas 12, Wyoming 12, North Carolina State 11, Indiana 10, Notre Dame 9, Creighton 7, California 5, Mississippi State 5, South Florida 5, Utah State 5, New Mexico 4, West Virginia 4, Fresno State 3, Bowling Green 1, Georgia 1, Louisville 1, Missouri-Kansas City 1, Ohio State 1, Tulsa 1.

The USA TODAY/ESPN Board of Coaches is made up of 31 Division I head coaches, by agreement with the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The 2001-02 voters: Dana Altman, Creighton, Eddie Biedenbach, North Carolina-Asheville, Jim Boeheim, Syracuse, Rickey Broussard, Nicholls State, Barry Collier, Nebraska, Dick Davey, Santa Clara, Fran Dunphy, Pennsylvania, Jessie Evans, Louisiana-Lafayette, Rob Evans, Arizona State, Patrick Flannery, Bucknell, Tom Green, Fairleigh Dickinson, Dan Hipsher, Akron, Bob Huggins, Cincinnati, Gene Keady, Purdue, Jim Kerwin, Western Illinois, Mack McCarthy, Virginia Commonwealth, Bobby McKillop, Davidson, Rick Majerus, Utah, Joe Mihalich, Niagara, Ron Mitchell, Coppin State, Dave Odom, South Carolina, Oliver Purnell, Dayton, Rick Samuels, Eastern Illinois, Joel Sobotka, Portland State, Kirk Speraw, Central Florida, Bob Thomason, Pacific, Perry Watson, Detroit Mercy, Davey Whitney, Alcorn State, Gary Williams, Maryland, Willis Wilson, Rice, Dennis Wolff, Boston University.

 

 

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