Jeff Borzello, ESPN Staff Writer 13h

Seminoles make Week 1 statement

Men's College Basketball, Florida State Seminoles

There were a few headline-grabbing games from the season's opening week: the two Champions Classic showdowns, Auburn's blowout win over Washington, West Virginia's upset loss at home to Buffalo -- and that's about it.

But one team whose first-week performance flew a bit under the radar was Florida State. While most eyes were focused on the action in Indianapolis last Tuesday, the Seminoles lit up what is expected to be a good Florida team, a Florida team that returns several key pieces from last season's NCAA tournament 6-seed. And Florida State handled the Gators with ease. The Seminoles then went to Tulane in a true road game and beat the Green Wave by 11.

The big early difference between this season's Seminoles and the past few iterations (even the one that reached the Elite Eight last season) has been perimeter shooting. PJ Savoy hit eight in two games, while MJ Walker also buried three 3s. Savoy is seeing a starting role after coming off the bench the last two seasons, and Walker -- a former five-star recruit -- will be a difference-maker.

It's worth noting Florida State will be without Phil Cofer, last season's leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, for another month. Potential showdowns in the Advocare Invitational against LSU and Villanova will be played without him.

1. Duke Blue Devils (2-0)
Previous ranking: 1
This week: vs. Eastern Michigan (Wednesday, 7 p.m.)

Duke's elite freshman trio of R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish combined for 83 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in their first game, and 75 points, 29 rebounds and nine assists in their second. Not a bad debut week.

2. Kansas Jayhawks (1-0)
Previous ranking: 2
This week: Beat Vermont 84-68 on Monday; vs. Louisiana (Friday, 8 p.m., ESPN+)

Devon Dotson could end up as the biggest X-factor in Kansas' quest for a national title this season. He had a terrific debut last week (16 points, three assists), but had some stretches where he made freshman mistakes

3. Gonzaga Bulldogs (2-0)
Previous ranking: 3
This week: vs. Texas A&M (Thursday, 11:30 p.m., ESPN2)

Killian Tillie is still out another several weeks, but San Jose State transfer Brandon Clarke has filled in admirably. He averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds in Gonzaga's two games last week.

4. Nevada Wolf Pack (2-0)
Previous ranking: 4
This week: vs. Little Rock (Friday, 11 p.m., ESPNU)

Because Nevada plays with such a big lineup, it will be worth monitoring the Wolf Pack's perimeter shooting. They made just 8 of 28 3-pointers against BYU, but buried 15 against Pacific on Friday.

5. Virginia Cavaliers (2-0)
Previous ranking: 5
This week: vs. Coppin State (Friday, 7 p.m., ACCNE)

Ty Jerome has been terrific through two games for Virginia, scoring 20 points in each one while also totaling 11 assists in the two games.

6. North Carolina Tar Heels (2-0)
Previous ranking: 6
This week: Beat Stanford 90-72 on Monday; vs. Tennessee Tech (Friday, 7 p.m., ACCNE)

Props to Roy Williams for playing two true road games at mid-major programs to start the season. Nassir Little watch: he played only 20 minutes against Elon but went for 21 points and seven boards.

7. Auburn Tigers (2-0)
Previous ranking: 7
This week: vs. Mississippi College (Wednesday, 8 p.m., SECN+)

The Tigers' Friday night showdown against Washington was supposed to be the game of the weekend, but Auburn ended those thoughts very quickly. Bruce Pearl has another SEC title contender on his hands.

8. Tennessee Volunteers (2-0)
Previous ranking: 8
This week: vs. Georgia Tech (Tuesday, 9 p.m., ESPN2)

Tennessee is ahead of most teams to start the season because of its experienced starting five. The Volunteers have their exact lineup back from last season -- and it's shown in the early going.

9. Villanova Wildcats (2-0)
Previous ranking: 9
This week: vs. Michigan (Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., FS1); vs. Furman (Saturday, 5 p.m., FS2)

Jahvon Quinerly was the most highly touted of the newcomers, but he scored six points in two games last week. Late signee Saddiq Bey has been a pleasant surprise, averaging 12 and 5 last week.

10. Oregon Ducks (2-0)
Previous ranking: 11
This week: vs. Iowa (Thursday, 9:15 p.m., ESPN2); vs. Connecticut or Syracuse (Friday)

As expected, Bol Bol has been dominant his first week in college. After going for 12 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks on Tuesday, he finished with 23 points, 12 boards and four blocks on Friday.

11. Kentucky Wildcats (1-1)
Previous ranking: 10
This week: vs. North Dakota (Wednesday, 9 p.m., SECN), vs. VMI (Sunday, 6 p.m., SECN)

John Calipari is going to take some time to figure out his best lineup, but he took some steps toward that on Friday, increasing Nick Richards' playing time and relying more heavily on Immanuel Quickley and Quade Green.

12. Syracuse Orange (2-0)
Previous ranking: 12
This week: vs. Connecticut (Thursday, 7 p.m., ESPN2); vs. Oregon or Iowa (Friday)

Jim Boeheim hyped up Elijah Hughes in the preseason, and he dropped 21 points on Saturday. A classic old-school Big East battle at Madison Square Garden comes up this week.

13. Virginia Tech Hokies (1-0)
Previous ranking: 13
This week: Ball State (Thursday, 11:30 a.m., ESPN2); Charleston Classic (Friday); Charleston Classic (Sunday)

Nickeil Alexander-Walker's breakout season got underway on Friday, as the sophomore went for 21 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals. He was a five-star prospect coming out of high school.

14. Kansas State Wildcats (1-0)
Previous ranking: 14
This week: Beat Denver 64-56 on Monday; vs. Eastern Kentucky (Friday, 7:30 p.m.); vs. Northern Iowa or Penn (Saturday)

The Wildcats might not be tested by a tourney-caliber team until December, when they travel to Marquette, so they could get off to a hot start and push toward the top 10.

15. Michigan State Spartans (1-1)
Previous ranking: 15
This week: vs. Louisiana-Monroe (Wednesday, 7 p.m.); vs. Tennessee Tech (Sunday, 6 p.m., BTN)

It was an important bounceback effort for Michigan State on Sunday, especially for Nick Ward. He struggled against Kansas, but went for 25 points and 10 boards to get back on track.

16. Florida State Seminoles (2-0)
Previous ranking: 16
This week: No games

PJ Savoy has always been productive in limited minutes, but now that he's taken on a starting role, he's been a consistent scorer. Savoy went 8-for-14 from 3-point range and scored 34 points in two games last week.

Dropped out: None

^ Back to Top ^