The player you should be watching
Anthony Roberson entered the season averaging just under 15 points-per-game in SEC play, and through the first 11 league games of his junior campaign, he has not had a game in which he scored less than that total.
When Matt Walsh went down with an injury, the Gators looked to be in serious trouble, but Roberson kept them afloat by taking over in key spots. He since has adjusted, once Walsh reentered the starting lineup, taking care of business efficiently and effectively, and now the rest of the Gators have to make the leap forward with them if they hope to be a contender in the SEC and on the national scene.
Rocking the Rim
Spotlight on team trends
Some people thought Texas Tech should have been booted from the top 25 following its loss to Iowa State, but the Red Raiders proved they belonged on Monday night with a thrilling win over Kansas.
Bob Knight's teams have a reputation of being well-disciplined and this squad is no exception. Texas Tech specializes in scoring points in bunches, which can be attributed not just to the nation's best 3-point shooting, but also to its ball handing.
The Red Raiders have seven players who average better than an assist per game and have positive assist/turnover ratios, which compares very favorably when stacked against those that others consider to be the nation's best teams.
Players must be averaging at least one assist per game and have made at least 10 3s for the season.
Matchup note of the week
A closer look at key games
Wake Forest hasn't beaten Duke at Cameron Indoor since an 81-69 triumph there on Jan. 12, 1997. The Deacons got a Herculean effort that day from Tim Duncan (26 points, 14 rebounds), held Duke to 33 percent shooting and made seven of their eight 3-point attempts in the second half. There was a time when Wake Forest used to dominate at Cameron. That win capped a run of five straight victories in that building. But since then, the Deacons have been vexed in their attempts to win there, losing seven straight by an average of more than 22 points per game.
In the bonus
A look at some of college basketball's hidden gems
The nation's top thief is as mild-mannered as anyone you're going to meet.
"The thing that stands out to me the most about Obie Trotter," said Alabama A&M head basketball coach Vann Petaway, "is he's a very nice kid."
But if you're on the hardcourt, you better keep your eyes on the basketball, because if you don't, Trotter is going to be the other way with it.
"Getting steals is a big part of winning," said Trotter, a 6-foot-1 junior guard, who has 85 this season -- an average of nearly four per game. "I just try to read the person's eyes, think about what he's going to do next. I was a defensive back playing football in high school (he led his region one season with 12 interceptions) and that has helped me a lot. Off the court, I may be everybody's friend, but when we get out on the floor, I'm going to play hard."
The Bulldogs share the SWAC lead with Alabama State with a 9-3 mark, and are 12-10 overall. Trotter, an all-league selection last season, and this year's preseason player of the year, has been a big reason why. He leads the team in scoring (14.7 points per game) and assists, and ranks second in rebounds. Alabama A&M presses and traps a lot, which lends itself well to Trotter's style of defensive play.
"There's no other player who is responsible for so much," Pettaway said. "He never complains about anything. The only time he missed practice was when I held him out, because he wore himself out. He's the kind of kid who every coach would love. He leads and his teammates follow. I hate that he's a junior because it means that we only have him for one more season."
Mark Simon is a researcher for ESPN's college basketball coverage and "Baseball Tonight."