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College Hoops Barometer: Badger Ball

Jesse Siegel

Jesse Siegel

Siegel covers college football, college basketball and minor league baseball for RotoWire. He was named College Sports Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

And then there were none. Wisconsin and Jordan Taylor stormed back against Ohio State on Saturday, handing the Buckeyes their first loss of the season. Home-court advantage proved enough for the Badgers, as Taylor scored 21 points after halftime to give coach Bo Ryan a crisp 150-11 home record during his tenure.

Although OSU fell from the top spot in the rankings, its replacement, Kansas, won't last long at No. 1, as the Jayhawks got steamrolled by Jacob Pullen and hungry Kansas State. Barring an unforeseen stumble, it's possible that three-loss Texas could ascend to the No. 1 spot in the land by next week. The Longhorns are 10-0 in the Big 12, winning every conference contest by at least nine points.

With the undefeateds now in the rearview mirror, let's look at this week's College Hoops Barometer.

UPGRADES

1. John Jenkins, G, Vanderbilt -
Jenkins exploded for a career-high 32 points against Kentucky on Saturday, hitting 11-of-17 from the floor and 6-of-10 from three-point land. The 6-foot-4 sophomore guard has scored in double figures in every game this season and is shooting an impressive 89.3 percent from the free-throw line. Jenkins averages 19.8 points per contest, and has proven that he can really fill it up for the Commodores.

2. Mouphtaou Yarou, F, Villanova -
Yarou has played at least 30 minutes in four of 'Nova's last five contests, after reaching that plateau just twice in the Wildcats' previous 21 games this season. He posted double-digits points in four games, while also notching a double-double against Pitt on Saturday. He also swatted four shots against the Panthers. At 6-10, 250, Yarou has become a vital part of Villanova's interior game at both ends of the floor.

3. Kyle Kuric, G, Louisville -
Kuric is averaging 23.3 points over his last three games, including a career-high 28-point outburst against Notre Dame on Feb. 9. Kuric has canned 12 treys over that span, while also collecting 11 rebounds and dishing out five assists. The 6-4 senior guard is shooting a cool 46.9 percent from three-point land, and 52.6 percent from the field. The sharpshooter spreads the floor for the Cardinals and makes them tough to beat when he's on top of his game.

4. Brandon Paul, G, Illinois -
Paul has been on a tear over his past three contests, averaging 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest. The 6-4 sophomore guard tallied a career-high 23 points against Purdue in the Illini's last contest, hitting 9-of-10 from the free-throw line en route to his best game as a collegian. Paul has been seeing increased minutes recently and has rewarded coach Bruce Weber with arguably the best basketball of his young career.

5. Jeff Allen, F, Virginia Tech -
Allen is managing a double-double this season, with 13.7 points and 10 boards per tilt for the Hokies. Most recently, he has put together six straight double-doubles for the Hokies, including consecutive monstrous performances. On Feb. 5 against B.C., Allen scored 25 points and pulled down 19 rebounds. In his next contest Febr. 13 against Georgia Tech, Allen once again poured in 25 points while grabbing 14 rebounds. The 6-7 senior forward is shooting a career-high 50.2 percent from the field and is the key post presence for the Hokies.

6. Jacob Pullen, G, Kansas State -
Once the Wildcats were lost, but now they are found. Just when it seemed K-State's season was headed down the tubes, Pullen pulled a rabbit out of his hat with a career-high 38 points against newly minted No. 1 Kansas on Monday. Pullen shot 9-for-17 from the floor, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. He also went to the foul line 19 times, nailing 15 of those tries. Pullen contributed three rebounds, five assists, two steals and a swat for the game, as the Wildcats drubbed the Jayhawks, 84-66. With upcoming games against lowly Oklahoma and mediocre Nebraska, Pullen has a chance to string together a couple of excellent games in time to save K-State's season.

Honorable Mention

1. LaceDarius Dunn, G, Baylor
2. Norris Cole, G, Cleveland State
3. Matthew Dellavedova, G, St. Mary's (Calif.)
4. C.J. Aiken, F, St. Joseph's
5. Justin Harper, F, Richmond

DOWNGRADES

1. Chris Singleton, F, Florida State -
Singleton fractured a bone in his right foot Saturday against Virginia and had successful surgery Monday. Arguably the best player on both ends of the court for the Seminoles, Singleton was averaging 13.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, while also tallying 2.1 steals and 1.6 swats per tilt. The 6-9 senior will be tough to replace for a variety of reasons, including as a stat-sheet stuffer as well as a leader.

2. Jon Diebler, G, Ohio State -
Certainly the Buckeyes have no complaints with Diebler's play during their 25-1 start to the season. The problem for fantasy owners lies in his per-game statistics, which have actually decreased as a senior. With William Buford controlling the perimeter and neophyte Jared Sullinger operating on the block, Diebler's opportunities to score and otherwise participate on the stat sheet have been less than consistent. His 11.1 points and 2.3 rebounds per contest are his lowest averages since his freshman campaign in '07-08. A scorer at heart, Diebler has poured in 20 or more points just twice this season. Although as a teammate Diebler has meshed his game seamlessly with his fellow Buckeyes, from a fantasy perspective he has been fairly unreliable.

3. Sean Mosley, G, Maryland -
The Terps have struggled to find a second option behind stud Jordan Williams. Mosley was the second-leading returning scorer behind Williams, but he has failed to live up to expectations this year for Maryland. After averaging 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game as a sophomore, Mosley has regressed to 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 dimes per tilt. He is shooting an anemic 23.1 percent from the three-point arc and just 43.8 percent from the field in total. By comparison, the 6-4 guard shot 50.9 percent from the floor last season, including 38.9 percent from downtown. The lack of depth has made the Terps at best a fringe team for the NCAA Tournament.

4. Terone Johnson, G, Purdue -
Johnson still has plenty of time left to grow, it's just that the freshman hasn't exactly made a huge splash like some other notable frosh around the nation. The 6-2 freshman guard is playing 18.8 minutes per game with averages of 5.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. With the graduations of NBA-bound JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore looming, Johnson could be one of the focal points of the Boilermaker offense next season. For now, however, he's little more than an afterthought.

5. Marshall Moses, F, Oklahoma State -
After stringing together consecutive 30-point games and double-doubles earlier in the season, Moses has scored in double figures in just three of his last six contests. He has just one double-double over the latter span, including one point against Baylor on Jan. 22 and six points against Mizzou on Feb. 6. Moses finally got off the schnide with 18 points against Nebraska on Saturday, but the Cowboys have a horrifically difficult upcoming schedule with Texas, Kansas and Texas A&M over their next three games. In other words, Moses may be largely shut down over the next week or so.

6. Corey Stokes, G, Villanova -
Rarely have toe injuries caused as many headlines as they have this year in college basketball. With Duke's freshman phenom Kyrie Irving still missing time due his own severe toe injury, Stokes has now missed two games in a row due to turf toe. Stokes averages 14.6 points per game and has been shooting career-highs of 42.7 percent from the floor and 93.5 percent from the charity stripe. The injury comes at a bad time for the Wildcats as they lost two straight to Rutgers and Pitt, respectively, before eking out a victory against Seton Hall on Tuesday.