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College Hoops Barometer: Upgrades, Downgrades

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.

Syracuse maintains a hold on the No. 1 spot in the nation despite continuing allegations from victims in the Bernie Fine scandal. Louisville and Indiana dropped from the ranks of the unbeatens this week, while Baylor and Missouri remaied perfect. The only other undefeated? The Murray State Racers, whose 13-0 mark includes a victory over Memphis.

Who is primed to ring in the New Year in style, and who is looking forward to wiping the slate clean? Let's find out in this Week's College Hoops Barometer.

UPGRADE

Bradley Beal, G, Florida -
Beal has turned in a sensational start to his freshman season, averaging 15.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He is shooting 45.9-percent from the field, including 35.7-percent from beyond the arc. Despite a crowded backcourt with Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton, coach Billy Donovan has employed three-guard sets, using the versatile Beal along with his fellow upperclassmen. Beal has also managed 1.9 dimes and 1.4 steals per tilt, making him an instant contributor for the Gators.

Kevin Jones, F, West Virginia -
It finally appears as though Jones has made the quantum leap to college superstardom. After consecutive seasons averaging about 13.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, Jones has exploded for 21.0 points and 11.9 rebounds per contest through West Virginia's first 12 games this season. The senior is shooting a blistering 56.5-percent from the field, as well as a career-high 70.3-percent from the charity stripe. No longer in the shadows of Da'Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks, Jones is really coming into his own in 2011 for the Mountaineers.

Terrell Stoglin, G, Maryland -
The sophomore has taken his scoring to the next level for the Terps, averaging 21.5 points per contest. He's attempted at least 10 free throws in four of 10 games this season, showing his propensity for getting to the line. The 6-foot-1 Stoglin has also upped his rebounding numbers, managing 3.3 boards per tilt. If Stoglin can learn to distribute more in addition to his scoring output, he could become an elite option for Maryland.

Arnett Moultrie, F, Mississippi State -
The UTEP transfer has shown no signs of rust after sitting out last season, accumulating 17.8 points and 11.7 rebounds for the Bulldogs. He has seven double-doubles in 10 games thus far in 2011. At 6-11, 230, Moultrie has had his way from short range en route to a 57.5-percentage clip from the field. Moultrie is also hitting 88.3-percent from the free-throw line, and he's getting to the stripe six times per game. All in all, Moultrie will be a force to be reckoned with once SEC play begins.

CHECK STATUS

Kendall Williams, G, New Mexico -
Williams has been effective from the moment he stepped on campus at UNM. Nevertheless, he's had some signs of a sophomore slump to begin this year, averaging 3.3 turnovers per game, as well as shooting a mere 34.9-percent from the floor. The 6-3 guard has been even worse from three-point land, connecting on just 24.2-percent of his shots from beyond the arc. Although Williams continues to excel in dishing the rock, as well as in the steals category, he must improve decision-making if he is to make the leap to elite status.

JaMychal Green, F, Alabama -
Green has a lingering right shoulder injury that forced him to miss the Tide's last game against Oklahoma State. Green has been a man among boys when healthy, averaging at least 14.1 points and 7.0 rebounds in each of the last three seasons at Alabama. One of the better-kept secrets in the SEC, Green is shooting a scorching 55.8-percent from the floor thus far this season. When healthy, Green is a double-double threat. Just make sure his shoulder's good to go before using him as you normally would.

Michael Carter-Williams, G, Syracuse -
Carter-Williams is supremely talented, but the 'Cuse is the No. 1-ranked team and has dynamic guards in Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche. As he becomes more seasoned, the freshman should be able to increase his minutes. However, for now he is managing 3.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Shot selection remains a concern, as the neophyte is shooting just 33.3-percent from the floor to begin his collegiate career.

Mike Rosario, G, Florida -
The sharpshooting transfer from Rutgers has missed Florida's last two games due to a back strain. The Gators have a bevy of guards with Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker and the above-referenced Bradley Beal, so Rosario could get lost in the shuffle. After averaging more than 16 points per game in two seasons for the Scarlet Knights, Rosario has managed just 9.4 points per game in limited playing time for UF. Still, should injuries strike the starters, Rosario is more than capable of filling the void.

DOWNGRADE

Alex Oriakhi, F-C, Connecticut -
Freshman Andre Drummond has slowly taken away the starting center job from Oriakhi. That leaves the 6-9 junior fighting for rebounds - and playing time - with Roscoe Smith, Tyler Olander and DeAndre Daniels. As a result, Oriakhi is playing just 20.1 minutes per game en route to 7.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per tilt. Not surprisingly, his numbers are down across the board just one year removed from being the focal point of the UConn frontcourt during its championship run.

Mike Bruesewitz, F, Wisconsin -
A high-motor player who can hit the occasional trey, Bruesewitz was expected to play a big role for the Badgers this season, particularly with the departure of Jon Leuer. Instead, Bo Ryan's defense-first, ball-control mantra has allowed the 6-6 junior only slight bumps in points and rebounding. The emergence of Jared Bergren and Ryan Evans has also limited Bruesewitz's impact. With limited upside in the athleticism department, Bruesewitz might not be as pivotal to the frontcourt success of Wisconsin as previously thought.

Quinn Cook, G, Duke -
The Blue Devils are guard-heavy this season, including freshman sensation Austin Rivers. With Andre Dawkins and Seth Curry also in the mix, that leaves little room for Cook. A highly-touted freshman in his own right, the 6-0 Cook averages just 9.5 minutes per game en route to a 4.1 point per game average. Cook still has a bright future but will likely not have much impact this season barring injury.

Crandall Head, G, Illinois -
The brother of Luther Head, Crandall has decided to transfer from Illinois. The slashing sophomore has not seen the court that much this year, averaging just 9.2 minutes per game. He barely played as a freshman, and limited shooting prowess has affected his ability to see the floor for the Illini. Joseph Bertrand is likely to see a slight uptick in minutes behind starters Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson as a result of Head's departure.

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