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College Hoops Barometer: Not So Cool

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.

The Arizona Wildcats look like they're going to be tough to beat come tournament time. The Wildcats are now the No. 1 team in the nation. Arizona appears to be a complete squad, with combo guard Nick Johnson as the leader, Duquesne transfer T.J. McConnell running the point, freshman sensation Aaron Gordon pulling off highlight-reel dunks and big man Kaleb Tarczewski providing toughness in the post. Brandon Ashley has also been a pleasant surprise in the frontcourt, shooting an impressive 61 percent from the floor en route to 12.3 points per contest, while also grabbing 6.6 rebounds per game. With athletes all over the floor, the Wildcats should cruise through the Pac-12 and be one of the favorites to take home the NCAA crown come March Madness.

Next up, let's break out this week's "Four on the Hardwood Floor:"

1. Players not getting enough pub: Chaz Williams (Massachusetts), Juvonte Reddic (Virginia Commonwealth), Derrick Marks (Boise State), Tyler Haws (BYU), K.J. McDaniels (Clemson), Perry Ellis (Kansas).

2. Players who have not lived up to their potential this season: Andrew Harrison, (Kentucky), LeBryan Nash (Oklahoma State), Josh Smith (Georgetown), Isaiah Austin (Baylor).

3. Five best seniors from big conferences: Doug McDermott (Creighton), Adreian Payne (Michigan State), Russ Smith (Louisville), Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati), C.J. Fair (Syracuse).

4. Five teams flying under the radar that could do damage in March: George Washington, Oregon, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Harvard.

Let's take a look at the rest of the roundball scene in this edition of the College Hoops Barometer.

UPGRADE

Sam Dower, C, Gonzaga -
Last year, it was Kelly Olynyk who came out of nowhere to capture the nation's attention with the 'Zags. Dower is not getting nearly as much fanfare as Olynyk did last season, but has still been extremely effective in the post. The 6-foot-9 senior averages 14.9 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. By contrast, Dower managed just 6.9 points and 2.7 rebounds playing in Olynyk's shadow last season. He had a 17-rebound performance in the season-opener against Bryant and has scored at least 18 points in four of his last six contests. Seeing significant minutes for the first time in his career, and with superb guards in Kevin Pangos and David Stockton putting him in excellent position to succeed, Dower should shine for the Zags during his final season in Spokane.

DaVonte Lacy, G, Washington State -
The Cougars are struggling to begin the season, but Lacy has still been lighting it up. The junior guard averages 21.4 points per game. He is most dangerous from beyond the arc. He is shooting an outrageous 9.4 three-pointers per game; however, he is hitting 42.7 percent of those shots from downtown. Lacy is also managing 3.9 boards, 1.9 dimes and 1.5 steals per contest. It could be a rough year for Wazzu, but Lacy should be one of the few bright spots.

D.J. Newbill, G, Penn State -
Fifth-year senior Tim Frazier has been Batman for the Nittany Lions during his tenure in Happy Valley. To begin the 2013-14 campaign, Frazier is averaging 18.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists per contest. However, Newbill is a more than capable Robin, a supreme sidekick who is actually outscoring Frazier this season with 19.1 points per tilt. Newbill has hit 19-of-42 treys; he is shooting a crisp 50 percent from the floor. The 6-4 swingman also averages 6.7 rebounds and 2.6 dimes per contest. Newbill is no slouch himself and could be emerging as a superstar in his own right.

DeAndre Kane, G, Iowa State -
The Marshall transfer has been stuffing the stat sheet for the Cyclones in his final season of eligibility. Kane came over from the Herd and picked up right where he left off, averaging 15.4 points and 5.3 assists per contest. Perhaps most astounding, though, the 6-4 senior is pulling down eight rebounds per contest. He nearly tallied a triple-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds and six dimes in the Cyclones' last game against Northern Iowa. Add in that Kane's turnovers are down and he is shooting a crisp 50 percent from the floor, and he has been an excellent find for coach Fred Hoiberg at Iowa State.

CHECK STATUS

DaJuan Coleman, F, Syracuse -
The Orange are off to a fast start, but Coleman has been inconsistent despite increased minutes as a sophomore. A prized recruit and the son of former Syracuse and NBA star Derrick Coleman, DaJuan averages just 5.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest. However, he did show signs of life in his last contest, tallying a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the blowout win over Binghamton. Still, games like these have been few and far between for the 6-9 Coleman, who has also had to split minutes with the likes of C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant. The talent is there, but Coleman needs to show up every game.

Cedrick Lindsay, G, Richmond -
A three-year starter for the Spiders, Lindsey suffered a sprained knee in Saturday's game with Wake Forest and is questionable for Richmond's next contest. Lindsay had taken his game to new heights as a senior, averaging 18.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game prior to the injury. The leading scorer and assist man for the Spiders shouldn't miss too much time, though make sure he is healthy before deploying him.

Ryan Boatright, G, Connecticut -
Boatright has been Shabazz Napier's partner in crime the last few seasons, but his statistics appear to have leveled out. The junior guard is averaging 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game this year. However, he is shooting a career-low 39 percent from the field, which has caused his points to dip from the 15.4 points per game average from a season ago. He has scored in double-digits just twice in UConn's last five contests. Boatright remains an above-average option, but he can be even more dynamic once he improves his shot selection.

Cameron Ridley, C, Texas -
Ridley came to Texas amid much fanfare, but hasn't been as dominant as the Longhorns would have hoped. The 6-9 center averages 9.0 points, 7.6 points and 3.0 blocks per game. He has two double-doubles in nine games after managing just one as a freshman last season. Still, his production has been mediocre and spotty at best, and Texas has barely played anyone in the non-conference portion of its schedule. One has to wonder if Ridley will be able to keep up even his current averages once the Longhorns enter Big 12 play. Use Ridley with caution, and be aware of the occasional dud of a game.

DOWNGRADE

Kris Dunn, G, Providence -
Dunn will miss the entire 2013-14 season due to a right shoulder injury. Dunn has now had two surgeries in a span of 18 months on the same shoulder. A highly-touted recruit out of New London, Conn., Dunn averaged 5.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game as a freshman. He was expected to play an even larger role as a sophomore, though, due to the departure of standout guard Vincent Council. Dunn injured the shoulder initially in preseason and missed the first three contests of the year. However, he subsequently played in four games before making continued complaints of pain, and was eventually shut down and re-evaluated. The handling of the injury was questionable, and it is safe to say Dunn has not had the expected impact since coming to the Friars.

Josh Henderson, C, Vanderbilt -
The Commodores will be without the services of their big man Henderson for the remainder of the season, as the 6-11 junior tore his ACL and MCL against Marshall. Henderson had been a serviceable center, averaging 7.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Although not much of a shot blocker, Henderson's size around the rim will be difficult to replace. Expect 6-9 senior forward Rod Odom to attempt to pick up the slack in Henderson's absence.

Danuel House, G, Houston -
House was the Freshman of the Year in Conference-USA last season, averaging 12.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. The 6-7 swingman was off to an even better start to begin his sophomore campaign with averages of 15.6 points, 5.7 boards and 2.1 dimes per tilt. However, his sophomore season has come to an abrupt halt due to a knee injury that required surgery. He is out indefinitely, though the Cougars expect him to be back this season. Still, he'll likely miss at least the next month, and possibly longer. House won't be making any house calls for Houston anytime soon, and his loss is a critical blow to both the Cougars as well as fantasy owners.

Joe Harris, G, Virginia -
What's wrong with Cool Joe? Despite shooting a career-high 53.2 percent from the floor, including 45.9 percent from three-point land, Harris has seen his scoring average drop almost five points from a season ago. The senior is averaging just 11.3 points per game. Curiously, he is just 14-of-26 (53.8 percent) from the free-throw line. His shot attempts are down from the field, which could be part of the answer, though he is also managing a career-low 3.5 rebounds per contest along with 2.2 assists per tilt. Harris had just two points on 1-of-10 shooting in a rough 48-38 loss to Wisconsin on Dec. 4. Harris not only needs to get the ball more, but he needs to make his touches count as well.