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November 20, 2007

Gordon already finds himself in top spot

Rivals.com Power Rankings by Position: PG | SG | SF | PF | C | Head Coach

The stellar play of several highly touted freshmen has dominated the top storylines in the early stages of the college basketball season, so it's only fitting that a freshman has already risen to one of the top spots in Rivals.com's Power Rankings.

Indiana's Eric Gordon scored 33 points in his college debut last Monday, powering the Hoosiers to a 99-79 win over Chattanooga. It is the most points an Indiana player has ever scored in his first game. Gordon followed that up with 21 points in the Hoosiers' 100-49 thrashing of Longwood on Sunday. Gordon made 12 of 19 3-point attempts over the two games.

Those performances earned Gordon the No. 1 ranking among shooting guards. Another freshman, USC's O.J. Mayo, moved up to No. 2. Mayo scored 29 points in the Trojans' 85-75 win at South Carolina and is averaging 25.7 ppg over three games.

Arizona's Chase Budinger took over the top spot among small forwards. Budinger has displayed a versatile game, averaging 20.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in his first two contests.

N.C. State freshman J.J. Hickson debuts in the rankings as the No. 10 power forward. Hickson got off to a remarkable start, going 12 of 12 from the field and scoring 31 points in his first game as the Wolfpack rolled to a 66-47 win over William & Mary. Hickson followed that with a 22-point, 13-rebound performance in the Wolfpack's 65-63 loss to New Orleans.

A handful of other players also earned their way into the power rankings. They include USC's Daniel Hackett (No. 16), Oregon's Tajuan Porter (No. 18) and Wisconsin's Trevon Hughes (No. 20) at point guard.

Houston's Robert McKiver (No. 19) and LSU's Marcus Thornton (No. 20) entered the shooting guard rankings, and Louisville's Earl Clark (No. 18) and Ohio State's David Lighty (No. 19) are now in the small forward rankings.

Wisconsin's Brian Butch (No. 18), Notre Dame's Luke Harangody (No. 19) and Ohio State's Kosta Koufos (No. 20) entered the power forward rankings, and UNC-Asheville's Kenny George (No. 19) and Colorado State's Stuart Creason (No. 20) made the center list.

The rating of a player and coach can fluctuate each week during the season depending on how they fared the previous week, but the power rankings measure overall career performances as well as their most recent results.

By the end of the season, our power rankings should provide an accurate indicator of which players and coaches were the best at their respective positions.

Rivals.com Power Rankings by Position: PG | SG | SF | PF | C | Head Coach

Andrew Skwara is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at askwara@rivals.com.

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