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February 3, 2009

Memphis' Evans rises to head of rookie class

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

Georgetown's tumble down the Big East standings has caused freshman Greg Monroe to fall from the top of the Rivals.com College Basketball Power Rankings.

Memphis guard Tyreke Evans replaced Monroe this week as the No. 1 freshman in the power rankings, which measure the nation's top performers at each position.

Evans averaged 14 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in victories over East Carolina and Houston last week. Monroe averaged 11.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in losses to Cincinnati and Marquette, and he also turned the ball over a total of nine times in those two games.

The only other change atop the power rankings came at shooting guard, where Marquette's Jerel McNeal and Kentucky's Jodie Meeks continued their tug-of-war over the No. 1 spot. Meeks reclaimed the No. 1 position from McNeal two weeks ago after scoring a school-record 54 points in a 90-72 victory at Tennessee. McNeal moved back in front this week by delivering big performances in victories over Notre Dame and Georgetown while Meeks shot a combined 9-for-26 in losses to Ole Miss and South Carolina.

McNeal had 27 points, four rebounds, two assists and two blocks Jan. 26 in a 71-64 triumph at Notre Dame. He followed that up Saturday with 26 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, five steals and three blocks in a 92-82 victory over Georgetown.

"I don't know if you can find a better line," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said afterward. "He turned it over three times. If that number were zero, he might have been perfect today. [With] his toughness and his energy, he's playing at a very high level."

Wake Forest point guard Jeff Teague, Arizona State small forward James Harden, Oklahoma power forward Blake Griffin, North Carolina center Tyler Hansbrough and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski remained atop their respective positions.

This week's edition of the power rankings featured two notable changes. We changed Monroe's official position from power forward to center, so he was removed from the power forward rankings and entered the center rankings this week. Saint Mary's star Patrick Mills doesn't appear in the point guard rankings this week after breaking his right hand last week, in keeping with our policy of removing players from the rankings after they suffer injuries that will keep them out of action for a substantial period of time. Mills is expected to miss a month, and he likely will return to the rankings as soon as he gets back on the floor.

This week's power rankings take into account all games through Sunday.

The power rankings 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: PG | SG | SF | PF | C | Freshman | Head Coach

Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at smegargee@rivals.com.



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