Archie Goodwin, UK's leading scorer, didn't make ESPN's List of the nation's Top 25 freshmen.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Trying to walk the line between real and imaginary and not fall off:
*Two University of Kentucky freshmen made John Gasaway's list of the Top 25 freshmen in college basketball this season. Bet you don't guess which Wildcat missed the list?
If you guessed Alex Poythress you would be wrong, even though John Calipari has been criticizing Poythress' motor for weeks.
Gasaway writes for Basketball Prospectus and does great work analyzing statistics and trends. He ranked Poythress No. 17, eight spots behind Nerlens Noel.
That means Archie Goodwin, Kentucky's leading scorer, is missing. Maybe that's an imaginary 15.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists that Goodwin has averaged this season. (Willie Cauley-Stein also missed the top 25.)
Let the debate begin. The only other local guy to show up on the list is Indiana freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell, at 16.
Here is Gasaway's Top Five: 1. Ben McLemore, Kansas; 2. Anthony Bennett, UNLV; 3. Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA; 4. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State; 5. Glenn Robinson III, Michigan.
Bennett and Muhammad were top UK targets as was the No. 7 player – Gary Harris of Michigan State.
*Critical night for Tubby Smith. His Minnesota team made a remarkable rally from a 23-point deficit before losing at Indiana by seven last Saturday. Tubby was not pleased. He didn't understand why his team played an imaginary first half.
Thursday night is Minnesota's chance to prove that the Gophers are a legitimate Top 10 team, which I believe they are.
Minnesota plays Michigan at 7 p.m. on ESPN. Here's another reason it matters for the Gophers:
Every Big Ten team plays seven league opponents home-and-home. The other four league schools? Two are played on the road, two at home. Michigan visits Minneapolis, but the Gophers don't travel to Ann Arbor.
Considering the Wolverines are a co-favorite to win the league, this is a king-sized moment for Tubby and his guys.
*Syracuse and Louisville figure to dance until the end of the season before deciding the Big East championship. The Orange are in town Saturday for the Game of the Week in college hoops, and U of L makes the return trip on March 2.
The Big East has even funkier scheduling than the Big Ten. Every school plays 10 league opponents once and four others twice.
That creates an interesting comparison of the double opponents for Syracuse and Louisville.
The Cards get the Orange, Notre Dame, Seton Hall and South Florida.
The Orange get the Cards, Providence, Villanova and Georgetown.
Looking at the computer rankings, slight advantage to Louisville.
*Big weekend for Richard Pitino at Florida International. The Panthers play host to North Texas Thursday night and then welcome Troy on Saturday. FIU is favored by 2 ½ tonight.
What's the big deal?
This is the big deal: FIU has won eight of its first 16 games. A year ago FIU was 4-12 after 16 games and finished 8-21. Ken Pomeroy's computer model projects a 16-13 finish for Richard Pitino's team. FIU has not delivered a winning season since 1999-2000.
So far, Richard has made something out of the very few scraps that Isiah Thomas left him.