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February 14, 2007

Power rankings: Top spots must be earned

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Chris Lofton will have to earn his way back to the top of the Rivals.com Basketball Power Rankings.

Lofton opened the new year as the No. 1 shooting guard in our power rankings, which measure the nation's best players and coaches at each position. The Tennessee junior fell off the list last month after a sprained right ankle knocked him out of action.

The rules of our power rankings state that a player must drop from the list if he misses at least two weeks.

Lofton's return to action allows him to return to the power rankings, but we couldn't put him back at the No. 1 spot. He first must outplay UCLA's Arron Afflalo.

Afflalo remains atop the rankings of shooting guards after scoring 27 points and pulling down nine rebounds Saturday in a 70-65 loss at West Virginia. Lofton returns to the charts as our No. 2 shooting guard. His 23 points in an 89-85 win over Kentucky on Tuesday night may help him regain the top spot next week.

Texas A&M point guard Acie Law, Wisconsin small forward Alando Tucker, Texas power forward Kevin Durant, Ohio State center Greg Oden and Florida coach Billy Donovan also remained atop their respective positions.

While there were no changes at the top of the charts, plenty of players made moves elsewhere in the rankings.

Iowa's Adam Haluska continued his dramatic rise by climbing from ninth to sixth on our list of shooting guards after scoring 34 points in a 91-78 victory over Minnesota. Haluska was rated 23rd just two weeks ago.

Temple shooting guard Dionte Christmas entered the charts at the No. 18 position after scoring at least 30 points in five of his last seven games.

Stephane Lasme of Massachusetts moved up from 19th to 15th in our rankings of centers after recording a triple-double against Rhode Island. Lasme collected 18 points, 12 rebounds and 11 blocks in the 77-55 victory over the Rams.

Florida State shooting guard Toney Douglas and Gonzaga center Josh Heytvelt dropped off the list entirely. Douglas is out indefinitely with a broken bone in his right hand, while Heytvelt was suspended after an arrest for drug possession.

But the most notable omission from our power rankings is one of the most famous names in college basketball.

Duke's Mike Krzyzewski fell off our rankings of the top 15 coaches this week. He undoubtedly ranks among the greatest coaches in college basketball history, but his team has fallen on hard times recently. Duke has lost four in a row. Coach K should return to the power rankings as soon as the Blue Devils start winning again.

We will update the rankings weekly throughout the rest of the season. For our purposes, the power rankings will reflect those games played Tuesday through Monday.

The rating of a player and coach can fluctuate each week, but the power rankings measure their overall careers as well as their most recent performances.

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

Click here to check out the complete Rivals.com College Basketball Power Rankings.



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