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November 27, 2007

Howland keeps UCLA rolling without Collison

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

Take the starting point guard away from any team, and you would think the level of play would suffer. When that point guard happens to be one of the nation's top players, some teams would even panic.

But, it hasn't made much of a difference at UCLA.

Despite star Darren Collison's absence because of a sprained knee, the No.2-ranked Bruins are off to a 6-0 start. The stretch includes impressive wins over Maryland (71-59) and No. 10 Michigan State (68-63) last week in the College Basketball Experience Classic in Kansas City.

That performance has catapulted UCLA coach Ben Howland to the top of Rivals.com's latest power rankings. Howland replaces Florida's Billy Donovan, whose Gators lost 65-51 at home to rival Florida State last week.

Texas' D.J. Augustin took over the No. 1 spot among point guards after leading the Longhorns to the title in the Legends Classic tournament in Newark, N.J. Augustin was named the tournament's MVP after averaging 24 points and nine assists per game in wins over New Mexico State (102-87) and No. 7 Tennessee (98-78).

Kansas' Brandon Rush returns to the power rankings as the No. 3 small forward. Rush, who missed the Jayhawks' first two games while recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the offseason, scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the Jayhawks' 76-72 overtime win against Arizona.

Syracuse freshman Donte Greene makes his debut at No. 12 among the small forwards after an impressive showing in the Preseason NIT. Greene put together the first double-double of his career in the Orange's 91-85 win over Washington in the consolation game. Greene scored 25 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and added three blocks. Greene scored 21 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the Orange's 79-65 loss to Ohio State in the semifinals.

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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