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February 26, 2008

Augustin regains top point guard spot

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

Two weeks ago, Mississippi State's Jamont Gordon took over the top spot at point guard from Texas sophomore D.J. Augustin in Rivals.com's Power Rankings. Augustin returned the favor this week, returning to the No. 1 spot he had held for 11 consecutive weeks earlier in the season.

Augustin played one of his finest games in the Longhorns' 77-50 rout over Texas A&M last Monday, scoring 27 points and dishing out nine assists. He added 19 more points in the Longhorns' 62-45 victory over Oklahoma on Saturday. He shot 61 percent (17 of 28) from the floor in both games combined.

None of the other top players spots changed hands, but North Carolina's Roy Williams replaced Memphis' John Calipari at the top of the coaching rankings after the Tigers lost the matchup of the nation's top two-ranked teams, falling to Tennessee 66-62. The Tar Heels are riding a five-game winning streak without the services of starting point guard Ty Lawson, who continues to recover from a sprained ankle.

Tennessee's Tyler Smith enjoyed the biggest jump of any player, going from No. 10 to No. 5 among small forwards. Smith hit the game-winning basket against Memphis, a tough jumper over two defenders in the final minute, and finished with a team-high 16 points.

Memphis' Derrick Rose moved up to No. 4 in the point guard rankings. Rose was superb against the Vols, scoring a game-high 23 points, handing out five assists and making four steals.

UConn's Hasheem Thabeet (No. 5) moved into the top five among centers. Thabeet is averaging 10.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.4 blocks.

Four players are making their debuts in the rankings: Notre Dame shooting guard Kyle McAlarney, Purdue small forward Robbie Hummel and centers John Bryant of Santa Clara and David Padgett of Louisville. McAlarney hit a school-record nine 3-pointers and scored 30 points in Notre Dame's 94-87 win over Syracuse.

Three other players returned to the rankings: Pittsburgh point guard Levance Fields, LSU shooting guard Marcus Thornton and Arkansas small forward Sonny Weems. Weems scored 26 points in Kentucky's 63-58 win over the Hogs.

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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