Baylor rises; Stanford, Tennessee freefall

Tuesday November 18th, 2008

There usually isn't much change at the top of the rankings after just one week. A few upsets changed all that. Maryland and Stanford took hits in the Lone Star State that knocked them down several spots. An uncommon loss on its home floor dropped Tennessee. Baylor was the biggest benefactor, moving into the top 10 courtesy of it 81-65 win over Stanford. Virginia enters our rankings after pulling off an 83-82 win at Tennessee. It was the Cavaliers' second win against Tennessee, and the first since the 1990 NCAA Regional Championship victory that kept the Lady Vols from playing in the Final Four in Knoxville. We're along way from crowning a national champion. But here's how our teams rank this week.

NCAA Women's Basketball Power Rankings
1Connecticut Huskies
Last Week: 1
With three blocks against Georgia Tech on Sunday, Tina Charles moved into fifth place on the Huskies' all-time list with 152. The impressive list includes Rebecca Lobo (396) and Kara Wolters (370). Charles needs just 30 to pass Kelly Schumacher, who is third with 181.

Next three: 11/20 vs. San Diego State; 11/22 vs. Rhode Island; 11/25 at BYU
2North Carolina Tar Heels
Last Week: 3
Sunday's 77-65 win over VCU puts the Tar Heels into the semifinals of the WNIT Season Tip-Off. UNC was led by quick-handed sophomore guard Cetera DeGraffenreid, who already has 15 steals this year.

Next three: 11/19 vs. Xavier; 11/23 WNIT finals; 11/25 vs. Wofford
3Oklahoma Sooners
Last Week: 4
All-America Courtney Paris was one of six Sooners in double digits in their season-opening win over UC-Riverside. That's the kind of production that can force defenses into making some tough decisions. "Offensively, I think we have a lot of weapons," coach Sherri Coale said. "Hopefully what you'll continue to see throughout the year are five or six guys in double figures."

Next three: 11/19 WNIT Tournament; 11/21 WNIT Tournament; 11/23 TBA
4Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Last Week: 5
Freshman Brooklyn Pope, a 6-1 forward, made her debut for the Scarlet Knights with 10 points, eight rebounds and four steals in the season-opener against St. Joseph's. Rutgers faces some tough competition Friday (at Cal) and Sunday (at Stanford), and with the Cardinal still smarting from a loss to Baylor, Pope might get a more bitter introduction to the big time.

Next three: 11/18 vs. Princeton; 11/21 at California; 11/23 at Stanford
5Duke Blue Devils
Last Week: 6
Chante Black is already being talked about for Player of the Year after putting up impressive numbers in Duke's 2-0 start. She's averaging 22 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4 blocks per game and earned ACC Player of the Week honors.

Next three: 11/21 vs. Hartford; 11/22 vs. Southern/DePaul; 11/28 at Western Kentucky
6Baylor Bears
Last Week: 11
A 16-point win over Stanford last didn't just give the Baylor players a little revenge for a loss that stuck in their minds for nearly a year. It allowed the Bears to make quite a statement. They've got a strong post presence with Rachel Allison and Danielle Wilson along with a versatile lineup that can run the floor and go big when necessary. "I don't know what we are," Kim Mulkey said. "All I know is we're a pretty good program. Don't overlook us."

Next three: 11/21 vs. SFA; 11/23 at Rice; 11/27 vs. UCF
7Louisville Cardinals
Last Week: 9
Angel McCoughtry is reinforcing her reputation as one of the country's most prolific scorers. She has dropped in 44 points in two games and is shooting 60 percent shooting from the field. McCoughtry will have a hard time keeping that up if Louisville can't get the ball to her -- the Cards have turned it over 56 times.

Next three: 11/22 at Xavier; 11/25 at Utah; 11/28 vs. Alabama
8Texas A&M Aggies
Last Week: 10
Tyra White is making the most of her second chance at a freshman season. White, who tore her ACL after just four minutes into the season last year, has already made an impact, topping the Aggies' scoring with 13 points per game.

Next three: 11/25 at Arizona; 11/28 vs. Penn State; 11/29 vs. Pepperdine/Coppin State
9Stanford Cardinal
Last Week: 2
Last season's runner-up got off to a tough start when they were spanked by Baylor, 81-65. The lone bright spot was sophomore guard Jeanette Pohlen who had 14 points and six rebounds, but the Cardinal's mood will get darker if they don't shape up before facing a tough test against Rutgers this weekend.

Next three: 11/20 vs. New Mexico; 11/23 vs. Rutgers; 11/28 vs. Purdue
10Tennessee Volunteers
Last Week: 8
A home loss to Virginia on Monday was just the Lady Vols' 19th defeat at Thompson-Boling Arena. It's hardly the end of the world, though. Let's not forget, Tennessee was without Angie Bjorklund, who started 30 games last season season en route to winning SEC Freshman of the Year honors. "I have to remind myself that we're young," said coach Pat Summitt after the loss. "Someone has to step up." Don't worry, someone will.

Next three: 11/21 at Chattanooga; 11/23 vs. Louisiana Tech; 11/25 vs. Western Carolina
11California Golden Bears
Last Week: 11
The Golden Bears are waiting for the return of injured post players Devanei Hampton, last season's Pac-10 Player of the Year and Rama N'diaye. Last season's leading scorer, Ashley Walker, is leading the way though, putting up 50 points and 25 rebounds against Albany and Nevada.

Next three: 11/21 vs. Rutgers; 11/27 vs. South Florida; 11/28 vs. Texas Tech
12Maryland Terrapins
Last Week: 7
Coach Brenda Frese should be able to turn a surprising 80-68 loss to TCU in the season-opener into a learning experience for her team that is leaning on two new starters, including 6-4 freshman Lynetta Kizer. "Lynetta and Dee [Liles] give great intensity in the post positions, but I would like to see them cut down on their turnovers," Frese said.

Next three: 11/20 vs. James Madison; 11/23 vs. UCLA; 11/26 vs. South Dakota State at Cancun
13Vanderbilt Commodores
Last Week: 13
Winning their first two games by an average of 26 points, the Commodores have had a chance to rest some of their starters -- the bench contributed 25 points in Vandy's 90-72 win over Western Kentucky.

Next three: 11/19 vs. Eastern Kentucky; 11/21 at East Tennessee State; 11/23 at Michigan
14Texas Longhorns
Last Week: 14
With 33 points, the Texas bench nearly outscored then-No. 25 Old Dominion's entire squad in a 78-44 win on Monday. With two cupcake games coming up (Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Thursday and Furman on Monday) let the rotation continue.

Next three: 11/20 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; 11/23 vs. Furman; 11/29 vs. Georgia Tech
15Auburn Tigers
Last Week: 15
In its 95-76 win over Temple, Auburn put up the most points against the Owls since Duke scored 112 against on Dec. 12, 1998. The Tigers' DeWanna Bonner has been hot from the start, connecting on 21-of-41 shots in the first two games.

Next three: 11/19 at Georgia Southern; 11/23 vs. Ohio State; 11/26 at UAB
16Virginia Cavaliers
Last Week: NR
So are the Cavs, picked to finish fourth in the ACC, underrated? The Lady Vols would say so after losing to Virginia at home. Junior Monica Wright, who has started all 68 games since arriving on campus, put up 35 in the win.

Next three: 11/21 at Old Dominion; 11/24 vs. Colorado; 11/28-11/30 at WBCA Classic

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