His performance in the Wildcats' 73-61 victory in Lexington not only earned him a spot on the Scout.com National Top Five Players of the Week list but also helped move his team back into the Scout.com Top 25 (at No. 23).
Next up for Rondo and his
Here is a look at some of the week's best matchups, as well as Scout.com's updated Top 25 and the five Scout.com National Players of the Week:
Pacific at UTEP: This is a
rematch of a Bracket Busters' game of last season, won by the Tigers in
Wagner at UCLA: The Bruins
are coming off of consecutive victories over then-unbeatens
Georgia at Nevada: The Bulldogs (7-2) suffered a loss to Oregon State Saturday that could bite them come March and NCAA Tournament at-large bid time. The going will be even tougher against a team that has lost to only UCLA and has one of the most offensively skilled big men in Nick Fazekas.
Princeton vs. Stanford; Cal vs. DePaul (Pete Newell Challenge, Oakland, Calif.): The Tigers (2-6) and Cardinal (2-4) have had well-documented struggles so far. Cal and DePaul were playing well until losses in their most recent outings (with Kansas and Old Dominion, respectively).
Florida at Miami: The 10-0 Gators are already 3-0 (with wins over Florida State, Central Florida and Jacksonville) vs. in-state competition. The Hurricanes have just victory (over 4-3 Birmingham Southern) against a foe with a winning record.
West Virginia vs. Oklahoma; Tennessee vs. Oklahoma State (Oklahoma City): This double dip got a lot more enticing following the Volunteers' dismantling of Texas in Austin Saturday afternoon. The Mountaineers (6-3) have won four in a row but against nothing like the challenge that the 6-1 Sooners will offer them.
North Carolina State at Alabama: The Crimson Tide is 0-3 (vs. Memphis, Notre Dame and Temple) against the three best teams on the schedule so far. A win in this one would do wonders for the NCAA Tournament at-large bid sturdiness of Alabama.
Players of the Week
(Games Dec. 11-17)
*Rajon Rondo (6-foot-1, So., Kentucky): In 35 minutes against then-unbeaten Louisville in Rupp Arena Saturday, Rondo scored 25 points with three rebounds, seven assists and two steals in a 73-61 victory. For the season: 16.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
*Je'Kel Foster (6-3, Sr., Ohio State): He averaged 19 points in victories over Norfolk State, Belmont and Iowa State (70-67), with 28 points – hitting six of eight 3's – to go with six rebounds and two steals in the road win against the Cyclones Saturday. For the season: 17.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg and 2.0 apg, along with .689 shooting from the field (including .605 on 3's) and .847 from the free-throw line.
*Ekene Ibekwe (6-9, Jr., Maryland): He scored 21 points (hitting eight of 13 from the field) with nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot during the Terrapins' 73-71 ACC-opening victory over visiting Boston College on Dec. 11. For the season: 13.8 ppg., 5.9 rpg and 1.2 blocked shots per game, while shooting .575 from the field.
*Arron Afflalo (6-5, So., UCLA): One half of a sensational sophomore backcourt (with Jordan Farmar), Afflalo scored 20 points – while hitting six of nine 3-pointers – with two rebounds and a critical steal down the stretch Saturday in Ann Arbor during a 68-61 victory over then-unbeaten Michigan. For the season: 18.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg and 1.9 apg, with a .495 percentage from the field (.443 on 3's).
*Devan Downey (5-10, Fr., Cincinnati): Recruited out of Chester, S.C., Downey had 24 points, five assists and four steals Wednesday during a 86-58 victory over Ohio, then three days later had 16 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and three steals as the Bearcats improved to 6-2 by smacking Tennessee Tech, 105-62. For the season: 14.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.4 apg and 2.8 spg, with a .506 shooting percentage.
Scout.com's updated Top 25
(with previous ratings; records include games through Dec. 18)
1. (1) Duke (10-0)
Next game: vs. St. John's (Wednesday)
2. (2) Connecticut (8-0)
Next game: vs. Morehead State (Friday)
3. (4) Villanova (7-0)
Next game: vs. La Salle (Thursday)
4. (5) Ohio State (7-0)
Next game: vs. Tennessee State (Friday)
5. (6) Illinois (11-0)
Next game: vs. Missouri (Wednesday, St. Louis)
6. (7) Washington (9-0)
Next game: vs. Lehigh (Friday)
7. (8) Gonzaga (7-2)
Next game: vs.
Next game: vs. Louisiana Tech (Tuesday)
Next game: vs.
Next game: at
Next game: vs. Louisiana Tech (Dec. 28)
12. (14) North Carolina State (8-1)
Next game: at Alabama (Thursday)
13. (15) Michigan State (9-2)
Next game: at Wisconsin-Green Bay (Wednesday)
14. (16) Boston College (7-2)
Next game: vs. Harvard (Thursday)
15. (17) North Carolina (6-1)
Next game: at USC (Wednesday)
16. (18) Indiana (5-2)
Next game: at Charlotte (Monday).
17. (20) George Washington (8-0)
Next game: at North Carolina State (Dec. 30)
18. (22) UCLA (8-1)
Next game: vs. Wagner (Wednesday).
19. (23) Nevada (7-1)
Next game: vs. Georgia (Wednesday)
20. (25) Maryland (7-2)
Next game: vs. American (Friday).
21. (ur) Tennessee (6-0)
Next game: vs. Oklahoma State (Thursday, Oklahoma City)
22. (ur) Arizona (5-3)
Next game: vs. Sam Houston State (Monday)
23. (ur) Kentucky (7-3)
Next game: vs. Iona (Friday)
24. (3) Louisville (6-1)
Next game: vs. Middle Tennessee State (Tuesday)
25. (10) Texas (8-2)
Next game: vs. Texas State (Thursday)
An April inductee into the USBWA
Hall of Fame, Frank Burlison is Scout.com's National Basketball Expert
and is also a columnist for the