NCAA

New AP Poll for Top 25: Ohio State drops to No. 11

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USA Today

New AP Poll for Top 25: Ohio State drops to No. 11

Clemson is back at No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll behind top-ranked Alabama, moving up to where it started, after a convincing victory and Ohio State's first loss of the season.

The Crimson Tide are a unanimous No. 1, with all 61 first-place votes Sunday, for the first time this season.

The Tigers trailed only Alabama in the preseason rankings, but a couple of close wins in September -- combined with seemingly impressive performances by other highly ranked teams -- dragged Clemson to as low as No. 4.

Coming off a lopsided win against North Carolina State, Clemson rose a spot this week. Notre Dame is No. 3 and LSU is No. 4, setting the stage for a top-five matchup between the Tigers and Crimson Tide in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Nov. 3. Both have an open date this week.

Michigan is No. 5 and Ohio State dropped to No. 11 after being upset by Purdue.

POLL POINTS

No. 25 Appalachian State is ranked in the AP poll for the first time in school history. The Mountaineers (5-1) have not lost since opening the season with an overtime defeat at Penn State.

"It's awesome to be recognized," Appalachian State coach Scott Satterfield said Sunday. "We've had a lot of positive things happen to our program the last three to four years. The first time we go bowl eligible, which was awesome. Then we go win our first bowl game. That was really cool. And then to go win our first Sun Belt championship two years ago. That was awesome. So there's been a lot of first for us over the last three years. This is another first."

App State transitioned to the FBS, the highest level of Division I football, in 2014 after years as an FCS power. Under former coach Jerry Moore, the Mountaineers were a regular playoff participant. The program peaked in the mid-2000s, winning three straight FCS (Division I-AA) championships from 2005-07. And App State pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in college football history against Michigan in 2007.

Moore retired after the 2012 season and was replaced by Satterfield, a former App State quarterback and assistant coach. The move up in class and into the Sun Belt has been practically seamless. The Mountaineers are 46-23 under Satterfield, with two Sun Belt titles. The only other Sun Belt team to ever be ranked was Troy on Nov. 13, 2016.

"To be recognized in the FBS level football and for our program to be a team that just went through transition four years ago and now to be ranked is pretty remarkable," Satterfield said. "We have a lot of pride, a lot of tradition in our program."

This season's team was expected to contend for another conference championship. A case could be made it is exceeding even those high expectations after replacing four-year starting quarterback Taylor Lamb, two four-year starting offensive linemen, four defensive players that were four-year starters and veteran defensive coordinator Nate Woody, who left for Georgia Tech.

Satterfield said this is may be his fastest team at App State and credited senior safety Josh Thomas, senior defensive tackle MyQuon Stout and fourth-year junior offensive tackle Victor Johnson with providing leadership for one of the least experienced rosters in the FBS. Running back Jalin Moore, another senior who was lost for the season to a knee injury two weeks ago, has become a de facto assistant coach for App State.

Since falling to Penn State, the Mountaineers have outscored their opponents 231-49. Next up is a key game for first place in the Sun Belt East at Georgia Southern (6-1, 3-0) on Thursday night.

UP

  • No. 14 Washington State was the only big mover to rise in the rankings this week, jumping 11 spots after beating Oregon.

DOWN

  • Ohio State dropped out of the top 10 for the first this season, tumbling nine spots
  • No. 19 Oregon dropped seven spots after taking its second loss
  • No. 22 North Carolina State fell six spots after losing for the first time this season

IN

  • No. 23 Utah is ranked for the first time this season, making it five straight years the Utes started the season unranked but moved into the rankings at some point. From 2014-16, Utah started the season outside the Top 25 but finished it ranked. Utah has won three straight, scoring at least 40 points in each game
  • No. 24 Stanford is back in the rankings after falling out two weeks ago

OUT

  • Michigan State and Mississippi State fell out of the rankings again after losing for the third time this season
  • Cincinnati's first loss of the season, in overtime to Temple, cost the Bearcats their first ranking since 2012

CONFERENCE CALL

  • SEC -- 6 teams (1, 4, 7, 9, 12, 16).
  • Big Ten -- 5 (5, 11, 17, 18, 20).
  • Pac-12 -- 5 (14, 15, 19, 23, 24).
  • Big 12 -- 3 (6, 8, 13).
  • ACC -- 2 (2, 22).
  • American -- 2 (10, 21).
  • Sun Belt -- 1 (25).
  • Independent -- 1 (3).

RANKED vs. RANKED

No. 7 Georgia vs. No. 9 Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. The first of two games involving the Bulldogs that will decide the SEC East. Georgia faces Kentucky on Nov. 3.

  • No. 14 Washington State at No. 24 Stanford. Cougars try to grab control of the Pac-12 North.
  • No. 18 Iowa at No. 17 Penn State. The Nittany Lions will help decide the Big Ten West with home games against the Hawkeyes and No. 20 Wisconsin.

Four-star 2021 SF Benny Williams commits to Syracuse over Maryland and Georgetown

Four-star 2021 SF Benny Williams commits to Syracuse over Maryland and Georgetown

The Syracuse men's basketball program picked up its first commit of the 2021 class on Thursday and it came at the expense of the two big local schools. 

Four-star prospect Benny Williams committed to the Orange on Thursday, the small forward announced on Twitter. 247Sports was the first to break the news.

Williams, a consensus top 60 recruit in the 2021 class, chose Syracuse over Maryland, Georgetown and Miami. The small forward is ranked the 47th overall player in the 2021 class by 247Sports and 53rd by ESPN.

Missing on Williams is a crushing blow for the Terps, as the forward would have been the second four-star to commit to Maryland in the 2021 class, joining power forward Julian Reese. The Hoyas have yet to land a commitment for the 2021 recruiting cycle.

"I'm excited to play for coach [Jim] Boeheim in front of the best fans in the country in the greatest arena in college basketball," Williams said in his commitment video.

The 6-foot-8 forward, who plays his high school ball at St. Andrew's Episcopal in Potomac, Md., had taken two unofficial visits to Syracuse prior to committing, according to 247Sports. 

Syracuse's culture and the legacy of the basketball program were two things that specifically stood out to the junior when he visited the school.

"I picked them because of the relationship we built going back two years ago, especially coach Red [Autry] and with coach [Jim] Boeheim," Williams told 247Sports. "I think I can come in and impact the program right away and hopefully lead them to a national championship."

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The 7 best point guards in Maryland basketball history

The 7 best point guards in Maryland basketball history

Maryland basketball is no stranger to success at the point guard position. Throughout the history of the program, numerous primary ball handlers have put up big scoring totals, created highlight plays and led their team to greatness.

But for a program loaded with point guard talent, who are the best of the best? Here's a look at a few of top point guards to ever be a Terp.

Gene Shue (1951-54)

Shue ranks No. 22 on Maryland's all-time scoring list, and while he put up some impressive numbers during his time there, his most impressive work was how he put the program on the map. Before Shue took his spot at UMD, the team had suffered losing season after losing season. That all changed when the point guard arrived.

During his playing career, the Terps achieved their first 20-win season in program history, were nationally ranked and joined the ACC Conference. Thanks in large part to Shue, Maryland basketball began the journey toward national prominence. 

John Lucas (1972-76)

Earning All-American honors once is an impressive feat for most college players, Lucas did it three times during his career at Maryland. The point guard earned second-team honors for the 1973-74 season while playing alongside Tom McMillen and Len Elmore. The latter two would graduate leaving Lucas to shine on his own in the following year.

He did just that, earning First-Team All-American honors for the 1974-75 season. Lucas would do the same in 1975-76 for good measure. During that time he also led Maryland to an ACC regular-season title and an Elite Eight appearance.

Lucas currently ranks No. 6 all-time in scoring at Maryland with 2,015 points. He also ranks No. 4 in scoring average, totaling around 18.3 points per game during his career as a Terp. Lucas wasn't just a scorer, as he also could pass with the best of them as a point guard. His 514 assists in college put him fifth on Maryland's all-time list. Lucas would go on to have a solid NBA career as well after being selected No. 1 overall by the Rockets in the 1976 NBA Draft.

Keith Gatlin (1983-86, 1988)

Gatlin embodied the floor general spirit of a point guard during his time at Maryland. Though surpassed 1,000 points in college, his real brilliance was seen when he distributed the ball to others.

Len Bias and Adrian Branch ranked No. 3 and No. 5 on Maryland's scoring list, and that's largely due to Gatlin's ability to get them the ball and let them take over. Rather than force his own shots, Gatlin would find the open man and rack up assist totals. By the end of his Terrapin career, he had recorded 649 assists, good enough for third all-time in school history.

Steve Blake (1999-2003)

Blake, much like Gatlin, made his mark as a passer at Maryland. His 972 assists during his four-year college career are the highest mark in the history of the program and rank sixth all-time in NCAA basketball history.

Blake's brilliance was seen from day one, as he started from his freshman to senior year at Maryland. His ability to control the flow of the game was instrumental in the Terps 2002 National Championship run.

Greivis Vasquez (2006-10)

The roar at the Xfinity Center when Vasquez tells the crowd he has "Maryland Pride" is all you need to know about how great his collegiate career was. The point guard showed promise in his first two seasons but really stepped up his game during his junior and senior years.

In 2008-09, Vasquez led the Terrapins in almost every category on the stat sheet. The top spots for scoring, assists, rebounds, steals and minutes played all belonged to him. He followed that up with a senior year in which he scored close to 20 points per game and took home the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's best point guard. Vasquez currently ranks second all-time in points at Maryland with 2,171. 

Melo Trimble (2014-17)

Trimble is one of the most recent guards to find success at Maryland. Bursting onto the scene as a freshman, Trimble averaged 16.2 points per game during his first season of college ball. His following two seasons were just as exciting, as Trimble became the go-to weapon for the Terps offense. Before it was all said and done, Trimble surpassed 1,600 points and 400 assists during his three years at Maryland.

Numbers were great, but it was Trimble's heroic moments in the final seconds that he'll always be remembered for. Last-second game-winning shots against Wisconsin and Michigan State showed that there was no moment too big for No. 2. 

Anthony Cowan Jr. (2016-20)

When Trimble left for the pros it became Cowan's time to shine at Maryland, and he did just that. After a solid freshman year, Cowan continued to grow and improve each time out on the court. From his sophomore to senior year Cowan averaged 15.8, 15.6 and 16.3 points, respectively. He now sits seventh all-time in scoring at the University of Maryland

Cowan's biggest strengths, however, were his consistency and clutch. Maryland's newest 'Iron Man,' the point guard started 130 consecutive games during his four years as a Terp. No matter what was going on, everyone could rely on Cowan to be there and ready to make an impact. 

Clutch-wise, Cowan had a knack for stepping up in the big moments, especially during his senior season. A lethal three-point shooter, his performance on the road against Michigan State this past season showed everything there is to know about the Maryland native. With the Terps trailing late, Cowan knocked down two huge threes from way beyond the arc to take the lead and ice the game.

Moments like that helped Cowan bring a Big Ten banner to College Park. 

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