Conference play is officially underway from coast to coast, so naturally it's time for the first non-preseason installment of the CC Fab 50.
50. Kosta Koufos, FR, C, Ohio State (Preseason: NR)
The talented freshman big man's scoring has dipped a bit after a torrid start, but he's still managed to notch three double-doubles in the OSU's last four games.
49. A.J. Abrams, JR, G, Texas (Preseason: NR)
D.J. Augustin's ridiculously productive season has made it easy to overlook that his backcourt mate is averaging 18.4 points and has hit double-digits in every game but one. Abrams has improved his ball-handling significantly, making him far more than the one-dimensional player he was a year ago.
48. DeMarcus Nelson, SR, G, Duke (Preseason: 50)
Duke's undisputed leader is averaging a solid 13 points, six rebounds and 3.2 assists in his final collegiate season.
47. Lester Hudson, JR, G, Tennessee-Martin (Preseason: NR)
I chalked it up as a fluke after I watched Hudson drop 35 on Memphis on opening night, but he's hit the 30-point mark six times since then, and recorded the first quadruple-double in Division I history when he had 25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals against Central Baptist on Nov. 13. He's averaging just under 27 points and leads the nation in steals at 3.7 per game. The kid is an out of this world talent, and if one of UT-Martin's OVC Tourney games ends up being televised then it will automatically be must-see TV for any college basketball fan. The JuCo transfer's back story is also worth a read.
46. Jerel McNeal, JR, G, Marquette (Preseason: NR)
McNeal's defense has always been his strength, but his dedication to cutting down the turnover problems that have haunted him since he arrived on campus has made him even more valuable to Tom Crean this season.
45. Dionte Christmas, JR, G, Temple (Preseason: NR)
Christmas is averaging 20.9 points per game, and has scored 32 twice despite playing for a team not usually known for its offense. He has a special knack for getting to the charity stripe, and has shot 10 or more free throws in four games already this season.
44. Jason Thompson, SR, F, Rider (Preseason: NR)
The 6-foot-11 senior is averaging a double-double (20.4 points, 11 rebounds) for the Broncs, and had a ridiculous 23-point/21-rebound performance in a win over Delaware in November. Thompson has also delivered against quality frontcourts, scoring 24, 21 and 24 points against NC State, Penn State and Kansas State, respectively.
43. Luke Harangody, SO, F, Notre Dame (Preseason: NR)
The bullish 6-8 sophomore is averaging a solid 18.2 and 9.5, and is the biggest reason the Irish appear poised to make a run back to the NCAA Tournament. Harangody delivered one of his best performances of the season when he scored 19 points and snatched 14 rebounds in a win over Michael Beasley and Kansas State.
42. Arizona Reid, SR, F, High Point (Preseason: 48)
The pride of the Piedmont Triad region, AZ Reid has posted eight double-doubles in 12 games this season.
41. Jon Brockman, JR, F, Washington (Preseason: 46)
The Huskies would be lost without Brockman, who is averaging 18.4 point and 11.4 rebounds. He has scored in double-digits in all 14 of Washington's games.
40. Will Daniels, SR, F, Rhode Island (Preseason: NR)
Perhaps the most underrated player in the nation, Daniels is the biggest reason the Rams are 14-1 and back in the national rankings. A good chance to spread his name comes calling on Wednesday when URI battles 12-1 Dayton.
39. Darnell Jackson, SR, F, Kansas (Preseason: NR)
The trio of Rush, Chalemers and Arthur are the names most synonymous with Kansas basketball at the moment, but it's the unheralded senior Jackson who leads the undefeated Jayhawks in rebounding and is second in scoring.
38. Tyrese Rice, JR, G, Boston College (Preseason: 28)
Just about every BC game this season has turned into the Tyrese Rice Show. The junior guard is averaging nearly eight points more (19.8 ppg) than the team's second leading scorer, Rakim Sanders.
37. Donte Greene, FR, F, Syracuse (Preseason: NR)
The freshman who was compared to Carmelo Anthony before the season leads the Orange in scoring at 19.1 ppg. He's probably not going to cut down any nets this March, but he'll match Anthony in number of seasons played for Jim Boeheim...but he'll top Anthony in number of times playing drums in the band at a women's basketball game.
36. Scottie Reynolds, SO, G, Villanova (Preseason: 22)
Reynolds is playing far more under control as a sophomore than he did as a freshman, but he's still prone to the occasional errant pass or unnecessarily deep three-pointer.
35. Brian Roberts, SR, G, Dayton (Preseason: NR)
I don't think I've seen a guard use screens as effectively as Roberts does since Randolph Childress was at Wake. If B-Rob makes a defender fall to the floor in the A-10 title game, and then motions for him to stand up right before burying a three, then he'll automatically rise ten spots on this list.
34. Courtney Lee, SR, F, Western Kentucky (Preseason: 40)
Lee has both the body and the skill set to make a living playing this game for a long time. Watch the Hilltoppers play once and you're left with little doubt as to who the best collegiate player in Kentucky is.
33. Chris Lofton, SR, G, Tennessee (Preseason: 4)
No one has had a more disappointing season to date than Lofton, who is shooting just 34% from the field and 33% from beyond the arc. His previous low in field goal percentage was 46.6% his sophomore season, and his low in three-point percentage was 41.9% last year. For whatever reason it seems like he just hasn't been able to recover from his poor outing at the Pan-Am tryouts last summer.
32. Jerryd Bayless, FR, G, Arizona (Preseason: NR)
The super quick freshman leads Arizona in scoring at 18.5 ppg, and the Wildcats are 1-2 since he's been out with a sprained right knee.
31. Aleks Maric, SR, C, Nebraska (Preseason: 26)
Maric's numbers are down slightly from a year ago, but he still leads a very young Nebraska team in scoring (16.2), rebounding (8.4), field goal percentage (61.2), and blocks (2.0).
30. Darrell Arthur, SO, F, Kansas (Preseason: 36)
Arthur still hasn't quite lived up to his apparent potential, but the fact that he's the most consistent performer on a 14-0 team ranked third in the country certainly says something.
29. Jaycee Carroll, SR, G, Utah State (Preseason: 30)
The sharp-shooting Carroll needs just 46 points to become Utah State's all-time leading scorer.
28. Dominic James, JR, PG, Marquette (Preseason: 20)
James is making more of a concerted effort to take the ball to the bucket, and he's seen both his scoring average (15.3 ppg) and field goal percentage (43.8%) rise as a result.
27. Marcelus Kemp, SR, G, Nevada (Preseason: 27)
Despite a supporting cast hurt drastically by the departure of Nick Fazekas, Kemp is currently the WAC's second leading scorer at 19.1 ppg.
26. Jamont Gordon, JR, G, Mississippi State (Preseason: 16)
When Gordon is hitting from the outside he's an absolute matchup nightmare for opposing coaches.
25. Richard Hendrix, JR, F, Alabama (Preseason: 44)
While he always had the body, Hendrix may very well have evolved into the best post player in the SEC this season. The 6-9, 255-pound junior is averaging a double-double at 19.1 and 10.1.
24. Brook Lopez, SO, F, Stanford (Preseason: 15)
Lopez was academically ineligible for the Cardinal's first eight games, but he's averaging 15.8 points and 7.6 rebounds since his return.
23. Andrew Ogilvy, FR, C, Vanderbilt (Preseason: NR)
Ogilvy was the SEC's biggest wildcard before the season, but I'm pretty sure the other coaches in the league have had the chance to see what he's capable of by this point. And what he's capable of is scoring nearly 20 a game and helping the Commodores to an unblemished record.
22. Bo McCalebb, SR, G, New Orleans (Preseason: 32)
McCalebb has scored at least 20 points in 11 of UNO's 15 games, and has led the Privateers to a surprising 11-4 start.
21. Wayne Ellington, SO, G, North Carolina (Preseason: 42)
Roy Williams' most versatile player was having an outstanding season before he scored 36 and hit the game-winner against Clemson Sunday night.
20. Eric Maynor, JR, G, Virginia Commonwealth (Preseason: 17)
The shoe-in to bring home the Colonial Athletic Association's Player of the Year award is averaging just over 19 points and five assists a contest. He's also stolen the ball 18 times.
19. Shan Foster, SR, F, Vanderbilt (Preseason: 24)
The early favorite for SEC Player of the Year, Foster is averaging 21.1 ppg for the undefeated 'Dores, and has hit a stellar 65-of-122 attempts from three. The inside/outside combo of he and Ogilvy may be the best in the country.
18. O.J. Mayo, FR, G, USC (Preseason: 33)
Mayo putting up big numbers and the Trojans still struggling was the easiest storyline of the season to predict.
17. Drew Neitzel, SR, G, Michigan State (Preseason: 10)
The emergence of Raymar Morgan has taken a hefty load of the scoring responsibility off of Netitzel's back, and allowed him to focus more on his natural ability to distribute the ball. The result is a sparkling 4.8:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, and a 13-1 team.
16. Ryan Anderson, SO, F, California (Preseason: 31)
To answer my own preseason question, the return of DeVon Hardin hasn't imposed on Anderson's performance at all. The sophomore big man is averaging 20.8 points and 9.2 rebounds for the 10-3 Bears.
15. Roy Hibbert, SR, C, Georgetown (Preseason: 2)
Nearly all of big Roy's numbers are down from where they were a year ago, but Hibbert has come on at the end of each season he's spent in a Hoya uniform.
14. Tywon Lawson, SO, G, North Carolina (Preseason: 11)
While it very well may be true, if I hear one more announcer make the comment that Lawson is the fastest player with the ball in his hands in the country, I'm going to lose it. There are plenty of other great aspects of his game that your entire viewing audience hasn't heard discussed three dozen times.
13. Chase Budinger, SO, F, Arizona (Preseason: 6)
Budinger is hounded every time he takes the floor, and yet he's still managing to put up 17.3 a game.
12. D.J. White, SR, C, Indiana (Preseason: 13)
Eric Gordon is the best freshman in the country, but without White, Indiana is USC.
11. Raymar Morgan, SO, F, Michigan State (Preseason: NR)
Morgan, who is averaging 18.4 points and 7.3 rebounds, might be the most improved player in the country. He has yet to score less than 12 points, and scored a career-high 31 against Minnesota on Saturday.
10. Darren Collison, JR, G, UCLA (Preseason: 5)
After missing the first six games of the season Collison is back to old form, averaging 12.4 ppg and boasting a 4.0:1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio.
9. Derrick Rose, FR, G, Memphis (Preseason: 12)
Rose has been everything Tiger fans could have hoped for, and is the main reason why this year's Memphis squad might be able to get over the hump and into the Final Four.
8. Kevin Love, FR, C, UCLA (Preseason: 29)
I'm still not as in love (pun) with this kid as the rest of the country seems to be, but his stat line does speak pretty loudly.
7. Stephen Curry, SO, G, Davidson (Preseason: 23)
There isn't one player in the nation I'd rather watch than Stephen Curry. Everything he does seems so effortless and I'm still astounded that in this day and age a kid with that much obvious talent can fall to the Southern Conference.
6. Chris Douglas-Roberts, JR, F, Memphis (Preseason: 14)
Derrick Rose garnered most of the preseason headlines, but it was the versatile Douglas-Roberts who stole the show in nationally televised wins over Connecticut and Georgetown.
5. Sean Singletary, SR, G, Virginia (Preseason: 3)
Singletary is doing all he can with a limited supporting cast, averaging 17.8 points, 6.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds. His turnovers, however, have become a significant issue for Dave Leitao's club.
4. D.J. Augustin, SO, G, Texas (Preseason: 8)
Augustin has picked up right where Kevin Durant left off, averaging 20.5 ppg to go with 6.1 assists per contest for the 13-2 Longhorns.
3. Michael Beasley, FR, F, Kansas State (Preseason: 19)
Adjusting to the college game hasn't exactly been difficult for the 6-9 Beasley, who is averaging an absurd 24.2 points and 13.5 rebounds. He has registered a double-double in every Kansas State game but their last, a 26-point loss to Xavier in which the next number one pick scored only five points.
2. Eric Gordon, FR, G, Indiana (Preseason: 9)
I was pretty confident he could do some big things in one year, but my Lord.
1. Tyler Hansbrough, JR, F, North Carolina (Preseason: 1)
The preseason favorite to bring home the Wooden Award has done nothing to diminish his front-running status. Hansbrough is averaging career-highs in points (21.7), rebounds (9.9), and field goal percentage (57.9%), and has led UNC to a perfect 15-0 start and a No. 1 ranking. Though he draws the ire of opposing fans wherever he goes, there isn't a player in the country who works harder and I think most of the college basketball world respects that.
- Kyle Weaver, Washington State
- Joey Dorsey, Memphis
- J.J. Hickson, North Carolina State
- Maarty Leunen, Oregon
- A.J. Graves, Butler
- Alex Harris, UC Santa Barbara
- Gerald Henderson, Duke
- Kyle Hines, UNC-Greensboro
- Devan Downey, South Carolina
- Trent Plaisted, BYU
Brandon Rush, Kansas (7)
Derrick Low, Washington State (18)
Kyle Weaver, Washington State (21)
Josh Heytvelt, Gonzaga (25)
Patrick Beverley, Arkansas (34)
Joey Dorsey, Memphis (35)
Jeff Adrien, Connecticut (37)
Randal Falker, Southern Illinois (38)
Geoff McDermott, Providence (39)
Brandon Costner, North Carolina State (41)
Mario Chalmers, Kansas (43)
A.J. Graves, Butler (45)
Terrence Williams, Louisville (47)
Lawrence Hill, Stanford (49)