Cats fall from No. 1, snubbed in SEC awards


Head coach John Calipari scolds DeMarcus Cousins after a technical foul was called on him during the second half of the game against Vanderbilt at Rupp Arena on Saturday. Photo by Zach Brake

A week of supremacy is now over.

UK (20-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) is no longer No. 1 in the land. After the Cats’ 62-68 loss to South Carolina on Tuesday night, it was only how far they would drop the following Monday when the Associated Press top 25 was announced, not if.

Three spots is the answer to that question, as UK checks in at No. 4. The Cats still received one first place vote, though. The Kansas Jayhawks (20-1) took back the No. 1 ranking after holding it for the first eight weeks of the season, and giving it up three weeks ago.

Villanova (19-1) and Syracuse (21-1) moved up to Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. Michigan State (19-3) rounds out the top five.

West Virginia (17-3) comes in at No. 6 this week and Georgetown (16-4) moves up to No. 7 following an impressive 12-point win over Duke. Purdue (18-3) is No. 8 this week, Texas (18-3) is No. 9 and Kansas State (17-4) and Duke (17-4) are tied for No. 10.

Other teams from the SEC that made it into the AP top 25 are Tennessee (16-4, 4-2 SEC) at No. 14, Vanderbilt (16-4, 5-1 SEC) at No. 18 and Mississippi (16-5, 4-3 SEC) at No. 25.

The Cats fell to No. 3 in the USA Today/Coaches poll.

Cats snubbed

For just the third time all season, a UK player wasn’t named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week or SEC Freshman of the Week.

This week’s honors were given to Devan Downey of South Carolina as Player of the Week, and Arkansas’ Marshawn Powell as Freshman of the Week.

Downey averaged 31.5 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in South Carolina’s two wins over No. 1 UK and Georgia. South Carolina is now 13-8 and 4-3 in the SEC.

Powell averaged 14.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in two upset-wins over Mississippi State and Mississippi. Arkansas is 10-11 and 3-3 in the SEC.

UK freshman DeMarcus Cousins averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds in the Cats’ two games from this past week. Cousins won SEC Freshman of the Week last week. He was thought to be a likely candidate for the Cats this week.