Counting down the best in college hoops
We like our top-five lists here at The Shootaround. And just for some fun we thought we'd get started on some new lists as many of the teams in the country prepare for a short respite heading into final exams.
Top-five seniors so far
1. Nneka Ogwumike, Stanford. The lithe, athletic and relentless forward is the Cardinal's go-to player and looks like the No. 1 pick in April's WNBA draft.
2. Shekinna Stricklen, Tennessee. Stricklen, big at the wing at 6-foot-2, is the Lady Vols' leading scorer this season with 16.8 points per game.
3. Shenise Johnson, Miami (Fla.) Johnson leads her team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. She is perhaps the best do-everything player in the nation.
4. Keisha Hampton, DePaul. The Blue Demons' fifth-year senior guard is averaging 17.3 points and 4.7 rebounds.
5. Glory Johnson, Tennessee. Johnson is leading one of the nation's best rebounding teams in, well, rebounding and is averaging a near-double-double with 12.8 points and 9.5 rebounds a game.
Five on the marquee
1. Chelsea Gray, Duke. Gray, the stellar sophomore, put up the fourth triple-double in school history Sunday with 14 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds in the Blue Devils' win over Pittsburgh.
2. Bonnie Samuelson, Stanford. The Cardinal freshman forward came off the bench for a pair of big perimeter performances last week, shooting a combined 11 of 16 from beyond the arc in wins over UC Davis and Fresno State.
3. Ariel Massengale, Tennessee. The freshman point guard is learning how to lead the Lady Vols and she made some big strides last week, with only one total turnover in two games against Middle Tennessee and Texas. She scored a combined 24 points in those two games.
4. A'dia Mathies, Kentucky. The junior guard put up 20 points for the third time this season and pushed the Wildcats record to 8-0 with a noteworthy win over No. 10 Louisville.
5. Monique Oliver, Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are off to an 8-1 start and Oliver, the junior post, is leading the way. She averaged 14 points, 8.5 rebounds and collected eight blocks and four steals in wins over Temple and Florida.
Five names you should how, but probably don't
1. Liz Donohoe, Oklahoma State. The freshman forward scored a career-high 23 points in the Cowgirls' win over Indiana.
2. Chucky Jeffery, Colorado. The junior guard is playing a big role in Colorado's first 7-0 record since 1993-94. Jeffery scored 26 points against San Francisco and followed up with 30 points against Idaho. Both were career highs. The Buffaloes are the lone unbeaten team in the Pac-12.
3. Taleia Moton, George Mason. She's was the team's scoring and assist leader last season, and now ranks in the NCAA top three this year in scoring at 24.7 points per game. She's scored at least 30 points in three consecutive games, propelling George Mason to a 6-1 start.
4. Laura Sweeney, Villanova. The junior forward has had three 20-point games in the last four and has made 23 of her last 24 free-throw attempts.
5. Morgan Jones, Northwestern. The 6-foot-2 guard pushed her team to wins over North Carolina State and Missouri, including 27 points and 11 rebounds against the Wolfpack.
Five biggest surprises so far
1. Purdue over Texas A&M. The upset victory over the Aggies was Purdue's first over a ranked nonconference opponent since 2009 and its first win as a ranked team over a ranked nonconference opponent since 2003.
2. Ohio State's strong play. After Jantel Lavender graduated, it would have been easy to see the Buckeyes might need a season to recover. Instead, they're rolling. OSU just completed a three-game run against LSU, Florida State and Oklahoma by winning all three games.
3. Georgetown sneaks past Rider. The surprising part here isn't the final result, but the fact that the Hoyas were down by 12 points early in the second half against Rider. Behind Sugar Rodgers' 21 points, Georgetown rallied to avoid its first nonconference home loss since December 2006.
4. Texas Tech over Penn State. The Red Raiders have spent a few years trying to rebuild their program and return to the national rankings. Texas Tech hosted its first top-20 matchup in more than six years and was rewarded with a win over Penn State.
5. Rutgers returns. It's also been a long few years for the Scarlet Knights, but C. Vivian Stringer's program is back in stride and opened with an 8-0 record for the first time since 2005. The Scarlet Knights lost their first game in double overtime at Miami on Monday night.