Fresh off an impressive weekend at the Phil Knight Invitational where the UConn men’s basketball team handily defeated Oregon, Alabama and Iowa State for the PKI title, the Huskies jumped up 12 spots in this week’s AP Poll from No. 20 to No. 8. Outside of No. 5 Purdue, which climbed 19 spots after an impressive weekend of their own in the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament, no other team climbed 10 or more spots.
The No. 8 ranking is the highest the Huskies have been ranked since Jan. 17 2012, when the team was also ranked eighth. Currently, UConn (8-0) is the only team in the country with eight wins and the only school with adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency inside the top 10, per KenPom. The Huskies currently rank No. 6 overall in KenPom.
Following the PKI, Oregon remains unranked, while Alabama jumped seven spots to No. 11 and Iowa State stayed pat at No. 23. Aside from UConn, Creighton is only other ranked Big East school at No. 7, while St. John’s received one vote.
Freshman big man Donovan Clingan earned Big East Freshman of the Week honors, wrestling the award away from teammate Alex Karaban for the first time this season. The Bristol product averaged 9.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in the PKI, holding his own against some of the top big men in the country in Oregon's N’Faly Dante and ISU’s Osun Osunniyi. His first career double-double — a 15-point, 10-rebound performance against the Cyclones in the championship game — earned him PKI MVP honors.
Clingan is the first person other than Karaban to win the Freshman of the Week honors in the Big East after Karaban won the honors for the first two weeks of the season. While Clingan edged him out for the award this week, Karaban was no slouch either, scoring 28 points across all three games and shooting 46 percent from the 3-point line.