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January 18, 2011

Power rankings: BYU's Fredette back on point

Rivals.com Power Rankings: PG | SG | SF | PF | C | Freshman | Head Coach

BYU's Jimmer Fredette and Connecticut's Kemba Walker can't have a head-to-head showdown this season unless they meet in the NCAA tournament.

But that won't stop them from competing with each other.

Fredette's 47-point outburst Tuesday in a 104-79 victory over Utah allowed him to grab the NCAA scoring lead from Walker. That memorable performance also helped Fredette replace Walker as the No. 1 point guard in the latest edition of the Rivals.com College Basketball Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top performers at each position.

"He's a special player," BYU coach Dave Rose said after the Utah game. "He's on a roll and playing with a lot of confidence."

No kidding.

Fredette is averaging 26.1 points heading into Tuesday's game with TCU. He scored 32 points in the first half alone against Utah and became the first player in BYU history to deliver three 40-point games.

Fredette shot 16-of-28 overall -- including 6-of-9 from 3-point range -- and made all nine of his free throws against Utah. Even as he recorded one of the most prolific performances in school history, Fredette also found a way to set up his teammates. He dished out six assists while committing only two turnovers.

"It was one of those special nights," Fredette said. "Guys were getting me open, and I was able to make some plays for myself."

Fredette's move represented the only change at the top of the power rankings this week. Duke shooting guard Nolan Smith, Duke small forward Kyle Singler, Arizona power forward Derrick Williams, Ohio State center Jared Sullinger and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski remained atop their respective positions. Sullinger also maintained his status as the nation's top freshman.

Elsewhere in the power rankings, N.C. State's Tracy Smith moved from power forward to center this week. Although Smith's natural position is power forward, he has been playing mostly center for the Wolfpack this season. We also removed N.C. State's C.J. Leslie from the small forward rankings and will consider him at power forward for the rest of the season.

This week's power rankings take into account all results through Sunday's games. The rankings put a special emphasis on recent performances while also taking career achievements into consideration.

Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at smegargee@rivals.com.

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