BYU Basketball Makes Rare November Appearance In AP Top 25

Nov 22, 2021, 10:51 AM | Updated: 10:57 am
BYU Basketball - Mark Pope - Chris Burgess...
BYU basketball head coach Mark Pope and assistant Chris Burgess celebrate a win over San Diego State. (Nate Edwards, BYU Photo)
(Nate Edwards, BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – Undefeated BYU basketball is making a rare November appearance in the AP Top 25 poll. After crushing Oregon and NAIA Central Methodist this past week, the 4-0 BYU Cougars launched into the Top 25 at No. 18 in the week three poll.

WCC rival Gonzaga continues to sit atop the rankings at No. 1.

It’s not often BYU basketball is ranked in November

This is only the 12th time in AP Top 25 poll history that BYU basketball has appeared in a weekly poll in the month of November. The last time it happened was in 2010-2011, BYU’s last Sweet 16 run during Jimmer Fredette’s senior year. BYU was in all four weekly polls in November that season.

Oregon fell out of the rankings after suffering a 32-point setback to BYU. However, the Ducks are the first team receiving votes, sitting at No. 26 if the poll extended that far.

BYU is led by “super senior” guard Alex Barcello. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound captain, is shooting a blistering 70.3% from the field, 60% from three, and a perfect 100% at the free throw line. Barcello is averaging 20.5 points per game. He’s the only player in double figures per game in scoring on BYU’s roster.

Other notable contributors include preseason All-WCC forward Caleb Lohner. Lohner has had a feeling out phase with his offensive game, but he scored 18 points in a rout over Central Methodist. That could potentially have him finding his groove on the offensive end in short order.

BYU has three wins over teams that participated in the NCAA Tournament last season in Cleveland State, Oregon, and San Diego State. On Wednesday, the Cougars will look for a fourth when they host Texas Southern from the SWAC at the Marriott Center.

Following Wednesday’s tilt with a SWAC power, BYU will make the 45-mile bus ride up north to take on rival Utah at Huntsman Center. The Utes are 5-0 in Craig Smith’s first season as head coach, and they are fresh off an MTE win in the Sunshine Slam.

College Basketball AP Top 25

Week 3 as of November 22nd, 2021

1. Gonzaga (4-0)

2. UCLA (4-0)

3. Purdue (5-0)

4. Kansas (3-0)

5. Duke (5-0)

6. Baylor (4-0)

7. Villanova (3-2)

8. Texas (3-1)

9. Memphis (4-0)

T-10. Kentucky (3-1)

T-10. Alabama (4-0)

12. Houston (3-0)

13. Arkansas (3-0)

14. Illinois (2-1)

15. Tennessee (3-1)

16. St. Bonaventure (5-0)

17. Arizona (5-0)

18. BYU (4-0)

19. Auburn (3-0)

20. Michigan (3-2)

21. Seton Hall (3-0)

22. UConn (4-0)

23. Florida (3-0)

24. USC (3-0)

25. Xavier (4-0)

Others receiving votes: Oregon; Virginia Tech; Ohio State; North Carolina; Indiana; Michigan State; Marquette; Colorado State; Maryland; Texas Tech; LSU; Iowa; Mississippi State; Florida State; Drake; George Mason; San Francisco; Ohio; Loyola Chicago.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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