This article is part of our College Hoops Barometer series.
The college hoops season still has that "new car" smell, but some schools are already feeling good about themselves despite the calendar not yet turning to December. At the time of this writing, a few Big Ten teams have started undefeated, including a surprising Iowa squad that has wins over Oregon and UConn, as well as an Ohio State Buckeyes unit that has been ranked No. 1 by the new NET ratings, which are supposed to replace the old RPI rankings. The Buffalo Bulls have made a novel appearance in the rankings after a shocking win at West Virginia. And the only remaining undefeated team in the Big East? It's not the defending champion Villanova Wildcats, but the St. John's Red Storm. Chris Mullin's troops have raced out to a 6-0 record, led by scorer extraordinaire Shamorie Ponds, transfers Mustapha Heron, Justin Simon and L.J. Figueroa.
A lot can change in a short amount of time, though, and some key non-conference tilts during the holiday season may give us a better idea of the contenders and pretenders. On that note, let's take a look at those players helping or hurting their respective causes in this week's edition of the College Hoops Barometer.
Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga - The Zags did the impossible last week, taking down the mighty Blue Devils and their ferocious freshman trio. Hachimura led the Bulldogs in scoring with 20 points in the thrilling 89-87 win, but he also contributed seven rebounds, five assists and three