AP Top 25: Villanova jumps three spots to No. 8

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Following an impressive thirty point victory over Big East foe Providence on Sunday night, the Villanova Wildcats climbed three spots to the eight ranked position in the Associated Press' weekly poll on Monday.

Arizona (15-0) remains the top spot on the poll and Syracuse, who recently defeated the Wildcats by 16 points, remain the second ranked team. Kansas falls to the No. 18 spot following a loss to Colorado and Duke has dropped to No. 16 after a loss to Notre Dame away from home.

The Wildcats have a stacked week ahead of them. They face Seton Hall on Wednesday night and St. John's on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Villanova Players Grab Accolades

Junior forward JayVaughn Pinkston was named the Big 5 Conference's Player of the Week and named to the Big East Conference's Weekly Honor Roll on Monday following his 19 point performance in a win over Providence on Sunday and an overtime victory against Butler on New Year's Eve.

Pinkston went 8-for-12 from the floor against the Friars and was a force in transition and in the post with the 'Cats other leading scorer, James Bell, out of the picture with foul trouble. The 6-foot-7, Brooklyn, New York, native finished the week 14 points away from reaching the 1,000 point mark of his career and averaged 20.5 points in the two games played while shooting 52.4 percent from the field.

Villanova's all-time leading scorer is Kerry Kittles who eclipsed 2,000 total points before a long stint in the NBA, a number Pinkston could get close to before he ends his career with the Wildcats if he chooses to stay for his senior season.

Freshman Josh Hart was also named the Big East Rookie of the week for the second time this season. The 6-foot-5 guard-forward was 5-for-8 from three-point range in his first two Big East games of his career. Hart added 10 points, six rebounds and three assists in the Wildcats 91-61 mauling of Providence on Sunday.

Doug McDermott was named the Big East Player of the Week as he averaged 24.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in two games to give Creighton its first two conference wins of it's history. He scored 18 of his 30 points in the first 10 minutes of a 79-66 victory at Seton Hall.

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