Wednesday, December 2, 2009

State rankings - #4

We held these rankings a day (we typically post them on Tuesdays) in case Liberty shook things up by vaulting past JMU. Of course, the Dukes weren't having it. But that was just the first marquee matchup during what's shaping up as "Showdown Week" in the Commonwealth. On Sunday, JMU visits Virginia and VCU hosts Richmond. And on Thursday, William and Mary will try to break into the Top 5 when the Spiders come to Williamsburg.

Think we have your team too low/high? Let us know. And in case you missed the national polls: AP; ESPN/USA Today

1. Virginia (5-1) Last week: 1
- We're not surprised China Crosby is playing through her injury. After all, if you've got a sore tailbone, the worst thing to do is sit. Next: Thursday vs. Purdue

2. James Madison (5-0) Last week: 2
- A scary thought for future JMU opponents: the Dukes won by 10 at Liberty Tuesday despite making free throws a 50-50 proposition, getting subpar shooting from the field and with Dawn Evans scoring about half her average. Next: Sunday at Virginia

3. VCU (3-0) Last week: 3
- Fatigue won't be an issue for these guys as the Rams haven't played a game since Nov. 21. Must have been a scheduling conflict; teams don't take this much time off this soon by design. Next: tonight at East Carolina

4. Richmond (5-2) Last week: 4
- Forget getting taken apart by UConn; the Huskies do that to everyone. Focus instead on Friday's demolition of Clemson, which showed just how good these Spiders can be when everything's clicking. Next: Thursday at William and Mary

5. Liberty (5-1) Last week: 5
- Devon Brown isn't going to shoot 1 for 16 every night. But she will see the extra attention and specially designed defenses JMU threw at her on a regular basis. It's the price you pay for lighting up your first five opponents. Next: Saturday vs. Glenville State

6. Virginia Tech (4-2) Last week: 7
- Take away a respectable showing at VCU and a near-miss at JMU and the Hokies have done what they're supposed to do to lower-tier foes - their four victories have come by an average of 28.5 points. Next: Thursday vs. Michigan

7. Old Dominion (0-5) Last week: 6
- One stunning Lady Monarchs positive has been the play of Shadasia Green, the pint-sized widebody (is that like jumbo shrimp?) who is defying the odds with her play in the paint. Turning in a 24-point, 8-rebound, 5-assist line at her size against a quality team like Louisville is truly remarkable. Next: Sunday vs. Ole Miss

8. Hampton (2-3) Last week: 8
- OK, so the Lady Pirates (0-3 last week) don't travel well. UNC Wilmington and William and Mary can testify that they're a real handful at home. Next: Saturday at Howard

9. William and Mary (4-2) Last week: 9
- Given that Taysha is playing above expectations (18.2 ppg in her last four games), you could say that the Tribe is benefiting from Pye in the sky (I know, I know). Next: Thursday vs. Richmond

10. George Mason (4-2) Last week: 10
- No wonder these Patriots bear little resemblance to the woeful 4-26 squad of a year ago - five of this season's top seven players in terms of minutes played did not suit up for Mason in 2008-09. Next: Friday vs. High Point

11. Longwood (2-5) Last week: 11
- Could have used two victories in their own tournament last weekend instead of just one, as the December schedule - 6 of 8 games on the road including trips to West Virginia and JMU - is formidable. Next: Friday at New Orleans, Big Easy Classic

12. Norfolk State (1-4) Last week: 13 - The record doesn't show it, but given how low NSU was a year ago, this might be the most improved team in the state. Next: Saturday vs. North Carolina A&T

13. Radford (0-4) Last week: 12
- Howard slipped away on Sunday. Now the best hope for that first victory will come on Saturday when the Highlanders host Southern Virginia. Next: Tonight at West Virginia

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