Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Silent majority rankings #6

Previous rankings
Week four
Week three
Week two
Week one

1. Xavier (9-0)
Last week: 1
The Musketeers are off to the best start in program history and are one of 10 undefeated teams left in Division I (11 if you count reclassifying Florida Gulf Coast). but the schedule is about to get really interesting. Their next four games: vs.Mississippi State (5-2) on Wednesday, at Duke (11-0) on Dec. 21, at Stanford (6-0) on Dec. 28 and vs.Missouri (5-4) on Jan. 5.

2. Bowling Green (10-1)
Last week: 3
Foul her, and Falcons star Lauren Prochaska will kill you - she's working on an NCAA-record streak of 67 straight free throws. Don't foul her, as Austin Peay tried last week, and she'll still kill you. Prochaska made 6 3-pointers in Saturday's 69-42 rout. The victory was the Falcons' 10th straight.

3. Green Bay (9-1)
Last week: 2
Guess last week's spiel about the Phoenix going undefeated was a bit premature. Our bad. No shame in a 3-point loss at Marquette, Green Bay's first regular-season setback in 18 games. Problem was, it was the last chance for a (relatively) marquee win on Green Bay's schedule. Fair or not, the Phoenix aren't going to get much national credit no matter how well they fare against the rest of the teams they play. That is, except from us.

4. Princeton (7-2)
Last week: 4
Sophomore Niveen Rasheed dropped 28 points (22 in the first half) on Lafayette Monday, the most by a Tiger in nearly four years. Friday's home meeting with Drexel looms as one of the most intriguing games of the week.

5. Florida Gulf Coast (7-0)
Last week: 5
A few months ago, we asked Florida International's Rakia Rodgers, a junior and her team's leading scorer, to identify the best college player she's ever faced. "No single player stands out right now, but the best team would probably be Florida Gulf Coast. Believe it or not. They do the best job I've ever seen a team do at concealing their weaknesses." Florida International will visit FGCU on Wednesday. 

6. Tulane (7-1)
Last week: 6
The Green Wave went into their 12-day exam break vowing to improve as a team. Good thing, too, because their first post-game break figures to be a toughie - a visit from Louisiana Tech on Friday.

7. Drexel (6-1)
Last week: 8
Coaches are never 100 percent satisfied, but we suspect Denise Dillion had a hard time picking nits with the 66-43 dismantling of Anne Donovan's Seton Hall team that her Dragons unleashed Sunday. Now let's see if they can take this form on the road. Drexel is 5-0 at home, but its next three games, including Friday's showdown with Princeton, are on the road.

8. Marist (6-2)
Last week: 9
The Red Foxes delivered the 200th career coaching victory to head coach Brian Giorgis with Saturday's 71-55 pasting of Boston University. "I'm not a fool; I know I have great players and great assistants," Giorgis said. Yeah, Coach, but who recruited those players and hired those assistants?

9. Charlotte (8-2)
Last week: 10
Victories over Western Carolina and VCU have the 49ers on a five-game winning streak heading into their exam break. Charlotte will return to action Sunday at Arkansas State.

10. Gonzaga (7-3)
Last week: 20
Junior forward Kayla Standish earned West Coast Conference Player of the Week honors for her 22-point, 7-rebound, 4-block effort in a 93-75 victory over Washington State. Said Bulldogs coach Kelly Graves: "If we get an interior presence like that, we're going to be pretty tough to beat because Katelan Redmon is such a playmaker on the perimeter and obviously we have the best point guard, I think, in the country." That would be Courtney Vandersloot, who served up 13 points and a season-high 14 assists against the Cougars.

11. Houston (6-1)
Last week: 14
Senior forward Courtney Taylor earned her second Conference USA Player of the Weed nod of the season (and 7th of her career) after getting 24 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks in a 71-59 victory over UTSA. It was the third time this season a Houston player has garnered the award; Porsche Landry won it for the week of Nov. 29.

12. UC Davis (6-2)
Last week: 7
Falling behind 20-3 (perhaps the 11-day break had something to do with that) doomed the Aggies in a 61-41 loss at Kansas State. But the game did feature two more 3-pointers from sophomore Vicky Deely, who ranks No. 2 in Division I with 52.5 percent marksmanship from distance. Deely also currently leads the Aggies in scoring (12.3 ppg) and rebounding (5.6 rpg).

13. Fresno State (7-3)
Last week: 11
The Bulldogs simply ran into too many Ogwumikes in Sunday's 77-40 loss at Stanford. They can set themselves up for another shot at a marquee win this weekend if they can take care of UCSB in the opening round of the St. John's Holiday Classic. The host school is ranked No. 18 in the AP Top 25 poll.

14. Middle Tennessee State (7-3)
Last week: 15
Not too many teams can basically turn over their entire starting unit from the previous  year and remain dangerous. But that's what's happening with MTSU, where players we've never even heard of - no disrespect, Icelyn Elie - transform themselves into stars right before your eyes. A 7 points-per-game scorer going in, Elie had 25 points and 16 rebounds in Sunday's 81-75 decision over James Madison.

15. Richmond (6-4)
Last week: 24
Is this the best team in Virginia? Hampton, 71-43 losers to the Spiders, and Old Dominion, which went down 65-43 at Richmond Sunday, can't offer much evidence to the contrary. The University of Virginia still appears to be the Commonwealth's standard-bearer. But we can wait to see what happens when these teams meet up in Charlottesville on Jan. 3.

16. Duquesne (7-1)
Last week: 21
Senior forward Samantha Pollino earned Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honors for averaging 17 points and 8 rebounds in the Dukes' victories over Buffalo and North Dakota State. Duquesne has now won six straight.

17. Dayton (5-4)
Last week: 18
Would have liked to see what the Flyers could do at Louisville had they given themselves a chance. Instead, 31 turnovers - 10 more than their previous season high - resigned them to a 69-55 defeat. 

18. Appalachian State (6-2)
Last week: 17
The Mountaineers will end a 13-day break on Sunday with a visit to Furman. Here's hoping the down time didn't cool off their explosive offense (82.9 ppg, 50.1 percent field goals, 21 assists per game). Women's basketball needs all the teams like this it can get.

19. Hampton (5-4)
Last week: NR
Outstanding week for the Lady Pirates, who won at East Carolina before returning home and taking apart Florida in the second half en route to a 69-54 victory. Junior guard Jericka Jenkins earned MEAC Player of the Week honors for averaging 18 points and 8 assists in the two games. 

20. James Madison (5-4)
Last week: 13
Middle Tennessee spoiled Dawn Evans' return to her home state by trumping the Dukes 81-75. A potentially tricky visit to Monmouth is up next, two days before Monday's home showdown with Virginia. Last year, the Dukes upset the Cavaliers in Charlottesville.

21. TCU (5-5)
Last week: 16
Win one, lose one has been the pattern of late for the Horned Frogs. But they're starting to see consistent play from star senior Helena Sverrisdottir, who dropped a career-high 30 points on UT-Arlington and bagged 23 more in Sunday's 91-66 loss at Texas A&M. It was good enough for Sverrisdottir earn Mountain West Conference Player of the Week honors for the first time this season but eighth time in her career.

22. Old Dominion (4-4)
Last week: 12
Can't figure out ODU forward Tia Lewis. We love her skill set, and at times we see greatness. But at other times, we see...nothing. Unless there's an injury we don't know about, she's a whole lot better than the 2-point, 2-rebound, 7-turnover effort she handed in Sunday at Richmond.

23. Delaware (6-1)
Last week: 22
Assuming star Elena Delle Donne is completely over what's believed to be a severe viral infection that caused her to essentially miss two games and be somewhat limited in a third, Sunday's game at Penn State should be really interesting. Lady Lions games have typically been high-scoring. We won't be surprised if a healthy Delle Donne goes off for 40-plus.

24. Illinois State (5-2)
Last week: 19
We love it when Katie Broadway has big games because, well, we love that name. So we're happy to report that, led by Katie Broadway's 18 points, the Redbirds thumped Ball State 77-51 last week for their second straight win.

25 (tie). St. Bonaventure (7-3)
Last week: 23
Winners of four in a row, the Bonnies will be off until next Monday when they face Middle Tennessee State in the opening round of the Texas-San Antonio Christmas Classic.
Last week: 23

25 (tie). Missouri State (7-2)
Last week: 25
Sunday's 67-57 decision at St. Louis was the Bears' fourth straight victory. Looking forward to seeing what these guys can do on Sunday at Georgetown.

Hey, what about us?

Temple (6-4) - Last week's victory over Hartford was the Owls' fourth straight.
Last week: NR

Samford (6-2) - The Bulldogs capped their six-game winning streak with their first-ever win over an ACC school, Sunday's 58-48 victory over Clemson.
Last week: NR

BYU (7-3) - Winners of four straight and seven of their last eight.

UC Irvine (6-3) - Has recovered nicely from a slow start with six straight wins.

Louisiana Tech (4-3) - Games against Tulane, LSU and Georgia will tell us a lot about these guys in the coming weeks.


  1. Update LS: LA Tech defeated Arkansas State by 30 (84-54) Wednesday. ASU had lost by 3 to Iowa, 9 at Missouri State and 12 at St. John's. Tech blew them out.
    LA Tech then defeated #6 (LSTop25) Tulane 78-72 on the Green Wave's home floor last night. Tech won despite Adrienne Johnson (avg 22 ppg) scoring only 8 points and despite 18 of the first 25 fouls being called on the Lady Techsters.
    Tech at LSU Sunday.

  2. Actually got to listen to a lot of that game last night. Very impressive performance by the Lady Techsters.

  3. Thanks LadyS. LA Tech fell at LSU Sunday 68-53. It was a five-point game with five minutes to play before LSU hit four three's down the stretch to pull away. LA Tech didn't play well and still had a chance to win.