Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Silent majority rankings #11

Previous rankings
Week 9
Week 8
Week 7
Week 6
Week 5
Week 4
Week 3
Week 2
Week 1

ESPN mid-major rankings mid-major poll

1. Xavier (14-2)
Last week: 1
Milestone alert: Musketeers head coach Kevin McGuff's next victory will be the 200th of his coaching career. Now in his 9th season, McGuff currently has a 199-72 record. Up next: Wednesday vs. St. Bonaventure; Saturday at Charlotte.

2. Marist (15-2)
Last week: 2
The Red Foxes' RPI (80) continues to sink as though there's an anvil attached to it, but that's life during a down year in the MAAC. It's only going to get worse, too, as the "best" RPI team left on Marist's schedule - unless the Red Foxes can re-schedule their storm-related postponed game at Arizona State - is Loyola (Md.) at 189. None of this should matter a great deal, though, as the Red Foxes proved during the non-conference season that they can beat NCAA Tournament-caliber teams on a neutral floor, which for most team is what the NCAA Tournament is all about. On deck: Saturday at Manhattan; Monday vs. Loyola (Md.).

3. Green Bay (17-1)
Last week: 3
Last week the Phoenix shot 60 percent in the second half of a victory over Youngstown State, and three days later shot a season-best 63.6 percent in the first half of a win over Illinois-Chicago. If Green Bay can ever put two halves like that together, they should call UConn and dare the Huskies to take them on. On deck: Saturday vs. Milwaukee.
Related: ESPN: The best 3 minutes of Green Bay's season

4. Duquesne (15-2)
Last week: 6
Saturday's 61-57 victory at Dayton boosted the Dukes' record to 9-1 in road games. The nine wins are more than anyone in the latest AP Top 25, and Duquesne's road winning percentage is greater than everyone in the poll except Duke (8-0, 1.000). AP No. 20 Iowa State (1-3) and No. 25 Ohio State (2-4 and a loser to Duquesne at home) actually have losing road records while No. 1 Baylor (1-1), No. 14 Oklahoma (3-3), No. 18 Iowa (3-3) and No. 19 Kentucky (3-3) sport .500 marks in their opponent's gym. We're not that surprised that AP voters haven't looked that deeply inside the numbers. But coaches know how hard it is to win on the road. Shouldn't they be giving these Dukes more credit in the ESPN/USA Today poll? On deck: Wednesday vs. Richmond; Saturday at LaSalle.

5. Florida Gulf Coast (14-0)
Last week: 6
We knew the Eagles loved to shoot the 3-ball, but...55 times? That's how many they launched during Monday's 87-52 win over Mercer, eclipsing the NCAA Division I record 52 attempts of Alabama (2002) and Cal Poly (1999). The Eagles connected on a school-record 20 of them - one shy of another NCAA mark. "We love when teams play zone against us," junior guard Eglah Griffin told the Naples Daily News. We bet. The victory was also the Eagles' 32nd straight at home, the third-longest such streak in the country behind UConn (71) and Stanford (54). On deck: Thursday at Stetson; Monday at Campbell.

6. Princeton (12-3)
Last week: 6
It's official - star sophomore Niveen Rasheed is out for the season with a torn ACL in her right knee. Rasheed  was leading the Ivy League in scoring (16.4 ppg) and steals (29) and ranked second in rebounding (7.3 rpg), so obviously the Tigers will be affected. Then again, they beat Drexel with Rasheed playing just 16 foul-plagued minutes. They beat Davidson with Rasheed missing most of the second half after sustaining the injury. And they beat Wake Forest (on the road), LaSalle and Penn without Rasheed at all. Will the loss of such an impact player eventually catch up with these guys? A couple of weeks ago, we were convinced it would. Now, we're not so sure. On deck: Jan. 28 at Brown.

7. Bowling Green (16-2)
Last week: 3
Prior to last week's 44-43 setback at Kent State, the Falcons hadn't lost in so long (15 games) they may have forgotten what it felt like. Still stinks, doesn't it? Bowling Green shot just 28.6 percent in the game, by far their season low, had nearly 10 assists fewer than average and turned it over 19 times, the most since the Falcons' season-opening loss to Evansville. Also, the 43 points were 19 fewer than they'd scored in any other game. Anyone can throw in a clunker on the road in conference, so since this was so atypical of the Falcons, for now we're going to credit Kent State for great defense and consider Bowling Green's effort an outlier. Tuesday's victory at Buffalo was a nice bounceback. On deck: Saturday vs. Central Michigan.

8. Gonzaga (15-4)
Last week:
It wasn't quite vintage Bulldogs, but the Zags did enough to survive at Loyola Marymount 65-59 and move to 3-0 in the West Coast Conference. An added bonus - all three wins have all come on the road. The Bulldogs continue to lead the nation in assists (19.9 apg, led by Courtney Vandersloot's Division I leading 9.2 apg) and are second to Marist in assist-turnover ratio. On deck: Thursday vs. Santa Clara; Saturday vs. San Francisco.

9. Middle Tennessee State (14-4)
Last week: 9
Sunday's 57-52 victory at Arkansas State was the Blue Raiders' fifth straight. Freshman Ebony Rowe ranks 7th in Division I in field-goal percentage (60.2) and is the only player among the top 25 on this list to be under six feet tall. Rowe is listed at 5-11, which probably means she's actually around 5-9, 5-10 tops. On deck: Wednesday vs. Troy; Friday vs. Denver.

10. Louisiana Tech (11-5)
Last week: 10
The Lady Techsters and Fresno State waged a Game of the Year candidate - maybe the frontrunner - before LaTech survived 94-92 in triple-overtime at Fresno. A Brietta Thomas 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left finally settled as the Lady Techsters prevailed despite trailing by 13 in the second half and having to play all three overtimes without leading scorer and rebounder Adrienne Johnson, who fouled out with 14 seconds left in regulation. On deck: Wednesday vs. Utah State; Friday vs. Nevada.

11. Tulane (15-2)
Last week: 11
The Green Wave used suffocating pressure to make quick work out of Marshall (68-38) last week and have now won eight in a row since losing to Louisiana Tech on Dec. 17. Roshaunda Barnes ranks second in Division I in steals (3.6 spg). On deck: Thursday vs. Southern Miss., Sunday at Tulsa.

12. TCU (12-6)
Last week: 13
Horned Frogs coach Jeff Mittie, after his team forced 31 turnovers, held Colorado State to 31.8 percent shooting and outrebounded the Rams by 13 in a 66-40 rout: "I did not think it was a great game defensively." Tough taskmaster, this coach Mittie. On deck: Wednesday vs. BYU; Saturday at Utah.

13. Richmond (12-5)
Last week:
Big ups to Spiders junior Abby Oliver for earning Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honors; individual awards are tough to snag in a 14-team league featuring that double-double duo at Xavier and so many other talented players. Oliver's teammate, Brittani Shells, is quite the awards hog, too. So Abby must have been really good. The Spiders have won three straight and 8 of their last 9, but the schedule is about to get tricky. A year ago, it was at this point of the season where the Spiders went south for about three weeks. We don't expect the wheels to come off this year, but it will be interesting to see how Richmond handles itself over these next four games. On deck: Wednesday at Duquesne; Saturday vs. Dayton.

14. Houston (13-4)
Last week: 18
The Cougars stumbled through a 1-2 stretch during the three games senior Courtney Taylor sat out with a knee injury but have gone 4-0 since her return. Taylor averaged 19.0 ppg and 12.0 rpg in two victories last week to earn her eighth career Conference USA Player of the Week honor. She needs just eight rebounds to become the school's all-time leader. Also, Brittney Scott will be the school's all-time leading 3-point shooter when she connects on two more bombs. On deck: Thursday at UAB; Sunday vs. Memphis.

15. Old Dominion (11-5)
Last week: 14
Shaky in road games throughout the first two months of the season, the Lady Monarchs have won all three of their Colonial Athletic Association road games and are the only team unbeaten overall in CAA play (5-0). ODU's veterans have stepped up the most, as seniors Jasmine Parker, Alena Voronina and Kquanise Byrd - the reigning CAA Player of the Week - along with junior Tia Lewis have taken turns assuming starring roles in ODU victories. And let's not forget coach Wendy Larry, who continues to keep her teams one step ahead of her conference rivals during the regular season. Sunday's 62-59 win at Delaware was Larry's 550th at ODU and 599th of her career. On deck: Thursday vs. VCU; Sunday vs. Towson.

16. Charlotte (14-4)
Last week: 16
Strong road win Saturday at St. Joseph's as the 49ers dominated the boards (49-32) and got terrific efforts from the McCallum sisters - Shannon had 20 points and Paige had 16 points and 8 rebounds -en route to a 66-57 victory. Eager to see if these guys have anything for Xavier at home on Saturday. On deck: Wednesday at Rhode Island; Saturday vs. Xavier.

17. Hampton (11-5)
Last week: 17
The Lady Pirates have all along seemed like the class of the MEAC, but it was still stunning to see how easily they dispatched the thought-to-be league's second-best team, North Carolina A&T, in Monday night's 71-36 rout. Second-year coach David Six has said several times that his goal is to build a team that plays at a significantly higher level than the conference in which it plays. Looks like he's ahead of schedule. On deck: Saturday at Bethune-Cookman; Monday at Florida A&M. 

18. Temple (11-6)
Last week: 23
We know Rhode Island and Fordham aren't upper-division Atlantic 10 teams, but the fact that the Owls outscored these two teams by a combined 152-62 last week is, well, let's just say Temple appears to be hitting its stride. On deck: Wednesday vs. St. Joseph's; Saturday vs. Penn.

19. James Madison (11-6)
Last week: 24
A week ago, it appeared as though the loss of center Lauren Jimenez to concussion-like symptoms would set the Dukes back. Instead, they outlasted Drexel in overtime and crushed George Mason, and they did it without superhuman performances from Dawn Evans. Evans still averaged 25.5 ppg in the two games, but Tarik Hislop chipped in 17.5 ppg during the week and Lauren Whitehurst, Jalissa Taylor and Nikki Newman all contributed a double-figures scoring game. In other words, the Dukes got the kind of all-hands performances that, if they continue with Jimenez, could make them a really dangerous team the rest of the way. On deck: Thursday vs. William and Mary; Sunday vs. VCU.
Related: USA Today: JMU's Dawn Evans gives kidney disease her best shot

20. Dayton (10-7)
Last week: 12
Saturday started out as a downer, as the Flyers shot a season-low 30.2 percent and let one get away 62-59 at home against those road warriors from Duquesne. But the players will likely always look back on the day with a smile because after the game, they hosted a clinic for 225 kids with special needs. On deck: Wednesday vs. George Washington; Saturday at Richmond.

21. Fresno State (12-6)
Last week: 20
Apparently there was no hangover from the 94-92 triple-overtime loss to Louisiana Tech because two nights later, the Bulldogs hammered New Mexico State 76-49. Jaleesa Ross needs 21 points to surpass Yvette Roberts (1,778 points) as the program's all-time leading scorer. On deck: Monday vs. Hawaii.

22. UNC Wilmington (12-4)
Last week: NR
It's about time we stop ignoring these Seahawks, who won road games at George Mason and Hofstra to move to 4-1 and a second-place tie behind Old Dominion in the CAA. On deck: Thursday vs. Delaware; Sunday at Northeastern.

23. Kent State (13-3)
Last week: NR
The Golden Flashes won their 13th straight at home and snapped a 13-game losing streak to Bowling Green by engineering a 44-43 decision. The 44 points represented the fewest in a victory in the 998-game history of the program. On deck: Wednesday vs. Akron; Saturday at Ball State.

24. Drexel (11-5)
Last week: 21
Kamile Nacickaite's 3-pointer saved the Dragons from a humbling loss at 1-14 William and Mary. It was a road game and William and Mary isn't an awful team, but that wouldn't have mattered. When you lose to someone that has just one win, you're humbled. Good to see forward Tyler Hale back on the court; Hale had sat out three games after sustaining a concussion. On deck: Thursday at George Mason; Sunday vs. Hofstra.

25. Central Michigan (11-5)
Last week: 19
We're suckers for offense and teams with a lot of firepower, so naturally we enjoy these Chippewas. Saturday's loss at Ball State was concerning, though, and now they must face a hot Toledo team that has had the upper hand in this series of late. We're going to give Kaihla Szunko and Co. the benefit of the doubt for now, but they've got a huge week coming up. On deck: Wednesday vs. Toledo; Saturday at Bowling Green

Hey, what about us?

Toledo (13-5) - Winners of 5 straight heading into Wednesday's showdown at Central Michigan.

St. Joseph's (11-6) - Tough 2nd half vs. Xavier - led by 4, lost by 21.

Memphis (13-5) - Dropped back-to-back games to UTEP and UAB. Maybe the Tigers are allergic to acronyms....

Nevada (13-4) - Coming off a 12-point loss at Utah State

Lamar (13-4) - Lady Cards continue to prove they're more than just Jenna Plumley.

UC Davis (13-4) - Nice overall record but just 3-2 in the Big West. Got back on track with last week's 85-67 victory over Long Beach State.

Missouri State (14-4) - Three straight wins since a loss at Northern Iowa

St. Bonaventure (12-6) - Bonnies will take their shot at Xavier Wednesday.

Illinois State (10-6) - Redbirds looking forward to Thursday's home game against Creighton after dropping their last three games on the road.

Arkansas-Little Rock (11-5) - Winners of eight straight; last loss was on Dec. 11 at Memphis.

San Diego State (8-8) - A victory Wednesday at Air Force will put the Aztecs above .500 for just the second time this season.

Cal Poly (9-7) - Mustangs stumbled through their non-conference sked but are 5-0 in the Big West, with 3 of the wins coming on the road.

Northern Iowa (12-5) - Panthers have won four straight, including one over Missouri State, to vault to the top of the Missouri Valley Conference.

VCU (9-6) - Tossed in a real clunker by losing at Towson, but recovered well to take out Northeastern.


  1. LS: Just an update on LA Tech All-American candidate Adrienne Johnson. She dropped 36 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals on Utah State last night while hitting a school record 16-of-16 free throws. This kid is legit and could start ANYWHERE in the country.

  2. LS: LA Tech dominated a Nevada team that has wins over Arizona, NC State, Pepperdine, BYU and Illinois State this year, defeating the Wolf Pack 67-43. Adrienne Johnson had 26 points. Tech broke out the sleeved uniforms for the first time since 2002 in honor of the three national championship teams that were being honored at the game.