Jared Wagner (above) and York moved up in the last CoBL-area power poll of the 2019-20 season. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
It’s time for our final update to our 2019-20 D-III Power Poll!
In case you forgot, unlike our old D-III Power Rankings, this year’s rankings are voted on by a panel of 15 area Division III coaches and SIDs, then compiled by the CoBL staff. This week’s voting revealed a few tiers: a clear No. 1, six teams behind them who were included on just about everybody’s ballot –– and then a free-for all, with seven teams getting serious consideration for those last three spots, and a couple more picking up votes as well.
This year’s voting panel: John Baron (Head Coach/Gwynedd Mercy), Justin Baxter (Head Coach/Bryn Athyn), Pat Doherty (Head Coach/Haverford), Andy Edwards (SID/Ursinus), Scott Guise (SID/York), Robert Hughes (Head Coach/Rosemont), Tim McDonald (Head Coach/Cabrini), Casey McGarvey (SID/Elizabethtown), Mike McGarvey (Head Coach/Lycoming), Laurence Messler (SID/Immaculata), Dan Mouw (SID/Eastern), Jason O’Connell (Head Coach/Cairn) Alan Seretti (Head Coach/Dickinson), Jon Tanous (Head Coach/Penn State-Abington), Adam Van Zelst (Head Coach/Arcadia)
Next to each team's name is their Power Points ranking (PP) in parenthesis. We took the average of their votes with an assigned point scale (10 points for 1st, 9 for 2nd, etc.). So a team with a Power Point rating of 6.5 was picked on average between 4th and 5th; a team with a power point rating of 3.1 was picked on average just above 8th place, etc.
Others receiving votes (in order): Arcadia (14-9, 9-5 MAC Commonwealth), Eastern (14-9, 9-3 MAC Freedom), Cairn (14-9, 9-3 CSAC), Moravian (13-10, 8-4 Landmark)
10. Penn State-Harrisburg (Last Poll: RV; Power Points: 1.07)
Record: 15-7 (11-2 NEAC)
Last Two Weeks: @ Lancaster Bible (W, 91-65), vs. PSU-Abington (W, 89-49), vs. Gallaudet (L, 67-62), vs. Keuka (W, 95-68)
Update: The loss to Gallaudet is the only one in PSU-Harrisburg’s last 10 games, as Donald Friday’s bunch has risen to the top of the NEAC along with SUNY Morrisville(14-8, 11-2). They’ve still got three games left in the regular-season, all on the road, concluding the year with a trip to Morrisville on Feb. 22. Their win over Keuka saw all five starters score in double figures, with another 14 from Nate Curry off the bench. None of the six players averaging more than two ppg for the Lions are seniors, including freshmen Curry (14.5 ppg, 41.4 3PT%) and Bonner’s Chris Haynes (8.0 ppg). Sophomore Donyae Baylor-Carroll (17.0 ppg/3.4 rpg/4.2 apg) is definitely one to watch.
9. Lycoming College (9; 1.43)
Record: 16-8 (9-6 MAC Commonwealth)
Last Two Weeks: @ Lebanon Valley (W, 79-77 OT), vs. Arcadia (L, 72-67), vs. Alvernia (W, 67-63), @ Albright (L, 75-57)
Update: The Warriors have certainly been strong under first-year head coach Mike McGarvey, but they haven’t quite been able to string together wins in league play, aside from a run of four straight in mid-January. And there’s not much time to pick up momentum before the Commonwealth playoffs, with just one game left in the regular season, at home against basement-dweller Stevenson (6-17, 3-11) on Saturday, though they’re already assured of a spot in the Commonwealth’s five-team playoff. Freshman forward Dyson Harward (13.0 ppg/7.8 rpg) and junior guard Darius Dangerfield (13.5 ppg/4.4 apg) have been consistent, but they struggle when others aren’t stepping up and chipping in on the scoring column.
8. Muhlenberg College (8; 3.13)
Record: 16-7 (9-7 Centennial)
Last Two Weeks: @ Swarthmore (L, 75-62), vs. McDaniel (W, 81-62), vs. Haverford (W, 71-50), vs. Franklin & Marshall (L, 70-67)
Update: Muhlenberg had a chance to close to within a game of Haverford on Sunday (Feb. 16), leading F&M most of the way, but the Diplomats closed with an 11-3 run on the road to steal one from the Mules, who lost for the third time in five games, though two of them were at Swarthmore and Hopkins, both on the road. Muhlenberg closes its season out with two more road games, at Ursinus and Gettysburg, neither of which are anything close to guaranteed wins. Their backcourt of sophomore Dan Gaines (15.9 ppg/4.7 apg) and senior Matt Gnais (12.2 ppg/3.3 rpg) will keep them in a lot of games, as long as they’re getting support from the rest of the eight-man rotation.
7. Haverford College (5; 4.64)
Record: 16-7 (11-5 Centennial)
Last Two Weeks: @ Washington College (W, 74-59), @ Gettysburg (W, 65-63), @ Muhlenberg (L, 71-50), vs. McDaniel (L, 81-66)
Update: It’s been a fantastic third season for Pat Doherty, as the Fords have already won six more games than a year ago, and the 16 wins are the most they’ve had in a season since going 18-8 in the 1976-77 season. But they’re in danger of ending the season on a bit of a skid, dropping their last two –– including a surprising home loss to McDaniel (6-17, 2-14), who’s gotten its only two league wins against the Fords –– with games against No. 1 Swarthmore and at No. 7 Johns Hopkins the last two games in the regular season. No matter what, a balanced rotation and plenty of talented underclassmen mean that Haverford should continue to be a factor the next few seasons at minimum, but this is a group that wants to taste postseason play for the first time since 2011, when they bowed out to F&M in the Centennial semifinals to cap off a 14-12 (10-8) season.
6. DeSales University (7; 5.27)
Record: 16-7 (9-3 MAC Freedom)
Last Two Weeks: @ FDU-Florham (W, 73-65), vs. Wilkes (W, 81-72), vs. Stevens (L, 76-64), @ Misericordia (W, 70-62)
Update: The loss to Stevens was DeSales’ only one in five games so far this month, the Bulldogs done in by a combination of 18 turnovers and below-average 3-point shooting. Turnovers have been the biggest issue for Scott Coval’s group, as they’re averaging 17.1/game, which is more than three more per game compared to their opponents. Junior wing forward Timmy Edwards, the team’s leading scorer (15.4 ppg) and rebounder (6.6 rpg) has stepped up his game of late, raising his average nearly three points during a six-game stretch where he’s scored at least 18 each time out, with five games of 20-or-more. A home game against Eastern and a trip to Del-Val close out the regular season, before the Freedom playoffs.
5. Susquehanna University (6; 5.53)
Record: 16-7 (9-3 Landmark)
Last Two Weeks: @ Scranton (L, 66-62 OT), vs. Elizabethtown (W, 92-67), vs. Drew (W, 79-54), @ Catholic (W, 74-58)
Update: The Scranton loss was Susquehanna’s third in four games, but the River Hawks have righted the ship by winning their last three, keeping pace with Drew (18-5, 9-3) and Scranton (17-6, 9-3), though Susquehanna is 3-1 in its four games against those two programs. Frank Marcinek’s bunch has two games left in the regular season: a trip to Moravian to play the team that’s just one game back of that trio, followed by a visit from Juniata in the regular-season finale. What’s interesting about this Susq squad is there isn’t a true star, with six players averaging between 9.0 and 13.0 ppg, though one of them (sophomore Dominic Dunn) has missed most of the season due to injury.
4. Gwynedd Mercy University (4; 6.93)
Record: 17-6 (8-2 Atlantic East)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Marywood (W, 93-74), vs. Cabrini (W, 102-75), @ Marymount (L, 81-75), @ Neumann (W, 69-64)
Update: Gwynedd enters the final two games of the regular season one game behind Wesley (Del.) College in the Atlantic East standings, but they have a chance to do no worse than a tie atop the second-year conference when they host Wesley in the regular-season finale on Saturday, after hosting Immaculata on Wednesday. Senior guard Rich Dunham (19.8 ppg), the Griffins’ only double-digit scorer on the season, continued his high-scoring way with 29 against Marywood, 26 against Cabrini/Marymount and then 17 against Neumann; he’s shooting just above 45% from deep (46-of-102) and exactly 90% from the foul line on a team-leading 130 attempts. After that, it’s a mixed bag, demonstrated by the fact that Gwynnedd’s second-leading scorer was four different players over the last four games.
3. Widener University (2; 7.73)
Record: 18-5 (11-3 MAC Commonwealth)
Last Two Weeks: @ Messiah (W, 87-81), vs. Albright (L, 74-71), vs. Alvernia (L, 67-64)
Update: The Pride have hit a little bit of a skid, losing three of their last six overall, though they’re still two games up in the Commonwealth with two to play: though road games at Arcadia and Hood won’t be easy. Widener certainly didn’t play poorly in the two losses, which came by a combined six points; they shot about 40% in both games and hit at least 33.3% of their 3s, but just couldn’t do enough to scrape out wins in either. The Pride are still one of the most balanced teams in the region, with four double-figure scorers led by senior Connor Laverty, who’s averaging 14.1 ppg/6.6 rpg and hitting 47.7% from deep on 109 attempts.
2. York College (3; 8.93)
Record: 19-5 (8-1 Capital Athletic)
Last Two Weeks: @ Salisbury (W, 85-78), vs. Christopher Newport (W, 101-97 2OT), @ Mary Washington (W, 74-71)
Update: The Spartans ran their win streak to nine overall, making Senior Day extra-exciting with that double-overtime win over CNU, which saw Jared Wagner continue his stellar season with a 38-point outing, setting a new career best; he’s averaging 18.4 ppg/7.2 apg/5.9 rpg and is certainly on the short list for CoBL-area Player of the Year. This might be the last year of the Capital Athletic Conference –– the league, which had 10 members up until two years ago, is playing with six this year, and York is leaving after this season for the MAC, with Southern Virginia and St. Mary’s also departing after this season. York and CNU (also 19-5, 8-1) are the two teams who look most likely to win it all.
1. Swarthmore College (1; 10.00)
Record: 23-0 (16-0 Centennial)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Muhlenberg (W, 75-62), vs. Franklin & Marshall (W, 85-68), @ Johns Hopkins (W, 83-69), vs. Dickinson (W, 96-69)
Update: There are two unbeaten teams left in the NCAA: Swarthmore and San Diego State, which is currently No. 4 in the Division I AP poll. It’s been that kind of season for Landry Kosmalski’s Garnet, who’ve locked up the No. 1 seed in the Centennial tournament –– which they’ll host –– and a surefire spot in the NCAA Tournament, their sights set on a national championship after falling one win shy last year. Not bad for a program that had never been to the NCAAs before 2017, and will make it four straight trips in March. Freshman guard Vinny DeAngelo continues to play better and better, scoring 27 against Dickinson and 21 against Muhlenberg, raising his scoring average to 11 ppg as he’s scored in double figures in six straight.