skip navigation
Screen shot 2015 04 03 at 2.35.51 pm

CoBL City 6 Power Rankings (Feb. 8)

02/08/2022, 10:15am EST
By Josh Verlin

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)

There’s just about a month left in the Division I regular season, conference tournaments beginning to loom over the horizon. The race is on for final seeding pushes across the City 6, with multiple men’s and women’s squads in the mix for regular-season titles or top seeds, while others fight to stay above water and avoid play-in games. 

Here are our updated City 6 power rankings through the games of Mon., Feb. 7:

Men’s Rankings

6. La Salle Explorers (5)
Record: 7-13 (2-8 Atlantic 10)
Trending: Neutral/Down

The losing continues for La Salle, which looks all but certain to finish with its fifth straight sub-.500 showing in the Atlantic 10. The Explorers haven’t had a winning record either overall or in league play since going 17-16 (8-10) in 2014-15, and this year has seen close call after close call, with their last six losses all coming by single digits. It’s a program that’s still trying to figure out its identity, at a place that’s tougher than many around to do so. With the toughest three-game stretch of the season sitting right ahead — three teams in the top 85 on KenPom — it’s unlikely that the winning will start now. 

Next Up: vs. Saint Louis (Feb. 8), @ Richmond (Feb. 12), @ Saint Louis (Feb. 16)

Freshman guard Erik Reynolds (above) is having a strong rookie campaign. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

5. Saint Joseph’s Hawks (6)
Record: 10-11 (4-6 Atlantic 10)
Trending: Neutral

The hope on Hawk Hill was that St. Joe’s would take a sizable step forward this season, with a number of notable returners and significant new additions, and while there’s been some improvements over a 5-15 (3-9 A10) season, the progress hasn’t been quite as swift as they’d hoped for. They went 3-3 over the last few weeks, though the three wins were against teams in the bottom half of the league. According to KenPom, the Hawks are one of the worst teams in the country (350th) in forcing turnovers, doing so on only 14% of opponents’ possessions, and they’re also not good from the foul line (67.4%, 298th). It’s becoming very clear, though, that they have a freshman worth building around in Erik Reynolds II (11.0 ppg).

Next Up: @ Davidson (Feb. 9), @ UMass (Feb. 12), vs. George Mason (Feb. 16)

4. Drexel Dragons (3)
Record: 11-10 (6-5 CAA)
Trending: Neutral

It’s been a back-and-forth season for Drexel, which hasn’t had any real winning or losing streaks, but generally been alternating between the two all year long. The Dragons finally won back-to-back league games for the first time this week, beating Delaware and then James Madison, which came right after they lost back-to-back league games for the first time; the only other time they won consecutive games this season, there were two COVID postponements and nearly three weeks’ time between them. It remains to be seen whether James Butler will return to full capacity this season after an injury, but Amari Williams has played well with Butler limited; the British big man is averaging 12.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg and 2.7 bpg over his last 10 games (nine starts). This team has what it takes to reel off a winning streak, though, and a late-season surge isn’t out of the question.

Next Up: vs. Hofstra (Feb. 10), vs. Northeastern (Feb. 12), @ Charleston (Feb. 14)

3. Temple Owls (2)
Record: 13-8 (6-4 AAC)
Trending: Neutral/Up

Aaron McKie isn’t one for silving linings, but this is starting to feel like a silver linings season for Temple, which likely isn’t going to win an AAC title this year, but there’s a lot of positives to take away for the future — underclassmen like Damian Dunn, Jeremiah Williams, Nick Jourdain, Zach Hicks and Jahlil White have all been generally playing well over the last 6-8 weeks, and they’ve been the second-most efficient defensive team in the AAC during league play, according to KenPom. Their shooting continues to be an issue, especially from the outside (29.8%, 326th nationally against D-I competition), and the next six games are brutal, but the Owls finishing above .500 in league play with all that’s happened to them this year has to be a positive.

Next Up: @ Tulane (Feb. 12), vs. SMU (Feb. 16), @ Cincinnati (Feb. 20)

Jordan Dingle (above) and Penn took a jump up the men's rankings. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

2. Penn Quakers (4)
Record: 10-12 (7-2 Ivy)

Trending: Up

The Quakers’ impressive turnaround to the 2021-22 season continued over the last few weeks, as Penn’s won all four games it played since our last update, putting it in the top three of the Ancient Eight, more than two games clear of four-place Cornell; that win streak also included a 76-68 win over Yale, the Bulldogs’ only league loss thus far. Over that four-game win streak, Jordan Dingle is averaging 26.0 ppg while making 50% of his shots; on the season, the sophomore is averaging 19.5 ppg and making 43.8% of his shots. The final five games of the regular season are a tough stretch, with trips to Yale, Brown and Dartmouth, with a visit from Princeton in the season finale. 

Next Up: vs. Harvard (Feb. 12), @ Yale (Feb. 18), @ Brown (Feb. 19)

1. Villanova Wildcats (1)
Record: 17-6 (10-3 Big East)
Trending: Neutral

Even without Justin Moore, even with Collin Gillespie going down with an injury, the Wildcats kept plowing ahead, beating a good UConn squad 85-74 on Saturday at Wells Fargo to bounce back from their third league loss. This might not be Jay Wright’s best Villanova squad in their recent run of dominance, but they play with the necessary intangibles to make noise in the postseason, especially if they’re healthy. It helps that Abington product Eric Dixon, technically a third-year redshirt freshman, is playing the best ball of his college career; he had 24 points and 12 rebounds against UConn, career bests in both categories, and is averaging 12.5 ppg and 7.9 rpg over his last eight games (9.7 ppg/6.7 rpg on the season).

Next Up: @ St. John’s (Jan. 29), @ Marquette (Feb. 2), vs. UConn (Feb. 5)


Women’s Rankings

6. Penn Quakers (Previous Ranking: 5)
Record: 8-12 (3-5 Ivy)

Trending: Neutral/Down

The Quakers were picked second in the Ivy League preseason poll, but thus far they haven’t lived up to those expectations, or anything close. Their three league wins have come against the three teams below them in the standings (Cornell, Dartmouth & Brown), who have a combined 3-21 league record. But a five-game stretch from Jan. 17 to Feb. 4 saw them lose every game they played against the top half of the Ivy, a 20-point loss at home to archrival Princeton and then losses at Yale and Columbia and at home against Harvard and Columbia. Penn’s shooting just 25.6% from 3-point range in league play, and are shooting 33.9% overall from the floor while opponents make 38.2%. It’s not impossible for Mike McLaughlin’s group to make the Ivy playoffs, but they’d need to turn it around immediately.

Next Up: @ Harvard (Feb. 12), vs. Yale (Feb. 18), vs. Brown (Feb. 19)

5. Saint Joseph’s Hawks (6)
Record: 8-13 (4-5 Atlantic 10)
Trending: Neutral

The Hawks moved up a spot after a pair of wins over Davidson this weekend, first in North Carolina on Friday (67-66) and then back in Philadelphia on Sunday (58-51). Freshman forward Talya Brugler continued her strong play with an 18-point, 16-rebound double-double on the road, adding 15 points and six rebounds in the follow-up; she’s averaging 10.0 ppg and 5.5 rpg on the season. Despite the sub-.500 record, they’re actually in seventh place in the A-10; with four of their six games left against teams below them, there’s a chance these young Hawks could finish above .500 in league play and in the top six in the A-10. They also play the two leaders in Rhody and Dayton (Feb. 23).

Next Up: vs. Rhode Island (Feb. 9), @ George Mason (Feb. 13), @ Saint Louis (Feb. 16)

4. La Salle Explorers (3)
Record: 12-10 (5-5 Atlantic 10)
Trending: Neutral/Down

After our last rankings came out, the Explorers won a couple more games to push their record to 11-6 (4-1), and it looked like Mountain MacGillivray’s squad was ready for a breakthrough in the A-10. But they’ve lost four of five since then, beating only St. Joe’s (Feb. 2) but otherwise losing at St. Bonaventure and Duquesne and at home to VCU and Rhode Island to drop back to the pack. Aside from the 19-point loss at Duquesne, the other three losses were by six points or fewer, including a 66-60 defeat to Rhody on Sunday that saw the Rams score the final six points over the last 1:53 to prevent the upset. There are five games left on the schedule, as well as a yet-to-be-rescheduled matchup against UMass; there’s also a Big 5 postponed game against Temple, though that’s not a league matchup, and it’s unclear if there’s time left to schedule both.

Next Up: @ Richmond (Feb. 13), vs. Davidson (Feb. 16), vs. Saint Louis (Feb. 19)

Aniya Gourdine (above) had Temple's first-ever triple-double last week. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

3. Temple Owls (4)
Record: 11-9 (6-3 American)
Trending: Neutral/Up

Temple’s 4-3 since our last update, with three single-digit losses (including one in OT), all of which were on the road. The Owls might not be the top seed when the AAC tournament starts in Ft. Worth next month, but there’s no doubt this is a group that’s shown it can hang with anybody in the American, with some intriguing developing weapons around the program’s new all-time leading scorer Mia Davis. Freshman guard Aniya Gourdine in particular continues to impress, putting up a 13-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist triple-double — the first in the program’s history — in a 60-59 win over East Carolina on Sunday. The closing stretch is difficult, with back-to-back games against SMU to end the regular season as well as games against USF and UCF; with six teams within three losses of the Owls, they could finish anywhere from second to 10th depending on how they finish.

Next Up: vs. South Florida (Feb. 9), @ Tulsa (Feb. 12), vs. UCF (Feb. 19)

2. Drexel Dragons (1)
Record: 17-3 (9-1 Colonial)
Trending: Neutral

The Dragons’ 14-game win streak came to an agonizing and unexpected end on Sunday, as Drexel went ice-cold on its home floor against Charleston, falling behind by 24 late in the third quarter before mounting a furious rally that fell just short in a 74-73 defeat, their first setback since November. That puts them back into a tie with archrival Delaware atop the CAA, their rematch at Delaware on Feb. 20 one of the biggest games remaining on the league’s calendar, along with Drexel’s trip to Towson on March 5. Senior guard Keishana Washington (18.7 ppg) still has not scored in single figures all year, and topped out with a 40-point effort against W&M on Jan. 30.

Next Up: @ Hofstra (Feb. 11), @ Northeastern (Feb. 13), vs. James Madison (Feb. 16)

1. Villanova Wildcats (2)
Record: 15-6 (9-3 Big East)
Trending: Up

Drexel’s one loss by a single point wouldn’t typically be enough to knock them off the top slot, but that’s a credit to how well Villanova’s been playing the last six weeks. Denise Dillon’s Wildcats have won their last six Big East games by double figures, and have captured seven straight overall and 12 of their last 13 since losing back-to-back games in early December. Now comes the biggest test yet: a trip to UConn on Wednesday, where Maddie Siegrist gets to show her stuff against one of the storied programs in D-I women’s hoops. Siegrist is in the midst of a fantastic junior campaign, averaging 25.7 ppg and 9.5, which includes a return from a broken bone in her hand that cost her most of November and parts of December.

Next Up: @ UConn (Feb. 9), vs. Marquette (Feb. 11), @ Seton Hall (Feb. 13)


Small-College News:

Tag(s): Home  Josh Verlin  College  Division I  Women's  Temple  Drexel  La Salle  Penn  St. Joe's  Villanova