Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
Here are the updated CoBL-area Division III Power Rankings for Dec. 12, 2017:
Others to Watch: Arcadia (4-5, 1-2 MAC Commonwealth), Bryn Athyn (5-2, 3-0 NEAC), Cabrini (5-2, 2-1 CSAC), Cairn (4-4, 1-2 CSAC), Eastern (3-4, 0-0 MAC Freedom), Haverford (3-5, 1-3 Centennial), Immaculata (4-3, 1-2 CSAC), Lancaster Bible (6-1, 4-0 NEAC), Penn State-Harrisburg (4-4, 1-3 CAC), Rosemont (5-2, 2-1 CSAC), Susquehanna (4-4, 1-0 Landmark), Ursinus (4-3, 2-2 Centennial), Widener (3-5, 1-3 MAC Commonwealth)
Bryce Allen (above) and Dickinson come in at No. 10 in this week's CoBL-area Division III rankings. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
10. Dickinson Red Devils (Previous Ranking: 5)
Record: 5-2 (3-1 Centennial)
Last Two Weeks: vs. McDaniel (W, 74-56), vs. Swarthmore (L, 78-66), @ Gettysburg (W, 73-68)
Star Watch: Bryce Allen (Soph./G)
Update: It might seem harsh to drop Dickinson all the way down to 10th considering the Red Devils’ only loss the last two weeks was to the national No. 14 Garnet, but that’s the reality of this season -- there are a lot of programs off to some really strong starts. And the schedule doesn’t get any easier to finish out the season, with games against fellow top-10 teams Lebanon Valley and York, followed by Misericordia (Dec. 30) and then an always-tough trip to Susquehanna (Jan. 3) waiting at the new year. Allen, a 5-10 guard out of the Hill School, won Centennial Player of the Week honors following a 26-point, seven-assists, five-rebound, four-steal performance in the win at Gettysburg.
Next Two Weeks: @ Lebanon Valley (Dec, 18, 7 PM), vs. York (Dec. 19, 7 PM)
9. Neumann Knights (9)
Record: 7-2 (2-1 CSAC)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Rosemont (W, 81-74), @ Keystone (L, 91-80), @ Scranton (W, 83-70), vs. Del-Val (W, 102-74), @ Valley Forge (W, 79-61)
Star Watch: Tyaire Hudson (Sr./G)
Update: Been a busy couple weeks for Neumann, which went 4-1 in the last fortnight, good enough to hold its place in these rankings. Hudson, the Knights’ senior point guard and only remaining starter from a year ago, had a big five games, including 19 points against Rosemont and Keystone, 29 points against Scranton and 25 against Delaware Valley (as well as eight assists without a turnover). They’re also getting great minutes from freshman big Aaron Johnson-Chavis (15.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg) and sophomore wing Raquan Brown-Johnson (14.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg). The Knights are just beginning nearly a month off -- they go from Dec. 8 to Jan. 3 without playing a game. When they do, the opportunity for serious momentum will be there, with four of the first five games coming at home, all in CSAC play.
Next Two Weeks: N/A
8. Gwynedd Mercy (OTW)
Record: 6-1 (3-0 CSAC)
Last Two Weeks: @ Marywood (W, 84-77), @ Centenary (W, 73-46), @ Goucher (105-69), vs. Cabrini (W, 103-92 OT)
Star Watch: Courtney Cubbage (Jr./G)
Update: John Baron’s Griffins certainly earned their spot back in the rankings, knocking off previously-ranked Cabrini in overtime to run their win streak to five in a row, including three straight on the road. Cubbage, a 6-1 guard from Camden Catholic (N.J.), is averaging 15.9 ppg, good for second on the team, but is tops on the squad at 8.7 rpg; he went for 19 and 14 boards against Marywood, one of three double-doubles he’s had in the last four games. Senior forward Will Davis is the team’s leading scorer (17.7 ppg) and second-leading rebounder (6.7 rpg); they’re also getting strong contributions from senior guard Rip Engel (13.0 ppg, 5.3 apg) and sophomore guard Rich Dunham (11.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 5.3 apg). Like Dickinson, a tough slate ahead with a visit from Rosemont before a trip to Lebanon Valley.
Next Two Weeks: vs. Rosemont (Dec. 18, 7 PM), @ Lebanon Valley (Dec. 20, 7 PM), @ Kean (Dec. 22, 7 PM)
7. Albright Lions (OTW)
Record: 7-1 (3-0 MAC Commonwealth)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Eastern (L, 76-64), vs. Stevenson (W, 81-77), vs. Arcadia (W, 73-57), @ Widener (W, 83-78), vs. Franklin & Marshall (W, 79-63)
Star Watch: DeJuan Smith (Sr./G)
Update: We nearly had Albright ranked after Rick Ferry’s bunch opened the season up 3-0, but there’s no denying they’ve earned it this time around, despite suffering that first loss of the season. The Lions more than made up for it with four straight wins, including an impressive 16-point win over No. 25 F&M over the weekend. Sophomore Fred Rowles paved the way in that one, finishing with 23 points -- one off his career high -- and 13 rebounds, plus three assists and five steals. Smith, the team’s leading scorer this year (16.0 ppg), had 18 in that one; he also had 22 against Stevenson and 19 against Arcadia. As a team, the Lions have been shooting a nifty 37.1 percent from the 3-point arc while holding opponents to 31.3 percent, and they also hold a +4.1 advantage on the glass. The third-place pick in the MAC Commonwealth preseason poll, Albright is aiming for its first NCAA appearance since 2010.
Next Two Weeks: vs. Wilkes (Dec. 19, 7 PM)
Andy Orr (above) and Lebanon Valley are No. 6 in this week's rankings. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
6. Lebanon Valley Dutchmen (4)
Record: 7-2 (3-1 MAC Commonwealth)
Last Two Weeks: @ Widener (W, 66-61), vs. Alvernia (W, 85-64), @ Stevenson (L, 82-80), vs. Hood (W, 76-73)
Star Watch: Andy Orr (Sr./F)
Update: The Dutchmen were thwarted of a chance to be on a four-game winning streak thanks to Stevenson shooting 19-of-20 from the foul line to hold onto the two-point win at home; LVC responded by surviving a poor shooting night to hang on against a capable Hood squad over the weekend. They can’t relax much through finals week, not with two games against CoBL-ranked opponents coming up in Dickinson and Gwynedd Mercy, though at least they get them at home. Orr, a 6-8 forward and one of the two primary bucket-getters for the Dutchmen, had 24 points and nine rebounds in the Stevenson loss, scored in double figures in all four games; Sam Light, his partner in crime, had rough shooting games in the first two but had 20 against Stevenson and 28 against Hood (albeit on 11-25 FG, 1-9 3PT).
Next Two Weeks: vs. Dickinson (Dec. 18, 7 PM), vs. Gwynedd Mercy (Dec. 20, 7 PM)
5. Moravian Greyhounds (8)
Record: 7-1 (1-0 Landmark)
Last Two Weeks: @ Del-Val (W, 85-69), @ Elizabethtown (W, 69-68), vs. PSU-Lehigh Valley (W, 81-65), @ Baruch (W, 75-71)
Star Watch: Oneil Holder (Jr./F)
Update: The Greyhounds did a nice job of responding to their first defeat of the season, coming back with four straight wins to jump up three spots in the rankings. Justin Potts continues to show he can coach, taking a group that graduated its two leading scorers from a year ago and chugging on forward, including a few wins in hard-fought games already that should help them down the road. Holder, who’s filled in perfectly for graduated Brandon McGuire in averaging 16.0 ppg and 8.9 rpg, had a consistent four games, with 20 against Del-Val, followed by 11, 15, and 14-point outings. Jimmy Murray, the Greyhounds’ leading scorer (16.7 ppg), had the high-water mark with 22 against Baruch.
Next Two Weeks: vs. Widener (@ Miami, Fla., Dec. 18, 11 AM), vs. Eastern (@ Miami, Fla., Dec. 19, 6 PM)
4. Franklin & Marshall Diplomats (3)
Record: 8-1 (4-0 Centennial)
Last Two Weeks: @ Ursinus (W, 77-69), vs. Haverford (W, 83-56), vs. Johns Hopkins (W, 65-59), @ Albright (L, 79-63)
Star Watch: Brandon Federici (Sr./SG)
Update: F&M looked like it was ready to take a serious run at the top spot, but a late setback to Albright puts them back in the pack right now with a number of other equally-hot teams. Given Glenn Robinson’s track record over the last four decades and then some, we don’t expect much further of a drop, but it’s not like they’ve been blowing teams out thus far -- five of their wins have been by single digits. Federici, the Diplomats’ star guard who’s certainly gotten more mention in these rankings than any other player over the last four years, had another monster two weeks; he scored at least 21 points in all four games, including a 30-point, five-rebound, four-assist game in the win over a strong Hopkins squad.
Next Two Weeks: N/A
3. DeSales Bulldogs (7)
Record: 8-1 (0-0 MAC Freedom)
Last Two Weeks: @ Arcadia (W, 69-65), @ PSU-Harrisburg (W, 66-60), @ PSU-Berks (W, 89-63), vs. Muhlenberg (W, 71-67)
Star Watch: Luke Connaghan (Jr./F)
Update: An unsung group of Bulldogs has suddenly ripped off seven straight wins, and they’ve got plenty of time to feel good about that without any games until Dec. 29 against Gettysburg at home in the semifinals of the DeSales holiday tournament. Sophomore Kweku Dawson-Amoah had the biggest performance of the last two weeks, going for 26 points against PSU-Harrisburg, but it was Connaghan, a 6-4 junior forward out of Archbishop Wood, who was the most consistent; the former first team All-Catholic had at least a dozen points in three out of the four games, including 17 points and 10 rebounds (plus four assists and just one turnover) in the win over Lehigh Valley rival Muhlenberg. Souderton alum Tracy Simsick had 18 points on 7-9 shooting (3-4 3PT) to lead the way in the win over Arcadia.
Next Two Weeks: N/A
2. York Spartans (2)
Record: 7-0 (4-0 CAC)
Last Two Weeks: @ Wesley (W, 97-79), vs. Mary Washington (W, 64-61), vs. Frostburg State (W, 92-75), @ Marymount (Va.) (W, 88-76)
Star Watch: Blayde Reich (Sr./F)
Update: York continues to put plenty of pressure on Swarthmore for the top spot in the rankings -- and after F&M’s loss, they’re the clear top two around. And it’s great timing, because they play each other on Wednesday, with York getting home-court advantage in the non-league matchup. They could use Reich continuing his breakout senior season, as the 6-5 forward is averaging a career-best 20.3 ppg and 7.0 rpg, up from 13.7 ppg and 5.8 rpg a year ago. York certainly could use Matt Scamuffo to do what he did against Marymount, when he had 21 points on 8-12 shooting (4-8 3PT), and not what he did the previous three games, when he scored a total of 15 points on 5-of-18 shooting. When those two, plus Dalton Myers (17.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Jared Wagner (10.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg) are playing at a high level, the Spartans are tough to beat.
Next Two Weeks: vs. Swarthmore (Dec. 13, 8 PM), @ Dickinson (Dec. 19, 7 PM)
1. Swarthmore Garnet (1)
Record: 8-0 (4-0 Centennial)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Muhlenberg (W, 81-69), @ Dickinson (W, 78-66), vs. Ursinus (W, 67-60), @ Del-Val (W, 75-61)
Star Watch: Nate Shafer (Soph./F)
Update: Part of what makes the Garnet so dangerous is the fact that their scoring can come from a wide variety of places. Four different players led the Garnet in scoring these last two weeks, and often the leader one game would only score in single digits the next. So we gave the standout player to Shafer, a 6-6 reserve forward who came off the bench to score 18 points and grab 10 rebounds in the win over Dickinson, his only double-digit figure performance of the last two weeks. Junior guard Cam Wiley had 20 against Muhlenberg, Zac O’Dell and Zack Yonda had 13 each against Ursinus and Robbie Walsh had 17 against Del-Val. As said above, a big-time showdown this Wednesday night in Lancaster County.
Next Two Weeks: @ York (Dec. 13, 8 PM)
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