Zac O'Dell (above) and Swarthmore dropped to No. 3 in our last rankings. Where do they slot in this week? (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
Here are the updated CoBL-area Division III Power Rankings for Jan. 29, 2018. These will be our penultimate regular-season rankings; with the regular season ending on Feb. 17, we’ll run our last rankings in three weeks:
Others to Watch: Alvernia (9-10, 4-6 MAC Commonwealth), Arcadia (11-9, 6-5 MAC Commonwealth), Dickinson (11-8, 7-5 Centennial), Eastern (10-9, 5-3 MAC Freedom), Immaculata (9-9, 6-6 CSAC), Lancaster Bible (15-4, 10-0 NEAC), Messiah (12-7, 6-4 MAC Commonwealth), Moravian (13-6, 5-3 Landmark), Muhlenberg (8-11, 6-6 Centennial), Rosemont (13-6, 9-4 CSAC), Ursinus (13-6, 9-3 Centennial), Widener (10-9, 3-7 MAC Commonwealth)
10. Lancaster Bible (Last Week: OTW)
Record: 15-4 (10-0 NEAC)
Last Two Weeks: @ Bryn Athyn (W, 84-75), vs. Muhlenberg (W, 72-67), @ Wilson (W, 76-75), vs. PSU-Abington (W, 93-79)
Star Watch: Christo Majok (Jr./F)
Update: Lancaster Bible has charged into our rankings for the first time this season riding a seven-game win streak and an undefeated mark in the NEAC. A very balanced offensive approach has six Chargers at 6.0 ppg or higher and nine playing double-digit minutes per contest, often with a different top scorer on any given night. Majok was on triple-double and maybe even quadruple-double watch the last time out against PSU-Abington, going for 20 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds, and five steals. The South Sudan native is averaging 13.3 points, 10.2 boards, and 3.1 assists per game, while leading scorer Herbie Brown is putting up 15.6 ppg. Head coach Zach Filzen’s squad is certainly in good shape heading into the final stretch of the regular season.
Next Three Weeks: @ PSU-Berks (Jan. 31, 6 PM), @ Cazenovia (Feb. 2, 6 PM), @ Wells (Feb. 3, 1 PM), vs. St. Elizabeth (Feb. 10, 1 PM), @ PSU-Abington (Feb. 14, 6 PM), vs. Bryn Athyn (Feb. 17, Noon)
9. Lebanon Valley Dutchmen (10)
Record: 14-6 (8-3 MAC Commonwealth)
Last Two Weeks: @ Messiah (L, 74-69), @ Alvernia (W, 82-58), vs. Stevenson (W, 76-69), @ Hood (W, 92-83)
Star Watch: Sam Light (Sr./G)
Update: The Dutchmen responded to a pair of Ls with three straight in-conference wins, rolling over the lower half of the MAC Commonwealth to take second position in the standings. Everything boils down to Feb. 13’s trip to Lycoming if Lebanon Valley can keep winning -- Lycoming picked up its second defeat of the year, now only a game up on the Dutchmen. Light played a full 40 minutes at Hood and dropped 27 points, a pretty average outing for the 6-foot guard, who ranks in the top 15 nationally with 23.6 ppg. Alongside him, senior forward Andy Orr scores 18.6 ppg and grabs 9.8 rpg as well to form a nice duo, while senior guard Ricky Bugg recorded a career-high 23 points against Stevenson. After Widener, all remaining opponents will have winning conference records, so the true test for Lebanon Valley lies ahead.
Next Three Weeks: vs. Widener (Jan. 31, 8 PM), vs. Albright (Feb. 3, 4 PM), @ Arcadia (Feb. 7, 8 PM), @ Lycoming (Feb. 13, 8 PM), vs. Messiah (Feb. 17, 2 PM)
8. Albright Lions (8)
Record: 14-5 (7-4 MAC Commonwealth)
Last Two Weeks: @ Alvernia (W, 89-80, 2OT), vs. Widener (W, 82-79), @ Arcadia (L, 75-62), @ Stevenson (W, 80-63)
Star Watch: DeJuan Smith (Sr./G)
Update: It’s been a battle in this year’s MAC Commonwealth but the Lions have hung tight against the best of them, despite close losses to Lebanon Valley, Lycoming, and Messiah earlier in the month. Smith led the team with 20 points and 13 boards in the double overtime victory at Alvernia and followed that up with two more double-doubles over the next three games. He leads Albright with 16.8 ppg and ranks second with 7.0 rpg; fellow senior guard Brandon Lindsay, who scored 26 against Widener, is next with 13.6 ppg. With tough games at Lebanon Valley, at Messiah, and home versus No. 9 Lycoming, the Lions will need to be at their best in order to close the season out on a high note.
Next Three Weeks: vs. Hood (Jan. 31, 8 PM), @ Lebanon Valley (Feb. 3, 4 PM), vs. Alvernia (Feb. 7, 8 PM), @ Messiah (Feb. 10, 4 PM), vs. Lycoming (Feb. 17, 4 PM)
7. DeSales Bulldogs (7)
Record: 15-4 (6-2 MAC Freedom)
Last Two Weeks: @ Wilkes (L, 72-66), vs. Misericordia (W, 90-83), @ King’s College (W, 103-78), vs. Eastern (W, 71-70)
Star Watch: Connor Jones (Sr./F)
Update: Jones’ jumper with 5.9 seconds remaining lifted DeSales over Eastern for a third straight win, a crucial result to stay right behind Wilkes in the conference standings. After surrendering the top of the MAC Freedom away at the Colonels, the Bulldogs are ready to bite back at home on Feb. 7. Sophomore forward Kweku Dawson-Amoah put up 25 points and 12 rebounds on Misericordia and leads the team with 14.9 ppg and 7.2 rpg, but three other double-digit scorers are not far behind.
Next Three Weeks: vs. Manhattanville (Jan. 31, 8 PM), @ FDU-Florham (Feb. 3, 3 PM), vs. Wilkes (Feb. 7, 8 PM), vs. King’s (Feb. 10, 3 PM), @ Misericordia (Feb. 13, 8 PM), @ Delaware Valley (Feb. 17, 3 PM)
Raquan Brown-Johnson (above) and Neumann bounced back from a loss to Cabrini with four straight wins -- including one over Cabrini. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
6. Neumann Knights (6)
Record: 15-4 (10-3 CSAC)
Last Two Weeks: @ Cabrini (L, 105-76), @ Clarks Summit (W, 100-50), vs. Cabrini (W, 92-83), @ Immaculata (W, 85-76), vs. Keystone (W, 93-87)
Star Watch: Raquan Brown-Johnson (So./G)
Update: After a lopsided loss to Cabrini on Jan. 17, Neumann has reeled off four straight wins, including a heated 92-83 victory against the Cavaliers last Monday. Brown-Johnson has been incredibly efficient on the offensive end as of late. In the Knights’ last five games, he’s averaging 16.6 points per game, while shooting 64 percent. Two of his four 20-point game this season have come during this time. Neumann looks to be a dangerous bunch with Brown-Johnson, Tyaire Hudson, Aaron Johnson-Chavis and Gemil Holbrook all capable of going off on any given night. Each has at least one 20-point game in the past 10 days.
Next Three Weeks: @ Marywood (Jan. 31, 8 PM), @ Hunter (Feb. 3, 1 PM), @ Rosemont (Feb. 7, 8 PM), @ Centenary (Feb. 10, 4 PM), vs. Gwynedd Mercy (Feb. 14, 8 PM), @ Cairn (Feb. 17, 3 PM)
5. Cabrini Cavaliers (5)
Record: 16-3 (11-2 CSAC)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Neumann (W, 105-76), @ Marywood (W, 87-76), @ Neumann (L, 92-83), vs. Cairn (W, 100-67), vs. Centenary (W, 92-64)
Star Watch: Deryl Bagwell (Sr./G)
Update: The loss at Neumann snapped a run of nine straight wins by the Cavs, but that didn’t worry Cabrini in the slightest -- they dispatched their next two opponents by a combined 61 points. Following a season-ending injury to starting point guard Ivan Robinson, Bagwell has stepped in nicely to the lead guard role, posting his first career triple-double in the home leg of two games against Neumann and racking up 7.0 assists per game since Robinson went down. Senior star forward Tyheim Monroe has continued his dominance scoring and rebounding, and he matched Bagwell’s triple-double with 12 points, 13 boards, and 10 assists against Centenary. Monroe & co. will look to take over the top of the CSAC with a win over leaders Gwynedd Mercy in their next contest -- that’ll be a must-watch affair.
Next Three Weeks: vs. Gwynedd Mercy (Jan. 31, 8 PM), vs. Staten Island (Feb. 3, 2 PM), @ Keystone (Feb. 7, 8 PM), vs. Rosemont (Feb. 10, 3 PM), @ Immaculata (Feb. 14, 8 PM), vs. Clarks Summit (Feb. 17, 1 PM)
4. Franklin & Marshall Diplomats (2)
Record: 16-3 (10-2 Centennial)
Last Two Weeks: @ Dickinson (L, 55-50), @ Haverford (W, 79-68), vs. Gettysburg (W, 79-53), @ McDaniel (W, 62-51)
Star Watch: J.C. McGrath (Jr./F)
Update: Along with the usual contributions of senior Brandon Federici, who leads the team in scoring at 21.5 ppg, McGrath has come into his own, putting up double-digit points in each of his last nine games and averaging 13.1 ppg and 7.4 rpg on the year. The loss at Dickinson puts the Diplomats behind Swarthmore in the Centennial, but F&M has the chance to make that up by going for a sweep of the Garnet to end the regular season. Ursinus and Johns Hopkins are both just a game behind so wins in those contests will really solidify this Franklin & Marshall group as a threat out of the Centennial.
Next Three Weeks: vs. Ursinus (Jan. 31, 7 PM), vs. Muhlenberg (Feb. 3, 3 PM), @ Johns Hopkins (Feb. 7, 7 PM), vs. Washington (Feb. 10, 3 PM), vs. Dickinson (Feb. 14, 8 PM), @ Swarthmore (Feb. 17, 3 PM)
3. York Spartans (1)
Record: 17-2 (10-2 CAC)
Last Two Weeks: @ St. Mary’s (W, 88-74), @ Mary Washington (L, 59-57), @ Frostburg St. (L, 95-85), vs. Marymount (W, 81-58)
Star Watch: Blayde Reich (Sr./F)
Update: The No. 7 Spartans dropped two straight after going without a single loss through 16 games, therefore dropping two spots in our rankings, but 17-2 still isn’t half bad. Reich put up 17 points and seven rebounds as York got back on track versus Marymount, becoming the 24th player in program history to surpass 1,000 career points. The 6-5 senior leads the Spartans at 18.0 ppg and 7.9 rpg, and 6-7 senior forward Dalton Myers is right behind with 17.8 ppg, while two other teammates average in double figures. York will need to avoid being deterred by its first losses of the year, as it holds a slim one-game lead over Christopher Newport and Salisbury in the CAC standings with six contests left on the docket.
Next Three Weeks: vs. Wesley (Jan. 31, 8 PM), vs. Southern Virginia (Feb. 3, 4 PM), @ PSU-Harrisburg (Feb. 7, 8 PM), vs. Salisbury (Feb. 10, 3 PM), vs. St.Mary’s (Md.). (Feb. 14, 8 PM), @ Christopher Newport (Feb. 17, 8 PM)
2. Gwynedd Mercy Griffins (4)
Record: 16-2 (11-1 CSAC)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Immaculata (W, 95-89), @ Keystone (W, 96-77), @ Rosemont (W, 72-71), vs. Cairn (W, 81-67)
Star Watch: Matt Carter (Fr./G)
Update: With the Keystone game moved to the 22nd, Gwynedd Mercy kept busy over the last couple weeks and didn’t just survive; the Griffins thrived. A win streak now spanning seven games has them in sole possession of the conference lead, half a game up on Cabrini, but that edge will be up for grabs at the Cavaliers on Wednesday. The Griffins have had a different top scorer in each of the last four games, with the freshman Carter pouring in a career-high 19 points on five 3-pointers against Cairn and junior Matt Sommers scoring 19 on Immaculata, but seniors Will Davis and Rip Engel have remained the team’s top options, averaging 18.7 ppg and 16.0 ppg, respectively. That Cabrini matchup could decide who wins the CSAC this year.
Next Three Weeks: @ Cabrini (Jan. 31, 8 PM), @ Lehman (Feb. 3, 1 PM), vs. Clarks Summit (Feb. 7, 8 PM), vs. Marywood (Feb. 10, 3 PM), vs. Keystone (Feb. 12, 7 PM), @ Neumann (Feb. 14, 8 PM), vs. Centenary (Feb. 17, 3 PM)
1. Swarthmore Garnet (3)
Record: 17-2 (11-1 Centennial)
Last Two Weeks: @ Haverford (W, 65-60 OT), vs. Dickinson (W, 82-74), vs. Washington College (W, 62-47), @ Gettysburg (W, 78-64)
Star Watch: Zac O’Dell (Soph./F)
Update: Our top three schools are quite close, but the Garnet ekes out the top spot with four wins over the last couple weeks. After escaping at Haverford in overtime, it’s been smooth sailing for coach Landry Kosmalski’s team. O’Dell was named Centennial Conference Player of the Week after double-doubles against Haverford and Dickinson and is averaging 10.6 ppg and a team-high 7.8 rpg; senior Robbie Walsh had double-doubles in those same two contests, as well as in the Washington game. With four other players, led by Cam Wiley and Zack Yonda, averaging at least 8.5 ppg, Swarthmore’s balanced attack has the Garnet leading Franklin & Marshall by a game for the conference lead.
Next Three Weeks: @ Muhlenberg (Jan. 31, 8 PM), vs. McDaniel (Feb. 3, 3 PM), @ Ursinus (Feb. 7, 7:30 PM), @ Johns Hopkins (Feb. 10, 3 PM), vs. Haverford (Feb. 14, 8 PM), vs. Franklin & Marshall (Feb. 17, 3 PM)