There shouldn’t be a lot of a shock on the high. Northwest Missouri State seems to be like it’s already in March kind, off to an 8-0 begin. In actual fact, seven groups from the preseason Energy 10 have gotten off to the begins I anticipated, all holding on to a spot within the high 10.
Keep in mind, these are my rankings. I don’t have an official vote and I prefer to try to mix these metrics utilized by the choice committee with the normal eye take a look at, in addition to information compiled on Inkblot Sports activities.
The primary DII males’s basketball Energy 10 rankings of the common season
(Word: Video games by means of Dec. 3)
No. 1 Northwest Missouri State | Earlier: 1: It’s not simply that the Bearcats are undefeated, it’s the resume they’re already placing collectively. Now 8-0, wins in opposition to West Texas A&M, Flagler and Northern State have been large earlier than MIAA play even started. This crew continues to cook dinner with Diego Bernard as its chief, however Bennett Stirtz has been outstanding as a freshman, offering a spark each time he comes right into a recreation.
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No. 2 Indiana (PA) | Earlier: 2: The Crimson Hawks are one other crew that’s cruising into the brand new yr. They’re an ideal 7-0 and solely certainly one of their video games has been significantly shut. Shawndale Jones, who missed a lot of final season with harm, is making up for misplaced time with 20.8 factors per recreation, however per traditional, this crew has scorers everywhere in the ground.
No. 3 Nova Southeastern | Earlier: 5: I’m impressed. After shedding Nick Smith, Sekou Sylla and Eddie Puisis from a 31-1 crew, I didn’t anticipate the newest rendition of Sharks’ basketball to make it look this straightforward so early. Lo and behold, the Sharks got here out of the gates red-hot, scoring 196 factors in consecutive days on the Small Faculty Basketball Corridor of Fame Basic and have but to decelerate. 5 gamers are scoring in double figures to get Nova Southeastern off to a 7-0 begin.
No. 4 Black Hills State | Earlier: 7: The Yellow Jackets are choosing up proper the place they left off of their historic 2021-22 season, now 8-0 on the younger season. That features wins over nationally ranked groups MSU Moorhead and Augustana (SD). Most likely to nobody’s shock, Joel Scott leads the crew in scoring, averaging 21.8 factors per recreation to date.
No. 5 West Liberty | Earlier: 9: The Hilltoppers are one other crew that’s adjusting rapidly and are proper again to West Liberty kind, scoring a minimum of 101 factors in four-straight video games. Sitting at 7-0, the Hilltoppers are successful video games by near 30 factors an evening. Bryce Butler is blossoming right into a full-fledged DII celebrity with 21.9 factors and seven.8 rebounds per recreation.
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No. 6 Central Oklahoma | Earlier: First 5 out: After a robust begin in opposition to non-division opponents, the Bronchos are charging by means of the competitors in DII males’s basketball. That features a powerful victory over earlier Energy-10 crew, Cal State San Bernardino by 12 factors. Central Oklahoma has 4 big-time scorers, however within the MIAA, scorching begins imply little or no come March… particularly with the Bronchos’ February schedule.
No. 7 Hillsdale | Earlier: Fascinating groups to look at
Hillsdale entered the season in a bundle of groups that had lots of query marks. Hillsdale has change into a event menace the previous couple of seasons however misplaced some key gamers that acquired them there. It was truthful to query how rapidly they might get again to that stage of play. Nevertheless, the Chargers at the moment are 9-0 and looking out more durable than ever earlier than. There are lots of weapons that lead a really balanced assault, permitting Hillsdale to return at opponents in several methods. That is fairly the beginning for the Chargers, and No. 7 could also be too low.
No. 8 Lincoln Memorial | Earlier: 8
The Railsplitters are a one-loss crew, however that shouldn’t idiot you from how good this crew is. The one loss got here to a preseason top-25 crew within the SCB Corridor of Fame Basic — which each DII basketball fan is aware of is not any straightforward subject. Since then, they’ve reeled off seven wins in a row, together with handing Tusculum its first regular-season loss. There are simply so many scorers on this crew (seven gamers are averaging greater than 9 factors per recreation) to suppose they will’t go far within the Southeast.
No. 9 Augusta | Earlier: 3: The Jaguars got here out of the gates red-hot, trying like they’re on a mission to get again to the DII Elite Eight. Nevertheless, they bumped into an equally scorching scorching Virginia Union crew and misplaced by 19 factors. Nonetheless, basketball is its personal beast, and I’m not able to see the defending nationwide runners-up fall out of the highest 10 after one powerful loss, particularly with Tyshaun Crawford averaging a double double.
No. 10 Colorado Faculty of Mines | Earlier: Not ranked: Nicely, how about these Orediggers? This crew did return fairly a little bit of expertise, but it surely seems to be like they’re placing it collectively a lot better than final yr’s 16-11 season. Extra importantly, they’ve signature wins in opposition to Lubbock Christian and Colorado Mesa, which can loom massive as their event resume grows. This weekend is a giant take a look at with Black Hills State on faucet.
First 5 out (in alphabetical order):
- Cal State San Bernardino: Sure, this crew bumped into the bulldozer that’s Central Oklahoma, however in any other case, the Coyotes have seemed very very like final yr’s event crew at 6-1.
- Emporia State: Dropping probably the most dynamic backcourts within the nation, I didn’t suppose Emporia State would rebound so rapidly. Saying the Hornets 7-0 begin is spectacular is an understatement.
- Fort Lewis: Final week, Akuel Kot made his all-stats beginning 5 debut. This week, the undefeated Skyhawks make their Energy 10 debut. The RMAC is shaping as much as be a enjoyable convention early on this season.
- Minnesota State: The Mavericks have been 16-10 final season and are already 9-0. A giant weekend in opposition to Augustana (SD) and Wayne State (Neb) awaits.
- UMSL: The Tritons have been one other crew I did not have on my radar, however they’ve been excellent, sitting at 8-0. That features a huge non-conference win in opposition to then-top-20 Walsh.
Simply missed: Bentley, Fairmont State, Florida Southern, UNC Pembroke, Virginia Union
Workforce to look at: Florida Tech — How in regards to the Panthers? They’re off to an 8-1 begin and have nobody, however two gamers averaging greater than 20 per recreation. Sean Houpt drops 21.2 per recreation and Sesan Russel provides 20.9, whereas third-leading scorer Niall Harris already has a triple double on the season. A giant matchup in opposition to Florida Southern awaits this weekend, however I’m intrigued.