What a wild week in DII men's basketball. Both my No. 2 Nova Southeastern and No. 3 West Texas A&M teams fell in upset fashion, while two other teams in last week's Power 10 also fell.
Bellarmine improved to 7-0 this season, keeping its grasp on the spot, but this week's Power 10 sees a very different look from Week 3.
Let's remember: These are my picks, and mine alone. I base them off several categories that the DII men's basketball selection committee will use come NCAA DII tournament time such as — but not limited to — ranked teams beaten, record against winning teams, strength of schedule and average scoring margin.
RANKINGS: Last week's Power 10
Now, here's how my new-look Power 10 shapes up.
DII men's basketball Power 10: Dec. 16
(Note: All records and stats through games played Sunday, Dec. 15.)
No. 1 Bellarmine | 7-0 | Previous: 1
The Knights not only keep winning, but doing so against a tough schedule.Nothing changes this past week: Bellarmine has one of the best starting fives in DII men's basketball as Alex Cook and Ben Weyer continue to pace an offense that is blowing out opponents by 27.7 points per game.
This week: Sunday, Dec. 15, vs. Mount St. Joseph
No. 2 Northwest Missouri State | 8-1 | Previous: 4
The Bearcats had an off week but both teams ahead of them lost, allowing them to jump back up the mix. The question — and a fair one at that — is how did IUP not surpass the Bearcats while improving their record? Simply put, the Bearcats have played the sixth-toughest schedule in DII men's basketball and despite one off night, look just fine.
This week: Monday, Dec. 16 vs. Central Methodist; Friday, Dec. 20 vs. Truman State
No. 3 Indiana (Pa) | 8-0 | Previous: 5
Another week, another big performance from Armoni Foster with a 19-point, seven-steal game in a 67-point victory. This will be a big week with back-to-back road matchups against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference foes.
This week: Friday, Dec. 20 at Shepherd; Saturday, Dec. 21 at Shippensburg
No. 4 Lincoln Memorial | 10-1 | Previous: 6
There is just too much not to like about this team. They rolled some NAIA competition, but with four wins already against nationally-ranked schools or teams receiving votes, we know these Railsplitters are very dangerous. As a team, Lincoln Memorial is shooting 51.9 percent this season.
This week: Wednesday, Dec. 18 vs. Lenoir-Rhyne; Sunday, Dec. 22 at Kentucky Wesleyan
No. 5 West Texas A&M | 10-1 | Previous: 3
The Buffs finally got one in the loss column this week, falling to a very good, nationally-ranked St. Edward's team. West Texas A&M avoids falling further thanks to some other losses and having played a schedule with a winning record very competitively. The Buffs have two games at home to get it rolling again this week.
This week: Thursday, Dec. 19 vs. Oklahoma Christian; Saturday, Dec. 21 vs. UAFS
No. 6 Nova Southeastern | 6-1 | Previous 2
The Sharks lost a stunner as Rollins played them right to the end to pull off a one-point victory. But let's not forget, Rollins is a 6-3 team that has played pretty well so far. When you look at the games Mark Matthews (28 points) and Mikkel Kolstad (27 points) had in the loss, this offense is plenty fine. A matchup against nationally-ranked Dominican (NY) can boost the Sharks back up with a victory.
This week: Thursday, Dec. 19 vs. Cedarville; Saturday, Dec. 21 vs. Dominican (NY)
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No. 7 Dixie State | 10-0 | Previous: NR
Welcome to the Power 10 Dixie State. The Trailblazers won in gritty overtime fashion by one-point and then posted a double-digit victory in improving to 10-0. Hunter Schofield and Jack Pagenkopf look like a formidable duo, combining for 21 points and 14.9 rebounds a game.
This week: Friday, Dec. 20 vs. Western Oregon
No. 8 Ferris State | 13-1 | Previous: NR
The Bulldogs have been winning since the DII Tip-Off Classic when they took down a then-nationally-tanked Concordia (CA) team. Ferris State has shown they can score points in bunches — averaging 90.9 points per game — with back-to-back wins over solid Ashland and Lake Superior State teams. Walt Kelser leads five Bulldogs in double-digit scoring.
This week: Saturday, Dec. 21 vs. Lambton
No. 9 St. Edward's | 9-1| Previous: NR
I've been really high on the Hilltoppers since my preseason rankings. The big question was how they would handle the Lone Star Conference and this week's 100-87 over West Texas A&M answered that. Ashton Spears is a legitimate scoring threat averaging 21.6 points per game behind a .566 field goal percentage and a .509 3-point percentage.
This week: Saturday, Dec. 21 vs. St. Mary's (TX)
No. 10 DBU | 9-0 | Previous: NR
The Patriots haven't played the toughest of schedules just yet, but you can't argue the fact that they are winning. DBU faces a big test this week as it faces off against a Texas A&M-Commerce team that has already beaten two top 25 teams this year. Chandler Jacobs is a force and leads an attack in which every starter scores at least 10 points per game.
Just missed (in alphabetical order):
This was the toughest week so far. Some of the teams on this list are close to interchangeable with Ferris State, St. Edward's and DBU this week.
- Daemen: Despite picking up their second loss this past week, I still gave the Wildcats some consideration. Their two losses have come against top 25 teams.
- Florida Southern: The Mocs were the first team out, now 9-1 and doing it with the 10th toughest schedule in DII basketball. They have two games this week that, if they should win convincingly, could see them in next week's Power 10.
- Missouri Southern: The Lions picked up their second loss of the season. Both losses have come by five points total. I still have a lot of faith in this team.
- Southern Nazarene: A three-loss team on the list? Southern Nazarene has some big wins this year and are starting to look like the team I had ranked so highly in the preseason. Jhonathan Dunn and Micah Speight are a legit scoring combo.
- UC San Diego: Fell from the top 10 with an off week. We'll have to see how the Tritons respond to losing one of the best players in DII to injury for the foreseeable future before they are back in the Power 10.
- West Chester: One of the undefeated teams that hasn't cracked the Power 10 just yet. The Golden Rams have played the 307th toughest schedule (out of 310) so it's just a matter of some signature wins before they take their place.
Teams to watch this week: Dominican (NY), Drury. Texas A&M-Commerce, and Queens (NC)