There is just one undefeated team remaining in the DII men's basketball season, and because of that, Bellarmine was the easy choice to stay at No. 1 in this week's Power 10. The Knights had a 14-point win over No. 20 Southern Indiana to add to their already impressive resume this past weekend.
RANKINGS: How the Power 10 fared last week
Before we jump into this week's rankings, 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.
DII men's basketball Power 10: Jan. 13
(Note: All records and stats through games played Sunday, Jan. 12.)
No. 1 Bellarmine | 12-0 | Previous: 1
Bellarmine remained perfect, picking up its second win over a nationally-ranked team this season in commanding fashion. Leading scorer Alex Cook and his fellow senior wingman Ben Weyer both joined the 1,000-point club in the victory. The Knights are the team to beat right now, but January has quite a few tough tests remaining.
This week: Jan. 16 vs. UMSL; Jan. 18 at Lindenwood
No. 2 Northwest Missouri State | 12-1 | Previous: 2
It's pretty simple: the Bearcats are good at basketball. Ryan Welty is a bit dinged up, but Northwest Missouri State has shown its depth is a strength once again. The Big Three — Diego Bernard, Ryan Hawkins and Trevor Hudgins — may be the best in DII men's basketball. Hawkins had a monster 32-point game in a big victory over Washburn to help the Bearcats keep rolling, a team that is shooting 52.2 percent from the field.
This week: Jan. 18 vs. Missouri Western
No. 3 Lincoln Memorial | 15-1 | Previous: 4
The Railsplitters dropped 110 points in a 25-point win over nationally-ranked Catawba to put them in elite territory. This team is clicking — winners of 15 in a row — and now have five signature wins over ranked teams or those receiving votes. You're going to get bored of hearing his name here, but Courvoisier McCauley is a bona fide star.
This week: Jan. 15 vs. Mars Hill; Jan. 18 at Anderson (SC)
No. 4 West Texas A&M | 15-1 | Previous: 5
The Buffs are showing no ill signs after a stumble to fellow Power 10-er St. Edward's back on Dec. 12, reeling off six-straight solid victories. Qua Grant and Joel Murray continue to lead this team to the top of the Lone Star Conference, scoring 41.0 points combined per game. This team looks like it has what it takes for a third-straight Elite Eight appearance.
This week: Jan. 16 vs. Angelo State; Jan. 18 vs. Lubbock Christian
PLAYER-OF-THE-YEAR WATCHLIST: Keep your eyes on these DII superstars
No. 5 UC San Diego | 15-1 | Previous: 6
The Tritons will have their biggest test of the season against CCAA rival and nationally-ranked Cal Poly Pomona. Tyrell Roberts is become a big-time conference player with two 20-point outputs in another perfect week for UC San Diego, giving Christian Oshita a nice tandem with Chris Hansen still on the shelf. If the Tritons take care of business against the Broncos, the West Region should be put on alert.
This week: Jan. 16 vs. Cal Poly Pomona; Jan. 18 vs. Cal State San Bernardino
No. 6 Indiana (Pa) | 13-1 | Previous: 7
I went back and forth here, having a tough time deciding between Nova Southeastern and the Crimson Hawks. A big 3-0 week to start divisional play gets IUP back up to its familiar No. 6 spot, however. The Crimson Hawks won big this past week, and showed they can prevail in tight games, winning a close one against Slippery Rock. IUP has six 20-point wins this season and are starting to look like the largest PSAC threat once again.
This week: Jan. 15 at Edinboro; Jan. 18 vs. California (Pa)
No. 7 Nova Southeastern | 11-2 | Previous: 3
It was tough to drop the Sharks this low. The positives: this team can score with anyone and they showed that, following up their midweek loss with a 46-point victory on Saturday. But the Sharks have lost to a pair of unranked teams with a combined 15-13 record which leads to this week's fall. A Sunday matchup against Embry-Riddle can change all that. Mark Matthews continues to contend for player of the year with 21.5 points per game on 63.3 percent shooting.
This week: Jan. 15 vs. Palm Beach Atlantic; Jan. 18 vs. Embry-Riddle
No. 8 St. Edward's | 14-1| Previous: 8
The Hilltoppers have won eight in a row and are a perfect 9-0 at home where they play both games this week. The starting five is deep, with all five scorers averaging at least 9.5 points per game. Ashton Spears continues to lead the way, scoring 18.5 points per game. St. Edward's was a 30-win season last year, and it's looking like that should be attainable once again.
This week: Jan. 16 vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville; Jan. 18 vs. Texas A&M International
No. 9 Missouri Southern | 13-2 | Previous: 10
The Lions aren't just winning since a two-point loss to Texas A&M-Commerce on Dec. 16; they are steamrolling their opponents. Add on three more double-digit wins by an average of 26 points this past week and Missouri Southern is looking scarier and scarier. Cam Martin continues to lead a balanced attack that sees all five starters contribute nine or more points a night.
Last week: Jan. 16 at Lincoln (MO); Jan. 19 at Central Missouri
No. 10 Florida Southern | 13-2 | NR
I expect to take some heat for this, but hear me out. Three of the four teams I had slightly ahead of the Mocs — West Chester, DBU, and Alabama Huntsville — lost this week, leaving this between Ferris State and Florida Southern. The Mocs have played the seventh-toughest schedule in DII men's basketball, and one of their two losses was a tightly-contested 111-103 overtime thriller to No. 7 Nova Southeastern, with the other coming against an electric Embry-Riddle offense and handed Barry its lone conference loss. Right now, they have six players averaging 10.4 or more points per game and seem like a real threat to the Sunshine State Conference crown.
This week: Jan. 15 at Eckerd; Jan. 18 vs. Palm Beach Atlantic
Just missed (in alphabetical order):
These teams are all deserving, but the majority dropped a game this week, leaving them on the outside looking in. Ferris State was the closest to the pack, now with a DII-best 17 wins. St. Thomas Aquinas is quickly moving up the ladder with another perfect week bringing the Spartans to 14-2 on the year. Valdosta State is another team to keep your eyes on, looking to have righted the ship after two surprising early-season losses.
- Ferris State
- St. Thomas
- Valdosta State
- West Chester