Another week means more wins for Nova Southeastern and Indiana (PA). The last two undefeated teams in DII men's basketball — both are an impressive 20-0 — hold tight to the top two spots in the latest Power 10 rankings.
The rest of the bunch? Well, let's just say there is work to be done in February.
LOOK BACK: The previous Power 10 rankings
A bevy of teams picked up at least one big loss, while a couple teams had multiple defeats that led to a bit of a shakeup in this week's rankings. The good news is it is the home stretch. February means it is all conference play, and teams have a last chance to improve that resume before conference tournaments begin.
The fifth DII men’s basketball Power 10 rankings of the regular season
(All games through Sunday, Jan. 29)
No. 1 Nova Southeastern | Previous: 1: If you remember, the Sharks entered the DII Elite Eight undefeated last season and were stunned by Black Hill State. They took that to heart, because this team is on a mission. The Sharks are still scoring just about 107 points per game and winning games by more than 30 points a night. They are in the top five in assist/turnover ratio, field goal percentage and offensive rebounds per game while leading DII men's hoops in turnovers per game. This is utter domination thus far.
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No. 2 Indiana (PA) | Previous: 2: The Crimson Hawks are another team not simply winning but dominating the competition. Their 19.2 scoring margin is a top-five mark in the division, as is their 59.2 points allowed per game. Perhaps the scariest part of this team is that if you ask, "who is their best player?" there is no right answer. The Hawks have four guys that can take over on any given night. Good luck defending that.
No. 3 Black Hills State | Previous: 7: Up and down the Yellow Jackets go, slipping a bit in the last rankings after a loss to Colorado Mesa. They quickly got back on track and you can make the argument they are playing better than last year's semifinals squad. A big test awaits against Colorado School of Mines on Feb. 3. Joel Scott and company need that win with a tough back-to-backer coming against nationally ranked Fort Lewis just 10 days later.
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No. 4 Northwest Missouri State | Previous: 8: Yes, the Bearcats have two losses against two very good teams, but let's not kid ourselves. They lead DII men's basketball in field goal percentage, have the third-best scoring defense in the land and are a top-5 team in scoring margin. Diego Bernard is the last of the original Bearcats from the start of the three-championship run and he has stepped up and answered the call. He seems to set new career scoring records nightly while most recently becoming the fourth Bearcat to join the 2,000-point club.
No. 5 Central Oklahoma | Previous: 3: You're probably wondering how a team that lost only stumbles a little bit. The simple fact is that the Bronchos are still 19-2 with signature wins against ranked teams up and down what is arguably the toughest region in DII men's basketball. On top of that, they are still likely the No. 1 seed in said region. Jaden Wells is such a nice player, but he has plenty of help in the starting five with a bevy of scorers behind him.
No. 6 UIndy | Previous: Not ranked: Has played a tough schedule? Check. Is on an absolute tear? Check. Is first place in their conference? Check. Yes indeed, the Greyhounds are starting to check off all the boxes in that March resume, seeing them jump from the unranked to make their Power 10 debut. This team is rolling, currently on a 12-game winning streak, which includes a win over then-Power 10 UMSL. The Greyhounds are a team effort, with no one player leading the way, which is what makes them difficult to defend.
No. 7 UNC Pembroke| Previous: First five out: The Braves were tough to place. On the one hand, they are 21-1, which is a record that easily gets them in the top 10. On the other hand, they have not played the strength of schedule that the committee drools over come March. Right now, no matter how you cut it, 21 wins is impressive. The starting five is very deep and can all make plays. The Emmanuel (GA) showdown in a couple of weeks will be a big test, but the Braves could very well run the table with the momentum (a 14-game winning streak) behind them.
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No. 8 (tie) Hillsdale and Lincoln Memorial | Previous: 9 and 4, respectively: These two dropped just one game since the previous Power 10 and are both still very strong teams. Hillsdale is 19-2 and the Railsplitters are 20-2. Their strength of schedule (albeit it different conferences) is nearly identical, and while Lincoln Memorial has a top-10 scoring offense in DII men's basketball, Hillsdale has a top-10 scoring defense. As you can see, both teams are very similar, and instead of trying to separate one from the other this week, they come in deadlocked at No. 8.
No. 10 Point Loma | Previous: First five out: The Sea Lions are rolling, winners of 17 in a row and undefeated in the PacWest. They have played a relatively tough schedule and look to be the top team in the Wild West for now. Point Loma is starting to look like that 2019 national runner-up team. That team had Daulton Hommes take over the DII scene, and this version has Kaden Anderson, who is actually putting up better numbers (22.3 points, 8.9 rebounds per game) than their 2019 national player of the year.
First five out (in alphabetical order):
- Augusta: The Jags dropped two in a row last week but have still played a top-20 strength of schedule in DII. With Tyshaun Crawford, a game changer in tournament-style play, down low, there is no reason to penalize them that much.
- Angelo State: The hoops squad must have gotten jealous of the football and baseball teams, both perennial Power 10 powers. These Rams have won nine in a row against a very tough schedule, with key wins against West Texas A&M and Lubbock Christian along the way.
- Bentley: A loss to New Haven kept the Falcons from finally breaking into the Power 10, but they rebounded with three straight and are still one of the toughest squads in the division. The entire starting five is still averaging double figures in scoring.
- Colorado School of Mines: The loss to Fort Lewis knocks the Orediggers from their Power 10 perch, but a win this Friday against Black Hills State would get them right back in. Mines' fans shouldn't take this too much to heart: The Orediggers starting five is very well balanced, and the top 15 in DII men's basketball are not separated by very much right now.
- Fort Lewis: The Skyhawks picked up a big win against Colorado School of Mines and inch one step closer to cracking the top 10. Akuel Kot has been one of the best scorers in DII men's basketball from opening tip and this offense can undoubtedly score points.
Just missed: Cal State San Bernardino, West Liberty
Team to watch: Colorado Mesa. This team confuses me a bit, but I am certain they are pretty darn good. The Mavs were rolling, on a 10-game winning streak with very impressive victories against nationally ranked Black Hills State and Fort Lewis, but dropped a stunner to 8-13 Westminster. Blaise Threatt and Trevor Baskin are two absolutely fantastic players, but the Mavericks play some tight games. Minus a tough rematch against Colorado School of Mines, Colorado Mesa could very well win out, which will make them a threat in both the RMAC the and national tournament.