A new year brings plenty of change, and the DII women's basketball world cannot escape it. With Grand Valley State losing — which had a stranglehold on the top spot in the DII women's basketball Power 10 rankings since the preseason — there is a new No. 1 in the land. The undefeated Ashland Eagles have the honor of being top dog (or bird, as the case may be).
Since we haven't had a new Power 10 since last year (I know, I know), here is your reminder. The NCAA.com Power 10 rankings are mine, and mine alone. There is no committee voting, and I like to try and blend the metrics the selection committee uses with the ol’ eye test and which teams are playing good basketball.
LOOK BACK: The last Power 10 rankings of 2022
Without further ado:
The third DII women’s Power 10 rankings of the regular season (Note: All games through Jan. 9)
No. 1 Ashland | Previous: 2: This team is looking scary, now 16-0 and pretty much blowing people out since November. The Eagles are the fifth-highest scoring team in DII women's basketball and are winning games by more than 25 points a game, second best in the division. This team has incredible depth, but there is no denying Annie Roshak is playing like one of the best in the land.
No. 2 Drury | Previous: 3: The Panthers are 13-1 against the 18th-toughest schedule in the division. They are rolling offensively as well, scoring 93 or more points in each of their last three games. As a reminder, the Panthers lone loss was by one point to the top team in DII women's basketball. Their "Big Three" seem to be getting stronger each week. Saying this team is very good is an understatement.
No. 3 Central Missouri | Previous 6: The Jennies keep moving up, remaining undefeated against one of the strongest strengths of schedule in the division. More important than their 13-0 start is the fact that the Jennies are 9-0 in the MIAA with wins against Nebraska-Kearney, Fort Hays State, Pittsburg State, and Missouri Southern. Brooke Littrell has been playing sensational basketball, averaging nearly a double-double per game with 19.9 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
No. 4 Glenville State | Previous: 5: Head coach Kimberly Stephens is really making a strong case for best head coach in the division. She lost nearly her entire championship roster and this team is 13-1 against a pretty tough schedule while leading the division in scoring (90.9), turnovers forced per game (29) and turnover margin (11.57). Breanna Campbell and Mickayla Perdue have been very nice additions, chipping in a combined 30.7 points per game and leading the way for this high-powered offense.
No. 5 Western Washington | Previous: 5: The Vikings have won 11 straight since falling to nationally ranked Azusa Pacific by one on opening night. They are on a roll recently, scoring 100 points in back-to-back nights before posting a double-digit win over nationally ranked Central Washington. As always, this defense is tough and the offense is very balanced making it tough for opponents to hone in on one player. That said, Brooke Walling is the leader of the pack with team highs in points and rebounds.
No. 6 Grand Valley State | Previous: 1: The Lakers stumble a bit after a New Year's Eve loss to Lewis. The reason Grand Valley State is No. 6 is because the teams ahead of them are either undefeated or have played a much tougher schedule. But make no mistake, this team is very good on both sides of the ball. The Lakers have both a top-10 scoring offense and defense, propelling them to the largest scoring margin in the division. If any team can jump back up these rankings quickly, it's the Lakers.
ALL-STATS TEAM: A dream starting five of the best stats through December
No. 7 Tampa | Previous: 7: The Spartans finally dropped a game, but sitting at 14-1, they are still extremely tough. They have a tough stretch this week with Nova Southeastern and fellow-Power-10er Eckerd on deck. Sydney Kin leads the way, scoring 17.6 points per game, but four starters are chipping in at least 11 points per game.
No. 8 Colorado School of Mines | Previous: First five out: The Orediggers have one loss early in the season to the stingiest defense in the division (Nebraska-Kearney if you're wondering). Since then, they have reeled off 11 straight in pretty dominant fashion. All five starters can score, and they are a very unselfish team. With a bit of a cushion in the RMAC, the conference looks like it's theirs to lose as they continue to build a strong March resume.
No. 9 Minnesota State | Previous: 9: Yes, the Mavericks have lost two of their last four games, but this team has played a tough schedule and is still sitting at 12-2. They certainly can score, averaging 85.1 points per game and beating opponents by an average of 21.4 points. Joey Batt, Destinee Bursch and Natalie Bremer lead the scoring charge, all averaging more than 14 points per game.
No. 10 Eckerd | Previous: First five out: Yet another Sunshine State Conference represents. Yes, the Tritons have two losses, but no one has played a tougher schedule in DII with a whopping .723 combined opponents' winning percentage. So, to be 12-2 is quite impressive. That includes several non-conference wins against teams that were ranked at the time. Four of their five starters average at least 10 points and they shoot the ball pretty well. Pair that with solid defense and this team is going to make it tough for opponents.
DII WOMEN'S HOOPS CENTRAL: News, stats, history and scores
First five out (in alphabetical order)
- Cal State Dominguez Hills
- Charleston (WV)
- Georgia Southwestern
- North Georgia
Just missed: Lenoir-Rhyne, Minnesota Duluth, Texas Woman's, West Texas A&M