Maverick Maniac's Musings

January 16, 2013

2012-13 Summit League Basketball Power Rankings – January 16th

Men’s Power Rankings

NDST1.) North Dakota State – 15-3 (6-0) – Last Week: 1
Games last week: W vs. Fort Wayne (67-55), W vs. Oakland (73-65)
Games this week: @ IUPUI (1/17), @ Western Illinois (1/19)

Neither win last week was dominant but they got the job done both nights. The big news is the loss of Taylor Braun to a broken foot. Braun hopes to be back for the conference tournament, but in the meantime the Bison will face an uphill battle to maintain their 1st place status in the Summit League without him. We’ll find out right away how much the loss of Braun means as North Dakota State travels to IUPUI on Thursday in a potential trap game and to Western Illinois on Saturday. No reason to move them out of #1 until they lose.

WIU2.) Western Illinois – 14-3 (6-0) – Last Week: 2
Games last week: W vs. Greenville (95-48), W @ Omaha (89-74)
Games this week: vs. South Dakota State (1/17), vs. North Dakota State (1/19)

Western Illinois had a fairly easy week as they smoked D3 Greenville on Wednesday before traveling to Omaha on Saturday. The Mavericks gave the Leathernecks a little trouble in a few stretches but Western Illinois was dominant for most of the game and was never really in any danger. This week will be a different story. I’m not saying it’s worth the $10 to buy the video pass at WIU for the next month, but if there ever was a week that justified that cost, this is it! South Dakota State comes in on Thursday and Western Illinois could put the Jackrabbits in a real tough spot, a three game Western Illinois lead, with a win that night. North Dakota State comes on Saturday and without Taylor Braun for the Bison the Leathernecks have a slightly easier chance to go 8-0 in their first swing through the conference this season. If Western Illinois holds home court this weekend they’ll be the new #1 team in the Summit. If they lose though they could find themselves in 3rd.

SDST3.) South Dakota State – 13-6 (4-2) – Last Week: 3
Games last week: W vs. Oakland (81-74), W vs. Fort Wayne (83-57)
Games this week: @ Western Illinois (1/17), @ IUPUI (1/19)

A tough hard fought win over Oakland on Thursday was followed up by a strong 2nd half against Fort Wayne to pull away for a 26 point win on Saturday. South Dakota State is still capable of winning this league and needs only a minor slip by the top two teams to get back in front. The problem is, it will be a lot harder and probably unlikely if they don’t win in Macomb. So this Thursday get’s one of those “must win” labels. Saturday at IUPUI shouldn’t be nearly as hard, but if they win on Thursday they’ll need to make sure they don’t let down in what could be a trap game. Chance to prove that this race still is between them and North Dakota State and move up the rankings if they beat Western Illinois.

OAK4.) Oakland – 7-12 (2-3) – Last Week: 4
Games last week: L @ South Dakota State (74-81), L @ North Dakota State (65-73)
Games this week: vs. Kansas City (1/17), vs. South Dakota (1/19)

Oakland seems to still be finding themselves and has gone to a short, very short, bench over the last week. They fought hard and lost by seven to South Dakota State and eight to North Dakota State in what will be the hardest road trip of the conference season. It gets a lot easier for Oakland this week as Kansas City and South Dakota come to town. Oakland seems to be clearly the #4 team right now. They aren’t up with top three, and they aren’t down with the bottom five. If that’s true they should get a couple of much needed wins this weekend.

SDAK5.) South Dakota – 7-11 (3-3) – Last Week: 5
Games last week: L vs. Kansas City (86-90)
Games this week: @ Fort Wayne (1/17), @ Oakland (1/19)

South Dakota definitely took a bad loss this week. Kansas City was struggling mightily and went into the Dakota Dome and won. South Dakota has played five of their six Summit League games at home (road trip was to Omaha) and that 3-3 record might be a tad inflated. We’ll find out quickly with road games at Fort Wayne and Oakland. I’ll hesitantly keep them at #5 because they have beaten South Dakota State and that has to count for something. We’ll know a lot more after they play Fort Wayne Thursday.

IPFW6.) Fort Wayne – 8-11 (1-4) – Last Week: 6
Games last week: L @ North Dakota State (55-67), L @ South Dakota State (57-83)
Games this week: vs. South Dakota (1/17), vs. Kansas City (1/19)

They showed something in that North Dakota State game and a little something against South Dakota State too. I wonder if they just ran out of gas in the 2nd half on Saturday. The 1-4 record is probably a little misleading as the only bad loss was at IUPUI and the other three were at the top teams in the league. They’ll look better from here on out. South Dakota and Kansas City this week will be telling. #6 for now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they become a clear #5 in the 2nd half of the year. Could get interesting between them and Oakland late in the year as they don’t meet until the final two conference games and could potentially rematch in the 4-5 matchup in Sioux Falls.

UMKC7.) Kansas City – 5-13 (2-4) – Last Week: 8
Games last week: L vs. Utah Valley (66-78), W @ South Dakota (90-86)
Games this week: @ Oakland (1/17), @ Fort Wayne (1/19), vs. Houston Baptist (1/22)

Thursday was a disappointment but Kansas City was playing pretty banged up, so it might be understandable. Saturday was a refreshing performance to end a long losing streak and now they can look to build on that. Road games at Oakland and Fort Wayne will be tough, but Kansas City could surprise either team. Early in the season they beat IUPUI by 14 and lost to Western Illinois by five. We know they have the potential and might be realizing it again. They jump an IUPUI team who didn’t have a good week. Still keep them ahead of Omaha because most of Kansas City’s losses weren’t that bad, despite the loss in Omaha. We’ll see what happens back in Kansas City on the 26th.

NEBO8.) Omaha – 5-15 (2-6) – Last Week: 9
Games last week: W vs. IUPUI (90-79), L vs. Western Illinois (74-89)
Games this week: @ Cal State Bakersfield (1/19)

Omaha has their problems (defense mostly) and they haven’t been good away from home. However… I’ll let them slide up to #8 with their 2nd Summit League win. The Mavericks finish their first go around in conference about how you’d expect… mostly losses but the home win or two over some of the teams who seem to be in a similar place to them. Omaha goes out of conference this weekend to Cal State Bakersfield.

IUPUI9.) IUPUI – 6-14 (1-5) – Last Week: 7
Games last week: L @ Omaha (79-90)
Games this week: vs. North Dakota State (1/17), vs. South Dakota State (1/19)

IUPUI… the team that took Western Illinois to overtime in Macomb and gave Fort Wayne a 14 point loss in Indianapolis did not show up in Omaha. Instead the team that lost by 14 at Kansas City, by 20 at South Dakota, and by 22 at home to Oakland made an appearance. IUPUI has some talent but they are too inconsistent at this point. If Fort Wayne gets a home win this week IUPUI will have to upset one of the Dakotas to avoid being the only team in conference with one win left. That spells last in the Summit League power rankings until further notice. IUPUI will be glad that Omaha can’t appear in Sioux Falls because the Jaguars have only one game in the next eight that looks like a likely win.

Player of the ‘Last’ Week:
I think at least some of this should be aimed at recognizing someone who led their team to success last week so it’s hard to pick one of the Oakland players who were impressive but went 0-2. Hate to be that guy but hard to ignore Nate Wolters again this week. 16 points and nine assists in the seven point win over Oakland and then 29 points on Saturday against Fort Wayne.

Game of the ‘Next’ Week:
GOTW honors go to the North Dakota State @ Western Illinois battle on Saturday. Could be two 7-0 teams squaring off for the top spot in the league. Regardless of how Western Illinois does on Thursday they’ll be playing for the top spot halfway through the season.

Women’s Power Rankings

SDST1.) South Dakota State – 13-5 (5-0) – Last Week: 1
Games last week: W @ Oakland (64-43), W @ Fort Wayne (66-64)
Game this week: vs. Western Illinois (1/17), vs. IUPUI (1/19)

Far and away the clear #1 though they did struggle a bit in Fort Wayne needing a basket at the buzzer to avoid overtime. This week they host a couple of teams that looked good in single home games against Omaha last week. South Dakota State is the measuring stick right now and both teams will be looking to prove themselves.

IUPUI2.) IUPUI – 9-7 (3-1) – Last Week: 4
Games last week: W vs. Omaha (60-49)
Games this week: @ North Dakota State (1/17), @ South Dakota State (1/19)

IUPUI picks up ground this week after a solid home win over Omaha and watching South Dakota lose at Kansas City. Their only loss was at Oakland, and they own wins at Fort Wayne and at home to Western Illinois and Omaha. No one else has the resume or conference record at this point to challenge for #2. North Dakota State is a chance to get an important road win while South Dakota State on Saturday will be a big challenge.

IPFW3.) Fort Wayne – 6-11 (2-3) – Last Week: 7
Games last week: W vs. North Dakota State (65-58), L vs. South Dakota State (64-66)
Games this week: @ South Dakota (1/17), @ Kansas City (1/19)

This is a dangerous team to me and they proved it this week with a win over the Bison and with what could have been an upset over the Jackrabbits. Fort Wayne has lost to IUPUI and did lose by 10 at Omaha. That Omaha loss though was in a game they played well and gave up an 11-0 run at the end after losing two players to ankle injuries. I’ll trust Fort Wayne at this point since they’ve played every game close in conference. Is a bit concerning that they’ve only played one road game in the Summit (at Omaha). This week they go to South Dakota and Kansas City. Would think if they keep playing well they can grab at least one of those.

SDAK4.) South Dakota – 7-10 (2-2) – Last Week: 3
Games last week: L @ Kansas City (56-60)
Games this week: vs. Fort Wayne (1/17), vs. Oakland (1/19)

It wasn’t a good loss to Kansas City, but the Roos were a top team in the preseason and may be coming back into form. I’ll leave South Dakota up here based on the wins over Omaha and at North Dakota State and the fact that their losses have been close (by 12 @ South Dakota State and by 4 @ Kanas City). They can prove they are better than Fort Wayne for 3rd this week if they get a home win over them.

WIU5.) Western Illinois – 9-7 (2-2) – Last Week: 6
Games last week: vs. Omaha (W 71-44)
Games this week: @ South Dakota State (1/17), @ North Dakota State (1/19)

Another team that moves up this week due to the very impressive victory on Saturday. Hard to value Western Illinois below Omaha after they dismantled the Mavericks. Western Illinois has been blown out twice as well though, so I’m not real confident in having them ahead of Omaha. Just can’t rank them in the opposite order just days after a 27-point win. This week at South Dakota State will be a real test and North Dakota State would be a nice place for a solid road win.

NEBO6.) Omaha – 11-5 (3-3) – Last Week: 2
Games last week: L @ IUPUI (49-60), L @ Western Illinois (44-71)
Games this week: @ Chicago State (1/17), @ Indiana Dabney (1/19)

Omaha did not impress last week. They had a chance to take down IUPUI and then got embarrassed on Saturday in Macomb. They’ll need to prove they can get results on the road and weren’t just impressing in some early home games and a nicely timed road game vs. a struggling Kansas City team. I think they’re better than the bottom three but they just might not be better than the five teams above them, teams they are 1-3 against so far (though the three losses all on the road). They should rebound this week with some easy road games with Chicago State and Indiana Dabney.

OAK7.) Oakland – 7-10 (1-4) – Last Week: 5
Games last week: L vs. South Dakota State (43-64), L vs. North Dakota State (59-60)
Games this week: @ Kansas City (1/17), @ South Dakota (1/19)

Oakland has one very impressive win vs. IUPUI but the rest of their resume is rough. I’ll keep them ahead of North Dakota State because a buzzer beater is not a lot to pick one team over another based on. They got some bad news Monday in that preseason Summit League player of the year Bethany Watterworth will not return this season from the back injury that she suffered in the preseason. Oakland plays at Kansas City and at South Dakota this week and really could use a road win.

NDST8.) North Dakota State – 6-11 (2-3) – Last Week: 8
Games last week: L @ Fort Wayne (58-65), W @ Oakland (60-59)
Game this week: vs. IUPUI (1/17), vs. Western Illinois (1/19)

A nice showing at Fort Wayne and a buzzer beater win at Oakland leaves me feeling a lot better about North Dakota State than I did a week ago. Not quite enough to have me move them up this week though as that margin vs. Oakland was so razor thin. North Dakota State can really make a statement this week against an IUPUI team that has been on a roll and a Western Illinois team that got blown out in their two road conference games.

UMKC9.) Kansas City – 5-12 (1-3) – Last Week: 9
Games last week: W vs. South Dakota (60-56)
Games this week: vs. Oakland (1/17), vs. Fort Wayne (1/19)

Kansas City got that all-important 1st conference win on Saturday to end a eight game losing streak. The nice home win over South Dakota hasn’t quite undone the damage though from the blowout loss vs. Omaha and at South Dakota State and North Dakota State. Roos get a chance to make more noise with two more home games vs. Oakland and Fort Wayne. We’ll find out if they have started to move towards their preseason expectations this week. A win or two would surely push them up the rankings.

Player of the ‘Last’ Week:
Don’t think it can be anyone other than Megan Waytashek of South Dakota State this week. The sophomore forward had 30 points and 11 rebounds in the two point win at Fort Wayne and had 13 points and five rebounds in the 19 point win at Oakland.

Game of the ‘Next’ Week:
GOTW honors go to the IUPUI @ South Dakota State game on Saturday. It’s a matchup of the only two teams to be above .500 in conference at this point and will be a big measuring stick for where the IUPUI team is at.

Do you all agree with the rankings at all?  Think I’m way off on some teams? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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