This is a combined TOP 20 poll using information gathered from the Boston Herald, Boston Globe, BeantownHoops.com and Maxpreps.com through January 19, 2009. The goal is to provide the ultimate combined Top 20 in EMass sports. For more information on EMass boys basketball, including scores and records, please visit emasssports.com.
Glossary: Their rank, ratings points (formula used to rank each team), division they play in, won-loss record and a brief review of each team's past week and a look ahead at this week's schedule.
#1-(1.50)-D1N-Lynn English (10-0)
Last week's rank (1). The Bulldogs were busy with NEC wins over Swampscott (63-45), Saugus (91-60) and Lynn Classical (91-84). Lynn English poured in 83.3 PF/G for the week while only relinquishing 63.3 PA/G. LE has scored more than 90 points three times, twice versus Lynn Classical. At Gloucester on deck for the Bulldogs.
#2-(2.25)-D1N-Central Catholic (10-0)
Last week's rank (2). Central took care of three MVC teams, Methuen (69-46) and Lawrence (60-54) and Dracut (72-64) last week. The Raider's average margin of victory has decreased from 27.5 PPG in their first six games to 11.0 PPG in the last four. We'll see how that translates this week as Central travels to Haverhill and then hosts the #1 ranked team in CMass, according to the Worcester Telegram, Worcester North on Sunday.
#3-(4.00)-D1N-St. John's Prep (11-0)
Last week's rank (4). Last week the Prep took care CMass Leominster (53-40), Catholic Memorial (78-73) and Xaverian (68-53). The Eagles have won their last eight games by an average of 13.0 PPG (as opposed to the first three by 23.0 PPG) as they seem to be able to morph in to the style of play of their opponent. This week the Eagles will host BC High then butt heads with the Lynn Classical Rams.
#4-(4.25)-D1S-Newton North (11-1)
Last week's rank (3). Last week Newton North had victories over Brookline (63-46), Needham (69-63) and Framingham (66-40) but also suffered their first loss of the year against Maryland power St. Frances (72-57). The Tigers are averaging nine less PPG over the last 5 games compared to the first seven (73.2 vs 64.4). The question is it because we are in the dog days of the season, has the competition stepped up or is it door 3. I'll vote for the dog days. Newton North next game will be a Bay State road tilt at the Natick Red and Blue.
#5-(4.50)-D1N-East Boston (10-0)
Last week's rank (5). Last week East Boston rolled over Wareham (78-61), CMass Fitchburg (72-56) and Southie (83-75). Got to give the Jets credit. They've stepped out and defeated the MVC (Lawrence), Catholic Conference (Catholic Memorial), South Coast Conference (Wareham) and perennial CMass stalwart Fitchburg. Make sure the lights work on the number seven on the scoreboard because the Jets have scored in the 70's in 7 out of 10 games. This week East Boston hosts Latin Academy then travels to Franklin to take on the Hockomock League's first place Panthers.
#6-(6.50)-D1S-Madison Park (9-1)
Last week's rank (6). The Cardinals bested Snowden (75-53), Charlestown (75-45) and Latin Academy (77-39) last week. Since their loss to East Boston, Madison Park is averaging 74.8 PF/G while only yielding 47.2 PA/G for a victory margin of 27.6. Yikes. On deck for the Cardianls is a home game against South Boston.
Last week's rank (10). Let's see how the last week or so went for the Boxers. A win over the Old Colony League's Dartmouth (81-42), check, Big 3 win over Durfee (87-63), check, win over the MVC's Andover (82-44), check, and finish it off with another Big 3 win, this time over New Bedford (69-60), check, integrate new 6'8" Mario Monroe in to the rotation, check. So I guess on a scale of 1-10 we could give it a 9.5. Averaged 79.8 PF/G over the last four while only surrendering 52.3 PA/G for a svelte 27.5 PPG margin of victory. This week they have a date with the Patriot League's Hingham Harbormen. I'll go with the Boxers.
#8-(7.50)-D4N-New Mission (10-0)
Last week's rank (11). The Titans disposed of Hyde Park (87-47) and Boston English (75-53) last week. New Mission is averaging 77.0 PF/G and only allowing 49.0 PA/G. They have only given up more than 56 points once the whole year so for all the attention the offense gets the defense is none too shabby.It certainly looks its going to be tough sledding for the rest of D4 come tournament time. This week the Titans will host Burke and travel to West Roxbury.
Last week's rank (14). Belmont disposed of fellow Middlesex League foes Stoneham (84-45), Watertown (76-51) and Lexington (63-57) over the last week or so. The Marauders are averaging 72.3 PF/G over their last 4 games while only yielding 51.0 PA/G so they have stepped up play a bit recently. The next game for Belmont will take place at Melrose.
Last week's rank (15). The Sailors sailed past Hanover (79-50) and Pembroke (68-35) last week. Since its only loss of the year to Milton, Scituate has won six straight games by an average score of (74-51) or a 23.0 PPG margin. Even more revealing might be the last three games where they are victorious by 31.0 PPG. The Sailors will face Quincy at home next.
Last week's rank (8). This past week or so Wareham defeated fellow South Coast Conference members Case (108-42) and Old Rochester (91-43) while splitting non-league games against East Boston (78-61 loss) and Westfield (80-58 win). Are you sitting...the Vikings are averaging 90.3 PF/G on offense and 46.7 PA/G on defense in its seven South Coast Conference games to date. That equates to an average margin of victory in league games of 43.6 points. In non-league games the averages are 74.0 PF/G versus 63.2 PA/G. Next up are SCC foes Seekonk at home and on the road at Bourne.
Last week's rank (7). Last week the Golden Warriors won three MVC games; Dracut (77-50), Lowell (61-48) and Billerica (51-37) and lost their only non-league game to Brockton (82-44). The Golden Warriors just picked a bad time to have their worst offensive and defensive output of the season. They bounced back nicely against Billerica so we'll assume they are back on track. Next up for Andover, a little trip down the road to Chelmsford.
Last week's rank (NR). The Falcons leap in the Top 20 coming off a (3-0) week against Waltham (70-58), Medford (63-46) and Somerville (67-51). The only time all year that Cambridge has given up more than 60 points was in game one. Averaging 66.5 PF/G and 52.8 PA/G during its current 4-game winning streak. Next up for the Falcons is a Greater Boston League battle at Malden.
#14-(16.25)-D2N-North Andover (10-1)
Last week's rank (20). The Scarlet Knights took care of Cape Ann League business with wins over Ipswich (82-49) and Newburyport (67-40) plus a non-league win over Haverhill (92-87) in 4 OT's. In the midst of an 8-game winning streak where they are averaging 69.0 PF/G and only allowing 48.4 PA/G. This week they host Manchester-Essex.
#15-(16.75)-D1S-North Attleboro (8-2)
Last week's rank (NR). The Red Rocketeers come storming in to the Top 20 off impressive wins over King Philip (75-64), Mansfield (60-57) and Franklin (66-64). It is interesting to note that in North's ten games the point differential is only 57 points. By far the smallest of any team in the Top 20. It just goes to show, just win baby. Currently riding a six game winning streak. Next up for the Red Rocketeers is a road game at Oliver Ames.
Last week's rank (NR). The Panthers took care of business last week with key wins over Rockland (67-62) and Quincy (88-66). Whitman-Hanson hasn't loss since opening day against Scituate. High powered offense averaging 72.1 PF/G while its defense holds foes to 60.9 PA/G. Next up for the Panthers a home non-league tilt against D1 Bridgewater-Raynham.
Last week's rank (9). Not exactly a week to remember for the Panthers. It started promising enough with a (69-50) win over Oliver Ames but fell apart with losses to Attleboro (71-63) in OT and North Attleboro (66-64). Tough stretch for Franklin where they end up playing 9 games in 19 days from January 12 to January 31. As they say, it is what it is. Next up for the Panthers are #5 East Boston and Canton at home.
Last week's rank (18). The Vikings defeated both the Salem Witches (59-42) and Lynn Tech Tigers (73-63) last week. Winthrop won its first 4 games by an average margin of 31.5 PPG. The next 7 wins were a little harder to come by as the margin dropped to 14.8 PPG. Next up a little home cooking against Revere.
Last week's rank (NR). The Chieftains jump in to the Top 20 off wins over Hamilton-Wenham (62-52) and Pentucket (70-46). Currently on an eight game winning streak. Masco has only scored less than 60 points once...their only loss. So if you look up and see the number 6 or greater on the Chieftains sign there is a good chance they are going home the victors. Next up a home game versus Georgetown.
#20-(23.25)-D3S-Cardinal Spellman (10-1)
Last week's rank (NR). The Cardinals swept their two games last week beating North Cambridge Catholic (66-29) and Archbishop Williams (80-59). Spellman is averaging 65.0 PF/G while only allowing a meager 45.4 PA/G for a 19.6 PPG differential. The Cardinals have held their opponents to under 40 points in five of their eleven games. This week two road games, first at Bishop Stang followed by a game at Bishop Fenwick.
Dropping out from last week's poll were Acton-Boxboro, Everett, Mansfield, Oliver Ames and Reading.
Here are the sources for the BCS type rankings from above.