This is a combined TOP 20 poll using information gathered from the Boston Herald, Boston Globe, BeantownHoops.com and Maxpreps.com through January 26, 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 (12-0)
Last week's rank (1). The Bulldogs has a nice little week with a win over the Fisherman of Gloucester and a victory over then #18 Winthrop. Lynn English margin of victory in their first nine game was (19.9 PPG), it the last three it has shrunk to (12.3 PPG). Up this week for the Bulldogs a couple of NEC road trips to Marblehead and Beverly. I expect LE to be undefeated when I do this again next week.
#2-(2.00)-D1N-Central Catholic (13-0)
Last week's rank (2). The Raiders had a nice (3-0) week with MVC wins over Haverhill (65-52) and Tewksbury (83-36) and a quality win over CMass #1 Worcester North (47-44). Central has averaged (70.4 PPG) against non-Top 20 teams and (57.0 PPG) against Top 20 teams (Andover X2, Worcester North). This week the Raiders will travel to Lowell then return home for Part III against the #12 Andover Golden Warriors.
#3-(4.00)-D1N-St. John's Prep (14-0)
Last week's rank (3). The Eagles pulled off the hat trick last week with wins over BC High (69-58), Lynn Classical (93-80) and Malden Catholic (73-50). In five of its six Catholic Conference games to date, Prep has held its opponent to less than sixty points. Very impressive. This week the Eagles host the Townies of Charlestown then travel to take on the Knights of Catholic Memorial. Beware of the CM game, as I detect an the odor of an upset brewing.
#4-(4.75)-D1S-Newton North (13-1)
Last week's rank (4). The Tigers roared through both Natick (56-47) and Braintree (59-48) last week. Newton North is allowing only (49.0 PA/G) against teams from Massachusetts and has only twice permitted more than 60 points. This week the Tigers have a home game against Dedham, hit the road for an EMass D1 South showdown with #5 Brockton then finish with the Wildcats of Weymouth back at home.
Last week's rank (7). The Boxers took care of the Patriot League's Hingham Harbormen (68-46) and the Old Colony League's Taunton Tigers (70-60). Brockton averaged (77.5 PF/G) for its first nine games but only 69.0 PF/G over the last three. We'll see what those numbers mean when the Boxers face off against #4 Newton North on Sunday at home as Newton North has one of the better defenses in the state.
#6-(6.75)-D1S-Madison Park (11-1)
Last week's rank (6). A double dose of wins for the Cardinals as they took care of in state South Boston (63-43) and out of state St. Raphael (RI) (66-35). Madison Park is allowing a miniscule (44.9 PA/G) over its last seven games while pouting in (71.9 PF/G). This week it is revenge time at the #10 East Boston Jets (the Cardinals only loss) and a home game against Fenway.
Last week's rank (9). The Marauders took out both Middlesex League foes from last week, Melrose (41-34) and Woburn (68-55). Belmont averaged (69.7 PF/G) over its first nine but has slipped to (57.3) over its last three. Cause for concern, methinks not. This week the Marauders will entertain the Warriors of Wakefield at home and travel to Winchester.
#8 (TIE)-(9.75)-D4N-New Mission (12-1)
Last week's rank (8). The Titans won their first two games of the week over Burke (86-45) and West Roxbury (80-70) before being handed their first defeat by East Boston (68-66). Boy is D4 North going to be interesting. The East Boston game was the first time New Mission was held to less than 70 points in seven games, and that was just barely. This week a triple header with road games at O'Bryant, home versus Dorchester then a Top 20 match-up with #8 Scituate on Saturday.
#8 (TIE)-(9.75)-D2S-Scituate (11-1)
Last week's rank (10). Scituate took care of fellow Patriot League members Quincy (65-51) and Rockland (70-51). No real highs or lows with the Sailors as they have scored between (61.0-81.0 PPG) in every game. Also, the Scituate defense has allowed 59 points or less in the last seven. This week the Sailors hit the road to take on Randolph, then pair off with a couple of Top 20 teams at home, #8 New Mission and #17 Whitman-Hanson.
#10 (TIE)-(10.75)-D1N-East Boston (13-2)
Last week's rank (5). The Jets played two weeks worth of games, five, in one week as they dropped their first 2 games of the year. In a scheduling oddity they beat South Boston (83-75), beat Latin Academy (83-68), lost to #16 Franklin (85-81), beat #8 New Mission (68-66) and lost to Charlestown (85-81). So obviously the key to beating the Jets is to score 85 and allow 81 as both losses have come by the exact same score. No rest for the weary as they have a home game against #6 Madison Park and a road tilt at Snowden.
Last week's rank (11). The Vikings had 3 games last week, all were against South Coast Conference opponents and all were wins Seekonk (113-61), Bourne (83-57) and Greater New Bedford Voc. (91-39). Wareham continues their unprecedented domination of a league like I've never seen. Hopefully some of you readers can enlighten me to other teams/leagues that are similar to this. This week it is two more SCC games with Apponequet at home and Seekonk on the road. Ouch
Last week's rank (12). The Golden Warriors defeated two MVC teams last week, Chelmsford (73-51) and Lawrence (72-66). Andover seems to have recovered (72.5 PF/G last two) from a little offensive swoon where they averaged only (52.0 PF/G) during a three game stretch. This week it is two home games versus Haverhill and O'Bryant then a big road game at #3 Central Catholic.
Last week's rank (13). Last week Cambridge bested Somerville (67-51), Malden (68-55) and Everett (51-50) in OT. Nothing of note stands out statistically for the Falcons except for the most important thing, wins. Every game is nip and tuck but in the end Cambridge usually comes out on top. This week is a light week with on a road trip to fellow GBLer Medford.
#14-(16.00)-D2N-North Andover (12-1)
Last week's rank (14). The Scarlet Knights swept its games last week with wins over Manchester-Essex (55-45) and Georgetown (70-53). Recorded their lowest offensive output in seven games when they scored only 55 points against the Manchester-Essex Hornets. North Andover should be able to get healthy this week with only one road game on the schedule at North Reading.
#15-(16.25)-D1S-North Attleboro (10-2)
Last week's rank (15). The Red Rocketeers bounced fellow Hockomock Leaguer's Oliver Ames (59-52) and Foxboro (64-44) this past week. North is only allowing (51.5 PA/G) during its eight game winning streak. This week will be a test as they host the Stoughton (don't sleep on the Black Knights in D2), face off against #16 Franklin on Sunday in a critical battle for first place and travel to Canton.
Last week's rank (17). The Panthers bounce back from their only two losses to knock off then #5 East Boston (85-81) and Canton (71-56). The offense has picked it up again (78.0 PF/G0 in their last two after averaging (67.6 PF/G) in their previous five (3-2) games. This week is another busy one for Franklin as they travel to Foxboro, host King Philip, travel to #15 North Attleboro then go on the road again at Stoughton.
Last week's rank (16). The Panthers defeated Bridgewater-Raynham (83-72) and Middleboro (67-52). Whitman-Hanson's offense has gained momentum as they are averaging (76.3 PF/G) over their last six as opposed to (68.2 PF/G) over their first five. This week the Panthers hit the road against Hanover then try and avenge their only defeat of the year against #8 Scituate.
Last week's rank (19). The Chieftains took care of business with decsions over Georgetown (77-64) and North Reading (63-51). Eight of Masconomet's eleven wins have been by between 5 and 13 points. So if you attend one of their games be prepared to stay until the end. On deck for the Chieftains are a road game at Lynnfield and a home tilt versus Triton.
#19-(22.25)-D3S-Cardinal Spellman (13-1)
Last week's rank (20). The Cardinals swept their three games last week as they defeated Bishop Stang (60-42), Bishop Fenwick (62-28) and Arlington Catholic (78-57). It kind of caught me off guard but Spellman has actually won 12 of its 13 games by 15 points or more. I would have never guessed that. This week the Catholic Central power has a home game against St. Mary's then travels to Austin Prep to take on the Cougars.
Last week's rank (18). The Vikings beat the Revere Patriots (77-52), Cathedral Panthers (52-50) before sustaining their first loss of the season to #1 Lynn English (69-51). No shame in that as Winthrop proved it is one of the elite teams in EMass. This week the Vikings travel to Beverly and Marblehead.
Interesting week in that nobody dropped out of the Top 20 (there was some shuffling). The reason being that 3 of the 4 losses sustained were to fellow Top 20 teams.
Here are the sources for the BCS type rankings from above.