This is a combined TOP 20 poll using information gathered from the Boston Herald, Boston Globe, BeantownHoops.com and Maxpreps.com through February 3, 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-(1.25)-D1N-Lynn English (14-0)
Last week's rank (1). The Bulldogs stormed past NEC foes Marblehead (77-54) and Beverly last week. Lynn English, despite all the talk of its prolific offense, has held 8 of its last 9 opponents to 60 points over less. This week starts with a home game versus Revere and ends with a road game at Peabody. Oh, did I forget to mention that in between those two games is a road game @ #3 Brockton on Sunday. My bad.
#2-(2.25)-D1N-Central Catholic (15-0)
Last week's rank (2). The Raiders took down two MVC teams, Lowell (59-34) and Andover (61-47), to take control of the league title. Central Catholic has held 11 of its 15 opponents to 50 points or less. That's remarkable considering their schedule. This week the Raiders travel to Lawrence, Bishop Hendricken (Rhode Island's #1 team) and then finish at home with Haverhill.
Last week's rank (5). The Boxers had one game for the week and it was a very impressive (80-69) win over then #4 Newton North. With only 13 games played to date, Brockton will be finishing with a flurry of games while other teams get healthy. Will it effect them come tourney time, we'll see. This week Brockton starts with a road game against Durfee and ends with another Big 3 battle at home against New Bedford. In the middle is potentially the regular season game of the year against #1 Lynn English at home. We will take the home team in this Super Bowl clash of EMass D1 South and North powers.
#4-(4.25)-D1S-Madison Park (13-1)
Last week's rank (6). The Cardinals just keep rolling with wins over East Boston (93-72) and Fenway (76-46) last week. Madison Park has won its last seven games by 20 points or more and 4 out its last 7 by 30 or more points. This week some city action with a home game against Snowden at a road game at Charlestown.
#5-(5.50)-D1S-Newton North (15-2)
Last week's rank (4). The Tigers had two wins last week, Dedham (66-39) and Weymouth (86-49) before suffering their first loss to a Massachusetts team, then #5 Brockton (80-69). In the Tigers 13 league games they have only relinquished more than 60 points four times. In their four non-league games they have allowed more than 60 points thre out of 4 times. This week Newton North does battle with fellow Bay State foes Wellesley and Brookline at home.
#6-(6.75)-D1N-St. John's Prep (15-1)
Last week's rank (3). The Eagles won their first game of the week against Charlestown (76-60) before get handed their first defeat by Catholic Memorial (for those of you who follow, I predicted it in last week's Top 20). This week Prep catches a little bit of a breather with only a home contest against Catholic Conference foe, Xaverian on the slate.
Last week's rank (7). The Marauders keep their undefeated record intact with three Middlesex League wins under their belt for the week; Wakefield (62-46), Winchester (51-43) and Burlington (85-59). I haven't figured out what kind of team Belmont is yet, offensive or defensive minded but they seem to be able to morph in to whatever their opponent wants to do. This week a home game against rival Reading and on the road at Stoneham.
#8-(8.25)-D4N-New Mission (16-1)
Last week's rank (8). New Mission handled its busy week's schedule with aplomb in defeating O'Bryant (88-63), Dorchester (65-42), #8 Scituate (90-73) and Brighton (67-55). Boy are they going to be tough to get by in D4. Beating one of the better teams in D2 South on their home court by 17. Yikes. The Titans have a home game against Hyde Park this week.
Last week's rank (13). Slow week last week for the Falcons as they manged to win their only game over Medford (53-36). Cambridge has gone thirteen straight games without allowing 60 points. This week East Boston has a home tilt against Greater Boston League foe Somerville then on the road at West Roxbury.
#10-(11.00)-D1N-East Boston (14-3)
Last week's rank (10). The Jets fell to #4 Madison Park (93-72) and defeated Snowden (73-67). Eastie played a brutal eight games in fifteen days to end January against some tough competition and I think it caught up with them a little bit. The Jets have a home game at Fenway this week.
Last week's rank (11). The Vikings were victorious in their two South Coast Conference games over Apponequet (102-69) and Seekonk (115-67). In Wareham's last seven SCC games they are AVERAGING (100.4 PF/G) while only surrendering (54.0 PA/G). This week it is two more South Coast Conference games; at home against Dighton-Rehoboth and on the road at perennial Viking nemesis Fairhaven. Go with the under in the Fairhaven game.
#12-(13.25)-D2N-North Andover (15-1)
Last week's rank (14). The Scarlet Knights enjoyed a perfect week with wins over North Reading (76-37), Pentucket (70-33) and Triton (64-51). North Andover is averaging (70.0 PF/G) and (43.5 PA/G) in its last four. This week the Scarlet Knights travel to Wilmington and come home to, hopefully, avenge their only defeat of the year to Andover.
Last week's rank (18). The Chieftains blew through the Cape Ann League last week with wins over Lynnfield (81-40), Triton (65-28) and Amesbury (74-49). Masco is averaging (71.66 PF/A) and (46.33 PA/G) in its last six games. This week it's a double dip at home against Charlestown and Wilmington before the showdown next Friday against #12 North Andover.
Last week's rank (16). The Panthers looked like they had righted the ship with wins over Foxboro (67-49), King Philip (72-44) and # 15 North Attleboro (73-53) before stumbling against Stoughton (watch out for the Black Knights in D2 South as they also beat #3 Brockton). When Franklin scores 70 points or greater they are (11-0) less than 70 points they drop to (4-3). This week its a big Hockomock League showdown at home against #17 Mansfield then a raod game at Sharon.
#15-(16.25)-D1S-North Attleboro (12-3)
Last week's rank (15). The Red Rocketeers had bookend wins over Stoughton (57-56) in OT and Canton (48-46) while getting bounced by #14 Franklin (73-53) in the middle. The last four games the points scored by North Attleboro has gone as follows; 64, 57, 53, 48. Amazingly, they won three out of the four games. This week one lone home game against the Sharon Eagles.
Last week's rank (8). Scituate had a dog fight on their hands all week with losses to #8 New Mission (90-73) and Duxbury (65-64) and a win over Whitman-Hanson (62-60). The Sailors defense allowed (53.7 PA/G) over the first twelve games but it has mushroomed to (71.7 PA/G) over the last three. This week a couple of Patriot League games against Hingham on the road and Silver Lake at home.
Last week's rank (NR). The Hornets jump back in to the Top 20 riding a six game winning streak including victories over Stoughton (68-54), Attleboro (65-43) and Sharon (58-47) last week. Mansfield's average margin of victory in its last six games is (23.5 PPG). This week they travel to #14 Franklin then host the Oliver Ames Tigers.
#18-(20.25)-D3S-Cardinal Spellman (15-1)
Last week's rank (19). The Cardinals pounced on both Austin Prep (71-48) and St. Mary's (59-45) this week. Fourteen of Cardinal Spellman's win have been by 14 points or greater. This week its revenge time as the Cathedral Panthers (handed Spellman its only loss) come to town followed by a visit from the North Cambridge Catholic.
Last week's rank (20). The Vikings defeated both Beverly (54-52) and Marblehead last week. The offense is sputtering a little as the points per game over the last four has dropped to fifty-five. This week two NEC road games at Swampscott and Danvers. Expect the Vikings to be (17-2).
Last week's rank (NR). The Rams enter the Top 20 for the first time of the year coming off wins over Sandwich (85-78) and Nauset (63-50). Marshfield is riding a ten game winning streak with an average margin of victory of (13.4 PPG). This week it's a huge Atlantic Coast game at Falmouth followed by home games against New Bedford and Plymouth South..
Dropping out were Andover and Whitman-Hanson.
Here are the sources for the BCS type rankings from above.