Horizon League Power Rankings (Dec. 6 – Dec. 13)

The Horizon League drops to 11th in conference RPI following a rough week for some league members.

The league returned to non-conference play following a week of conference matchups, and some teams fared much better than others.  See who’s up, who’s down in this weeks power rankings!

In descending order…

10. Youngstown State (Overall Record: 4-4, Conference Record: 0-2, RPI: 229)

Recent Results: Lost to Robert Morris 90-60, Beat Malone College (non-DI) 78-62

If there’s one thing we can tell about these Penguins, it’s that they’re not ready to contend in the Horizon League.  Youngstown State was absolutely throttled by an average Robert Morris team, and that has earned them the unenviable distinction of the worst team in the Horizon League.  Coach Jerry Slocum probably doesn’t deserve to coach this team next year, but in all likelihood, he will.

Up Next: Thursday at North Carolina State (5-3)

9. UIC (3-6, 0-2, 252)

Recent Results: Lost to Illinois State 53-43

Yes, I know they lost the only game they played this week, but to be honest, the only reason they moved up in the rankings was because of how poorly Youngstown State has played.  Against the Illinois State Redbirds, senior Paul Carter was the only guy out there with any game.  He accounted for 16 of the team’s 42 points and 11 of the team’s 29 rebounds.  The Flames need Zavion Neely to step up or else they could be back in the cellar in no time.

Up Next: Tuesday at Northern Illinois (2-4)

8. Green Bay (3-7, 1-1, 151)

Recent Results: Lost to Duquesne 81-71, Lost to Buffalo 78-64, Lost to Wisconsin 70-56

If not for a hard-fought loss against the Badgers, Green Bay might be even lower than the eighth spot.  Facing a shortage on guards after Seth Evans was ruled out against Wisconsin (flu), Coach Brian Wardle took the redshirt off freshman Kam Cerroni.  Cerroni, coming back after tearing his ACL in high school, had a game he soon hopes to forget.  There’s not going to be anybody else for Coach Wardle to pull off the bench at this point in the season.  He has to hope that guys will come together and learn on the fly.  An easier schedule in the next couple weeks should help with that.

Up Next: Monday vs. North Dakota (3-6)

7. Valparaiso (4-4, 2-0, 107)

Recent Results: Lost to (#18) Purdue 76-58, Lost to Toledo 75-72

A horrendous loss to Toledo drops Valpo to seventh this week.  The loss gives former Green Bay coach Tod Kowalczyk his first victory with the Rockets.  Coach Homer Drew would probably like nothing more than to get healthy over the next few games so the Crusaders can continue their solid play in the conference portion of the schedule.

Up Next: Saturday vs. IPFW (7-2)

Ja'Rob McCallum hopes to lead the Panthers with a strong December

6. Milwaukee (5-6, 1-1, 117)

Recent Results: Lost to Wisconsin 61-40, Beat South Dakota State 82-70

As bad as the Panthers looked against the Badgers, they were that good against the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State.  Ja’Rob McCallum and Tony Meier have been outstanding over the past few games, and they’re the two biggest reasons Panther fans have hope for the rest of this season.  Senior leaders Anthony Hill and Tone Boyle need to find their stroke again.

Up Next: Tuesday at DePaul (3-6)

5. Wright State (3-5, 0-1, 163)

Recent Results: Beat Air Force 76-61, Beat Tusculum College 60-47

Wright State is a weak number five here, but beating Air Force pushes them ahead of Valpo and Milwaukee.  If they can follow that up with a couple of wins against MAC foes in the next week, then I’ll feel a little bit better about them being in this spot.  If not, look for them to drop a couple notches.  I’m just not too impressed by what they’ve done so far.  Let’s see if they prove me wrong.

Up Next: Tuesday vs. Central Michigan (2-6)

4. Detroit (5-5, 1-1, 196)

Recent Results: Lost to Western Michigan 71-69, Beat Eastern Michigan 68-65

The Titans needed all of Ray McCallum‘s 31 points to overcome Eastern Michigan on Saturday.  They’re in the top 100 in points and rebounding yet they toil in mediocrity.  The big question is why?  Why can’t the Titans put it together?  Why are they losing to teams like Western Michigan when they were predicted to be the second best team in the Horizon League?  Perhaps they were overrated coming into the season.  We’ll find out soon enough as the Titans re-enter conference play just before the New Year.

Up Next: Saturday at Central Michigan (2-6)

3. Loyola (8-3, 0-2, 194)

Recent Results: Beat SIU-Edwardsville 78-50, Lost to (#5) Kansas State 68-60

The Ramblers really turned it on in the second half against SIU-Edwardsville and continued that into their game against Kansas State.  Unfortunately, they weren’t able to upset the Wildcats, but they showed that they can play with almost anybody.  I like the Ramblers, a lot…  They have great team chemistry, and I think we’ll see that as they enter mid-season form.

Up Next: Saturday at DePaul (3-5)

2. Butler (4-4, 1-0, 53)

Recent Results: Lost to Xavier 51-49, Beat Mississippi Valley State 91-71

Losing to Xavier was tough since it was such an entertaining, albeit low-scoring game.  The Bulldogs just haven’t looked to be in sync yet as the season has progressed.  They have a few more tough games against good schools that should test their mettle and give some of the younger players like Chrishawn Hopkins and Khyle Marshall a taste of what it’s like to play in big games.

Up Next: Saturday vs. Stanford (5-2)

How did DJ Khaled make these power rankings?

1. Cleveland State (10-0, 2-0, 21)

Recent Results: Beat West Virginia Tech 94-62, Beat Sam Houston State 74-62

“All I do is win, win, win no matter what…”  These eloquent lyrics from DJ Khaled describe exactly what Cleveland State has done so far this year.  They continue to be ignored by the pollsters, but perhaps a win at West Virginia this week will be exactly what it takes for the Vikings to get some love.  Apparently having the most wins in all of college basketball isn’t enough…

Up Next: Saturday at West Virginia

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