Tyler Byrum

DMV College Basketball Power Rankings: A new team at the top

USA Today Sports

DMV College Basketball Power Rankings: A new team at the top

Time to get into the meat of the non-conference season. Of course this is always highlighted by the marque Big Ten/ ACC Challenge, but in the area it featured many local rivalries.

Teams are playing squads that are closer to their level of competition. Fewer smaller teams are traveling to, and getting demolished by, Power 5 teams. Mid-major squads are playing fellow mid-majors.

In the Mid-Atlantic, for the past week and a half throughout the rankings numerous local teams have gone up against regional rivals. Here is just a taste:

Richmond at Old Dominion
William and Mary at George Mason
Morehead State at Towson
Radford at Virginia Tech

For the first time all season, there is a shake up in the top four teams. Still, all of them are favorites to make the NCAA Tournament by seasons end. While they may have been some controversy last week about the No. 1 team in the area, this time there is no question that the University of Virginia is the top team in the region.

Oh and Towson became the only school this year to win two conference tournaments, in two separate countries.


These rankings are based on scores as of Thursday, December 7. All 29 Division I schools in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware are included in this rankings.

1. Virginia Cavaliers (ACC):
Record: 8-1
Last Week: #2 (+1)

Don’t hold it against me for not being entirely convinced by a team that had yet to beat a team that was a potential NCAA tournament team at full-strength. Especially don’t hold it against my boss, Troy Machir, you can find me right here.

Credit has to be given to Tony Bennett. Last year the Cavaliers was a defensive oriented team and heading into this season they lost their only scorer who averaged double-figures. Now he has two in Kyle Guy and Devon Hall.

The team is ranked in the AP Top 25 and is not going anywhere any time soon. They are still not a team that should be considered to win the ACC this season, but they will have a say in the race by season’s end.

While the win against Wisconsin in the Big Ten/ ACC Challenge is a win over a big name team, they have more impressive results over Rhode Island and VCU.

A golden opportunity was missed at West Virginia, a fellow top 25 team, being down two points with less than three minutes to go. Guy’s 18 points in that contest were all in the second half, sparking a comeback.

There defense is still holding tight though, they only allowed eight points in the paint at the Mountaineers and are the top defense in the country (allowing 52.6 ppg).

2. Maryland Terrapins (Big Ten):
Record: 8-3 (1-1)
Last Week: #1 (-1)

The reign as the No. 1 team in the Mid-Atlantic is over, for now, for the Terps. Still plenty of time and potential for Maryland as the season continues.

This week the Terrapins dropped two of four. One at Syracuse where they just fumbled away any opportunity they had at a comeback in the final minutes. The second was their conference opener, falling behind early to Purdue and making a last-ditch comeback.

Do not worry if you are a Terp fan though. While the three losses have been frustrating in how the team handed the end of game situations, they are all against teams that will be dancing in March, including St. Bonaventure.

In their win over Illinois, Anthony Cowan Jr. (16.5 ppg) scored a career-high 27 points. He nailed a game-winning free throw as well with only a second on the clock.

Still plenty of concern still in College Park, when it comes down to the final moments all forms of offense breaks down and it becomes hero basketball. And where is the dominating Justin Jackson that we saw last season?

Also a slight injury scare Bruno Fernando against Ohio appears to be nothing more than a scare.

3. Virginia Tech Hokies (ACC):
Record: 8-1
Last Week: #4 (+1)

Six-game winning streak for the Hokies finally push them past VCU and are on the back bumper of the Terps. Like their rival Cavaliers, they have wins over notable programs (Iowa and Ole Miss), neither of those are necessarily high quality teams.  

It took overtime for the Hokies to win on the road in Oxford, Mississippi. At one point they were down by 16 in the second half, but used a full team effort to force the extra period. They would outscore the Rebels 11-8 in overtime.

Since joining the team following a two-game suspension to start the year, senior Justin Bibbs has scored 11 points or more in all seven of his games. Against Radford on Wednesday, he had 20 points, going 8-10 from the field with four three pointers.

He leads an offense that is the best in the country, averaging 96.8 points a contest. They also are shooting better than everyone in the NCAA at 55.6 percent. Every starter is currently in double figures in terms of scoring. From behind the arc, they are hitting their marks 45.6 percent of the time. Every player that has played considerable minutes has also hit one from deep as well.

4. VCU Rams (A-10):
Record: 5-4
Last Week: #3 (-1)

Shaka Smart’s return to Richmond did not go the way Ram Nation was hoping for.

Now two coaches removed from the incredible era that Smart gave to VCU basketball, some fans finally received some closure.

The team though did not seem to match-up against the Longhorns. Ending the game with a close score, Texas was more physical, played smarter basketball, and had fantastic on the ball defense.

Like all good teams, the Rams made a comeback. Fueled by Khris Lane, he hit four of five three-point attempts and capped a 25-5 scoring run near the end of the second half.

The bigger issue though is Justin Tillman and Jonathan Williams, their top two returners cannot seem to stay on the court when the Rams need them the most. Whether it is foul trouble or endurance, they have to stay in the game.

The Rams also got a solid home win over fellow Commonwealth opponent, Old Dominion 82-75 inside of the Siegel Center.

5. Towson Tigers (CAA):
Record: 9-1
Last Week: #5 (+2)

It may have taken overtime to beat Morgan State, but the Towson Tigers have clearly established themselves as the top mid-major team in the Mid-Atlantic.

Everything is going right for the Tigers and here is a list of what they have accomplished so far this year:

-9-1 start (best record to start the year ever)
-Eight game winning streak
-Gulf Coast Showcase Championship
-Belfast Classic Championship
-AP top 25 vote

Everyone is in their element, Mike Morsell is thriving with others stepping up their game offensively. In addition to the MVP from the Gulf Coast Showcase, he also pulled out the win for the Tigers in Belfast.

They also couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season from sophomore Zane Martin. Reaching 20 points in four straight games, Martin leads Towson in scoring after coming off of the bench last year.

They did save their best for last in terms of their non-conference schedule, they host UMBC, travel to Oakland, and Pittsburgh before kicking off CAA play.

6. Old Dominion Monarchs (C-USA):
Record: 6-3
Last Week: #7 (+1)

Old Dominion continues a strong start to the season. They nearly doubled up Maryland-Eastern Shore at home, lost a close battle at VCU, and handily took care of the spiraling Spiders.

A 20-0 run to start the second half against Richmond put the Monarchs up for good after an auspicious start. B.J. Stith finished the night with an incredible stat line: 21 points, 4-6 from 3pt range, 10 rebounds, and four assists. Additionally, Ahmad Caver had a career-high 12 assists.

Their final three non-conference games should chalk-up to easy wins to hit conference play on a hot streak and one of the top marks in Conference-USA.

7. Georgetown Hoyas (Big East):
Record: 7-0
Last Week: #8 (+1)

They should have been walk-over wins for the Hoyas against Maine, Coppin State, and Howard, but somehow there was some room for doubt. Still three wins for them since the last rankings got released.

The only reason why they continue to climb is because they are undefeated and other teams below them have stupid losses.

However their decision to schedule a cupcake non-conference season appears to be paying off because someone dropped them a vote this past week in the AP Poll.

But here is my thought on that:

The team should easily make it to 8-0 before they play Syracuse at Capital One Arena on Dec. 16.


8. William & Mary Tribe (CAA):
Record: 6-2
Last Week: #11 (+3)

Breaking into the top 10 for the first time this year, the Tribe have rebounded after a scary start to the 2017-18 season.

Winner of five straight, including a huge come-from-behind win over George Mason, William and Mary are putting up some of the best offensive numbers in the country.

They are 27th in overall offense (86.8 ppg), 20th from the field (50.8 percent) and 16th from behind the arc (51.2 percent).

For those unfamiliar for the Tribe, their offense is simple: four shooters and a big-man inside the paint. And that big man is one of the best at that system in Nathan Knight.

He is averaging 20.3 points a game with two games where he scored 31 points. Standing at 6-10, not many other mid-major schools can match-up against him since he can score from a variety of ways. Defensively he is keep the Tribe afloat with 25 blocks already through eight games.     

9. George Mason Patriots (A-10):
Record: 4-5
Last Week: #6 (-3)

George Mason has yet to play a full game this season. The Patriots have not outscored an opponent in two halves. It is a little bit of a shame too because Otis Livingston II and Jaire Grayer are putting up incredible numbers.

In eight of the nine games this year, Livingston has scored 13 points or more. Making 44.4 percent of all three-point baskets he takes and averaging 5.1 assists a game, he is playing at a historic pace.

Grayer on the other hand is right behind him at 15.1 ppg and flirting with a double-double every night.

The bigger question is what happened to Justin Kier? He averaged 15.3 points a game in the first three contests. He now has 4.5 in their last six.

They led by as much as 16 in the first half against William & Mary, but dropped their match-up with the Tribe with a five minute scoreless drought near the end of the game.

10. George Washington Colonials (A-10):
Record: 5-4
Last Week: #12 (+2)

Somehow this team beat a good Temple squad in a revival of an old Atlantic 10 rivalry. Perhaps they just wanted to end their run at the BB&T Classic on a good run. That’s right, earlier this week it was revealed that the Colonials win not return to the annual D.C. hoops event next year.

Either way, George Washington shot 60.0 percent, 56.3 from behind the arc, to control the Owls from the onset of the game. The win vaults them into the top 10.

They also nabbed a win over Morgan State, a middle of the pack team in these rankings.

Jair Bolden is starting to consistently give the team 10+ points a night, taking a ton of a load off of senior Yuta Watanabe. They both average 14.8 points a night.

If they have truly turned a corner after a 2-4 start to the season, we will find out as they play at Penn State, host Miami and New Hampshire in the span of 11 days.

11. Liberty Flames (Big South):
Record: 6-3
Last Week: #9 (-2)

The Flames were rolling but finally got tripped up by UNC-Greensboro after three overtime periods. Neither team could shoot, combining for 31.3 percent from the field. Both teams racked up fouls, 57 in the game with five ejections. In the end a inside jumper gave UNCG a win 76-75.

The results were historic. It was the first time Liberty has ever gone to three extra periods and the extended minutes allowed Scottie James to record his third straight double-double ever.

Other than that it was a good stretch for Liberty. They got a win over Howard and a buzzer beater by Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz to beat Georgia State in overtime.

12. Navy Midshipmen (Patriot):
Record: 8-3
Last Week: #15 (+3)

Back-to-back wins over three teams in these rankings (Delaware, Morgan State, and Coppin State) will go a long way to boosting your position.

Senior Bryce Dulin had 30 points vs. Delaware, a career-high. Junior Hassan Abdullah had his first career double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds) against Morgan State. And four scorers reached double-figures at Coppin State.

Navy continues to win the games they should, but keep in mind that in their losses they have gotten blown out by 20+ points in each.

Still a lot of question marks regarding this team that on paper has a strong record.


13. UMBC Retrievers (A-East):
Record: 6-4
Last Week: #10 (-3)

Not much to report for the Retrievers. Their loss to Army essentially reaffirms doubts that crept up after the first two weeks of the season. 

Wins over the Citadel, where they nearly broke a hundred, and over Delaware State (the last team in these rankings) wrapped up the week.

They can score though. Their lowest point total outside of the first weekend was 70 in that loss to the Black Knights. On Dec. 9 the team travels to Towson for a battle of bragging rights within the state.

14. Richmond Spiders (A-10):
Record: 1-8
Last Week: #13 (-1)

No one should have expected for the Spiders to win a game this past week and a half. Each team they faced were heavy favorites heading into their contests and it was not because the Spiders only have one victory on the season. Vermont, Wake Forest, and Old Dominion are all contenders for the NCAA Tournament bubble this year.

When looking at their schedule and saying the Spiders could have started the year 1-8 is one thing, it is another thing to live it.

Those voices in opposition of Chris Mooney are starting to get louder. It doesn’t get much better before they start Atlantic 10 play. They have James Madison, which should be a win, followed by Bucknell and Boston College.

15. Morgan State Bears (MEAC):
Record: 4-5
Last Week: #14 (-1)

The Battle for Greater Baltimore did not go the way of the Bears. Towson won an overtime thriller despite 25 points and 10 rebounds from Phillip Carr. It was the fourth double-double of the season for the junior.

Despite some close losses, there last three were all by seven or less, they are continuing to battle and remain productive.

A chance to get one back against Manhattan before they have their finals break. 

16. Delaware Blue Hens (CAA):
Record: 4-5
Last Week: #16 (+0)

Three straight losses all in games that the Blue Hens could easily won.

This is another team in the middle of these Mid-Atlantic rankings that is just unclear on how their season will play out. They have lost every game that was against a similar opponent, but it was never a blow out or a really ugly game.

Still missing though is some consistent post presence.


17. Radford (Big South):
Record: 4-4
Last Week: #17 (+0)

Losing to Virginia Tech almost wraps up a tough stretch in the schedule for the Highlanders. All that is left is Nevada in their lone tournament at the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic.

18. Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers (NEC):
Record: 3-6
Last Week: #21 (+3)

After falling to Morgan State in a close one, the Mount got the job done in overtime hosting Loyola, but couldn’t do it in overtime in Pittsburgh.

Against the Panthers, Junior Robinson (averaging 22.7 points a contest) had a game-high 24 points but was 8-21 from the field. He was just short of a double-double with nine assists. Jonah Antonio aided him with 14 points, reaching double figures in six straight games.

It was 24 fouls that did the Mountaineers in during overtime. Pittsburgh scored 23 of their 82 points at the charity stripe.

They still have a handful of games before they look to defend their NEC championship.

19. Hampton Pirates (MEAC):
Record: 4-6
Last Week: #18 (-1)

A couple more non-Division I opponents for the Pirates help them rack up two more wins on the season. Against teams in Division I, they are 1-6.

They almost trounced Coastal Carolina at home, never letting the Chanticleers pull away. A last ditch comeback was thwarted with Coastal Carolina hitting five of their six free throws in the final 30 seconds.

Kalin Fisher got his first career start as a sophomore and had the best game of his short career. Totaling 29 points on 10-17 shooting, he led the Pirates on one of the Pirates best offensive games on the year.

20. James Madison Dukes (CAA):
Record: 3-7
Last Week: #19 (-1)

The Dukes are not that far away from turning it around. They lost by one to Radford on the road, lost to Mason by four, and beat Charlotte at home.

Just they couldn’t close the deal against The Citadel.

They’re right on the precipice of reeling off a couple of wins against fellow mid-majors. If only their defense could stop teams late in contests.

Traveling to Richmond they have a chance to pull out a sneaky win at the Robbins Center on Dec. 9.

21. VMI Keydets (SoCon):
Record: 3-5
Last Week: #24 (+3)

Another victory for the Keydets this week, this time over Charleston Southern. Austin Vereen scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half, along with freshman Bubba Parham who had 17 in the second half, powered the team to another non conference win. 

Their winning ways may continue, Longwood and Southern Wesleyan are up next.

22. American Eagles (Patriot):
Record: 2-6
Last Week: #20 (-2)

A three game losing streak to three bad teams, including Maryland-Eastern Shore, drops the Eagles down after two-game turnaround.

23. Loyola Greyhounds (Patriot):
Record: 1-7
Last Week: #22 (-1)

Loyola missed their chance to get a win over a Division I opponent before conference play opens up. Losing to Dartmouth and The Mount have them just trying to piece it all together and now may have to wait until January for their first D1 victory.

24. Norfolk State Spartans (MEAC):
Record: 0-8
Last Week: #23 (-1)

If there was one team I was incredibly wrong about this season, it was the Spartans (although I would not be alone in that regard). They are still winless in a balanced schedule through a month into the season.

Good news? They host Mid-Atlantic Christian on Dec. 14.

25. Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks (MEAC):
Record: 3-6
Last Week: #26 (+1)

Outscoring American 37-25 in the second half got the Hawks their first home victory over a Division I opponent this season. Although it wasn’t pretty, they stayed out of foul trouble, limited turnovers, and won the rebound battle. They also took advantage of nearly every second half chance the Eagles gave them. Miryne Thomas had his first double-double of his career to lead the team.

26. Howard Bison (MEAC):
Record: 1-9
Last Week: #25 (-1)

Howard got their first win of the season over Central Pennsylvania College this week thanks to a combined 43 points by Charles Williams and R.J. Cole.

Williams would go on to lead all scorers against Georgetown with 28 as well.

Another local team on the horizon for them at American for another buy-in game.

27. Longwood Lancers (Big South):
Record: 3-5
Last Week: #27 (+0)

The Lancers continue to get wins in the win column but none against Division I opponent. Interesting contest for them up ahead at VMI.

28. Delaware State Hornets (MEAC):
Record: 2-8
Last Week: #28 (+0)

Nearly stealing one from a vulnerable East Carolina, who had their coach step down, the Hornets were the closest they had been all year at topping a Division I team.

29. Coppin State Eagles (MEAC):
Record: 0-9
Last Week: #29 (+0)

In only nine games, Coppin State has been outscored by 213 points.

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Alfred Morris just had his best game vs. Redskins since he was a Redskin

USA Today Sports Images

Alfred Morris just had his best game vs. Redskins since he was a Redskin

For the Washington Redskins, there is probably nothing worse than losing to the Dallas Cowboys twice in one season and basically being eliminated from the playoffs in that loss. 

That is until you realize that a large reason for the loss was a former Redskin playing on the Cowboys.

Alfred Morris rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown against his former team on Thursday night.

To add insult to injury there is this: 


That 100 yard performance was on Jan 3, 2016 where the Redskins won 34-23 in Dallas. That also happens to be the last game the Redskins beat the Cowboys. 

In his previous 23 games for the Cowboys, he rushed for a total of 539 yards. Saving it all up for the Redskins, apparently. His lone touchdown would put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter going up 31-14. 

Even without Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys found another way to rip out the hearts of Redskins' fans.

With Washington, the 29-year-old had 29 touchdowns in four seasons with the team. He also reached 1,000 yards in three of those seasons. Of course nothing can beat the magical run he had with the team his rookie year with 1,613 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. 


DMV College Basketball Power Rankings: A shake-up near the top

USA Today Sports Images

DMV College Basketball Power Rankings: A shake-up near the top

Thanksgiving week is without a doubt the busiest it will get during the college basketball regular season. A majority of teams in the Mid-Atlantic region played in a preseason tournament and it came with mixed results.

Towson was one of two schools to come away with a tournament title, being named Gulf Coast Showcase Champions. As a result, they become the first school to break up the top five that was holding strong for nearly three weeks. Virginia claimed an even more impressive NIT Tip-Off Championship as well as breaking into the AP Top 25 poll. 

Elsewhere teams down the rankings faced off against each other. The biggest, and perhaps most entertaining was William and Mary’s buzzer beater against Old Dominion.

This week though is when the ‘Power’ part of power rankings begins to show and it is more than wins and losses that determines how one team compares to another.


These rankings are based on scores as of Monday, November 27. All 29 Division I schools in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware are included in this rankings.

1. Maryland Terrapins (Big Ten):
Record: 6-1
Last Week: #1 (+0)

During feast week the Maryland Terrapins suffered their first loss of 2017 during the Emerald Coast Classic. While there is nothing to be worried about in terms of the loss, St. Bonaventure is still a really good team; there are some worrying notes.

The Bonnies beat the Terps without their best player, who is will likely be a candidate for Atlantic 10 Player of the Year when it is all said and done. Against the zone, Maryland’s offense looked awful, particularly against the 1-3-1. Maryland just threw up shots, played hero basketball, basically everything opposite of what they have shown this season.

Nothing to worry about in a loss to St. Bonaventure, they will likely make the NCAA Tournament either as an at-large or the Atlantic 10 champion this season. The Terrapins did rebound with a win over New Mexico, another decent squad, to finish in third place at the Emerald Coast Classic.

For now they stay No. 1 in these rankings, but the Cavaliers are nipping at their heels during key parts of both of their non-conference schedules. Next up, the Big Ten/ ACC Challenge on Monday against Syracuse and then a slight dip into conference play on Friday, hosting Purdue.

2. Virginia Cavaliers (ACC):
Record: 6-0
Last Week: #2 (+0)

Virginia keeps racking up decent non-conference wins. The Cavaliers won the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament by beating both Vanderbilt and Rhode Island.

No players are bouncing off of the stat sheet night after night. No one is scoring 20 points a game. Their defense first mentality is paying off once again.

During the tournament, senior Isaiah Wilkins was named the Tournament MVP. In two games he had 27 points combined (11-15), including a game-high 19 against Rhode Island in the championship game. Additionally he blocked five shots in the two games to bring his total up to eight on the year in six contests.

They now play Wisconsin this week in the Big Ten/ ACC Challenge.


3. VCU Rams (A-10):
Record: 3-3
Last Week: #3 (+0)

Leaving the Jim Maui Innovational one could easily say that the VCU Rams underperformed.

Although it resulted with a win over a Power 5 school, beating California does absolutely nothing for VCU in terms of RPI help. De’Riante Jenkins had a team-high 27 points and 11 rebounds for the best performance of his year. They closed the tournament with a 68-60 loss to Michigan in a game that was a lot closer than the final result.

A big problem so far is that it appears Jonathan Williams and Justin Tillman are trying to do a little too much offensively instead of run an offensive system. Additionally, fouling is becoming a large issue for both of them.

4. Virginia Tech Hokies (ACC):
Record: 5-1
Last Week: #4 (+0)

Not much for Virginia Tech this week, two blowout wins over Houston Baptist and Morehead State keeps them fourth in our power rankings.

They are not far off from passing VCU, two wins this week over Iowa and Ole Miss would jump them ahead of the Rams. They are just lacking a quality win this season (beating Washington is not going to cut it).

In both of their wins this past week they shot 57 and 65 percent from the field, getting everyone involved in the scoring. Justin Bibbs is still leading the team in scoring with 25 and 15 points this week. On the season he is shooting 67 percent from the field and has eight other teammates joining him in the plus-50 percent club.

Overall a strong start for the Hokies this season, just now they need to do it consistently against good schools, like Iowa and Ole Miss this week.

5. Towson Tigers (CAA):
Record: 5-1
Last Week: #7 (+2)

Leaving the Gulf Coast Showcase as tournament champions will bump up the Tigers to their highest mark of the season in these rankings.

Mike Morsell, the tournament’s MVP, finally pulled it all together averaging 14 points in three games, including 16 in the championship against Georgia Southern. Brian Starr also was named to the all-tournament team, scoring 15 in the championship.

Still early, but the Tigers are currently ranked third in the NCAA for three-point defense at 20.2 percent. They are continuing to have balanced production from their entire roster and have no problem going to their bench.

In five straight games they have scored 70 or more points and could continue that stretch against St. Mary’s College on Monday.

6. George Mason Patriots (A-10):
Record: 3-3
Last Week: #5 (-1)

In the tournament portion of the Cancun Challenge the Patriots were unable to get a win against Louisiana Tech or Fresno State finishing last in their preseason tournament.

While those two teams were tough competition, they were two squads on the Patriots level. George Mason may not be a year ahead of schedule as originally thought. Playing a young group of players, including four freshmen, the team should slowly get better throughout the season.

A big issue is scoring in the first half, in their two tournament games a combined 53 points in the first 20 minutes of action. They shot 15-53 in that span.

Despite those issues offensively, defensively they are giving up open shots from deep. Of course this is to circumvent the fact that their tallest player is 6-8 and averages less than seven minutes a night.

7. Old Dominion Monarchs (C-USA):
Record: 4-2
Last Week: #6 (-1)

Only one game this week for the Monarchs and it was a heartbreaker. Losing to William & Mary on the road with a half-court buzzer beater is the only thing that kept the Monarchs out of the top five. Honestly if they didn’t play this week, they would have passed George Mason. Instead they drop down to seventh.

Ahmad Caver had a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists while B.J. Stith went off with 26 points (11-12 FG).

8. Georgetown Hoyas (Big East):
Record: 4-0
Last Week: #8 (+0)

Facing their toughest opponent so far this year, Georgetown continued to stay undefeated with a road win at Richmond this week.

Offensively they shot 53 percent from the field and had all of their starters reach double figures. What kept the Spiders in this game though was 18 turnovers by the Hoyas, most of them being careless.

Three players nearly tallied a double-double, including Jonathan Mulmore who almost did it with eight assists. Marcus Derrickson led the charge tough with 16 points, seven of those coming from the charity stripe.

This was the Hoyas ONLY non-conference game away from Capital One Arena. They look to continue their undefeated start against Maine and Coppin State this week.

9. Liberty Flames (Big South):
Record: 4-2
Last Week: #9 (+0)

A blowout win over Toccoa Falls, a Division II opponent, does change anything for Liberty in these rankings or for their season. Redshirt sophomore Scottie James has a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in only 10 minutes of play.

10. UMBC Retrievers (A-East):
Record: 3-3
Last Week: #10 (+0)

Barely squeaking out a win over Nicholls’ State with free throws by Jairus Lyles kept UMBC in the top ten momentarily. They also barely held on over Chicago State earlier in the week.

They would have been over a lot earlier had they sunk their free throws (18-30 and 17-29). Offensively they are fine, just defensively they are having trouble forcing teams into tough shots.

Joe Sherburne is coming off of the bench in a big way for the Retrievers with 19 and 16 points this week.

They rattled off a third straight win over Shenandoah just before these rankings were published.


11. William & Mary Tribe (CAA):
Record: 3-2
Last Week: #15 (+4)

The old CAA is always fun to reminisce about and Saturday the good ol’ days were on display.

Senior Oliver Tot ended a classic between two schools in Hampton Roads, connecting on a buzzer-beating half court shot to end the game.

In 19 minutes of action that was the only points he scored, but were also the biggest in the contest.

David Cohn was the star for the game, single-handily trying to beat the Monarchs. He had 25 points, including spotting up on five of six from behind the arc. Dishing out nine assists he easily had his best performance of the season.

Honestly the Tribe could go higher in these rankings and they will if they prove it against Marshall and Savannah State this week.

12. George Washington Colonials (A-10):
Record: 2-4
Last Week: #11 (-1)

Playing well against No. 15 Xavier and Kansas State, George Washington is putting it together halfway through their non-conference season. Neither of those two games the Colonials were expected to win.

Against Xavier though, the Colonials did see the development of freshman Terry Nolan Jr, dropping 18 points for the second time this season.

Its tough to gauge how George Washington actually stacks up based on these two games this week. Like George Mason and other young teams on this list, it will be a work in progress to see how they do this season. George Washington should get a win over Morgan State at home this year, then have a key match-up against Temple at the BB&T Classic.

13. Richmond Spiders (A-10):
Record: 1-5
Last Week: #12 (-1)

Khwan Fore is back and Grant Golden is going off and yet there are still a ton of problems for the Spiders.

Defensively they are stopping no one in the post and Georgetown exploited that early and often on Saturday. When they are stopping teams in the paint, they just foul them. They consistently are getting outrebounded and aside from Golden and De’Monte Buckingham, no one is scoring.

Local Maryland product, Golden continues to lead the team with 16.2 ppg on the season and 6.2 rebounds. He also has the best mark from the field, 53 percent, and from behind the arc, 38 percent, on the team.

No let up on the schedule for the Spiders. Vermont, who received votes in the AP Top 25 poll this week, comes to town and then Richmond heads to Wake Forest.

14. Morgan State Bears (MEAC):
Record: 3-2
Last Week: #13 (-1)

Goldey-Beacom was their lone opponent this week and the Bears won by 15.  Lapri McCray-Pace led the team in points and on the boards. He had 21 and seven respectively. He is the only Bear averaging more than 10 points per game on the season.

15. Navy Midshipmen (Patriot):
Record: 5-3
Last Week: #14 (-1)

A lot of action this week for the Midshipmen at the Florida Gulf Coast Shootout. They leave the action 3-1 with their only loss coming against Florida Gulf Coast.

As they always do, they have a packed roster and have been able to put away teams will strong performances from everyone.

They play three straight teams in these rankings this week, Delaware, Morgan State, and Coppin State. They could wrap up a decent non-conference stretch this year if there are no surprises from here on out.

16. Delaware Blue Hens (CAA):
Record: 4-2
Last Week: #16 (+0)

The Blue Hens barely knocked off a winless Longwood squad at home, only totaling 65 points.

DeMatha Catholic graduate Ryan Allen had his best performance of his freshman campaign. He scored 19, with 5 boards and two assists.

But while he was great the team needs help in the paint to not tire out their guards.

Yale comes to town on Monday and then they travel to Navy to wrap up the week.

17. Radford (Big South):
Record: 3-2
Last Week: #19 (+2)

They must like playing teams with purple in their logo, because they rattled off another win this time over James Madison 69-68.

Ed Polite Jr. (17 points) would hit the game winner with five seconds left on the clock to keep the Highlanders undefeated at home to start the year. The team was once down by 15 in the first half.

They go on the road to Vanderbilt and VMU this week.

18. Hampton Pirates (MEAC):
Record: 2-5
Last Week: #17 (-1)

Hampton was almost able to knock off Rider, trying in their second time this season. Allowing 50-plus points in the second half for the second time really hurts.

Many of the games this far are contests that the Pirates knew got away from them this season.

What has been consistent is sophomore guard, Jermaine Marrow who is making a case for All-MEAC honors early in the year. Both games this week he scored 19 points and combined to dish out 15 assists. He is averaging 20.9 points and 6.1 assists per game.

If only he had some help, they could really do some damage before they start conference play, for the final time in the MEAC, in January.

19. James Madison Dukes (CAA):
Record: 2-5
Last Week: #21 (+2)

A stunner in Harrisonburg as the Dukes knocked off Appalachian State this week in double overtime, 105-99. A win of this magnitude would definitely vault James Madison up the rankings, however they lost to Radford on Saturday.

20. American Eagles (Patriot):
Record: 2-3
Last Week: #23 (+3)

A two-game winning streak for the Eagles over New Hampshire and VMI gives them their first two wins of the season. Sa’eed Beksib now has three straight games where he has scored 20 points or more and all were in their best games of the season.

21. Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers (NEC):
Record: 2-4
Last Week: #18 (-3)

The Mount scored 90 to close out the Maui Invitational and then traveled to Ohio where they dropped another contest by nearly 20 points.

They’re still small, not forcing turnovers and are led by Junior Robinson. He is still averaging 21.3 points a game.

During their game against York (P.A.), the Mountaineers unveiled their 2017 Northeast Conference Championship banners. Right now they are exactly on pace with their championship run from last season.

They are only falling in the standings because other teams are winning.

22. Loyola Greyhounds (Patriot):
Record: 1-4
Last Week: #20 (-2)

Getting their first win on the season over Goucher, the Greyhounds finally have that monkey off of their back. Unfortunately they would not keep that going losing on the road to UMass Lowell. In the 83-75 loss, there was a nine minute second half stretch where Loyola failed to score even once. That would doom them despite a double-double from Cam Gregory (17 points, 14 rebounds).

Back to the drawing board as they now look for their first Division I win of the season.

23. Norfolk State Spartans (MEAC):
Record: 0-6
Last Week: #22 (-1)

Still winless on the year it is starting to get dark for the Spartans.

It is not like they are losing to really good teams either. At the grand Canyon Classic the most points they scored was 62 against San Diego. No hole on the schedule either as they may go a month into the year without a win.

24. VMI Keydets (SoCon):
Record: 2-3
Last Week: #25 (+1)

Winning has to feel good for the Keydets after last season. Their losses are also not that embarrassing anymore either. They could pick up another one this week and also face rival Radford on Sunday.

25. Howard Bison (MEAC):
Record: 0-6
Last Week: #24 (-1)

Their chance to win their first game is on the horizon. They play Central Pennsylvania College this week.

26. Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks (MEAC):
Record: 2-4
Last Week: #26 (+0)

At first one would be inclined to move the Hawks up after beating Jackson State for their second victory of the season. But they then followed that up with a 30-point loss to Tennessee Tech in the Emerald Coast Classic.

27. Longwood Lancers (Big South):
Record: 1-5
Last Week: #27 (+0)

The Lancers get their first win of the year, knocking off a Division II opponent by 29 at home. In that game they scored more than they did of the entire UNGC Tournament.

28. Delaware State Hornets (MEAC):
Record: 2-4
Last Week: #28 (+0)

We’re not going to make the cross-division joke but the Hornets only wins (and only games that are within single digits) are against non-Division I teams.

29. Coppin State (MEAC):
Record: 0-6
Last Week: #29 (+0)

In one game the Bald Eagles surpassed the 60-point plateau and the 70-point plateau, however that was in a loss.