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The Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog is back and improved. We'll keep you updated on everything you need to know about Rider and Princeton hoops as well as the college basketball landscape.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

PMI, Week 8

I knew eventually this would happen: This week's Index is in the same order of the MAAC standings. At least I got to break two ties. Also, apologies for this being a day late. There were too many Mercer County high school basketball games, too many pages and too many other things to do Tuesday, when I usually post it. But better late than never, here it is:

1. Siena (18-5, 12-0, 23)
Surging Saints got four votes this week in the AP top 25 and – no matter what some people say – an intriguing but easily winnable BracketBuster game. Undefeated run is possible, as could be an at-large bid if that run unexpectedly ends in early March.

2. Niagara (17-6, 8-3, 71)
Eagles were in this spot last week despite multiple shaky performances, but convincing wins at Manhattan and Iona showed there’s still a gap between them and middle-of-the-pack teams. Gallagher Center is most likely place for Siena to fall in February.

3. Rider (12-9, 7-4, 159)
Tough to move Broncs up a spot after an unimpressive weekend, but Loyola fell apart in Brdigeport, Fairfield has too many issues to work out, and Iona looked a whole lot better a week ago. Broncs have three more days to prepare for Siena. Will they be ready?

4. Fairfield (14-9, 7-5, 87)
Still not sure how Stags did what they did against Loyola, but Greg Nero deserves big-time credit for carrying them. It’s possible they’re better without Han. But can they continue to win with Edney and Johnson out?

5. Loyola (11-13, 6-6, 138)
Hounds were so good at Rider, then so bad at Fairfield. Saturday’s game against Manhattan is a big one.

6. Manhattan (12-10, 6-6, 192)
Jaspers were so bad against Niagara, then so good at Marist. See above about Saturday’s game in Baltimore.

7. Iona (10-13, 5-7, 180)
Hard to believe a team could fall so far in a week. After nearly toppling Siena, Gaels lost to lowly Saint Peter’s, then went the final 11 minutes against Nigara without scoring a single point. Not the way you want things to be going as the season heads into its homestretch.

8. Saint Peter’s (6-16, 3-9, 287)
Skid-snapping win at Iona was huge, and Peacocks followed it up with a respectable performance against Siena. For what it’s worth, they’re the only team in the MAAC with two players (Wesley Jenkins and Nick Leon) averaging 15 points or more per game.

9. Marist (7-17, 3-9, 256)
Remember when Foxes started 3-2 in the league, then took Siena to overtime? Might be tough to recall because of that pesky losing streak, which grew to six Monday. All of a sudden, all those last-place predictions don’t look so wrong.

10. Canisius (7-15, 2-10, 201)
Good news: Frank Turner and Julius Coles can play, and Bob Bevilacqua is only player Golden Griffs will lose this year to graduation. Bad news: February is a bad time to have only two league wins.

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