Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Guest Post: 01-04-11 Big Sky Women's Power Rankings

As we have had in the past it is time for another post with power rankings for the women's side of the league. Thanks again to the writer who likes to be called bigskywbball.

After the first weekend of Big Sky conference play, I am hesitant to make drastic changes to who I think are the best teams in the Big Sky. Montana State and Idaho State remain in the top spots as the teams with the best inside/outside balance along with some hint of consistency. Road wins are extremely valuable in the Big Sky and MSU (over PSU) and UM(over EWU) both picked up big road wins. Outside of those games, home teams stood firm.

Score in parenthesis is a conference power score (+2 for road win, +1 for home win, -1 for home loss)

1 - Montana State (+2) - 20+ turnovers on the road usually equals a 20 point blowout. The Cats were fortunate to be in the game down the stretch at Eastern Washington, but there is no overcoming giving your opponent that many more possessions. MSU bounced back very well winning at Portland State in impressive fashion.

2 - Idaho State (+1) - I still like their balance, but I also think that a team needs a "go-to" presence. Who will it be for Idaho State? If they can get a split on the MSU/UM road trip, they will be well on their way to being an elite Big Sky team this year.

3 - Northern Colorado (+1) - The Bears have been a bit under the radar during the non conference season, but they are one of 3 teams with 9 wins right now and the only team other than MSU with more than 2 road wins. UNCO has the most dynamic talent in D'Shara Strange and a strong inside presence with Oosdyke and Lockridge.

4 - Montana (+2) - They still can't shoot, but wow they can defend and make the game ugly. If Selvig can dictate tempo and keep games under 60 points, the Lady Griz will be hard to beat. If they can't control the tempo and have to play a game in the 70s, it will be difficult for Montana to be successful. Either way, this is a very similar team to last year's team that played defense and rebounded their way to a Big Sky Tournament Championship.

5 - Portland State (-1) - I mentioned it in every poll... The Viks have no post presence and will struggle with teams that do (MSU, ISU, UNC, UM). Kate Lanz is a force and may be a first team All Conference player, but will it be enough against more balanced teams?

6 - Eastern Washington (0) - A home win and a home loss tells us what we already know about Eastern Washington. They are terribly inconsistent. Brianne Ryan may be considered an MVP front runner, but the Eagles will need to be more consistent as the season moves on for Ryan to achieve the individual awards.

7 - Sac State (+2) - Sac is leading the Big Sky right now at 2-0, but two home wins against NAU and Weber State are to be expected. Sac is definitely improved, but I don't think they are close to the same class as the top 6 teams. (0-6 on the road)

8 - Northern Arizona (0) - Two road losses is par for the course. It doesn't get much easier at home this week as they take on EWU and PSU. (0-8 on the road)

9 - Weber State (0) - The Cats played Sac tough for 35 minutes but couldn't break through on the road. This is a team that will continue to get better as the season carries on and will be a team to not overlook come second round of conference. (0-7 on the road)

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1 comment:

  1. Idaho State is really struggling finding consistency on offense and they are not shooting well. It would seem that Pickering, Vella, and/or Reed have to be their "go to" persons. Right now, the defense is carrying things and I am a bit surprised by their offensive struggles. They are bigger this year and they are trying to get the ball inside more. They just need to start hitting their shots which I think will start happening. They are deep, Oakes is a top notch point guard and they can rotate several big people through the post.