Welcome to the new year! To wet your whistle for all the basketball to come in 2014 we’re running our first Power Poll. There’s been a bit of a shakeup, but even if St. John’s can’t win at Xavier the Red Storm still appear to be the team to beat in New York City. (Though that is is now, more than any other time this season, up for debate.)
Here’s the first poll of the new year:
- St. John’s: 50 points (5 first place votes)
- Manhattan: 45 points
- Princeton: 40 points
- Seton Hall: 28 points
- Stony Brook: 28 points
- Iona: 24 points
- Columbia: 16 points
- St. Francis Brooklyn: 16 points
- Quinnipiac: 15 points
- Rider: 5 points
Others receiving votes: Wagner (4 points), Saint Peter’s (3 points), Monmouth (1 point)
Conveniently the two teams tied for 7th place in the standings (Columbia and St. Francis Brooklyn) play on Saturday evening at Levien Gymnasium. It should be a defensive struggle, but certainly an entertaining game and I’d definitely recommend attending if you’re in the area. If the Terriers win they’ll have 10 wins during non-conference play for the first time in their Division I history. It’d be a big milestone for Glenn Braica’s squad.
In terms of movement, the big changes were Seton Hall getting healthy and moving up the rankings (+15 points) and Fordham (-13 points) and Quinnipiac (-12 points) moving down. The Rams fell to Siena and Harvard this week. Those two losses cost Fordham a chance to be in these rankings. It also seems like there are some questions about Iona (-8 points this week).
Honestly, every team in the city has at least one question mark. Still, the Jaspers, Tigers, Seawolves, Terriers, and Gaels (plus Wagner and LIU Brooklyn) are all fighting for automatic postseason bids in 2014. They all have the talent to do it too. (Heck, St. John’s has the talent to win the Big East if 53% of their shots weren’t two-point jumpers.) That will make 2014 all the more fascinating and fun.