Now that conference play is underway across the country we will see what teams across the country are made of. The games against NAIA JV teams and rouge prep schools are done from the non-conference schedules of some teams and reality will soon set in. The next NJCAA poll comes out tomorrow, so lets take a look at how the top 25 fared since the last ranking was released. Keep in mind, this season there are four at large bids and four rotating at large bids on top of the automatic regional championship bids. The NJCAA rankings become more important than ever to the highly ranked teams who don’t win their regional tournament because of the at large bids.
Picture courtesy of Hutchinson CC.
Rankings are from last NJCAA Top 25 poll on January 8th. The records are updated through today.
1) Chipola (FL) - 18-1 - Chipola dropped their first game of the season to a very good NW Florida State team 80-65. Pat Blake and staff have done an excellent job in their first year and have a very talented group.
2) Hutchinson CC (KS) - 17-0 - Hutch should move into the top spot in the country. They beat Butler CC on Jan 9th by 14 and were idle on Saturday.They have a big game coming up Wednesday against Barton CC. Hutch is looking to get back to the National Tournament and play on their home court.
3) Palm Beach State (FL) - 18-0 - Palm Beach has a talented group led by Carrington Ward and FIU signee Jonathon Holton, who is averaging 16ppg and 12rpg this season. Palm Beach has not played a conference game yet this season. Their last game was a win on Dec. 30th against the Community College of Rhode Island.
4) Vincennes (IN) - 16-0 - Vincennes had two convincing wins last week. They beat Lincoln Trail College by 18 and Wabash Valley by 16. They are led by an extremely talented duo in Deshawn Delaney (17ppg, 8rpg) and Darius Carter (13ppg, 8rpg).
5) Iowa Western CC - 19-0 - Iowa Western is having an excellent year and feature a very balanced attack with four players averaging double figures. Florida native Billydee Williams, who is a freshman, leads the way. They beat Southeastern CC 77-60 on Saturday. They have a big game coming up at Indiana Hills CC on Jan. 19.
6) Spartanburg Methodist (SC) - 16-0 - Spartanburg beat Walters State on Saturday by a score of 69-48. Spartanburg has been shooting the ball well this season as a team. They rank 11th in the country in team FG% at 50% and 13th in the country in 3FG% at 40.2%.
7) NW Florida State – 17-1 – NW Florida should move up in the polls after beating #1 Chipola 80-65 and sliding by Pensacola JC on Saturday 73-69. They will head to Tallahassee CC on Wednesday. Louisville signee Chris Jones is leading the way with 23 points (third in the country), 5.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. Elgin Cook is also having a great year averaging 15 points and 6 rebounds. Cook is putting up those numbers in only 19 minutes per game.
8) Howard College – 13-2 - After losing to Midland on Jan 7th, Howard has racked up two wins against Claredon College and a three point win over defending champ South Plains College. Howard will play a tough New Mexico JC squad on Jan. 17th. Texas Tech transfer Cameron Forte leads the way with 23.6 ppg which is good for second in the country.
9) Barton CC – 16-2 - Barton is off to a strong start again this year. They are going to have to continue to grind it out in the always tough Jayhawk Conference. They lost on Jan. 9th by 19 to Garden City CC and bounced back on Saturday with a win over over Bulter CC. They are led by 6-4 guard Algie Key, who is averaging 19ppg. Key is receiving interest from a variety of high major schools and is one of the best unsigned JC sophomores in the country. Barton will play Hutchinson CC on Wednesday.
10) Coffeyville CC – 14-1 - Coffeyville is the third team out of the Jayhawk who is in the top 10. Coffeyville won at Cowley CC and at home on Saturday against Neosho CC. They have won 8 straight since their only loss of the year to Carl Albert State (72-70).
11) South Plains College -13-3 - Defending National Champ South Plains College dropped two games in Arizona and lost by three to Howard College. They play New Mexico JC tonight. Before losing their first game of the year on Dec. 30th they had a 46 game winning streak going.
12) Connors State College (OK) – 13-2 - Connors St. dropped a game to NE Oklahoma A&M on Jan 7th and beat Semionole St. by 7 on January 10th. They host Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa tonight.
13) Indian Hills CC (IA) – 16-2 - Indian Hills has a very talented group that is looking to return to the National Tournament. They dropped a game in early January to a good Central Arizona team. IHCC beat Three Rivers CC by four points on January 9th. They head to Northeast CC on Wednesday. Marquette signee Jameel Mckay leads the way averaging 18ppg and 10rpg. He is shooting 62 % from the field.
14) Middle Georgia College – 11-2 - Middle Georgia lost to Chattahoochee Tech on January 9th. They host South Georgia Tech tonight.
15) New Mexico JC – 13-2 - First year head coach James Miler has New Mexico JC off to a great start. They play in one of the best JC conferences in the country. They won at Western Texas College on January 10th. They host South Plains College tonight.
16) San Jacinto College (TX) – 12-3 – San Jacinto has lost two out of their last three games. The most recent loss was at Tyler JC. They host Agnelina College on Wednesday.
17) Chattahoochee Tech (GA) – 17-1 - Chattahoochee Tech has won 17 straight games after losing their first game of the year to Cleveland State CC. They won two road games on Jan. 11 and Jan. 13 against Cleveland State CC and Georgia Highlands.
18) North Idaho College – 17-3 - North Idaho won two quality games at Snow College and at the College of Southern Idaho on Jan. 5th and 12th. They host the College of Eastern Utah on Thursday.
19) Mississippi Gulf Coast – 11-2 - Mississippi Gulf Coast lost on Jan 8 to Delgado CC. They host Pearl River CC tonight.
20) Jones County CC (MS) – 10-2 - Jones County lost on Jan. 8th to Coahoma CC. They travel to NE Mississippi CC tonight.
21) Hagerstown CC (MD) – 16-2 - Hagerstown beat Howard CC (MD) on Jan. 9th. They host CCBC Dundalk tonight.
22) Cochise College (AZ) – 15-3 - Cochise lost their most recent game on Jan. 12th to Central Arizona. They head to Pima CC on Wednesday.
23) Kilgore College (TX) – 15-2 - Kilgore won on Jan. 9th at Lamar State Port Arthur. They head to Trinity Valley CC on Wednesday.
24) Salt Lake CC (UT) – 16-2 - Salt Lake CC has won 12 games in a row and should move up several spots in the next poll. They beat Eastern Utah on Jan. 10th and head to Snow College on Jan. 19th.
25) Marshalltown CC (IA) – 14-2 - Marshalltown beat Ellsworth Community College on January 9th. The head to Southeastern CC on Wednesday.