There's a ton of stuff in the papers today. I would recommend reading Dick Jerardi's column about Lionel Simmons first, especially if you weren't in town during La Salle's glory days.
There's also some breaking news this afternoon from Philly Hoops Insider: Penn's basketball team has landed 6-8, 225-pound Archbishop Wood center Fran Dougherty. He'll play the power foward in college. More importantly, the Big 5 will add another name to the list of Frans who've played in the City Series.
Now for this week's rankings. Is it possible that St. Joe's can't fall any farther despite their struggles?
1. Villanova, 15 points (13 first-place votes)
- "The Wildcats travel to Rutgers this week, then face four straight Catholic universities before heading to West Virginia, which is most certainly not Catholic, and maybe not even a university." (Mario Machi)
Send your musket fire to him, not me, please.
2. Temple, 27 points (1 first-place vote)
- "If Temple's Ambler campus fielded a team, I'm guessing that it would crack the top 10 of this poll." (Mario Machi)
3. La Salle, 47 points
- "I'm giving the #3 to La Salle because I just can't reward 0-5 starts in the Big Ten (PSU) or Big East (Rutgers)." (Brian O'Neill)
4. Penn State, 69 points
- "Pomeroy only has them winning one more game this year. So how soon until the Blue-White spring football game?" (Zach Klitzman)
5. Rutgers, 80 points
- "It's a tough call but Rutgers remains my pick for team most likely to not win a conference game. Penn State may give them a run for their money, what with no return game from Iowa." (Jeff Shafer)
6. Drexel, 93 points
7. Princeton, 100 points
- "Princeton has discovered the best way to move up: don't play any games for two and a half weeks and have almost everyone else add disheartening losses to their respective resumes. If they stay off the floor until April, they'll eventually claim third place." (Jon Solomon)
- "They move up a couple of spots for their efforts against vaunted 'Idle.'" (Brian O'Neill)
- "Princeton has the smartest schedule-makers in Schuylkill 16 history." (Brian Ewart)
Fits the stereotype, doesn't it?
8. Saint Joseph's, 121 points
- "You come back at home to squeak by an awful Towson team without both of its point guards and you earn yourself a four-spot bump on my ballot. Well done, St. Joe's." (Todd Falkenberg)
t-9. Lafayette, 128 points
- "Lafayette is tearing up the Patriot League, which is like the Ivy League except without any of that pesky Ivy to get in the way." (Brian Ewart)
An athletic scholarship is a good substitute for a set of hedge clippers.
t-9. Rider, 128 points
- "I had high hopes for Rider after their early win over St. Joe's, but that's a win that has devalued more than the dollar since November." (Brian Ewart)
11. Lehigh, 139 points
12. Delaware, 173 points
- "Watching Towson-St. Joe's has me convinced that Delaware was somehow overrated at #13. Delaware stinks. Towson's two wins in the CAA will be against Delaware." (Todd Falkenberg)
13. Monmouth, 183 points
14. Bucknell, 186 points
15. Delaware State, 198 points
- "No idea what to make of Delaware State. They're 3-1 in the MEAC, but they also have 3 wins against non-D-I teams. Are the Hornets the Schuylkill 16's best hope at a third NCAA bid?" (Brian O'Neill)
16. Penn, 217 points (10 last-place votes)
- "It's sad when a 15-point loss in a Big 5 game is considered progress for Penn." (Zach Klitzman)
I had to save this one for last:
"Penn-La Salle is to see if Abner's is willing to give out free cheesesteaks if any team scores 100 at the Palestra since there is no point in offering free cheesesteaks if Penn scores 100. How ridiculous is that stupid promotion? Penn hasn't scored 100 since 2006 against Lafayette. If they combine points, rebounds, and assists I imagine they still couldn't total 100 yet this season. Screw Abner's. Come on Tannenwald. You're the stat guy. If they combine points, rebounds, and assists, has Penn hit the century mark in a game at home this season? Please don't include turnovers, since that would easily get them over the mark." (Todd Falkenberg)
They did against Delaware, with an aggregate total of 142. That game was in double-overtime, which would still count for the Abner's promotion. If you only want to count regulation, Penn's total was 125 after 40 minutes.
- "Big win over East Stroudsburg to keep the momentum going." (Mario Machi)
- "I'm joining the Kutztown bandwagon! They've beaten more Division II teams than Delaware State has, and that's no easy task." (Brian Ewart)
Neumann-Goretti High School
- "The Saints drop down a few spots from last week's write-in because of a couple close calls against Archbishop Carroll and Simeon HS from Chicago." (Mario Machi)
- "Their close win over Simeon (Ill.) cemented them as one of the top teams in the region. Oh and Tony Chennault is going to Wake Forest." (Jon Moses)