Ephs continue to climb in national poll, up to No. 4 in country

Blake Schultz '10
Blake Schultz '10

Williamstown, MA - Williams men’s basketball has risen from no. 5 to no. 4 in the D3Hoops.com national rankings following a close win last Tuesday against New Paltz and double digit victories against Wesleyan and Conn. College last weekend.

The Ephs are now 17-1 on the season and have won eight straight games. As their record would indicate, the Ephs have had great success on both ends of the floor this season; the team leads the nation with a +19.7 scoring margin, is third in the nation in field goal percentage with 51.7% shooting, and is sixth in the country in scoring with 87.9 ppg.

Meanwhile, Blake Schultz leads the team and the NESCAC in scoring with 19 ppg. Schultz is shooting 51.7% from the field on the season, while also making a 85.9% of his free throws, good enough for third in the conference and best of anyone who has shot more than 52 free throws. Schultz also averages 4.7 rebounds per game.

James Wang is second on the team in scoring with 16 ppg, good enough for fifth in the NESCAC; he is also fourth in the conference and first on the team in assists with 4.56 per game. Joe Geoghegan leads the team in rebounds with 8.6 per game, good for third in the NESCAC, while his center partner Troy Whittington leads the league in field goal percentage with 69% shooting. The pair average 7.4 and 11.7 ppg, respectively.

NCAA statistics can be found here, while NESCAC statistics can be found by following this link.

Randolph Macon, which handed the Ephs their only loss of the season, fell from no. 3 to no. 9 following its second loss of the season, a defeat at the hands of Virginia Wesleyan. VW also climbed in the polls as a result, moving up from no. 12 to no. 7.

NESCAC rival Middlebury, whom the Ephs will face off with in Middlebury on Saturday, rose from no. 10 to no. 8 after defeating the same schools as Williams in its second weekend of NESCAC play. The Panthers are now 16-1 on the season. Amherst is the only other NESCAC school ranked; the 12-3 Jeffs moved up from no. 20 to no. 18 in the country after defeating Curry last Thursday and grabbing a 67-65 victory ove r Trinity last Saturday.

The Ephs travel to Clinton, NY tonight to take on the Hamilton Continentals at 7 pm. The Ephs have fallen to the Continentals in each of the teams’ previous two meetings. The team will then travel to Middlebury Saturday to face off with the Panthers at 4 pm. The game can be seen live online here. Middlebury is 21-73 all-time vs. the Ephs, but has won 3 of the teams’ last 4 meetings, including a NESCAC Tourney game in 2008.

The entire Top 25 poll through games played Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010:

# Team W-L Pts. Last Week
1 UW-Stevens Point (25) 17-1 625 1
2 Guilford 16-1 598 2
3 Washington U. 14-2 547 4
4 Williams 17-1 532 5
5 UW-Whitewater 15-2 516 6
6 St. Thomas 15-2 473 9
7 Virginia Wesleyan 16-2 441 12
8 Middlebury 16-1 432 10
9 Randolph-Macon 15-2 425 3
10 Anderson 17-1 394 11
11 Eastern Mennonite 14-2 353 7
12 St. Norbert 14-1 346 13
13 Chapman 16-2 311 14
14 MIT 16-2 303 8
15 Whitworth 15-2 275 18
16 William Paterson 18-1 214 21
17 Franklin and Marshall 14-3 208 19
18 Amherst 12-3 183 20
19 Texas-Dallas 13-3 150 22
20 Brandeis 12-3 141 15
21 Illinois Wesleyan 14-3 132 17
22 Mississippi College 14-2 120 23
23 St. Mary's (Md.) 14-3 114 16
24 Wooster 13-4 85 25
25 Medaille 17-1 82 24

Dropped out: None.

Others receiving votes: Cabrini 38, Carthage 25, Lycoming 16, Maryville (Tenn.) 13, Wheaton (Ill.) 11, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 9, Emory 6, St. John Fisher 2, Worcester Polytech 2, Albright 1, Brockport State 1, DeSales 1.

Poll courtesy of D3Hoops.com