Dec 12, 2011

Clackamas women No. 1 in NWAACC Power Rankings

NWAACC Women's Basketball
With the third women's coaches poll set to come out on Dec. 14, I decided to take a stab at ranking the teams myself. Coaches rankings are in italics next to each team's record.
1. Clackamas (8-0) - #1 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 2 

Their wins against JV teams and lowly Portland aside, Clackamas has impressed so far this season, leading the NWAACC in both assists (19) and steals (19.43). If their shooting percentage continues to climb and their decent free throw shooting continues, Clackamas will be a tough matchup come tournament time.

2. Bellevue (6-0) #3 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 4 (tie) 

Of all the undefeated teams, Bellevue has the toughest schedule so far. Their combined opponents are 22-20, making them one of the few good teams to have faced a schedule in which their opponents are over .500. They shoot well when not behind the 3-point line, and are 2nd in the NWAACC in blocks.

3. Walla Walla (6-2) #2 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 3 

Walla Walla's only two losses were an 81-76 overtime defeat to Yakima Valley, and a 71-65 loss to North Idaho College, a NJCAA team. If the warriors can equal out the deficit in points off turnovers (-13 vs. YVCC, -23 vs. North Idaho), odds are they're still undefeated. They also lead the league in 3-pt %.


4. Yakima Valley (5-2) #6 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 1

One would think that YVCC's win over Walla Walla would put them ahead, and that would make sense without Yakima's loss to sub-.500 and unranked Linn-Benton, and then to unranked Clark. However, the overtime victory against the Warriors says a lot about how Yakima can play when they're good, which apparently isn't all the time.


5. Columbia Basin (6-0) #4 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 4. (tie)

Normally, Columbia Basin's perfect record would be more impressive, but it begins to lose some of it's glamour when you realize that they've really only played one ranked team in Umpqua, and were out shot by 13% in that game. Defensively they're decent: they held Peninsula to just 26 points, a low so far in the NWAACC.

6. Lane (5-2) #5 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 6 

Lane's only two losses have been to No. 1 Clackamas and No. 2 Bellevue, and the only thing holding them back from climbing again is defeating a ranked opponent. They lead the NWAACC in average points and have been winning by an average of 24.8 points per victory.


7. Blue Mountain (5-2) #7 Coaches
Previous Ranking: NR

Blue Mountain's wins over Umpqua and Highline and close games vs. No 2. Bellevue and No. 3 Walla Walla have propelled them into the rankings for the first time this season. The Timberwolves shoot a blistering 45% from the field, and trail only Walla Walla in that category.


8. Big Bend (5-1) #8 Coaches
Previous Ranking: NR

Yes, the Vikings are 5-1, but keep in mind that they've played their own alumni and 0-5 Edmonds CC. However, their victory over Umpqua was a big one: The 97-73 loss was the worse for the Riverhawks all season, setting an opponent high in a loss by 19 points.

And there you have it. Blue Mountain and Big Bend made the jump to the top eight, while Umpqua (6-4), Spokane (3-5) were knocked from the rankings.

View the current coaches poll here.

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