Since opening the season with a loss to Temple, albeit it in a thrilling and close game, the Quakers have gone 1-1, defeating Monmouth before falling to Penn State. Penn looks much improved from last year and has kept each of their games relatively close, but still has plenty of work to do before climbing out of the basement of the City 6 rankings.
Temple is experiencing some rough growing pains early, as they try to fill the massive holes left in their roster after quite a few departures following last season. The Owls dropped a close one to Kent State early in the week and then fell to a Towson squad who is much improved after some forgettable seasons in recent years. The staple of Philly basketball come tournament time in recent years, the Owls will need to find someone to step up and make up for their lost production if they want to make their seventh straight NCAA Tournament.
4. Saint Joseph's
Tough not to move the Hawks to the number three spot this week (especially since I'm an alum), but their time will come. Saint Joseph's is off to a solid start this season, as they opened the season 2-0 before falling yesterday to Creighton at home. The Hawks gave Creighton a scare, but Doug McDermott, of the Wooden Award favorites this season, showed that ice water runs through his veins, clinching the game in the final seconds for the Blue Jays. While a loss always stings, Saint Joseph's showed just how much progress they have made since the blowout loss they suffered to Creighton in Omaha last season. Look for the Hawks to turn a few heads this season, as they have a roster loaded with potential.
3. La Salle
After a marathon double overtime loss to open the season, the Explorers have bounced back with two wins, although both were a bit too close for comfort. After topping Quinnipiac by 6, the Explorers made a second half comeback to top Siena 78-74. La Salle doesn't seem to be firing on all cylinders quite yet, as they still look to replace the production of Ramon Galloway from a season ago. With a talented lineup, the Explorers could do big things yet again this season, but will first need to find their groove.
They only had one game this week, but the Dragons walked away victorious in a road contest against the Illinois State Redbirds. With it being so early in the season, Drexel is riding on the merits of a "good loss" in my rankings, as they fell 72-67 to #22 UCLA on the road to open the season. The Dragons have showed their roster contains some very talented players and if they can put the pieces together properly, it could be an exciting year for Drexel.
It may be extremely early in the season, but Villanova looks to be on a different level than some of the City 6 teams. Opening the season 3-0, the Wildcats have beat each opponent by 16 or more points. A win over what is supposed to be a solid Towson squad tonight by a score of 78-44 shows just how much potential this Villanova roster contains. With a variety of players who have the ability to take over a game, the Wildcats could be very dangerous this season, especially come tournament time.
By: Kyle Babcock
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