Things are just starting to heat up in college basketball and conference play is on the horizon. Without any further gilding the lily (stole that from "A Knight's Tale"), let's jump into this week's City 6 Rankings.
6. Drexel (1-8; 6)
Rough times continue for the Dragons. After losing Damion Lee to transfer before the season it was pretty much assumed Drexel would have yet another rough season.
It has been nothing but that for Bruiser Flint and his squad, as they have stumbled to a 1-8 start. The Dragons have had a few close losses - a one-point defeat at Saint Joseph's and three other losses of six points or less - and did pick up a road win against La Salle, but look to be in for a long year.
The good news for Drexel fans: conference play starts soon and the Dragons may be a bit more evenly matched there.
5. La Salle (4-4; 5)
La Salle isn't doing much better than Drexel, and would likely find themselves below the Dragons in these rankings after losing to them at home if Drexel had been able to pull out a few more wins in its close games.
The Explorers lost by 16 earlier in the season to Big 5 rival Penn and currently find themselves in the midst of a three-game losing streak, with the last two losses coming to the Dragons and a 29-point rout at the hands of Villanova.
Things are only going to get more difficult for La Salle in the short-term, as they host #15 Miami at The Palestra on Tuesday.
4. Penn (5-5; 4)
The Quakers got off to a solid start this season, going 4-1 in their first five games before stumbling a bit of late. Since topping La Salle, Penn fell into a four-game losing streak, with the most recent loss coming to Temple.
Penn fought back from a double-digit deficit in the game against the Owls, eventually losing by just four.
The Quakers snapped their skid with a win on Saturday against Division III Ursinus, and will now visit Drexel on Tuesday before a visit to Villanova on December 28.
3. Temple (5-5; 3)
The Owls have been up-and-down so far this season. Temple was able to compete with ranked Butler and Utah squads early in the season, but more recently were beat by 16 by Wisconsin and only narrowly defeated Penn.
Temple did look solid against Saint Joseph's one week ago, forcing overtime and losing by just one in the end. The Owls got back on track on Saturday with a win over Delaware State, but now have a true test waiting when they visit #23 Cincinnati on Tuesday.
2. Saint Joseph's (8-2; 2)
Saint Joseph's is vastly improved from one season ago. No longer a one man team that relies solely on DeAndre' Bembry, the Hawks are off to an 8-2 start, with their only losses coming against Florida and Villanova.
The Hawks have already won a few games this season that they seemed to almost always be on the losing end of a year ago. While they aren't on the same level as Villanova, the Hawks are certainly the second best team in the city at the moment.
1. Villanova (8-2; 1)
Another year, another good Villanova basketball team. The Wildcats are off to a solid start but have found themselves on the losing end of their first true tests, losing to #7 Oklahoma and #8 Virginia.
Villanova is still clearly the best team in the city, but that really means nothing to a program that is trying to compete nationally each year.
Next up for the Wildcats are matchups with Delaware and Penn before another true test against #10 Xavier to open conference play on New Year's Eve.
By: Kyle Babcock
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