NJIT Shoots Up KenPom Rankings

The weekly KenPom movers feature a number of interesting teams. I think these rankings will become more and more valuable as we move down the stretch to see which teams are playing good basketball as we head down the stretch towards postseason tournaments.

Top Weekly Movers:

  1. NJIT: +35 (243)
  2. Massachusetts: +28 (86)
  3. Murray St.: +28 (104)
  4. Vanderbilt: +27 (131)
  5. Auburn: +24 (142)
  6. Utah St.: +24 (100)

How about the Highlanders? Jim Engles has this team playing well. They’re above .500 overall at 13-11 and have risen all the way to 243rd in Pomeroy after blowing out Colgate on the road and winning at Chicago St. on Saturday. The win at CSU moved NJIT to 4-1 in the Great West. Even though the Highlanders are the only school in the conference without a home after this season, they’re the conference favorite. I’m sure they’ll find a place. Engles has a competitive team that’d be a good fit in a number of the northeast’s lower Division I leagues. Chris Flores is making a nice run for GWC Player of the Year as well.

Also, of course the day I wrote this, the Racers went and beat Belmont by five in a great game at home and then blasted a solid Tennessee St. team by 21 points on Saturday. It seems like Murray is finding its grove at exactly the right moment and might prove me wrong yet.

Top Weekly Fallers:

  1. South Florida: -35 (152)
  2. Coppin St.: -32 (308)
  3. Colgate: -31 (278)
  4. South Dakota: -29 (265)
  5. Buffalo: -26 (215)
  6. San Jose St.: -26 (292)

USF has fallen apart this season and is 1-10 in Big East play. This week’s blowout losses to Marquette (by 23 at home) and Villanova (by 28 on the road) dropped them way down. The schedule doesn’t get any easier. The one good chance the Bulls have for a win? When DePaul comes to town on Sunday, March 3.

Top Season Movers:

  1. Southern: +185 (147)
  2. Eastern Kentucky +176 (116)
  3. Utah: +172 (137)
  4. Towson: +167 (171)
  5. Canisius: +151 (125)

Top Season Fallers:

  1. Drexel: -137 (178)
  2. Penn St.: -137 (204)
  3. Old Dominion: -137 (269)
  4. North Texas: -134 (241)
  5. Cleveland St.: -128 (236)

Old Dominion got the “new coach bounce” on Thursday against Drexel and thus both teams ended up on this list this week. The 12-point win for ODU dropped Drexel under .500 in CAA play and also made them the nation’s most disappointing team according to KenPom change.

Conference Update:

Not much to report here. Big West has once again take the official lead over America East. NJIT’s big jump helped the Great West gain an average of 10 spots per team this week. The Atlantic Sun is still underperforming the most. It won’t be able to redeem itself until the postseason. The problem is Florida Gulf Coast and Mercer are the only two teams in the league that should be thinking postseason right now.

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