ESNY’s NY/NJ College Hoops Rankings are back this week with two new teams from the MAAC entering into the fray.
And we’re back with another edition of ESNY’s NY/NJ College Hoops Rankings. The four big boys remain in place at the top of the rankings, but there is some new blood in the bottom half.
Rutgers has stumbled in recent weeks, falling out of the AP Top 25 Poll, but they are still atop our rankings here. They are playing a brutal schedule in the Big Ten and they have enough strong wins on their resumé to keep their
Let’s take a look at where the rankings stand entering Tuesday, Jan. 12:
NY/NJ College Hoops Rankings:
- Rutgers (7-4, 3-4)
- Seton Hall (9-5, 6-2)
- Syracuse (7-2, 1-1)
- St. John’s (6-6, 1-5)
- Siena (4-0, 4-0)
- Iona (5-3, 3-1)
- Monmouth (5-4, 5-3)
- Saint Peter’s (6-5, 3-3)
New teams: Siena, Monmouth
8. Saint Peter’s (6-5, 3-3)
Saint Peter’s began the year with such promise, but they have stumbled in MAAC play. The Peacocks split with Monmouth, beat St. Francis (Brooklyn), and lost a two-game set with Canisius.
They haven’t played in almost two weeks due to COVID pauses in the conference, but they are scheduled to play Iona on Sunday and Monday. That gives Saint Peter’s a great opportunity to jump up a few spots in our rankings.
7. Monmouth (5-4, 5-3)
Monmouth split with Saint Peter’s and shockingly enough, both games ended with scores of 78-76. The margins between these two teams are razor-thin, but the Hawks are getting the slight edge due to their better record in-conference. Monmouth has upcoming doubleheaders against Quinnipiac, Manhattan, and Iona to finish out the month of January.
6. Iona (5-3, 3-1)
Iona is another school that hasn’t played in some time due to COVID pauses. Still, they represent one of the best teams in the MAAC right now. Although there were some early bumps in the road, Rick Pitino should have his team ready to play when they resume their season on Sunday against Saint Peter’s.
5. Siena (4-0, 4-0)
Siena was the preseason pick to win the MAAC, but they had to wait quite some time to start their season. Now that they are finally playing, they are off and running. It’s too early to know exactly how good this Siena team can be, but they are well-deserving of their spot as the top mid-major school in our rankings. After all, they are the only undefeated team in the MAAC.
4. St. John’s (6-6, 1-5)
St. John’s is at risk of falling below a mid-major school if they can’t fix things soon. Their only win in the Big East came against lowly Georgetown. Not to mention, they needed a miraculous finish in their season opener to top Saint Peter’s, the last-place team in our current rankings.
The Johnnies are flirting with a losing season. Mike Anderson’s streak of never coaching a team with a losing record is in serious jeopardy. It’s time for St. John’s to put up or shut up.
3. Syracuse (7-2, 1-1)
Syracuse has a solid case for being higher on this list, but they don’t have enough big-time wins on their resumé yet. Boston College, Georgetown, or Buffalo are Syracuse’s top wins on the season.
They suffered a devastating loss to Pittsburgh last week that could have elevated them to as high as No. 2 here, but they blew a nine-point lead in the final four minutes of that game. Keep an eye on the Orange though. They play North Carolina on Tuesday and have a rematch with Pittsburgh over the weekend.
2. Seton Hall (9-5, 6-2)
Seton Hall might not have the best record among the schools on this list, but they have played a tough schedule so far this year. They are 6-2 in the Big East with marquee wins over Xavier and Marquette.
Given the talent on the roster, it’s safe to say the Pirates are underachieving. But that just means they have plenty of room for growth.
1. Rutgers (7-4, 3-4)
Rutgers is fading fast after their hot start to the season, but that comes with the territory in the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights have lost four of their last five, including three losses to ranked opponents. They have had to deal with multiple injuries in recent weeks and that is reflected in their current record.
They stay atop our list simply due to the fact that no one else is giving them a serious run for their money. Rutgers has a chance to turn it around this week against No. 9 ranked Wisconsin.