Throughout the conference season, we'll provide our Patriot League power rankings tracking all the teams in the league. We'll use statistical analysis, the eye test, and more to evaluate where the 10 teams stand from week to week. The efficiency margin tool does not determine our rankings but rather helps guide us in our analysis. For example, do we believe American is the second-to-worst team in the league? No. KenPom's model isn't favorable to the Eagles. See below for our rankings, and of course feedback is welcomed.
*Posted before Bucknell-Holy Cross game the night of Feb. 6
1. Bucknell (10-2)
The Bison's offensive efficiency for the season is up to 109.9, by far their best during the Kenpom era (note: the Bison and other league teams have had better efficiencies during league play, but to be so good including a tough nonconference schedule is impressive). That's nothing to slouch at considering the talent that's come through Lewisburg. What's even more scary for opponents than the Bison shooting 57% on 2s is that they're starting to heat up from 3, too.
Bucknell shooting 3s (last 6 games)
And how about this? ESPN's Joe Lunardi has Bucknell as a 14 seed in his latest Bracketology. The Patriot League hasn't had a seed better than 15 since the Bison's last NCAA Tournament appearance as an 11 in 2013.
2. Navy (8-4)
Well, they were bound to lose at some point and Shawn Anderson having an off game didn't help as the Midshipmen's eight-game winning streak was snapped with a 55-52 loss at Colgate. Anderson was 1-5 on 2s and 1-6 on 3s and only kept his double-digit scoring streak alive (at six games) thanks to the free-throw line.
Astoundingly, Colgate found a way to win despite giving up 15 offensive boards — six to the amazing Tom Lacey, whose exploits on the offensive glass we chronicled last week. Lacey is now 34th nationally in offensive rebounds per game (3.21) and in the better representative statistic, ORB%, he's 49th nationally (13.6%).
3. Boston (8-4)
The Terriers are a better team when it's not Eric Fanning shooting and inefficiently scoring big (this is where you can make Kobe and Russell Westbrook, et al NBA player comparisons ... OK, stop now). Against Lafayette, Fanning was 3-8 from the field and 5-7 from the FT line for 11 points, joining five other Terriers with at least eight points. That's Bucknell-like scoring depth, and it's hard to guard.
BU in PL play when Eric Fanning scores <20 points: 6-1
BU in PL play when Eric Fanning scores >20 points: 2-3
4. Lehigh (7-5)
The mercurial Mountain Hawks can't wait for Andre Walker's career to end (sorry, guys, but the Loyola guard still has another year after this one). The last three times the teams have met, Dre scored a game-winner including twice this season. By contrast, BU owned Lehigh in two meetings, winning by an average of 15.5 points (and neither game was even that close). Suffice to say, the Mountain Hawks would probably enjoy avoiding both those teams in the Patriot League tourney.
5. Loyola (7-5)
Guess how far back you must go in Patriot League play to find Loyola's last four-game winning streak?
Trick question. This is the first for the Greyhounds since joining the league for the 2013-14 season. Let's not get too excited, though. Loyola's next three games will say EVERYTHING about whether this team is ready to challenge for the league title or just a group that beats mediocre teams (and Lehigh) — at Navy, at Boston, vs. Bucknell.
6. Holy Cross (6-5)
Similar to American, two of Holy Cross' most frequent 3-point shooters have been atrocious from deep. This is part of the Crusaders' continued offensive struggles (ninth-worse shooting team in the league with 49.6 E-FG%).
Robert Champion: 38-125 (30%)
Anthony Thompson: 27-93 (29%)
7. Colgate (6-6)
Jordan Swopshire could be the X-factor for the Red Raiders. When the athletic wing is hitting from 3-point range, he adds a different dynamic to an offense that has gotten good contributions down low from Malcolm Regisford and has Sean O'Brien and Will Rayman, too.
Swopshire 3-point shooting (last three games):
8. Army (3-9)
You would expect a team that pushes the pace to force turnovers at a much better rate than Army's league-worst 15.9% clip. That's one reason the Black Knights haven't beaten a team not named American or Lafayette since Jan. 8.
9. American (2-10)
Kenpom doesn't project another victory for American, including a 68-67 loss at Lafayette — the Eagles' best chance down the stretch to get a victory.
10. Lafayette (2-10)
For what it's worth, Lafayette has one of the most active Twitter accounts in the league. It just hasn't translated to victories.