Big Sky Women MBB race

Big Sky Basketball  published an article from a guest contributor ranking the Big Sky Basketball women’s teams. As my unfortunate habit, what intented to be a short comment turned into a novel, that I thought I would share.

I will play here are some other opinions as of 12:00 Noon on 1/4/12, and yes this turned out to be longer than I expected.

RPI (Realtime RPI)
1. ISU (93), 2. MSU (132), 3. EWU (158), 4. No. Col. (175), 5. PSU (179), 6. UM (201), 7. NAU (258), 8. Sac St (272), 9 Weber (331)

LadyGrizBasketball.com (Bill Speltz of the Missoulian)
1. UM, 2 ISU, 3 MSU, 4 PSU, 5 EWU, 6 Sac St. 7 No. Col., 8 NAU, 9 Weber

Mslacat’s (that would be ME)
Those who want to accuse me of being bias fine. MSU had the best preseason record with some nice road wins. They have two player capable of winning the league MVP and two other who can score 20 points on a given night. Shooting guard Katie Bussey is leading the team in scoring and assist (both 3rd best marks in conference) even if you can defender her well, she will find the open player. Post player Rachel Smansky is 5th in conference in scoring and 3rd in rebounding and then add in Ashley Albert (10th pts, 9th rbs) and Chelsea Banis and they have a lot of options. The point guard spot is their biggest weakness. Starter Adams is not a natural point and can be forced into turning it over. EWU took advantage of that in last week’s game. As a pure point guard Cole is much better suited than Adams to run the point but not much of an offensive threat, but Binford seems to like to bring her off the bench.
I almost listed MSU as 1a and ISU 1b but I thought that would be lame. I like ISU a lot. They showed last year they were a team to be reckoned with and I think they are only going to get better. This week-end as they travel to MSU and UM we are going to find out a lot about the conference. I think ISU is a very good team but are only going to get better.
I like the personnel PSU has some of the best talent in the conference, but has been pointed out, they do not have a very imposing interior presence. This could be a problem on the road and against the bigger teams like Montana and Montana State.
4 UM,
I have been saying this for 10 year, UM is built for the Big Sky Conference period. They are not designed for the non-conference or post season (NCAA Tourney) if they do well there fine, but they are designed to win the Big Sky. Their non-Conference results were not that impressive but they will compete to host the tourney in 2011-12. They are an odd team made up of primarily a bunch of 6-0 ish power forwards types spread across the roster. With the exception of Torry Hill they are a horrendous shooting team, but make up for it by playing tenacious /stifling defense. Tempo will be important to the Lady Griz. If they can keep the game in the 50’s they have a great chance of winning.   If it gets in the 70’s they could be in trouble. They have the best home court advantage in the conference which is another plus for them. One dimensional team will have a difficult time dealing with Selvig’s smothering defense. Selvig will have difficulty against teams who can spread the floor and score inside and out.
EWU burned me last year and I do not know what to think of them this year. I had them higher last week but dropped them after last week’s games. They are very athletic and get after it. They have proven they can put up a bunch of points in a hurry, but they have also proven they can be incredibly inconsistent. It is a crap shoot on any given night which team will show up.
6 N. Col.
I am a little disappointed in Northern Colorado. I really thought they were going to be better than this, and they still might. If one or more of the top 5 team falters they could primed to prove me wrong here.
7 Sac St,
After last week end is Sac State ready to make a move? I am real curious to see how they do this week.
Looks like a tough year for NAU
9 Weber
Weber looks to be a program on the rise, but unfortunately for there die hard fans it might not be this year. Weber has a couple talented young players and the best recruit so far in the 2012 class. They could be jump up and steal a game or two this year, but look out in the next couple years look for there talent level to increase dramatically.


3 Responses to “Big Sky Women MBB race”

  1. 1 Cairnan
    January 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    My two cents… I think ISU is playing how they should be. They have their 7 principle players back from a year ago and all played extensive minutes last season. They should be dominating at this point. I don’t think it will last. They are not developing any depth. ISU really only played 7 people against UNC, MSU, and UM, and are really only gatting points out of their starting 5. I predict they will lose to all three of those teams the second time around. UNC, MSU, and UM are all really really young. MSU and UM have the size, talent and time to get things figured out. It will just take experience. Both programs are bringing freshman off the bench to give their sophmores or juniors a rest. Banis(soph), Elliot(frosh), Rickman(frosh), and Selvig(frosh) are going to continue to get better and better which will end up really causing other teams problems because they will be forced to deal with really good front court players for 40 mins. The silly mistakes these players are making now will decrease as the season continues.

    My Current Power Rankings
    3 MSU
    4 UNC
    5 UM
    6 EWU
    7 NAU
    8 SAC
    9 WSU

    My Prediction a month from now
    1. MSU (Allen is back, Elliot and Banis are improving. They will cause match up problems for everyone but UM. The difference being MSU can shoot the ball)
    2. PSU (They are quick and talented, but undersized. MSU post players had a 40 minute lay-up drill against PSU. I think UM and UNC will pass them by the end of the season)
    3. UM (UM has 9 big solid athletes all playing significant minutes. If they can ever reach 40% shooting they will be hard to beat. Also, keep an eye on Cole. She is looking really really good at point and off guard and can score)
    4. UNC (They have 4 really good players. Not much of a bench which is why they lost to ISU. Foul trouble with no depth is a killer)
    5. ISU (Other teams will learn to pass out of their double teams and the posts of UNC, MSU, and UM will learn to draw fouls which will spell disaster for ISU. They have no bench to speak of. Bench points vs UM last weekend UM 20 ISU 1; vs MSU 12 ISU 4)
    6. EWU (They are the definition of inconsistency)
    7. NAU (Rumor is that the players don’t get along, the coach and players don’t get along. It’s too bad. They have some serious talent. I would love to see Amy Patton under Binford. I think she would really grow)
    8. SAC (Run and gun and maybe play defense)
    9. WSU (New Coach, young team. Its gonna be a couple years)

  2. 2 bobby james
    January 4, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    You are so far off…ISU is okay, will not get it done at all. they beat UNC due to foul trouble on UNC and hurt players not at 100 percent. So you have two wrong, ISU and UNC. UNC picked 7th are you nuts? 1 first team all conference, Freshman of the year last year, and a leader in shooting 3s. And a fourth, the post player returns and is getting hot.

    Another, NAU, watch this team, they will surprise many IF they can keep their coach and other players mouths quiet so they dont eat each other up.

    Any one of 7 teams can win this thing this year, watch.

    • January 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      Hey Bobby James thanks for the input. NAU is the team I know the least about so I am mainly going off of record and win and losses. The main reason I posted the RPI’s and other pools is becuase there is such a wide variety of opinions right now and that is what make ranking the conference right now so much fun. It also draws out differentiating opinions like your own, and I learn from that. I fully expect to be totally wrong about some of what i posted just like I blew it with EWU last year. I ask you though. I put my neck out there and ranked the teams how would you rank them 1 through 9.

      Again thanks again for your insight.

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