Another week has passed. More games have been played, which means it’s time for the first Mid-Major Player of the Year Power Rankings on February.
In the previous two rankings, Creighton’s Doug McDermott has led the pack by a commanding margin. He’s been so far ahead of the rest of the list, it’s difficult to imagine another player coming anywhere near the top spot.
However, while McDermott may be holding down the top spot in the rankings for now, a few games here or there could determine the winner of the MMPOY award in the blink of an eye.
This past weekend wasn’t great for most of our players on last week’s rankings. Will that result in any changes for this week?
Let’s find out. Here are the power rankings for February 6:
1.) Doug McDermott, Creighton (24.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 53 percent three-point field goals)
McDermott had a great week of play, scoring 54 points in two games while pulling down 17 rebounds and shooting 8-14 from three-point range against Missouri State and Bradley.
It was announced on Monday that Creighton would travel to Saint Mary’s for the annual Bracket Buster game. In retrospect, Saint Mary’s may be a better draw for ESPN ratings, but considering Missouri Valley conference team’s pull in deciding who they play, Creighton may have weaseled their way out of playing Belmont, a more deserving, more dangerous team than Saint Mary’s for the top Bracket Buster game.
(McDermott’s standing does not include the loss to Indiana State on Wednesday night due to the game being played after the week of consideration has been played. That game will reflect in next week’s power rankings.)
2.) Nate Wolters, South Dakota State (20.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists)
Nate Wolters may not have had stellar games this past week, but he did enough to help lead the Jackrabbits to two home victories over South Dakota and IPFW. Wolters totaled 37 points, hauled in 12 rebounds and dished out nine assists this week.
Wolters and SDSU are back in the mid-major spotlight with a three-way tie atop the Summit League standings with Western Illinois and North Dakota State. SDSU will also travel to Murray State for their Bracket Busters game on Feb. 23 (more on that in a bit).
3.) Isaiah Canaan, Murray State (21.0 points, 4.0 assists, 38 percent three-point field goals)
Canaan could have dropped further down the list this week, but narrowly beats out Mike Muscala for the three-spot. Murray State only had one game this week and needed overtime to take down Austin Peay at home. Isaiah piled up 19 points, but only shot 6-18 from the field and 1-7 from three-point range in the game. Murray State hosts Ohio Valley-leading Belmont on Thursday and Tennessee State on Saturday. Two great games could launch Canaan back into the second place position on next week’s rankings.
As stated earlier, Murray State will host South Dakota State on Bracket Busters weekend. Not only is this a game between two lesser talked about mid-major teams, but it pits two of the best scorers in the country against each other. More information on just how close the head-to-head between Murray State’s Canaan and SDSU’s Wolters is can be found here.
4.) Mike Muscala, Bucknell (19.0 points, 11.6 rebounds)
Mike Muscala proved again just how impressive he is with hauling in rebounds this past week. Muscala notched 14 and 19 rebounds respectively this week while posting 27 total points. It’s safe to say that Muscala likes to rebound. Mike Muscala only played 25 minutes in his 19 rebound effort against Navy on Saturday and only had four field attempts. Bucknell won both games, so it appears that whatever Muscala is doing is working for the Bison.
5.) Ian Clark, Belmont ( 18.9 points, 57 percent field goals, 51 percent three-point field goals)
Belmont’s Ian Clark jumps over D.J. Cooper for the five-spot this week simply by doing what he’s done all year: leading the best team in the Ohio Valley conference to two more victories.
Here are Clark’s two-game totals for this past week: 31 points, 10-18 field goals, 4-7 three-point field goals, 7-8 free throws.
While Clark may not do much in the rebound or assist departments, he has Belmont leading the pack in the mid-major ranks. Belmont will host Ohio in their Bracket Busters game (which probably should’ve been against Creighton but we’ll just leave it at that). Before then, however, Belmont must go into Murray State and knock them off to remain the best team in the Ohio Valley.
Warren Niles, Oral Roberts - #7 last week. Great week against highly inferior opposition
D.J. Cooper, Ohio - #5 last week. One game suspended due to gunman, poor showing in Akron loss
Travis Bader, Oakland - No.4 leading scorer in the country.
C.J. McCollum, Lehigh - left off again due to injury
Ray MacCullum, Detroit - game against Wichita State for Bracket Busters would really help elevate his standing.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @NathanGiese to share your thoughts on the rankings, the system, or anything else college basketball.