Another two weeks have unfolded in Wyoming community college men’s hoops and it looks like one team is starting to separate itself from the pack of eight seven squads in the Cowboy state.
Sheridan College is rolling right now, collecting votes for the NJCAA top-20 poll and piling up five wins in a row. The General have the most wins in Wyoming with 22 and only trail Otero Junior College for the overall lead in the Region IX standings.
While Sheridan appears to be at the top of its game, the four inner-state teams below the Generals are still battling each other in attempts to climb up the standings. Northwest College, Western Wyoming Community College, Casper College, Central Wyoming College and even Gillette College look like they could still make noise at the end of the season and fight it out until the end to be Wyoming’s No. 2 team.
So without any further holdup, here is another biweekly blog of the Wyoming College Hoops rant:
Just as I predicted, the Wyoming community college basketball season is catching fire with five of the Cowboy State’s six Div. I Juco teams still in the hunt for the Region IX regular season title. Wyoming’s squads may be beating each other up, but it sure doesn’t show in the standings. Five of Wyoming’s Juco eight teams currently boast at least 15 wins despite mainly playing inner-state matchups for about the past two months.
Sheridan College, Northwest College, Western Wyoming, Central Wyoming and Casper College are rolling right now, making this week’s top five poll very easy. It seems voters for the NJCAA men’s basketball top-20 poll don’t seem to think Wyoming is worth any praise, though. Western, Sheridan and Casper have all spent at least a week in the top-20 with the Mustangs topping out at No. 9. So it doesn’t make much sense when voters didn’t pick a single Wyoming squad for the top 20 in their latest poll on Jan. 31. In fact, not a single team from the Cowboy State even received a vote to join the club of the nation’s best.
Now don’t get me wrong. The top 20 is full of talented squads, ranging from No. 1 South Plains College (20-0) to No. 20 Sante Fe College (19-3). But at least Northwest College at 17-5 should receive a vote for in the top 20 or one earning at least one vote to be in the national poll. So I’ll take it upon myself and give these Wyoming schools some love:
BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor
A lot of squads from Wyoming found early success in the first half of the 2011-2012 junior college men’s basketball season.
Teams like Sheridan College, Northwest College and Western Wyoming College either made (or are still in) the NJCAA’s top 25 poll or at least are getting votes for the list. There’s no question that junior college ball in the Cowboy State is extremely competitive right now. But things are about to get even more interesting. The first half of the season was dedicated to mostly playing out-of-state teams for Wyoming’s eight junior college squads. Now, that part of the season is over. Players have returned from the holiday break to a new level of intensity on the junior college hardwood. And it’s coming from within their own state.
Four teams from Wyoming found at least some sort of glory in the polls during the first half of the season. But now that those same squads are playing other teams in Wyoming, the almost perfect records are starting to become more blemished. In the NJCAA’s Jan. 10 poll, Northwest and Sheridan received votes to be in the top 20 while Western sat high and mighty in the No. 9 spot with an impressive 14-1 record. However, just eight days later, voters for the NJCAA’s top 20 frowned upon the Mustangs, ranking them No. 20 after the team suffered losses to Sheridan and Gillette College. Meanwhile, Northwest has also felt the strength of Wyoming’s teams after experiencing an early-season run. The Trappers didn’t receive any votes to be in the top 20 poll, losing their past two to Casper College (preseason top-20 team) and Montana’s Miles Community College of Miles City, Mont.
Yes, this part of the season is the best in Wyoming junior college hoops. There’s already starting to be some parody at the top and it seems like it could come down to the Region IX tournament before we actually find out who’s the best in the Cowboy State.
Now, here’s a look at the top five teams in Wyoming: