Jones goes for the basket

GILLIAN JONES — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE

Jovan Jones goes up for a basket for Williams College. The Ephs are ranked 17th in this week's D3hoops.com national Top 25.

Undefeated and nationally ranked, the first semester couldn’t have gone a whole lot better for the Williams College men’s basketball team.

“I think we still have a long way to go,” Williams forward Jovan Jones said. “It’s a great start. We’re right where we thought we’d be, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

Where the Ephs are is perfect at 9-0, and ranked 17th in this week’s D3hoops.com national Top 25. Williams made the Top 25 for the first time this year last week, and jumped from No. 20 to 17 this week. Williams is one of seven teams in the Top 25 that are still undefeated.

Yeshiva, at 13-0, is the No. 1 team for the third week. The Maccabees moved into the top spot in the poll for Week 1, and has not relinquished that spot. However, preseason No. 1 Randolph-Macon is making a charge. Randolph-Macon remains the No. 2 team in the poll at 8-1. The Yellow Jackets picked up 10 of the 25 first-place votes, compared to 13 first-place votes for Yeshiva. Yeshiva has 605 points, and a two-point lead on Randolph-Macon.

Wisconsin-Platteville (11-0) received the final two first-place votes and flipped spots with Illinois Wesleyan (7-1). Platteville is now No. 3 and Illinois Wesleyan is No. 4. The fifth-ranked team is Wisconsin-Oshkosh (9-1), moving up one spot from No. 6 last week.

The top of this week’s Top 25 saw two schools move into the Top 10 and two suffer precipitous falls. Elmhurst (Ill.) went 1-1 last week, including a loss to North Park (Ill.) to fall from No. 7 to 14. Mary Hardin-Baylor (Tex.) lost its only game of the ween and plummeted from ninth to 19th.

Wisconsin-LaCrosse went fro 13th to ninth, while Roanoke rose from 11th to 10th.

Williams isn’t the only NESCAC school in the Top 25, as 8-0 Amherst moved up from 21st to 20th in the poll. A third NESCAC school, Wesleyan, was the top school receiving votes outside the Top 25.

There is a third New England team in the Top 25. St. Joseph (Conn.), the school where Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun just retired from coaching, didn’t lose a game but dropped from No. 5 to No. 8 in the poll.

A fourth regional team in the Top 25 is RPI. The Troy, N.Y., school is 8-0 and went from 22nd to 21st in the national rankings.

Coach Kevin App’s team spent its final week before finals beating Union 75-53 and winning at Springfield 74-61.

“We know we have a lot of talent,” Karren said prior to the end of the first semester. “I think we’re still figuring out everyone’s strengths on the court. It feels like the sky’s the limit for us, if we just continue to put our heads down and get better every day.”

The D3hoops.com Women’s Top 25 came out Monday, and four NESCAC schools are on the list.

Amherst is ranked fourth, Bowdoin 12th, Tufts 14th and Bates is 22nd. All of them will face Williams during the second semester.

Hope (Mich.) is a unanimous No. 1, receiving all 25 votes. The rest of the top five consists of Whitman, John Carroll, Amherst and UW-Whitewater.

Springfield College is ranked 25th in the current poll, while Smith would be 28th.

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6253.

Sportswriter-Columnist

Howard Herman is a sports columnist at The Berkshire Eagle. The dean of full-time sportswriters in Western Mass., he has been with the Eagle since 1988, and is a member of the New England Baseball and Basketball Hall of Fame.