The end of the season is nearing. We are just one short month from March, and the madness it brings. Before we get there, let's look back at January and give you a chance to declare a Team of the Month in D3 Men’s Basketball.
We selected five of the hottest teams in the first month of the new year. Now, it’s up to you to decide who had the best January. The poll closes Tuesday at noon Pacific, so be sure to get your vote in on time, and share with friends so they can vote as well. Check back Tuesday afternoon to see who won.
Here are the five nominees…
Courtesy of Rochester Athletics.
Rochester has vaulted 153 spots since the beginning of the year to BR-43. They finished the month of January on a four game win streak with a huge upset road win over University Athletic Association-leading BR-19 Chicago.
While the Yellowjackets did suffer two losses in January, both were to BR Top 50 teams: BR-30 Emory and BR-39 NYU. In addition to closing out the month with four straight wins and five wins in six games, the Yellowjackets also beat BR-46 Washington University of St. Louis on the same road trip as the BR-19 Chicago game. It was Rochester's first sweep of that two-game Midwest set in 24 years. (That Rochester team, by the way, back in 1992, went on play in the NCAA D3 National Championship game for the second time in three years.)
Jan. 5 81-67 Win over BR-197 Rochester Tech
Jan. 9 75-78 Loss to BR-30 Emory
Jan. 15 77-53 Win over BR-94 Brandeis
Jan. 17 67-77 Loss to BR-39 NYU
Jan. 22 108-79 Win over BR-159 Case Western
Jan. 24 66-63 Win over BR-136 Carnegie Mellon
Jan. 29 75-73 Win over BR-46 Washington University
Jan. 31 84-76 Win over BR-19 Chicago
Greensboro's Simeon Howard. Photo Alta Sky Photography.
Greensboro's January was highlighted by a quality upset win over BR-33 LaGrange behind 19 points from Simeon Howard. Following that win, the Pride reeled off two more and in the final week of January jumped 53 spots to BR-66 – an upward surge of more than 100 spots since the beginning of January when the Pride were ranked BR-167.
Greensboro's last couple of losses have been to higher ranked teams, BR-36 Averett and BR-63 North Carolina Wesleyan.
Jan. 1 78-91 Loss to Campbellsville
Jan. 3 74-69 Win over BR-215 Bridgewater
Jan. 6 84-81 Win over BR-191 William Peace
Jan. 9 59-75 Loss to BR-36 Averett
Jan. 13 65-58 Win over BR-160 Methodist
Jan. 16 91-67 Win over BR-294 Huntingdon
Jan. 20 74-86 Loss to BR-63 North Carolina Wesleyan
Jan. 25 81-78 Win over BR-33 LaGrange
Jan. 29 81-79 Win over BR-95 Covenant
Jan. 30 91-76 Win over BR-90 Maryville
BR-12 JOHNSON & WALES
Johnson & Wales' great January isn't as easy to see because they had a really good December, too. We first noticed the strong season the Wildcats were putting together back in mid-December when the team climbed to BR-68 after winning eight straight to go to 9-1 as the winter break started.
After the break, the Wildcats came back and picked up right where they left off, and have now shot up to BR-12 – a jump of 56 spots after an undefeated January slate. The trouble with Johnson & Wales isn't they haven't been truly tested in the last month, playing all lower ranked teams in a relatively weak Great Northeastern Athletic Conference. But JWU is winning the ones they're supposed to, and, WOW, are they winning easily. Their closest game in January was a 21-point win over St. Joseph's of Maine, and only one other team got within 30 in January — Emmanuel lost by "just" 28 last week. The Wildcats beat five teams by 40 or more and defeated Albertus Magnus by 55.
JWU has one of the best backcourts in the country, led by senior Quarry Greenaway, whose 25.2 ppg is the eighth highest average in D3.
Jan. 5 93-51 Win over BR-392 St. Joseph's (Maine)
Jan. 7 91-53 Win over BR-402 Rivier
Jan. 9 84-48 Win over BR-397 Norwich
Jan. 13 113-58 Win over BR-173 Albertus Magnus
Jan. 16 90-50 Win over BR-405 Suffolk
Jan. 18 116-74 Win over BR-362 Emmanuel (Mass.)
Jan. 23 82-61 Win over BR-392 St. Joseph's (Maine)
Jan. 28 82-54 Win over BR-362 Emmanuel (Mass.)
Jan. 30 103-62 Win over BR-318 Anna Maria
The Yellow Jackets jumped 78 spots over the course of the month of January to BR-76 after closing out the month with three straight wins, including a particularly strong showing in their upset of conference leader BR-26 Virginia Wesleyan. Their only losses during the month were by a total of nine points, to BR-156 Wisc. Randolph and BR-31 Roanoke.
Yellow Jackets' sophomore forward Daniel Noe was named the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Player of the Week following his first double-double against VWU. He had 19 points and 12 rebounds on the same day Michael Taylor scored a career-high of 24 for the Randolph-Macon.
While Randolph-Macon has three conference losses, they're now just two wins back of Virginia Wesleyan at the top.
Jan. 2 71-68 Win over BR-83 Guilford
Jan. 6 75-68 Win over BR-64 Hampden-Sydney
Jan. 9 59-62 Loss to BR-156 Wisc. Randolph
Jan. 13 79-68 Win over BR-300 Shenandoah
Jan. 16 85-91 Loss to BR-31 Roanoke
Jan. 20 84-76 Win over BR-172 Eastern Mennonite
Jan. 27 88-59 Win over BR-26 Virginia Wesleyan
Jan. 30 84-67 Win over BR-118 Emory and Henry
— Nazareth Athletics (@NazAthletics) January 30, 2016
Nazareth started the season 4-5 before going 9-1 during the month of January, a run that included a big win over a good BR-80 Hartwick team. The Golden Flyers' only loss in that span was at BR-79 St. John Fisher. Nazareth got hot at just the right time, as their most recent games have been the most important, those in the Empire 8, where the Golden Flyers are 9-1. They're currently a game ahead of Hartwick and two ahead of St. John Fisher for the conference lead.
Tyler Stenglein had 20-plus points in three of the Flyers' last four games of the month, including 29 against Stevens. Nazareth won its last three games by 29, 27 and 20 points.
Nazareth started the calendar year at BR-158 and climbed 90 spots through January it its current BR-68.
Jan. 5 95-60 Win over BR-248 Ithaca
Jan. 8 72-70 Win over BR-273 Alfred
Jan. 9 85-47 Win over BR-364 Elmira
Jan. 12 86-72 Win over BR-289 Houghton
Jan. 14 56-63 Loss to BR-79 St. John Fisher
Jan. 19 82-73 Win over BR-80 Hartwick
Jan. 22 84-74 Win over BR-211 Stevens
Jan. 23 79-50 Win over BR-361 Utica
Jan. 27 100-73 Win over BR-289 Houghton
Jan. 30 98-78 Win over BR-248 Ithaca