Here's a look at how the Frontier Conference team are doing each week:
1. No. 4 Carroll College Saints
The Saints are the team to beat in the Frontier Conference. They are led by Ryan Imhoff, who continues to play at a high clip, but the squad is deep and is contributing to the high shooting percentages. Carroll can play a variety of styles on offense and maintain a solid defense. That combination gives the Saints an edge every time on the court. Carroll has challenging games coming up and jumps back into the Frontier with the best competition coming into the PE Center. With wins, the Saints will be the undisputed top team in the conference and these rankings. A few losses could shake up the Power Rankings in a few weeks.
2. No. 11 Lewis-Clark State College Warriors
Lewis-Clark State College is still learning how to play with a reloaded roster, and all the while compiling wins in the process. Newcomer Race Martin and veteran Trea Thomas continue to lead the Warriors in major statistical categories. The Warriors have already shown a knack for handling business on their home court, knocking off Western in the early conference tilts. They’ll have an even better chance to prove themselves when conference resumes in January. Until then, expect the Warriors to pad their stats against Salish Kootenai College and Spokane Club.
3. No. 17 Montana Western Bulldogs
The Bulldogs won’t be slacking during their nonconference slate this holiday season, but even with impressive wins over quality opponents, it will be tough for the Bulldogs to leapfrog Lewis-Clark State or the Saints. Western is unworried about rankings and more concerned with sharpening up before the first week of January. Western gets back into conference play with road games against No. 4 Carroll College and Rocky Mountain College. Preseason player of the year Dom Robinson was held to a relatively quiet 14 points and eight assists when Western fell to Lewis-Clark State. Expect the Bulldogs to find ways to get him more involved when the conference season comes back around. In that same loss, the Bulldogs did show Riley King could score, but whether that can translate into wins remains to be seen.
4. Montana State-Northern Lights
Northern will have to wait to prove itself until conference play resumes. Northern needs wins in conference to make up space in this ranking, and they’ve shown they are capable with the strong early season play of Ryan Reeves, Gabe Porter and Adam Huse. Reeves took home defensive player of the year for the Lights last season, and has improved his offense so far. If Northern’s offense rounds into a similar shape of their defense from a season ago, the Lights will have chances to contend with the Frontier’s best. The Lights did place Adam Huse as a nomination for player of the week when MSU-N took Carroll to overtime, perhaps signaling a quicker development of the sophomore than what was expected.
5. Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears
Rocky gets a bump this week after taking down Montana State University-Billings. The Yellowjackets defeated Providence the night prior and then fell at the hands of the Battlin’ Bears, giving Rocky a recent quality win – even if it was an exhibition game. University of Montana transfer Jared Samuelson scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in that game, while transfer Latrelle Franklin scored 25 and dished out eight assists. If those two continue to play at that clip, the Battlin’ Bears will have more than exhibition wins to cheer about. Rocky is squeezing some quality games in before Christmas, meaning the Battlin’ Bears could be on the rise again.
6. Providence Argonauts
The Argonauts dropped a game to MSU-Billings and while it’s not a bad loss by any means, Rocky Mountain College beat the same team just a night later. The Argonauts are stagnant until conference play resumes, so don’t expect the Argonauts to be climbing anytime soon.
7. Montana Tech Orediggers
Same old, same old for the Orediggers. Adam Hiatt’s squad needs a string of wins before they shake up the rankings. The Orediggers have scorers that are capable of hanging with anybody in the Frontier, like proven guard Chris O’Neill, but team success will ultimately be what moves the Orediggers in this space.