Basketball Rankings Roundup for Dec. 28
First of all, the usual disclaimer: Rankings are like the Bitcoin of prep basketball. Yeah, they go up and down, and it’s a little hard in some cases to figure out why (math, usually), but does anyone REALLY know what they’re worth? Can you hold the rankings in your hand? Can you stop by the gas station and put a half-tank worth of rankings in your F-150? No, you cannot.
And like Bitcoin, it’s a lot more fun to follow the rankings if you don’t really have a dog in the fight (me!) or you’ve just accepted that for all intents and purposes, even the one rankings situation with any potential impact on your season can only impact the implications of exactly one game all year. (The RPI system calculates which teams play winner-to-state regionals and which teams play both-teams-to-state-but-the-winner-gets-a-bye regionals.)
With that all out of the way, here’s a look at a few of what’s quickly becoming a myriad of rankings for Washington’s prep basketball classifications, with notable local-ish teams and what your angry uncle would say about them on twitter if he could remember his password.
This is a new-ish system that I stumbled across somehow on Twitter. The eponymous Evans is out of Kennewick, and his system uses … math. His site’s here. His rankings were last updated Dec. 24, so there’s a few games missing, but it’s a fair system.
Prep Girls: W.F. West 7th, Centralia 10th; Ilwaco 1st, Napavine 5th, Wahkiakum 6th, Toledo 13th.
Prep Boys: W.F. West 16th; Toledo 3rd, Adna 6th, MWP 7th, Kittitas 10th, Napavine 11th, Winlock 12th.
Your Uncle’s Gripe: “Toledo’s third but the Kittitas beat ’em and they’re 10th? RUN THE NUMBERS AGAIN EVANS WHAT AM I PAYING YOU FOR?!”
Class 2B Boys
#1 Life Christian Academy
#4 Saint George’s
#5 Tri-Cities Prep
#7 Morton-White Pass
#8 Toutle Lake
#9 Chief Leschi
— EvansRankings (@EvansRankings) December 24, 2017
The News Tribune
I think these are done by the TNT staff, so there’s no computers, or math, or MaxPreps involved. There’s nothing wrong with a little old-fashioned gut instinct, is there? Here’s a link.
Prep Girls: W.F. West 2nd; Napavine 2nd, Toledo 10th.
Prep Boys: Kittitas 1st, Toledo 5th, MWP 7th, Napavine 8th, Toutle Lake 9th
Your Uncle’s Gripe: “No Adna boys? THOSE BIG CITY SPORTS HACKS DON’T RESPECT SMALL TOWNS!”
— TNT Preps (@tntpreps) December 27, 2017
Oh it’s math you want, is it? Look no further than the dedushka of all deducers, ScoreCzar! He’s had a system in place for a few years now, and it’s always fun. It’s presented in Google Sheets form, so one wrong click and you can be looking at a lot of information that might confuse you. (By you I of course mean me.)
Prep Boys: W.F. West 9th; Kittitas 2nd, Toutle Lake 3rd, MWP 4th, Winlock 6th, Toledo 9th, Adna 10th, Napavine 11th
Prep Girls: W.F. West 1st, Centralia 21st; Napavine 1st, Wahkiakum 4th, Mossyrock 11th, Adna 15th, Toledo 18th
Your Uncle’s Gripe: “W.F. West AND Napavine girls are ranked first? Give ’em the trophy now, season’s over, this system’s perf- WINLOCK IS SIXTH AND AHEAD OF TOLEDO, NAPAVINE AND ADNA??!?!!”
Yes! Exactly! It’s interesting, sometimes compelling and just sort of fun to observe. In the end, no one gets hurt. The computer is totally offended but I like this perspective. https://t.co/hsDZuhcQXQ
— ScoreCzar (@ScoreCzar) December 28, 2017
WIAA’s Ratings Percentage Index
Look, the WIAA system’s not perfect (classification doesn’t matter, opponents’ record probably factors in too high), but for how it’s used (again, determining one playoff game) I think it’s fine. There’s an argument to be made that they shouldn’t release the rankings until, say, late January or early February, but it provides a nice point of debate in the pre-league portion of the schedule.
Prep Boys: W.F. West 15th; Toledo 1st, Adna 6th, MWP 8th, Napavine 9th, Winlock 13th
Prep Girls: Centralia 9th, W.F. West 10th; Ilwaco 1st, Toledo 8th, Napavine 11th
Your Uncle’s Gripe: “Napavine girls 11th? Centralia ahead of WF West? Kittitas 10th and Toledo’s first? THIS IS WHY I DONT TRUST CALCULATORS OR BANKS!”
Again, it’s an interesting topic of discussion, though some out-there, East Side-biased news outlets with editors who eat cans of corn for dinner and try to domesticate feral cats have used it for headline grabs. Not naming any names, of course. I would never call out a colleague. I’ll just leave this here.
Chewelah boys basketball ranked No. 13 in WIAA RPIhttps://t.co/vUBrFxLWxN
— The Independent (@theindenews) December 14, 2017
The AP Poll
There hasn’t been enough votes cast at the same time yet for the Associated Press’ prep poll to be released, but hopefully that’ll change in early January. I usually remember to get my votes in, but feel free to @ me and remind me. (The poll comes out on Wednesdays and I usually vote on Tuesday morning, after deadline.)
Your Uncle’s Gripe: “What kind of morons vote in this thing anyway SMDH”
The Chronicle Preseason Poll
One of the most highly-regarded bits of ranking in the region, The Chronicle’s preseason basketball league rankings are based on an anonymous poll sent to each league’s coaches. Some of them don’t respond! (Mostly the coaches outside of our coverage area; those in the coverage area are pretty good about filling it out.) Some coaches just write one team and then “I don’t know.”
Your Uncle’s Gripe: “WELL THOSE IDIOTS AT THE COMICAL SCREWED IT UP AGAIN”
“Well, THE CHRONICLE picked us to finish fifth….”
“That was a coaches poll. You voted in it!”
— Aaron VanTuyl (@ChronAVT) December 5, 2016