2023-24 WBBL Power Rankings #2 – Top three stay unbeaten - Hoopsfix.com

2023-24 WBBL Power Rankings #2 – Top three stay unbeaten

We’re now over a month into the new Women’s British Basketball League season and the table is beginning to take some shape.

There’s a familiar feel with the frontrunners with the top three all still unbeaten, but it remains strongly competitive across the league with some exciting matchups already contested.

Official standings: Riders 4-0; Gladiators, Lions 3-0; Hatters 3-1; Rebels, Palatinates 2-2; Giants, Wolves 2-3; Eagles 1-3; Archers 0-3; Wildcats 0-5

These rankings are determined by several factors including both recent results and upcoming schedule and are just the opinion of the writer.

➖ [1] 1: London Lions (3-0)

The Lions have taken care of domestic business in the midst of going 6-0 in their EuroCup regular season. Karlie Samuelson enjoyed a record-breaking league debut with a 35-point haul in a dominant win over Newcastle having also hit seven triples.

London’s next league outing saw them beat Oaklands by 31 on the road after pulling away in the second half behind a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double from Savannah Wilkinson and they’ve now welcomed back Megan Gustafson and Abby Meyers from injury. They have a chance to inflict a first loss on the Riders in a Sunday clash at the Copper Box.

Last five games (most recent first): ✅✅✅
Next up – (H) v Leicester Riders – CH – 2nd December

➖ [2] 2: Caledonia Gladiators (3-0)

The Gladiators are still unbeaten in the league, but were pushed all the way in their most recent outing before eventually seeing off the challenge of Essex. They needed a big fourth-quarter effort to overturn a deficit with Djeneba N’Diaye contributing 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists to their eight-point success.

Caledonia had earlier backed up an opening win over Durham by easing past Newcastle – winning by 41 point on the road with Yevheniia Putra posting 20 points and 12 rebounds in the win. A trip to bottom side Nottingham is next on Saturday as they also have a European playoffs tie to look forward to this month.

Last five games (most recent first): ✅✅✅
Next up – (A) v Nottingham Wildcats – CH – 2nd December

➖ [3] 3: Leicester Riders (4-0)

Four wins out of four for the early table-toppers as Riders’ new-look group settles into life in the WBBL. Taylor O’Brien has been an early revelation with some big scoring performances along with Rayven Peeples, while recent GB debutante Sam Ashby came up huge in OT in their latest victory over Nottingham.

The Riders were without McKenzie Johnston for that clash, while Marissa Hamilton played less than a minute – but they came out on top to follow up a dominant 36-point win in Cardiff and a hard-fought 14-point success away at Oaklands. A strong start, but the ultimate test follows.

Last five games (most recent first): ✅✅✅✅
Next up – (A) v London Lions – CH – 3rd December

⬆️ [5] 4: Sheffield Hatters (3-1)

The Hatters edge their way into the top four with just one blip on their record after a three-point loss in Manchester following the international break. They had eased past Durham on the road to continue a strong start and they returned to winning ways by beating Newcastle at home last Sunday.

Desiree Ramos top scored with 20 points against the Eagles with an array of sharp shooting and nice finishes with the Hatters looking able to count on a number of different offensive weapons on any night. The Archers are up next with a chance to move to 4-1 before big games against Caledonia and Essex.

Last five games (most recent first): ✅✅❎✅
Next up – (A) v Cardiff Met Archers – CH – 2nd December

⬇️ [4] 5: Essex Rebels (2-2)

The Rebels look once again set for a respectable league campaign as they sit at 2-2 through four games. Kat Tudor fired them to their first win on the road at Nottingham with seven triples in a 28-point haul before splitting games with Oaklands and Caledonia.

It was a contrasting tale of fourth quarters as they used a 27-19 period to pull away from the Wolves for their first home win before being outscored 21-10 in the final 10 minutes against the Gladiators having sensed a major road win. They have an extra week off to prepare for their next encounter with Leicester.

Last five games (most recent first): ❎✅✅❎
Next up – (H) v Leicester Riders – CH – 9th December

⬆️ [7] 6: Durham Palatinates (2-2)

Durham were a dangerous side in the second half of last season, spurred on by the return of Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby and the ever efficient Elle Hendershot. And, now they have added Janika Griffith-Wallace into the mix with the Canadian starting the season with four straight games with 20+ points.

The Palatinates went down by 32 points at home to Sheffield for their second loss of the campaign, but bounced back to beat Nottingham by 13 on the road – as Ottewill-Soulsby and Griffith-Wallace shared 54 points – before holding off Manchester for a six-point success last weekend. A North-East battle awaits next.

Last five games (most recent first): ✅✅❎❎
Next up – (A) v Newcastle Eagles – CH – 2nd December

⬆️ [9] 7: Manchester Giants (2-3)

Manchester have seemingly settled after two losses on the opening weekend with the arrival of Sydney Hunter helping their cause with three consecutive double-doubles in a 2-1 record since. Their momentum was halted with a loss away to Durham at the weekend with some of their veteran leaders absent.

The Giants had picked up their first win in style with a 30-point victory at home to Cardiff before an impressive triumph over Sheffield with Myah Pace also adding a double-double alongside Hunter, while Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus top scored with 19 points. They come up against Oaklands this weekend in an early mid-table meeting.

Last five games (most recent first): ❎✅✅❎❎
Next up – (H) v Oaklands Wolves – CH – 2nd December

⬇️ [6] 8: Oaklands Wolves (2-3)

An opening league win has been followed with defeats in three of their last four, albeit against strong opposition. They pushed Leicester close at home and were undone in the fourth quarter away at Essex, whilst also giving London an early test before an eventual 31-point defeat.

It’s still an encouraging start for Oaklands and their second win came in emphatic fashion as they set a new franchise record for points in a game in the 113-82 victory over Nottingham with Jorjah Smith knocking down 26 points. They face an intriguing trip to Manchester on Saturday as both look to get back to .500.

Last five games (most recent first): ❎❎✅❎✅
Next up – (A) v Manchester Giants – CH – 2nd December

⬇️ [8] 9: Newcastle Eagles (1-3)

Three straight defeats for the Eagles, but a new coach in Matt Newby and reinforcements have followed with the exciting return of former Archer Lauren Saiki along with Tierra Hodges to bolster the back-court.

Newcastle suffered back-to-back heavy defeats at home to European outfits Caledonia and London before a 16-point loss away at Sheffield with Chloe Gaynor and Marina Fernandez both netting 18 points. They host fellow North-East side Durham on Saturday hoping to get back to winning ways and change their recent fortunes.

Last five games (most recent first): ❎❎❎✅

Next up – (H) v Durham Palatinates – CH –2nd December

⬆️ [11] 10: Nottingham Wildcats (0-5)

It’s now five straight league defeats to start the season for the Wildcats, but their latest loss serves some promise having pushed the unbeaten leaders Leicester to overtime on the road. They had double-doubles from Mari Stewart and rookie Brooke Bjelko with Jess Wayne netting a team-high 22 points to lead a young side.

Teenage guard Valerie Cassidy de Falco is growing into her role in the starting lineup with Nottingham hoping to move on from some heavy earlier defeats suffered against Essex and Oaklands. Their next opportunity is no easy task as they welcome unbeaten Caledonia on Saturday.

Last five games (most recent first): ❎❎❎❎❎
Next up – (H) v Essex Rebels – CH – 2nd December

⬇️ [10] 11: Cardiff Met Archers (0-3)

The Archers are still waiting for their first win after starting 0-3 in the league. Their latest two defeats came by a combined margin of 76 after being outplayed away at Manchester before a dominant loss at home to Manchester.

Their new signings are still settling with Haylee Saurette currently leading the team in scoring with 15.7 points per game along with 8.0 rebounds, but they need more firepower on offence to get rolling. They take on Sheffield next before a trip to Newcastle sees them come up against a familiar face in Lauren Saiki.

Last five games (most recent first): ❎❎❎
Next up – (H) v Sheffield Hatters – CH – 2nd December

All fixtures subject to change and according to official website.

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