D-League Power Rankings: December 12, 2007

by Matthew Brennan, D-League.com

Another week, another team takes the top spot in the D-League Power Rankings as the Austin Toros grab the crown after winning their fifth straight game. It has been a tough ride at the top of the Power Rankings this season, as Idaho and Iowa both lost their next two games after being ranked first. The Rio Grande Valley Vipers hold steady in second after the Toros handed them their first home loss and snapped a three-game winning streak on Tuesday night. The Colorado 14ers, who move into third place after winning four of their last five, will have a great chance to make a move for the number one ranking as they will play the Toros three times in the next week.

Discuss this week's Power Rankings in D-League Fan Voice.

Austin's Darius Washington is leading the D-League in scoring.
Chris Covatta/NBAE/Getty Images
1. Austin Toros, 5-1, last week: 3rd : The Toros have now won five straight games and became the first team to win in Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday night, topping the Vipers 119-113. Darius Washington has staked his claim as the best NBA-assigned player in the currently in the D-League, leading all players with 28.3 points per game. Washington, on assignment from the Spurs, is also chipping in 8.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists and recorded a triple-double on Saturday against Tulsa. The Toros will face a tough schedule this week with Colorado and Idaho visiting Austin before the Toros meet the 14ers for two games on the road.
This Week: Colorado, Idaho, at Colorado

2. Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 6-2, last week: 2nd: The Vipers dropped their first home game of the season on Tuesday when they lost to Austin. Aaron Brooks is averaging 23.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists in his first two games on assignment from the Houston Rockets. The Idaho Stampede and the Colorado 14ers will visit Dodge Arena this weekend before the Vipers play eight straight games on the road.
This Week: Idaho, Colorado

3. Colorado 14ers, 5-2, last week: 8th: The 14ers swept Albuquerque on the road, winning both games by double-digits, but will face a test this weekend as they continue their road trip into Texas. The 14ers have six players averaging double-figures, with Kaniel Dickens leading the way with 21.6 points per game.
This Week: at Austin, at Rio Grande Valley

4. Iowa Energy, 5-3, last week: 9th: The Energy have bounced back from a three-game losing streak and are in control of the Central Division with a 5-3 record. Dwayne Mitchell and JamesOnCurry continue to spark the Energy's offensive attack, but a notable contribution has also come from Mike Efevberha, who is averaging 15.1 points, mostly off the bench. The Energy will face a home-and-away back to back this weekend, hosting Sioux Falls before traveling to Tulsa. This will be the Energy's first meeting with both teams.
This Week: Sioux Falls, at Tulsa

5. Idaho Stampede, 5-3, last week: 1st: The Stampede have dropped two straight games after being ranked first in last week's Power Rankings. Idaho will head into this week with their first assigned player, Portland's rookie guard Taurean Green. Green should make his Stampede debut in Friday at Rio Grande Valley. The Stampede, in the middle of six consecutive road games, have complied a 2-3 record on the road t his season.
This Week: at Rio Grande Valley, at Austin

6. Los Angeles D-Fenders, 4-3, last week: 7th: The D-Fenders have yet to win or lose more than two games in a row, but are keeping pace at just a half game behind Idaho for first place in the West Division. Four of their next seven games will be against the Bakersfield Jam, with the first coming on Thursday afternoon at STAPLES Center.
This Week: Bakersfield, at Utah, Bakersfield

7. Dakota Wizards, 3-3, last week: 11th: The Wizards won two straight behind a monster week from Rod Benson, who set a single-game record with 28 rebounds on Sunday to earn D-League Performer of the Week honors. The Wizards have reached the .500 mark after losing three of their first four games, and will look to continue their winning streak with a road trip to Fort Wayne.
This Week: at Fort Wayne, at Fort Wayne, Sioux Falls

8. Utah Flash, 4-4, last week: 5th: The Flash are playing .500 basketball so far and are coming off of a home split against the D-Fenders. Utah, who is just one game out of first place in the West Division, received two more players from the Utah Jazz on assignment this week in Morris Almond and a returning Kyrylo Fesenko. Almond is averaging 22.0 points in the D-League for Utah, who will host Anaheim and Los Angeles this weekend.
This Week: Anaheim, Los Angeles

Jeremy Richardson is averaging 27.5 points for the Mad Ants.
Ron Hoskins/Getty Images/NBAE
9. Fort Wayne Mad Ants, 3-3, last week: 4th: The Mad Ants are 3-3, but the outcomes of all but one of their games have been decided by double-figures. They will host Central Division rivals Dakota in back-to-back games this week. As expected, Jeremy Richardson has been the star for the Mad Ants, ranking second in the D-League with 27.5 points per game.
This Week: Dakota, Dakota

10. Tulsa 66ers, 2-4, last week: 8th: The 66ers have now lost four straight games after a 2-0 start to the season, but their four losses all came against the top three teams in this week's Power Rankings. Tulsa has a light schedule this week, with a home game against Iowa their only game until December 19. Ramon Sessions has continued his strong play while on assignment from the Bucks, averaging 23.2 points and 5.6 points per game.
This Week: Iowa

11. Anaheim Arsenal, 3-6, last week 12th: The Arsenal have picked up their play over the past week, winning two out of three after a 1-5 start to the season. The Arsenal, 0-2 on the road, will have plenty of chances for a road win as four of their next five games are away from Anaheim. Steven Smith leads the Arsenal with 18.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
This Week: at Utah, at Albuquerque

12. Albuquerque Thunderbirds, 2-4, last week 10th: The Thunderbirds did not have a weekend to remember in Colorado, losing both games to the 14ers by double-digits. One bright spot has been the play of Phoenix Suns assigned player Alando Tucker, who leads the team with 23.0 points and 7.3 rebounds. The T-Birds will try to bounce back with a road game at Bakersfield and a home game against Anaheim this weekend.
This Week: at Bakersfield, Anaheim

13. Bakersfield Jam, 2-7, last week 13th: Bakersfield is undefeated at home but has dropped all seven of their games on the road to start the season. Unfortunately, the Jam still will play five of their next eight games away from home, so they will need to pick up some road wins to stay in contention in the West Division. New acquistion Andre Barrett is second in the D-League with 9.2 assists per game.
This Week: at Los Angeles, Albuquerque, at Los Angeles

14. Sioux Falls Skyforce, 1-5, last week 14th: The Skyforce defeated Idaho to get into the win column on Friday, but then fell to Dakota to fall to 1-5. The Skyforce also lost one of their leading scorers to Europe in Antywane Robinson, but the team picked up veteran Kasib Powell as a replacement. Powell scored 20 in his debut for Sioux Falls and should be an impact player for the Skyforce as the season continues. Sioux Falls is on the road this week against division rivals Iowa and Dakota.
This Week: at Iowa, at Dakota