McKenzie Wadkins - Courtney Cisek - Jodie Harris

McKenzie Wadkins - Courtney Cisek - Jodie Harris
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How the Lady Lakers WBB fit into the GRAC and District M

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The official season for NJCAA women's basketball teams has begun, and the Lake Land College Lady Lakers are slated for their opener on the road versus the Lady Panthers of Ellsworth Community College on Nov. 11 at Dittmer Gymnasium in Iowa Falls, IA.

Fans of Lady Lakers basketball will view their progress on two different stages: 1) Great Rivers Athletic Conference, and 2) NJCAA District M.

Here's the difference.

The GRAC is made up of ten NJCAA teams for women's basketball. Nine of those teams are NJCAA Division I teams. Lake Land is the sole Division II team within the GRAC.


All the women's teams in the GRAC happen to be NJCAA Region 24 teams. Whether a team is D1 or D2, like Lake Land, makes no difference in conference play. All the GRAC teams play a pair of games against each GRAC member, home and road. These games count for GRAC play, which only recognizes the teams as far as standings. There are no playoffs or tournaments associated with the GRAC.


District M is part of the NJCAA construction for Division II teams. Lake Land, to reiterate, is a Division II team and in Region 24.

When it comes to post-season play, all those D1 teams from the GRAC will go on to play their respective post-season elsewhere, as part of the Division I playoffs. Lake Land, to be clear, plays against other Division II teams in post-season.

The Lady Lakers are one of eight NJCAA Division II Region 24 teams. Six of those teams play in the Mid-West Athletic Conference. Another team, Illinois Central College, plays in yet a different conference. Since the MWAC teams are set up to play each other in home-road pairs during the season, those games all count. For Lake Land and Illinois Central, there simply isn't enough room on their schedules to play each of the Region 24 teams home and road, so Lake Land and Illinois Central play everyone (and each other) once per season.

The seeding for post season, therefore, gets complicated for the Region 24 teams, with six teams having to play a dozen Region 24 games that count toward seeding while Lake Land and Illinois Central have merely seven games that count. Adding to the complexity, Lake Land and Illinois Central play some of the others on the road and some at home. The fairest way to deal with this is to have Lake Land and Illinois Central alternate their home and road games versus the others each season. As for the variance in game quantity, for each Region 24 home game won, a team earns 2.0 points, and for each Region 24 road game won, each team earns 2.5 points. Their respective totals are divided by the number of Region 24 games they've played, and post-season seeding is based upon that average.

Don't worry, Lakerball will track all of that "regional complication" for you and provide updates during the season.

So where does District M come in?

In the NJCAA, when it comes to post-season, there is a need to advance a nice round tournament bracket number of 16 teams, so district tourneys are enabled, some of them with multiple regions playing to see who advances to the NJCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championship, commonly referred to as the National Finals. It just so happens that in District M, there is only Region 24.

Since there are exactly eight Region 24, Division II teams, the District M bracket allows all eight to enter the post-season tournament with no qualifying play-in games. As to where each Region 24 team seeds is another story, and higher seeding is earned via winning a higher amount of games/points through season play within Region 24.

The following is the GRAC standings, of which Lake Land is the only D2 team.



TEAM — GRAC-WBB – 11/03/16
GRAC
GB
E#
OVERALL
STK
1—Southeastern IL College Lady Falcons
0-0
-
19
1-0
W-1
2—Wabash Valley College Lady Warriors
0-0
-
19
1-0
W-1
3—Kaskaskia College Blue Angels
0-0
-
19
0-0
W-0
4— Lake Land College Lady Lakers
0-0
-
19
0-0
W-0
5— Lincoln Trail College Lady Statesmen
0-0
-
19
0-0
W-0
6—Olney Central College Lady Knights
0-0
-
19
0-0
W-0
7—Rend Lake College Lady Warriors
0-0
-
19
0-0
W-0
8—Southwestern IL Lady Blue Storm
0-0
-
19
0-0
W-0
9—John A. Logan College Lady Volunteers
0-0
-
19
0-1
L-1
10—Shawnee Comm College Lady Saints
0-0
-
19
0-1
L-1


The next table is the Region Standings. You'll see none of these teams are in the GRAC. Also, "games behind" and "elimination numbers" have little relevance here, and so are replaced by "points" earned via Region 24 wins (home and road) and "average," which serves as a status for seeding.



TEAM — Region 24-D2-WBB – 11/03/16
R-24
PTS
AVG
OVERALL
STK
1—Danville Area CC Lady Jaguars
0-0
-
0.00
0-0
W-0
2—Illinois Central College Lady Cougars
0-0
-
0.00
0-0
W-0
3—John Wood CC Lady Trail Blazers
0-0
-
0.00
0-0
W-0
4— Lake Land College Lady Lakers
0-0
-
0.00
0-0
W-0
5—Lewis & Clark CC Lady Trailblazers
0-0
-
0.00
0-0
W-0
6—Lincoln College Lady Lynx
0-0
-
0.00
0-0
W-0
7—Lincoln Land CC Lady Loggers
0-0
-
0.00
0-0
W-0
8—Parkland College Lady Cobras
0-0
-
0.00
0-0
W-0


Last season, the Lady Lakers finished sixth in the GRAC with a 8-8 conference record. Lake Land's overall record was 15-17. In Region 24 (District M), the Lady Lakers placed sixth with a Region 24 record of 3-4 (6.0 points and 0.857 points average), making them the sixth seed for the post-season tournament, where they defeated Danville Area Community College in the quarter-finals, but lost to Illinois Central College in the semi-finals, just two wins short of a berth in the National Finals.

 
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