By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the first time in seven years, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) tops the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced by the national office on Tuesday. The Eagles are one of three NAIA Division II programs undefeated as Embry-Riddle is currently 8-0. They captured seven of the possible 14 first-place votes in the first regular-season edition. This is the first No. 1 ranking for Embry-Riddle since Feb. 22, 2006.
Standing behind Embry-Riddle is No. 2 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 3 Southern Oregon, No. 4 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) and No. 5 Indiana Southeast. The top five teams collected at least one first-place vote: Indiana Wesleyan (1), Southern Oregon (1), Cardinal Stritch (2) and Indiana Southeast (3)
The Eagles, who recorded 362 points in the poll, is winning games mostly in large part to a solid defensive effort. They rank No. 1 in the NAIA in field goal percentage defense (.359) and fifth in scoring defense (61.3 ppg). Embry-Riddle has won eight games by an average of 24 points, which is fourth in the NAIA.
No. 8 Hastings (Neb.), out of the Greats Plain Athletic Conference, climbed the highest within the Top 25 -- the Broncos improved 15 positions since the Preseason Top 25. Hastings stands 9-1 on the year and has won seven in-a-row.
Conversely, No. 16 Midland (Neb.) dropped eight spots from the Preseason for the largest fall.
Ten programs are listed as newcomers this week: Indiana Southeast, No. 12 Dordt (Iowa), No. 13 Concordia (Ore.), No. 14 Huntington (Ind.), No. 18 Lourdes (Ohio), No. 19 Saint Francis (Ind.), No. 20 College of Idaho, No. 22 St. Ambrose (Iowa), No. 23 Ashford (Iowa) and No. 25 College of the Ozarks (Mo.).
The following squads fell out since the Preseason Top 25: Dakota State (S.D.) (No. 18), Grace (Ind.) (No. 16), Madonna (Mich.) (No. 17), Northwestern (Iowa) (No. 15), Oregon Tech (No. 21), Rochester (Mich.) (No. 25), Tennessee Wesleyan (No. 20), Warner Pacific (Ore.) (No. 12) and William Penn (Iowa) (No. 7).
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The second regular-season Top 25 poll will be announced on Dec. 10. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1991 – 1992 season, which is the start of Division II) Prior to today, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) was last ranked No. 1 on Feb. 22, 2006 when the Eagles held the top spot for eight straight weeks (from Jan. 4 through Feb. 22, 2006)... There were only four teams this edition to hold their position: No. 2 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 6 Robert Morris (Ill.), No. 10 Davenport (Mich.) and No. 11 Saint Xavier (Ill.)... There were four different teams ranked No. 1 last year: Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), Eastern Oregon, Northwood and William Penn (Iowa)… There were 45 different teams listed in the Top 25 during the 2012 - 13 season… Northwood holds the longest active streak of being ranked with 68-consecutive mentions (dating back to Feb. 6, 2008) and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 52-straight... By falling out of the Top 25 this week, Northwestern (Iowa) has its consecutive streak stopped at 35-consecutive rankings, which was third on the active list… There have been 36 teams all-time to be ranked No. 1, with nine programs earning at least 10 top mentions… Bethel (Ind.) boasts the most all-time No. 1’s with 35, followed by Embry-Riddle (Fla.) with 18, Oregon Tech at 15, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (currently a member in NAIA Division I) and former member Northern State (S.D.) with 14, Oklahoma Wesleyan and former member Walsh (Ohio) at 13, Northwood at 12 and Jamestown (N.D.) at 11 – no other school has more than 10 mentions at No. 1.
2013 – 14 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll - (Dec. 3)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD*||FINAL POINTS|
|1||3||Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (7)||8-0||362|
|2||2||Indiana Wesleyan (1)||8-1||356|
|3||4||Southern Oregon (1)||8-1||350|
|4||1||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (2)||7-2||344|
|5||NR||Indiana Southeast (3)||5-2||325|
|6||6||Robert Morris (Ill.)||7-2||305|
|11||11||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||6-2||248|
|17||14||St. Thomas (Fla.)||3-1||184|
|19||RV||Saint Francis (Ind.)||8-3||137|
|20||NR||College of Idaho||9-3||117|
|22||NR||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||6-2||92|
|25||NR||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||7-2||84|
Others receiving votes: Cornerstone (Mich.) 80; Northwest (Wash.) 67; Southeastern (Fla.) 49; Grace (Ind.) 33; Briar Cliff (Iowa) 32; Friends (Kan.) 28; Tennessee Wesleyan 26; William Penn (Iowa) 14; Clarke (Iowa) 9; Rochester (Mich.) 7; Marian (Ind.) 5; Warner (Fla.) 3
^ ranking on Oct. 29, 2013 in the 2013 - 14 Coaches' Preseason Top 25