By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – As only one of two undefeated teams in the NAIA, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) is the No. 1-ranked team in the second regular-season edition of the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced by the national office on Tuesday. The 10-0 Eagles recorded nine first-place votes and 340 total points. Embry-Riddle captured its 19th all-time No. 1 ranking, which ranks second on the NAIA list.
The next three teams all improved one position due to a top-five loss last week. On Dec. 7, then-No. 19 Saint Francis (Ind.) defeated then-No. 2 Indiana Wesleyan by a 72-63 score. That outcome pushed No. 2 Southern Oregon, No. 3 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) and No. 4 Indiana Southeast all up one spot. Southern Oregon (1), Cardinal Stritch (2) and the Grenadiers (1) all claimed at least one first-place vote.
No. 5 Bethel (Ind.) slid up two positions thanks to a 10-1 start to the year.
Embry-Riddle continues to succeed on the defensive end. The Eagles rank No. 1 in the NAIA in field goal percentage defense (.361) and third in scoring defense (61.6). On Dec. 5, Embry-Riddle outlasted then-No. 8 Northwood (Fla.), 70-68. Prior to that contest, the Eagles were winning by an average margin of nearly 23 points.
The team that improved the best within the poll was No. 16 Saint Francis and No. 22 College of the Ozarks (Mo.), both jumping up three spots.
No. 17 Northwest (Wash.) and No. 18 Cornerstone (Mich.) are this week's newcomers. Both programs were ranked at least four times last season.
Concordia (Ore.) (No. 13) and College of Idaho (No. 20) both dropped out of the Top 25 this week.
The Crossroads League lists the most teams out of any conference with four: Bethel, No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 13 Huntington (Ind.) and No. 16 Saint Francis. Five other conferences claim a trio of Top 25 teams. Overall, 11 of the 14 conferences are represented this week.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The third regular-season Top 25 poll will be announced on Jan. 7. For more information on the polls, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1991 – 1992 season, which is the start of Division II) Besides the 10-0 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) Eagles, No. 13 Huntington (Ind.) stands 11-0 on the season as the only undefeated teams in Division II... No. 11 Dordt (Iowa) holds the most wins thus far in Division II with a 12-1 mark... There have been 37 different teams ranked this year through three polls (including Preseason).. Of that group of 37 teams, 15 have been ranked in all three... Embry-Riddle only trails Bethel's (Ind.) 35 No. 1 rankings for the most on the all-time list... There were four different teams ranked No. 1 last year: Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), Eastern Oregon, Northwood (Fla.) and William Penn (Iowa)… Northwood holds the longest active streak of being ranked with 69-consecutive mentions (dating back to Feb. 6, 2008) and right behind is Davenport (Mich.) with 52-straight... There have been 36 teams all-time to be ranked No. 1, with nine programs earning at least 10 top mentions… Behind Bethel and Embry-Riddle is 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. 10)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 - 14 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (9)||10-0||340|
|2||3||Southern Oregon (1)||11-1||325|
|3||4||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (2)||9-2||323|
|4||5||Indiana Southeast (1)||5-3||308|
|8||6||Robert Morris (Ill.)||7-3||272|
|10||11||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||8-2||237|
|16||19||Saint Francis (Ind.)||10-3||176|
|19||17||St. Thomas (Fla.)||3-1||129|
|21||22||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||8-2||106|
|22||25||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||8-2||102|