By Spencer Scheve, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Cornerstone (Mich.) maintains the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. The Golden Eagles earned all 12 first-place votes and 312 total points to receive the top ranking. The fourth regular-season poll will be released Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1998):
- Cornerstone (Mich.) maintains the No. 1 rank for the second week in-a-row. The Golden Eagles have started the season with a 16-2 record and 9-1 in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference play.
- Cornerstone is led by Sam Vander Sluis, who is ranked No. 8 in the NAIA in blocks per game (2.0), and Kyle Steigenga, who is ranked No. 8 in points per game (22.3).
- Coming in at No. 2 is Union (Ky.), who climbed four spots from No. 6, with 291 points. The Bulldogs have started the season with a 16-3 record and 9-0 in the Appalachian Athletic Conference play.
- Union is led by Isiah Knight, who is ranked No. 1 in the NAIA in assist/turnover ratio (9.33), and Gerrard Newby, who is ranked No. 2 in total rebounds (199).
- Rounding out the top five is Saint Francis (Ind.) at No. 3 with 285 points, Northwestern (Iowa) at No. 4 with 282 points and Eastern Oregon at No. 5 with 266 points.
- Six programs join the Top 25 – No. 14 Robert Morris (Ill.), No. 20 Trinity International (Ill.), No. 22 Bellevue (Neb.), No. 23 Tabor (Kan.), No. 24 Briar Cliff (Iowa) and No. 25 WVU Tech.
- Robert Morris crawls back in the rankings after dropping out in the second edition. The Eagles were last ranked No. 13 in the preseason poll on October 25, 2016.
- Trinity International earns its first ranking dating back to 1998. The Trojans were last ranked No. 20 on Jan. 6, 1998.
- Bellevue and Tabor rejoin the Top 25 after dropping out in the second edition. The Bruins were ranked No. 24 and the Trojans No. 10 in the preseason poll.
- Briar Cliff earns its way into the Top 25 after falling out in the third edition. The Chargers were last ranked No. 25.
- The last time WVU Tech was ranked was on Jan.19, 2016, when the Golden Bears were ranked No. 25.
- There are six teams that dropped out of the newest rankings: Florida Memorial, Indiana Southeast, York (Neb.), Northwest (Wash.), St. Francis (Ill.) and St. Thomas (Fla.).
- Overall, 11 of the 12 conferences are represented in this edition of the poll. The Crossroads League and the Great Plains Athletic Conference are tied for most schools represented. Each conference boast four teams.
- Bethel (Ind.) has been ranked No. 1 the most times in history, coming in with 35 appearances.
- Davenport (Mich.) holds the active streak of being ranked consecutively with 93-straight mentions.
- Jamestown (N.D.) (2003-04) and Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (2000-01) are the only teams to go the entire season ranked No. 1.
- The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, Association of Independent Institutions and Unaffiliated Groups.
- The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second-place and so on through the list.
- The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low ratings) is removed and the team’s ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appears on.
- Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered “receiving votes”
- Frequency of polls occur bi-weekly. This policy was approved by the National Administrative Council (NAC) for the 2016-17 academic season. This change will allow raters the opportunity to consider a larger body of work in between rating periods.
- For the complete ratings calendar, click here.
2016-17 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Poll 3 (Jan. 10)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Cornerstone (Mich.) (12)||16-2||312|
|3||2||Saint Francis (Ind.)||15-3||285|
|12||7||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||12-3||208|
|13||12||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||15-5||188|
|14||NR||Robert Morris (Ill.)||12-4||185|
|15||17||Washington Adventist (Md.)||14-3||153|
|17||24||College of Idaho||13-5||139|
|20||NR||Trinity International (Ill.)||16-3||109|
|24||NR||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||14-5||70|
Dropped from the rankings: Florida Memorial, Indiana Southeast, York (Neb.), Northwest (Wash.), St. Francis (Ill.) and St. Thomas (Fla.).
Others receiving votes: Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) 53; Florida Memorial 52; Indiana Southeast 38; Oregon Tech 37; York (Neb.) 36; Indiana Tech 25; Northwest (Wash.) 25; Morningside (Iowa) 24; Southeastern (Fla.) 23; Tennessee Wesleyan 6