Contact: Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information, email@example.com
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the first time in school history, Shorter (Ga.) corrals the No. 1 ranking in the fourth regular-season edition of the 2011 – 12 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the NAIA announced Monday. Shorter knocks off former No. 1 Oklahoma Baptist, who was newly christened as the top team last week. The Hawks are the only undefeated team in the NAIA with a 17-0 record. They posted 280 points and nine first-place votes.
Oklahoma Baptist finished with 269 points and one first-place vote to stand second. The Bison fell for the first time this year to then-No. 12 Southern Nazarene (Okla.), 69-67, on Jan. 14 in the NAIA Game of the Week. No. 3 Robert Morris (Ill.) grabbed the remaining first-place nod to tally 267 points. Vaulting up six spots to the No. 10 position is fourth-ranked Southern Poly (Ga.) with 240 points. No. 5 Rogers State (Okla.) picked up 238 points en route to a three-position jump.
After a 87-84 victory over then-No. 11 Mountain State (W.Va.) on Jan. 14, Southern Poly extended its winning streak to nine-straight games. The six-spot jump in the poll was one of the best improvements within the poll. No. 10 Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) enjoyed the highest climb of seven spots. The Saints rattled off their 11th-consecutive victory with a 113-90 win over Langston (Okla.) on Jan. 14.
Westmont (Calif.) finds itself in the Top 25 for the first time this year with a No. 16 ranking. The Warriors have won seven in-a-row, including a 60-56 victory at then-No. 20 Biola (Calif.) on Jan. 10. No. 23 Cumberland (Tenn.), No. 24 Columbia (Mo.) and No. 25 Tougaloo (Miss.) are the three other newcomers. Cumberland is ranked for the first time since March 11, 2009 (No. 20). Both Columbia and Tougaloo were listed earlier this year.
The Master’s (Calif.) (No. 16), Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) (tie – No. 18), Biola (Calif.) (No. 20) and Cal State San Marcos (No. 24) all suffer a slide outside of the Top 25.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference/independent/unaffiliated groups. The next Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll will be announced on Jan. 23.
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NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 – 01 season) No. 1 Shorter (Ga.) had never been ranked inside the top 10 prior to this year… No. 16 Westmont (Calif.) is ranked for the first time since Jan. 25, 2009 when the Warriors were 22nd… There have been 39 different teams to be ranked at some point this season… At least two teams have split the first-place votes in all five polls this year (including Preseason)… No. 15 Mountain State (W.Va.) boasts the longest active stretch of consecutive rankings with 138-straight weeks; No. 7 Georgetown (Ky.) is next with 70, followed by No. 13 Texas Wesleyan at 47 and No. 2 Oklahoma Baptist at 42… Mountain State has the most No. 1 rankings since 2000 – the Cougars have been No. 1 a total of 48 times since 2000, which marks the highest total of any program in that span; No. 3 Robert Morris (Ill.) is second with 23 No. 1s and No. 6 Concordia (Calif.) follows with 10 mentions… Robert Morris is the only program to start and end a season ranked No. 1, doing so during the 2006 – 07 season.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011-12 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Shorter (Ga.) (9)||17-0||280|
|2||1||Oklahoma Baptist (1)||15-1||269|
|3||3||Robert Morris (Ill.) (1)||16-1||267|
|4||10||Southern Poly (Ga.)||13-2||240|
|5||8||Rogers State (Okla.)||15-2||238|
|7||7||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||14-3||224|
|9||9||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||13-3||223|
|10||17||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||13-3||199|
|11||14||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||13-4||189|
|14||12||Southern Nazarene (Okla.)||13-4||165|
|15||11||Mountain State (W.Va.)||12-6||157|
|21||23||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||13-4||96|
Others receiving votes: The Master's (Calif.) 49; Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 43; Oklahoma City 31; SAGU (Texas) 21; Cal State San Marcos 21; Pikeville (Ky.) 21; Westminster (Utah) 16; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 10; Missouri Baptist 1; Science & Arts (Okla.) 1; Cumberlands (Ky.) 1; Oklahoma Christian 1; Wiley (Texas) 1; Union (Tenn.) 1; Benedictine (Kan.) 1; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 1; Life (Ga.) 1.