By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Defending national champion Georgetown (Ky.) will begin the 2013 - 14 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball season at No. 1, announced by the national office Wednesday. The Tigers earned nine-of-10 first-place votes and 250 total points in the Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Preseason Top 25. This is the second-straight No. 1 ranking for Georgetown and 12th all-time. The Tigers become the sixth different team in as many years to be the Preseason No. 1-ranked team.
The Tigers, who won their second all-time championship last year as a No. 13 seed, went 28-8 overall. Junior guard Monty Wilson is the top returner after averaging over 16 points and five rebounds per contest. He was named MVP of the 2013 NAIA National Championship tournament. Georgetown opens its season Tuesday by hosting Miami-Hamilton (Ohio) under the guidance of Rawlings - NAIA National Coach of the Year Chris Briggs.
The team that lost by a basket to Georgetown in the national semifinals, LSU Shreveport (La.), sits in the No. 2 (tied) position with 233 points. The Pilots, who posted the remaining first-place vote, are tied in the No. 2 spot with Oklahoma Baptist. Coming off a 27-7 season, LSU Shreveport has a strong core of players returning, including 2013 NAIA Second-Team All-American Brandon Davis. The 6-foot-3 senior guard was first on the team in scoring (22.4) and notched at least 10 points in all 24 games last year. The No. 2 ranking is the highest for the Pilots since a No. 1 billing on Jan. 17, 2011.
Oklahoma Baptist lands at No. 2 with LSU Shreveport after an appearance in the 2013 National Championship Second Round. The Bison, who have been ranked in 64-consecutive polls, are coming off a 25-8 season. They will have to replace leading scorer and Third- Team All-American David Johnson. Oklahoma Baptist now enjoys a top 10 ranking for the 33rd time in the last 34 polls.
No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) captured 225 total points and look to repeat its record-breaking 35-1 campaign last season. The Cougars only loss was in the national quarterfinals against LSU Shreveport. The Cougars were the last men’s team to lose among all college levels (NAIA, NCAA). The 35 victories were the most of any NAIA program in a single-season since 2007.
Defending national runner-up SAGU (Texas) lands at the No. 5 position with 217 points. The Lions posted a school record 33-win season. One of the top players in NAIA Basketball returning this season will be senior guard Dominique Rambo. He averaged nearly 20 points, four assists, four rebounds and 3.5 steals per contest as he earned the status of NABC-NAIA Co-Player of the Year.
No. 6 Concordia (Calif.) was the best improvement within the poll, moving up 14 positions. No. 18 Culver-Stockton (Mo.) tumbled down eight positions for the largest fall.
No. 17 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) and No. 21 Park (Mo.) highlight the list of newcomers. The Battlin' Bears are mentioned for the first time since the 2009 - 10 Preseason Top 25 when they were No. 15. That ranking came after a 2009 national championship title. Park was last ranked on Feb. 14, 2011 in the No. 24 position. The other rookies in the Preseason Top 25 are No. 16 Arizona Christian, No. 23 Life (Ga.), No. 24 (tie) Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) and No. 24 (tie) Montana State-Northern. These four clubs were mentioned at least once during the 2012 - 13 season.
The Southern States Athletic Conference tops all conferences with four Top 25 programs: No. 10 (tie) William Carey (Miss.), No. 13 Faulkner (Ala.), No. 20 Emmanuel (Ga.) and No. 22 Martin Methodist (Tenn). The Frontier Conference, Heart of America Athletic Conference and Mid-South Conference each landed a trio of ranked programs.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference and unaffiliated groups. The first 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 2000 – 01 season) A conference change this year saw the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference move to NAIA Division II... All 10 conferences are represented with nine of those leagues posting multiple teams in the Top 25... No. 1 and defending champion Georgetown (Ky.) looks to become the first team since Oklahoma City in 2008 to be the Preseason No. 1 and win the national championship in the same season... The 12 all-time No. 1 mentions for Georgetown is tied for third-most all-time... Last year, five programs earned the No. 1 ranking: Georgetown, Columbia (Mo.), Concordia (Calif.), Cumberlands (Ky.) and Oklahoma Baptist... There were 45 different teams represented through 13 polls last season... Oklahoma Baptist leads the active group of being ranked with 64-straight mentions (which dates back to March 5, 2008), followed by Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at 26, Xavier (La.) at 25, and Columbia at 23… Since the 2000 – 01 season, there have been 25 different teams to hold the No. 1 ranking, with eight of those programs having five-or-more listings on top of the charts…Former NAIA member Mountain State (W.Va.) leads this group with 48 No. 1 rankings, followed by Robert Morris (Ill.) with 24, Concordia and Georgetown are next with 12 and Columbia is at eight mentions… Robert Morris, now a NAIA Division II member, is the only program to start and end a season ranked No. 1, doing so during the 2006 – 07 season.
2013 – 14 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll – Oct. 29
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012-13 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Georgetown (Ky.) (9)||28-8||250|
|T2||4||LSU Shreveport (La.) (1)||27-7||233|
|T10||3||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||32-5||169|
|T10||21||William Carey (Miss.)||25-6||169|
|12||T17||Cal State San Marcos||23-7||164|
|14||7||John Brown (Ark.)||28-7||142|
|15||13||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||26-10||137|
|17||RV||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||21-13||121|
|22||16||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||21-10||70|
|T24||NR||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||18-13||57|
^ Ranking from 2012 - 13 Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll (March 27, 2013)