By Nikki Sherrill, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After winning the program’s first-ever national championship last season, the Knights of Marian (Ind.) are the No. 1 team in the Division II Women’s Basketball Preseason Top 25 Coaches’ Poll. Marian gathered all first-place votes to earn the top spot. The first regular season poll will be released Tuesday, Nov. 29.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 2000):
- For the first time in program history, the Knights of Marian (Ind.) start out the season as No. 1 in NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball. The Knights are coming off the program’s first national championship when they defeated No. 2 Southern Oregon, 59-48, in Sioux City, Iowa last season. Marian received all first-place votes and 312 total points in this edition of the poll.
- Marian brings back eight players from last season’s championship squad, including Jessica Almeida, an Honorable Mention All-American.
- Runner-up Southern Oregon starts out ranked No. 2 with 296 points. The Raiders were last ranked this high in the poll during the 1998-99 season. The 2015 finish was the best in program history.
- The rest of the top five saw major adjustments as No. 3 Dakota Wesleyan moved up five spots, No. 4 Morningside (Iowa) fell one place and No. 5 St. Francis (Ill.) made an eight spot leap towards the top.
- No. 5 St. Francis made the biggest improvement from last season, sliding up eight spots. No. 3 Dakota Wesleyan and No. 14 Concordia (Neb.) both found its way to a five spot increase, and No. 12 Jamestown moved up four places.
- After moving back 10 spots in this edition, No. 16 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) maintains a position in the poll. No. 11 Goshen (Ind.) fell back seven spots after making it to the national semifinals last season.
- Three programs have fallen out of the rankings in the preseason – Mount Marty (S.D.), Asbury (Ky.) and Lawrence Tech (Mich.).
- Just as many teams have crawled into the poll for the new season, with No. 17 Eastern Oregon, No. 21 IU Northwest and No. 23 Madonna (Mich.) all earning a spot.
- Overall, six of the 12 conference are represented in this edition of the poll. The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference leads the way with six teams representing the conference. The Great Plains Athletic Conference brings in four teams, including two in the top five. The Crossroads League, Cascade Collegiate Conference and Association of Independent Institutions each have three programs in the rankings.
- No. 4 Morningside has the most No. 1 rankings in NAIA history with 38. No. 9 Indiana Wesleyan is second with 33.
- Morningside holds the active streak of being ranked in the Top 25 (156). No. 6 Saint Xavier (Ill.) is second with 143-straight, including its time in Division I.
- College of the Ozarks (2007-08), Morningside (2008-09) and Saint Francis (Ind.) (1999-00) 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 NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll - Preseason (Oct. 25)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2016 Record||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Marian (Ind.) (12)||32-6||312|
|3||8||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||27-9||283|
|5||13||St. Francis (Ill.)||28-5||277|
|6||7||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||30-4||262|
|7||8||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||28-5||254|
|13||22||Purdue Northwest (Ind.)||22-9||187|
|15||14||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||23-10||178|
|16||6||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||29-6||172|
|18||20||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||22-10||107|
|19||14||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||25-8||98|
|22||24||Dickinson State (N.D.)||23-9||87|
Dropped from the rankings: No. 5 Mount Marty (S.D.); No. 18 Asbury (Ky.); No. 23 Lawrence Tech (Mich.)
Others receiving votes: Indiana East 69; Friends (Kan.) 64; Indiana Tech 46; Northwestern (Iowa) 36; Asbury (Ky.) 31; Bryan (Tenn.) 24; Southeastern (Fla.) 19; Hastings (Neb.) 19; Lawrence Tech (Mich.) 17; Taylor (Ind.) 17; Oklahoma Wesleyan 9.
^Reflects ranking in 2015-16 postseason poll