By Spencer Scheve, Athletics Communications and Media Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Cornerstone (Mich.) maintains the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, released Tuesday. The Golden Eagles earned all 12 first-place votes and 312 total points to receive the top ranking. The fifth regular-season poll will be released Tuesday, Feb. 7.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1998):
- Cornerstone (Mich.) maintains the No. 1 rank for the edition week in-a-row. The Golden Eagles have started the season with a 20-2 record and 13-1 mark in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.
- Cornerstone is led by Kyle Steigenga, who is ranked No. 8 in the NAIA in points per game (22.3), and Sam Vander Sluis, who is ranked No. 9 in total blocks (45).
- Earning the No. 2 rank for the second week in-a-row is Union (Ky.) with 302 points. The Bulldogs have started the season with a 19-3 record and are undefeated in Appalachian Athletic Conference play with a 12-0 record.
- Union’s defense is powered by Gerrard Newby, who is ranked No. 3 in the NAIA in defensive rebounds per game (7.7) and No. 5 in total rebounds (229).
- Rounding out the top five is Warner (Fla.) at No. 3 with 288 points, while Bethel (Ind.) and Rochester (Mich.) are tied at No. 4 with 279 points.
- Three programs join the Top 25 – No. 18 Indiana Tech, No. 23 Florida Memorial and No. 24 Oregon Tech.
- Indiana Tech crawls back in the rankings after dropping out in the first regular season edition. The Warriors were last ranked No. 20 in the preseason poll on October 25, 2016.
- Florida Memorial joins the Top 25 after dropping out in the previous edition. The Lions were last ranked No. 22 on Dec. 13, 2016.
- Oregon Tech earns its first Top 25 since Dec. 1, 2015, when the Owls were ranked No. 7.
- The three teams that dropped out of the newest rankings are College of Idaho, Keiser (Fla.) and Northwestern Ohio.
- The team with the greatest movement in this edition is Saint Francis (Ind.), which dropped 17 spots from No. 3 to No. 20. Following Saint Francis is Northwestern (Iowa), which fell nine spots from No. 4 to No. 13.
- Overall, all 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 with four each.
- 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 94-straight mentions.
- Jamestown (N.D.) (2003-04) and former member 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 4 (Jan. 24)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Cornerstone (Mich.) (12)||20-2||312|
|8||12||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||16-3||239|
|9||13||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||18-5||234|
|10||14||Robert Morris (Ill.)||16-4||224|
|17||20||Trinity International (Ill.)||18-4||152|
|20||3||Saint Francis (Ind.)||15-7||127|
|25||24||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||16-6||76|
Dropped from the rankings: College of Idaho; Keiser (Fla.); Northwestern Ohio
Others receiving votes: Indiana Southeast 66; College of Idaho 32; St. Thomas (Fla.) 28; Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) 26; Michigan-Dearborn 15; Morningside (Iowa) 13; Dickinson State (N.D.) 10; York (Neb.) 7; Reinhardt (Ga.) 6; Southern Oregon 4; St. Francis (Ill.) 3; Keiser (Fla.) 3