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 sixth regular-season poll will be released Tuesday, Feb. 21.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1998):
- Cornerstone (Mich.) maintains the No. 1 rank for the fourth edition week in-a-row. The Golden Eagles have started the season with a 24-2 record and 17-1 mark in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.
- Cornerstone is led by Kyle Steigenga, who leads the team in scoring with 22.9 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game. Sam Vander Sluis is ranked No. 10 in the NAIA with 1.9 blocks per game.
- Earning the No. 2 rank for the third edition in-a-row is Union (Ky.) with 302 points. The Bulldogs have started the season with a 23-3 record and are undefeated in Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) play with a 16-0 record.
- Union clinched the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) regular-season title with its victory on Feb. 4 over Milligan (Tenn.), 91-85. This is the fourth-straight year the Bulldogs have won or shared the AAC regular-season title.
- Rounding out the top five is Bethel (Ind.) at No. 3 with 291 points, Rochester (Mich.) at No. 4 with 281 points and Warner (Fla.) at No. 5 with 269 points.
- Two programs join the Top 25 – No. 24 IU Southeast and No. 25 College of Idaho.
- Indiana Southeast and College of Idaho join the Top 25 after both programs dropped out in the third regular-season edition. The Grenadiers were last ranked No. 18 on Dec. 13, 2016, while the Coyotes were last ranked No. 17 on Jan. 10, 2017.
- The two teams that dropped out of the newest rankings are Taylor (Ind.) and Florida Memorial.
- The teams with the greatest movement in this edition is WVU Tech, which moved from No. 22 to No. 11. Following the Golden Bears is Oregon Tech, which moved nine spots from No. 24 to No. 15.
- Overall, 11 of the 12 conferences are represented in this edition of the poll. The Cascade Collegiate Conference 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 95-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 5 (Feb. 7)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Cornerstone (Mich.) (12)||24-2||312|
|6||8||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||21-3||267|
|7||9||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||21-6||237|
|8||10||Robert Morris (Ill.)||20-5||234|
|13||17||Trinity International (Ill.)||22-4||182|
|16||14||Washington Adventist (Md.)||19-5||153|
|18||25||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||20-6||151|
|19||20||Saint Francis (Ind.)||18-8||137|
|25||NR||College of Idaho||18-8||63|
Dropped from the rankings: Taylor (Ind.); Florida Memorial
Others receiving votes: Taylor (Ind.) 60; Florida Memorial 56; Morningside (Iowa) 34; St. Thomas (Fla.) 20; York (Neb.) 18; Dickinson State (N.D.) 14; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 6; California Maritime 6; Keiser (Fla.) 3