Contact: Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information, firstname.lastname@example.org
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – As the NAIA’s only undefeated team remaining, Shorter (Ga.) maintained its top ranking in the fifth regular-season edition of the 2011 – 12 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the NAIA announced Monday. One week after its first top billing in school history, the Hawks were the unanimous selection with 12 first-place nods and 312 points in this installment. Shorter made its No. 1 debut by handing then-No. 4 Southern Poly (Ga.) a 74-65 loss on Jan. 19. That win helped push the Hawks to 18-0 on the year.
No. 2 Robert Morris (Ill.) has won six in-a-row to improve to 19-1 overall. The Eagles leaped up one spot with 302 total points. After two-straight losses in a five-day span, Oklahoma Baptist fell one position to third with 288 points. With 279 points, No. 4 Georgetown (Ky.) vaulted up from a No. 7 ranking last week. No. 5 Southern Poly gathered 273 points after falling one spot.
No. 10 The Master’s (Calif.) is one of the biggest surprise teams. The Mustangs are one of four newcomers this week, having won four out of their last six games, including a 64-60 win against then-No. 16 Westmont (Calif.) on Jan. 17. The Master’s was last ranked 16th two weeks ago. Also sporting a fresh rank this week is No. 22 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 23 Pikeville (Ky.) and No. 25 Union (Tenn.). MidAmerica Nazarene sits in the Top 25 for the first time since Oct. 26, 2009 (No. 22). Both Pikeville and Union were mentioned earlier this season.
Evangel (Mo.) (No. 17), Campbellsville (Ky.) (No. 20), Saint Xavier (Ill.) (No. 21) and Cumberland (Tenn.) (No. 23) all suffered a drop outside the Top 25 this week.
Westmont, despite the loss to The Master’s, made the biggest improvement within the poll moving up four spots to No. 12. The Warriors are tied for the lead with The Master’s at 6-2 in the Golden State Athletic Conference and have won eight of their last nine.
The Golden State Athletic Conference is the leader of all conferences and unaffiliated groups with four programs in the Top 25: Concordia, The Master’s, Westmont and No. 16 Azusa Pacific (Calif.). The Mid-South Conference, Sooner Athletic Conference and Southern States Athletic Conference each landed a triplet of ranked teams.
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. 30.
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NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 – 01 season) No. 1 Shorter (Ga.) is the first program this year to earn all of the first-place votes (six total polls)… No. 2 Robert Morris (Ill.) leads the NAIA with 19 wins… Defending national champion and No. 23 Pikeville (Ky.), who was this year’s Preseason No. 1, is in the Top 25 for the first time in four polls… Shorter had never been ranked inside the top 10 prior to this year… No. 25 Union (Tenn.) is ranked for the first time since the Preseason Top 25 when it was 22nd… There have been 40 different teams to be ranked at some point this season… No. 15 Mountain State (W.Va.) boasts the longest active stretch of consecutive rankings with 139-straight weeks; No. 4 Georgetown (Ky.) is next with 71, followed by No. 11 Texas Wesleyan at 48 and No. 3 Oklahoma Baptist at 43… 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; Robert Morris is second with 23 No. 1s and No. 18 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.
2011 – 12 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – (Jan. 23)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011 – 12 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Shorter (Ga.) (12)||18-0||312|
|2||3||Robert Morris (Ill.)||19-1||302|
|5||4||Southern Poly (Ga.)||15-3||273|
|6||5||Rogers State (Okla.)||16-3||257|
|7||10||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||15-3||248|
|8||11||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||15-4||240|
|9||9||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||15-4||237|
|10||RV||The Master's (Calif.)||14-5||229|
|14||14||Southern Nazarene (Okla.)||15-4||190|
|15||15||Mountain State (W.Va.)||14-6||187|
|16||7||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||15-4||162|
|22||RV||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||14-7||84|
Others receiving votes: Saint Xavier (Ill.) 63; John Brown (Ark.) 50; Evangel (Mo.) 43; Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 29; Science & Arts (Okla.) 28; Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 21; Cal State San Marcos 14; Westminster (Utah) 10; St. Catharine (Ky.) 8; Avila (Mo.) 3; LSU Shreveport (La.) 3; Oklahoma Christian 1; Cumberland (Tenn.) 1; SAGU (Texas) 1; Voorhees (S.C.) 1.