By: Chad Waller, Director of Athletics Communications and Media
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Defending national champion Texas Wesleyan boasts the No. 1 position in the preseason edition of the 2017-18 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. The Rams won their second-ever national championship with an 86-76 victory over Life (Ga.) on March 21, 2017 in Kansas City, Mo.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 2000):
- Holding the No. 1 spot for the second-straight poll, Texas Wesleyan collected eight-of-nine first-place votes and 219 total points.
- The Rams are looking to build off a 29-7 campaign a year ago – the most wins since the 2010-11 season – when they host Southwestern Adventist (Texas) on Nov. 2 to lift the lid on 2017-18.
- NAIA Coach of the Year Brennen Shingleton welcomes back senior guard Ryan Harris, who went for 15.7 points per game last year.
- Checking in after No. 2 LSU Alexandria (La.), third-ranked William Penn (Iowa) earned the remaining first-place vote.
- The following programs are newcomers to the poll: No. 12 (tie) Oklahoma City, No. 18 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 20 Benedictine (Kan.), No. 21 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), No. 22 Mid-America Christian (Okla.), No. 23 Vanguard (Calif.) and No. 24 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho). All of the teams listed above were ranked at least once during the 2016-17 season, with the exception of Vanguard. The Lions were last ranked on Jan. 5, 2016 (No. 24).
- No. 14 Pikeville (Ky.) leads the active group of being ranked in the Top 25 with 60-straight mentions, which dates back to the start of the 2012-13 season. The second longest streak belongs to No. 4 Georgetown (Ky.) at 55-straight rankings.
- There have been 38 different teams since 2000 to hold the No. 1 position. Former NAIA member Mountain State (W.Va.) leads the all-time charts with 48 all-time No. 1 rankings, followed by NAIA Division II member Robert Morris (Ill.) with 24. Georgetown is next with 13, former member Concordia (Calif.) at 12, LSU Alexandria and former member Cal State San Marcos at 11 and Columbia (Mo.) at nine No. 1 recognitions.
- Robert Morris, now a NAIA Division II member in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC), is the only program to start and end a season ranked No. 1, doing so during the 2006 – 07 season.
- The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and Association of Independent Institutions.
- 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 Top 25 calendar, click here.
2017 – 18 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll – Oct. 24
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2016-17 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Texas Wesleyan (8)||29-7||219|
|2||3||LSU Alexandria (La.)||34-1||206|
|3||4||William Penn (Iowa) (1)||33-4||203|
|5||12||The Master's (Calif.)||27-5||185|
|6||5||Dalton State (Ga.)||28-4||183|
|10||T9||Hope International (Calif.)||26-8||148|
|11||20||LSU Shreveport (La.)||20-10||142|
|16||17||William Carey (Miss.)||26-8||113|
|18||NR||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||17-14||100|
|21||NR||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||21-11||67|
|22||NR||Mid-America Christian (Okla.)||16-16||66|
|24||RV||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||23-11||47|
|T25||23||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||22-11||43|
Others Receiving Votes: William Woods (Mo.) 41; Science & Arts (Okla.) 38; Grand View (Iowa) 24; Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 14; Cumberlands (Ky.) 13; SAGU (Texas) 6; Harris-Stowe State (Mo.) 5.
^ Previous ranking occurred March 29, 2017