November 1, 2013

Benson’s bunch tabbed 22nd in preseason NABC Coaches’ Poll

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn.  – For just the second time in its history, Carson-Newman's men's basketball program has garnered a preseason ranking in a Division II poll.

Reigning SAC Coach of the Year Chuck Benson's Eagles are 22nd in the first iteration of the NABC poll.  C-N's appearance in the top 25 marks the Eagles' first national ranking in more than a decade.  That was back in 2002. 

Carson-Newman was coming off a loss to Shaw in the NCAA tournament and started the 2002-03 season ranked 11th. However, an 8-3 start to the season wasn't good enough to keep the Eagles in the top 25.  C-N fell out in the first week of January before getting booted out of the receiving votes category the following week.

The Eagles have spent six weeks total ranked in Division II polls. Carson-Newman finished 2001-02 ranked 18th, rising five spots from the previous week. One has to go back to the mid-1960s to find the final three Carson-Newman teams ranked in the Division II top 25, or as was the case at that time, the top 10. Carson-Newman spent three weeks in the top 10 from January 7-21 in 1965.

Carson-Newman has a pair of preseason All-Americans on its roster in Antoine Davis (Rustburg, Va.) and Ish Sanders (Cleveland, Tenn.). Both players are also preseason All-SAC selections. 

C-N returns fellow starters Jared Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) and Carson  Brooks (Knoxville, Tenn.).  The Eagles have 70 percent of their scoring and 68 percent of their rebounding back from a year ago. 

Fellow South Atlantic Conference mate LMU is ranked 15th.  Anderson is in receiving votes.

NABC/Division II Coaches Poll (Nov. 1, 2013 – Pre-season poll)
                                                                                                 Record                   Points              Pvs
1. Metropolitan State, Colo. (10 first place votes)             32-3                        393                   3
2. Seattle Pacific, Wash. (2 first place votes)                     27-4                        379                   2
3. West Liberty, W.Va. (2 first place votes)                         34-2                        355                   1
4. Bellarmine, Ky. (1 first place vote)                                   24-8                        335                  14
5. Minnesota State                                                                  28-5                        318                   6
6. South Carolina Aiken (1 first place vote)                        25-8                        288                  20
7. Cal Poly Pomona                                                                28-3                        282                   5
8. Drury, Mo.                                                                             31-4                        262                   7
9. Florida Southern                                                                 27-6                        227                   8
10. Western Washington                                                        31-3                        216                   4
11. Findlay, Ohio                                                                     22-8                        211                  22
12. Kentucky Wesleyan                                                          20-8                        202                  NR
13. Midwestern State, Texas                                                 22-9                        197                  NR
14. Indiana, Pa.                                                                        26-6                        185                  10
15. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn.                                                 25-6                        172                  13
16. Saint Anselm, N.H.                                                           23-6                        169                  11
17. Northeastern State, Okla.                                                19-9                        166                  NR
18. Southern Indiana                                                              23-8                        112                  15
19. Alabama-Huntsville                                                         25-6                         85                     9
20. Winona State, Minn.                                                         27-8                         80                   NR
21. Winston-Salem State, N.C.                                             21-7                         69                   16
22. Carson-Newman, Tenn.                                                  20-8                         61                   NR
23. North Alabama                                                                  19-9                         57                   NR
24. Livingstone, N.C.                                                              22-7                         41                   NR
25. Harding, Ark.                                                                    22-10                        38                   NR

Others receiving votes: Christian Brothers (Tenn.) 30, Philadelphia (Pa.) 30, Fort Lewis (Colo.) 27, Augustana (S.D.) 25, Cal State-San Bernardino 20, Montevallo (Ala.) 20, Tarleton State (Texas) 20, Bowie State (Md.) 18, Alaska-Anchorage 16, Franklin Pierce (N.H.) 16, Benedict (S.C.) 15, Dixie State (Utah) 13, Fort Hays State (Kan.) 12, Arkansas Tech 8, Alderson-Broaddus (W.Va.) 7, Anderson (S.C.) 5, New Haven (Conn.) 5, East Stroudsburg (Pa.) 4, Florida Tech 4, Stillman (Ala.) 3, Bridgeport (Conn.) 1. St. Cloud State (Minn.) 1.

Records are from 2012-13 season.  Previous ranking was final ranking from 2012-13 season.