Interesting Results of RRAC Poll

Sports Information Directors Pick Impact Players

In a recent survey of Sports Information Directors from the 13-member Red River Athletic Conference, the teams to beat as the season enters 2012 look much the same as the current regular season standings.

MEN'S LEAGUE PICKS

By the narrowest of margins, San Antonio’s Our Lady of the Lake University (11-3 overall, 8-0 in RRAC) was predicted to win the men’s regular season title. The #2 pick, Texas Wesleyan University (10-3, 5-2), who are seeking their fifth straight RRAC crown, trail OLLU after falling to the Saints on Monday, 120-98.

The Halos used a cast of sharpshooters to make 22 three-pointers in a surprising margin of victory. It avenged a pair of losses to the Rams last season. Wesleyan racked up a 30-4 ledger last year while OLLU was 21-10.

The votes were made prior to games resuming in 2012 after the holiday break. Members in the Red River had played an average of four league games by the end of December. They entered January with 20 contests remaining against conference foes.

New RRAC member, Houston’s University of St. Thomas (8-6, 6-2), got the nod for third place, narrowly edging Louisiana State University-Shreveport (7-5, 5-2). The Celts were 13-14 as an NAIA independent last winter, while the LSUS Pilots posted a 30-4 mark.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

There were no surprises in the women’s team to beat selection. Langston University (Okla) has won the RRAC for five years running and is the obvious pick to repeat. The Lady Lions (14-0, 8-0) received all #1 picks, the only unanimous choice.
Langston brought a 91-5 RRAC mark into this season and an overall record of 141-26 – both marks covering the previous five seasons. They are the Queens of the Red River Jungle.

The pick for #2 involved three teams, and the difference was a single vote between each.

LSU-Shreveport (8-5, 6-1) edged Texas Wesleyan University (10-3, 5-2) and Our Lady of the Lake University (12-2, 7-1). The Lady Pilots came up short to Langston, 73-65, at home and topped both the TWU Rams and Lady Saints.
Complete survey results are posted below.

SURPRISE TEAMS

The SID’s pick for the surprise team down the stretch in the men’s division is St. Thomas. Four teams tied for second; OLLU, Langston University (4-9, 4-4), Dallas’ Paul Quinn College (3-9, 2-5) and Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Tx) (11-3, 5-2).

Chosen as the women’s squad to watch out for as surprise team was a two-way tie between OLLU and LSUS. St. Thomas (5-8, 3-5), tied with Huston- Tillotson University (4-7, 4-4) for third. The Lady Celts are enjoying their inaugural season. They got off to a 5-4 start, which included a four-game winning streak.

MEN's TOP 5 IMPACT PLAYERS

Chosen as the RRAC’s Top 5 Impact Players was a two-way tie among men; guard Ronnie Moss (TWU) and University of the Southwest forward Demetrius Evans. They were named on every ballot. Derrick Parker (LSUS) was third, Eric Frederick (TWO) fourth, and Marco Cooper (OLLU) fifth.

The women’s quintet believed to be the league catalysts starts with a unanimous choice in forward Octavia Mullins (TWU). Others to watch for include Jenna Diakos (LSUS), Ayanna Jackson (LU), and Jarvis Christian College’s Marsharae Brown. They were knotted for second.

Another trio tied for the fifth place on the most likely to spark their team; Wiley College’s Alieshia Carruthers, Kimberly Jones (LU) and Shaquita Roberts (SAGU).

TOP NEWCOMERS in the RRAC

A handful of players received votes as the top newcomers.

Nafis Richardson (PQC) and Frederick (TWU) were tied for first, with Moss (TWU) finishing third. Brian Talley (TWU), Josh Orta (OLLU) and Dominique Rambo (SAGU) were coupled in fourth.

Brown, a forward for Jarvis, made every ballot for top newcomer among the ladies. Nia Winston (SAGU) and Langston’s Jackson were second. Three others were knotted in fourth; Thomesia Smith (PQC), Shontice Simmons (LU) and Jones (LU).

The SID’s, whose roles usually include a range of sports communications (writing, statistical reporting, announcing, etc.), made an interesting list of headlines of stories they felt would be of interest to fans of the RRAC. They are posted below.

Detailed League Information Available

Forr current standings, team rosters, schedules and results as well as detailed team and player stats, visit the RRAC website at www.redriverconference.com. Click on the sport of interest on the left, then, in the standings page, click on the team of interest for more information to navigate.

For similar info on how teams and players rank nationally in the NAIA, go to www.naia.org.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 469-658-2847.

Men’s Predicted Finish
1) Our Lady of the Lake University
2) Texas Wesleyan University
3) University of St. Thomas – Houston
4) LSU – Shreveport
5) Southwestern Assemblies of God University
6) Texas College
7) Wiley College
8) Langston University
9) Paul Quinn College
10) University of the Southwest
11) Jarvis Christian College
12) Bacone College
13) Huston-Tillotson University

Women’s Predicted Finish
1) Langston University
2) LSU – Shreveport
3) Texas Wesleyan University
4) Our Lady of the Lake University
5) Wiley College
6) University of St. Thomas – Houston
7) Huston-Tillotson University
8) Jarvis Christian College
9) Bacone College
10) Paul Quinn College
11) Texas College College
12) Southwestern Assemblies of God University
13) University of the Southwest

Top Impact Players – Men
1) Tie Demetrius Evans, USW, Ronnie Moss, TWU
3) Derrick Parker, LSUS
4) Eric Frederick, TWU
5) Marco Cooper, OLLU

Others; Travis Lampley (UST), Josh Orta (OLLU), Nafis Richardson (PQC), Ronald Horne (SAGU), Dominique Rambo (SAGU), Greg Shyne (LSUS).

Top Impact Players – Women
1) Octavia Mullins, TWU
2) Jenna Diakos, LSUS
3) Marsharae Brown, JCC
4) Ayanna Jackson, LU
5) Alieshia Carruthers, WC, Shaquita Roberts (SAGU), Kimberly Jones (LU)

Others; Stacey Darnley (OLLU), Simone Buckhanan (USW), Thomeshia Smith (PQC), Shontice Simmons (LU), Dinilesizwe Love (JCC).

Surprise Teams Down the Stretch - Men
1) St. Thomas
2) Our Lady of the Lake
3) Southwestern Assemblies of God University
4) Langston University

Others tied with one vote; Paul Quinn, Southwest, Bacone College, Texas Wesleyan, Wiley College.

Surprise Teams Down the Stretch – Women
1) LSU – Shreveport
2) Our Lady of the Lake
3) Huston-Tillotson
4) St. Thomas
5) Wiley College

Top Newcomers in the RRAC – Men
1) Nafis Richardson, PQC; Eric Frederick, TWU
2) Ronnie Moss, TWU
3) Brian Talley, TWU
4) Josh Orta, OLLU
5) Dominique Rambo, SAGU

Others with one vote; Aaron McCuin (PQC), Richard Simon (WC), Nate Barfield (LU), Mark Politte (LSUS).

Top Newcomers in the RRAC – Women
1) Marsharae Brown, JCC
2) Nia Winston, SAGU
3) Ayanna Jackson, LU
4) Thomeshia Smith, PQC
5) Shontice Simmons, LU
6) Kimberly Jones, LU

Others with one vote; Nashae Owens (OLLU), Chelsea Solis (OLLU), Alieshia Carruthers (WC), Chaniese Turner (PQC), Christy Willis (LSUS), Meoshi Bradley (LSUS), Simone Buckhanan (USW).

TOP STORIES – Men’s League (not listed in any specific order)
Can OLLU run the table (24-0) in the conference?
Surprise team will be Langston Univ
Can Tillotson come back from an 0-7 start and qualify for the RRAC tournament?
Will OLLU make the NAIA’s Top 25?
OLLU Shocks RRAC by Winning Championship
LSUS Fails to Qualify for the RRAC Tournament
Can OLLU sustain early season breakout?
Will TWU have string of 3 straight regular season titles snapped?
Where will new member St. Thomas finish?
Who will win the regular season championship?
Can LSUS win their 7th consecutive conference tournament championship?
Will TWU mesh their considerable talent in time?
Derrick Parker, LSUS’ all-time leader in rebounds and blocks; will finish as their top scorer?
Will OLLU finally break through?
How far will SAGU go under new head coach?
Will either Frederic or Moss win the NAIA scoring title?
Will fans suffer whiplash watching the Saints offense?
Will OLLU, SAGU and TWU all finish in the Top 10 nationally in threes per game?
Will the NAIA offer a third bid to a member from the RRAC?

TOP STORIES – Women’s League (not listed in any specific order)
Which team will join Langston in the NAIA Nationals?
Who will be the 5 teams who fall short of making the RRAC tournament?
Will Langston continue their dominance in the second half of the season?
Who will grab the final four slots and make the RRAC tourney?
Can anyone dethrone Langston?
Can LSUS win their first-ever RRAC title?
How many RRAC teams will earn a berth in the NAIA tournament?
Can anyone stop Langston?
Who will get the 2nd NAIA national bid?
Can Octavia Mullins (TWU) lead the NAIA nation in rebounds?
Will Langston lose a game at home this year?
Will Shaquita Roberts (SAGU) lead the NAIA in blocked shots?
Can LSUS rally to win the RRAC tournament crown?

*The categories chosen are common among media polls in college conferences.