Lions Basketball makes NAIA Coaches Poll
SAGU one of three RRAC teams ranked
Flying under the radar, team now a blip on ratings screen
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team, off to their best start in over 10 years, caught the attention of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics coaches.
The first national rankings, the Coaches Top 25 Poll, was released from the NAIA’s Kansas City, Missouri offices on Monday afternoon, and SAGU was one of 42 colleges who received votes. The Lions, 7-0, made perhaps their first appearance ever, coming in at #33 with eight votes.
A year after posting a 12-19 record, SAGU has shown steady progress in the opening month of play. They are one of three members of the Red River Athletic Conference to receive votes this week.
Texas Wesleyan University (6-1) moved up from their pre-season ranking of #10 to #7. The Rams’ only loss came at Lubbock Christian University, 89-80, five days after defeating the LCU Chaparrals in Ft. Worth. Wesleyan went 30-4 last season.
Our Lady of the Lake University (5-3) also made the grade in the Top 25, coming in at #24. The Saints were in the group of teams receiving votes in the pre-season poll.
LSU-Shreveport (30-4 last year) began the year at #6. They have stumbled out of the gate and didn’t pick up any recognition by the panel of head coaches who represent each conference and affiliated groups.
New head coach Donnie Bostwick, a two-time national coach of the year at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, took over a team that had a talented core of players coming back. Four of the Lions top five scorers returned including Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ. of N.Texas, Waco HS), Jared Gibson (Dallas, Tx / Plano West HS), Nathaniel Duce Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ of N.Texas, Connally HS) and Craig Grigbsy (Houston, Tx / Glenda Dawson HS).
Horne led the NAIA in scoring (24.5 ppg), Ward was the leading rebounder (12.3 rpg) and Gibson was second in the NAIA in three-point baskets. Combined with a solid recruiting class and a key transfer in sophomore Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ, Trinity Christian, Cedar Hill, Tx), the Lions have begun to turn heads.
Click here to see the entire NAIA press release and Coaches Poll.
The second Top 25 Coaches Poll will be released on Monday, December 12.
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