A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
BTRC/BASN Releases Preseason Hoop Polls
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — On the heels of our two-year collaboration with DWCommunications, LLC on the BoxToRow.com/BASN HBCU Top 10 Football poll, today marks the release of the inaugural BoxToRow.com/BASN HBCU Men’s Basketball Polls.
For the first few weeks, the poll will be released every two weeks.
Beginning in January, it will be every week. There will be two separate polls, one for NCAA Division I teams and one for Non-NCAA Division I teams (including NCAA Division II, NCAA Division II and NAIA Divisions I and II).
Picked as favorites to win the MEAC, the Bears of Morgan State have been tabbed as the top team in the inaugural Division I Poll. Led by the league’s Coach of the Year Todd Bozeman, the Bears earned their first regular season MEAC title last year with a 14-2 MEAC record and 22-11 overall mark.
The rest of the top five includes South Carolina State (13-20) ranked second, Jackson State, SWAC favorite Jackson State (14-20) is tied for third with Tennessee State (10-10), and defending SWAC regular season champion Alabama State (20-11) sits at number five.
JSU is led by the SWAC’s Preseason Player of the Year, Grant Maxey. A6-foot-7, 180-pound, junior forward from Toledo, Ohio, Maxey was a key contributor to the Tigers’ success last season.
As a sophomore, he averaged 14.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He finished with 49 steals, 25 blocks while shooting 48.8 percent from the field.
The rest of the poll includes Hampton (18-12) at sixth, Alabama A&M (14-15) is seventh, defending MEAC tournament champ Coppin State (16-21) is eighth, Mississippi Valley State (17-16) is ninth, and Delaware State (14-16) rounds out the poll at No. 10.
Both tabbed as preseason favorites in their respective conferences, Johnson C. Smith and Benedict College are our co-No. 1 teams in the Non-Division I poll.
For Benedict, nine returners make up the team including Benny Lewis and Michael Holmes who led the Tigers to the Sweet 16 of the Division II Tournament, a first for the SIAC in nearly 15 years.
Holmes, took the SIAC by storm in his freshman year last season, averaging 10 points per game and five rebounds en route to leading Benedict to a conference championship.
As for JCSU, the Golden Bulls were picked to finish first in the Western Division for the second consecutive season after ending last season’s campaign with a 21-10 overall record and a CIAA Tournament crown.
CIAA rivals Virginia Union (22-8) and Bowie State (21-8) are ranked third and fourth respectively followed by Claflin (24-2) at number five.
The rest of the poll includes Elizabeth City State (20-7) at number six, Xavier of Louisiana (24-10) is seventh, West Virginia State (23-6) and Fayetteville State (14-15) are tied for eighth, and Cheyney rounds out the poll at No. 10
BTRC/BASN INAUGURAL PRESEASON HBCU MEN’S BASKETBALL TOP 10 POLLS (Records from 2007-08 season)
School W-L Pts 1. Morgan State (3) 22-11 39 2. S.C. State 13-20 34 3. Jackson State 14-20 25 (tie) Tennessee State 10-10 25 5. Alabama State 20-11 20 6. Hampton (1) 18-12 18 7. Alabama A&M 14-15 16 8. Coppin State 16-21 15 9. Miss. Valley State 17-16 10 10. Delaware State 14-16 7
Others receiving votes: Southern (11-19) 6, Norfolk State (16-15) 2, North Carolina A&T (15-16) 2, N.C. Central (4-26) 1, Savannah State (13-18) 1.
School W-L Pts 1. J.C. Smith (2) 21-10 33 (tie) Benedict (2) 28-5 33 3. Virginia Union 22-8 30 4. Bowie State 21-8 29 5. Claflin 24-2 20 6. Elizabeth City 20-7 17 7. Xavier (La.) 24-10 15 8. W. Va. State 23-6 12 (tie) Fayetteville St. 14-15 12 10. Cheyney 19-10 11
Others receiving votes: Morehouse (12-15) 7.