KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The NAIA basketball season is set for its new look this winter, after the organization merged its Division I and Division II levels. Coaches at both former levels agree the last DI champion Georgetown is the team to beat on the men's courts this season.
The Tigers, who defeated Carroll College in the 2019 NAIA Division I men's basketball championship, 68-48, top the first preseason coaches' poll, which was announced on Wednesday. Georgetown collected 12 of 21 first-place votes to lead the way.
Carroll, which finished runner-up in the Frontier Conference tournament a year ago, returns to the poll at No. 21, 10 spots below league foe University of Providence, which is 11th. The Argos were selected as the Frontier Conference preseason favorites, with forward Zaccheus Darko-Kelly earning the league's preseason player of the year honor.
Former Frontier member Lewis-Clark State College, which now competes in the Cascade Collegiate Conference, was fifth in the poll. The Warriors defeated Carroll in the conference championship game last season. College of Idaho, another CCC member that was ranked No. 1 in the NAIA Division II ranks at season's end last year, is No. 8 in the preseason polls. The Yotes are coached by former Montana Western player Colby Blaine.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and Association of Independent Institutions. A team receives 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second-place and so on through the list.
The Frontier Conference will open its league season in early December. Montana Tech hosts Carroll College, while Rocky Mountain College welcomes MSU-Northern on Dec. 5.
The complete preseason coaches' poll can be found below.
2020-21 NAIA men's basketball
Preseason coaches' poll
|RANK||LAST YEAR (Division)||SCHOOL [1st Place Votes]||2019-20 RECORD||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1 (I)||Georgetown (Ky.) ||30-2||578|
|2||2 (I)||Mid-America Christian (Okla.) ||30-2||563|
|3||2 (II)||Indiana Wesleyan ||29-4||555|
|4||5 (I)||William Penn (Iowa)||30-3||512|
|5||6 (I)||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) ||29-3||506|
|6||3 (I)||LSU Shreveport (La.)||29-3||498|
|7||3 (II)||Morningside (Iowa)||27-3||467|
|8||1 (II)||College of Idaho||31-3||436|
|9||17 (I)||Arizona Christian||25-8||426|
|10||9 (I)||John Brown (Ark.)||28-5||407|
|11||16 (I)||Providence (Mont.)||24-8||360|
|12||6 (II)||Marian (Ind.)||25-7||328|
|13||13 (I)||LSU Alexandria (La.)||25-6||293|
|14||5 (II)||Ottawa (Kan.)||28-6||283|
|15||14 (I)||Cumberlands (Ky.)||24-8||282|
|16||21 (I)||Loyola (La.)||23-10||278|
|17||4 (II)||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||30-3||268|
|18||4 (I)||Dalton State (Ga.)||30-3||257|
|19||19 (I)||The Master's (Calif.)||23-8||231|
|20||10 (I)||Xavier (La.)||27-6||193|
|21||12 (I)||Carroll (Mont.)||24-9||176|
|22||11 (I)||SAGU (Texas)||25-7||161|
|23||7 (II)||Oregon Tech||26-7||149|
|24||16 (II)||Union (Ky.)||24-10||138|
|25||9 (II)||Antelope Valley (Calif.)||28-4||115|
Others Receiving Votes: Thomas More (Ky.) 108, Westmont (Calif.) 107, Southeastern (Fla.) 97, Oklahoma Wesleyan 91, Saint Francis (Ind.) 67, Indiana Tech 55, Central Baptist (Ark.) 43, Washington Adventist (Md.) 39, Holy Cross (Ind.) 39, Faulkner (Ala.) 39, Bellevue (Neb.) 36, Indiana East (Ind.) 36, Park (Mo.) 35, Northwestern (Iowa) 31, Talladega (Ala.) 16, Dillard (La.) 9, Harris-Stowe State (Mo.) 7, Southern Oregon 4, Shawnee State (Ohio) 4, Cornerstone (Mich.) 4, Dordt (Iowa) 4.