KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Steve Keller's University of Providence men's basketball team is ranked 12th in the NAIA Division I coaches' top 25 preseason poll, leading three Frontier Conference teams in the rankings, which were released Wednesday.
The Argos weren't ranked at the end of last season when they finished 18-12 in Keller's first year with the program. They were selected to win the Frontier Conference this year, though, and are now the league's highest-ranked team in the national poll. Montana State-Northern and Lewis-Clark State are also in the top 25, while Carroll College is among the other teams to receive votes.
Shawn Huse's Lights are ranked No. 19 after last year's 18-14 campaign, and Lewis-Clark is 23rd. The Warriors were seventh in last season's final rankings after advancing to the semifinal round of the NAIA national tournament.
Carroll College, which is starting Year 2 of the Kurt Paulson era, was the national runner-up last season, but the Fighting Saints graduated key players Match Burnham and Matt Wyman off that squad. Dane Warp, the Frontier Conference's preseason player of the year, will help lead a young Carroll team into the 2019-20 season.
Defending national champion Georgetown (Ky.) received nine first-place votes to top the poll with the No. 1 ranking. The Master's (Calif.), Wayland Baptist (Texas), William Penn (Iowa) and Pikeville (Ky.) complete the top five.
2019-20 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Preseason (Oct. 23, 2019)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL [1st Place Votes]||RECORD||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Georgetown (Ky.) ||33-4||219|
|2||T4||The Master's (Calif.)||27-6||210|
|3||8||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||24-8||199|
|4||23||William Penn (Iowa)||22-12||196|
|6||2||LSU Alexandria (La.)||30-4||187|
|7||14||William Carey (Miss.)||25-10||178|
|11||17||LSU Shreveport (La.)||23-11||152|
|13||RV||Science & Arts (Okla.)||22-11||139|
|18||RV||Mid-America Christian (Okla.)||21-13||105|
|20||NR||Central Methodist (Mo.)||17-14||82|
|23||7||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||30-7||59|
|25||19||Peru State (Neb.)||23-11||42|
Dropped from the Top 25: Tougaloo (Miss.), Missouri Baptist, Carroll (Mont.), John Brown (Ark.), William Jessup (Calif.), Bethel (Tenn.), St. Thomas (Texas), Oklahoma City
Others Receiving Votes: Hope International (Calif.) 36, Bethel (Tenn.) 33, Xavier (La.) 31, SAGU (Texas) 22, Dillard (La.) 20, Central Baptist (Ark.) 16, Carroll (Mont.) 15, Life (Ga.) 7, Oklahoma City 5.