Another Top 10 Ranking for Hilltoppers


West Liberty University Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The West Liberty University men’s basketball team earned yet another Top 10 national ranking on Tuesday when the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) released its annual NCAA Division II Preseason Top 25 poll.

    Coach Ben Howlett and his veteran Hilltopper squad checked in at No. 7 in the nationwide voting, marking the third Top 10 ranking of the preseason for the Black and Gold. West Liberty was No. 4 in the Preseason NCAA D2 rankings compiled by Basketball Times magazine and was ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Division II Preseason “Power 10” posted on the website.

    The Hilltoppers are no strangers to lofty national rankings at any time of the year. West Liberty compiled the highest winning percentage of any NCAA men’s program over the past decade and won more games than any other NCAA Division II program. The Hilltoppers’ current streak of 11 consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament bids is the longest in the nation.

    West Liberty is sharing the Top 25 spotlight with several familiar faces. Fellow Mountain East Conference members Fairmont State and Charleston hold down the No. 20 and No. 22 spots, respectively, in the NABC Top 25 while perennial Atlantic Region power Indiana (Pa.) is at No. 4. Mercyhurst (Pa.) and Shippensburg (Pa.) are among teams also receiving votes.

    While a handful of NCAA Division II squads – including consensus No. 1 pick Northwest Missouri State – will tip off their seasons as scheduled this weekend, West Liberty and its MEC brethren are among those targeting January for the start of an abbreviated conference-only slate. Those schedules will be released later this fall.


National Association of Basketball Coaches

NCAA Division II Preseason Poll

(November 17, 2020)

     Team (FPV)                                                      Rec           Pts        Pvs

  1. NW Missouri State                                    31-1          400             1

  2. Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.)                       32-1          367             2

  3. West Texas A&M                                       32-1          366             3

  4. Indiana (Pa.)                                                28-2          318             6

  5. Florida Southern                                        29-2          309             5

  6. Nova Southeastern (Fla.)                        23-6          295          20

  7. WEST LIBERTY                                            27-4          282             7

  8. Northern State (S.D.)                               26-6          255          17

  9. Missouri-St. Louis                                      27-6          240          19

10. Queens (N.C.)                                             24-7          223          23

11. Azusa Pacific (Calif.)                                 25-4          195             8

12. St. Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.)                     25-5          190          11

13. Colorado School of Mines                   22-10          177         NR

14. Alabama-Huntsville                                  26-5          165          12

15. Ferris State (Mich.)                                   27-6          152          16

16. Point Loma (Calif.)                                    24-6          137          24

17. Augustana (S.D.)                                     19-11          127         NR

18. St. Edward’s (Texas)                                 27-4          264             9

19. Valdosta State (Ga.)                                 26-4          245          10

20. FAIRMONT STATE                                     23-7             91         NR

21. Missouri Southern                                    23-8             84          21

22. CHARLESTON                                              25-6             80         NR

23. Sioux Falls (S.D.)                                         22-8             78         NR

24. Bridgeport (Conn.)                                    24-4             50          13

25. Southern Indiana                                       22-8             47         NR

        Others receiving votes: Augusta (Ga.) 37, Truman State 33, Saint Anselm 25, Southern Nazarene 25, Chico State 24, Findlay 24, Seattle Pacific 22, UNC-Pembroke 22, Angelo State 20, Indianapolis 17, Mercyhurst 16, Lubbock Christian 13, Miles 13, Washburn 12, Dallas Baptist 11, Jefferson (Pa.) 9, Shippensburg 9, Biola (Calif.) 7, Cal Poly-Pomona 6, Black Hills State 4, Western Oregon 4, Minnesota State 3, Concordia (Calif.) 2, Colorado Mesa 2, Daemen 2, Stonehill 2, Union (Tenn.) 2, Embry-Riddle 1, Fort Lewis 1, Rogers State 1, Walsh 1.

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